Category Archives: Parish Newsletters

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Ash Wednesday
February 17
7:30 pm Divine Service

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Lent begins on February 17, Ash Wednesday. Divine Service will be celebrated at seven thirty in the evening. On the following Wednesdays in Lent there will be Vespers with the Litany, except on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in March when Divine Service will be celebrated.

Wednesday, February 24, is Saint Matthias Day. Since Saint Matthias was chosen to replace the traitor Judas, this holy day is directly connected with the Lenten season.  Saint Matthias was chosen during the ten days between our Lord’s ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 1:15–26).

Wednesday, March 24, is the Eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, a most important holy day because it celebrates the conception of Jesus following the virgin Mary’s assent to the message of the angel Gabriel. Nine months before His birth in Bethlehem (Saint Luke 1:26–38) the eternal Son of God took on Himself the humanity that is yours and mine in the womb of His virgin mother. And that is in the most real sense the beginning of the journey which would lead to the Cross. The ancient appointed prayer or collect for the Annunciation expresses this in a memorable way:

O Lord, as we have known the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel to the virgin Mary, so by the message of His cross and passion bring us to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

On the three remaining Wednesdays in Lent the meditations will focus on Old Testament Types of Christ’s Passion. “Types” are events which point forward to the Savior. We will consider the Sacrifice of Isaac, the Passover Lamb, and the Blood of the Covenant.

I wish I could announce that our midweek Lenten services will as usual be preceded by our popular soup suppers. But the circumstances surrounding the COVID virus do not make that possible at this time. Depending on circumstances we may be able to have them as Lent goes on.

We recently heard from the office of the President of Synod, the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, that he is planning to come to our Saint Mark’s Conference which will, God willing, take place April 19–20. Dr. Harrison was to have spoken at last year’s conference which had to be canceled because of the COVID pandemic. On the Monday in Holy Week, March 29, he will make a decision as to whether or not he can come. We will be sending out notifications with the proviso that all depends on the circumstances of the pandemic. The theme of the Conference will be the one announced last year, the life and works of the Rev. Dr. Hermann Sasse (1895–1976) of blessed memory. Last year was the 125th anniversary of Dr. Sasse’s birth. He was almost certainly the greatest faithful Lutheran theologian of the last century. His writings continue to guide and enrich the Church of the Augsburg Confession throughout the world. English-speaking Lutherans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the President of Synod who has himself translated countless pages of Dr. Sasse’s works and has caused them to be published.

Our dear sister in Christ, Dorothy Bell, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, January 28. She was born on September 8, 1931 in Meherrin, Virginia, and will be buried in Saint Matthew’s Cemetery in Meherrin. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her and may our heavenly Father comfort her husband Louis, her children, and all who mourn her departure. As of this writing, funeral arrangements are incomplete, but you will be notified as soon as they are in place.

Our Saviour Church in fact has roots in Saint Matthew’s Church, Meherrin, which was founded as an African-American congregation in 1883, nine years before the founding in Baltimore of Our Saviour Church, which was then called Jackson Square. It was members of Saint Matthew’s in Meherrin who founded Saint Matthew’s Church in Baltimore in 1928  which in 1973 merged with Our Saviour. So our roots as a congregation in a real sense go all the way back to 1883.

Gabe Purviance had been sick with the COVID virus but has made a good recovery. His father Philip was hospitalized with the virus but is now with Gabe and his wife Louise and is making a good recovery. Continue to keep them all in your prayers together with Joe Silver who will undergo surgery this Friday, and also Yolanda Ford, who having been hospitalized is now in the Future Care home on North Point Boulevard.

Our former organist, Matthew Bunn, resigned as organist on Sunday, January 24th. We are fortunate that John Igoe has agreed to serve as our organist for some weeks to come. He has served before as substitute here at Our Saviour and we are happy that he is available. He played for Divine Service on January 31.

At the end of this newsletter Quilla Downs reports on the gifts we were able to give to needy families connected with the Waverly Elementary School this Christmas. It really is wonderful that we were able to give even more generously than last year because of our people’s generosity. It happens that I began my education in kindergarten at the Waverly School then known as School 51. Judy Volkman reports on our Free Flea Markets.

We are continuing to work toward the restoration of the mechanism which plays the bells in the church tower. Mary Techau has done much in this connection. We now have over $9,000 in the bell fund. At our website ( there is a delightful video about the bells with Gabe Purviance as narrator. Be sure to see it!

While we are on the subject of finances, I should mention that a generous friend of our congregation recently sent us a check for $10,000. The Church Council will be discussing how this may best be used.

I suspect that during Lent last year very few people expected that the world would still be plagued with COVID–19 as this Lent begins. But so it is, and Lent is almost here.
The Church has always marked Lent with the three disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as Christ teaches in His Sermon on the Mount—Saint Matthew 6:1-21. Lent is not so much a time to take on extraordinary disciplines as it is to return to those ordinary thoughts and words and deeds which are fitting for all those who have been baptized into our Lord’s death and resurrection. And so if we have been negligent in prayer, Lent is a time to return to a more disciplined prayer life. The forms of daily morning and evening prayer which Dr. Luther provides in the Small Catechism are not just forms to use but in fact a pattern for daily prayer. Public prayer is the worship of the Church. If we have for no valid reason (e.g. sickness, danger of exposure to the virus, etc.) been negligent in Sunday worship, Lent is certainly a time to begin to remedy that negligence and also to join in the midweek Lenten devotions. Almsgiving includes not just monetary gifts but anything that we do to help our neighbor, for example, our flea markets, our gifts to the GEDCO food cupboard, our gifts for the Helping Up Project, the help we recently provided for a group of Christians in Kenya. These needs are now greater than ever. But at the heart of the Lenten season is the contemplation of God’s great love in the passion and death of His only Son. God is a generous God! “God so loved the world that He gave…” Let us pray that through our Lenten discipline we may be ever more fully conformed to the image of our generous God!

Remember that our services are livestreamed at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook and that sermons can be heard by calling (410) 587–0979. Never hesitate to call me at my home telephone: (410) 554–9994. If I am not at home, do leave a message. I check my messages throughout the day. The Holy Sacrament is the spiritual food and drink for our journey through this world. I am always ready to bring the Sacrament to those who for any reason are unable to come to the Divine Service.

Lent has always been kept as a season of fasting—but not only from food and drink! There may be fixed patterns in our lives, behaviors of various kinds, even patterns of thought which hinder our walk with Christ. We can all certainly benefit from careful self-examination. And then there is always the blessing of private confession and absolution which is always available by appointment. In the fifth chief part of his Small Catechism, The Office of the Keys and Confession, Dr. Luther provides necessary teaching about this. I am always ready and willing to answer your questions.

Let us continue to pray for one another and for this deeply troubled world.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Due to the increased funding from the Church, generosity from church family, and donor friends, we were able to more than fulfill our prior commitment to needy families recommended to us by our liaison at Waverly Elementary/Middle School. We usually provide $30 food gift cards to 10 families, but during the Christmas Holiday, additional help was requested, and our resources were such that we were able to purchase $70 gift cards for 11 families in need. The cards were redeemable at ALDI grocery stores. The COVID–19 pandemic and job loss have severely impacted already economically fragile communities and family budgets are stretched to the limit. I am glad that our congregation has again opened its collective heart and purse to make Christmas more meaningful and abundant for our neighbors in need. Many thanks for your continued support and concern for those who are in need.
– Quilla Downs

As COVID–19 continues, many of us are taking on projects that, in busier times, were set aside… like cleaning out that closet or the basement. If you are doing this, remember the Free Flea Market at Our Saviour. We can use men’s and women’s summer clothing, household items, and even Christmas items. We have gotten a number of items for Christmas and will have a “Christmas in July” sale! You can call Judy Volkman at (410) 377–8833 if you have items to be picked up or just to let her know that you have contributed some items. We will be starting the Free Flea Markets in May. Let us share the bounty the Lord has given us!
– Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Second Sunday after Christmas, January 3 – 11:00 am
The Epiphany of Our Lord, January 6 – 7:30 pm

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There is perhaps a sense of relief at the passing of the year 2020 and hope that the new year will prove to be less difficult. But we would be guilty of the sin of ingratitude if we did not thankfully remember how our merciful heavenly Father has in fact sustained us through all the days. As I look back on the year now ended, I am very grateful as I remember all the many kindnesses, the outpouring of love when I was convalescing after my fall this past February. And what can be happier than to know that one is loved? There come to mind some words of John Keble (1792–1866):

New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought
Restored to life and power and thought.

New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us as we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

The first Wednesday in January (the 6th) is the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. Epiphany means revelation, a shining forth, an appearing. At Christmas God appears as Man in the world; at Epiphany this Man appears as God and Savior of the whole world. The coming of the Gentile wise men is both a fulfillment of the prophecy that “the Gentiles will come to Thy light” (Isaiah 60:3) and itself a prophecy of the ingathering of all nations in the Church of Jesus. In the Western Church (of which we Lutherans are a part) the coming of the wise men, led by the miraculous star, has always been the focus of this Feast, but in the Eastern Church the baptism of our Lord is celebrated. But also in the Western Church the Epiphany festival includes the baptism of Jesus and also His first miracle at the wedding in Cana, changing water into wine. You can see that this is so by looking at two Epiphany hymns—one by Coelius Sedulius in the 5th century and one by Christopher Wordsworth in the 19th century—found both in our present Lutheran Service Book (hymns 399 and 394) and in The Lutheran Hymnal (hymns 131 and 134). Both these hymns speak of the coming of the magi, the baptism of Jesus, and His first miracle at Cana. A portion of the ancient liturgy for Epiphany speaks of these three events:

Today the Church is joined to her heavenly Bridegroom;
because in Jordan Christ has washed away her offences:
the wise men with their offerings hasten to the royal marriage,
and the guests are regaled with water made wine, Alleluia.

