Thursday, November 4, 2021

PCS Forum - November 11, 2021 - Womanist Church - Presenters: Rev. Dr. Irie Lynne Session, Rev. Kamilah Hall Sharp, and Rev. Dr. Jann Aldredge-Clanton

PCS Forum: WOMANIST CHURCH – November 11, 2021
1:00pm and 7:00pm EST – Choose one
Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 867 1564 5736. 

Dial-in for audio :929 205 6099 US 

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.  The Gathering website: 


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.  Dr. Session is the author of Badass Women of the Bible: Inspiration from Biblical Women Who Challenged and Subverted Patriarchy and Murdered Souls, Resurrected Lives: Postmodern Womanist Thought in Ministry with Women Prostituted and Marginalized by Commercial Sexual Exploitation. 

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.

To prepare for this session, we recommend that you read The Gathering, A Womanist Church

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Thirty Second Week in Extraordinary Time Presiders: Elena Garcia and Janet Blakeley, Lectors: Cheryl Brandi and Jim Brandi , Linda Lee & Rick Miller, Music , November 6, 2021

Meeting ID: 851 0809 5506
Passcode: 1066

Theme: Trust as a foundation for Giving

Welcome! (Elena) We warmly welcome you to the inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida. All are welcome here. We invite you to pray the liturgy where it says, “All.” And please sing your heart out! Everyone will be muted during the service.   during the shared homily and prayers of the community, we invite you to unmute yourself to contribute, then mute yourself again. Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer. 

Gathering 🎶 All Sing:  Anthem by Tom Conry

We are called, we are chosen, we are Christ for one another. 
We are promised to tomorrow, while we are for him today. 
We are sign, we are wonder, we are sower, we are seed. 
We are harvest, we are hunger. We are quesion, we are creed. 

Then where can we stand justified? In what can we believe?
In no one else but Christ who suffered, nothing more than Christ who rose. 
Who was justice for the poor. Who was rage against the night. 
Who was hope for peaceful people.  Who was light. 

(Janet & All): We begin our celebration together ✝️ in the name of The Holy One the Source of all Being, Jesus the Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit Sophia our Wisdom within. Amen. 

(Janet): Please welcome each other with a sign of Christ’s peace! Bow toward your camera with hands folded as together we say:  I bow before the presence of God in You. Namaste, Namaste, Namaste

Reconciliation Rite. (Cheryl): We pause now to remember times when messages of our unworthiness have clouded our vision of the infinite love within us. Let us imagine our imperfections, the chaos and messes of our lives all brightly lit by a love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. (Pause for several moments. Then Place your hand over your heart.) 

All: I love you. Thank you. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you. 

Opening Prayer.  (Elena & All):

O God , voice in the listening heart, your gifts to us are beyond measure, and your patience without limit. Spirit of the Holy One, we gratefully acknowledge your presence among us and within us. We humbly ask that during this time when we are gathered in your presence we may grow in an awareness of your call to faith and trust. Receive our thanks and praise for the gift of our humanity, the consciousness and freedom that allows us to know and love you and one another. Forgive our insensitivity that allows us to take you and others for granted. Teach us the selflessness, trust and deep faith manifested by the widows in today’s readings. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen

Joyful Gloria:

Liturgy of the Word  (Please pause for a moment of silence)

 (Jim B) First Reading:   1Kings 17: 7-16

 Eventually the brook dried up because of the drought. Then God spoke to Elijah: “Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I’ve instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you.”

So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the entrance of the village he met a woman, a widow, gathering firewood. He asked her, “Please would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink. As she went to get it he called out, “And while you’re at it would you bring me something to eat?”

She said, “I swear as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die.” 

Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. This is the word of the God of Israel: “The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.“  And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it.

These are  Spirit inspired words found in First Kings and we respond,  All: Thanks be to God. 

(Janet)  Psalm of Praise:  146 ---- Response: The Whole Universe is Aflame!

~Holy One, You truly contain within your gentleness, within your humanity all the unyielding immensity and grandeur of the world.

The Whole Universe is Aflame!

~We love you as the source, the activating and life-giving ambience, the term and consummation of the natural world, and of its process of becoming.

The Whole Universe is Aflame!

~We praise you for the extensions of your  body and soul to the farthest corners of creation through grace, through life, and through matter.

The Whole Universe is Aflame!


(Cheryl B)  Gospel: Mark 12:

Sitting across from the offering box, Jesus observed how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor woman came up and put in two small coins--- a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor woman gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss: she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford---she gave her all.”

This reading is found in the Gospel of Mark and our response is AMEN

 🎶 Alleluia:

Shared homily. (Janet) 

Trust as a Basis for Giving

It Is not often that the Roman Lectionary presents us with three related readings.   Today’s readings do have a recognizable thread running through them.    All three consider the act of giving until it hurts.   In fact, they consider giving until that end will be death.

First we are told of the nameless woman who lives in Sidon and who is visited by the prophet Elijah.   He asks for water and a piece of bread – typical requests for people living in the desert.   She can fetch water, but sharing her bread will leave her with no food so that she and her son will eventually die.   

