Tag Archives: Don Weber

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2020



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
OCTOBER, 2020

Sunday, October 4
The Ninetieth Anniversary of the Dedication
Of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
Family day

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this year of our Lord 2020 three out of the four Sundays of October will be festival days here at Our Saviour. On October 4th we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, October 18th is Saint Luke the Evangelist’s Day and October 25th is Reformation Sunday.

We are continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols and to do our best to keep everyone safe. Many of these were discussed in the July newsletter and can be found on our church website (http://www.oursaviourbaltimore.org/2020/06/our-saviour-return-to-worship-announcement). When you arrive please wear a mask until you are in your place. Please observe social distancing in the nave. We in fact have plenty of space and we might as well use it all! We still have just four to a table for Communion—one person kneeling at each end of the two parts of the altar rail—and offering plates may be found on the piano and in the back of the church.

Our Saviour congregation was founded in 1892 as an English-speaking congregation by a number of laymen from German Immanuel Church then on South Caroline Street, now at Loch Raven and Belvedere. The old Jackson Square Methodist Church in east Baltimore was purchased as a place of worship. In 1919 the congregation moved to its present location and for ten years worshipped in a simple wooden chapel until the present splendid church was built in 1929/30.

Now, the stones and mortar and glass of a church building are not holy in themselves, but the purpose of a church building is most certainly holy. For here the Triune God draws near to us in the preaching of His holy Word and in the celebration of the Holy Sacrament in which the Son of God feeds us with His true body and blood, the price of our redemption, the sure pledge of the resurrection. Here we confess our sins, here we say our prayers, and here we adore the Holy and Undivided Trinity who has saved us. And so we can say as did Jacob when he awoke from the dream of the ladder from earth to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending on it: “Surely the Lord is in this place… This is none other than the House of God and this is the Gate of Heaven” (Genesis 28:17). And so it is completely fitting that we should give thanks for all the blessings which God has bestowed in this hallowed place now for ninety long years.

The preacher for our anniversary will be the Rev. Dr. David P. Stechholz who is Bishop Emeritus of the English District of our Synod. He will also speak on the history of Lutheranism in North America at 9:45 am. When our church was dedicated in 1930, our congregation belonged to the English District of Synod. The first convention of the English District was in fact held in 1912 in our old Jackson Square Church in east Baltimore. The term bishop is perhaps unfamiliar in our circles. Yet more than thirty years ago the English District adopted the term bishop for its district president because the district had come to the conclusion that the title bishop more clearly expresses what district presidents in fact are and do. District presidents supervise the doctrine and practice of the pastors and congregations in their respective districts and—either in person or by proxy—ordain candidates for the Holy Ministry: Bishop is quite simply the ancient churchly name for those who do these things. It has been in use continuously since the Reformation in many parts of the Lutheran Church and continues to be in use in many of our sister churches around the world.  It has recently been adopted by Synod’s Atlantic District.

In the Calendar of the Church Year (Lutheran Service Book, p. xi) October 18th is always Saint Luke the Evangelist’s Day. This year October 18th falls on Sunday and so we have an opportunity to remember and give thanks for the life and work of Saint Luke, one of the four evangelists whose statues adorn the reredos of our church’s altar. Saint Luke is the evangelist who has recorded for us the wonderful story of our Savior’s birth and some of the most beautiful parables of Jesus, for example, the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. There is a fine old hymn, dating from the 12th century, which we will sing on Saint Luke’s Day, which has some lines which so beautifully express the work of the four evangelists of the one Lord Christ:

In one harmonious witness the chosen four combine                        While each his own commission fulfills in every line.

voters meeting of our congregation will be held after Divine Service on October 18th. Every member of Our Saviour, age eighteen and older, is eligible to participate.

The last Sunday of October brings the Festival of the Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517, the Eve of All Saints Day, that Dr. Luther posted 95 theses, that is, propositions for debate among theologians, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Much has been written and continues to be written about these 95 propositions or theses but, when all is said and done, these theses were heard far and wide as a great call to repentance. And it was that clarion call to repentance which set in motion the great movement we know as the Reformation. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ says, ‘Repent!’ he meant that the whole life of Christians should be one of repentance (Thesis 1)… The true treasure of the Church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God” (Thesis 62).  Dr. Luther and his coworkers never imagined that they were somehow founding a new church. They understood their work as one of calling the whole church to repentance and faith in our crucified and risen Savior in whom alone is all our hope. Thirteen years later the Lutheran princes and two city councils presented the Confession of their faith to Emperor Charles V in the City of Augsburg. They understood themselves to be confessing the one Faith of the one Church and to be inviting others to join them in so confessing. In its continued adherence to the Augsburg Confession the Church called Lutheran continues to issue that invitation to all Christians. We Lutherans believe that in this Confession divided Christendom can find unity in the truth as revealed in Christ through the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures and confessed in the Three Ecumenical Creeds—the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism is a marvelous summary of this teaching.

We were all saddened by the death of our long-time organist emeritus, Don Weber, on August 9th yet we are glad that he now rests in the nearer presence of the Lord Jesus. On September 15th the burial service was read at his grave in the presence of a number of his friends. On Sunday, November 22nd, there will be a Memorial Service at 4:00 P.M. This will be an opportunity to remember and give thanks.

Adult Christian Education and Sunday School will resume on Sunday, October 4th. Bishop Stechholz will speak on the history of Lutheranism in North America. Come and join us! These classes are always quite informal, and questions are most welcome.

At Mary Techau’s suggestion a video has been made of the bells in our church tower. Gabe Purviance is the narrator and Abigail Scheck has made some equipment available for better audio. You can see and hear this at oursaviourbaltimore.org or on Youtube. We are still trying to gather funds to repair the mechanism which rings the bells.

