Grief. Grace. Life.


 Red Door Church (RDC) began a new season with a new pastor  today.   Pastor Darlene  accepted the call and took on the dream of what can be.   She and her family took a leap of faith and moved across the country to be a part of God’s more.  We’ve yet to get to know each other; however, I am grateful for  her obvious commitment to go where God says to go.  I believe she is key to RDC’s next.

It’s been an interesting  journey for myself and for RDC these last few months.  I’ve lived with the dream of the Red Door Church since I was 16 years old.  I probably don’t have to tell you that I’ve had significant soul-deep grief over leaving.  It was a necessary challenge in my life.   God graciously opened another door for myself and Joshua Lindley to begin a new organization, “tablethink,”  that fit well into my life.  We began by releasing a podcast show, Studio 365. We will be launching something more this fall.   Of course, this did not take the place of my love for RDC; however, I am passionate about what more God has for me to do.  It’s how life works.

RDC has had grief too–being a young church is hard in any circumstance but with such a big change, the faith community has had to navigate some deep waters.  The core of RDC has proven to be strong and willing to do what’s necessary to stay the course  with faith for the “not-yet.”  And, I am grateful and proud of them.

The first church I attended had a red door–in Port Townsend, Washington.

The dream of my heart was to build a community of faith with so much love and  grace that all would experience the best life possible.

Later on, I believed building this kind of community could help to heal the broken structure of the Church–capital “C”–one and all.   I knew it would take time and patience.

When we celebrated our first year–I knew God had given us the grace to move forward–and I hoped we would be able to continue with the way we had set RDC’s structure.

It was then I saw the miracle of becoming a community.  We had begun reserving the first Sunday of each month to take time after the service to take a seat at the table to share a meal and conversation.

Happy First Birthday RDC!

I hoped both sides of the “aisle” could come together and form a community, keeping our mission simple–“Unite.  Equip.  Unleash.”

These three things were to be our foundational truth of who we are as individuals and as a community.

When it finally was written down and agreed upon, I knew we had something incredibly powerful and unique (*see the end of this post).

I hoped it would reduce the anxiety and negativity that seems to creep in when a group of people merge their lives together.

Looking back, I see I was naive.  People are still people.  Things happen.

But. (RDC understood this is one of my favorite words . . . because . . . it makes a way for something more.)

At the end of the day, our mission could be leaned on and trusted.

I believe more than ever that negativity and complaining will not get us very far in relationships as a couple, a family, an organization, and a community of faith.  In fact, through the years of my life, I’ve watched the need to be “right”  tear down and destroy.

I do think there’s a way to be honest with the shared belief it can be worked out with love and grace.  RDC has experienced it.

One of the things that I’ve taught and will continue to teach is the health of relationships  depend on the decision to make the relationship right rather than making sure all those concerned understand your position is right.

In other words, agree that each has a right to be seen, heard, and valued.  This is  love.  And, love wins.  Always.

I love you dear Red Door Church.  

May God bless you with more than you can imagine.  

May you live in the power of love that breaks through the struggle of it all.  

May you receive and give the kind of grace which brings new life, opens doors, and makes all things possible.  

And, I pray you will always keep the door open to everyone and anyone.

With all my heart–Pastor Kerrie

PS.  Here’s quite a few pictures that records some of our beginning days.

UNITE, EQUIP, and UNLEASH in Christ.
And . . . we made the mission simple to understand: 
UNITE with God and one another. (Relationship)
EQUIP each person to live the best life. (Response)
UNLEASH the church to impact the world. (Reach)
The keys to all brought it together: 
The key to the meaning of life is living in a relationship with God and one another.
The key to living the best life is to be equipped to respond.
The key to living with purpose is to reach out to others, doing what matters, and making a difference.
The short version of the story of how it all began can be found at

On my sixteenth birthday I attended a teen conference in Aldersgate, Oregon. My friend, Kim, went with me and found a way into the boarded-up-old-run-down “tabernacle.” We knelt together, prayed, and surrendered every part of our life to the work of God. It was a life-changing-faith-marker moment. In the quiet space, as the sun poured into the cracks and holes of the old building, I knew God was directing me to lead a church in the west side of the city of Salem.

I thought it would happen as I was praying. I knew it was the right timing. But. Apparently, I had to live a lot of life to wait for God’s “YES.”

On December 9, 2014, The Red Door leadership team prayed together before meeting with Dr. Stan Reeder, Oregon Pacific Distric Church of the Nazarene District Superintendent, and the New Works Committee. It was a profound moment. We all knew God was present and that God had a plan for us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We received a phone call with a commitment of support and blessing to begin THE RED DOOR Community Church later that day. It was one of those true “mountain-top” experiences, a rare moment in life, that is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. We did.

Now. The work really begins as we get ready for THE RED DOOR to launch on 9.13.15.

Of course, there have been a lot of questions regarding THE RED DOOR. And. We are doing our best to answer each question. The most often asked question is: “Where did the name, THE RED DOOR, come from?”

Our simple answer is the following: Our name came from the consensus of several 20-something-year-olds. It had been suggested after I shared my story of being welcomed with remarkable love and grace at the first church I attended as a child. The church had a red door.

Pictures by Shelly Mackerell Photography

Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED