Why Did We Paint the Front Doors of the Church Red?
You may have noticed something new at Emmanuel. The two primary sets of double doors into the sanctuary have been painted red. You may be wondering why.
Part of the reason is that recently we had a walkabout with Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce. She came and walked the neighborhood with us. She brought two young people from the Episcopal Urban Intern Program with her. They looked to be in their twenties. One of the comments that really made us sit up and listen is that our church blends into the neighborhood so well that it is hardly noticeable from the street. We concluded that in an effort not to ruffle the feathers of our neighbors we have styled our church to blend in and that we have done too good a job of that.
The other comment that perked up our ears came from the young people. They said that Emmanuel was obviously a wonderful community but that the church looked boring from the outside. Huh! That was an interesting comment. They also noted that there were so many doors into the sanctuary that it was difficult to figure out where one should enter for a service.
Out of that experience we decided to do something that has long been a tradition in the Episcopal Church. We painted the primary entrance doors to the sanctuary a wonderful warm cherry red. Actually, though this is an Episcopal tradition, it has been a tradition since the days of the early church. Red doors signified that there was security and refuge behind them. And in times of war, a person could not be pursued beyond the red door. The enemy was stopped in their tracks. So this idea of finding safety and refuge behind the red doors stuck with the church. Even today one might think of the sanctuary as a place of refuge from whatever is dogging us in this world.
In addition, red is the color of the Holy Spirit, so another meaning to those red doors is that the Holy Spirit can be found here. In any case they are a wonderful addition to our building and are readily noticed from either driveway as visitors enter our grounds.