By AJ Trager
TROY – Central Woodward Christian Church (CWCC) will host Welcoming Diversity, a one-night event on June 21 showcasing two photography exhibits by Family Diversity Projects as well as a performance by The Detroit Together Men's Chorus.
CWCC seeks to be a religious voice of inclusion and support for diversity. Associate Pastor Rick Modglin-Green has been with CWCC for the last three years and says, as a gay man, he received a very warm welcome from the church.
"CWCC has had LGBT members in the past and the previous pastor was very open to the LGBT community," Modglin-Green said.
Modgin-Green and the CWCC chose to host an LGBT event because many places of worship struggle to include LGBT persons of faith in the life of the church.
"Unfortunately, the voice that we hear often from the church isn't a positive one," Modgin-Green said. "We wanted to be a voice that is positive and inclusive. We want to demonstrate that to the LGBT community and the community at large."
The exhibit comes to CWCC by way of Family Diversity Projects, a non-profit organization devoted to educating the public about issues relating to the full range of diversity.
Two of seven award-winning photo exhibitions that FDP has on national and international tour include "We Have Faith," showcasing LGBT clergy and people of faith speaking out to help open minds and hearts, and "Love Makes A Family," which features diverse families.
Early childhood educator and photographer Gigi Kaeser captured the exhibit photography and Peggy Gillespe the director of Family Diversity Projects provided the interview material strung up next to each of the individual photographs.
Modgin-Green has been with his partner for 19 years and really wants to see more LGBT representation in places of faith.
"Just having a voice to the LGBT community and the community at large will help. Not everyone is represented by those who seem to be the ones who speak out the most."
The event is free to the public, but CWCC will be accepting donations that will be given to the Ruth Ellis Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. to allow attendees to view the artwork. The Detroit Together Men's Chorus performs at 7 p.m. Central Woodward Christian Church is located at 3955 W. Big Beaver Road.