When Lynne Ogren arrives in Grass Valley later this month, she will be on her third career and returning to a church she loves.
At 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Ogren will preach at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., Grass Valley. It was there she grew up, was confirmed and married Eric Ogren, a fellow Sunday school classmate and 1981 graduate from Nevada Union High School.
“It will be really fun to stand up in that (church as a pastor)… in front of people I love so much,” Ogren said.
Ogren is an intern pastor in Wrangell, Alaska. She expects to graduate in 2015 with a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.
Born in San Jose to Myrna and Larry Heppe, she moved with her family to Nevada City when she was in first grade. John and Diane Ogren moved to town two years later. Lynne and Eric married two years after graduating from NU.
Mom Myrna Heppe was a Nevada City elementary school teacher, and Lynne Ogren swore she would never go into teaching. But when mom’s friend, Donna Rocker, needed an instructional aide in her classroom at Hennessy School in Grass Valley, Ogren took the job.
Meanwhile, Eric Ogren was taken under the wing of electrical contractor and Peace member Don Bartoli.
Each finished college locally and their children, Mark and Becky, were born in Grass Valley. Soon, the family moved to Whidbey Island, Wash., where Lynne Ogren took a part-time job at a Lutheran church. Over the next 17 years, her role expanded from family and youth work to include musical supervision, she said.
A series of events led her first to deepen her Biblical education and then into a pastoral role. Ogren came to feel powerfully “that God had put me in that place for that purpose,” she said. “It was a combination of God’s work within me and around me to give me the right signs.”
Eric Ogren has worked in southeast Alaska for several years. Last year, the couple moved to Wrangell while their children attended college in Washington.
When Peace leaders learned the family would be visiting over Thanksgiving, they asked Ogren to preach. “I was thrilled,” she said.
“PLC raised Eric and me in many ways,” Ogren added. “That church is part of our lives, and it’s as much our family as our biological families.”
Grass Valley resident and freelance writer Trina Kleist can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-575-6132.