Examining Whiteness in the ELCA

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5 Thursdays in October 9:30-11 a.m. PST

A brave space to uncover our whiteness and process racism in ourselves. We will do the personal work, in community, necessary to show up as more effective co-conspirators and change agents for racial justice in our church. You can attend one or all five sessions. Each session is similar in format but different in content. They build on each other and also stand alone. This series has been created by Desta Goehner, Director of Congregational Relations and Lacey Davidson, Visiting Assistant Professor, at California Lutheran University. 

Anti-racism work for 

  • E L C A  R E G I O N S  1 & 2
  • W H I T E  P E O P L E 
  • P E O P L E  W H O  B E N E F I T  F R O M  W H I T E  P R I V I L E G E
  • P E O P L E  W H O  W A N T  T O  E X P L O R E  W H I T E N E S S  W I T H  O T H E R S

RSVP to Desta@CalLutheran.edu for zoom link.

Contact Desta Goehner, Director of Congregational Relations, Cal Lutheran

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Are each of the 5 sessions the same or different content? They are similar in format, but different in content. Each week is stand alone, but they will build on each other. If you are able to attend all five it will be deeper work. If you can only attend one out of the five, we trust that will be good work for you.

2. What will happen in the sessions? There will be conversation, question prompts and time to share in the large group as well as small groups.

3. Who is the target audience for this series? May I invite young people? This round of accountability groups is for young adults and adults (ages 18 and up). Although it is never too early to start teaching youth about whiteness and white supremacy, we want to hold space for folks to be able to process whiteness as it relates to work/church politics. Sometimes we censor ourselves in front of youth to preserve our own image or the image of the church, and the real work of deconstructing our learned patterns and our complicity starts with being honest.

4. Can I come late and/or leave early? Yes. One common pattern of whiteness is that we feel the need to explain ourselves, which draws the attention and focus to us as an individual rather than keeping it on the work of the group. If you are late, join the group, observe for several minutes, and then fall into the conversation as it makes sense. If after several minutes you don’t understand, message the host. If you need to leave early, you may choose to write something briefly in the chat or you may also just choose to leave. Please also pay attention to why you may come late or leave early. Often when we get uncomfortable, we make excuses to not stay in the space (especially digital spaces that are easy to leave). If we are really in the work of understanding our whiteness, we will commit the time, energy, and make it a priority to be in spaces where we are doing this work.

5. Will the sessions be recorded?  No, the sessions will not be recorded due to the content and trying to create a brave and vulnerable space.

6. Do you have to be a pastor to attend? NO! This is for anybody that wants to do anti-racist work on themselves/with others and within their congregations of the ELCA in Regions 1 & 2. 

 Downloadable flyer here for your use

.Examining Whiteness flyer

This series was modeled after the White Accountability groups designed and led by The Center for Transformation and Change. We are building relationships and accountability in this work with our BIPOC accountability group of 4 people in the ELCA across Regions 1 and 2. We know that one core of anti-racist work is accountability, and that we shouldn’t engage in this work alone as white women. We looked for people to speak hard truths to us and provide feedback on this pilot program. The work of the BIPOC accountability group is paid. Our work will be better and stronger because of their input.

Our Accountability Group that helped shape this program:


StacyStacy D. Kitahata 
Co-Executive Director, Holden Village 

Stacy serves as co-Executive Director of Holden Village a remote retreat center and community in Washington. Stacy is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and an Associate with the Kaleidoscope Institute for Diverse Sustainable Communities.

Stacy contributes more than 25 years of experience facilitating and training intercultural leadership and organizational change in non-profit organizations, higher education, and faith communities. As Director for Partnerships with the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship she designed and conducted programs transforming long-term young adult service experiences into lives of service leadership. She directed the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at Trinity Lutheran College, Everett, Washington where she was professor and chair of Intercultural Studies. With the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Stacy specialized in multicultural ministry and leadership development, as Coordinator for Evangelical Outreach, ELCA Region 1, Dean of the Community and professor with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and as Associate Director for Global Education with ELCA Global Mission. Stacy has degrees from UCLA and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago. 


Pastor Tuhina RascheRev. Tuhina Verma Rasche
South Asian American ordained in the ELCA serving an AME Zion congregation through a specialized call

Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche has a complicated relationship with Jesus. She lives a hyphenated life as a second-generation Indian-American raised in a devout Hindu household. She is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA and currently serves as the Minister of Small Groups at University AME Zion Church in Palo Alto, CA through a specialized call with the Sierra Pacific Synod. She is also the Young Adult Coordinator for Arts | Religion | Culture. She has written and spoken extensively on identities within faith spaces and integrating spiritual practices within the self. 


Pastor Barbara Berry-BaileyRev. Barbara Berry-Baily

The Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey, a fifth-generation Lutheran baptized into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, was ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1992.  She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, concentrating in radio, television and film, and enjoyed a career in public broadcasting (including National Public Radio in Washington, DC) for 17 years before entering the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. 

Prior to serving as Lutheran Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran and Catholic Community of Faith in Denver, CO, she served as Intentional Interim Pastor at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City Utah.  She also served as Manager for Relationships in East and Southern Africa in Global Mission, while concurrently as Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Chicago.  Other pastorates include historic Trinity Lutheran-Germantown in Philadelphia and Advent Lutheran Church in West Lawn, Pennsylvania, as well as clergy associate at Diverse United Church, in Chicago, a joint ministry of the ELCA, United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church. 

Rev. Berry-Bailey has written for several Lutheran publications including Gather, the magazine of the Women of the ELCA; Sundays and Seasons; The Word in Season; The Lutheran; and God’s Story is My Story, edited by Walt Wangerin, Jr.  She has also appeared as featured preacher on “The Protestant Hour,” “Thirty Good Minutes of Television” and hosted the 2004 Christmas Eve telecast “This Holy Night” on CBS.

Pastor Barbara received her certification as a Spiritual Director from the Claret Center in Chicago

Rev. Berry-Bailey is a widow two adult children, Cynthia, and Kenneth who has his own family; wife, Maleka and daughters Zion, Alexa and Madison. 

When she finds the time, she enjoys quilting, tap dancing, and cooking for friends and family. 


Pastor Jacqui PagelRev. Jacqueline Pagel
Associate to the Bishop for Candidacy and Faith Formation

Pagel is the recruiter of leaders for our Grand Canyon Synod, walking with our youth, outdoor ministries, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Young Adults in Global mission, congregations, Jesus loving people and all who want to serve to making strong leaders for the whole church. Any questions about becoming a pastor or a deacon, give her a call.

Pr. Jacqui served Trinity Lutheran Church 9 years and started with Bishop Deborah January 2019. She is a proud Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary graduate class of 2008, and thankful to have received her undergraduate degrees from Arizona State University, Women’s Studies B.S. and Broadcast Journalism B.A. She resides in Chandler with her husband Larry and their three daughters.