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At the Red Door, every service is a service.


In the early days of the Christian church, a red door signified the entrance to a place of refuge: The crimson color symbolized the blood of Christ, spilled so that all who come to Him would be saved. And during the Irish War of Independence, DeFoort says, the Irish Republican Army appropriated the symbol, using a red door to mark a safe house for IRA soldiers. To this day, countless pubs and hotels in Ireland bear the name of the Red Door.

And so does her church, even though it only opens its door once every two weeks.

Nate Lappegaard (above) found community in the circle of friends that is the Red Door.
Nate Lappegaard (above) found community in the circle of friends that is the Red Door.
Members of the Red Door congregation shake their groove thang.
Members of the Red Door congregation shake their groove thang.

On Saturday, December 20, the name seems particularly fitting. While the bar crowd outside the Larimer Lounge a block to the north is drunkenly and audibly letting off a little holiday steam, Orange Cat holds the ghosts of party-goers past, now looking for a different kind of community.

Tonight marks the Winter Solstice, and DeFoort has decided to mark the longest night of the year with "Shiver," which she hopes will become an annual Red Door celebration. From 8 p.m. until 8 a.m., there will be psychic readings and reiki massage, an herbal tonic bar and, of course, enough music to stuff a jukebox. But DeFoort would also like to see the church's coffers stuffed; this is the Red Door's first fundraiser.

Dressed in a bright turquoise dress with strands of colorful fabric in her hair, DeFoort paces the venue, replacing lightbulbs here, consulting with a massage therapist there. Rana and Gorman, as well as Shoshanna French — a psychic guide also affiliated with the Red Door — bounce around the place, making sure that all is running smoothly. And it is. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, many catching up by the refreshment table, chatting quietly over plates full of cheese cubes and carrot sticks.

When the guided tai chi ends, the room is turned over to DJ Brett Starr — and a dozen zealous dancers immediately take the floor. A white boy with an Afro and a hoodie begins gyrating with a breakdancer's skill, drawing so much attention that a circle surrounds him, giving him the room to put an exclamation point to his impromptu solo: a one-armed handstand with his feet high in the air. When he comes down hard in a pile of loose limbs, a man helps Afro-puff to his feet and he smiles sheepishly, then resumes dancing. The wooden floor of the studio bounces up and down as the music swells and more and more of the congregation joins the dance.

Behind the Red Door, there is no right or wrong.

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