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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

Our Saviour Parish News, June, 2020


OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
JUNE, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It was the great nineteenth-century Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass—by the way, he had been born as a slave here in Maryland—who said of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, “That was a sacred effort.” I believe that Douglass spoke the truth. The occasion for Douglass’s words was a reception at the White House later in the day of the inauguration. Seeing Frederick Douglass, Lincoln said, “I saw you in the crowd today, listening to my inaugural address. How did you like it?” It was then that Douglass replied, “Mr. Lincoln, that was a sacred effort.” I suspect that most of us remember the words toward the end of the address, “With malice toward none, with charity toward all…” but the entire address is a truly remarkable effort. Speaking in the waning days of the Civil War and not many days before his tragic death, Lincoln’s speech breathes the spirit of repentance and humility. It represents Lincoln’s profound reflections on the causes and meaning of the war. “The scourge of war” he explained was best understood as divine punishment for the sin of slavery in which all Americans were complicit. He described a national moral debt that had been created by the “bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil.” He cites the words of Holy Scripture, indeed words of our Savior, and concludes the speech with the memorable call for compassion and reconciliation. You may remember that I have alluded to this luminous speech before, both in sermons and in these newsletters. The text of this speech can easily be found online and as your pastor I recommend that everyone read and carefully ponder Lincoln’s words. I firmly believe that these words of Lincoln shed light upon our often-difficult path. There is much discussion and indeed uncertainty about Lincoln’s faith, but this address surely makes plain that Lincoln was a man who had struggled with his Maker.

As this month of June begins, we have two new faces at Our Saviour Church.

After careful consideration, the position of organist has been offered to Matthew Bunn, who played for Divine Service this past Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost. He is clearly a very talented young man and will very competently lead us in worship. During the past weeks Marie Herrington has again been with us since the church at which she is now organist has not been having services on Sunday morning. Marie remains very much a part of our church family, and we are always so happy to see—and hear!—her.

We are also fortunate to have a summer vicar with us for the next six weeks, Samuel Abliganz, who is preparing for the Holy Ministry in our sister church in Germany, the Independent Evangelical–Lutheran Church. He has studied at that Church’s Seminary in Oberursel and also at the ancient University of Tuebingen, and has just completed a year studying at our Synod’s Seminary in Fort Wayne. He will also be assisting our good friend Pastor Coats in the work at Redeemer Church in Irvington and at Saint Thomas Church in southwest Baltimore. Pastor Coats is now fully recovered from the COVID-19 illness and for that we are very thankful indeed! I know that we all prayed fervently for him while he was ill; let us both continue to ask God’s continued blessing and protection for his ministry and join in giving thanks for his recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about so many changes—both in our general lives and as a Christian congregation. I am very grateful to Richard Brown for making it possible for us to live-stream the Sunday Divine Service as well as the Divine Service on Ascension Day, and people who are unable to come to church have said how much this means to them. You may also call this phone number to hear the sermons: 410.587.0979. Videos of the services are saved on the church’s Facebook page (facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore) and audio of the sermon can also be found at the church website (oursaviourbaltimore.org). I am hoping that it will soon be possible for more people to attend church, but this depends both on the decisions of the civil authority and on people’s conscientious decisions about their health and safety. A Christian will under normal circumstances be in the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day, but it has always been recognized that conditions of health—our own and that of others—enter into responsible decisions about coming to Divine Service. Although it is far from ideal, I think that we can be truly grateful that modern technology makes it possible for us to at least see and hear Divine Service when we are unable to attend in person.

According to our congregation’s Constitution and Bylaws, we are supposed to have a Voters Meeting on the third Sunday in May. For obvious reasons that was simply not possible. It is now hoped that we may have the meeting on the third Sunday in this month, June 21. This of course all depends on what is possible in view of the pandemic.

