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Thea Albright

Growing up in small-town northern California, Thea Albright was exposed to various religions. "My parents took me to catechism and dropped me off with Buddhist monks," she says. "My mother's belief system was Native American. We went to pow-wows." Albright's youthful passion for theater led to conservatory studies and burnout as a starving artist in Chicago. She moved to Eugene in 1999, worked in trade-show sales, then took two years to complete a UO degree in sociology. "I wrote an honors thesis exploring what people do in faith to overcome fear," she says. For a year, Albright attended every service and organizational meeting of the Interfaith Prayer Service, a monthly 11th-day event at the First Christian Church since October of 2001. "I became the group's historian," she says. When the IPS became a non-profit in '04, Albright was elected president, a post she held until last month. "I also met my husband, Nalen Hall, a Native American," she says. "He was singing at a service. We were married in a traditional ceremony last July. Lots of people from other faiths were there."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 15 May 2008

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