Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2024


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
January, 2024

New Year’s Day: The Circumcision and Name of Jesus –
Divine Service, 10:00 A.M.
Eve Of The Epiphany Of Our Lord, Friday, January 5th
Divine Service, 7:30 P.M.
Epiphany Choral Vespers in celebration of the new organ console, Sunday, January 21, at 4:00 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although the world more or less ends its celebration of Christmas on Christmas Day, the Church continues to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas which conclude on January 5th, “Twelfth Night,” the Eve of the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord. Epiphany has often been called the “Christmas of the Gentiles” because the wise men were the first Gentiles to worship the Christ Child and offer Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. As the poet Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (A.D. 348-413) says in his Epiphany hymn:

Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh his sepulcher foreshows.

As the magi offered frankincense to the Savior, so we will offer incense – pure frankincense – at our Epiphany celebration; and we will sing those familiar carols which speak of the journey of the wise men and of their gifts: The First Nowell, What Child is This, and We Three Kings of Orient Are. The celebration of the Epiphany of our Lord is a joyful way to bring our annual celebration of Christ’s coming into this world to its happy conclusion.

The Rev. Philip Jaseph will be installed as the ninth  pastor of  Martini Church at Hanover and Henrietta Streets on Saturday, January 6th at 10:00 A.M. Please let me know if you plan on staying for the reception that follows. Call me at (410)554-9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

On Sunday, January 21st, at 4:00 P.M. there will be a Choral Vespers in celebration of our new organ console which on October 22 was dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Joseph Silver. Mr. Silver served faithfully as president of Our Saviour congregation for a number of years and held other offices in the church as well as serving as our sexton. The Choral Vespers will celebrate the Epiphany season in which we celebrate Christ’s manifestation of His deity in the guiding star and the worship of the magi, in His baptism and in His changing of water into wine at the marriage in Cana,  and in His glorious transfiguration. Our guest organist for this service is Cameron Kuzepski who is the principal organist at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen here in Baltimore. He studied organ and piano at the Peabody Conservatory, attended the Juilliard School of music’s pre-college division, has studied orchestral conducting in Bulgaria with the International Musicians Academy and the Vidin Sinfonietta, and participated in an internship with the Netherlands Bach Society in Utrecht, Holland. Do plan on attending this Choral Vespers and invite your friends! A reception will follow the service.

The January Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on January 28th. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen and older, is eligible to participate in this congregational meeting.

Because Easter is early this year (March 31st)  the Christmas Cycle of the Church Year – Advent, Christmas, Epiphany – ends with the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Sunday, January 21st, and the Easter Cycle – Pre-Lent, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost – begins with Septuagesima Sunday on January 28th. The Latin names of the three pre-Lenten Sundays – Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima – tell us that it is approximately 70, 60, and 50 days until Easter. This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th – which is also Saint Valentine’s Day!

Please do not forget our on-going support of the GEDCO Food Pantry and of the Helping Up Mission. The need remains so great!

Thanks to the generosity of our members we were able to provide thirteen $40 Aldi gift certificates to needy families connected with the Waverly School at Thanksgiving and thirteen $100 gift certificates at Christmas.

Sherry James, the daughter of Eugene James, has been hospitalized since before Christmas Day. Remember her in your prayers, also 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, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Marian Rollins, Elaine Schwab, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Marvalisa Sierra, Jonathan and Steven Gibson. Helen Gray remains at Keswick Multi-Care Center, 700 W. 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 700 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I am writing these lines on December 28th which in the calendar of the Church Year is the Holy Innocents Day when we remember the infants slaughtered by King Herod in his vain attempt to destroy the infant Savior. How sad it is that the slaughter of innocent children continues in our own day! It goes without saying that as disciples of Him who is the Prince of Peace we Christians will pray fervently for peace throughout the world, especially in Ukraine and in the Holy Land. Every life is precious to Him who is the Maker and Redeemer of the whole world. And so let us turn to Him who “makes wars cease to the end of the earth” (Psalm 46:9). The late Rev. Dr. Alfred Fuerbringer, who for many years was like his father Ludwig the president of our Synod’s Saint Louis Seminary, noted that during the First World War the congregation of Trinity Church in Saint Louis – the “mother church” of our Synod – at the end of every service sang the ancient prayer for peace which Dr. Luther had translated and which now is found in our hymnal (777. 778):

Grant peace, we pray, in mercy, Lord; Peace in our time, O send us!
For there is none on earth but You, none other to defend us.
You only, Lord, can fight for us. Amen.

Let me conclude this letter by thanking you for your Christmas cards and gifts and by reminding you of the blessing and privilege that is ours as Christians: that every Lord’s Day the God of great mercy is present for us through the preaching of His holy Word and in the Sacrament of our Lord’s true body and blood. The Lord of Mercy graciously invites you. How will you respond?

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean