Faith Lutheran Church welcomes new pastor

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes After a life spent working in laboratories and raising children, the new pastor at Faith Lutheran Church faced a crossroads. Always a devout Lutheran, Virginia Eggert was mulling whether to seek a master’s degree in divinity and head down the pastoral path. “I’ll be 50 if I graduate,” Eggert thought to herself. “Then I thought, I’ll be 50 if I don’t go to school.” In her own words, Eggert said, she wanted to find a way to hang around the church she loved so much. A Wisconsin native, she had worked in public health labs in Milwaukee and Seattle after earning a degree in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin. She left her job to raise three children in Anchorage, Alaska and in Oakland, Calif. Now she balances her responsibilities at Faith Lutheran with directing the preschool at Little Lambs Preschool at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Woodburn. The faithful at the River Road church needed pastoral support after watching the congregation dwindle from a height of 350 to about 50 people, she said. Despite being smaller in numbers, Eggert said the congregation remains a community fixture, in part because the church houses the Keizer Community Food Bank. Hispanic and Marshallese congregations also worship at the facility, she said. Having grown up in the Lutheran church, she stayed with the denomination in part because...

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