Women of a Certain Age
Biblical matriarchs, invisible no more
While it’s often discussed in general terms, little detailed attention is paid to the women “of a certain age” who were key in the birth of Jesus and his ministry. During this time of Advent, we examine these women - likely past child bearing years - who live into this season of life and God's call to them, as they play a key role in Christ’s life, death and post-Resurrection ministry.
Starts November 26th, 2023
Kristen Ostendorf is a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, joyfully anticpating priestly ordination. She graduated from the General Theological Seminary with a Master’s of Divinity degree in 2023. She has worked as an educator, primarily as a high school history teacher, for about 15 years, and a newspaper reporter and copy editor before that. Born in St. Louis, Kristen came to the East Coast to follow her career in journalism after she graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with dual degrees in journalism and sociology. She earned her master’s degree in social studies education from Rutgers University in 2004 and has taught in a variety of environments. Most recently, she taught American and global history at a Quaker school in the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her spouse and is raising her two children.
Kristen currently serves as curate at St. Christopher’s Church, Gladwyne, where she works with children and families, outreach, and creation care efforts. She also works with The Clare Project, which serves those who are unhoused and facing addiction in Philadelphia, as a mendicant street outreach pastoral care provider. Kristen has been active in a variety of ministries, including healing prayers, lay Eucharistic ministry and helping coordinate online prayer services during the pandemic. In addition, she has engaged in anti-racism work, facilitating workshops for the diocese, her church, educators and the wider community on the topic of white privilege.
She spends her downtime with her family, or walking, reading, running, and hiking. Kristen looks for ways to lean into silence in the busyness of life.