Tag Archives: Easter

Our Saviour Parish News, May, 2020


OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
MAY, 2020

This joyful Eastertide
Away with sin and sorrow!
My love, the Crucified,
Has sprung to life this morrow:

Had Christ, who once was slain,
Not burst His three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain:
But now has Christ arisen!

                                                  – George Woodward (1848-1934)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How quickly the month of April has gone by! And here we are already at the beginning of May.

Although we are not able to gather for worship as a congregation, we are now livestreaming the Sunday Divine Service so that you can join in the worship at the time it is taking place. Simply go to facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore. You can also call this telephone number: 410.587.0979.

There is no doubt that a pall of anxiety and distress covers much of the world at this time. None of us has experienced anything like this in our lifetime. The facts are deeply disturbing. But be all that as it may, the greatest, incomparable, and truly joyful Fact is the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Death plants the sign of futility over all our human strivings, but through the Savior’s resurrection we have been given a sure and certain hope that can never be put to shame. As Saint Paul exclaims, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?…Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Corinthians 15:55, 57) And we are now in that joyful Easter season, the forty days between our Lord’s resurrection and ascension when He repeatedly appeared to the disciples. The forty days of the Easter season end on Ascension Day when the Lord last appeared visibly to His disciples and in their sight was taken up into heaven in the human nature He continues to share with us as He intercedes for us and, all unseen, rules all things for the good of those who are His. Ten days after the ascension, on the Day of Pentecost, He sends down the Holy Spirit on the disciples so that the victory accomplished on the cross and revealed in the resurrection might be proclaimed to all the world. May 21 is Ascension Day, May 31 is Pentecost. In the Book of Acts Saint Luke tells of the Lord’s ascension in chapter one and of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in chapter two.

During the month of April two members of our congregation have been called out of this world into Christ’s nearer presence. Our dear brother in Christ, Charles Dowdy — brother-in-law of Philip Purviance and uncle of Gabe Purviance – fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, April 17, and was given Christian burial on Friday, April 24. Our dear sister in Christ, Joyce Gillespie, fell asleep in the Lord on the evening of that same day. Her death was the result of complications of CO VID 19, May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn their departure.

Our dear friend, Pastor Roy Coats of Redeemer Church in Irvington, is now at home again after having been in Johns Hopkins Hospital for a number of days being treated for COVID 19. We are glad that he has been able to return home and we continue to pray for his full recovery. Please remember him in your daily prayers.

Our Saviour Church has for many years supported the Food Pantry at GEDCO which is located at 5502 York Road. You can bring canned goods or non-perishable food items to this York Road address. But be sure to call 410.532.2273 first to make sure that someone will be there to receive it. Quilla Downs tells us that monetary donations for the Food Pantry are being accepted by Melody Cunningham at 1010 East 33 Street. With so many people having lost their jobs, the demand on food pantries is greater than ever.

Mary Techau has provided the following update on the work of our Historic Preservation Committee. There is a good news! The Maryland State Bond Bill application we applied for has been granted. There is still some paperwork to complete but we will hopefully receive about half of the money we requested, approximately $40,000, which is a very good start. We hope to repair the water issues in the church basement and get some other work done as well. We have thanked State Senator Mary Washington, and Delegates Maggie McIntosh, Regina Boyce and Curt Anderson of District 43 and of course Council Member Mary Pat Clarke for their support in this process.

We are most certainly living through a time of great uncertainty. But the promises of our Lord and Savior are always sure and certain. Cling to those promises, read the Holy Scriptures which show us Christ our Savior, continue in prayer. Although we can’t get together at this time, we can certainly encourage one another by using the telephone and email and continuing to remember one another in our prayers. I want as always to be available to you. Do not hesitate to or to email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com or call me at 410.554.9994.

CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

 

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2020


OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
APRIL, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I suspect that when the present year began no one could have foreseen or imagined the present conditions in our country and around the world. Whatever else may be said about this — and much has been and undoubtedly will be said — we as Christians know that through this calamity our merciful heavenly Father is calling the world to repentance. And so as we pray for the sick and the dying together with their families and friends; as we pray for doctors and nurses and all who minister to the sick, for the bereaved, the first responders, the leaders of the nations and for the end of this scourge, we must also pray that the peoples of the world will hear and respond to God’s call to repentance remembering that “The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).

