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TORRINGTON, CT (SZS) March 25 was a day of celebration for the members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On that day, the congregation celebrated its 95th anniversary with a special worship service followed by a dinner and fellowship at the church to commemorate this milestone; the Sunday events also included a Ministry/Mission Fair to inform and rally ongoing support for the mission of the church.

Worship began at 10:00 am led by Pastor David L. Jones and Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek. Bishop Kucharek shared an anniversary message with the congregation and led the congregation in the Apostolic Greeting, the Words of Institution, and the Lord’s Prayer in the Slovak language in honor of the Slovak immigrants who established Holy Trinity Lutheran Church ninety-five years ago. Special instrumental music was provided by members of the congregation.

The Ministry/Mission Fair which followed the dinner encouraged congregational participation in the various ministries and groups involved in the ongoing ministry of Holy Trinity, including outreach to youth and seniors, as well as encouraging increased participation in the mission of the Slovak Zion Synod. As part of the Ministry/Mission Fair, Bishop Kucharek gave a presentation which illustrated many of the ongoing ministries of our Synod in Central & Eastern Europe. Photographic memories were also shared at the dinner, as slideshows of the congregation’s recent history, as well as the recent history of sister congregations in the synod, were projected for viewing and enjoyment. Both of these slideshows, projected side by side, prompted a deep and compelling reflection not only of the storied history of Holy Trinity in particular, but of the same history in the wider context of the larger church, as seen through our synodical family.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church was officially chartered on May 22, 1922, although it began regular worship services in the Slovak language nearly a year earlier. Ground was broken for the church building on April 14, 1924. The original cost of the construction of the church was estimated to be $57,000, but was reduced to only $40,000 thanks to the contributions of time and labor by its members. On July 15, 1928, the Rev. James Sopko accepted a Call to Ministry as the first pastor of Holy Trinity. In May of 1952, the parsonage was built for $27,000. Over their 95 years of history, Holy Trinity has had six called pastors, including their current pastor, the Rev. David L. Jones; a notable son of the congregation who had been called into the ministry of the church was the Rev. John Adam, who served as a past Bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod.

As regards their future, Holy Trinity affirms that they have everything they need to fulfill the purpose for which God has called them. While they acknowledge the challenges being faced by many congregations, they remain firm in their belief that the church is not measured or quantified by temporal things, but by its vitality of faith and calling to proclaim Christ to the world.