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TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) On the first Sunday of Advent, as we observed the beginning of the Church Year, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Alverda, Pennsylvania observed the beginning of a new pastorate as they officially welcomed their new pastor, the Rev. Jennifer M. Oakes.

A Service of Holy Communion with the Rite of Installation was celebrated on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at Holy Trinity in Alverda, with the Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek, Bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America officiating at the Installation. Following the Installation, members of the congregation and well-wishers honored the newly-installed pastor at a festive dinner at Luigi’s Ristorante in Clymer, PA.

Pastor Oaks is a native of Johnstown, PA. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1995, and completed her Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH in 1999. She served as Assistant Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, Cherryville, PA from 1999-2002, and Pastor of the New Ringgold Lutheran Parish (Friedens Lutheran Church, New Ringgold, PA and Advent Lutheran Church, Tuscarora, PA) from 2002-2012. She has served as a supply pastor for churches in the Allegheny Synod and has been serving as the regular, dedicated supply pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Alverda since August of 2015. In addition to her pastoral duties, she works at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital in Johnstown.

We congratulate and welcome this new pastor into our Synod and to our roster of ordained ministers of Word and Sacrament, as we join the members of Holy Trinity, Alverda in celebration of this new chapter of ministry in the life of their congregation.