Our Saviour Parrish News, January, 2022



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
JANUARY, 2021

EPIPHANY (THURSDAY, JANUARY 6)
FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM

Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on January 2.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Writing on this fifth Day of Christmas, December 29, I want to thank you for your Christmas cards and gifts. Thank you for your kindness in remembering me! At the end of this newsletter Quilla Downs tells us about the gifts our congregation has given to needy neighbors at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I must thank her for taking the lead in making all of this possible. In the Christ Child we see the astonishing generosity of God, a generosity we try to reflect in our own generosity to those in need. I must also thank Judy Volkman for her untiring efforts in connection with our Free Flea Markets.

The Church celebrates Christmas for twelve days—and then on January 6 celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. As always, there will be a Festival Divine Service at 7:30 PM. We will sing familiar carols: “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” “The First Nowell,” “What Child is This” and that wonderful Epiphany hymn, “As with Gladness Men of Old.” Since the wise men brought the gift of frankincense to the Christ Child, it is fitting that incense will be used in our celebration. This Feast has been called the Manifestation—Epiphany means manifestation, revealing, appearing—of Christ to the Gentiles. The coming of the wise men to worship the Christ Child is both a fulfillment of prophecy and itself a prophecy of the gathering of all nations in Christ’s one holy Church. Since the shepherds who came to the manger were Jews, Epiphany has also been called the Christmas of the Gentiles. Epiphany is a bright culmination of Christmas: “We have seen his star in the east and are come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).

The Christmas decorations will be taken down following Divine Service on the First Sunday after the Epiphany, January 9. Many hands make light work. Everyone is invited to stay for brunch which will be prepared by Richard Brown and Ben Orris.

The January Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on Sunday, January 16. Every member of Our Saviour, 18 years old and older, is eligible to participate.

On Monday, December 13, I received from his daughter, Heidi, the sad news that Pastor Gary Fisher, who served this congregation from 1989 until 2006, had been found dead in his home that morning. May he rest in peace and may Light perpetual ever shine upon him. A memorial service will be held for Pastor Fisher later in January. Due and timely notice will be given.

It seems that we can never have too many lessons in patience! We had hoped to have our bells ringing for Christmas. Men from the McShane Bell Company were indeed here to work on them from December 14 through 16, but there is still some electrical work that must be done. I think we can still reasonably expect to have a service of rededication of the bells on February 27, the last Sunday before Lent. We all owe Mary Techau a tremendous debt of gratitude, as without her tireless efforts we would not have been able to make this progress in repairing the bells. When they are ringing again, they will give pleasure to all who worship in this church and will also be a witness to Christ’s Gospel in our neighborhood.

We are also in need of patience as the COVID pandemic continues, with all its twists and turns. Ongoing prayers are in order for all who have suffered and continue to suffer, for physicians and nurses and first responders, and for those who are doing research to find effective prevention and cures. God Himself has given all of this to us, and it makes no sense to expect the help of God while despising the help He has in fact provided for us in so many ways. I am glad that our Church has twice been able to serve as a location for mobile vaccination units.

We continue to remember in prayer all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues her recovery at Cadia Health Care, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. During my recent visit she said how much she appreciates the cards sent by members of our congregation. Yolanda Ford is making some progress as she recovers at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell is at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I continue to bring the Holy Sacrament to those members who are unable to come to church. Never hesitate to email (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) or call me at (410) 554–9994 if you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament when you are unable to leave your home.

The new year of 2022 is almost here. No one knows what the new year will bring, but we do know Who holds all things in His hands: Those are the hands that still bear the marks of the nails and the spear, the marks of His love. And so we can be at peace.

Keep me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

On behalf of Pastor McClean, our church family and giving friends, we thank you for your continued generosity in support of our efforts to bless some of our less fortunate neighbors. As the list of referred families has increased, so has the outpouring of generosity to meet the needs. Your donations made it possible for our small congregation to provide 31 families with Aldi’s gift cards during the combined Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. During Thanksgiving, we gave $35 gift cards to 15 families; during Christmas, we gave $65 gift cards to 16 families. In addition to our usual Waverly elementary/middle school referrals, we responded to a direct plea from a caregiving grandmother on behalf of her grandchildren— providing a $65 gift card and a few items of clothes, books, and toys for the children. The gifts were received with gladness and thanks.

