75 Years of Building a Bigger Table

September 2019 marks 75 years that Good Shepherd has been at 100 West Luray Avenue in Alexandria and we’re celebrating.

We’ve launched the 75 Years of Building a Bigger Table campaign to raise $44,000 (to coincide with our building cornerstone laid in 1944) for overdue, unanticipated and upcoming repairs and improvements.

During these weeks, we’ll hear stories of the many people who’ve been fed here at God’s table and how this food—this Jesus—has transformed our lives and the lives of our neighbors.

The gospels are filled with stories about Jesus and food. Sometimes generosity or hospitality seems to be the point. Sometimes the teaching that happens around the table if the focus. Usually, it’s the simple fact that God has a heart for those who are hungry.

When Jesus is at the table, those who oppose him often complain the table is too big. But Jesus teaches there’s always room for more at the table. We continue his mission to build a #biggerTable. Learn more

More than a Building

A connection to God, the circle of life and family

My husband, Steve, died January 2017. He’d been sick for a year, but he knew he was dearly loved and had lived a full and good life as a husband, father and grandfather. He walked his daughters down the aisle, saw the birth of three grandchildren and knew another was on the way. His grandbaby was baptized at Good Shepherd on All Saints Day. My husband was present in our hearts and spirit, and his name was read aloud as we remembered those who went before us.

His fifth grandchild, Stephen, named for the grandfather he’ll know only through our stories, was born in June. Although baby Stephen has a home church in San Francisco, we hope to baptize him at Good Shepherd to again complete the circle and feel the presence of my husband, my daughters’ father, and my grandchildren’s grandfather in the building he loved.

Finding my voice

“When I moved to Alexandria in Feb. 2016, I was happy to find Good Shepherd as my then-girlfriend, Kerriann, had been involved in our old church, though I basically went through the motions of worship.

That changed one September Sunday at GSLC. As was my habit, I sang the worship songs I liked or knew and played with those I didn’t. But instead of cringing, choir director Daniel Jackson somehow heard potential. During the sharing of the peace he asked if I had experience singing. I was caught off-guard. "Umm, you mean my girlfriend, right?" He implored me to join the choir.

God put Daniel in the pew behind us that Sunday. Joining the choir meant Kerriann would continue singing, has brought us even close and we’ve met more people at our new church home. And for me, it represents stepping out of my comfort zone to try something new. Three years later and now married (by Pastor Jen!), we’re enjoying rehearsals and worship sharing God's word through song, being active members and helping the congregation reach its goals.” 

-Jamie Shabanowitz Read more

A place to learn and listen

Good Shepherd is a space for education, for our youngest to our most senior. It’s a place we’re introduced to bible stories and grapple with their meaning and application today. Where we learn from each other through hallway conversations and from Pastor Jen in sermons. A place to learn from those we don’t know through book or film discussion and from those of different faiths, sharing conversation with our Ezher Bloom friends and Seder with the Siegels.

Good Shepherd is a space for spiritual questions, discernment, honest disagreement and growth, together with a community working to be faithful to God, neighbor, stranger and each other.

  • Worship that carries on tradition and embraces change

    Worship at Good Shepherd includes the tradition of liturgical style, the energy of children, the fresh air of a summer evening service, bacon at brunch church. Whether rooted in tradition, informal or experimental, we gather here to worship God, bring our joys and concerns, and be fed with the Word and sacrament.

  • Welcoming those who have been excluded

    Important decisions have been made in our worship space. At the annual meeting in 2017, Good Shepherd voted to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation, adopting a welcome statement that specifically welcome those in the LGBTQA+ community.

  • Integrating Alexandria Public Schools

    Pastor Carl Beyer arrived at Good Shepherd in 1960 in the midst of race riots and widespread refusal to integrate the public schools. With other clergy, he monitored the high school lunchroom twice a week to help provide a peaceful presence. A place to listen, learn. And sometimes, get it wrong.

About the 75 Years Campaign

As our church continues to grow as the generous, compassionate, diverse, joyful and inclusive community of faith exemplified in the book of Acts, we must ensure that our building is a solid foundation from which we can deliver God’s love to others.

We’re a congregation whose ministry brings life-saving provisions, hope, comfort and joy to people in need, locally and internationally.

  • Collaborating with other churches in our region, we work to demonstrate God's expansive love and grace for all.
  • We bring people of different backgrounds and beliefs together to form inclusive communities.
  • We promote Christianity as a religion of understanding, diversity and compassion.

We’re strong in our faith and will come together in generosity to ensure a strong physical foundation from which to practice that faith. We’re over halfway to our goal of $44,000 already. We invite you to join us! 

There are many ways to give:

  • Make an immediate gift online.
  • Write a check (write “75 Years” in the memo line) and mail/deliver it.
  • Consider stock transfer or use Good Shepherd as a beneficiary for your RMD (required minimum distribution) from your 401K, IRA or other retirement account.

Much ministry has come out of this building over the past 75 years. It has been a well-used building and as we give thanks, join us in ensuring a safe space for worship, learning, service, critical conversations, caring and compassion for the years to come.