Our Saviour Parish News, November, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
November, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

November 1st is All Saints Day and, when November 1st does not fall on Sunday, we keep the festival on the following Sunday, this year November 5th. On this festival we celebrate the blessed reality of the communion of saints, the wonderful fellowship of all who belong to Christ both in paradise and on earth. For many years our custom at Our Saviour has been to remember especially those members of our church who have been called to Christ’s nearer presence since the last All Saints Day. This year we will remember Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, and Robert Siperek. In the words of Bishop William Walsham How’s great hymn, “For All the Saints”:

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine,
Yet all are one in Thee for all are Thine.

November 24th is Thanksgiving Day and as is our custom we will keep this holiday with a service of  Vespers on Thanksgiving Eve at 7:30 P.M. People of a certain age are much given to nostalgia: that’s certainly true of me! I freely admit that I am nostalgic about Thanksgiving Day when I was a boy. In those days our churches were full but that is – sadly – true no more. Many churches have simply abandoned public worship at Thanksgiving. It seems that nowadays most Americans see no reason to go to God’s house to give Him thanks for all His blessings to us as a nation. Of course we all are troubled by many circumstances in our country’s life, but – especially when compared with less fortunate lands! – we have so many reasons for thankfulness for all the blessings we do in fact enjoy.

And looking ahead to Thanksgiving, be sure to read Bernie Knox’s article at the end of this newsletter about the gift certificates which we give to needy families both at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Family Day, which we keep as the anniversary of the dedication of this church building, was as always a very happy occasion. Our good friend Pastor Elliott Robertson preached a wonderful sermon showing how God has guided and blessed our congregation through the years, highlighting the fiftieth anniversary of the merger of the Church of Our Saviour and Saint Matthew’s Church which was founded by people who had been members of Saint Matthew’s Church in Meherrin, Virginia. That congregation had been founded in 1888, four years before Our Saviour, (then known as Jackson Square) was founded in 1892. In the late 19th century the Missouri Synod to which we belong was – to put it mildly! – emphatically German! Yet Saint Matthew’s Meherrin was founded as an African American congregation and Our Saviour was founded for English-speaking people. To this day there are members of our congregation whose roots are in Meherrin. This is a unique history and one of which we can be justly proud! Copies of Pastor Robertson’s sermon will be available on the table in the back of the church and on the piano.

Our new organ console was dedicated on Sunday, October 22nd, and we are also planning to have a special celebration in January. Details will be announced in the December newsletter. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Paul Techau for his tireless efforts in bringing this project to a happy completion. A plaque will be affixed to the organ noting that this new console is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Silver.

A crepe myrtle tree has been planted in front of the church near the bus stop. We are hoping that when it has grown it will provide shade for people waiting for the bus. Wayne West procured the tree and he and Paul and Mary Techau planted it.

We continue to remember in prayer Bridget Bauman, James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Timothy Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Steve and Joyce Eaves, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Marian Rollins, Elaine Schwab, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek Jr., Jonah Rogness, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson; Marvalisa, Sierra, Jonathan, and Steven Gibson. 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, Baltimore, MD 21207.

Please call (410-554-9994) or email (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) me if you are unable to come to church and want me to visit you or bring you the Sacrament. Also let me know if you are in need of a ride to church and I will see to it that that need is met.

Let us be diligent in prayer for the whole Church and the whole world, and especially for our own congregation and country and for one another.

The Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House for the Lord’s Own Service every Lord’s Day.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

GIft Certificates

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 Suppers yielded a total of $143.00. 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 $100.00 gift certificate. The recent 2023 Soup Suppers provided $348 as a beginning for our 2023 Thanksgiving and Christmas Certificates.

Please begin now to think about making generous contributions 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 birthday of our Savior Jesus.

– Bernie Knox