Second, we hear a commentary by Jesus on what he observes – a poor widow who gives everything she possesses, everything she has to live on.   This story remains in the lectionary and is usually taught in the same way – that this poor widow is to be recognized as a role model for the rest of us because of her good and unselfish giving.

In the middle reading, we hear Jesus considering what it means to give everything.   We believe he already knew that his destiny was to do just that.  That vast gesture has been interpreted by Christians in different ways, but all agree that this choice of Jesus, to give until it hurts, was for our benefit.    

Affirming that giving is almost always a good thing, we can say that all three people mentioned in the readings were able to give to this extent because they trusted in something beyond themselves.

The woman in Sidon had to trust Elijah when he assured her, in spite of common sense, that her food supplies would not be depleted.   She had never seen him before this encounter.   Remember, however, that in sending Elijah, Yahweh said “I have directed a woman to provide for you.”   This pagan woman had some familiarity with Yahweh – through what means we do not know, but enough to recognize this man of God when he came.    She must have had a sense – an inner knowing – that Elijah could be believed and trusted   Therefore, she was able to give all she had.   

 Jesus leaned on no one and nothing for this choice to give his very person.   He listened for his father’s voice within him and trusted it completely – even when it promised a bitter end.   

Although we all have a sense of interior knowing, it takes practice to know when it is Truth speaking and when it is not.   (Key: The Spirit leaves us in peace – not “calm,” but a peace the world cannot give.)   We must listen with our well-practiced ear to what direction the Source of Life points.   We may, indeed, find ourselves peacefully accepting to die in some way or another.   But by listening we may avoid assuming we must make a dramatic, sacrificial – but perhaps inappropriate – choice that leads us to false martyrdom, bitterness and disillusionment.  Strangely, we may be astonished by listening that leads us to something wonderful and life-giving.   This is because, in choosing Truth, we are assured of eventually arriving at peace and goodness.   

Today we are looking at our choices in giving.   The main thing is to let all our choices be good-choices, God choices.   

As the Spirit moves you, now is your opportunity to share your thoughts about the readings, the liturgy, or something else. Please turn your microphone on to share, then off when you’re finished. 

Profession of Faith: (Elena & All):

~We believe in the all-embracing Source of Life, birthing and healing, making all things possible.

~We believe that the transformative Divine sparks relationship across Earth and Eternity, with love beyond our wildest dreams.

~We believe that The Beloved waits patiently for us to erase the boundaries we place around human consciousness, and to realize heaven in the here and now.

 ~We believe that in the twists and turns of difficult times, The Holy One invites us into relationship with a love that can soothe and unify a hurting world.

~We believe in Jesus whose radical blend of divinity and humanity reveals the promise and the challenge of being crafted in the image and likeness of Our Creator.

~We believe that like Jesus, we are called to bring generous presence to the lonely and despairing, the hurting and broken, the yearning and


~We believe in the Spirit of Sophia Wisdom, nudging the universe to unfold as it would  making each new day one filled with promise and possibility.

~We believe that the Spirit inspires within and among us the gentleness to comfort, the daring to challenge and the strength to lift up.

~We believe in the wildfire of the Spirit, sweeping through this amazing journey of life, urging us toward wholeness, forever and ever. ( 2016 A Creed for all times By Lynn Kinlan)

Prayers of the Community (Jim B)

 We bring to the table prayers for our community and the world.

  Our response is: (Christ of the universe graciously hear us!)

~ O God, you are present to us, yet our minds cannot contain the mystery of your being.

All: Let what we know of you in the life and love of Jesus draw us to you in ever deepening faith.   Christ of the universe graciously hear us!

~ It is difficult to  wait with hope for what we think is good and just.

All: Increase our faith and help us to hold fast to our dedication to you.

Christ of the universe graciously hear us!

~ Let the harvest of our land yield enough for all.

All: banish famine from our world; teach us to share.

Christ of the universe graciously hear us!

~We bring to the table all who have died from covid,  who suffer from “long haul covid” as well as their family and friends who bear an enormous burden of grief.  R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us!


~We bring to the table all our sisters and brothers who continue to suffer from natural disasters, man’s inhumanity to man, and unbearable suffering of mind and body. Teach us how to stand by them and serve them as you would.

 R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us!

~(Joan): We bring to the table the intercessions in our Community Prayer Book……

R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us!

~(Jim B): Who and what else shall we bring to the table today? 

(Please unmute yourself to offer a prayer, to which we all respond:

R. Christ of the universe graciously hear us.    (Then remember to remute.) 

(Jim B): Christ, we will be your presence in the world today and every day of our lives. All: Amen

Offertory 🎶  “Here is My Life” by Joe Wise

Here is my life my self the bread that I bring

Here is my soul my wine the song that I sing

Take it for gift and take it for granted

Sprung from the seeds that I’ve washed and I’ve planted

So long ago and even til now, even til now

Bread from the fields from my friends and bread from the lean years.