Because of Governor Hogan’s order, effective at 8:00 P.M. March 30th we will not be able to gather for public worship as from that date and time. No one can now know how long this restriction may last, but we do know that this order is for the common good. Saint Paul writes, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13: l).

We stand at the threshold of Holy Week and Easter. Since we will not be able to participate in the wonderful services we will need to follow the events of Jesus’ passion and resurrection as found in Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 13-20. There are inexhaustible riches in these chapters. Many of us use the daily devotional guide, Portals of Prayer. I also recommend that if you have in your home a copy of The Lutheran Hymnal, Lutheran Worship or the Lutheran Service Book you sing or at least read some of the hymns for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Such use in our homes of the Holy Scriptures, hymnals and devotional literature is very much a part of our life as Christians. In the present circumstances it is even more necessary and in truth a great blessing! My sermons will be available through our website (oursaviourbaltimore.org) and at this phone number: 410.587.0979. Do remember to mail your offerings to church: 3301 The Alameda 21218.

Since falling and breaking my right arm on February 19th I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of so many people: the members of Our Saviour Church, my friends, my brother pastors and my neighbors. God has wonderfully blessed me through all of you and I am filled with gratitude! May God bless you for your kindness!

Here I must thank Paul Techau, the president of our congregation, for all he has done during my convalescence. Having complete confidence in his leadership, I have had wonderful peace of mind! And I thank all of you who have kept things going during my absence. I should mention that our secretary is on a break from her duties. Jake Mokris has stepped in and is very competently doing all that needs to be done.

The broken finger on my left hand is healed and my broken arm is better with every passing day. It was such a joy to be able to stand at the altar and be in the pulpit on the Feast of the Annunciation and again this past Sunday! I eagerly look forward to the day when all of us will again be able to gather again in our dear church to worship our Lord and Savior, to hear His life-giving Word and to receive His Body and Blood.

I will be talking with everyone by telephone during these next days. Please call me (410.554.9994) or else email me (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) if you have some need to discuss. Let us be diligent in our prayers and eager to help one another as we are able. We of course need to pray for patience and for hope as we pass through this difficult time.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

 

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2019

OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH
in the City of Baltimore

APRIL,  2019

HOLY WEEK & EASTER SERVICES
Palm Sunday — 11:00 A.M. Divine Service with Distribution of Palms
Maundy Thursday — 7:30 P.M. Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar
Good Friday — 7:30 P.M. The Liturgy of Good Friday
Easter Eve — 7:30 P.M. The Easter Vigil and First Holy Eucharist of Easter
Easter Day — 11:00 A.M. Festival Divine Service

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am glad to say that our Wednesday Lenten Vespers this year have been well attended and the soup suppers which precede Vespers certainly much enjoyed. Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in preparing these enjoyable meals!

As this newsletter is sent out we are approaching the concluding days of the Lenten season. The first Sunday in April is the Fifth Sunday in Lent, sometimes referred to as Passion Sunday, the Sunday when it was customary in many places to cover the crosses and crucifixes in purple veils for the last two weeks of Lent. The reason for this veiling is that in Christ’s passion His glory was hidden from human sight. There is some reason to think that the Fifth Sunday in Lent was chosen as the time to do this because of the concluding words of the Gospel (John 8:46-59) which from ancient times has been read on this Sunday: “So they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple” (John 8:59).

Every Christian knows that Holy Week and Easter are the heart of the Christian Year: the death and resurrection of our Lord are the ground of all our life and hope. Unless hindered by illness or by the need to care for someone or by the requirements of an employer, everyone should make the effort to be present in God’s house on the day of the Savior’s death for our salvation. Here at Our Saviour the Liturgy of Good Friday is as usual celebrated at seven-thirty in the evening. But if you wish to attend a service during the day, you can go to the Tre Ore Service (12:00 Noon-3:00 P.M.) in Bethlehem Church at 4815 Hamilton Avenue. Pastors of our Synod’s churches will preach on the seven last words of Jesus. No one is expected to remain for the whole three hours; come when you can and leave when you must. But do make the effort to join your fellow Christians on Good Friday in pondering and giving thanks for your Savior’s costly love!

Although the Easter Vigil, celebrated on Easter Eve, remains a somewhat unfamiliar service, it is in fact the oldest Easter celebration of the Church. In ancient times Christians gathered in the night before Easter Day for the baptism of converts to the faith, their baptism being preceded by readings from the Old Testament Scriptures which all point forward to the Lord’s resurrection to which we are joined in the waters of baptism. Saint Paul writes: “You were buried with (Christ) in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him” (Colossians 2:12). Because this service was held during the night it began with the kindling of fire and the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle which then burns throughout the Easter season until on Ascension Day it is extinguished following the reading of the Gospel which tells of how in His ascension the risen Lord withdrew His visible presence from us. The Vigil concludes with the celebration of the first Holy Eucharist of Easter in which the risen Lord truly comes to us in the Sacrament of His life-giving Body and Blood. Our good friend Pastor Roy Axel Coats of Redeemer Church in Irvington will as usual be with us as the celebrant and preacher. Beginning in darkness, the Vigil moves forward into the light and joy of the Day of Resurrection.

When the forty days of the Easter season are completed the Paschal Candle is placed next to the baptismal font and lit whenever there is a baptism. At funerals it burns near the casket as a sign of the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

I believe that the visit to our former church building on Saturday, March 9th was much enjoyed by everyone who participated. From its founding in 1892 until 1919 our congregation worshiped in this building which since then has been the home of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church. We were graciously welcomed by several members of Holy Trinity and their pastor, Father John Vass, who explained the teachings and practice of their church. For me the highlight of the visit was seeing the large and wonderful painting of the risen Lord which hung over the altar of the church throughout the time our congregation worshiped there. When our congregation moved to its present location, the painting was given to Holy Trinity. We learned that it in fact continued to hang over their altar until 1975. Holy Trinity this year celebrates its centennial; I have been invited to attend its centennial celebration on Saturday, May 4th. It is interesting to note that our old church building is just one block east of what was at one time Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church where Don Weber, our organist emeritus, grew up and learned to play the organ.

On Saturday, April 13th, we will be having a Clean Up Day from 10 0’clock until 12 noon to prepare the church for Holy Week, Easter, and this year’s Saint Mark’s Conference which takes place on April 29th and 30th. “Many hands make light work” – so do join us if you are able! Information about the Saint Mark’s Conference can be found on our church’s website.

Palm Sunday is the deadline for sending in money for the Easter lilies together with the names of those you wish to be honored or remembered.

I look forward to seeing you every Lord’s Day and especially on Easter Day when we shall again with great joy celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Let us continue to remember one another in our prayers!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

On April I, 2019, Mary Techau and I delivered socks, underwear, deodorant, body power, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other assorted grooming items to Helping Up Mission. The gifts were purchased by individual members, and other gifts were purchased from monies collected from the two poor boxes. While we have always asked for grooming gifts for men at Helping Up Mission, we have just learned that the Mission also operates a 20-bed, 3- month, recovery facility for homeless and alcoholic women. The women’s facility is housed at a separate location. In addition, the Mission is in the process of expanding its outreach to vulnerable women and their children. The Mission informed us that plans are well on the way to build a Women and Children’s shelter in the immediate vicinity of the present location.

Fund raising started with the launch of the “Inspiring Hope Campaign” with a fund-raising goal of $61,OOO.OOO; the construction goal has already reached the half way mark. The building is expected to be up and operational in the next 2 years. In the meantime, we will continue to provide essential grooming items for the 580 plus men, and now women. The small gifts which we give from our plenty, will go a long way in uplifting hope and building confidence in the spiritual recovery of those who are the least of these. Thank you for helping the Mission to save and change lives in the City of Baltimore.

Men who have completed the one-year Spiritual Recovery Program will celebrate the occasion at The Annual Graduation Banquet on Sunday, April 28, at Martin’s West on Dogwood Rd. in Baltimore. The program will feature a meal, stories of hope from the graduates and music from the HUM Choir. Tickets are available at $85 per person

– Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, May, 2018

Our Saviour Lutheran Church
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-235-9553

May, 2018

 

Ascension Divine Service May 10, 7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ not only on Easter Day but also throughout the forty days from Easter Day itself until Ascension Day which this year occurs on May 10th. Divine Service will be celebrated at 7:30 P.M. We hear Saint Luke’s account of the ascension as he tells of it in Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 24:44-53. I love these words of Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) in which he addresses the ascended Lord:

 Thou hast raised our human nature
On the clouds to God’s right hand;
There we sit in heav’nly places,
There with Thee in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
Man with God is on the throne.
Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension
We by faith behold our own.

 Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3). And so on Ascension Day we not only rejoice in our Lord’s ascension but also in the sure promise of His coming again. I hope that many of you will come to the Divine Service on Ascension Day: the celebration of the great festivals of the Christian Year is not a burden but rather a joyful privilege.

 Our hearts have been saddened by the death of our long-time member and sexton, William Hawkins, who fell asleep in Christ on Friday, April 27th. His kindness, his cheerful service, his faithfulness to Christ and His Church, his eagerness to bring others to the knowledge of the Savior will long be remembered. Ours is the loss but his is the gain for “to depart and be with Christ…is far better” as Saint Paul teaches us (Philippians 1:23). The funeral service will take place on Friday, May 11th, at 11:00 A.M. Visitation will be from 10:00 A.M. until the service. A repast will follow. If you wish to donate a dish for the repast, call Bunny Duckett at 410.842.7262.

 We extend our Christian sympathy also to Richard Brown and his family who mourn the death of Richard’s mother and father who both died as the result of an automobile accident. The taxi in which they were riding was struck by a car whose driver then fled the scene. At such a time as this we remember the promise of our Lord: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27,28).

 On the first Sunday in May we will begin to use our synod’s new hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. It combines the best of the two hymnals we have been using The Lutheran Hymnal  (the “red book”) published in 1941 and Lutheran Worship (the “blue book”) published in 1982. I think that everyone will find much that is very familiar and dear as we begin to use this new hymnal together with new hymns which will enrich our worship. Thanks to the generosity of many people these hymnals are largely paid for. It is still possible to give one or more as memorials of loved ones or to honor someone. The cost is $30.00. Be sure to mark the check for this purpose.

 Our spring Voters Meeting will take place following Divine Service this coming Sunday, May 6th. Members of our congregation 18 years and older are eligible to participate. The slate of candidates for the 2018/19 church council is: President, Paul Techau; Vice President, open; Secretary, Dana Carmichael; Treasurer, Bernie Knox; Education, Mary Techau; Property, open; Worship, Merton Masterson; At Large, Gary Watson.

 Confirmation will take place on the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 20th. Dominick and Elijah Carmichael-Myrie and Ted Jones will be confirmed. A potluck lunch will follow Divine Service. Pray for Dominick, Elijah, and Ted as they approach their confirmation.

 The rededication of the sacristy in memory of James Gray who for so many years faithfully cared for the altar and sacristy was a happy occasion as was the lunch which followed. Many thanks to all who made this happen.

 I must also thank everyone who worked so hard on this year’s Saint Mark’s Conference, especially Bernie Knox and Paul and Mary Techau. Gene Wilken from Nashville, Tennessee, graciously donated his expertise to record the Conference. The videos of the services and presentations will be available on our website oursaviourbaltimore.org. 

 The first free flea market will take place on Saturday, June 9th. Volunteers are always needed! You may call Judy Volkman at 410.377.8833.

 I will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of my ordination with Divine Service at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 23rd. This is an opportunity for me to remember and give thanks and to ask God’s continued blessing.

 You are in my prayers as I hope I am in yours.

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter.

Affectionately in our Lord,


Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Our Saviour has been a member of GEDCO since its inception. This coalition of churches and community groups has done fantastic things in reaching out to those in need in our community. Last year, GEDCO provided permanent housing and supportive services to more than 530 people in need. From April 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018, GEDCO’s Community Service division accomplished the following:

Responded to 3,357 requests for food assistance, helping 2,439 individuals (Our Saviour regularly contributes food items to them)
Prevented utility turnoffs or restored power for 523 households
Prevented 97 evictions
Provided prescription medication assistance to 95 households
Prepare resumes for 166 job-seeking clients, thus helping 143 individuals procure employment.

The Church Council voted to contribute $500 to their mission, and will be looking for ways to better partner with them.                                                                                                            – Judy Volkmann

Misericordias Domini

Misericordias Domini, The Second Sunday after Easter

April 15, 2018 AD

Old Testament: Ezekiel 34:11-16

Epistle: 1 Peter 2:21-25

Gospel: John 10:11-16

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“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” – Saint John 10:27f

On this second Lord’s Day after Easter Day the Church always draws our attention to the risen Lord as the good shepherd. I doubt that there is any image of Christ more precious to the Christian heart than this image of Jesus the good shepherd of us lost and lonely sheep.