Enclosed with this newsletter is a form called Joyful Response: Electronic Offering Program. It is now possible to make one’s offering automatically from one’s bank account. Some of our members have been doing this for some time now. The enclosed form tells you exactly how to do this. Some people regard this as a real convenience and it certainly is just that when many people are unable to bring their offering in person because of the pandemic. My impression is that our members have continued to give for the support of the Church’s work of worship, witness, and service. I encourage all of you to continue to do so. If this option isn’t congenial, you can always send a check through the mail to our church address: 3301 The Alameda 21218.  If you would like to participate in Joyful Response, please complete the form and return it to the Church to the attention of Bernie Knox. And in discussing the church’s finances, I would certainly be remiss if I did not thank Bernie Knox for her untiring work as our treasurer.

And speaking of service, there is following this letter an article by Judy Volkman about our Free Flea Market. Although we are not going to have it during the summer months, there will be one in September and possibly October. Be sure to read what Judy has to say. I am sure we are all grateful for her continued leadership in this service to our neighbors. Given all the circumstances, the need is now no doubt greater than ever.

Do remember that the first Sunday in June is the Feast of the Holy Trinity or as we usually call it, Trinity Sunday.  From last Advent until last Sunday’s Feast of Pentecost we have recalled all that God has done for our salvation; on Trinity Sunday we rejoice in who God is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God! God has revealed that He is one, but not solitary. His life is love that flows among the persons of the godhead. Human beings are made in the image of the triune God: and because that is so, we are never truly human as isolated individuals, but only as persons in relationship with one another. And because we have been baptized into Christ and His mystical Body the Church, even when we are most alone, we still always have our being in communion with the Holy Trinity and all saints in heaven and on earth.

It was in 1933 that the Rev. Eric Milner-White (1884–1963), who had served during the First World War as a military chaplain on the Western front and in Italy, published the prayer which follows. It came to mind as I reflected on the circumstances in which this June newsletter is being written. I commend this prayer to you both for prayer and quiet contemplation:

O God, who wouldest fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
Let the design of thy great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows;
and give peace to thy Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts;
through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

It’s of course one of those old cliches, but that doesn’t make it any less true: “I’m only a phone call away.” And my phone number is 410.554.9994. You can also e-mail me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. I may not always be able to answer immediately, but if you leave your number, I will make every effort to return your call just as soon as I can. Let us continue to pray for one another and use whatever means we have to encourage one another.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

Free Flea Market: it will continue! Yes, the Governor has lifted the Stay at Home restriction, but both the City and County are not sure if they will lift their restrictions.  At the present time, we are planning to have a Flea Market in September (and possibly October!).  Now I need your support. We have gotten a substantial donation of household items, so we need clothing. We need both men’s and women’s clothing (no children’s please), preferably for fall. What we don’t get in your donations, we will obtain through Orphan Grain Train. Please let Judy Volkman know what you can contribute. The Lord has given us much, and we need to share our bounty, particularly in these trying times.

On another note, a delivery of canned food was delivered to CARES in May. Now we need to stock up again! Please bring your canned goods, spaghetti ingredients, and meat products since there is NOTHING in the cartons for donations. As you know, many families are in need of food on a weekly basis. Every little bit helps!

Judy

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2018

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

September, 2018

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a happy time we had on Sunday, August 26th! We were blessed with the visit of Pastor Paul Winterstein and his wife Boots. Paul Winterstein was Pastor here at Our Saviour from 1974 through 1988. As it happens Paul and I are seminary classmates who graduated from the Saint Louis Seminary way back in 1967! How the years have flown by! Their visit was a real treat for me and for many members of Our Saviour.

Before I forget to mention it, I must talk about a “problem” of sorts for which there seems to be no solution — at least I can think of none. I should perhaps say that, since I have heard no complaints, it seems to be mainly a problem for me. Let me come right to the point! I wish that I could personally speak with every person who comes to Divine Service every Sunday. The problem as I see it is this: there are three ways to enter our Church and people quite naturally use all three entrances. But being only one person, I can’t manage to be at all three entrances as people leave the Church! Well I try to do the best I can given the circumstances. I just want each one of you to know that I am not intentionally ignoring you if I’m not able to speak with you every Sunday.

On August 13 our dear sister in Christ, Edna Price, departed this life at the age of 104 years in Salisbury, North Carolina. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her and may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn her departure.