The need at the Helping Up Mission remains the same—grooming items. When the men and women arrive at the Mission, most times, they have let themselves go for a long time. The residents are given a daily supply of grooming items; so basic, but so important to the overall confidence of the residents and the success of the recovery program. Know that your gifts contribute to that success. Thank you for helping the Mission to save and change lives in the City of Baltimore. “Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” May the Lord continue to bless and favor you in the new year.

—Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, December, 2021



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
DECEMBER, 2021

CHRISTMAS AT OUR SAVIOUR

CHRISTMAS EVE—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM
CHRISTMAS DAY—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 10:00 AM

SAINT STEPHEN’S DAY (SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26)
DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM
NEW YEAR’S EVE—DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM

EPIPHANY (THURSDAY, JANUARY 6)
FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM

Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on December 26 or January 2.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This will now be the second Christmas celebrated during the COVID pandemic which still—alas—has not come to an end. I recently heard from an apparently reliable source that there now is evidence that one third of all who have stopped coming to church will probably never return. Although this is far from certain, it is disturbing; and I doubt that there is any easy remedy for the situation. I am, however, certain that this pandemic has only uncovered and made worse some already long-standing problems. Among them is the fact that we now live in a world where, not only is church attendance no longer a cultural expectation, but the neglect of worship on the Lord’s Day has also become common even among practicing Christians. There are all kinds of reasons for this, but we utterly deceive ourselves if we fail to realize that this sad neglect of worship on the Lord’s Day and on the festivals of the Christian Year is caused—among other things—by three enemies of Christ: By a world which does not know Him, by our own sinful human nature, and by the devil. These three malign forces have always fought against Christ and His Church and they will continue to do so until on the Last Day the risen Lord comes in glory to judge the living and the dead.

On every Lord’s Day and on every festival the Savior Himself graciously invites us to a rich banquet in which He mysteriously yet truly feeds us with His precious body and blood: The price of our redemption, the pledge of the resurrection, holy communion with Him and with all who together share in this heavenly feast of love and joy. But like the invited guests who made excuses in the parable the Savior told of the great wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14), there are so many who ignore His gracious invitation and make light of it! Beloved, these things ought not so to be!

Christmas is the great festival of the Incarnation: Of God come in the flesh for our salvation. In his splendid book, The Conservative Reformation and its Theology, Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823–1883), the greatest English-speaking Lutheran theologian of the 19th century, had this to say about the Sacrament of the Altar:

The glory and the mystery of the incarnation combine there as they combine nowhere else. Communion with Christ is that by which we live, and the Supper is “the Communion.”

In the English-speaking world we call the festival of the Nativity of our Lord “Christmas” which means “Christ’s Mass.” The “Mass” is quite simply the service of the Holy Communion: The very heart and center of our celebration of Christmas is our Christmas Communion in which we find in the hallowed bread and cup the Savior whom the shepherds found “wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” If you are in fact unable to come to church, I will be happy to bring Christmas Communion to you at home. You need only e-mail me charlesmcclean42@gmail.com or call me at (410) 554–9994. And do contact me if you are in need of a ride to church. I will see to it that you have one; you need only ask. Remember that all our services are livestreamed at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook for those who are unable to come to church.

The decoration of the church for Christmas will take place following Divine Service on December 19, the Fourth (and Last) Sunday in Advent. Many hands make light work!

Judy Volkman reminds us that it is again time to order poinsettias to either remember or honor loved ones. The price is still $10 each, and the payments need to be made to Judy by Sunday, December 19. Order envelopes may be found in the back of the church. Judy also reminds us that offering envelopes for 2022 are available in the back of the church. Please be sure you pick up yours, but don’t use them until January!

Be sure to read Works of Mercy at the end of this newsletter. Quilla Downs fills us in on our efforts to reach out at Thanksgiving and Christmas to needy families in our community by providing them with Aldi’s Gift Cards. If you wish to contribute to this effort, be sure to mark your check Aldi’s Gift Cards. Quilla also tells us about the work of the Helping Up Mission which we have supported for many years. As we support these works of mercy, we are mindful of the Savior’s words: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

This Christmas we will again hear the bells in our tower! From December 13th through December 16th the McShane Bell Company will be replacing the mechanism that rings them. In the new year there will be an occasion on which we will rededicate the bells to the glory of God. We plan to do this on Sunday, February 27, the last Sunday before Lent begins.

