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The Gathering, A Womanist Church Origins, Stories, Sermons, and Litanies

BY Irie Lynne Session, Kamilah Hall Sharp, Jann Aldredge-Clanton

A womanist church has great power to transform church and society, primarily because womanist theology centers the experiences of Black women while working for the survival and wholeness of all people and all creation.

Experiences of the triple oppression of racism, sexism, and classism give Black women an epistemological insight into recognizing injustice and creating solutions that benefit all. The Gathering is unique, the only church founded and identified as “womanist,” applying womanist theology to the full life and worship of a church.

The Gathering, a womanist faith community in Dallas, Texas, welcomes all people to partner in pursuing racial equity, LGBTQ equality, and dismantling PMS (patriarchy, misogyny, and sexism), following Jesus in liberating the oppressed and lifting up the marginalized. The Gathering, A Womanist Church tells the story of the birth and ongoing development of a womanist faith community. This book includes personal narratives of people transformed in this community, womanist co-pastors’ sermons informed by their experiences and those of other Black women, and litanies for womanist worship.

Endorsements & Reviews
The Gathering, A Womanist Church is the first book on womanist ecclesiology. . . . The authors share their scholarly knowledge and experiences of womanist church, biblical exegesis, sermons, and litanies to demonstrate that womanist church is a living reality and that the time for womanist churches to multiply is now.” —Dr. Karen Baker-Fletcher, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

“This thought-provoking and inspiring resource details the genesis and development of The Gathering, outlines practical steps in establishing a womanist-based ministry, and shows that womanist ecclesiology leads to the spiritual healing and transformation of those oppressed by white supremacist, hetero-patriarchal capitalist society.” —Rev. Dr. Tamara E. Lewis, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

“When you try something really hard, and you feel God’s windy Spirit at your back, and it works, you want to shout it to the whole world: ‘Look what God will do! Alleluia!’ The women of The Gathering, with the Spirit’s help, have done something really hard, and so beautiful. This book is their alleluia, and all of us with ears to hear are blessed by it. Shout it from the mountaintops, sisters!” —Rev. Dr. Katie Hays, author of We Were Spiritual Refugees
About the Authors

Rev. Dr. Irie Lynne Session is co-pastor of The Gathering, A Womanist Church, a spiritual entrepreneur, and Chief Illuminator of DreamBIG Courses, Coaching, Content Creation, & Connections. She holds a Master of Divinity with a certificate in Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry in prophetic preaching and transformative leadership.

Rev. Kamilah Hall Sharp is a St. Louis, Missouri, native currently residing in Texas with her spouse, Nakia, and daughter, Anaya. She is a co-pastor of The Gathering, A Womanist Church in Dallas and a PhD candidate in Biblical Interpretation-Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School. Kamilah holds a Bachelor of Science in business economics, a Master of Divinity, and a Juris Doctor degree.

Rev. Dr. Jann Aldredge-Clanton, an ordained minister and author, is co-chair of Equity for Women in the Church, ministry partner of The Gathering, adjunct professor at Richland College, and co-leader of New Wineskins Community. Her books include Praying with Christ-Sophia, Changing Church, and Inclusive Songs for Resistance & Social Action.

Review & Commentary