On August 21st the Reverend Richard Hinz, President Emeritus of the Southeastern District of Synod, fell asleep in the Lord after a decades long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He had served as dean of Christian instruction at the Baltimore Lutheran High School from 1965 through 1970. From 1978 through 1994 he served as President of Synod’s Southeastern District. His funeral was held at Prince of Peace Church in Springfield, Virginia, on Friday, August 31st. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon him and may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn his departure.

Be sure to remember in your prayers those whose names appear in every Sunday’s bulletin. I should mention that Donald Weber now lives at 2813 Woodland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215. He is always happy to hear from members of Our Saviour. We owe him so much! He faithfully served as organist here for well over fifty years. That is a remarkable achievement!

Do remember that this coming Saturday, September 8th, is our next free flea market from 9 0’clock until 12 noon. Judging by the number of people who come and by the number of items that are given away, these free flea markets are clearly meeting a real need. Judy Volkman continues to lead this effort and for that I am very grateful.

Sunday, October will be Family Day. As always there will be a guest preacher, this year Pastor Noah Rogness. He serves as Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Army Pastoral Care Advisory Team. Before going to seminary, Pastor Rogness had served in the United States Army. I first became acquainted with him when he was serving as assistant to Chaplain Jonathan Shaw who preached at our Easter Vigil back in 2017. Pastor Rogness will also be leading the Sunday morning Bible class.

We have a regular group of attendees at Sunday morning Bible class. We are at present studying the Letter to the Hebrews. We meet at 9:45 A.M. Do come and join us. The format is quite informal; questions and comments are very welcome!

To pray for one another is to love one another. Remember me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, July/August 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The month of July brings the triennial convention of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod which this year will be meeting in Milwaukee July 9-14. Since I have been elected as pastoral delegate from the circuit of churches to which we belong, I will be leaving for the convention on Friday, July 8th and will return on the 15th. If you are in need of a pastor while I am away, you may call James Gray  and he will contact Pastor Foelber. Do remember to pray for the delegates assembled in convention that they may be guided in their deliberations by the Holy Spirit. I will be traveling to and from convention with our good friend Pastor Coats who is delegate for the west Baltimore circuit of churches.

Our next free flea market will be held this coming Saturday, July 9th from 9:00 A.M. until 12:00 noon, rain or shine. We always need people to set up and take down and to greet the people who come. This is a way of sharing with our community and making ourselves known. There will also be a free flea market on Saturday, August 9th. Contact Judy Volkman if you are able to help.
As always I must remind you of continued need of non-perishable food items for the community food pantry. There is also the on-going need of grooming items for the men at the Helping Up Mission.

Trent Demarest, Maritza, and little John are now settling in at their new home in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I already miss them very much. I must thank the men of the congregation for the delightful barbecue they arranged for the Demarests on their last Sunday here at Our Saviour. Do remember Trent and Maritza and John in your prayers as they begin this new chapter of their lives.

We will be having Vacation Bible School from Monday, July 18th, through Friday, July 22nd, from 9:00 A.M. until 12 noon. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and Pastor Coats will be here to teach the children. Children from kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to attend.

Saint James’s Church, 8 West Overlea Avenue, invites us to attend the ordination and installation of their new pastor, Jacob P. Okwir, on Sunday, July 17th at 4:00 P.M. A dinner will follow. If you plan to attend the dinner please RSVP by July (410.668.0158).

Do remember that the financial needs of the Church continue throughout these summer months. It of course goes without saying that believers will be in the Lord’s House every Lord’s Day to give thanks on this first day of the week when our Savior rose from the dead to save us, to hear His holy Word and to receive Him in the blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood. Pray for our congregation and for me – though unworthy – your pastor.

Affectionately in our Lord,

PastorMcCleanSig

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, June 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the Feast of Pentecost, May 15th, three new members were received into our congregation. The new members are Merton Masterson, Scott Jones, and Richard Brown. Scott’s young son, Ted, has become a baptized member of our congregation. We welcome them heartily and pray that we may be a blessing to one another.

