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New pastor joins Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden

By Rob Nielsen - | Mar 27, 2024

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The Rev. Lisa Mensinger receives keys to Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd from Jay Stretch, the church's senior lay leader, on March 13, 2024, during her installation and celebration of new ministry in Ogden.

OGDEN — A new pastor has returned to Utah to take the reins at a local church.

Earlier this month, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden introduced the Rev. Lisa Mensinger as its new pastor.

“Pastor Lisa is a Lutheran and will remain a Lutheran as she leads our Episcopalian church,” a press release about her introduction stated. “This is because of a Call to Common Mission created in 1998-2000 that allows clergy of each denomination to work with the other. In the past, Good Shepherd has called a Methodist minister (Scott Hayashi, who later became bishop of the Episcopal Diocese) and an Orthodox priest, but both were accepted into the Episcopal Church, in effect converting. Pastor Lisa will not need to do this.”

Prior to coming to Ogden, Mensinger served St. Albans Episcopal Church and Our Savior Lutheran Church in McCook, Nebraska.

However, her connections to Utah go deeper than that, and it was her first time here that helped to lead her into becoming a pastor.

“We moved to Utah about 15 years ago from Pennsylvania,” Mensinger told the Standard-Examiner. “It was while I was serving as a youth director at Zion Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City that — what we in the Lutheran/Episcopal tradition call it, ‘the call,’ where you felt called by God to do more to lead people in worship in being a pastor or a priest. It was during those years as a youth director that I couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

Following her pastoral education, Mensinger was sent to Nebraska in January 2021.

“You had to go to another state, or another synod if you will, to take your first call” she said. “That’s the first time you’re kind of the pastor without training wheels and you’re leading a congregation.”

She said there was a lot of similarity between the small town of McCook and and the city of Ogden.

“McCook is a small railroad town,” she said. “Ogden is like a bigger version of that, so you kind of get the cultural vibes of a railroad community like Ogden. The people are genuine, salt-of-the-earth, great sense of humor beside the welcoming spirit that people have.”

Mensinger said it was ultimately family that brought her back to Utah.

“Our daughter is having her first kid — we’re having our first grandchild” she said. “I missed my family terribly while I was in Nebraska. My kids reside here in Utah. … This opportunity with Good Shepherd just fell in my lap, and I couldn’t believe how much it matched my strengths and their strengths in what they were looking for in a new leader for the congregation.”

She said her goals include reconnecting people with Jesus.

“There’s something lacking in this world, and I think they’re missing on who God is,” she said. “We need to be a kinder and less divisive world. That’s my hope — to remind the community that we’re here, God is here, God is in our presence, God is doing something big with us. We need to listen a little bit more to each other.”


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