The wise men offered to the Christ Child their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In the familiar Christmas carol, “We Three Kings of Orient Are”, we find the words: “Frankincense to offer have I, incense owns a deity nigh.” In the liturgy for Vespers the Church has from ancient times prayed, “Let my prayers be set forth before Thee as incense…” (Lutheran Service Book, page 231; The Lutheran Hymnal, page 42). Incense has been used in Christian worship since ancient times and in fact continued in use in the early Lutheran Church. In his Order of Mass and Communion for the Church in Wittenberg, published in 1523, Dr. Luther mentions its use. As late as the year 1619 it was still in use at the Lutheran Cathedral Church of Saint Catherine and Saint Maurice in Magdeburg and was in use at Christmas Matins in the Duchy of Weimar. The revival of its use in some churches of our Synod can be dated back to the 1930s. We will be using it here in church on five days in the Church Year: On Christmas morning, on Epiphany (January 6), on Easter Eve, and on Ascension Day and Pentecost. Incense is of course a symbol of our prayers ascending to God.

Our Sunday morning Bible class is continuing its study of the book of the prophet Micah. Dr. Luther spoke of the Scriptures as “the cradle in which Christ is laid”: Christ is the Real Content of the entire Bible, both the Old and the New Testament. Come join us! We meet at 9:45 AM.

Be sure to remember in your prayers all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Eric Phillips, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell is still at the Cedia Health Center, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford is still at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21224. Louis Bell is at Autumn Lake Health Care, 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208. Sending cards is a way of showing that we have not forgotten them.

As we approach Christmas let us continue in prayer for one another and for our city and state and nation; for the whole church and for the whole world. These Advent days are a time when we not only prepare to remember our Savior’s birth but also prepare for His coming again at the Last Day to be our judge. Keeping in mind that each one of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, we are especially conscious of the fact that our whole life as Christians must be one of repentance: Of turning from sin, embracing God’s mercy and walking in newness of life. I look forward to seeing you at the altar rail for your Christmas Communion.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

Many thanks to our church membership and friends of our congregation for donations towards our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Gift Card program. This year the referral list of families increased to 15 from last year’s 11. This year, we were unable to match last year’s $70 gift cards. But despite the increase in the number of families and the lack of funds from our Soup Suppers, we were still able to purchase 15 gift cards of $30 each from Aldi’s. Thanksgiving wishes and Aldi’s Gift Cards were sent to the families by mail on November 16, 2021. We continue to collect monetary donations for our Christmas gift cards. If you plan to make a donation for Christmas, please make your monetary gift by Sunday, December 12, 2021. Any donations made by check should be made out to the church with the notation “gift cards” in the memo.

Our recent delivery to Helping Up Mission included the usual staples: Socks, underwear, deodorant, soap, foot powder, towels, toothpaste and brushes, etc. In addition to these grooming items, Judy Volkman donated men’s pants, coats and various other men’s apparel left over from the summer giveaway. All items were of good quality, clean and gently used.

The Helping up Mission has opened its doors of opportunity to women and children. The Center for Women & Children will offer a yearlong recovery program provided free of cost to women and their children. As women enter the center, they all receive a package with toiletries, towels, books to support spiritual growth, and nice, clean donated clothes. The facility offers an on-site primary healthcare and wellness clinic, workforce development and job training, professional clinical mental health and substance abuse counseling, pastoral care, art and music therapy, and much more. To the extent that you are able, please include in your giving gifts of clothing and grooming for the female residents and their children.

Again, many thanks for your generous donations to the Thanksgiving and Christmas outreach programs and for the loose change which you drop in the Poor Boxes. The collected change goes towards purchase of grooming items for the residents of the Mission.

—Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Pariish News, November, 2021



OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.235.9553
NOVEMBER, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

November 1st is All Saints Day. We will keep this great festival of the Christian Year on the following Sunday. This festival brings to mind some words of Pastor Wilhelm Loehe (1808–1872) who for many years served as pastor in Neuendettelsau but whose labors proved to be a blessing far beyond that little Bavarian village. The Father Founder of our own Synod, Pastor Ferdinand Walther (1811–1887), once said that our own Synod owes more to Pastor Loehe than to any other human being. In his Three Books Concerning the Church Pastor Loehe has this to say: “We are born for fellowship. The Lord did not make the earth for one man nor heaven for one man. The divine fellowship is the Church of God, the communion of saints. In my pilgrimage through this dark vale I am not alone. The Church is an eternal fellowship here and hereafter.” On the feast of All Saints we celebrate and give thanks to God for this blessed reality, remembering especially all those who have loved and served Him in this world and now rest in His nearer presence. Here at Our Saviour it has long been the custom to remember especially fellow members of this congregation who have fallen asleep in the Lord since last All Saints Day. This year we remember our dear sister in Christ, Dorothy Bell, who entered eternal rest this past January. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her.