The words just read as our text for this sermon are, like the Gospel read just a few moments ago, only a fragment of Jesus’ teaching about Himself as the good shepherd as we find His words in the tenth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel. It’s of course a firm principle that in order to understand rightly part of Holy Scripture we must pay close attention to the context. And Jesus’ teaching about Himself as the good shepherd immediately follows His healing of a man who had been blind from birth and immediately precedes the raising of His friend Lazarus from the dead. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “This is what’s happening as I restore sight to the blind man and raise Lazarus from the dead.” For in healing the blind man and in calling Lazarus out of the tomb, the good shepherd is seeking his lost and lonely sheep.

There is also this: the man born blind and dead Lazarus are in fact a vivid picture of us all as we in fact are apart from our good shepherd: blind to the wonderful radiance of God’s love, “dead in trespasses and sins,” and doomed to bodily and eternal death. But the good shepherd doesn’t abandon us in our blindness and in our death, He doesn’t leave us lost and wayward sheep to our own devices! He came and He comes seeking us – at the cost of His own life as He said: “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Jesus the good shepherd rescues us His sheep by himself becoming a lamb as the prophet Isaiah said: “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and as a sheep, before its shearers is dumb.” The one true and eternal Shepherd becomes a little lamb – born of the lowly Virgin Mary; dying He destroys death and rising tom the dead opens the way to eternal life for all who hear and follow Him. He has overcome the devouring grave, for as the author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes: “the God of peace has [indeed] brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep,” the Lord Jesus who says, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me; and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

The man who’d been born blind hears the voice of the good shepherd and receives his sight, Jesus’ friend Lazarus – a full four days dead in the tomb! – hears the voice of the good shepherd calling him and comes out of the tomb. The blind man and Lazarus hear the voice of their good shepherd, but those who chose to be Jesus’ enemies don’t. For they see no need for such a shepherd, they’re content to live and manage things as they see fit, and can only see in Jesus a disturbing presence who challenges their beliefs and plans, and threatens their power over the people. And so they do not hear!

As so often happens in Saint John’s Gospel, seemingly insignificant details are fraught with meaning. For example, Saint John tells us that when Judas left the last supper “it was night,” night, not only in the sense that the sun’s light no longer shone but also in the sense that all the powers of darkness were in that moment gathering together to destroy Him who is the radiant brightness of the Father’s face, the true Light of the whole world. Well Saint John tells us that our Lord spoke these words about Himself as the good shepherd during the feast of the dedication of the temple at Jerusalem when – as Saint John writes – “it was winter.” “It was winter” – winter not only in the sense that it was the cold and dreariest of all the year, but also in the sense that the hearts of Jesus’ enemies were wintry: cold to divine love, wandering all unknowingly in a confused and of world, as spiritually dead as the leafless trees and the cold, hard ground.

So how is with you, with me? Are our hearts cold and wintry? Are we blind to the light of love shining from Jesus’ cross and open tomb, therefore “full of [God’s] glory”? Are we like dead men, in the grip of guilt, or bitterness rooted in past hurts, or paralyzed by fear of what the future might hold? Are we just a bit bewildered, like sheep who hear not the familiar voice of their shepherd but the even terrifying voice of a stranger bent on harming them?

If so, there is but one remedy: to listen! To listen to the voice of the good shepherd who came and who comes seeking us as He does again this day in the holy mysteries of His body and blood which tell us with unmistakable clarity that He is indeed our good shepherd who loved us enough to die for us: “My body … given for you…My blood poured out for you… you are mine.” We listen to His voice, calling us from our wayward ways into His way of life and peace. We humbly follow where our shepherd leads until that Day when, by His mercy, we take our place among that great multitude which no man can number, standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, the heavenly flock of the good shepherd, of whom Saint John exiled on Patmos writes: “They shall hunger no more neither thirst any more, the sun shall not strike them nor any scorching heat. For the LAMB in the midst of the throne will be their SHEPHERD, and He will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Amen. The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus unto life everlasting.

