Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2023



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
January, 2023

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD
FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM
followed by a reception

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Let me begin by thanking you for your Christmas cards and gifts! And speaking of gifts, through the generosity of members of our congregation we were able to give twelve ALDI gift certificates, each worth $65, at Thanksgiving and twelve certificates, each worth $100, at Christmas to needy families connected with the Waverly School.

I suspect that almost everyone is familiar with that delightful song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The song can remind us that the Church’s celebration of Christmas continues for twelve days. The twelfth day of Christmas, January 5, is often referred to as “Twelfth Night,” the Eve of the Feast of the Epiphany when we celebrate the coming of the magi to Bethlehem. The coming of these Gentile wise men to worship the infant Savior was both a fulfillment of prophecy and itself a prophecy of the coming of all nations to worship Him, and of the blessed hope that at His great epiphany—His coming in glory at the Last Day—every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The Festival Divine Service on Epiphany begins at 7:30 PM. Come and join in singing familiar carols: “The First Nowell,” “What Child Is This,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are”—and bring your friends! The wise men offered frankincense to the Christ Child; pure frankincense will be used at this service. A reception will follow Divine Service.

During the week before Christmas two of our members were called to Christ’s nearer presence. Lucille Carmichael fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, December 20. Robert Siperek fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 21. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may the Savior comfort those who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. When many years ago a dear friend of mine died around the middle of December, a mutual friend sent me a note saying: “We know that his is the real Christmas.” And so I say of Lucille and Robert: “We know that theirs is the real Christmas.” As we sang on Christmas morning: “Oh, where shall joy be found? Where but on heavenly ground? Oh, that we were there! Oh, that we were there!”

Our new organist is Deborah Lewis. She has been playing for us for a while but now has been offered and has accepted the position of organist. This is good news as anyone knows who has heard her play! She took the lead in providing for the playing of chimes on the Fourth Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Eve. And I thank those who played the chimes: Gabe Purviance, Justin Ricci, Abigail Scheck, Judy Volkman, Mary Techau, and Paul Techau, our faithful cantor.

Let us continue to remember in prayer: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782, Yolanda Ford at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224, and Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway is at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

The winter Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on January 15. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen years old and older, may participate as we consider our work as a congregation.

The Lord’s People are present in the House of the Lord at the Lord’s Own Service—the Holy Communion—every Lord’s Day. If you are unable to come to Church and want me to bring you the Sacrament in your home, you need only call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

I wish you a truly happy new year in the name of Jesus.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

A WORD FROM GABE PURVIANCE

We’ve had quite a year, with in-person worship services back to normal, the dedication of the bells, adding new members, and endless other blessings. We’d like to sincerely thank you for making all of the good we did this year possible with your generosity.

We also have had lots of projects this past year, and one large one was the replacement of the 60-year-old boiler that was original to the Education Building. This replacement is approximately $24,000. The council approved going ahead with the replacement, as the heating season is upon us and we did not want to have a failure. The installation of the new system was completed in mid-December. Money from the church savings account, which has about $65,000 in it, was used to fund the replacement. We are hoping to replenish the money in the account in order to maintain our cash reserves.

We need your help with replacing these funds. If you are able to make a donation, please designate your donation for “boiler replacement.” If you are not able to give at this time, please share our need with your family and friends.

A WORD FROM JUDY VOLKMAN

On December 11, a gathering was held to thank me for my 60-plus years of involvement with Our Saviour. My involvement was not undertaken for accolades; I did it because the Lord put me where I was supposed to be. Sometimes, I liked it. There were other times when I asked “Why!” As I look back, I am proud to have been part of a significant time in the life of Our Saviour, the merger with St. Matthew’s. Yes, there was a departure of a number of members, but we hung in there and are now on the upswing, thanks to new and younger members. It is time for others to step in and take on the responsibilities that I had assumed. If I stay in the positions, there is no need for someone to step up! So this is an opportunity to revitalize our congregation!

Thank you so much for the recognition. It has been a joy and a learning experience.

Our Saviour Parish News, December, 2022



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
DECEMBER, 2022

CHRISTMAS AT OUR SAVIOUR

CHRISTMAS EVE—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM
CHRISTMAS DAY—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM
NEW YEAR’S DAY—DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM
EPIPHANY (FRIDAY, JANUARY 6)
FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM

Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on December 25 or January 1.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How quickly this year has gone by! Soon we will enter the year of our Lord 2023. All time is divided into the time before Christ, B.C., and the time since the coming of Christ, A.D., Anno Domini meaning “in the year of our Lord.” And it is at Christmas that we celebrate the coming of God into time as the Child of blessed Mary. This is the great mystery of the incarnation, of God in the flesh that is yours and mine. The word “incarnation” consists of two Latin words: “in” meaning in, and “caro” meaning flesh. At the Divine Service on Christmas Day we will hear the wonderful prologue of Saint John’s Gospel in which he writes: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” In the translation of The New English Bible we read: “When all things began, the Word already was…” That is in reality more of a paraphrase than an exact translation, but I think that it does express the truth in a compelling way. And the humanity God’s eternal Son and Word took from His virgin mother He has never put aside. Through all eternity He remains not only true and eternal God but also our truly human Brother who knows all our weakness yet loves us still. The incarnation is the mystery long hidden but now revealed, it is the mystery of love beyond all knowing: that the Creator of the universe, out of love for you and for me and for the whole world, chose to come into the world He had made as a tiny infant. No wonder it was long the custom to kneel in adoration when in the Creed we confess our faith that God’s eternal Son “was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man”!

It goes without saying that every Christian will come to Divine Service on the festival of the nativity of our Lord. As the humble shepherds found Him wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, we find Him in the lowly bread and cup of the Holy Sacrament: “How silently, how silently the wondrous Gift is given!” On Christmas Eve Divine Service begins at 7:30 PM. And because Christmas Day falls on Sunday this year, Christmas Day Divine Service begins at 11:00 AMnot 10. The Sunday morning Bible Class will not meet on Christmas Day nor on New Year’s Day.

A combined donation of $29,000 in memory of Joseph Silver has been received from the families of Dennis and Christine Watson, Don and Lisa Watson, and Gary and Catherine Watson. These monies will be placed in the Historical Preservation Fund. Many thanks to these families for sharing their bounty with Our Saviour!

On Sunday, December 4, Ben Orris and Richard Brown will be cooking breakfast for anyone who wishes to stay after Divine Service. If you have been to one of these breakfasts, you know that Richard and Ben are good cooks. Come and join us!

Following Divine Service on Sunday, December 11 there will be a reception to thank Judy Volkman for over sixty years of service at Our Saviour. She has served as president of the congregation and Sunday School director and in a multitude of jobs that needed to be done. I must say that she has been a tremendous help to me from the time I arrived here at this church. Our congregation owes her a great debt of gratitude.

The church will be decorated for Christmas following Divine Service on December 18, the last Sunday in Advent. December 18 is also the deadline for ordering poinsettias. Be sure to include the names of those you wish to remember or honor with your check earmarked “poinsettias.” Wayne and Jean West are in charge of ordering the poinsettias this year ((410) 236–6392, (410) 236–8092).

Remember that we are giving ALDI gift certificates to needy families connected with the Waverly School. Be sure to mark your checks “Gift Certificates.” And do remember the ongoing need of the GEDCO food pantry and the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for contributions to these works of mercy can be found inside the door from the small parking lot north of the church.

Offering envelopes for 2023 are available for pick up in the back of the church. Please do not use them until January since they have been renumbered.

Let us continue to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell is making progress in her recovery 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 remains at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

Please do not hesitate to email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com or call me at (410) 554–9994 if you need a ride to church or if you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament. For those who are unable to attend church, we continue to livestream our services Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook.

In one of the Church’s most ancient prayers for the Christmas season we speak of how God “wonderfully created and even more wonderfully restored the dignity of human nature,” but both in our own land and throughout the world we daily see so much that utterly contradicts the dignity of human nature. As Christians, it is our duty to pray for all who suffer such degradation and to do what we are able to do to resist it as God gives wisdom and strength. Our Saviour lay in the manger for every human being, and therefore every human being is precious in His sight. Let us then this Christmas come to the House of God to give thanks for the great mystery of the incarnation, and let us continue to pray fervently “for the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all.”