If you are able to do so, do try to come to Divine Service on Epiphany; it is a beautiful culmination of our Christmas celebration. We will sing familiar carols: The First Nowell, What Child is This, We Three Kings of Orient Are, and that wonderful Epiphany hymn, As with Gladness Men of Old. In my opinion no Epiphany service can be complete without that wonderful hymn, so simple and yet so lovely.

The Epiphany season is the culmination of the Christmas Cycle of the Church Year: Advent-Christmas-Epiphany. On the last Sunday in this month the Easter Cycle of the Church Year begins: PreLent-Lent-Holy Week-Easter-Ascension-Pentecost. There was a time when it was customary, after the reading of the Gospel on Epiphany, to announce the dates of the Church Year:

“Beloved brethren, as we have recently rejoiced over the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, now through the mercy of God, we must tell you about the happiness that will stem from the resurrection of that same Lord and Savior:

January 31 will be Septuagesima Sunday,
February 17 will be Ash Wednesday,
On April 4 we will joyfully celebrate the holy feast of Easter, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May 13: the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May 23: the feast of Pentecost
November 28 will be the first Sunday of the Advent season of our Lord Jesus Christ: to Him be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

We continue to livestream our services which can be found at Our Saviour Lutheran Church – Home | Facebook. And here I must thank Richard Brown for making all of this possible. You can also call (410) 587-0979 to hear the sermon. For those of you who cannot yet come to Divine Service I can bring the Holy Sacrament to you at home; simply call me at (410) 554-9994 and we can arrange a convenient time. The Sacrament of our Savior’s Body and Blood is the spiritual food and drink of Christians—it is provision for the way on our journey through the wilderness of this world to the heavenly fatherland.

There is no doubt that the worldwide pandemic still continues to affect all our lives in so many different ways. We all eagerly hope for its end! The remarkable development of vaccines is certainly a sign of hope—but the end is not yet. We must continue in our prayers for the sick and the dying and the bereaved, also for all those who are so selflessly caring for them. We also need to be alert for opportunities to be of help.

I wish to thank you for your Christmas cards and gifts. Let us continue to keep one another in our prayers as we enter this new year.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Although there will be more stimulus checks coming, there is still hunger in America. We are collecting canned goods to pass on to CARES to give to needy families. Please put your donation in the boxes in the side hallway so we can share the bounty the Lord has given us with those who need it. Thank you!

Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, December, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Christmas Eve – 7:30 pm
Christmas Day – 10:00 am
Saint John’s Day, December 27 – 11:00 am
New Year’s Eve – 7:30 pm
Second Sunday after Christmas, January 3 – 11:00 am
The Epiphany of Our Lord, January 6 – 7:30 pm

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Preaching in the City Church of Saint Mary in Wittenberg on the afternoon of Christmas Day in the year 1530, Dr. Luther had this to say:

“For if it is true that the Child was born of the virgin and is mine, then I have no angry God and I must know and feel that there is nothing but laughter and joy in the heart of the Father and no sadness in my heart. For if what the angel says is true, that He is our Lord and Savior, what can sin do against us? ‘If God is for us, who is against us?’ [Romans 8:31]. Greater words than these I cannot speak, nor all the angels or even the Holy Spirit, as is sufficiently testified by the beautiful songs that have been made about it.”

From ancient times the Church has observed the three days immediately following Christmas Day as Saint Stephen’s Day, Saint John’s Day, and the Holy Innocents Day. Saint Stephen was the First Martyr (Acts 7:54-60) and the Holy Innocents were the young boys of Bethlehem killed by King Herod’s soldiers in his vain attempt to destroy the Christ Child (Matthew 2:13–18). Although Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist was not a martyr he suffered exile on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9). These three holy days serve to remind us that Christ and His Church have always suffered opposition and persecution. And so it will continue to be until the final triumph of Christ in His glorious Appearing at the Last Day. And so the Church’s prayer has ever remained, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20). Apart from a very brief blessing, these are in fact the very last words in all of Holy Scripture.

Do take careful note of the schedule of Christmas services as given above. We have restored the Divine Service of Christmas Day in part to provide opportunity for Christmas worship for those who are reluctant to venture out after dark. If anyone needs a ride to church for any of these services, please call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at and I will make every effort to provide it. Also call or email me if you wish to receive the Holy Sacrament at home. Do remember that all of our services are livestreamed at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook and that you can hear the sermons by calling (410) 587–0979.

Several months ago we received an email from the leader of a small group of Christians who had found us at our website and were eager to learn more. Their leader, Isaac Zachary Okemwa, wanted me to come to Africa and teach them! Although that was clearly not feasible for all kinds of reasons, we have been able with the help of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and the Kenyan Lutheran Church to provide them with Bibles in their native language. And now, just this past week, I’ve had an email from Pastor George Ondieki of the Kenyan Church telling me that this group has decided to become Lutheran and that the local Bishop, Joseph Omwoyo Ombasa, has assigned Pastor Isaac Onderi Nyamora to be their pastor and prepare them for confirmation. These fellow Christians are praying for us and they ask our prayers for them. It is wonderful to see how God uses modern technology to further His good and gracious will!

And speaking of our website I here want to thank everyone who has had a hand in making it possible, including those who created the website long before I arrived at Our Saviour.

Elsewhere in this newsletter Quilla Downs tells us about our outreach to needy families connected with the Waverly Elementary/Middle School and Judy Volkman brings us up to date on the work of our free flea markets.

Judy Volkman reminds us that it is time to order poinsettias to decorate the church for Christmas. They are still ten dollars apiece and the deadline for ordering them is Sunday, December 20. Names of those you wish to remember or honor should also be sent in by that day. Judy also has found a carton of Christmas cards, picturing our altar at Christmas. These packets of cards are available on the piano; take as many as you like. If you wish to make a contribution, please designate it as “Christmas cards.” If you are staying at home and wish to use these cards, call Judy at (410) 377–8833 or email her at Offering envelopes for 2021 are now at the back of the church. You may take yours now but be sure not to use them until January. They have been renumbered, so we want the contributions to be credited to the right number.

The church will be decorated for Christmas following Divine Service on the Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 20. “Many hands make light work.”

Someone recently asked me what is meant by the title “Divine Service” as it is found in the Lutheran Service Book and in our announcements and Sunday bulletins. It comes from the German word “Gottesdienst” which means “God’s Service.” And the great point to note is that it chiefly speaks of God serving us—God serving us through His holy Word and Sacrament with forgiveness, life, and salvation. It is of course also true that in the Divine Service we serve God, worshiping Him with our sacrifice of prayer and praise. But the heart of the matter is that it is God who is serving us. God is present, God acts as we hear His Word and are given the life-giving Body and Blood of the Savior as our spiritual food and drink. It is interesting to note that our fellow Christians of the Eastern Orthodox (Greek, Russian, Arabic, etc.) Church call their service the “Divine Liturgy” which has the same meaning.

I doubt that anyone doubts that the year now drawing to its close has been a particularly difficult one. Christmas finds the world still suffering from this pandemic which has plagued the world for so many months. We can now give thanks that vaccines and more effective medications will soon be available while we continue to pray for those whom the hand of sickness and death has touched. During this time when many of our fellow members are confined to their homes it is comforting to know that in prayer for one another we are close to one another and to the Lord whose mercies are new every morning. Never hesitate to reach out to me either by phone or email. Much of the work of a pastor consists in listening! I am of course also available to hear private confession as explained in Luther’s Small Catechism.

I wish you a truly blessed Christmas, rich in the joy and certainty of the Lord who as at this time was born to be our Savior.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Recently, a lady from east Baltimore wrote us a letter, requesting assistance at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Judy Volkman followed up with her and invited her to the November Free Flea market.  She attended, along with several members of her family, and received a number of items, both clothing and household goods.  At Christmas, she will be one of the recipients of a gift card from Aldi’s.  Hopefully, we will see her at the Free Flea Market in the spring!  The Lord has provided for us and we have been able to share that bounty!

Judy Volkman

Thanks to our Church family, we were able to purchase $30 gift cards to send to 10 families prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The cards were redeemable at Aldi’s Super Market. The postal service delivered the cards, and all arrived at the recipient’s homes in sufficient time for shopping prior to the big day. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we will continue to collect monetary donations for purchase of our Christmas gift cards. Our list for Christmas is longer by one additional family this year. There was a recent request for help from a family who resides outside of our partnered Waverly Elementary/Middle School Community. The request was addressed to the church, followed by a meeting at church; and it was determined that help was indeed warranted. In our capacity to serve and share with our neighbors, it was agreed that we would accommodate the additional family. Donations made on December 6 and December 13 would assure that the cards could be purchased, and mailed, and that they would arrive in time for pre-Christmas grocery shopping. A separate check may be placed in the collection plate with the note “Christmas Gift Cards “or just simply “Christmas Cards” in the memo line. If cash is given, an extra envelope with your name and donation number might be placed in the donation plate. Many thanks for your continued support and concern for those in need.

Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, November, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Sunday, November 1st, is All Saints Day, the festival when we rejoice in the blessed reality of the communion of all saints in paradise and on earth and give thanks for all those who have been the chosen vessels of God’s grace, the lights of the world in their several generations. It is our custom here at Our Saviour to remember those who have been called to God’s nearer presence since last All Saints Day. This year we will remember Joyce Gillespie, Charles Dowdy, and Don Weber. In the words of William Walsham Howe’s wonderful hymn:

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

Our third and last free flea market for this year will take place on Saturday, November 14th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. We always need volunteers.

A Memorial Service for Don Weber had been planned for Sunday, November 22nd; but because of the complications presented by COVID-19, Don’s family has asked that the Service be postponed until the spring. It is likely that the Service will take place sometime during the weeks after Easter Day.

