There we were standing next to each other between takes of ‘One Singular Sensation’ on the actual chorus line of our college production, A Chorus Line, and our hearts began to intertwine. A country girl and a city girl. An extrovert and an introvert. A doer and a ponderer. We have seen how our differences have been enhanced, made better, when we’ve been together. We know it to be true in our own friendship and we want to encourage it in other women.
Though we are opposites in some ways, we share a common heartbeat. We want to live sincere lives for God’s glory, where our private selves and our public selves have little disconnect. We want to cherish and honor the families and friendships in our care, especially while we’re in our current stage of carpooling and dinner making. We want other women to experience that together we are a stronger force for God’s purposes on earth and we all benefit when we celebrate our unique God-given talents. It might all come back to One Singular Sensation. We believe every woman is.
We want to encourage our sisters that God
made them on purpose for a purpose.
Above all else, our aim is be hope-bearers in the world. We desire to empower women to carry life-giving hope into their own homes, work places, and communities, as well as around the globe.
Our mission (and name) is anchored in Ephesians 3:14-21. While all translations of this verse speak to us, The Message paraphrase is particularly fresh in our hearts:
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
These direct us to highlight sisters (and a few brothers) in Christ as a way of inspiring women to walk through the doors God has opened. We invite guests on our podcast, blog and retreat who live out their faith through various expressions and traditions and with different nuanced conclusions on the details of Scripture. Highlighting these voices with humility and encouragement is the spirit of sisterhood and we believe reflects the diverse body of Christ. Our invitation is not a blanket endorsement of all statements by guests through our channels or others, rather an effort to promote unity among the Church. The Open Door Sisterhood does not take “stances” on issues, but instead invites conversation between people who may hold varying views and opinions in the Church (regardless of what we personally believe). We are also not trying to be journalists, depicting both sides of an issue or question. We simply want women to share their stories of walking through God’s open doors.
What we do stand behind are the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Krista Gilbert is a speaker and author of Reclaiming Home: A Family’s Guide for Life, Love, and Legacy, co-author of Focus on the Family’s Give Them Wings, and the co-host of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast. Krista is a connector of people, and a lover of life stories, family, lakeside sunsets, powder tree-skiing, and homemade salsa. She speaks and writes about how to live and love well, designing a life around faith, core values, and priorities. Krista can often be found in her garden, preparing a meal with her cooking group, or hiking a trail with her husband and four children.
A trusted voice for Christian women, Alexandra Kuykendall speaks on issues of how faith impacts everyday life. From church basements to Good Morning America, Alex encourages people to listen well and communicate with generosity and kindness. She has authored four books: Loving My Actual Life, Loving My Actual Christmas, The Artist’s Daughter: A Memoir, and her newest Loving My Actual Neighbor. Alex lives in the shadows of downtown Denver with her husband Derek and their four daughters. You can connect with her at AlexandraKuykendall.com.
Kate is a wife, mom, friend, and sometimes artist who is passionate about connecting women. She loves making crafty messes and letting her kids cover themselves in paint. She's an awkward, nerdy girl whose been practicing making small talk and girlfriends for many, many years and is finally pretty comfortable with it. She coordinates The Open Door Sisterhood newsletter and speaking engagements for Krista and Alex.
Debra Laughlin is walking through the doors of empty nest and full heart, teaching middle schoolers, reading much, and fueling life with whole foods and darker coffee. Lately, she has endeavored to ignite her passion of writing over on her blog at www.middlewestpenandpage.com and here as she engages the sisterhood through marketing and special projects. Believing fully in the triune Creator, Debra senses peace through Christ and desires it for those she interacts with.
Bridget is Mama to five children five grands! Her door revolves welcoming others to come sit around the table and commune. Bridget likes to go deep in conversation quickly and rejoices when lives parallel on the journey. She uses her desire to make others feel seen and known to facilitate conversation in our online Facebook group and through the Open Door Sisterhood online book club. Bridget’s go-to passage is Psalm 23.
Lauryn Davis Kopp, a recent graduate from the University of Idaho with a degree in Professional Writing, has a passion for the written word and for helping writers discover their unique voice and purpose in writing. To Lauryn, the doors God calls us to walk through are often the hardest choices that we may ever make. But, in her experience, those very choices are the ones that bond together sisters in Christ and that unite people in ways that may not have been possible otherwise.
Hannah is in the process of pursuing a degree in Communications and has a growing passion for the ever-expanding opportunities through social media. She is specifically interested in the role social media plays in entrepreneurship. She enjoys singing, participating in musicals, partaking in private voice lessons, and now performs in her university’s traveling gospel choir. Hannah manages the social media strategy and visual platforms for the Sisterhood.
If so, being a Sisterhood Ambassador might be the perfect fit. As an Ambassador you will:
• Commit to sharing about ODS events and special offerings.
• Point your circle of influence to podcast episodes and social media posts that you find especially relevant to your tribe of women.
• Respond to other sisters on ODS social media channels.
• Be an insider, giving Alex and Krista feedback on upcoming ideas and plans.
As an ambassador you’ll not only be representing The Sisterhood to the world, you’ll be helping to shape what is created with a thumb’s up or thumb’s down on potential offerings. So, are you in? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!