Like an open door, the event was meant to be an invitational and welcoming retreat that would lead women to new places in their faith. “Jesus is the open door for all people,” says Lt-Colonel Ann Braund, divisional director of women’s ministries, British Columbia Division. “He is always inviting people to come to him and abide in him; to find their identity, their home and their hope in him.”
The event consisted of seven workshops that explored various pathways to God, which offer an opportunity to deepen relationships with him: serving, creation, activism, contemplation, worship and relational pathways. In addition to the workshops, participants watched a half-hour worship session with Anne Ivany and Sarah Michele, and heard testimonies of women from The Salvation Army’s Belkin House in Vancouver.
Carolyn Arends hosted an hour-long session, sharing her own testimony of faith, musical worship and lessons about building mindful, intentional relationships with God.
Where they were able, some women’s groups joined together for small in-person screenings of The Open Door in Vancouver, Burnaby, Kamloops, Kelowna and other cities across British Columbia.
“Every speaker at this event was articulate and passionate,” says Leanne Bradbury, a first-time participant in women’s retreats offered by the division’s women’s ministries. “Each and every one held the door open and made sure you knew there were great things on the other side.
“I couldn’t have imagined that such warm teaching and sharing could have been conveyed on the internet,” she continues. “God is good.”
The Open Door resources are available at salvationarmy.ca/britishcolumbia/home/events/the-open-door/.