November 26th is Thanksgiving Day. This year we will be keeping our national day of thanksgiving with a service of Vespers at 7:30 pm on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 25th. It seems that every year I find myself saying much the same thing in the November newsletter. When I was a boy our churches were filled on Thanksgiving Day, but that has not been the case now for a great many years. One can of course speculate about the causes. For one thing people seem to travel more on the holidays than they did years ago and there is also the regrettable fact that church attendance in general has declined. And for that, too, there are many reasons! For my part I simply cannot shake the conviction that we Americans should join together in worship on this national day of thanksgiving. I realize that many people are for perfectly valid reasons reluctant to come out after dark. If you still would like to attend Thanksgiving Eve Vespers, do email me at or call me at (410) 554–9994. I will make every effort to see that you have a ride.

It is perhaps not too soon to remind you that we will celebrate Christmas with a Festival Divine Service on Christmas Eve at 7:30 pm and on Christmas Day at 10:00 am. For many years we haven’t regularly had the Christmas Day Divine Service here at Our Saviour, yet it does seem to meet a real need of people who cannot come on Christmas Eve or who simply prefer to worship in the daylight hours. There will also be Divine Service on New Year’s Eve and on the Feast of the Epiphany which is Wednesday, January 6th, both at 7:30 pm.

Several months ago we received a request from Christians in Kenya, asking if we could provide them with Bibles in their own language. With the help of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and the Kenyan Lutheran Church we have finally been able to make that happen for Pastor Isaac Zachary Okemwa and his flock. The Bibles arrived on Sunday, October 18, and Pastor Okemwa sent several pictures of the happy occasion. He asks that we continue to pray for them in their witness to the Savior. They are praying for us. So although we live at a great distance from one another we are united in prayer and in the communion of saints.

This month begins with All Saints Day and ends with the First Sunday in Advent. Both these days focus on the Last Things, the church in paradise and the expectation of the coming again in glory on the Last Day of the Savior who came in humility as the Child of Mary.  On both days we are called to repentance and hope.

Remember that the livestreaming of the Sunday Divine Service can be found at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook ( The sermon can be heard by calling (410) 587–0979.

I ask your prayers. You are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

We will be having our third Free Flea Market on November 14th from 9-12 noon. Hopefully there will be a good turnout. This is our way of sharing the bounty the Lord has given us!

Judy Volkman

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are fast approaching. As usual, it is time to honor our holiday commitment to some of our neighbors at Waverly Elementary/Middle School. The pre-COVID need was dire for many families; needless to say, the pandemic has compounded the need for food and other essential services. For these reasons, we will be collecting monetary donations from Sunday, November 1, though Sunday, December 20, so that we can present 10 special families with $30 food gift cards. The gift cards will be redeemable at Aldi’s food chain. The extra will enable families to supplement their holiday menu with a few items of their choice and hopefully, make their holiday merrier. If you wish to contribute to the Thanksgiving and Christmas gift food drive, a separate check may be placed in the collection plate with the designation “Thanksgiving or Christmas Gift Cards” in the memo line. If cash is given, an extra envelope with your name and donation number might be placed in the donation plate. Many thanks for the outpouring of generosity you have always shown for this holiday outreach.

Helping up Mission: For men and women who have let themselves go for a long time, cleanliness and proper grooming is essential in restoring confidence and a sense of self-worth. The wish list for Helping up Mission includes toiletries, toiletries, and more toiletries. It’s reported that there are 540 residents on the campus at 1029 E. Baltimore St., and the need for toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, bottles of shampoo, mouthwash, combs etc. is endless. Due to COVID, the Mission is only accepting prepackaged undergarments and toiletries; they no longer accept gently used clothing.

The Women’s recovery building is located at 601 Chase St., Baltimore, MD. At present there are 20 women in the Spiritual Recovery Program. The program will accommodate many more women when the new facility is complete. This program serves women with alcohol and/or substance use struggles. The SRP is modeled after the successful, long-term men’s SRP. Donations intended for the women are accepted at 1029 E Baltimore St., and not at the women’s residence. It is rewarding to know that we are a part of a successful, life-renewing, Christian-inspired recovery program here in Baltimore City.

Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Sunday, October 4
The Ninetieth Anniversary of the Dedication
Of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
Family day

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this year of our Lord 2020 three out of the four Sundays of October will be festival days here at Our Saviour. On October 4th we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, October 18th is Saint Luke the Evangelist’s Day and October 25th is Reformation Sunday.

We are continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols and to do our best to keep everyone safe. Many of these were discussed in the July newsletter and can be found on our church website ( When you arrive please wear a mask until you are in your place. Please observe social distancing in the nave. We in fact have plenty of space and we might as well use it all! We still have just four to a table for Communion—one person kneeling at each end of the two parts of the altar rail—and offering plates may be found on the piano and in the back of the church.

Our Saviour congregation was founded in 1892 as an English-speaking congregation by a number of laymen from German Immanuel Church then on South Caroline Street, now at Loch Raven and Belvedere. The old Jackson Square Methodist Church in east Baltimore was purchased as a place of worship. In 1919 the congregation moved to its present location and for ten years worshipped in a simple wooden chapel until the present splendid church was built in 1929/30.

Now, the stones and mortar and glass of a church building are not holy in themselves, but the purpose of a church building is most certainly holy. For here the Triune God draws near to us in the preaching of His holy Word and in the celebration of the Holy Sacrament in which the Son of God feeds us with His true body and blood, the price of our redemption, the sure pledge of the resurrection. Here we confess our sins, here we say our prayers, and here we adore the Holy and Undivided Trinity who has saved us. And so we can say as did Jacob when he awoke from the dream of the ladder from earth to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending on it: “Surely the Lord is in this place… This is none other than the House of God and this is the Gate of Heaven” (Genesis 28:17). And so it is completely fitting that we should give thanks for all the blessings which God has bestowed in this hallowed place now for ninety long years.

The preacher for our anniversary will be the Rev. Dr. David P. Stechholz who is Bishop Emeritus of the English District of our Synod. He will also speak on the history of Lutheranism in North America at 9:45 am. When our church was dedicated in 1930, our congregation belonged to the English District of Synod. The first convention of the English District was in fact held in 1912 in our old Jackson Square Church in east Baltimore. The term bishop is perhaps unfamiliar in our circles. Yet more than thirty years ago the English District adopted the term bishop for its district president because the district had come to the conclusion that the title bishop more clearly expresses what district presidents in fact are and do. District presidents supervise the doctrine and practice of the pastors and congregations in their respective districts and—either in person or by proxy—ordain candidates for the Holy Ministry: Bishop is quite simply the ancient churchly name for those who do these things. It has been in use continuously since the Reformation in many parts of the Lutheran Church and continues to be in use in many of our sister churches around the world.  It has recently been adopted by Synod’s Atlantic District.

In the Calendar of the Church Year (Lutheran Service Book, p. xi) October 18th is always Saint Luke the Evangelist’s Day. This year October 18th falls on Sunday and so we have an opportunity to remember and give thanks for the life and work of Saint Luke, one of the four evangelists whose statues adorn the reredos of our church’s altar. Saint Luke is the evangelist who has recorded for us the wonderful story of our Savior’s birth and some of the most beautiful parables of Jesus, for example, the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. There is a fine old hymn, dating from the 12th century, which we will sing on Saint Luke’s Day, which has some lines which so beautifully express the work of the four evangelists of the one Lord Christ:

In one harmonious witness the chosen four combine                        While each his own commission fulfills in every line.

voters meeting of our congregation will be held after Divine Service on October 18th. Every member of Our Saviour, age eighteen and older, is eligible to participate.

The last Sunday of October brings the Festival of the Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517, the Eve of All Saints Day, that Dr. Luther posted 95 theses, that is, propositions for debate among theologians, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Much has been written and continues to be written about these 95 propositions or theses but, when all is said and done, these theses were heard far and wide as a great call to repentance. And it was that clarion call to repentance which set in motion the great movement we know as the Reformation. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ says, ‘Repent!’ he meant that the whole life of Christians should be one of repentance (Thesis 1)… The true treasure of the Church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God” (Thesis 62).  Dr. Luther and his coworkers never imagined that they were somehow founding a new church. They understood their work as one of calling the whole church to repentance and faith in our crucified and risen Savior in whom alone is all our hope. Thirteen years later the Lutheran princes and two city councils presented the Confession of their faith to Emperor Charles V in the City of Augsburg. They understood themselves to be confessing the one Faith of the one Church and to be inviting others to join them in so confessing. In its continued adherence to the Augsburg Confession the Church called Lutheran continues to issue that invitation to all Christians. We Lutherans believe that in this Confession divided Christendom can find unity in the truth as revealed in Christ through the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures and confessed in the Three Ecumenical Creeds—the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism is a marvelous summary of this teaching.

We were all saddened by the death of our long-time organist emeritus, Don Weber, on August 9th yet we are glad that he now rests in the nearer presence of the Lord Jesus. On September 15th the burial service was read at his grave in the presence of a number of his friends. On Sunday, November 22nd, there will be a Memorial Service at 4:00 P.M. This will be an opportunity to remember and give thanks.

Adult Christian Education and Sunday School will resume on Sunday, October 4th. Bishop Stechholz will speak on the history of Lutheranism in North America. Come and join us! These classes are always quite informal, and questions are most welcome.

At Mary Techau’s suggestion a video has been made of the bells in our church tower. Gabe Purviance is the narrator and Abigail Scheck has made some equipment available for better audio. You can see and hear this at or on Youtube. We are still trying to gather funds to repair the mechanism which rings the bells.

Our first free flea market of the year took place on September 12th, and the next one will take place on Saturday, October 10th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. We always need volunteers to help and welcome those who come.

