3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In last month’s newsletter I said that there was reason to believe that we would soon be able to do more for the restoration of the tower bells. Paul Techau informs me that this project can now be completed because of the generosity of some friends of Our Saviour Church, Doug and Beth Skinner of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. They have donated the full amount for replacing the mechanism that rings the bells. This leaves the remaining monies in the Tower Bell Fund to cover other costs, such as the painting of the support beams (which has already been accomplished) and electrical work needed as part of the project. Doug and Beth were formerly members of Immanuel Church in Alexandria where I served before being called to Our Saviour. Doug and Beth’s only wish is that the new mechanism be dedicated to the memory of Gloria Lesser and her son Brian who were also long and faithful members of Immanuel. The McShane Bell Company, which made and installed the bells in 1934, will be doing the work. We give thanks for God’s generosity through these good friends!
Mary Techau informs me that, after a rather long Department of General Services meeting, a State Bond Bill in the amount of $40,000 has been approved to address the recurrent rain water problem in the undercroft of our church. After heavy rain in June we had to use a shop vac to remove 20 gallons of rainwater! So it is very good news that we can finally address this problem. We owe Mary a tremendous debt of gratitude for her untiring efforts to make this happen!
Judy Volkman reports that at our “Christmas in July” Free Flea Market we shared 183 items with 27 people. They also gathered over 150 items from our clothes. We now need new stock for household items, so check out your closets and cabinets and see what you can share. Judy reminds us that this is our outreach to share our bounty with our community. The next flea market is Saturday, August 14th, 9:00-12:00 Noon. As always, we need volunteers to greet and help our visitors.
Beginning on Sunday, August 1st, and continuing to the end of October, we will be using Divine Service I from the Lutheran Service Book. This is the familiar liturgy from the blue hymnal, Lutheran Worship. Although the musical setting is different, it is essentially the same as Divine Service III which we have been using for many months. Both liturgies are rooted in the Common Service of 1888 in which the historic Lutheran liturgy was provided in the English language. But Divine Service I includes some modest changes which were made in the second half of the last century. Most notable is the use of the hymn, “This is the Feast,” in place of the Gloria in excelsis, which begins with the “Christmas hymn of the angels”: “Glory be to God on high and on earth peace goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). “This is the Feast” consists of excerpts from the Book of Revelation (5:12-13; 19:5-9) and points to the Sacrament of the Altar as the anticipation of the heavenly feast, the “marriage supper of the Lamb.” As we sang on the last Sunday in July: “This Sacrament God gives us, binds us in unity, Joins earth with heaven beyond us, time with eternity” (Lutheran Service Book 639).
In the Calendar of the Lutheran Service Book August 15th is the Day of Saint Mary, Mother of our Lord; August 29th is the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist. Since these days occur on Sunday this year, we have the opportunity to celebrate these ancient festivals: one in commemoration of the Mother of our Lord, the other in commemoration of the Forerunner of our Lord. In keeping the festival of our Lord’s Mother we join in fulfilling her prophecy, “All generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48). Our Lord Himself said of John the Baptist, “among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). In keeping these festivals we are deeply conscious of the unity of the Church both in heaven and on earth.
Your continued prayers are asked for Maggie Doswell who remains at the Cadia Healthcare Center, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782; also for Frank Ford’s daughter Yolanda who remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. We continue to pray for(Jake, add the list). If there are others you wish us to pray for, please let me know. I am always ready to bring the Holy Sacrament to those who are unable to come to church. Call me at (410)554-9994 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems that new uncertainties and difficulties have arisen in connection with the COVID pandemic. Let us then pray that both our country’s leaders and all our citizens may act in wisdom with the common good at heart; and let us continue to pray for the doctors and nurses and all who care for the sick, and for the scientists who continue to search for a cure for this scourge. Nothing less is required by our Lord’s commandment, “You shall love your neighbor.” I continue to take comfort in these words: “The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).