This Band of Sisterhood

Black Women Bishops on Race, Faith, and the Church

Edited by Westina Matthews, Foreword by Catherine Meeks, Afterword by Paula Clark

Jul/2021, 128 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640653511



Get to know the first five Black women to be elected diocesan bishops within the Episcopal Church.
During this moment, with the #metoo movement, Black Lives Matter, and the increased feelings of division in our country, Black women clergy in the Episcopal Church have voiced a need to come together, believing that their experiences and concerns may be very different than those of other clergy. That need is answered here in This Band of Sisterhood.

The five Black women bishops featured in this book can provide a compass for how to journey along these new paths. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Carlye J. Hughes, Kimberly Lucas, Shannon MacVean-Brown, and Phoebe A. Roaf offer honest, vulnerable wisdom from their own lives that speaks to this time in American life.

Both women and men will find this book invaluable in discerning how God might be calling them to use their own leadership skills.

Read an excerpt.

WESTINA MATTHEWS is an adjunct professor for the Center for Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary. Matthews is an author, theologian, public speaker, and retreat leader whose practice reflects contemplative living through “holy listening.” Her latest book is This Band of Sisterhood. A graduate of Shalem Institute's Spiritual Guidance Program, she currently serves on the Shalem board. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.

“There are so many nuggets of wisdom to be found in the conversations between these remarkable Black women bishops. . . . The reflections, experiences, and profound humanity that my sisters share in these pages are indeed priceless.”
—The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

“These are our sisters, those elevated and now celebrated, as women paving the paths that were blazed for them. . . . These bishops are on fire—a must-read.”
—The Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, the Obama administration

“A precious offering, a divinely crafted mosaic of devoted and tenacious faithfulness, a challenge to the reader to pursue with greater clarity and vigor the Spirit’s liberating work of justice in both church and world, and just good food for the soul!”
—The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, Managing Director, College for Bishops, The Episcopal Church

“With each conversation, it becomes clear that these five Black women bishops are not content with being ‘first’ and that they refuse to be essentialized as symbols of diversity. . . . This Band of Sisterhood is a sign of hope that our church is indeed on the path to becoming Church.”
—The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, PhD Dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary

Foreword: . . . And a Band of Angels by Catherine Meeks


Chapter 1. Gird Up My Loins 
Chapter 2. Growing Up Black in the Church 
Chapter 3. The Dual Pandemic 
Chapter 4. Discerning the Call 
Chapter 5. Living into the Call 
Chapter 6. We Are the Church 

Afterword by Paula E. Clark
Click For a Book Preview



  • leadership
  • race
  • social justice
  • diversity and inclusion
  • discernment
  • vocation
  • feminism

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