To help foster that spirit of openness at Grace, Millikin held a series of forums last summer on "hot button topics," such as gun control. Talking about such topics – and listening to what others say – is helps people to understand each other, Millikin said.
Grace now has "three, maybe four" gay couples at the church. And it's been "really amazing" to watch members break bread together and sing hymns together, Millikin said.
Perhaps it's because Millikin sticks to the foundation of faith – the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, he said.
"If I can just reiterate to the people what Jesus stood for, what Jesus said, they're smart enough to do the homework," Millikin said. "With regard to sexuality, Jesus never spoke about it. Jesus said to love your neighbor, but Jesus also dined with sinners and tax collectors and Jesus did preach the message that everyone is welcome at the table."
To Millikin that means, "We don't split and we don't break up."
"Unfortunately, the church defaults into splitting and breaking up," Millikin said.