Remember that the Sunday Divine Service is livestreamed every week and that you can also hear the Sunday sermon by calling 410.587.0979. Remember that if you wish to receive Holy Communion at home you should call me at 410.554.9994 or email me at

We now have been living with this COVID-19 pandemic for over half a year. It goes without saying that we must pray for all who are sick and for those who mourn, also for all who care for the sick and the dying and for those who are working on a vaccine and effective medications. There also seems to be so much unrest at home and abroad: this too requires us to pray more fervently for all who are anxious and suffering. In all of this commotion we need more than ever to take to heart the words of the psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Do continue to remember me in your prayers: you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As most of you have heard by now, early in the morning of Sunday, August 9th, our beloved organist emeritus, Donald Weber, fell asleep in the Lord at the Gilchrist Hospice at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Our congregation owes him an enormous debt of gratitude for his fifty-eight years of service as our organist. His sister, Joan Talbert, has asked that we have a memorial service for him on the Sunday before or after his birthday which is November 18th. Timely notice will be given. Don loved this church and was loved by this congregation. He was a true church organist, for many years directed the choir, and continued to play the organ even when his health was making it ever more difficult for him to do so. Like so many of you I have such happy memories of him and his work! I remember so well how Don always chose for his prelude on Christmas Eve Johannes Brahms’s sublime prelude on the Christmas carol “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and for the postlude one of J.S. Bach’s jubilant preludes on what is one of the oldest of all carols, “In dulci jubilo/Now Sing We Now Rejoice.” We are hoping that by November circumstances will be such that many people can come to the memorial service. Already Don’s many friends are hoping to come.  May the Light perpetual ever shine upon him and may the risen Lord comfort all who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

Next Monday, September 7th, is the 90th Anniversary of the dedication of this church building. We will be celebrating this anniversary with Festival Divine Service on Sunday, October 4th. We have chosen this October date with hope for cooler weather! This anniversary gives us an opportunity to give thanks to God for His gracious presence in this place for so many years and for the privilege of worshiping in this truly splendid house of God.

The Rev. Dr. David Stechholz, Bishop Emeritus of the English District of Synod, will be the preacher for this anniversary. At the time of the dedication of this church Our Saviour congregation was a member of Synod’s English District. You may remember that our congregation had been founded in 1892 as a parish of the then “English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States” which in 1911 was received into the then “German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States” (since 1947 bearing the name “The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod”) as its English District. It is interesting to note that the very first convention of the English District as part of Synod was held in 1912 at our old church in east Baltimore. My mother’s parents and their children were then members of the congregation. A leaflet from that convention lists my grandfather, Rudolph Moesta, as singing in the choir at the opening service. When the Southeastern District of Synod was founded in 1939, all the English District congregations within its geographical bounds became members of the Southeastern District—and so we are today.

We have decided to combine the anniversary celebration with Family Day this year. But because of the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a festive meal following the anniversary Divine Service are not yet certain. As things stand now, it is likely that box lunches will be provided. Members of the Church Council and I will be calling members for their thoughts on this matter.

Just this week our church received an email from a group of Christians in Kenya who found us by means of our website and were glad to receive the sound Scriptural teaching found there. They ask if we can help them in their life in Christ. Among other things they are in need of Bibles in their native language which is called Ekegusii. At its September meeting the Church Council will consider how we can help these fellow Christians. Pray for them and their leader, Isaac Zachary Okemwa. I think we see in this how the Holy Spirit uses modern means of communication to build and strengthen the Church.

In last month’s newsletter I mentioned that I am always willing to bring the Holy Sacrament to those who are still unable to come to church. If you want to receive Holy Communion at home, email me at or call me at (410) 554–9994. Leave a message if I am not available when you call. I regularly check these messages. Like the manna with which God fed the Israelites during their long journey in the wilderness, the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood is Food for our journey through the wilderness of this world until we come to the heavenly fatherland.

Remember that the first free flea market of this year will be held on Saturday, September 12th, 9:00 am–12:00 noon. We are always in need of volunteers. Safeguards against the Coronavirus will be observed, including the wearing of masks and social distancing. It goes without saying that people’s needs are great in this difficult time.

No one needs to be to be told just how difficult present circumstances are, both at home and abroad. Not only does the world suffer the ravages of this Coronavirus but there also seems to be ever increasing unrest throughout the world. Given these circumstances, neither complacency nor hysteria are helpful. What helps most is a truly penitent heart which both seeks the mercy of God for ourselves and for all who suffer and, remembering all those who care for the sick and the dying, also asks our gracious heavenly Father to prosper the work of those who are trying to discover effective medications and a vaccine. I find great comfort in the ninth verse of Psalm 145: “The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

Remember that, if you are for any reason unable to attend Divine Service, the Service is ivestreamed at You can hear the sermon by calling (410) 587–0979. Whether or not we are able physically to be present at Divine Service, we are never alone. Through our baptism into Christ we always remain living members of the communion of all saints both in heaven and on earth. Mindful of that holy communion, let us continue in prayer for each other and for all humankind!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market. We are all set to go for the Free Flea Market on September 12th. It will be open from 9 am to noon. We have lots of household items, with more in storage to be put out. And there is a nice selection of summer clothes. For those who are volunteering, please be there around 8:30 am so we can review our protocols. Reaching out to share our bounty with those in need. Let Judy Volkman know at (410) 377–8833 if you can volunteer or donate items.

Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, August, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
AUGUST, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Because of the permission given by the Mayor of Baltimore, we have for several Sundays now been able to have Sunday Divine Service open to anyone who wishes to attend — in conformity with the Mayor’s guidelines. Churches may be filled up to half capacity. Since our church seats about 400 people, that presents no problem for us! Our usual Sunday attendance hovers around 30 people and on these past few Sundays we have had a bit less than half that number. We continue to livestream the Divine Service at Our Saviour Church Facebook. The sermon can be heard by calling 410.587.0979. It is understood that some of our members, especially those in “high-risk” groups, may not yet be ready to return to public worship; there is nothing wrong with that, and I want to say clearly that I support you in that choice. As I said in last month’s letter, I am willing to bring the Holy Sacrament to people in their homes. If you wish to receive Holy Communion at home, please email me at or call me at 410.554.9994. If I am not able to answer when you call, do leave a message with your phone number and I will return your call. I check the messages several times a day.

We finally were able to hold the postponed May Voters Meeting on July 12. The budget for fiscal year 2020/21 was approved and the members of the Church Council elected: Bernie Knox, treasurer; Merton Masterson, director of property; Gabe Purviance, director of worship; Mary Techau, secretary; Paul Techau, president; and Gary Watson, member at large. The treasurer’s report showed that our finances remain stable: for that we must all be thankful. We must also be thankful for a generous check sent to us by our sister congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Alexandria, Virginia. This kind of generosity reminds us that we are not alone!

Some representatives of the Maryland Historical Trust visited our church on Monday, July 20th. Their main purpose was to see the bells in the tower. They were much impressed with all that they saw here. The involvement of the Maryland Historical Trust may lead to greater publicity for this valuable part of our heritage and might lead to donations to repair the mechanism by which the bells are rung. We must thank Jake Mokris for going up into the tower with the Historical Trust people and manually ringing a few of the bells. If you have ever gone up into the tower — I have done that only once! — you will know that it is a somewhat daunting endeavor!

And speaking of our heritage, we are still hoping to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the dedication of our church building on Sunday, October 4, and we continue to hope that the Rev. Dr. David Stechholz, Bishop Emeritus of Synod’s English District, will be with us and preach. Until the formation of the Southeastern District of Synod in 1939 Our Saviour was a congregation of the English District. The Council and the Voters meeting have decided to combine the happy celebration of the 90th anniversary of our church building with Family Day, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic plans are still tentative. Among other things we will not know what sort of meal we may be able to have. Members will be called to discuss this in early September.

The 90th anniversary of the dedication of this church building comes as a very welcome reminder of the privilege that is ours in worshiping in this splendid church building. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Pastor Adolph John Stiemke who took the lead and to all those faithful members of Our Saviour who in giving made this possible. This is surely a church which wordlessly invites those who enter it to prayer and praise. “This is none other but the House of God and this is the Gate of Heaven” (Genesis 28:17).

Our former summer vicar, Brett Witmer, was ordained to the Holy Ministry and installed as Pastor of Bethel Church in Sutherland, Iowa, on the Sixth Sunday after Trinity, July 19th. Upon graduation from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, this spring he received the Shepherd’s Staff Award. This award is presented to the fourth-year student who in the judgment of his peers best exemplifies pastoral faith and life. Having gotten to know the now newly ordained Pastor Witmer as we have, this is not surprising. Congratulations, Pastor Witmer! If you wish to write to him, his postal address is 510 Ash Street, Sutherland, Iowa 51058; his email address is Remember him and his congregation in your prayers.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hover over all our days with its disruption of so much that is familiar and cheering in life. Nothing like this has afflicted the world since the Spanish Flu pandemic at the end of World War I. Through such calamities God is calling the world to repentance. Is that call being heard? Through such calamities God is surely showing us that this is a dying world. In all this darkness the one single source of light is the joyful news: Christ is risen! And so God’s final word is not one of death and destruction but a joyful word of life and light everlasting. We await the appearing in glory of our risen Lord and Savior who says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). That is our sure and certain hope grounded in the Lord’s resurrection! In the meantime let us continue to pray for all who are sick and suffering, for the dying, and for the doctors and nurses and all who faithfully care for them. Let us pray also that those who are seeking an effective cure and vaccine will succeed in their work. And let us pray for one another as we pass through these difficult days.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market. We plan to hold the first Free Flea Market on September 12 from 9–12 am. We have lots of items to distribute, thanks to some generous donations. We do need volunteers to assist, and because of COVID-19, we will need to follow the guidelines for gatherings (e.g., maintaining the proper number of people in the building and helping them check out). Let Judy Volkman know at (410) 377–8833 if you can volunteer or donate items. In this difficult time, we can share the bounty the Lord has given us.


Our Saviour Parish News, July, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
JULY, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In several sermons during these past weeks I have found myself referring to the story of Cain and Abel. Cain kills his brother Abel, and when God then asks him, “Where is your brother?” Cain responds, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In these words we can read the whole sad tale of Adam’s lost and fallen race. So much of this world’s misery is reflected in these words! That we are “our brother’s keeper” is clear not least from the words of our Savior: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39).

Our Lord said to His disciples, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). Because Christ is the Truth, wherever truth is found it belongs to Himit is His truth. I am deeply moved by some words of truth spoken by Josef Ratzinger on the occasion of his installation as Bishop of Rome: “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” Surely these words express the same truth we learned in Dr. Luther’s explanation of the First Article of the Creed: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures.” So I urge you to ponder these words as you think about the current state of our country and the world.

