Club Q won’t have its annual Christmas dinner tradition this year, so a Colorado Springs church is stepping up to host it

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Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Holly Nipp, a member of Colorado Springs’ Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church and part of their security team, watches the parking lot as people filter in for church on Nov. 20, 2022, the morning after a mass shooting at Club Q.

A local church in Colorado Springs, a renowned hotel, and the community are all coming together after the shooting at Club Q — to carry on the club’s special Christmas tradition. 

Every year, for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Club Q was the home of a special tradition. A community tradition that brought together a lot of different kinds of folks to a place that meant so much to them. They sat and laughed — and they shared a meal. 

Club Q hosted those holiday dinners for many years, but because of the recent shooting, they are closed, leaving a painful void. 

“Many people are estranged from their families for various reasons, and they wanna be with their chosen family on these holidays,” said Rev. Alycia Erickson, pastor of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church in Colorado Springs.

The MCC congregation stepped in with an initial plan to host a potluck dinner on Christmas Day — as a stand-in for the Club Q traditional dinner. 

Sable Gordon is a longtime member, and former empress, of a charitable and public service organization called The United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire. It’s the oldest LGBTQIA organization in Southern Colorado. Gordon was on board with the dinner plan, but thought the group could do more than just a potluck, so Gordon asked a former employer of 27 years for support.  

That employer: The renowned Broadmoor Hotel. And the donation? Enough food to feed 250 people. “We're very impressed with what people are willing to do,” Gordon said.

The Broadmoor’s Culture & Engagement Manager Jimmy Porcadilla says giving back in this time of tragedy and sorrow was only fitting, as this senseless act of violence also hit the Broadmoor family.

“Christmas is a time for family and for sharing a meal with loved ones; hospitality and taking care of our guests are what we do every day, and it is an honor to serve those who need it most this holiday season.”

Porcadilla says said the meal will be complete with all the trimmings.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Pastor Alycia Erickson of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church, a haven for LGBTQ+ people of faith in Colorado Springs, leads a prayer on Nov. 20, 2022, the morning after a mass shooting at Club Q..

“So we're gonna have everything from, um, glazed ham to mashed potatoes all the way down to your green bean casserole. And then you can't forget the dessert. So we have desserts galore.

"We really want to focus on the highlights of how we're coming together as a community. It means a lot to me that my place of employment, my home that I am here, is being so accepting and so willing to the community where we live in. 

Sable Gordon had a specific, heartfelt reason to see that this Christmas tradition continued in some way this year. 

“My goal was to just make people happy and to help them get over some of this tragedy that just happened and to let them know that we are still there for them no matter what happens,” Gordon said. “You know, we're a growing community and there's so many out there that are scared to get out, and I just want to let them know that it's OK to be scared, but don't be afraid to get out in the community, because there are people out here that can help them.”

Erickson said she is grateful her congregation — as a church created by and especially for the LGBTQ+ community — can host the event. 

It’s a favor, she says, the church is returning.

Erickson said many in the community have been supportive of our church since it was founded in 1979. 

“And we are deeply moved to be able to return the favor at such a critical time and that we have our own building so we can create the safe and what I consider sacred space that is needed for the LGBTQ plus community,” she said.

Many people hope that Club Q will reopen as a new special place someday. But that community that exists in Colorado Springs hasn’t stopped. They’re still taking care of each other this holiday season, Erickson said.

“So that we can come together and feel comfortable and just be able to enjoy each other on a holiday.”