MUSKEGON, MI (SZS) — On June 5, 2016, the congregation of Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church, Muskegon, Michigan celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of ordination of the Rev. Kenneth Michnay. This milestone of service to Christ’s church was observed with a celebratory service of Holy Communion led by Pastor Michnay; this Eucharist service took place exactly fifty years to the day from when Pastor Michnay presided at communion for the first time. The sermon was preached by the Synod Bishop, the Rev. Wilma S. Kucharek and included words of recognition of the various roles in which Pastor Michnay has served during these past fifty years. A brass quartet joined the organ in enriching the music during worship. At the conclusion of worship, Bishop Kucharek presented the honoree with a Testimonial of Commendation and Gratitude in Recognition of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Ordination on behalf of the Slovak Zion Synod and the ELCA. A catered lunch followed worship, during which words of congratulations were offered by the congregation’s interim pastor, the Rev. Chris Anderson, and by Bishop Kucharek from the Synod; the menu of the luncheon featured foods found in the congregation’s 100th anniversary cookbook.
Kenneth Michnay was born in Cleveland and graduated from Parma Senior High School and Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio with an interdepartmental major in English, History, and Religion. A Masters of Divinity was conferred upon him by the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1966. He was ordained on June 1, 1966; his first Call was to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Stafford Springs, CT, where he served nearly ten years. His second Call was to Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church, in Muskegon, MI, where he served from March 1976 to August 2001. His next Call was from the ELCA’s Division for Global Mission, serving as a Missionary teaching English at the Evanjelicka Bohoslovecka Fakulta, University Komenskeho (Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, Comenius University) in Bratislava, Slovakia. He returned to the United States in 2005, retiring at the end of that year.
Pastor Michnay has been Christ’s witness in service in the wider church through service on various boards and committees in the synod, most notably serving on Synod Council, as Chairperson of the Synod’s Worship & Music Committee where he was affectionately known as the “liturgical czar,” and as pastor-supervisor of seminary students from Central and Eastern Europe facilitated by the Synod and hosted by the congregation in Muskegon. His ecumenical service is noteworthy in his service as an Associate Priest in the Episcopal Church.
Congratulations, Pastor Michnay. May God continue to bless you in your life and ministry as you have been a blessing to others these past fifty years.