I also urge you to read carefully and ponder the statement issued by the President of Synod, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, on June 2 in response to the killing of George Floyd and all that has followed. The statement is enclosed with this newsletter.

The altar cross which was given back in 1966 has now been refurbished and supplied with a hand-carved image of the crucified Savior. I have given this in memory of my parents, Charles Louis and Anna Eleanor (nee Moesta) McClean. My mother’s parents together with her brothers and sisters were in fact members of the old Jackson Square congregation in which my mother was baptized by Pastor Theodore Sorge in 1911, eight years before the congregation left the old building and relocated here as the Church of Our Saviour.

This coming Sunday, July 5th, will be the last Sunday that our summer vicar, Samuel Abliganz, will be with us. He will be preaching at Redeemer Church in Irvington on July 12th and will soon thereafter return to Germany. We heard him preach a splendid sermon this past Sunday and we have been fortunate to hear him chant the Sunday Gospels these past weeks. He is gifted among other things with a lovely singing voice. We have enjoyed and have been blessed by his presence among us. We pray God’s continued blessing on him as he returns to his homeland and continues his studies in preparation for the Holy Ministry. I am certain that he will be a blessing to many.

The Voters Meeting postponed from May will take place following Divine Service on Sunday, July 12th. Every member of Our Saviour Church, eighteen years old and older, is eligible to participate in the meeting. We need to approve the budget for the next fiscal year and elect the Church Council. Join us!

I trust you have all received the mailing about the reopening of the Church. Do review these materials and contact me either by phone (410.554.9994) or by e-mail ( if you have questions and concerns. Although our church is open again, not everyone will feel ready to come to Divine Service and Holy Communion. So please contact me if you would like me to bring you the Sacrament at home. The Sunday service will continue to be livestreamed (Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook – and the sermon can be heard by calling 410.587.0979.

Dorothy Bell has recently undergone successful surgery and is now convalescing at the Autumn Lake Healthcare at 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208. Although visits are not possible, one can still send cards or flowers. Dorothy’s husband Louis is now at the same facility. Remember them in your prayers.

It goes without saying that we must continue our prayers for all who are sick together with all who care for them and all who are bereaved. We must pray fervently that effective medications will be found and an effective vaccine. Remember that through this crisis God is calling us all to repentance.

I ask you to remember me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market: We will not have a give-away in July. We do have many men’s large slacks and lots of household items. We are in need of ladies’ clothing (dresses, tops, pants, jeans, shoes) and men’s t-shirts, jeans, shoes. You can drop your donations off at the church and let Judy know what you have brought. Thank you for supporting our outreach to the community. It is even more important that we share our bounty in these trying times.


Statement on the death of George Floyd and the ensuing riots

June 2, 2020

Discriminatory treatment of human beings on the basis of race is irrational evil and results in evil. It is folly, which can produce only anger and hatred. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” America’s original sin of legal racism, the denial of human rights based on race, has reaped the whirlwind.

God’s Word rejects racism. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “No one is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). All are equally created by God. All are equally accountable to God. The sins of all are equally atoned for by Christ. All are equally precious to God. Racial animosity is the result of sin and is sin in itself. Racism is not acceptable in the church. Jesus Himself bids us love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and did so precisely while rejecting racial preference (cf. Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25–37).

Unity in the church according to the Augsburg Confession is defined by Article VII: “For it is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached … and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word.” Christ and His gifts bring unity and equity in the church. Racial discrimination in or by the church is sin. Racial conflict in our nation calls every Christian to introspection. “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “Righteous indignation” without self-reflection and repentance is meaningless, or worse, hypocrisy.

The one who grievously and unjustly took the sacred gift of life from George Floyd — resulting in a charge of 3rd-degree murder — will, ironically, be given the very thing he denied his victim, due process of the law. Justice must be meted out according to the law. Others may be charged.

We weep for George Floyd, for his family and loved ones because he was robbed of life. We weep for our nation. We weep for those across our nation who believe their only recourse is destruction. We weep for police officers everywhere, who carry out their honorable vocations with courage and goodwill but find their task infinitely more challenging and dangerous in the wake of the sad events in Minneapolis. We pray for the safety of all and the welfare of those who have lost property and livelihood. We pray for the police who must stand against mayhem. We support the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protestors.

We deplore injustice. We deplore destruction, robbery and doing physical harm to others. That, too, is injustice. We plead to citizens and governments of this nation for communities beset by poverty, crime and injustice. We plead for rational and unifying policies that will end injustices and address social breakdown, lack of economic access, and other factors that fuel anger, hatred and dissension.

We shall pray, but we shall do even more. We shall follow the ancient mandate of the prophet of Yahweh: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

And we shall proclaim Christ, “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7–8).

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:1–17 ESV).

Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Our Saviour Parish News, June, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
JUNE, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It was the great nineteenth-century Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass—by the way, he had been born as a slave here in Maryland—who said of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, “That was a sacred effort.” I believe that Douglass spoke the truth. The occasion for Douglass’s words was a reception at the White House later in the day of the inauguration. Seeing Frederick Douglass, Lincoln said, “I saw you in the crowd today, listening to my inaugural address. How did you like it?” It was then that Douglass replied, “Mr. Lincoln, that was a sacred effort.” I suspect that most of us remember the words toward the end of the address, “With malice toward none, with charity toward all…” but the entire address is a truly remarkable effort. Speaking in the waning days of the Civil War and not many days before his tragic death, Lincoln’s speech breathes the spirit of repentance and humility. It represents Lincoln’s profound reflections on the causes and meaning of the war. “The scourge of war” he explained was best understood as divine punishment for the sin of slavery in which all Americans were complicit. He described a national moral debt that had been created by the “bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil.” He cites the words of Holy Scripture, indeed words of our Savior, and concludes the speech with the memorable call for compassion and reconciliation. You may remember that I have alluded to this luminous speech before, both in sermons and in these newsletters. The text of this speech can easily be found online and as your pastor I recommend that everyone read and carefully ponder Lincoln’s words. I firmly believe that these words of Lincoln shed light upon our often-difficult path. There is much discussion and indeed uncertainty about Lincoln’s faith, but this address surely makes plain that Lincoln was a man who had struggled with his Maker.

As this month of June begins, we have two new faces at Our Saviour Church.

After careful consideration, the position of organist has been offered to Matthew Bunn, who played for Divine Service this past Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost. He is clearly a very talented young man and will very competently lead us in worship. During the past weeks Marie Herrington has again been with us since the church at which she is now organist has not been having services on Sunday morning. Marie remains very much a part of our church family, and we are always so happy to see—and hear!—her.

We are also fortunate to have a summer vicar with us for the next six weeks, Samuel Abliganz, who is preparing for the Holy Ministry in our sister church in Germany, the Independent Evangelical–Lutheran Church. He has studied at that Church’s Seminary in Oberursel and also at the ancient University of Tuebingen, and has just completed a year studying at our Synod’s Seminary in Fort Wayne. He will also be assisting our good friend Pastor Coats in the work at Redeemer Church in Irvington and at Saint Thomas Church in southwest Baltimore. Pastor Coats is now fully recovered from the COVID-19 illness and for that we are very thankful indeed! I know that we all prayed fervently for him while he was ill; let us both continue to ask God’s continued blessing and protection for his ministry and join in giving thanks for his recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about so many changes—both in our general lives and as a Christian congregation. I am very grateful to Richard Brown for making it possible for us to live-stream the Sunday Divine Service as well as the Divine Service on Ascension Day, and people who are unable to come to church have said how much this means to them. You may also call this phone number to hear the sermons: 410.587.0979. Videos of the services are saved on the church’s Facebook page ( and audio of the sermon can also be found at the church website ( I am hoping that it will soon be possible for more people to attend church, but this depends both on the decisions of the civil authority and on people’s conscientious decisions about their health and safety. A Christian will under normal circumstances be in the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day, but it has always been recognized that conditions of health—our own and that of others—enter into responsible decisions about coming to Divine Service. Although it is far from ideal, I think that we can be truly grateful that modern technology makes it possible for us to at least see and hear Divine Service when we are unable to attend in person.

According to our congregation’s Constitution and Bylaws, we are supposed to have a Voters Meeting on the third Sunday in May. For obvious reasons that was simply not possible. It is now hoped that we may have the meeting on the third Sunday in this month, June 21. This of course all depends on what is possible in view of the pandemic.

Enclosed with this newsletter is a form called Joyful Response: Electronic Offering Program. It is now possible to make one’s offering automatically from one’s bank account. Some of our members have been doing this for some time now. The enclosed form tells you exactly how to do this. Some people regard this as a real convenience and it certainly is just that when many people are unable to bring their offering in person because of the pandemic. My impression is that our members have continued to give for the support of the Church’s work of worship, witness, and service. I encourage all of you to continue to do so. If this option isn’t congenial, you can always send a check through the mail to our church address: 3301 The Alameda 21218.  If you would like to participate in Joyful Response, please complete the form and return it to the Church to the attention of Bernie Knox. And in discussing the church’s finances, I would certainly be remiss if I did not thank Bernie Knox for her untiring work as our treasurer.

And speaking of service, there is following this letter an article by Judy Volkman about our Free Flea Market. Although we are not going to have it during the summer months, there will be one in September and possibly October. Be sure to read what Judy has to say. I am sure we are all grateful for her continued leadership in this service to our neighbors. Given all the circumstances, the need is now no doubt greater than ever.

Do remember that the first Sunday in June is the Feast of the Holy Trinity or as we usually call it, Trinity Sunday.  From last Advent until last Sunday’s Feast of Pentecost we have recalled all that God has done for our salvation; on Trinity Sunday we rejoice in who God is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God! God has revealed that He is one, but not solitary. His life is love that flows among the persons of the godhead. Human beings are made in the image of the triune God: and because that is so, we are never truly human as isolated individuals, but only as persons in relationship with one another. And because we have been baptized into Christ and His mystical Body the Church, even when we are most alone, we still always have our being in communion with the Holy Trinity and all saints in heaven and on earth.

