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Of Pews & Progressives

They gave me a coffee mug for visiting... they already know my love language!
They gave me a coffee mug for visiting… they already know my love language!

Well, that was tripped out. In a good way.

Today I visited First Congregational Church of Winter Park (FCCWP). They are an open and affirming congregation. I wanted to go to a church where being gay wasn’t the top priority but where being gay was accepted/affirmed on equal footing as everything and everybody else.

I’ve never belonged to a church with liberal theology, or sang out of hymnals the entire worship time, or sat in literal pews. I have never gone to one that is liturgical, baptized infants and sang in Hebrew over the communion elements …and this church had all of that.

AND the communion bread was gluten-free 🙂

A lovely man and his husband, they have been together for 24 years, were very hospitable to me. They are friends of a friend who recommended I visit this church. I sat with them and met a few other very nice people.

Also, and I am not kidding, I had been randomly thinking about a Scripture (Mark 7:24-37) this morning. I thought, “I probably won’t ever hear a sermon on that passage in a church like this.” In response, of course, it’s like Jesus said, “Oh really?” and that was the exact scripture Rev. Shawn Garvey preached on this morning. I am NOT kidding, and his take on it blew my mind. Loved it, even though it is very challenging to consider Jesus might have been “snarky” in that passage :). When he started preaching on that story, I nearly laughed out loud. That scripture popping into my head wasn’t a random thought, it was Jesus setting me up! I can’t help but think it was His way of affirming to me that His Spirit is with me and in that church.

It was quite humbling to go to a liberal/progressive church considering my biases against them in the past. To consider that now they would be the places I would look for safety in is ironic. The depth of that irony is not lost on me. Humbling, indeed.

My new friends took me to lunch where I met another grandfatherly man. He is gay as well, and it was so nice to be around normal people who love Jesus, each other, and our community(ies). Where I could share my story and listen to theirs, it was peaceful, mutual, and non-judgmental.

One friend said that FCCWP was a breath of fresh air. I agree.

[callout]For a variety of reasons, I have turned off the comments section on my blog. I *love* discussion, but I have found that those discussions work best on social networks. So please join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I would enjoy connecting with you there.[/callout]

Published inLGBT+ Christ Follower


  1. Paul Paul

    Yay. So happy for you my friend

    • Randy Randy

      Thanks Paul 🙂

  2. Hope Wiltfong Hope Wiltfong

    I’m glad you felt welcomed – and isn’t it cool when something you’ve been contemplating is then taught?! Love it!

    • Very cool 🙂

  3. Peggy Wass Peggy Wass

    So glad you joined us, and what a lovely review. I was down a few in the same pew. Your new friends are very dear to me, perhaps I’ll join you next time. Welcome, Randy.
    Peggy Wass

    • Wonderful! That would be great 🙂

  4. So glad that you found an affirming place. I am still looking. In Indiana there is not alot of liberal churches. Most are fundamental and I stay away from them. But I’m so happy that there are such places, and I know that there will be more. Just very happy for you Randy, you deserve to have a safe and joyful place.

    • Thank you Carrie!

  5. Barbara Liston Barbara Liston

    It was nice to meet you yesterday, Randy. I hope you come back!

    • Nice to meet you too Barbara!

  6. Alan Manning Chambers Alan Manning Chambers

    So glad you liked it, Randy. There are some great folks at FCCWP.

    • Thanks Alan 🙂

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