On All Saints Sunday we will for the first time use the new white frontal—altar cloth—which now replaces the one that had been in use here since at least the 1940s. The old frontal had begun to fall apart and could not be repaired. The new frontal is like the old one decorated with blue and gold orphreys—decorative vertical panels of fabric—and with two pieces of embroidery from the old frontal: a decorative cross and what appear to be the letters I H S. These letters are actually the first three letters of the name of Jesus in the Greek language: iota, long e, sigma. The frontal has been made by Davis d’Ambly of Philadelphia. He is unquestionably one the finest ecclesiastical artists of the present day; examples of his work can be seen at his website: liturgicalartist.com.

This month of November will see the replacement of the mechanism which rings the eighteen bells in the church tower. Many people have contributed to this effort. We are now able to complete this project because of a very generous gift from Doug and Beth Skinner of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, who are friends of Our Saviour Church. And we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mary Techau who has done so much work to make this happen!

In the October newsletter I neglected to mention that the Church Council has decided to begin an organ fund. We are of course blessed with a fine Moeller organ which was built when this church was dedicated in 1930 and rebuilt in 1988. But like all organs it requires ongoing attention and care. There are some things that need to be done now and others that can be done when funds are available. If you wish to contribute to the organ fund, simply write a check to the church and mark it “organ fund.”

Family Day was certainly a happy occasion. We had the best attendance we’ve had since Family Day last year. On the same day we were able to welcome a mobile vaccination clinic of the Baltimore City Health Department which was also here on Sunday, October 24th. In making space available for this effort we have been able to help our neighbors in this difficult time.

Our Sunday morning Bible Class has finally finished its study of the Gospel according to Saint Mark and has begun to study the book of the prophet Micah. We meet at 9:45 AM. Questions are welcome. Come and join us!

It seems as if I have much the same thing to say every year as Thanksgiving Day comes around: When I was a boy, the churches were filled, but that was a very long time ago. Nowadays it seems as if most people feel no need to be present in God’s House at Thanksgiving. But is it really too much to expect that Christian people worship in God’s House on our national day of Thanksgiving? I suspect that question answers itself. “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come!” (Lutheran Service Book, hymn 892) Like all our evening services, Thanksgiving Eve Vespers is at 7:30 PM.

The last Sunday in November is Advent Sunday, which is the beginning of the Advent season and the beginning of the new Church Year. The word “Advent” means “Coming,” and during this season the Church has always considered the three-fold Coming of our Lord: His coming in lowliness at Bethlehem, His daily coming in His holy Word and Sacraments, His coming in glory at the Last Day to judge the living and the dead. It is of course no secret that for many years now the holy season of Advent has been eclipsed by the frenzied “holiday season” which knows nothing of the necessary spiritual preparation for the Christmas festival. As human beings, we are (among other things) creatures of habit. Church attendance is (among other things) also a habit. Everyone knows that bad habits have a life of their own whereas good habits require effort! If during this Church Year now drawing to its close you have been negligent in joining your fellow Christians for Divine Service on the Lord’s Day, I strongly recommend that you use the arrival of the new Church Year as an opportunity to recover the good habit of worship every Lord’s Day. Worship on the Lord’s Day is a happy privilege because every Lord’s Day is a celebration of Christ’s Resurrection in which is all our hope.

Remember in your prayers James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Eric Phillips, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cedia Health Care Center, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. During a recent visit she told me how much she appreciates the cards Our Saviour’s people have sent to her. Frank Ford’s daughter, Yolanda, continues to recover at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell is now living at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208.

We continue to livestream our services; we must thank Richard Brown for making this happen. Never hesitate to contact me via telephone (410) 554–9994 or email charlesmcclean42@gmail.com if you wish to receive the Sacrament at home or if you would like me to visit or just have a friendly chat. Please remember me in your prayers: you are in mine.


Pastor McClean

WORKS OF MERCY

Although we are not having Free Flea markets over the colder months, we are still collecting items for next spring. We need both men’s and women’s summer clothes, jewelry, and household items. We did receive books and some other assorted items from Holy Cross Lutheran on Loch Raven Blvd. These were not sold at their Yard Sale on October 9 and they kindly donated them to us. Donations can be dropped off at the church.

—Judy Volkman