3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
THURSDAY, MAY 18, 7:30 PM
ASCENSION DAY—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE
SUNDAY, MAY 28, 11:00 AM
THE DAY OF PENTECOST—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are the three chief festivals of the Christian Year.
This year Pentecost falls on the last Sunday in May. But before we come to Pentecost we celebrate Ascension Day, which is always the sixth Thursday after Easter Day because it was on the fortieth day after His resurrection that our Lord ascended into heaven. Preaching on Ascension Day, Saint Leo the Great (A.D. 400–461) had this to say: “Since, then, the ascension of Christ is also our exaltation, for there is hope that the body will be summoned whither the Head has preceded in glory, let us give worthy expression to our exceeding great joy and be glad in fervent thanksgiving. For today we have not only been confirmed as possessors of paradise, but in Christ we have scanned the heights of heaven. Greater benefits have we obtained through the ineffable grace of Christ than we had lost through the malice of Satan. Those whom the raging foe had thrust from their first peaceful dwelling, the Son of God has united to Himself and has placed them at the right hand of the Father.”
Ten days after His ascension, on the Day of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples who then proclaimed His saving work to people of many languages gathered in Jerusalem. The Savior’s victory for us was accomplished on the cross, revealed in His resurrection, and proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost when three thousand people were baptized and so added to the Church. Saint Luke tells us that the members of this first Church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). And so it has continued as the churches throughout the world have continued to gather every Lord’s Day to hear the teaching of the apostles in the words of Holy Scripture and in the preaching, and as the risen and ascended Lord gathers His church into one body through the gift of His holy body and precious blood in the Sacrament of the Altar.
And so it will continue until the Lord Jesus comes again in glory.
The first Sunday in June is the Festival of the Holy Trinity, commonly called Trinity Sunday, and the last Sunday in June is the 493rd anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession by the Lutheran princes and cities to Emperor Charles V. These two festivals are connected because the Augsburg Confession begins by confessing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity which shows that the Lutheran confessors did not imagine themselves to be “founding” a new church but continuing steadfast in the faith the one Church that has been in the world since the first Pentecost. Through His incarnate Son God has revealed Himself as the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God. This is a great mystery—the mystery that God Himself is no solitary being but communion in love who in love redeems the fallen world. What happened at the Reformation is that everything in the church’s life that had obscured the truth that our salvation is wholly the gift of God’s love was removed so that the pure Gospel of God’s saving grace could shine in all its splendor. We remember that in his 95 Theses Dr. Luther wrote: “The true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” This is what is confessed in the Augsburg Confession, and so important was the Augsburg Confession to those who built our church that on the cornerstone, right after the name of our church, we find the letters “U A C” which stand for “Unaltered Augsburg Confession.” Christ alone is our Savior and He bestows salvation through the preaching of the Gospel, through Baptism, Absolution, and the Holy Sacrament. Through these means of grace the Holy Spirit brings Christ to us and us to Christ who brings us to the Father.
The first Free Flea Market of this year will be held on Saturday, May 13, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM. We always need volunteers to help greet those who come and hand out items. Saturday, June 10, will be our second free flea market. We are grateful to Judy Volkman who has taken the lead in making this happen. This is a way of reaching out to our community and sharing with others what God has given us.
The spring Voters Meeting will be held after Divine Service on Sunday, May 21. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen years and older, is eligible to vote. At this meeting we will elect the Church Council and approve the budget for fiscal year 2023/2024.
I wish to thank our members who helped with this year’s Saint Mark’s Conference: Paul and Mary Techau, Bernie Knox, Richard Brown, Jake Mokris, Ben Orris, and Ted Jones. I have heard good things from those who attended the conference and who are looking forward to next year’s.
We continue to remember in our prayers James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Jean West, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road in Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, Md 21208; Queenie Hardaway at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road 21207.
Please remember to bring food items for the GEDCO food pantry and personal items for the Helping Up Mission. The need continues to be great, even daunting.
The Sunday morning Bible class continues to study Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Come join us! Questions are very welcome!
Please let me know if you are unable to come to church and wish to receive Holy Communion at home. Email me at email@example.com or call me at (410) 554–9994. Please let me know if you need a ride to church and I will see that that need is met.
I have been invited to the 175th anniversary of Saint John’s Church in Springfield, Pennsylvania, which will be celebrated on Trinity Sunday, June 4. I served there as pastor from 1976 to 1982. Kathy Panek became organist at Saint John’s the same year as I began my ministry there and continues as organist to this very day. Our good friend, Pastor Noah Rogness, associate pastor at Immanuel Church in Alexandria, will be here in my absence.
In his presentation at Saint Mark’s Conference, Pastor Kurt Reinhardt of Trinity Church in Kurtzville, Ontario, showed us how even when most alone a Christian’s prayer is not solitary. In all our prayers we pray with the entire communion of saints in heaven and on earth—as we say at every celebration of the Holy Eucharist: “Therefore with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name…” As those baptized into Christ and His Body the Church we are never alone. We pray as our Lord and Savior commanded and taught us: Our Father… In that awareness let us continue in prayer for one another, for the whole Church and for the whole world.
Affectionately in our Lord,