Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
September, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I must begin by telling you that our search for an organist has just come to a very happy conclusion: John Igoe will again be our organist, beginning Sunday, September 24th. We were certainly very fortunate to have had him as our organist and are very happy that he will be with us again! I hope that many of you will be in church on the 24th to welcome him back.

Mark your calendars now for Sunday, October 1st, which will be Family Day. Our guest preacher will be our good friend, Pastor Elliott Robertson, who for many years was Pastor of Martini Church in south Baltimore. As usual there will be lunch following Divine Service. There is a sign-up sheet on the piano where you can indicate whether you will join us for lunch on Family Day so that we know how many to prepare for. As has been our custom for several years, we will celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of this Church on Family Day. The actual date of dedication was September 7, 1930, but there is an old church custom that the celebration of the anniversary can be moved to a different date if the actual date is in some way inconvenient. In Baltimore the weather in October tends to be better – less hot and humid! – than early September can be.

Our last free flea market of this year will take place on Saturday, September 9th, 9:00 A.M.-Noon. As always we need volunteers to greet our visitors and help them.

Remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry and personal items for the Helping Up Mission. Why not make it a habit to pick up a few items to donate to the GEDCO food pantry when you do your grocery shopping? Toward the end of this newsletter Bernie Knox calls our attention to the Gift Certificates for needy families which we provide at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Surely no one needs to be told that the need is great.

Also at the end of this letter is Paul Techau’s report on the Milwaukee convention of our Synod. Paul was the lay delegate for the circuit of Baltimore churches to which we belong. Be sure to read his encouraging report. The convention showed that, as members of our Synod, we belong to a worldwide fellowship of churches united in faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Four more church bodies were received into fellowship with our Synod: churches in South Sudan and Sudan, Uganda, Finland and Ukraine. The convention also showed that, whatever difficulties our Synod is facing, there is a degree of unity which is remarkable in this day when there is so much strife and uncertainty and even apostasy in many parts of Christendom. Yet we cannot take this for granted and so must pray – as we do in the Prayer of the Church we customarily use in the Divine Service – “that all who confess Your holy name may agree in the truth of Your holy Word and live in unity and godly love.” Satan and his minions delight in sowing seeds of doubt and confusion and division wherever the flock of the good Shepherd is found. And “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). And so we pray in Dr. Luther’s morning and evening prayer: “Let Your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me.”

We continue to remember in our prayers James Bauman, Bridget Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Elaine Schwab, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson; Marvalisa, Sierra, Jonathan and Steven Gibson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yoland 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, Baltimore, MD 21207.

Please remember me in your prayers. You are in mine. If you are unable to come to church and wish to receive Holy Communion at home, you may call me at (410)554-994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you are in need of a ride to church, please let me know and I will see to it that that need is met.

Please remember me in your prayers. You are in mine.

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Again this year OSLC will be providing Aldi’s Gift Certificates to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are including this in our bulletins and newsletters now so that our gifts may be as generous as possible. Please indicate on your check memo line or on an accompanying note that the funds are designated for these Gift Certificates.

We also use the collections taken at our Lenten Soup Suppers to help support our Gift Certificates. In 2022 our four Soup Supper yielded a total of $143. By Thanksgiving, including the Soup Supper funds and congregational donations, we were able to provide 12 families with a $65 gift certificate. At Christmas time our congregational donations were greater and we were able to provide 12 families with a $100 gift certificates. The recent 2023 Soup Suppers provided $348 as a beginning for our 2023 Thanksgiving and Christmas Gift Certificates.

Please begin now to think about making generous donations that will allow us to continue to help those less fortunate than ourselves provide a special meal for their families at a holiday which reminds us to be thankful for all the Lord has given us and at a second holiday which celebrates God’s greatest gift of all – the birth of our Savior Jesus.

– Bernie Knox

Report on the Synodical Convention

At the end of July, I had the privilege of representing our circuit (each circuit in the LCMS gets one pastoral delegate and one lay delegate to the convention) at the LCMS National Convention in Milwaukee. Mary attended the convention with me as a representative of the Wyneken Project here in Baltimore, which serves to help our churches continue to faithfully preach the Gospel and preserve their Lutheran identity.

The four and a half days of convention business were packed full of addressing a number of items, from the election of officers and board members for the coming triennium, to recognizing the faithful service of many who have served the church, adopting resolutions that enable the Synod to carry out its business, and addressing matters of controversy within the LCMS.

The highlight of the convention occurred early in the week. On Sunday afternoon, four church bodies were received into fellowship with the LCMS: Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Sudan and Sudan; Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland; Lutheran Church of Uganda; Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine. All four were represented by their bishops. In hearing their stories, it was very evident that these men and the churches they lead have truly sacrificed for the faith more than we in this country can truly appreciate. In addition to recognizing fellowship with these four church bodies, the convention also recognized the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka, up to this point a mission of the LCMS, as a “Self-Governing Partner Church.” If you have a little bit of time, you might consider watching this as it happened online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1-Kw3dpf7I starting at about the three-hour mark).

Throughout the convention, there was remarkable unity apparent. Many resolutions were adopted by voice vote. There were some more contentious issues for which debate continued for extended periods. However, in the end, even on these issues, good results were obtained with votes of 70%, 80%, and even 90%. I thought that to be a good sign for the direction of the Synod.

Each day began and ended with worship, generally one of the daily offices. Each afternoon session also began with worship. Worshiping with a thousand other Lutherans is a very unique and uplifting experience. There were a number of addresses, essays, and catechetical lectures (all things that are specified by the synodical constitution to happen at convention), all of which were very good and very worth listening to. The video for these can be found on Synod’s website (https://www.lcms.org/convention/national/livestream) and if you get a chance to listen to some of them, it is well worthwhile. You’ll have to poke around on the videos to find the lectures and essays, but it is worth doing.

– Paul Techau