June 12th, the Third Sunday after Trinity, will be Vicar Trent Demarest’s last Sunday here at Our Saviour. He has accepted a job offer to teach at a Lutheran parish day school in Wyoming. He will be teaching seventh and eighth grade with emphasis on theology, history, and Latin. I think that everyone will agree that we have certainly been blessed by the presence of Trent and his lovely wife Maritza during this past year. And then there has been the joy of the birth and baptism of their son John and watching him grow.

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Vicar Trent has been a tremendous help to me. I am very grateful to him for creating the fine website for our church and for keeping it up to date. This is an important part of outreach beyond the walls of the church building. I am going to miss Trent, Maritza and little John very much, but I am convinced that this new chapter in their lives will be a blessing to them. As a token of our gratitude, we are gathering a collection to give them as they go on their way. You may write a check to Our Saviour clearly marked “VICAR.” On the Demarests’ last Sunday with us the men of the congregation are having a barbecue after Divine Service.

The new Church Council was elected at the May Voters Meeting and will be installed on Sunday, June 19th. The new Council includes Gabe Purviance, president; Judy Volkman, secretary; Mary Techau, education; Paul Techau, property; Jake Mokris, worship; Gary Watson and Lynetric Bridges, members at large. They will be installed during the Divine Service on June 19th. Keep them in your prayers as they take counsel for the work of this congregation. I must also take this opportunity to thank the out-going members of the Council: Frank Ford, Anthony Baylor, James Gray, Cathy Gray, George McMillan, Christine and Donald Watson.

I also wish to thank all those who participated in the spring clean-up day on Saturday, June 4th, and Anthony Baylor for taking leadership in making this happen.

June 19th will also be the Sunday for our participation in the National Offering for our Synod which will be meeting in convention at Milwaukee July 9th-14th. Checks may be made out to Our Saviour Church clearly marked “SYNOD.” Remember the upcoming convention of our Synod in your prayers that the Holy Spirit would guide and direct its deliberations. As I mentioned in the May newsletter, both Pastor Coats and I are pastoral delegates to Convention.

I am happy to note that for some time now there has been a modest increase in Sunday church attendance. It of course remains to be seen what the summer will bring. I am personally convinced that, if we truly understand what Sunday is for and what the Divine Service is, we will be eager when Sunday comes to join our fellow Christians.

Sunday is the weekly celebration of Christ’s resurrection in which is all our hope. In the Divine Service Christ Himself not only speaks His word of pardon and peace but also feeds us with His holy Body and precious Blood, the price of our redemption, the pledge of our resurrection. We do not gather on Sunday to remember an absent Savior: we come to meet our risen Lord and Savior truly present in these Holy Mysteries. The Divine Service is called “divine”— meaning “having to do with God”— because God Himself here serves us by giving out His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation as we hear His Word and receive the holy Sacrament. Ponder these things in your heart— and act!

Let us continue to pray for one another and for those the Lord will send to us.

Affectionately in our Lord,

signature

 

Pastor McClean


Works of Mercy

Helping Up Mission has a long history of transforming the lives of fallen men in Baltimore. Our Saviour continues to assist the Mission with their fine work. The Mission is in constant need of the most basic items of clothes and grooming products. It has come to our attention that there is an urgent need for new and/or gently worn socks, underwear, tee and undershirts. In addition personal size, alcohol free mouth wash, stick deodorant, body and foot powder are needed. Bar soap and shower gel are also needed. Delivery of collected items will be made in a few weeks. Thank you for sharing and bringing hope to our neighbors who are recovering from homelessness, poverty, and addiction.

And canned food products and package food are always needed for our CARES neighborhood food bank. Many thanks for your gift of food.

– Quilla Downs


Free Flea Market

We have been blessed with a donation from Orphan Grain Train with forty boxes of summer clothes for men, women and children. They are a national organization that sends relief supplies to other countries, as well as within the USA. We came by this bounty through Cricket, our secretary, and the fact that they needed to distribute a number of boxes of items in order to move into their new warehouse. We will also be taking items for the flea market from members of Our Saviour, as we are sharing our gifts, material and spiritual, that God has so freely given us. Flea Markets will be held on the second Saturday of each month, June through September. Join us on June 11th to share those gifts with others in the community.

– Judy Volkman