A place to listen, learn. And sometimes, get it wrong.

EXCERPT: Sept. 29, 2019 worship faith talk by Corinne Berkseth Baker

You may recall the 75 Years campaign insert a few weeks ago the shared this story:

Integrating Alexandria Public Schools

Pastor Carl Beyer arrived at Good Shepherd in 1960 in the midst of race riots and wide-spread refusal to integrate the public schools. With other clergy, he monitored the high school lunchroom twice a week to help provide a peaceful presence.

I first heard this snippet a few years ago, in the context of anti-racism team efforts. It made me proud and I wanted to learn more. I wanted our congregation now to know more about this history.

Fast forward to 2019. The snippet of a story came up again as we planned the 75 Years campaign. We reached out to Pastor Beyer’s daughter to learn more. Part of her response did add additional information:

...My father’s activities with school integration were things that he pursued on his own and was not representative of the whole congregation at the time. Many members of Good Shepherd moved out of the city or sent their children to private school during integration but continued coming to the church. I think it is a bit of revisionist history for the church to claim this as their history. Read more

Crisis in Black Education - Black History Theme 2017   

Letter to My Son, adapted from Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Atlantic

Multiethnic Conversations: An eight-week journey toward unity in your church

By Mark DeYmaz, Oneya Fennell Okuwobi

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Racial injustices in the United States penal system

The people behind the integration of Alexandria Public Schools by Jim McElhatton  

Reflections/Faith Talks

Spirituals - Lenten reflection series, 2016

Taking a knee during the national anthem

What Is Juneteenth? by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 



The Forgotten Racial History of Kentucky's State Song

NPR Code Switch

How Georgetown University Once Relied on the Slave Trade and New Efforts to Reconcile with Its Past

Diane Rehm Show, WAMU/NPR


Guided by the August 2015 resolution, Our Response to Racism and the Murders at the Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC (pdf), Good Shepherd’s Anti-Racism Team provides activities and outlets for individuals to:

  • Learn about the experiences, tragedies and triumphs of our African American brothers and sisters through history and to today.
  • Explore and prayerfully reflect on racism, white privilege and unconscious bias.
  • Stand with those who face discrimination.
  • Act to stem structural racism.

GSLC Anti-Racism Team annual reports (pdf)

Have questions or want to get involved?

Contact Corinne Berkseth Baker, Anti-Racism Team Chair

Do we not all have one Father ? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another? Malachi 2:10