THE FULL INCLUSION OF ALL PEOPLE
The Wonderful Diversity of God's People
We welcome you in your uniqueness, whether that is around your sexual orientation or your gender identity or expression, your economic status, the color of your skin, your culture or language, or your background – whatever your uniqueness includes.
The reign of God is wonderfully diverse, and when that diversity is represented in God’s community, we are all the richer for it. Sometimes that diversity challenges us to be curious about each other, for one person’s story is never the same as another’s. Sometimes that diversity requires us to confess when we unintentionally hurt each other, and sometimes that diversity causes us to break out in joy, for the reflection of the fullness of God when we are together.
If you are looking for a faith community that isn’t perfect, but is living into God’s wonderful reign, then we invite you to experience the love and fellowship of this congregation.
A Special Word for those in the LGBTQIA+? Community
No matter what letter you identify with, or no letter, you are welcome here!
For too long LGBTQIA+ individuals have not found a welcome in churches. Here you will find welcome, without exception. You are free to be yourself as God made you. You are welcome to be married here, to raise your family here, and to grow with us as followers of Christ. Here you are welcome in leadership, and here you will be loved.
Pastor Sue’s Story
Over many decades the Presbyterian Church (USA) struggled with the question of whether or not self-affirming, practicing homosexuals should be ordained, and later, whether same-gender marriage should be allowed. I was called as the interim pastor of First Presbyterian in 2015 when the marriage debate was going on.
It was an interesting time to be here, as the church knew going in that I was in a same-gender marriage and that it was important that I and my wife, Linda, be fully welcomed wherever we served. At the same time, the session (the governing board of the church) wanted to have conversations with the congregation about whether or not they should allow same-gender marriages in the sanctuary. Part of my job was to facilitate those conversations. We invited in Mark Achtemeier, theologian and author of “The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage: An Evangelical’s Change of Heart,” to come lead an educational event on this topic. The next step was for the session to make a decision about same-gender marriage in the sanctuary based on what they learned and conversation with the congregation about their thoughts.
Meanwhile (this is the fun part of the story!), the church was seeking a permanent pastor (I was the interim, or temporary pastor, there to assist them while they sought a permanent pastor), and they overwhelmingly voted to ask me to stay. I was thrilled to say yes, which, as I told the session, basically meant they had effectively decided on the marriage issue without ever having to vote on it. They agreed, and as a testament to this congregation, it has never been an issue since. We are united in welcoming all people, regardless of how they identify, into our church family. I can honestly say that Linda and I have been welcomed without reservation, and we are not alone in being the recipients of that welcome.
We invite you to come experience the love and fellowship that Linda and I have experienced at First Presbyterian Church, and to join us in ministry with Christ to our neighborhood, and beyond!