Racial Justice Team

In 2020, the Council appointed an Antiracist Taskforce and charged it with developing a racial justice statement for the congregation. After prayer, study, and extensive conversation with congregation members, the congregation unanimously approved the Racial Justice Statement.

The Racial Justice Team now carries this work forward in partnership with and on behalf of the congregation.  The Team meets monthly and works to inform and involve the congregation in learning about racial justice, how white supremacy culture has impacted our history as a country and a church and continues to influence us now, and be involved within the congregation and beyond in ways that promote racial justice. 

Good Shepherd is currently involved in three racial justice initiatives:

Understanding and learning to dismantle White Supremacy Culture

Congregational groups such as Council, committees, and others, dedicate time at their meetings to learning  learning about the characteristics of White Supremacy Culture and alternative ways of working with others that are more welcoming to and include all participants. 

Racial Justice issues growing out of slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing racist practices such as red lining and the war on drugs

Incorporating jazz and the Spirituals growing out of the Black experience in our worship continues to invite us to learn about and share in the lament and hope of enslaved and oppressed people.  In 2022, the Worship and Music Committee invited the congregation to learn about how reparations could be paid for use of Spirituals that we use in worship but for which the authors were never compensated.  This conversation led to a commitment of $500 in the annual budget, an amount comparable to that paid for use of other music, to support Black musicians today. 

Racial Justice issues resulting from European colonization of Indigenous Peoples

The congregation is participating in the the ELCA’s Truth and Healing Initiative for the sake of racial justice and right relationships with Indigenous people.  Webinars and other opportunities available through this Initiative can be found on the ELCA website.  View the ELCA’s Declaration to American Indian and Alaska Native people HERE.

Congregation members who want to learn more about this ministry and how to get involved are invited to talk to any member of the Racial Justice Team.