3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Sunday, November 1st, is All Saints Day, the festival when we rejoice in the blessed reality of the communion of all saints in paradise and on earth and give thanks for all those who have been the chosen vessels of God’s grace, the lights of the world in their several generations. It is our custom here at Our Saviour to remember those who have been called to God’s nearer presence since last All Saints Day. This year we will remember Joyce Gillespie, Charles Dowdy, and Don Weber. In the words of William Walsham Howe’s wonderful hymn:
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee for all are Thine.
Our third and last free flea market for this year will take place on Saturday, November 14th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. We always need volunteers.
A Memorial Service for Don Weber had been planned for Sunday, November 22nd; but because of the complications presented by COVID-19, Don’s family has asked that the Service be postponed until the spring. It is likely that the Service will take place sometime during the weeks after Easter Day.
November 26th is Thanksgiving Day. This year we will be keeping our national day of thanksgiving with a service of Vespers at 7:30 pm on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 25th. It seems that every year I find myself saying much the same thing in the November newsletter. When I was a boy our churches were filled on Thanksgiving Day, but that has not been the case now for a great many years. One can of course speculate about the causes. For one thing people seem to travel more on the holidays than they did years ago and there is also the regrettable fact that church attendance in general has declined. And for that, too, there are many reasons! For my part I simply cannot shake the conviction that we Americans should join together in worship on this national day of thanksgiving. I realize that many people are for perfectly valid reasons reluctant to come out after dark. If you still would like to attend Thanksgiving Eve Vespers, do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (410) 554–9994. I will make every effort to see that you have a ride.
It is perhaps not too soon to remind you that we will celebrate Christmas with a Festival Divine Service on Christmas Eve at 7:30 pm and on Christmas Day at 10:00 am. For many years we haven’t regularly had the Christmas Day Divine Service here at Our Saviour, yet it does seem to meet a real need of people who cannot come on Christmas Eve or who simply prefer to worship in the daylight hours. There will also be Divine Service on New Year’s Eve and on the Feast of the Epiphany which is Wednesday, January 6th, both at 7:30 pm.
Several months ago we received a request from Christians in Kenya, asking if we could provide them with Bibles in their own language. With the help of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and the Kenyan Lutheran Church we have finally been able to make that happen for Pastor Isaac Zachary Okemwa and his flock. The Bibles arrived on Sunday, October 18, and Pastor Okemwa sent several pictures of the happy occasion. He asks that we continue to pray for them in their witness to the Savior. They are praying for us. So although we live at a great distance from one another we are united in prayer and in the communion of saints.
This month begins with All Saints Day and ends with the First Sunday in Advent. Both these days focus on the Last Things, the church in paradise and the expectation of the coming again in glory on the Last Day of the Savior who came in humility as the Child of Mary. On both days we are called to repentance and hope.
Remember that the livestreaming of the Sunday Divine Service can be found at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook (www.facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore). The sermon can be heard by calling (410) 587–0979.
I ask your prayers. You are in mine.
Affectionately in our Lord,
Works of Mercy
We will be having our third Free Flea Market on November 14th from 9-12 noon. Hopefully there will be a good turnout. This is our way of sharing the bounty the Lord has given us!
The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are fast approaching. As usual, it is time to honor our holiday commitment to some of our neighbors at Waverly Elementary/Middle School. The pre-COVID need was dire for many families; needless to say, the pandemic has compounded the need for food and other essential services. For these reasons, we will be collecting monetary donations from Sunday, November 1, though Sunday, December 20, so that we can present 10 special families with $30 food gift cards. The gift cards will be redeemable at Aldi’s food chain. The extra will enable families to supplement their holiday menu with a few items of their choice and hopefully, make their holiday merrier. If you wish to contribute to the Thanksgiving and Christmas gift food drive, a separate check may be placed in the collection plate with the designation “Thanksgiving or Christmas Gift Cards” in the memo line. If cash is given, an extra envelope with your name and donation number might be placed in the donation plate. Many thanks for the outpouring of generosity you have always shown for this holiday outreach.
Helping up Mission: For men and women who have let themselves go for a long time, cleanliness and proper grooming is essential in restoring confidence and a sense of self-worth. The wish list for Helping up Mission includes toiletries, toiletries, and more toiletries. It’s reported that there are 540 residents on the campus at 1029 E. Baltimore St., and the need for toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, bottles of shampoo, mouthwash, combs etc. is endless. Due to COVID, the Mission is only accepting prepackaged undergarments and toiletries; they no longer accept gently used clothing.
The Women’s recovery building is located at 601 Chase St., Baltimore, MD. At present there are 20 women in the Spiritual Recovery Program. The program will accommodate many more women when the new facility is complete. This program serves women with alcohol and/or substance use struggles. The SRP is modeled after the successful, long-term men’s SRP. Donations intended for the women are accepted at 1029 E Baltimore St., and not at the women’s residence. It is rewarding to know that we are a part of a successful, life-renewing, Christian-inspired recovery program here in Baltimore City.