It was in 1933 that the Rev. Eric Milner-White (1884–1963), who had served during the First World War as a military chaplain on the Western front and in Italy, published the prayer which follows. It came to mind as I reflected on the circumstances in which this June newsletter is being written. I commend this prayer to you both for prayer and quiet contemplation:

O God, who wouldest fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
Let the design of thy great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows;
and give peace to thy Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts;
through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

It’s of course one of those old cliches, but that doesn’t make it any less true: “I’m only a phone call away.” And my phone number is 410.554.9994. You can also e-mail me at I may not always be able to answer immediately, but if you leave your number, I will make every effort to return your call just as soon as I can. Let us continue to pray for one another and use whatever means we have to encourage one another.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market: it will continue! Yes, the Governor has lifted the Stay at Home restriction, but both the City and County are not sure if they will lift their restrictions.  At the present time, we are planning to have a Flea Market in September (and possibly October!).  Now I need your support. We have gotten a substantial donation of household items, so we need clothing. We need both men’s and women’s clothing (no children’s please), preferably for fall. What we don’t get in your donations, we will obtain through Orphan Grain Train. Please let Judy Volkman know what you can contribute. The Lord has given us much, and we need to share our bounty, particularly in these trying times.

On another note, a delivery of canned food was delivered to CARES in May. Now we need to stock up again! Please bring your canned goods, spaghetti ingredients, and meat products since there is NOTHING in the cartons for donations. As you know, many families are in need of food on a weekly basis. Every little bit helps!


Our Saviour Parish News, May, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
MAY, 2020

This joyful Eastertide
Away with sin and sorrow!
My love, the Crucified,
Has sprung to life this morrow:

Had Christ, who once was slain,
Not burst His three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain:
But now has Christ arisen!

                                                  – George Woodward (1848-1934)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How quickly the month of April has gone by! And here we are already at the beginning of May.

Although we are not able to gather for worship as a congregation, we are now livestreaming the Sunday Divine Service so that you can join in the worship at the time it is taking place. Simply go to You can also call this telephone number: 410.587.0979.

There is no doubt that a pall of anxiety and distress covers much of the world at this time. None of us has experienced anything like this in our lifetime. The facts are deeply disturbing. But be all that as it may, the greatest, incomparable, and truly joyful Fact is the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Death plants the sign of futility over all our human strivings, but through the Savior’s resurrection we have been given a sure and certain hope that can never be put to shame. As Saint Paul exclaims, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?…Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Corinthians 15:55, 57) And we are now in that joyful Easter season, the forty days between our Lord’s resurrection and ascension when He repeatedly appeared to the disciples. The forty days of the Easter season end on Ascension Day when the Lord last appeared visibly to His disciples and in their sight was taken up into heaven in the human nature He continues to share with us as He intercedes for us and, all unseen, rules all things for the good of those who are His. Ten days after the ascension, on the Day of Pentecost, He sends down the Holy Spirit on the disciples so that the victory accomplished on the cross and revealed in the resurrection might be proclaimed to all the world. May 21 is Ascension Day, May 31 is Pentecost. In the Book of Acts Saint Luke tells of the Lord’s ascension in chapter one and of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in chapter two.

During the month of April two members of our congregation have been called out of this world into Christ’s nearer presence. Our dear brother in Christ, Charles Dowdy — brother-in-law of Philip Purviance and uncle of Gabe Purviance – fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, April 17, and was given Christian burial on Friday, April 24. Our dear sister in Christ, Joyce Gillespie, fell asleep in the Lord on the evening of that same day. Her death was the result of complications of CO VID 19, May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn their departure.

Our dear friend, Pastor Roy Coats of Redeemer Church in Irvington, is now at home again after having been in Johns Hopkins Hospital for a number of days being treated for COVID 19. We are glad that he has been able to return home and we continue to pray for his full recovery. Please remember him in your daily prayers.

Our Saviour Church has for many years supported the Food Pantry at GEDCO which is located at 5502 York Road. You can bring canned goods or non-perishable food items to this York Road address. But be sure to call 410.532.2273 first to make sure that someone will be there to receive it. Quilla Downs tells us that monetary donations for the Food Pantry are being accepted by Melody Cunningham at 1010 East 33 Street. With so many people having lost their jobs, the demand on food pantries is greater than ever.

Mary Techau has provided the following update on the work of our Historic Preservation Committee. There is a good news! The Maryland State Bond Bill application we applied for has been granted. There is still some paperwork to complete but we will hopefully receive about half of the money we requested, approximately $40,000, which is a very good start. We hope to repair the water issues in the church basement and get some other work done as well. We have thanked State Senator Mary Washington, and Delegates Maggie McIntosh, Regina Boyce and Curt Anderson of District 43 and of course Council Member Mary Pat Clarke for their support in this process.

We are most certainly living through a time of great uncertainty. But the promises of our Lord and Savior are always sure and certain. Cling to those promises, read the Holy Scriptures which show us Christ our Savior, continue in prayer. Although we can’t get together at this time, we can certainly encourage one another by using the telephone and email and continuing to remember one another in our prayers. I want as always to be available to you. Do not hesitate to or to email me at or call me at 410.554.9994.


Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
APRIL, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I suspect that when the present year began no one could have foreseen or imagined the present conditions in our country and around the world. Whatever else may be said about this — and much has been and undoubtedly will be said — we as Christians know that through this calamity our merciful heavenly Father is calling the world to repentance. And so as we pray for the sick and the dying together with their families and friends; as we pray for doctors and nurses and all who minister to the sick, for the bereaved, the first responders, the leaders of the nations and for the end of this scourge, we must also pray that the peoples of the world will hear and respond to God’s call to repentance remembering that “The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).

Because of Governor Hogan’s order, effective at 8:00 P.M. March 30th we will not be able to gather for public worship as from that date and time. No one can now know how long this restriction may last, but we do know that this order is for the common good. Saint Paul writes, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13: l).

We stand at the threshold of Holy Week and Easter. Since we will not be able to participate in the wonderful services we will need to follow the events of Jesus’ passion and resurrection as found in Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 13-20. There are inexhaustible riches in these chapters. Many of us use the daily devotional guide, Portals of Prayer. I also recommend that if you have in your home a copy of The Lutheran Hymnal, Lutheran Worship or the Lutheran Service Book you sing or at least read some of the hymns for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Such use in our homes of the Holy Scriptures, hymnals and devotional literature is very much a part of our life as Christians. In the present circumstances it is even more necessary and in truth a great blessing! My sermons will be available through our website ( and at this phone number: 410.587.0979. Do remember to mail your offerings to church: 3301 The Alameda 21218.

Since falling and breaking my right arm on February 19th I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of so many people: the members of Our Saviour Church, my friends, my brother pastors and my neighbors. God has wonderfully blessed me through all of you and I am filled with gratitude! May God bless you for your kindness!

Here I must thank Paul Techau, the president of our congregation, for all he has done during my convalescence. Having complete confidence in his leadership, I have had wonderful peace of mind! And I thank all of you who have kept things going during my absence. I should mention that our secretary is on a break from her duties. Jake Mokris has stepped in and is very competently doing all that needs to be done.

The broken finger on my left hand is healed and my broken arm is better with every passing day. It was such a joy to be able to stand at the altar and be in the pulpit on the Feast of the Annunciation and again this past Sunday! I eagerly look forward to the day when all of us will again be able to gather again in our dear church to worship our Lord and Savior, to hear His life-giving Word and to receive His Body and Blood.

I will be talking with everyone by telephone during these next days. Please call me (410.554.9994) or else email me ( if you have some need to discuss. Let us be diligent in our prayers and eager to help one another as we are able. We of course need to pray for patience and for hope as we pass through this difficult time.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Our Saviour Parish News, March, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
MARCH, 2020


Remember, set your clocks ahead. Daylight Savings time begins March 8.

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Our Saviour,

As you may have heard, Pastor McClean fell in his apartment on February 19 and broke both his right arm and a finger in his left hand. After spending a few days at Mercy Hospital, he was moved to Manor Care on Falls Road for rehabilitation. After injuring his leg during physical therapy there, he was moved to Mt. Sinai hospital. His leg has since mended and he is able to walk without pain. He does, however, still need more time to recuperate. They are currently determining the facility to which he will be moved.

Although he will need several more weeks to recover, Pastor has asked us to assure everyone that he feels he has turned a corner in all this and is on his way to recovery and hopes to be able to return to the pulpit by Holy Week. We will keep you up to date on his condition as things progress. In the meantime, we are being served on Sundays by several military chaplains. So we will have pastors for our Sunday worship services.

We do find ourselves in the annual observance of the penitential season. Some thoughts from Pastor McClean about Lent from a couple years ago:

My dictionary tells me that the word Lent is rooted in an old English word “lencten” which means spring. The word no doubt suggests the lengthening days which come in the springtime. But I want to suggest that it is very useful indeed to think of the holy season of Lent as a spiritual springtime, a time of new life and light. You may remember that in the ancient church the forty days of Lent were the time when the adult candidates for Holy Baptism received their final preparation for the reception of that Sacrament which took place at the Great Vigil which took place on Easter Eve. Since you and I have already been born again of water and the Holy Spirit, we – obviously! – cannot prepare to be baptized. Yet Lent is most certainly a time for returning to our Baptism, for again contemplating and rejoicing in the blessings of Baptism and through daily repentance and faith living as those who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. We remember the words of Saint Paul: “We are buried therefore with Him by baptism into death so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Few things are more foolish than supposing that God somehow needs our observance of Lent: God does not need Lent but you and I do! It is that season of the year which calls us to renewed faithfulness as those who through Baptism have been made one with the Savior in His atoning death and life-giving resurrection. It is a time for saying no to everything in our lives which contradicts Christ and His love. We need to hear God’s Word calling us to repentance, we need to hear God’s Word showing us the Lord Jesus in whose death our sins are dead and who calls us to follow Him in faith and hope and love.

