Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
September 7th is the eighty-sixth anniversary of the dedication of this wonderful church building in which we worship the triune God, hear His Word, and receive the holy Sacraments. At the service of dedication on the morning of that day the preacher was Pastor William Dallmann who in the year 1892 had led the little group of faithful laymen, formerly members of Immanuel Church then on south Caroline Street (now at Loch Raven and Belvedere), who had come together to establish a church in which Christ’s true Gospel would be preached in the English rather than in the German language, His sermon at the dedication of our church building: “Confessing Christ in Augsburg in 1530 and in Baltimore in 1930,” drew attention to the fact that the same faith which had been joyfully and faithfully confessed by the Lutheran princes and cities before Emperor Charles V in the city of Augsburg in 1530 would be confessed also here in this building being dedicated four hundred years late. And so the cornerstone of this church building reads: “The Church of Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran U. A. C.” “U.A.C.” stands for Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Why unaltered? Because attempts had been made already in the sixteenth century to change the teaching of this Confession, notably the article concerning the Holy Sacrament, so as to make the Confession acceptable to those who do not believe in the Real Presence of the true body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament but see the Sacrament as nothing more than a memorial meal in which the bread and wine merely represent the Lord’s body and blood. And so that “U.A.C.” On our cornerstone not only expresses our church’s adherence to the Augsburg Confession in general but also to Article X of that Confession in particular, that Article in which the Real Presence is confessed. And it is the Real Presence which makes of the Sacrament a heavenly feast of love and joy, the very center of the Church’s life.
Although the Augsburg Confession is the Lutheran Church’s principal confession of faith, the Small Catechism is that confession of faith with which most Lutherans are familiar. Luther prepared this Catechism for the instruction Of children. At first the Catechism was printed on large charts and eventually in an illustrated booklet. You may have noticed the large posters with the text of the Catechism now hanging in the hall just outside the door next to the chancel entrance. These have been given by Paul and Mary Techau and we thank them for this gift. These charts serve to remind us of Dr. Luther’s words: “Every morning, and whenever have time, I read and recite word for word the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Psalms, etc. I must still read and study the Catechism daily, yet I cannot master it as I wish, but must remain a child and pupil of the Catechism, and do it gladly.”
I very much enjoyed my trip to Milwaukee in early July as a pastoral delegate to the triennial convention of our Church body. In a day when there IS so much division even within Christian churches the convention showed that our Synod is a remarkably united Church. It is – as it has in fact been since its founding in 847 – still very. much a Church of the Augsburg Confession. The presence of leaders from overseas showed that our Synod is part of a worldwide fellowship of faithful, confessing Lutherans. Pray for our Synod, its congregations, its pastors, its schools, and all its leaders, especially for Pastor Matthew Harrison who serves as President of Synod.
I have again been asked to speak at the annual Saint Michael’s Conference at Zion Church in Detroit on September 26th. And so I will leave for Detroit after Divine Service on Sunday, September 25th and will return to Baltimore late in the afternoon on September 27th. If you need a pastor while am gone, you may call our good friend Pastor Roy Coats at 443.745.9200. The Saint Michael’s Conference focuses on the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church.
Our last Free Flea Market in 2016 will take place this coming Saturday, September 10th from 9:00 a.m. until noon. We always need help with putting out the goods and then putting away those that remain afterward. This is a fine opportunity to meet our neighbors and introduce them to Our Church.
On the following day, Sunday, September 11th, there will be a Potluck Lunch following Divine Service. Do Join your fellow members for this! If your name begins with A-CA bring a salad; H-L, a main dish; M-Z a dessert. Drinks will be provided.
September 11 is also the first day of Sunday School for children. I thank Mary Techau, Helen Gray, and William Hawkins for making this happen. Sunday School will begin with breakfast at 9:45 A.M.
There will also be class for adults who wish to be confirmed or review the Church ‘s teaching. As of this writing we still have not fixed a time for this.
It is not too soon to mention that Sunday, October 9th. will be our annual Family Day. Pastor Jacob Okwir, the newly ordained and installed Pastor of Saint James’s Church in Overlea will be the preacher. Having been born in Sudan and having studied at the universities of Khartoum in Sudan and Nairobi in Kenya, he and his family came to this country where he studied for the Holy Ministry at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis. Following Divine Service there will be a luncheon. Fried chicken and ham will be provided. We are asking that everyone bring a side dish for this meal. Family Day is always a happy occasion. Do plan on being present.
We extend our Christian sympathy to Lucille Carmichael and her family on the death Of her husband, Dr. Robert Carmichael. May he rest in peace and may Our heavenly Father comfort all who mourn his departure.
Let us continue to pray for one another and for all the Lord of the Church will send to us.
Works of Mercy
There is always need for non-perishable food items to stock the shelves at the CARES Community Food Pantry. A new school year has begun and food need has increased. As usual, the need is for peanut butter, jelly, canned vegetables, rice, boxed mashed potatoes, cereal, tuna fish, etc. Any donation large or small will help alleviate hunger.
Neighbors in need can visit the Food Pantry which is located at 5502 York Road in the rear of Saint Mary’s church. CARES allows customers/clients to choose the foods that their household members prefer. A nutritional guideline based on family size is provided on site. Hours of operation are Mondays and Thursday from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. CARES also assists individuals and families with pending evictions, utility shut off and prescription needs.
Helping Up Mission
We are encouraging members to drop spare change in the collection boxes located in the front and rear of the Church. The change will be used to purchase grooming items for the men in recovery at the Helping Up Mission. We are still collecting personal size grooming items, tooth paste, shampoo, foot powder, etc.; additionally we are collecting socks, tee shifts, (new or gently worn) to be delivered to the Mission. If you have items designated for the Mission, please deliver them to Quilla Downs, Judy Volkman, or Mary Techau. The Mission is a recovery program with a high rate of success in fighting addiction and homelessness. As we do unto the least of these, we do unto Him.
– Quilla Downs