Bread from my youth and my loves and bread from the green years

This much is ready now 3x          Bake it as your own

Here is my life my self the bread that I bring

Here is my soul my wine the song that I sing

Take it for gift and take it for granted

Sprung from the seeds that I’ve washed and I’ve planted

So long ago and even til now, even til now

Wine of my joys and my dreams and wine of my good times.

Wine of my won’t and my will, my did and my should times

This much is ready now 3x         Pour it as your own

Bread from the Highlands of life and bread from the valleys

Bread from the good things we’ve known that nobody tallies

Now we are ready Lord 3x        Bake us as your own

Here is my life my self the bread that I bring

Here is my soul my wine the song that I sing

Take it for gift and take it for granted

Sprung from the seeds that I’ve washed and I’ve planted

So long ago and even til now, and even til now, and even til now

(Let us pause for a moment of silence before we begin the Eucharistic Prayer.)

Preparation of our Communion Gifts

(Cheryl and All):  Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness, each one of us has bread to offer in this sacred meal, this grain that the earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us our Bread of Life.  Blessed be God for all the love that has been given to each one of us. 

(Jim B and All): Blessed are you, God of all creation.  Through your goodness, each one of us has fruit of the vine to offer in this sacred meal, that earth has given and human hands have prepared.  It will become for us our Spiritual Drink.  Blessed be God for all the graces that have been given to each one of us.

Eucharistic Prayer

(Janet and All):  Loving God, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness.  You are always with us…you live in us and we live in you.  May we reflect your compassionate care in everything we do and say with everyone we meet today.  And moved by the Spirit, each one of us will sing our shared blessing:

Song:  Holy, Holy, Holy)

(Elena and All): Creator God, we thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history – and the gift of Jesus the Christ in faith. You brought him from among all your people to baptize us in your Spirit.  His life was moved by his consuming vision of your presence both in himself and in his earthly mission.  He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well lived. And he showed us, through his teaching and example, not only how we should live, but also for what we may suffer and even die…as he did. Through him and your Spirit, you breathe life into us so that we may be witnesses to his gospel messages. 

(Janet)  When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus - aware of and accepting his destiny - gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, in providing an example of his wisdom for all people in every age to come, he opened wide his arms and died on a cross.  The Spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise that he made to all of us too.  Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.

(Outstretch an arm as we pray the Consecration together.)

We remember the gift that Jesus gave us the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal.  And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you.  This is the new and everlasting covenant.

(short pause)

(Elena) In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this all of you and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you.  This is the new and everlasting covenant.

(Elena and All): Jesus, who was with God in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth, is with us now in this bread.  The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  

Let us proclaim this mystery of faith…All: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again and again.

(Jim B): Jesus who walks with us on the path to holiness, you are the spark of love in whom we believe; the Wisdom of Sophia in whom we trust; and the desire for justice that consumes us.

(Cheryl B): As we celebrate the memory of Jesus, we remember our prophetic leader. We remember the communion of saints who have inspired and loved us and all who have gone before us leaving their foot prints on our hearts.(Names………..)

(Cheryl and All): For it is through living as Jesus lived that we awaken to your Spirit loving through us to promote justice and equality in our service to our sisters and brothers.  AMEN

Prayer of Jesus

(Jim B & All):  Eternal Spirit, Earth maker, Pain bearer, Life giver,

Source of all that is and that shall be. Father and Mother of us all,

Loving God, in whom is heaven –The hallowing of your name echos through the  universe.

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world,

Your heavenly will be done by all created beings.

Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come to earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.

In the times of temptation and test, strengthen us.

From trial too great to endure, spare us.

From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.  Amen

 (A contemplative prayer in the style of Taize from St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Seattle.) 


 ~O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.

 ~ O God of Compassion, You call us to be your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.

 ~ O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Chant before Communion:    “I will not leave you comfortless”

 (Elena and  All): What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives. As we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

(Elena) Please share Eucharist with the words “You are the Body of Christ”, “You are the Face of God”. 


“What Shall I Give?” by Sara Thomsen

What shall I give to you?    2x

O that we could give like the rain, pouring out on rich and poor the same

O that we could give like the sun, shining light on everyone.                                                            What shall I give to you?    2x

Teach us how to give we pray, offering our work and play

O that we could learn how to care, every breath we breathe a prayer.

What shall I give to you?    2x

O that like the bread we become scattered grains all gathered in one.

May the cup of blessing you give, fill us and teach us how to give.

What shall I give to you?   4x



~May you be blessed with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.

~May you seek truth boldly and love within your heart.

~May you continue to be the face of the Holy One to all you meet.

~May you hold steadfastly to your faith and belief that when the Beloved speaks, it comes to pass.

(Elena) Full of Christ’s peace, may we go out to love and serve one another in our community and in our wider world. Remember: We are the face of Christ to the world! All: Amen

Closing Song

“Faith” HillSong 

If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer Book, please send an email to Joan Meehan: 

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