What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6: 8 (The New Revised Standard Version)
Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. - John 4: 24 (The Message Bible)
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?... If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? - James 2: 14-16 (NRSV)
Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. - James 3: 14 (NRSV)
The Red Door Represents
- a door that is open
- a wall that is pulled down
- a heart that welcomes
- a mind that is open
- a people in whom you can take refuge
- a community without discrimination
- all people - all means all
The Red Door Is Open To
- the straight, the non-straight
- the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people of all orientation
- the men and women of color, creed, ethnicity, and persuasion
- people of all faith journey
- people with no faith
The Red Door Is
- The Door of Mercy
- The Door of Justice
- The Door to humility
When you walk in through The Red Door, you are in, all of it and all of you.
The Red Door
Fr. Jos Tharakan
The Episcopal Church has an open door policy! However, not many really know what that means and if they do, they don't understand it really well. Maybe I am a little partial being I am an Episcopalian, but in my view, our doors are open to all people, no matter who walks in. The open door policy of the Episcopal Church means that everyone has a reason and a chance to belong to a body of faith and be affirmed for it. If anyone is seeking such a place of belongingness it is the Episcopal Church. There is no political or practical discrimination of any kind.
If you are a human being, then you are eligible to serve God in all roles and capacities. Your limitation to serve in any capacity will be based on your ability to learn, understand, accept, and perform the duties of the ministry you are called to do. Let us take it to heart that our reasoning to welcome all people to the table of God is founded purely and squarely on the Bible. We are not deviating from the spirit of the law. We are not too stuck on the letter of the law that caused the death of Jesus. The spirit of the law eventually defeated the power of death. Love defeats death every time. If you ever wondered what is the spirit of the law of the Gospels, it can be simply put in a four-letter word, LOVE.
So what is the letter of the law? The letter of the law is picking and choosing words and phrases from the Bible to prove a point. It is this picking and choosing of what sounds right to someone that led to the persecutions, massacres, crusades, and abuse of others in the last two thousand years of Christianity. Taking a phrase out of context and applying them without its cultural meaning, and nuances to the present day context are not what faith is all about. The Spirit of the Law is choosing to take the whole Scripture for its original purpose.
The original purpose of the Word of God, Jesus, was to show to the world we are loved forever by God and God will do anything to get us back on track so that we can love one another as God does. The spirit of the Gospels is an unconditional love for the hundred percent of humanity and not fifty or thirty or eighty percent based on what we think of the meaning of the phrases or verses of the Bible are. In the end, all Scriptures are, regardless of any religion, about who we are to God individually and personally. The spirit of the Law is how God loves regardless of how messed up or goofed up we are. God loves the unbroken and broken ones the same. God loves you and me unconditionally.
The Red Door, the typical red-colored door of the Episcopal Church represents this open, life-giving message of Christ every day. So when you walk into our church remember that you are walking into a place of unconditional acceptance of your brokenness and your failures, unless you want to claim your holiness and togetherness. If you claim you are unbroken and all put together, we are going to have to talk. Because we don’t generally find saints among us. We only have sinners, messed up people, and lost souls among us. The red door is meant for those who consider themselves imperfect.
The Red Door is the door of mercy rather than the color of power. It represents the blood that was spilled not just by the Lord, but those who love you, care for you and support you to keep you in a place of security and safety in their hearts. It represents what we truly are in our souls as people loved and chosen by God. The Red Door represents people who are kind, caring, and loving.