Racial & Social Justice

The Gathering actively and intentionally works daily to become an anti-racist church.

White supremacy remains one of the most powerful false idols in our country. It doesn’t reflect God’s kingdom, impedes our ability to share the gospel, and is in direct competition with Jesus’ intention to reign as supreme Lord of our lives.  As disciples of Christ we must resist and eliminate the power of racism over our lives and our church.

The Gathering uses teachings firmly rooted in the Gospel to:

  • Expose, confess, and lament the sins of racism and white supremacy and weaken their power.
  • Recognize, identify, and dismantle white supremacy and racism within The Gathering as an institution and within the hearts of our members.
  • Educate and equip people to actively fight racism and white supremacy out in the world.

This is the only way we can fulfill our mission to invite people to become deeply committed followers of Christ and be a place where, together as a community, we are growing in our discipleship of Jesus.

We recognize that we have a long way to go before our vision to fully eliminate racism and white supremacy is fully realized. This work takes different forms. We have offered many opportunities for small group study of many of the books below and each year we partner with the YWCA to offer Witnessing Whiteness to cohorts of Gathering members. 
To get involved or for more information, let us know you’re interested by filling out the form below.

Recommended Books

I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
The Color of Compromise by Jemar TIsby
How to Fight Racism by Jemar TIsby
Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison
White Lies by Daniel Hill

Relevant Sermons

St. Louis Organizations

Action St. Louis 
Action St. Louis was born out of the Ferguson Uprisings of 2014. Initially organized as a coalition, Action’s history is rooted in collective direct action against systemic racism and state violence.
American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri
To defend civil liberties and the principles of equality and justice in Missouri through litigation, legislative and public education programs.
Anti-Racist Collective – ARC
To become a force for mutual work among whites doing anti-racist organizing in ongoing, multiracial, multinational movement-building.
Arch City Defenders, Inc.
To provide holistic legal advocacy and combat the criminalization of poverty and state violence against poor people and people of color.
Casa De Salud
To facilitate and deliver high quality clinical and mental health services for uninsured and underinsured patients, focusing on new immigrants and refugees who encounter barriers to accessing other sources of care.
Catholic Racial Justice Collaborative
Encourages Catholic faith communities to challenge and own the history of racism in the church and community, to engage in the difficult conversation around race, and to participate in action for racial justice in the wider community. It is our spiritual duty to combat the sin of personal and institutional racism.
DefendHers
Non-partisan organization for women and their allies aiming to empower the St. Louis community in the fight for social justice, people of color, LGBTQIA individuals, those with diverse religious convictions, those with disabilities, the economically disadvantaged and survivors of sexual assault.
Diversity Awareness Partnership
DAP is a catalyst to increase awareness, facilitate engagement and provide education about diversity and inclusion.
Forward Through Ferguson
We believe St. Louis can become a region that is Racially Equitable—a state in which life outcomes are no longer predictable by race.
Hands Up United
Collective of politically engaged minds building towards the liberation of oppressed Black, Brown and poor people through education, art, civil disobedience, advocacy and agriculture.
Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis
Understanding, respect and appreciation among all persons across lines of religious difference.
International Institute St. Louis
To help immigrants and their families be productive Americans and to champion ethnic diversity as a cultural and economic strength.
League of Women Voters
To encourage the informed and active participation in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy.
Metropolitan Congregation United St. Louis
To foster a belief that individually and together congregations have a right and responsibility to act for the common good for the surrounding community.
National Conference for Community & Justice
To promote inclusion for all people.
National Council of Jewish Women
Inspired by Jewish values, to strive for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and to safeguard individual rights and freedoms.
OCA St. Louis Chapter
To advance the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.
Organization for Black Struggle
To build a movement that fights for political empowerment, economic justice and the cultural dignity of the African-American community, especially the Black working class.
Women in Transition
To assist women in the criminal justice system because change is possible.
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice
To identify, research and discuss critical issues; to mobilize, energize and inspire ourselves and others to action; to work as individuals and in community for social justice.
YWCA - Witnessing Whiteness Program
To provide a space for white people to discuss racism using the book of the same name in 10 sessions.

Get Involved

Witnessing Whiteness Fall 2021

In collaboration with the YWCA, The Gathering is excited to host a Witnessing Whiteness (WW) group this fall.

Since 2011, the YWCA has been organizing and leading WW groups as part of its mission to eliminate racism. WW groups are for adults (18 and over) who identify as white to come together to uncover and explore the impact of our white racial identity and the operation of racism in our lives and communities. 

The work of WW groups draws on the book Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It (2nd edition) by Shelly Tochluk, along with processes for group discussions, experiential activities, and personal reflection.

We will learn the history of the invention of whiteness, the myth of white superiority, and the operation of white supremacy in us and the US. We are able to confront our personal biases within a supportive setting. Finally, we learn how to interrupt racism and act as agents of change. 

The WW approach is designed to “build knowledge, skills, capacities and communities that support anti-racism practices” (Tochluk), which result in verifiable changes in attitudes and behavior. Nearly 3000 people in the St. Louis metro area have participated in the program.
Dates & Structure 
A team of three YWCA trained facilitators will guide the group through ten two-hour sessions over approximately 16 weeks.

The group will meet virtually via Zoom on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 pm on the following dates:
August 17 & 31
September 14 & 28
October 5 & 19
November 2, 16 & 30
December 7

All participants MUST attend at least 8 of the 10 sessions. If you're unable to commit to this, please consider participating in a later session with The Gathering or finding an open group held at a different time by contacting witnessingwhiteness@ywcastlouis.org.

Thank you for your interest. We are no longer accepting participants for our Fall Group.
Our group size is limited to 18, and participants will be added in the order in which their registration is received. You will receive confirmation no later than July 15.
Cost: $50

Due to extremely high demand, the YWCA just recently began charging $100 per participant for this program. The Gathering is asking each member of our cohort to cover half of this fee, or $50. Each participant is also asked to provide their own copy of the book, which can be purchased locally at a discounted rate.

If you would like to participate, but the cost or the technology required for the virtual meetings prevents you from doing so, please contact Beth McClure, and she will reach out to discuss options.

Questions? 
Contact Beth McClure at beth.mcclure@gatheringnow.org or 573.225.8956. Learn more about Witnessing Whiteness and Why a White Space? on the YWCA website.

Can’t join our group?
If you would like to participate, but cannot attend this time, you can sign up to be added to the waitlist for one of the WW community groups. Please contact Cyndie Jones at witnessingwhiteness@ywcastlouis.org.