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  • Writer's pictureShe Selfish

I Just Need Some Sisters

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Several weeks prior to the start of the pandemic, I reached out to a local leader with the intention of asking her to be my mentor. This wouldn’t be the first time since I graduated from divinity school that I would ask someone. A few years before I set up this meeting, I asked another leader. She grabbed my hands, looked me straight in the eyes and told me I should be mentoring her. I wish I could say this was a new experience, but it wasn’t. For most of my life, people did not think that I needed help. I was a textbook “good girl.” I rarely got in trouble. I was a straight A student, class president, and very active in school and church. I was a first-generation college student who secured a full ride and was selected for some very cool internships. From the outside looking in people thought I had it all together. But being the first meant that I did not have anyone in my close network who could relate to or even knew how to help. What looked like I had it all together was really me making a path through grace, with faith, hope and at times fear.

We met for breakfast, and I was excited because I thought this might happen. After a good meal and a great conversation about our lives, visions, and dreams, I popped the question. Imagine the irritation I felt when she looked me in my eyes and said, “you don’t need a mentor, you need some sisters.” She said, “mentors are for shaping and modeling and you are already formed. You just need some sisters who will support you. You don’t need someone to take you under their wing. You just need to fly.” On the surface her words were encouraging. However, I cannot lie. I was disappointed. I called my brother afterwards to let him know how breakfast went. He shared with me before that the reason why I couldn’t find the mentor I was looking for is because I am her. I knew there was some truth to what he said but I just wanted what I thought so many other people had. It was time to end my search.

Not too long after that breakfast we received the stay-at-home (quarantine) order that would go into effect Monday March 23, 2020. Most churches, including mine, and most worshippers, including me, decided that it was best to go virtual on the 22nd. I attempted to watch 3 church services but was unsuccessful. Every time I clicked on a service, something in me shut down. It didn’t matter who was preaching, singing, or praying, I felt disconnected. I closed my laptop thinking I would give it another try the following Sunday, but, by that Thursday, I knew another Sunday wasn’t going to change anything. I had been feeling disconnected for a while and there were a limited number of people and spaces that could hold my walls at bay. As an ordained women minister in the Black Baptist Church, I have experienced several abuses of power and my soul was weary. I joined a small church of a different denomination with a bunch of sweet old people as my final attempt to stay connected. Three weeks before that stay-at-home order went into effect, we were at our pastor’s funeral. He and I had discussed some ministry opportunities for me before he got sick. With him gone and the looming pandemic those things just weren’t going to happen.

My spirit knew I needed something different. It was time for me to stop trying to force myself in the same church box. On Thursday the 26th, I put out a Facebook post inviting sistas to join me in coming together in a different way through a digital fellowship called When Sunday Comes. I had no clue what we were going to do but I was just trusting God to light the path. That Sunday women from different stages of my life joined the Zoom and we did a prayer walk. Over the next couple of months, we would do large group and small group activities, body prayers, meditations, testifying, bible lessons, and anything else I could come up with. No two Sundays were the same. It was intimate and I could be creative, vulnerable, and authentic. We talked about things that we were not always comfortable talking about in church and people felt safe challenging the status quo.

It was an amazing space. It was the first time in my ministerial career when I did not feel the pressure of having to be perfect. I could be heartbroken, hurt, anxious and I could confess those things and it did not diminish my ability to be trusted to still minister to the people. There was no hierarchy that we had to adhere to, and we were able to lean heavily into the “priesthood of all believers.” The sermon came from the collective. We were flexible and open to receiving from one another. We had members as young as 26 and as old as 72 but we entered the space at the same level. The “Word” could come from anybody that day. We entered the space as sisters.

When Sunday Comes inspired in a refreshing way. We started a book club, hosted open mics, celebrated our elderly, hosted a baby shower, and supported our sisters who got sick. I completely nerded out on this group creating lectures and lessons. Other women stepped up as leaders and created their own lessons. This space was healing. This sisterhood held me during one of my darkest times during the pandemic. It gave me hope about reconciliation with family that I did not believe was possible. This space was empowering. These sistas gave me the courage to quit my job even though I had no clue what was next. When Sunday Comes showed me that lady was right. I didn’t need a mentor. I needed a space with sisters who could provide the space for me to come to myself. When Sunday Comes became the spiritual foundation of Womanish Projects and the inspiration for our other programming.

When Sunday Comes showed me the power of sisterhood and the invaluable resource that we are to one another. Our sisterhood and our stories are an undertapped resource. That’s why we started Shepistles. With this year’s theme for Women’s History Month being Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories, this was the perfect time to invite women to join this work. Today you got to read one of my Brave Enough stories. I hope that you will be a part and share yours. Applications are due March 31, 2023. To learn more and apply, visit www.womanishprojects.org/shepistles.


Rev. Charmaine Webster

Board President of Womanish Projects

CEO of Black Girl Strategies LLC

Wedding Officiant & Premarital Counselor

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