Slava celebration at St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron

For some years now the annual Slava celebration at St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron, Ohio has been known to be a joyous weekend for parishioners and their guests. It was the parish priest, Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba, who had decided eleven years ago to bring new life to this parish celebration, changing it from a simple one-day celebration into a two-day event which now begins on Saturday evening and brings visiting guests to the annual Folklore Festival. It has become a much anticipated tradition among Akron Serbs, one that continued this year with one of the largest festivals to date, including a total of nine folklore groups.

Groups came from Toronto, Niagara Falls, Kitchener, Hamilton, Windsor, Cleveland, Akron (St. Demetrius), Warren, and St. Petersburg. The young dancers left a great impression on the guests with their talented artistry and provided everyone with a richly cultural program of music and dance.

The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the following day was officiated by His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan of Eastern America. The bishop was assisted by Mitered Archpriest Fr. Peter Burlakov of St. Sergius Russian Church Abroad in Cleveland, V. Rev. Fr. Zvonimir Kotorcevic, retired priest from Akron, V. Rev. Fr. Stevan Zaremba, from St. Sava Church in St. Petersburg, Fl and local clergy Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba and Deacon Zeljko Jurisic. The Kosovo Men's Choir beautifully sang the responses.

During the liturgy Bishop Mitrophan, to the joy of the parishioners and all faithful in attendance, elevated Fr. Dragomir Tuba from the rank of Protonamesnik to Protopresbyter. In his fourteen year service in Akron Prota Dragomir has brought life to this parish turning not only the Slava celebration into a weekend of joy and festivities, but introducing new programs in almost all areas of church life. The Episcopal Citation stated, among other things: "Zeal and love in pastoral ministry, a moral family example, and years of labor on the improvement of spiritual and religious parish life entrusted to him, and especially in the work of helping of our people who were driven out of our Serbian Lands, made us to award Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba with the rank of Protopresbyter." Axios! We extend sincere congratulations to Prota Dragomir, Protinica Kristina, their children and the entire Tuba and Kostur families.

The Ritual of the Slava Kolach followed the Divine Liturgy. In the social hall, during the festive banquet, Prota Dragomir introduced the honored Kumovi Dan and Kathi Kunzin as well as the distinguished guests on the dais.

On this occasion Bishop Mitrophan bestowed a Gramata upon Mr. Dragan Jovanovic for his selfless efforts and dedication to the parish for voluntarily making renovations and repairs in the church social hall. Dragan's wife Marina humbly accepted the Gramata on Dragan's behalf.

The most recent parish project was the vital repair of the hall roof which had been leaking extensively. The lowest estimate came in at $18,000.00. Thanks to Dragan and other hardworking stewards, the entire cost of the project was reduced to $3200.00. Each of the individuals involved in this project was now gifted with a blessed icon as an expression of sincere gratitude from the entire parish.

Prota Dragomir warmly thanked Kosovo Choir for their beautiful responses, and, as always, the Sisters, under the leadership of Kolo Sestara President Anita Ondreyka, for their wonderful preparation of the Slava feast. It was wonderful to see the social hall filled with parishioners, friends, children of all ages, from near and far, who came to share in this celebration. Drago Micic provided the musical entertainment for Sunday's banquet.