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2018

Our Saviour Lutheran Church
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-235-9553

April, 2018

 

MAUNDY THURSDAY – DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 P.M.
GOOD FRIDAY – THE LITURGY, 7:30 P.M.
EASTER EVE – THE EASTER VIGIL, 7:30 P.M.
EASTER DAY – FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Once again we stand at the threshold of the yearly celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. Because the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus are the foundation of all our life and hope, this is the very heart of the Christian Year. To participate in the celebration of those mighty acts whereby God in His great love has given us life and immortality is a great privilege and blessing. In addition to the services here at Our Saviour there is also a Tre Ore Good Friday Service from 12:00 noon until 3:00 P.M. at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Avenue. It goes without saying that every Christian will wish to be in the Lord’s House on Easter Day so that with repentant and faithful hearts we may receive the body and blood of the risen Lord in the holy Sacrament. With joy we exchange the Easter greeting, “Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!” 

But the Church does not celebrate the resurrection for just one day. The celebration continues for the forty days until Ascension Day when our Lord withdrew His visible presence from us and after ten days sent the Holy Spirit to be with His Church for ever. The Paschal – Easter – Candle burns at all services and we continue to sing Easter hymns. The Paschal Candle is a symbol of the risen Lord whose light dispels all darkness. The five red wax nails in the Candle remind us of the scars of nails and spear still to be seen in the body of the risen Savior. The Paschal Candle burns at all services until on Ascension Day it is extinguished following the reading of the Gospel telling of Jesus’ ascension. For the rest of the year the Paschal Candle stands near the baptismal font and is lit for baptisms since baptism is participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-11) It stands by the casket at funerals as a symbol of the hope of the resurrection. Our own Paschal candlestick is beautifully hand carved and is a gift from Pastor and Mrs. Stiemke.

There can be no greater sadness in this life than the death of one we have loved. And so we extend our Christian sympathy to those who mourn the death of Marion Purviance, the mother of Gabe Purviance and wife of Philip, and to Eugene James who mourns the death of his brother Kenneth. Marion’s funeral service was held in church on March 3rd, Kenneth James’s funeral on March 23rd. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may our heavenly Father comfort all who mourn their departure.

On Sunday, April 8th, the sacristy will be rededicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of James Gray who for so many years faithfully cared for the altar of our Church. This will take place at the end of the Divine Service and lunch will follow.

On Sunday, April 22nd, I will be preaching at Martini Church, the Church I grew up in and where I was baptized, confirmed and ordained. Martini is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Chaplain Graham Glover will be the celebrant and preacher here at Our Saviour.

 The annual Saint Mark’s Conference takes place on April 23/24. Everyone is welcome to attend. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Eucharist and Church Fellowship.” Information about the Conference can be found at our Church website: oursaviourbaltimore.org/conference

 On the first Sunday in May we will begin using our Synod’s new hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. The January Voters Meeting unanimously decided to introduce this book of worship. We have received some very generous gifts toward the cost of these new books but you can still give a hymnal in memory of departed loved ones. The cost of one book is $30.00. Be sure to mark the check for this purpose. The book includes much that is best in the two hymnals we have been using: The Lutheran Hymnal (the “red book”) published in 1941 and Lutheran Worship (the “blue book”) published in 1982. There are also new hymns which will enrich our worship.

 Because Confirmation will take place on the third Sunday in May, the spring Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on Sunday, May 6th. Members of Our Savior 18 years and older are eligible to participate.

 Dominick and Elijah Carmichael-Myrie and Ted Jones are completing confirmation instruction and will be confirmed on the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 20th. Pray for these fine young men as they approach their confirmation.

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter.

Affectionately in our Lord,


Pastor McClean

Although the last Soup Supper during Lent was cancelled because of snow, a total of 75 people enjoyed the various dinners by our volunteer cooks.  Bernie Knox, Judy Volkman, the Ushers, Quilla Downs, and Mary Techau served up delicious meals.  And Helen Gray and her band of cooks stood ready but the weather didn’t allow them to share their goodies!  A total of $309.65 was received from the free-will offering and will be used to purchase turkeys and other food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets.  Many thanks to all who gave of their talents.

– Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, March/April 2016

Holy Week & Easter Day:

  • Maundy Thursday: Divine Service, 7:30 PM

  • Good Friday: The Liturgy, 7:30 PM

  • Easter Even: The Easter Vigil, 7:30 PM

  • Easter Day: Festival Divine Service, 11:00 AM


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The season of Lent has flown by and we are now about to enter the Holy Week of the Lord’s Passion. Easter Day is almost here. This Lent we restored the old custom of veiling the crosses and crucifix in purple for the last two weeks of Lent which are called Passiontide. The veiling of the crosses is a sign that in His sufferings Christ’s divine glory as the F ather’s eternal Son was hidden. On Good Friday the crosses are veiled in black.

I think we have had a good Lenten season with a number of visitors at the Wednesday Lenten Vespers and soup suppers. Judy Volkman writes:

The Soup Suppers on Wednesdays in Lent were a great success. 100 people attended over 6 suppers and $213.50 was collected for the turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many thanks to the cooks who shared their culinary talents: Mary and Paul Techau, Maritza and Trent Demarest, the ushers, Julie Watson and Quilla Downs, Judy Volkman, and Helen Gray.

I must also thank Helen Gray for providing a delicious luncheon for the seminarians from our Fort Wayne Seminary who were here recently to see something of the life of our Baltimore city churches.

As most of you know by now, Maritza Demarest gave birth to a little boy on Thursday March 3rd. And so we congratulate Maritza and Vicar Trent in their happiness. The baby will be baptized on Saturday, March 19th, at noon. Everyone is invited. He will be named John Chrysostom which is the name of one of the great fourth century teachers of the Church who was given the name “Chrysostom” which means “golden mouthed” because of his eloquent preaching. Vicar Trent and Maritza were delighted by the baby shower and luncheon on February 21th.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. It goes without saying that Christians will wish to follow our Lord in His passion. I hope that each one of us will make a sincere effort be in God’s house on Good Friday. If the evening hour is not possible, one can attend some part of the Tre Ore Service which every year is held from 12 noon until three o’clock at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Avenue. Although the Easter Vigil is a less familiar service, it is in fact the Church’s oldest celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. In the ancient Church Christians would gather on Easter Eve to hear the story of salvation from Holy Scripture, converts to the faith would in Holy Baptism be made one with the Savior in His death and resurrection, and then receive the Body and Blood of the risen Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar. The whole service begins with the Lighting of the Paschal Candle which then burns at all services during the Easter season until Ascension Day. It is then extinguished following the reading of the Gospel which tells of how the risen Lord in His ascension withdrew His visible presence from His disciples. During the rest of the year the Paschal Candle is placed at the baptismal font as a sign that through Baptism we are joined to Christ’s resurrection. It also stands near the body of departed Christians during the funeral service as a sign of the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

You may have noticed that the Paschal Candlestick here at Our Saviour is a beautifully carved piece of work. I recently discovered in The Home Visitor of April 22, 1963 that it was in fact given to Our Saviour congregation by Pastor and Mrs. Stiemke:

It was designed and hand carved by Mr. Herbert Read of Exeter, England, who also did the credence shelf and the font cover in our church. Mr. Read is probably best known in America for the beautiful memorial screen found in Washington Cathedral. . .The Candlestick is placed as a humble tribute to all who have found true peace in the Risen Lord and gained joy in serving their Master through love and faithfulness; although the tasks performed seemed almost unnoticed they receive our risen Redeemer’s commendation, ‘Well done!’

As members of Our Saviour we owe an immense debt of gratitude to Pastor Stiemke who took leadership in the building and furnishing of this wonderful church in which we are privileged to worship.

The end of April brings the Saint Mark’s Conference on April 25th and 26th. April 25th is Saint Mark’s Day in the calendar of the Church Year. Although primarily intended for pastors, anyone may attend. It goes without saying that members of Our Saviour will not be expected to pay the conference fee! I hope members will be here to welcome our guests.st mark conference flier

There will be four speakers. Pastor David Petersen of Redeemer Church in Fort Wayne will speak on Preaching and the Liturgy. Pastor Eric Andrae of First Trinity Church in Pittsburgh will speak on the witness of Bishop Bo Giertz. (During his long life Bishop Giertz (1905-1998) was the leader of faithful Lutherans in the Church of Sweden; he was in fact one of the great leaders of Lutheranism in the last century.) Our good friend Pastor Roy Axel Coats of Redeemer Church in Irvington will speak on the relationship between doctrine and preaching as seen in the work of Johann Gerhard (1582-1637), one of the greatest of Lutheran theologians. Dr. Leo Mackay, who is a member of Immanuel Church in Alexandria, a trustee of the Fort Wayne Seminary, and corporate vice-president of Lockheed Martin, will give a layman’s point of view concerning Liturgy and Preaching. Although the conference will be focused on preaching, it will also be concerned with the Church’s liturgical heritage. Divine Service will be celebrated on both days and Vespers will be sung on the 25th. The services will include some liturgical practices which were once common among Lutherans but were lost as the Church passed through many struggles both in Europe and here in North America. This Conference is an attempt to put together an “east coast” version of the Saint Michael’s Conference which has been meeting for a number of years at Zion Church in Detroit. In the next week or so I will be asking for volunteers to help with various tasks.

