This summer, Slovak Zion Synod is pleased to welcome four participants in the Student Immersion Program. The program, which is part of the Synod’s mission in Central & Eastern Europe and is organized by the Synod’s International Relations Committee, brings students studying theology at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, and other leaders in the Church to the United States each year for a summer immersion internship in a congregation.
The program provides these future pastors and church leaders with experience in church life, ministry, and mission in a Lutheran congregation in the United States; at the same time, they bring to their host congregations a global perspective of the church in their home country.
This year’s students are Lea Bereniova, Jana Marek, Michal Mazur, and Tomasz Przeczek. They will be joining the more than 150 to-date students who have benefited from this program since 1991.
Lea is a first year seminarian from Farna pri Hrone, Slovakia. She will be spending the summer with the people of Lebanon Lutheran Church in Whitehall, Michigan, and their pastor, the Rev. Douglas Ogden.
Jana is a lay leader and teacher from Pančevo, Serbia. She will be learning about ministry and the Church in the United States with the people of Grace Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio, and their pastor, the Rev. Brenda Peconge.
Michal is a second year seminarian from Třinec in the Czech Republic. He will be spending the summer with the people of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Little Falls, NY, and their pastor, the Rev. Joe Famulare.
Tomasz is a second year seminarian from Horní Suchá in the Czech Republic. He is looking forward to being able to spend this opportunity with our Dr. Martin Luther congregation in Brooklyn, Ohio, and their pastor, the Rev. Eric Markovich.
Our thanks go out to the congregations that are so eager to host this year’s students and walk with them in mission as part of their training as future pastors and leaders in the church in Central and Eastern Europe.
These students will be writing every week about their experiences in their host congregations. You are invited and encouraged to read more about their experiences (http://slovakzionsynod.org/sip/) in the Student Immersion Program pages of our site; just look for “Seminarian Sentiments” under Mission & Ministry, Global Mission, and Student Immersion Program. You can now view their blog on the SZS iOS App as well.
We wish God’s blessings on these students as they complete their immersion experiences in their host congregations before returning to Slovakia later in September. And we thank all those who have supported this vital ministry with their prayers as well as with their material and financial support.
You are making a difference in the lives of these future pastors and leaders in Central and Eastern Europe; and, by extension, you are making a difference in the lives of all those whom they will touch in their home churches and in their lives and future ministries.