The Lord’s People are at the Lord’s own Service in the Lord’s House every Lord’s Day.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, November, 2022



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553

November, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the calendar of the Church Year the first day of November has from ancient times been kept as All Saints Day. Here at Our Saviour Church we keep this feast on the first Sunday in November. As is our custom, we will especially remember those who have been called to Christ’s nearer presence since the last All Saints Day: Joseph Silver, Philip Purviance, and the Rev. Gary Fisher, who was pastor of this Church from 1989 to 2006. In the Apostles Creed we confess our faith in “the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints.” The Church here on earth is but a very small part of the communion of saints, the whole Church in heaven and on earth. The word “saint” comes from the Latin word “sanctus” which means holy. All who have been baptized into Christ are saints in the sense that all our sin has been pardoned, washed away through the blood of Christ. And as we hear in the Epistle appointed for All Saints Day, the saints in heaven are those “who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). And how comforting are the words which follow! “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more…for the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd and lead them to springs of living water and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:16,17). In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist we join in the heavenly worship: “Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name…” Saint Paul says: “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

We are clearly living in an age which has lost the awareness of these unseen realities in an appalling way. One symptom of that loss is the deplorable decline in church attendance. To be a Christian is not a solitary thing, it is to be a member of the communion of saints which here on earth gathers every Lord’s Day and on festivals to worship the living God and receive our risen Lord and Savior in the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood. To be a living member of Christ’s Church is not a matter of just having your name on a membership list! It is to share in the Church’s sacramental life and worship and mission. And when we—without a valid reason—absent ourselves from worship we not only harm ourselves, we also deprive our fellow Christians of the encouragement and support our presence gives.

We will again this year have a service of Vespers on Thanksgiving Eve. Now Thanksgiving Day is not—strictly speaking—a festival of the Church Year, but it is our national day of thanksgiving for God’s blessings to us as a nation. Being of a certain age, I remember the time when our churches were filled on Thanksgiving Day—but that was a very long time ago! What has changed? What are our priorities? What truly matters? I encourage you to think about these things.

Everyone who was in church on the first Sunday in October, when we kept the 92nd anniversary of the dedication of this church building and rededicated the newly restored bells in the tower, will no doubt agree that it was a very happy occasion. We were blessed by Pastor Carl Kruelle’s wonderful sermon. And it is always delightful to share a meal together. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this celebration.

We still have not found a permanent organist and our search continues. But we are very fortunate that Deborah Lewis has agreed to help us in the meantime. She is an accomplished church musician and we are very fortunate to have her with us. Pray for God’s guidance and help as we continue our search.

Food for the GEDCO food pantry continues to be an urgent need. Do remember to bring food items to the boxes just inside the door from the small parking lot north of the church. There is also a box for contributions for the Helping Up Mission. This Mission has helped so many men and now women to get back on their feet. It is a wonderful work of mercy.

We will again this Thanksgiving and at again at Christmas provide ALDI gift certificates for needy families connected with the Waverly School. Be sure to mark your checks “Gift Certificates.”

Let us continue to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell is still 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 for some time now been at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207

Our Sunday morning Bible Class has begun to study the First Letter of Saint Peter. It is a letter full of hope. The late Dr. Martin Franzmann, who for many years taught at our Synod’s Seminary in Saint Louis, has this to say about I Peter: “Anyone looking for a key book which will unlock for him the meaning of the whole New Testament would do well to give his days and nights to this letter.” Join us on Sunday morning at 9:45.

If you need a ride to church, please call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you want me to visit you or, if you are not able to come to Divine Service, bring you the Sacrament at home, please do not hesitate to ask. For those who are unable to attend church we continue to livestream our services at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook.

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

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

Although May 2023 seems far away, we need to restock for the Free Flea Market. At the conclusion of this year’s Flea Market, items that did not “move” were given to Orphan Grain Train (clothing) and Savers (household items). As you go through items you would like to discard, consider donating them to us during the year. Please let me know if you will be making a donation; I can be reached at (443) 425–3437 or judyvolkman9961@gmail.com.

I had recently posted that there were jobs that needed to be filled. I am happy to say that most of them been spoken for! Jean and Wayne West have agreed to take on most of them. They will be handling the lily and poinsettia orders, contact with the Helping Up Mission, and the financial secretary position. Bernie Knox and Gabe Purviance will be handling the holiday baskets. So many thanks for those who stepped up to help. There is one more job that needs to be filled: that of taking canned goods to CARES, probably every other month. If you can help with this, it would be very much appreciated!

Four milk crates, filled with canned goods, were delivered to CARES on October 24. So now the cartons are empty and waiting to be refilled. Many thanks to those who contributed items and shared the bounty the Lord has given us.

—Judy Volkman