3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For several years now we have been missing the ringing of the bells in our church tower. The old mechanism for ringing them no longer works, and so we have been faced with the need to replace the old with the new. We have obtained several estimates of the cost and, as of this date, have chosen one. During the week of June 13th the wooden beams which hold the bells were sanded and stained. The wood is in good condition; this refurbishing will protect it for years to come. But none of this would be happening without the tireless efforts of Mary Techau! We owe her a great debt of gratitude! Progress is being made! And there is reason to believe that we will soon be able to do even more on this restoration project. We also are indebted to Gabe Purviance for his fine video about the bells which can be seen at Our Saviour Facebook. This video has helped to raise funds for this project. We remember the playing of the bells before every church service, and we look forward to their return. The bells are also a lively witness in our neighborhood. Since the bells were installed way back in 1934, they have wordlessly proclaimed that, here at the corner of The Alameda and 33rd Street, Our Saviour Church goes on proclaiming the good news of our crucified and risen Lord.
There are a number of projects having to do with our buildings. Mary Techau has also been working through a process to receive funding from the State Bond Bill Initiative to take care of rainwater issues. She has also researched the cost of remodeling the downstairs bathrooms. We have an estimate of $11,000 for the men’s room and $17,000 for the ladies’ room. We also have a quote to replace the ceiling lights in the multipurpose room with LED lights for $3,000. One task of the Church Council is prioritizing these projects.
As the weeks go by, we are seeing more and more people who for a long time were unable to come to church due to the COVID pandemic. And there are certainly some promising signs that this scourge will indeed come to an end. We continue to livestream our services at Our Saviour Facebook.
It goes without saying that the gathering of Christians every Lord’s Day is not some kind of “optional extra”! From earliest times, the Lord’s Day has been the day of the Lord’s Supper on which the crucified and risen Lord imparts His true Body and Blood to the Church which is His mystical Body. Through the Holy Communion Christ gathers believers into one communion and strengthens them in that holy fellowship which even death cannot destroy. For the early Christians, the Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist was so important that, even in the days when attendance at the Eucharist could result in imprisonment or even in death, the Christians nevertheless faithfully gathered each Lord’s Day, the Day of the Lord’s Resurrection. A kind of religion which thinks of the Sunday Divine Service as an “optional extra” was simply unthinkable and indeed unheard of! In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that on the Day of Pentecost—ten days after His ascension—the risen Lord sent down the Holy Spirit on the disciples: The result of the coming of the Holy Spirit was that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). In other words, they continued to gather around the preaching of the Gospel and the Holy Communion of the Lord’s Body and Blood. And from early times provision was also made for those who, by reason of sickness or some other hindrance, were unable to share in the Holy Communion. The Lord’s people are in the Lord’s house for the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day. Some of us can still remember when it was more or less a cultural expectation that one should go to church every Sunday. Those days are long gone! But participation in the Divine Service every Lord’s Day is not only our duty as Christians: It is also our joyful privilege as Christians! The failure to see this, and to act accordingly, is a regrettable symptom of the spiritual illness of our time. When we needlessly absent ourselves from worship on the Lord’s Day, we not only sin against God, we also sin against our fellow Christians by our failure to provide them with the encouragement that our presence in God’s house provides them. Do you join the psalmist in praying, “Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house and the place where Thine honor dwelleth” (Psalm 26:8)?
If you examine the Calendar in the Lutheran Service Book (page xi), you will find scattered through the year days commemorating—among others—the Mother of our Lord, Saint John the Baptist, and the Apostles and Evangelists. This is in keeping with the Augsburg Confession, that principal confession of our Church’s faith, which teaches “that saints should be kept in remembrance so that our faith may be strengthened when we see what grace they received and how they were sustained in faith. Moreover, their good works are to be an example for us, each of us in his own calling” (Article XXI). On July 25, the last Sunday of this month, the Church remembers Saint James the brother of John, who was the first to die as a martyr for his Savior and Lord (Acts 12:1).
I continue to visit members who are unable to come to church and bring them Holy Communion. If you are unable to come to church, never hesitate to ask me to bring you the Sacrament. My phone number is (410) 554–9994 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Frank Ford’s daughter, Yolanda, continues to recover at Future Care on North Point Road as does Maggie Doswell at Cadia Healthcare Center in Hyattsville. During a recent visit to her, Maggie told me how glad she was to receive cards from our members. The Cadia Healthcare Center is located at 4922 La Salle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Future Care is located at 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. We continue to pray for James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, and Gary Watson. If there are others you wish us to pray for, please let me know.
Although it is several months away, mark your calendar now for Family Day which this year will be Sunday, October 3. We are hoping that this will be a reunion day after the lengthy separation of the pandemic. And continue to pray for all who continue to be affected and for all doctors and nurses and all who care for them. And let us remember always to thank our gracious heavenly Father for His mercies which are new every morning!
Works of Mercy
After months without a delivery to Helping Up Mission, a delivery was made on May 9. The donation box is now empty and ready to be refilled. Personal hygiene and grooming items are staples; socks, underwear, towels, deodorant, soap, foot powder, toothpaste, and brushes are essential. Clean and gently used clothing is also acceptable. The Mission’s doors are now open to homeless and addicted women committed to overcoming these afflictions. The women’s new building is located on Chase Street, but donations for the women are accepted at the East Baltimore Street address. Many thanks for your contributions to the Mission and its work in restoring the lives of men and women in the City of Baltimore.
Free Flea Market
The theme for the July 10 (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM) Free Flea Market will be “Christmas in July.” With the donation of many Christmas items, we will be able to share these with members of the community. If you have any items you would like to donate, please get them to Judy Volkman by July 4. Supply for costume jewelry is also running low. Several large size men’s slacks were donated to the Flea Market but weren’t given out; Quilla Downs has taken them to the Helping Up Mission. We make sure items get to those who need them!