3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
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 email@example.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.