3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER DAY
PALM SUNDAY—Procession and Distribution of Palms
Divine Service, April 9, 11:00 AM
MAUNDY THURSDAY—Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar
April 14, 7:30 PM
GOOD FRIDAY—The Liturgy of Good Friday
April 15, 7:30 PM
EASTER EVE—THE EASTER VIGIL
April 16, 7:30 PM
EASTER DAY—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE
April 17, 11:00 AM
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I must begin by thanking you for the wonderful celebration of my 80th birthday on the last Sunday in March. It was a real treat for me to have a guest preacher that morning, my good friend Pastor Brian Westgate. The brunch that followed Divine Service was delightful in every way. Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in preparing it and to everyone who sent cards and gifts! I have been asked a number of times how it feels to have reached this age. My answer to that question is that I am very grateful to God and to all the people through whom He has blessed me for so many years, including the people of Our Saviour congregation. But I must admit that I am also astonished! As God gives strength, I look forward to serving you in the days to come. Thank you—and God bless you for your kindness and generosity!
This coming Saturday, April 9, we are having a work day at church to prepare the church for the coming festival. We begin at 9:30 and conclude at noon. Do join us if you can.
April 10, Palm Sunday, is the deadline for ordering Easter lilies. As with many items, the price has gone up to $15 for each plant. Order envelopes can be found on the table in the back of the church. Remember to fill out the form to honor or remember a loved one and return it to Judy Volkman.
For the third year in a row we will be celebrating Easter during a pandemic that has yet to end and very unsettled conditions in the world. I must admit that I had assumed that something like the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the kind of thing that belonged only to the increasingly distant past. It has now been almost eighty years since the end of the Second World War. Given all these circumstances, I find myself returning yet again to some words that were written not long after that catastrophe by the distinguished Lutheran theologian, Walter Kuenneth (1901–1997):
The course of history, as it has so terribly disclosed itself to us, can only be a confirmation of the Christian insight that all mankind is trembling on the brink of destruction and groaning under the tyranny of death. In this dark night of the world there is only one single source of light: the joyful news, “Christ is risen!”
That is the foundation of our faith, the sure and certain ground of all our hope! It was Saint Augustine who said, “We Christians are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.”
But before we come to Holy Easter there is the Holy Week of the Lord’s Passion. I invite you to participate in the blessings of this holiest week of the Christian Year. On Maundy Thursday we go in spirit to the upper room where the Savior institutes the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. As the altar is stripped, we remember how at the Savior’s arrest in Gethsemane all the disciples forsook Him and fled. On Good Friday we stand beneath the cross. Easter Eve brings the Easter Vigil with the lighting of the Paschal Candle, the reading of Old Testament lessons which point forward to Christ’s resurrection, we renew the vows of baptism in which we were joined to Christ’s saving death and life-giving resurrection, and then finally meet the risen Lord as He truly comes to us with that holy Body which death could not hold and with His precious Blood. On Easter morning we again receive Him in the Holy Sacrament, celebrating with great joy the Day of Days, the Queen of Feasts. Because of the Real Presence of the crucified and risen Lord in the Holy Sacrament, our worship is no bare remembrance of all He has done and suffered for us: He is truly present in these Holy Mysteries. And that is why this Holy Sacrament is the beating heart of the Church’s life! I love the old anthem:
O sacred banquet
in which Christ is received,
the memory of His passion renewed,
and a pledge of future glory given unto us!
Let me also call your attention to the Tre Ore Service which will again this year be held on Good Friday at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Ave, 12:00–3:00 PM. Come when you can, leave when you must. This is a fine opportunity for anyone who is hesitant about driving after dark. Seven pastors will preach on the Savior’s Seven Last Words.
The annual Saint Mark’s Conference will take place April 25, Saint Mark’s Day, and April 26. Last year we were privileged to hear the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, the President of our Synod, and the Rev. Prof. John Pless of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, speak about the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Hermann Sasse (1895–1976). This year the Rev. Dr. John Stephenson of Concordia Seminary, Saint Catharines, Ontario, will speak on Dr. Sasse’s life and witness during the terrible years of the Nazi rule in Germany. Our good friend, Pastor Coats, will speak on the life and work of the Rev. Frederick Roth Webber (1887–1963), and I will speak on the relationship between Dr. Sasse and the Rev. Dr. (Colonel, US Army Chaplain Corps) Arthur Carl Piepkorn (1907–1973). Both Pastor Webber and Dr. Piepkorn had a direct connection with Our Saviour Church: When the decision was made to build this Church, Pastor Stiemke invited Pastor Webber, an authority on church architecture, to address our congregation. Pastor Webber’s book, The Small Church: How to Build and Furnish It has pictures of our Church and praises it as a model church building. Dr. Piepkorn was the officiant at the service in which our beautiful chancel windows were dedicated in October 1951. Saint Mark’s Conference is primarily intended for pastors, but everyone is invited. Information about the Conference can be found at oursaviourbaltimore.org.
Work on restoring the use of our bells is continuing. There are a few more issues that the McShane Company is working through. We hope to have them fully in order in the next several weeks. The bells were placed in the tower in 1934. We expect to rededicate them sometime during the Easter season.
Please remember to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: 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, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway has been living at the Augsburg Home for some time now: 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.
I continue to bring Holy Communion to members who are unable to come to church. If you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament, call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need transportation, do not hesitate to contact me and I will be glad to make arrangements for that purpose.
Holy Week and Easter are the heart of the Christian Year. My hope and prayer is that you will gladly make use of this yearly opportunity to follow our Savior through His passion and death to His glorious resurrection.
WORKS OF MERCY
The food collection baskets were overflowing, so we made a delivery to CARES to replenish their stock. We ended up with 5 milk crates of canned goods. Many thanks to all who were faithful contributors. The baskets are now empty and need to be refilled. Let us continue to support those who are in need with the bounty that the Lord has given to us.
The Free Flea Market will resume May 14 from 9 AM–12 PM. Many household items have been donated, so we are good with that. One faithful worker, Quilla Downs, will no longer be there to greet visitors and hand out tickets. We need someone who is willing to take on this responsibility. As always, we need faithful volunteers to serve their Lord in this outreach to the community.