Please be assured that we will have our usual Wednesday worship throughout Lent, at 7:30 PM, each preceded at 6:30 PM by a soup supper. The following people have volunteered their culinary skills: 3/4 – Bernie Knox, 3/11 – Merton Masterson, 3/18 – Judy Volkman, 3/25 – the Ushers, and 4/1 – Danitta Hawkins.

One interesting note for our Wednesday services this year is that one of them falls on March 25, on which we will observe The Annunciation. This festival, nine months before Christmas, recognizes the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary, announcing that she would bear the Son of God, Jesus Christ Our Savior. This gives us a brief moment of celebration within this Lenten season. Please join us for these mid-week opportunities for spiritual refreshment during this holy season.

As the Easter season approaches, we will be looking forward to adorning the altar with Easter lilies. Judy Volkman will again coordinate this for us. The cost this year is $11 per lily. There are envelops in the back of the church. Please get your information and payment to Judy Volkman by Palm Sunday (April 5). .

Our good friend Pastor Robertson of Martini Church has agreed to assist Our Saviour with pastoral care while Pastor McClean is recuperating. If you need pastoral care during this time, please call Paul Techau at 703-531-0762, and he will notify Pastor Robertson.

In Christ,
The Church Councel

Free Flea Market

May 9th will soon be here, and that is the date for the first Free Flea Market for this year. Thanks to a generous donation of household items from Scoot Jones’ family, we are well stocked with them. However, we have NO men’s or women’s warm weather clothing. We donated the clothing from last season’s stock to Orphan Grain Train, and now we need to restock. We need warm weather wear (winter just does not move during the summer) and shoes for both men and women. We sometimes get requests for children’s items, but not enough to try to have the variety of sizes needed.

So as you are going through your closets, think about what you could donate. There are individuals who count on us for their clothing! Please try to get it to Judy Volkman by April so we can see what we will need to request from Orphan Grain Train.

The Lord has given us much bounty and we need to share it!

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Wednesday, February 26
Soup Supper, 6:30 P.M.
7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The beginning of February brings the last festival of the Christmas Cycle of the Church Year – Advent, Christmas, Epiphany – the Festival of the Presentation of our Lord in the temple. The end of February brings with it Ash Wednesday, the First Day of Lent.

Because the Savior was taken by His parents to the temple at Jerusalem on the fortieth day after His birth, the Festival of the Presentation of our Lord is always kept on February 2nd. Since February 2nd usually falls on a weekday, not on Sunday, we rarely have opportunity to keep this bright festival. This year we do. Saint Luke in his Gospel tells us all about it: Luke 2:22-40. There we learn that the little Lord Jesus was greeted by the aged Simeon who took Him up in His arms and said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation…” (Luke 2:28,29) and went on to declare the infant Lord to be “a light to enlighten the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32). The theme of Christ as the true Light, come to dispel this world’s darkness, accompanies the whole Christmas Cycle of the Church Year: on Christmas Eve we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”(Isaiah 9:2); on the Feast of the Epiphany we hear Isaiah’s words, “Arise, shine, for your light has come”(Isaiah 60:1); and now on the Feast of the Presentation we hear the words of Simeon, “A light to enlighten the Gentiles.” And because of these words of Simeon it became the custom to have a candle-light procession on this festival, a custom which gave to this festival the name “Candlemas.”

The Christmas Cycle of the Church Year – Advent, Christmas, Epiphany – ends with the first Sunday in February. The next Sunday is the beginning of the Easter Cycle of the Church Year – Pre-Lent, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost.

The three Pre-Lenten Sundays have Latin names which reflect the nearness of Easter: approximately seventy, sixty, and fifty days until Easter: Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima. February 26th is Ash Wednesday. I regret that in many places the Pre-Lenten season has disappeared. I regret this because its disappearance tends to deprive us of a time of preparation for Lent. I believe that we need time to consider how we will use the holy season of Lent; the Pre-Lenten season provides us with an opportunity to do just that. In the ancient Church the forty days of Lent were the time to prepare candidates for the Easter baptisms. For us who have been baptized, the Lenten season should be a time of returning to our baptism, a time of greater intensity in living the baptismal life as we learned in the Catechism:

“What does such baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”

I will have more to say about Lent in the March newsletter. For now I will simply note that the three traditional Lenten disciplines are prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. Our Lord speaks of this in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-21). These disciplines can so easily become an occasion for sinful pride, for works righteousness. The words of the Savior show us how they are meant to be a blessing to ourselves and others

We will as usual have soup suppers on the Wednesdays in Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. Divine Service on Ash Wednesday will as usual begin at 7:30 P.M.; the soup supper begins at 6:30 P.M. There is on the piano in the front of the church a sign-up sheet for those who wish to provide the soup on these Wednesdays.

Mary Techau gives us this update of the work of our Historic Preservation Committee. “In early 2020 we will be applying for a Maryland Bond Bill for capital improvements to our building, mainly the education wing, and also applying to the Maryland Historic Trust for a capital grant for renovation work. Once capital improvements are complete, we will be able to offer more ways to help in our community. The initial phase of our project will include roof, gutter and storm water repairs to ensure a safe and dry building.” It is worth remembering that we are able to make these applications because our building has been placed on Baltimore’s Historic Preservation list.

Do remember in your prayers those whose names appear each Sunday in the bulletin. As of this writing Lawrence Smallwood is recovering from surgery at Union Memorial Hospital. Quilla Downs has suffered several deaths in her extended family. Julia Silver continues to seek healing and asks for continued prayers.

I often find myself telling friends and acquaintances that I am blessed to serve a congregation whose people are generally good natured. I – sadly! – cannot say that of every congregation I have served! I think we need to be profoundly grateful for this blessing and seize every opportunity to draw others into this fellowship of faith and hope and love. You are in my prayers. I depend on yours.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Prior to Christmas, food gift cards were delivered to designated families at Waverly Elementary/Middle School; the social worker, on behalf of the recipient families, expressed warm thanks to our congregation for our sustained remembrance and support during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Again, many thanks to all of the generous donors who made our commitment to our community outreach a success.

Not to forget our recovering brothers and sisters at the Helping Up Mission. Because of the large and continuing number of residents served by the Mission, the need for clothing and grooming supplies is endless. We will continue to collect grooming items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, body powder etc.) and gently used or new clothing items, until we have a significant supply to deliver. If you would prefer to make a personal delivery, it would be welcomed, and you will be impressed with the efficiency of the operation. The Mission is located at 1029 East Baltimore St, Baltimore, Md. 21202.

Please remember to share your loose change by depositing it in the Poor Boxes; the proceeds will be used to purchase needed items for the Mission. Many thanks, and may God continue to bless you and our church family throughout the new year.

–Qulla Downs


Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
JANARY, 2020

Monday, January 6

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Let me begin by thanking you for your Christmas greetings and gifts. It means a lot to be kindly remembered! Let me also thank everyone who helped decorate the church for Christmas. Many hands make light work, and as usual we completed this happy task in little more than an hour.

The first Monday of this month and of this new year is the bright Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord when the Church remembers and celebrates the coming off the wise to worship the infant Savior. The word Epiphany means appearing, revelation, showing forth. At Christmas God appears in the world as Man, at the Epiphany this Man appears as God. The coming of the wise men is both a fulfillment of prophecy and itself a prophecy of all nations coming to faith in the Lord Jesus as God and Savior of the world. At the Divine Service of the Epiphany we will sing familiar carols which speak of the visit of the magi: The First Nowell, What Child is This, and We Three Kings of Orient Are. Epiphany immediately follows the Twelve Days of Christmas and is a joyful conclusion of our Christmas celebration.

By now most of you will have heard that our organist, Marie Herrington, will be moving on to a new position after the first Sunday in January. We are truly sorry to see her go because she has contributed so much to our worship. Those of you who were in church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day know just how true this is! We are all the beneficiaries of her faithful — and thoroughly competent – service. We have come to cherish Marie and we truly wish her well in all her endeavors. She may from time to time be with us to play the organ. We have engaged a substitute organist for most of the month of January; the Church Council and I are looking for someone to fill this position. Pray for God’s guidance and blessing on this endeavor.

Remember in your prayers Merton Masterson who mourns the death of his father. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon him and may the risen Lord comfort all who mourn his departure.

We continue to work on the project of restoring the mechanisms which play the bells in our church tower. We recently received a generous gift of a thousand dollars for this purpose. Do be on the lookout for individuals who might be interested in helping with this project. The playing of the bells before the Divine Service has been a lovely custom and the bells are in fact a witness to the presence of Christ’s church here in our neighborhood. The bells have been here since 1934, just four years after the dedication of this church building. We look forward to the day when they will ring out again! By the way this new year brings the 90th anniversary of the dedication of this church building.

I doubt that anyone will disagree with me when I say that we begin this new year in a deeply troubled world. For one thing, it seems that so much is unsettled! How then shall we live? What are we to make of all this? Well first we need to remember that “the world, the flesh, and the devil” are not only the clear teaching of Holy Scripture; they continue as a fearsome reality in this fallen world and will continue until the Lord Jesus comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead. And since that is so, we Christians are – as Saint Peter addresses the recipients of his first Letter – “sojourners and exiles” (I Peter 2: Il) in this world; as Saint Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus” (Philippians 3:20) and “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).

In a deeply troubled world this teaching most certainly doesn’t “solve all our problems” but it makes it possible for us to keep things in perspective: to do what we are able to do in addressing its problems, but also to remember that we are finally only on a journey through this world to that home which will be home indeed.

If you need a ride to church, please do not hesitate to contact me by telephone (410.554.9994) or email (charlesmcclean42 a, tnailecom). If I am not myself able to give you a ride, I will make every effort to see that you get one. And please do not hesitate to contact me if you should be sick or simply wish to talk. Among other things, that’s what pastors are for!

