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Fred has been coming to Woodland Hills for a year and a half. He was raised Catholic but has been attending Evangelical churches for much of his adult life, including many in the area. As he was drawn to Woodland Hills after hearing the story of Pastor Boyd’s The Cross and the Sword sermon series, Fred is one of the congregants who chose Woodland Hills specifically because they heard about and agreed with the messages delivered by Greg Boyd.
Compared to other churches he has attended, Fred finds Woodland Hills unique. It is much more diverse, he says, and “it’s much more inclusive.” His own story illustrates this inclusivity.1
Fred Dahm, interview by Lillie Schneyer, May 15, 2016. ↩
“And there's so much more about this that resonates too. The first Sunday I came, my daughter at the time said she was lesbian, and Greg was talking about, and he said around in front of everybody, he said I met a woman who said she was a lesbian last week, and she asked if she was a sinner, and he says, oh, what a sinner greater than I am. I am such a greater sinner than you, my daughter. So that kind of hit home for me."
"And then, my daughter a year ago in April told me that she was transgender. And I said, you know, whatever. And then about a week after that I came to a class here and it was about how Woodland Hills started, and one of the first women that Greg said came to Christ was a woman that was transgender to a man. And I thought, I’m home.”
"And then about a week after that I came to a class here and it was about how Woodland Hills started, and one of the first women that Greg said came to Christ was a woman that was transgender to a man. And I thought, I'm home."
"And it's much more inclusive. I have some people I get together with on Monday nights, it's called the Life on Purpose group, and they’ve learned about Louie (my daughter’s name is now Louie) and they’re so accepting of him and his being transgender. He had surgery in November…. I figure what the heck, that’s his stuff, you know? Just support him and love him like Jesus would, right? And we have so much fun because he changed his name first to Mickey, and then I played the song ‘hey Mickey you’re so fine’ and he just shook his head. And then when he decided on Louie as his final name change, then I played Louis …”
“I took him out shopping for his first wallet. He’s gone to like a friend of mine’s wedding and a lot of people from the LLP church here were there, and they were just so accepting of him. I think that’s so important for anybody in the world, to be accepted for who they are, not what they do, and just to embrace them with the love of Christ.”
“Life is good. This is just such a cool place-- I just cannot believe how God has worked through my life and the things I’ve gone through to lead me to this point in time. And it’s just, it’s pretty miraculous.”
First Convert at Woodland Hills
In the video shown at Discover Woodland Hills, Boyd describes the story Fred references about the transgender woman in the early days of the church:
“kind of a sign of how this church was going to be a little bit different was one of our early converts was a man who had just undergone a sex change. He was now a man. And we weren’t quite sure what to do with that. But we just loved him and blessed him and he gave his heart to Christ and God showed up and did amazing things.”2
Greg Boyd, Discover Woodland Hills Information Session, March 24, 2016. ↩