Our first free flea market of the year took place on September 12th, and the next one will take place on Saturday, October 10th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. We always need volunteers to help and welcome those who come.

Remember that the Sunday Divine Service is livestreamed every week and that you can also hear the Sunday sermon by calling 410.587.0979. Remember that if you wish to receive Holy Communion at home you should call me at 410.554.9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

We now have been living with this COVID-19 pandemic for over half a year. It goes without saying that we must pray for all who are sick and for those who mourn, also for all who care for the sick and the dying and for those who are working on a vaccine and effective medications. There also seems to be so much unrest at home and abroad: this too requires us to pray more fervently for all who are anxious and suffering. In all of this commotion we need more than ever to take to heart the words of the psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Do continue to remember me in your prayers: you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,


Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2020



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
SEPTEMBER, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As most of you have heard by now, early in the morning of Sunday, August 9th, our beloved organist emeritus, Donald Weber, fell asleep in the Lord at the Gilchrist Hospice at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Our congregation owes him an enormous debt of gratitude for his fifty-eight years of service as our organist. His sister, Joan Talbert, has asked that we have a memorial service for him on the Sunday before or after his birthday which is November 18th. Timely notice will be given. Don loved this church and was loved by this congregation. He was a true church organist, for many years directed the choir, and continued to play the organ even when his health was making it ever more difficult for him to do so. Like so many of you I have such happy memories of him and his work! I remember so well how Don always chose for his prelude on Christmas Eve Johannes Brahms’s sublime prelude on the Christmas carol “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and for the postlude one of J.S. Bach’s jubilant preludes on what is one of the oldest of all carols, “In dulci jubilo/Now Sing We Now Rejoice.” We are hoping that by November circumstances will be such that many people can come to the memorial service. Already Don’s many friends are hoping to come.  May the Light perpetual ever shine upon him and may the risen Lord comfort all who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

Next Monday, September 7th, is the 90th Anniversary of the dedication of this church building. We will be celebrating this anniversary with Festival Divine Service on Sunday, October 4th. We have chosen this October date with hope for cooler weather! This anniversary gives us an opportunity to give thanks to God for His gracious presence in this place for so many years and for the privilege of worshiping in this truly splendid house of God.

The Rev. Dr. David Stechholz, Bishop Emeritus of the English District of Synod, will be the preacher for this anniversary. At the time of the dedication of this church Our Saviour congregation was a member of Synod’s English District. You may remember that our congregation had been founded in 1892 as a parish of the then “English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States” which in 1911 was received into the then “German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States” (since 1947 bearing the name “The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod”) as its English District. It is interesting to note that the very first convention of the English District as part of Synod was held in 1912 at our old church in east Baltimore. My mother’s parents and their children were then members of the congregation. A leaflet from that convention lists my grandfather, Rudolph Moesta, as singing in the choir at the opening service. When the Southeastern District of Synod was founded in 1939, all the English District congregations within its geographical bounds became members of the Southeastern District—and so we are today.

We have decided to combine the anniversary celebration with Family Day this year. But because of the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a festive meal following the anniversary Divine Service are not yet certain. As things stand now, it is likely that box lunches will be provided. Members of the Church Council and I will be calling members for their thoughts on this matter.

Just this week our church received an email from a group of Christians in Kenya who found us by means of our website and were glad to receive the sound Scriptural teaching found there. They ask if we can help them in their life in Christ. Among other things they are in need of Bibles in their native language which is called Ekegusii. At its September meeting the Church Council will consider how we can help these fellow Christians. Pray for them and their leader, Isaac Zachary Okemwa. I think we see in this how the Holy Spirit uses modern means of communication to build and strengthen the Church.

In last month’s newsletter I mentioned that I am always willing to bring the Holy Sacrament to those who are still unable to come to church. If you want to receive Holy Communion at home, email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com or call me at (410) 554–9994. Leave a message if I am not available when you call. I regularly check these messages. Like the manna with which God fed the Israelites during their long journey in the wilderness, the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood is Food for our journey through the wilderness of this world until we come to the heavenly fatherland.

Remember that the first free flea market of this year will be held on Saturday, September 12th, 9:00 am–12:00 noon. We are always in need of volunteers. Safeguards against the Coronavirus will be observed, including the wearing of masks and social distancing. It goes without saying that people’s needs are great in this difficult time.

No one needs to be to be told just how difficult present circumstances are, both at home and abroad. Not only does the world suffer the ravages of this Coronavirus but there also seems to be ever increasing unrest throughout the world. Given these circumstances, neither complacency nor hysteria are helpful. What helps most is a truly penitent heart which both seeks the mercy of God for ourselves and for all who suffer and, remembering all those who care for the sick and the dying, also asks our gracious heavenly Father to prosper the work of those who are trying to discover effective medications and a vaccine. I find great comfort in the ninth verse of Psalm 145: “The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

Remember that, if you are for any reason unable to attend Divine Service, the Service is ivestreamed at www.facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore. You can hear the sermon by calling (410) 587–0979. Whether or not we are able physically to be present at Divine Service, we are never alone. Through our baptism into Christ we always remain living members of the communion of all saints both in heaven and on earth. Mindful of that holy communion, let us continue in prayer for each other and for all humankind!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

Free Flea Market. We are all set to go for the Free Flea Market on September 12th. It will be open from 9 am to noon. We have lots of household items, with more in storage to be put out. And there is a nice selection of summer clothes. For those who are volunteering, please be there around 8:30 am so we can review our protocols. Reaching out to share our bounty with those in need. Let Judy Volkman know at (410) 377–8833 if you can volunteer or donate items.

Judy Volkman