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter, I am

 

Affectionately yours in Christ,

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Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, February 2016

February 10 – Ash Wednesday
Soup Supper, 6:30 PM
Divine Service with Imposition of Ashes, 7:30 PM


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Because Easter Day is so early this year, March 27th, we already find ourselves at the beginning of Lent. I hope that everyone who is able to do so will make the effort to be in God’s house on Ash Wednesday, the First Day of Lent. Lent has been kept by Christians since ancient times: then it was the final period of preparation of adult converts for baptism which took place at the Vigil of Easter Eve. Holy Scripture teaches that in baptism we are made one with Christ in His saving death and resurrection, are born again of water and the Spirit, receive the forgiveness of sins and are made members of Christ’s mystical body, the Church. And because we have been baptized we are called to daily repentance. As we learned in the Catechism, Baptism “signifies that the old Adam in us should through daily contrition and repentance die and be drowned with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.” That is the daily life of Christians. Lent is simply a time of intensified effort to do just that through the discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving which the Lord Jesus assumes His followers will be engaged in as He says in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6: 1-21). God does not need our Lenten discipline but we do – so that we may grow in likeness to Him. I am always glad to answer any questions you may have about the observance of Lent. My telephone number is 410.554.9994; my email address is charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

Again this year we will have the Wednesday evening Lenten Vespers at 7:30 PM preceded by a simple soup supper at 6:30 PM. The meditations this year will focus on the Passion of Christ as seen in the Book of Psalms. When our Savior appeared to His disciples on the evening of His resurrection He said, “These are my words which I spoke to you while I was with you, that everything written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds of understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44t). All Scripture speaks of Christ. As we reverently and intently listen to God’s Word written, our sin is uncovered, we see the greatness of Christ’s forgiving love, and His mind is increasingly formed in us.

And speaking of Holy Scripture I should also mention the adult Bible Class which meets every Sunday morning at 9:45 A.M. We study the appointed readings– the Old Testament Lesson, the Epistle and the Gospel– for the day. Come and join us!

During the third week of January Vicar Trent and I attended the annual Symposium on the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fortunate we were to arrive home just before the blizzard really took over! And speaking of our Vicar, he and his wife eagerly await the arrival of their first child early in March. The Baptism is tentatively set for Saturday, March 19th, at noon. Let us keep both parents and child in our prayers. There will be a Baby Shower on Sunday, February 21st.

In reviewing the annual parish report which is sent to Synod each year I was happy to note that in 2015 four people were confirmed in our congregation and both an infant and a young person baptized. We also received two new members by letter of transfer. The Lord continues to build His Church in this place and throughout the world.

Now we begin our annual journey to Easter, the glad feast of the Lord’s Resurrection. I hope and pray that this Lent will prove to be for each one of you a time of renewal in faith and hope and love.

Alfectionately in our Lord,

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Pastor McClean


Holy Week Services:

Maundy Thursday
Divine Service, 7:30 PM

Good Friday
Liturgy of Good Friday, 7:30 PM

Easter Eve
The Easter Vigil, 7:30 PM


Works of Mercy

A word of thanks to our church family for the generous outpouring of nonperishable holiday food items and for the donation of eight frozen turkeys which we provided to designated families in our community. The turkeys were provided by individual member donations and from a Thrivent Gift. Because of the abundance of canned and packaged food donations, we were able to deliver several extra boxes to GEDCO’s community food pantry where there is always great need.

The process of assembling and labeling individual baskets went swiftly and smoothly thanks to our team of volunteers: William Hawkins, Mary Techau, David West, Judy Volkrnan, and James Smallwood. Please continue to support our food outreach to our neighbors.

– Quilla Downs