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TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) The Slovak Zion Synod welcomes a new pastor to its roster of ordained ministers. The Rev. Thomas S. Drobena received and accepted a Call from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Stafford Springs, CT on July 13, 2014. Rev. Drobena was ordained on August 24 and installed on September 14, 2014.

The Rev. Thomas S. Drobena is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Judaic Studies. He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Yale Divinity School in 2014, where he received the additional distinction of graduating with a Diploma in Lutheran Studies. After receiving formal Approval from the Synod’s Candidacy Committee, chaired by the Rev. Silvia Mišina, he was called to be Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Stafford Springs, CT. He is the son of the Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Drobena and Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek.

Rev. Drobena was ordained on the Commemoration of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle, on August 24, 2014 at Christ Episcopal Church in New Haven, CT with over 100 in attendance, including a number of Synod Council members, Lutheran and ecumenical clergy, Yale students, family, and friends. Bishop Kucharek presided at the ordination. The Rev. Dr. William G. Rusch, professor of Lutheran Confessions at Yale and former Executive Director of the ELCA Office for Ecumenical Affairs, preached. The Rev. Robert McGurn served as sponsor and presented the ordinand. The Rev. Ryan Mills and the Rev. Kathleen Brennan-Mills served as assisting ministers. The Rev. Michal Mišina led the chanting of the Confirma Deus in Slovak. The ordination took place 15 years and 5 days following the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s ratification of the Call to Common Mission, the full communion agreement between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church. The Very Rev. Joseph Britton, rector of Christ Episcopal Church, welcomed the Synod and Rev. Drobena, expressing his gratitude for this embodied expression of our full communion agreement.

On September 14, 2014, Holy Cross Day, Rev. Drobena was installed as Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Bishop Kucharek presided at the Installation. The Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Drobena preached, noting that the new pastor should always be able to remember the day of this installation because it fell on a notable day in the life of the church. The Rev. Silvia Mišina assisted and chanted the Confirma Deus in Slovak. A celebration dinner at the church followed the service. Both the ordination and installation were accompanied by greetings and commendations from former Pastors of Holy Trinity in Stafford Springs, synod clergy and lay leaders, as well as several Bishops, clergy and other Church leaders, both Lutheran and ecumenical, foreign and domestic.

We congratulate and welcome this new pastor into our Synod and we join the members of Holy Trinity in celebrating this new chapter of ministry in their community as they welcome their new pastor.

The procession begins at Christ Episcopal Church

The procession approaches the altar

The Rev. Robert McGurn presents the ordinand to Bishop Kucharek and those assisting

Bishop Kucharek and assisting clergy during the laying on of hands at the ordination

The Installation service at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Stafford Springs

The Chair of the Call Committee at Holy Trinity, Michael Welch, presents Rev. Thomas Drobena for Installation

Bishop Wilma Kucharek, with Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Drobena and the Rev. Silvia Mišina assisting

The newly Installed Rev. Thomas S. Drobena presides over communion

From the left: Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Drobena (Assisting), Andrew Fisher (Thurifer), Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek (Presiding), Melissa Fisher (Crucifer), Rev. Silvia Mišina (Assisting), Rev. Thomas S. Drobena