Wishing you a truly happy new new, I am

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Thanks to your generous donations of food items, 5 crates of food were delivered to CARES. They were running low on items and we had a good stock, so we were able to assist them at a crucial time. Now we need to restock for them!

As you return to the normal day to day routine, remember that we need items for the Free Flea Market. We need to completely restock with new items in order to keep up the interest in our outreach. Clothing for warmer weather is most appropriate for us. We don’t get many requests for children’s items. Household items, books, games, etc. are also welcome. Please make sure the items are clean and gently used. Donations can be left in the room downstairs, across from the Multi-Purpose room. Thank you for your continued support. We will start up again in May.



Our Saviour Parish News, December, 2019


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218


First Sunday after Christmas Day – Divine Service, 11:00 A.M.
New Year’s Eve – Divine Service, 7:30 P.M.
Second Sunday after Christmas Day – Divine Service, 11:00 A.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the Divine Service of Christmas Eve we always hear the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great Light.” That great Light is Mary’s Child whose name is “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” That is the wonder of Christmas: that out of love for you and for me and for every human being God’s eternal Son took upon Himself our flesh in the womb of the lowly virgin Mary and was born in Bethlehem to save us. I love these words of Martin Luther’s Christmas hymn, “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come”:

These are the tokens ye shall mark:
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There ye shall find the Infant laid
By whom the heavens and earth were made.

It is easy to sympathize with some words of that learned and devout 17th century Christian, Blaise Pascal -mathematician, physicist, inventor and theologian – who, contemplating the unimaginable vastness of the universe, once said, “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.” But that silence was broken when God appeared in the flesh to be our Savior. He is the bright Light which dispels all the darkness.

The first of December is the First Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the new Church Year, and the beginning of the season in which we prepare for the Christmas celebration. Advent is a time of quiet reflection and anticipation as we contemplate the three-fold Coming of Christ: His coming in humility as Mary’s Child, His constant coming to us in His holy Word and Sacraments, His coming again in glory at the Last Day as Judge of the living and the dead. Advent is not so much a season of celebration as it is a season of expectation. It is a season for self-examination in the light of God’s Word. Examine yourself in the light the Ten Commandments or our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or Saint Paul’s words about “the works of the flesh” and “the fruit of the Spirit”(Galatians 5:19-23). Although the Lutheran Church does not require the use of private confession and absolution, the fifth chief part of the Catechism – The Office of the Keys and Confession -makes plain that we are encouraged to use this means of grace. If you wish to come to confession, you need only make an appointment to do so.

It is time to order the poinsettias for Christmas for the people you wish to honor or remember. They are still $10 per plant (no increase in price). Please get your order to Judy Volkman by December 22, or earlier if possible. Envelopes for your order are in the rear of the church. Make checks out to Our Saviour Lutheran.

On Sunday, December 8th, there will be a potluck lunch after Divine Service. Merton Masterson will be deep-frying a turkey and the rest of us are asked to bring side dishes. There is a sign-up sheet on the piano. I have been asked to show pictures of my recent trip to Germany and I will do so after lunch.

On Sunday, December 15th, the Rev. Lucas Witt will be installed at 4:00 P.M. as associate/missionary pastor of Immanuel Church at Loch Raven and Belvedere. It is expected that his missionary work will aid not only Immanuel Church but also the other Baltimore congregations of our Synod.

On Sunday, December 22nd, the Fourth Sunday in Advent, the church will be decorated for Christmas following Divine Service. “Many hands make light work!”

In addition to Divine Service on Christmas Eve we will also have Divine Service on Christmas morning at 10 o’clock. It is hoped that this will meet a real need for those who do not drive after dark. This is of course another opportunity to join in celebrating the Day of Christ’s birth.

Judy Volkman recently received an award for Lifetime Achievement from the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities. She has been a member of the Commission for forty-two years, has served as chair of various committees, and one term as Chair of the full Commission. Judy is amazed at the progress that has been made in the disability community but says there is still more to be done. She believes that “the Lord has made sure I was in the right place at the right time.” And so congratulations are in order!

Our former Vicar, Trent Demarest and his wife Maritza, are now the proud parents of Robert Martin who was born last Friday evening. He has three older brothers: John, Thomas, and Charles. Trent is now Headmaster of Trinity Lutheran School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Congratulations and God bless the whole Demarest family.

Included in this newsletter is an article about the bells of Our Saviour. The author, Pastor Carl Kruelle,, grew up at Our Saviour and was ordained here. The article is yet more evidence of what a treasure we have in these bells. Our task now is to raise the funds to restore the mechanism which plays them.

If you need a ride to church, do not hesitate to call me at 410.554.9994 or email me at I will make every effort to see that you have a ride.

Let us continue to hold one another in prayer. I wish you a blessed Advent, a genuine preparation for the birthday of the Savior.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

This Thanksgiving, we have continued to honor our commitment to some of our neighbors at Waverly Elementary/Middle School. As usual, our church family responded to our call for help by making monetary donations which enabled us to purchase 10 Gift Cards from Aldi’s Supermarket totaling $250. The families picked up their cards from the school’s social worker on Monday, November 25. The time frame gave the families sufficient time to shop for a few extra holiday items for their Thanksgiving feast. Now that Thanksgiving deliveries are done, we will be collecting donations for our Christmas food gift cards. Monetary donations will be collected from Sunday, November 24, through Sunday, December 22; a separate check may be placed in the collection plate with the designate “Christmas Gift Cards” in the memo line. If cash is given, an extra envelope with your name and donation number might be placed in the donation plate. Many thanks to our church family for the outpouring of generosity and caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters in our community.
– Quilla Downs

The Message of the Bells

It was a nice spring day in Govans, 1943. The forsythia were in full bloom. It was Wartime—we had no car or phone. | was having cramps in my stomach. Mom, being a nurse, took, my temperature. It was high. She rushed me down the block to the streetcar on York Rd. I continued having cramps all the way to the transfer point at Greenmont and Preston. Getting off the streetcar at the center doors was easy. It looked a long way to the ground and I was half-dizzy. I vomited all over the steps getting down to street level (wondering how people on the streetcar were going to survive the smell of my mess; | could leave, but they couldn’t) to catch the trackless trolley to St. Joseph Hospital on Caroline St. Once in the operating room, the anesthetist told me “Breathe into this balloon and count to 10.” I remember the scent of the ether but never made it to 10 — maybe 5 or 6, and I was out.

After waking up in the ward, I was told I had an emergency appendectomy (appendicitis). The next night my Pastor came to visit, the Rev. A. J. Stiemke. He placed his calming hand on my forehead, prayed, spoke the Lord’s Prayer and Benediction.

The next morning was Palm Sunday and time for discharge. Uncle Fred arrived along with my parents to drive me home in his Hudson Terraplane. The route we traveled took me right past The Church of Our Saviour along the Alameda Boulevard. It was just before the 11:00a.m. Service. And | was thankful we had to stop for the red light, because I got to hear the bells resounding with “O Savior, Precious Savior’, “Crown Him with Many Crowns”, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”, “Beautiful Savior’. As the light changed to green and we headed for home, I could still hear the bells trailing off in the distance. One of the high points of my life!

At the various churches where I have served, I always scheduled one or more of these hymns for Palm Sunday congregational signing.

Over years I have often wondered how many people were healed, helped, or redirected by the message of the bells.

Carl H. Kruelle. Jr.

October 27, 2019


Our Saviour Parish News, November, 2019

in the City of Baltimore

November,  2019



Wednesday, November 27
“Come, ye thankful people, come”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Since November 1 is All Saints Day we always keep the first Sunday in November in celebration of this festival of the Christian Year. It is a glorious festival in which we rejoice in the great reality of the communion of saints, that blessed company of all who are Christ’s both in paradise and on earth. We especially remember all those who have loved and served Him here on earth and who now rejoice in His nearer presence. We together with them look forward to that Last and Great Day when the risen Lord will appear in glory as Judge of the living and the dead and will raise from the dead the bodies of all who now rest in Him. According to the usage of the word in the New Testament all who are Christ’s are “saints,” that is “holy people” – holy not in ourselves but holy because in Baptism our sins have been forgiven and we have been clothed in the spotless robe of Jesus’ blood and righteousness. But from ancient times the word “saint” has especially been given to those in whom the light of Christ has shone more brightly: the virgin mother of our Lord and Savior, the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and confessors through all the ages. And all of us can think of those we’ve known whose lives were bright with faith and hope and love.

It is our custom especially to remember members of our congregation who have died since the last All Saints Day. This year we remember our dear sister in Christ, Ethlyn Gosnell, who fell asleep in the Lord on October 16 and was given Christian burial following the funeral service here in church on Friday, October 25. May she rest in peace and may the Light perpetual shine upon her. And may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn her departure.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Germany this past month. It was delightful in every way – not least the German food and drink! Among other things I was able to see the city of Rastatt where one of my great-great-grandfathers had lived and the city of Bad Wildungen where one of my great-grandfathers had lived before coming to Baltimore. There I saw the church where Philip Nicolai served as pastor in the late 16th century. He is the author of what we Lutherans call “the King and Queen of Chorales”: “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying” (LSB 516) and “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (LSB 395). I visited Wittenberg and there saw the Castle Church of All Saints, the City Church of Saint Mary and Luther’s home; I attended Divine Service in the Chapel of the Old Latin School which now is an international center for faithful Lutheranism. I also visited the tomb of Saint Boniface (672-754) in Fulda. Because of his great missionary labors he has been called “the Apostle of Germany”; his name appears in the list of commemorations in our Synod’s present hymnal.

I think that we are all grateful for the new lighting in church. I for one had not realized how dim the lighting had become! Many of the bulbs had burned out but now they have been replaced with LED lights which will last a very long time.

The third Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day. On Thanksgiving Eve there will be Divine Service at 7:30 P.M. I remember how when I was a boy the churches would be filled on Thanksgiving – and that was as it should be. But that has long ceased to be true. There are no doubt all kinds of reasons for this. But do we not need to consider our priorities? Is it too much to ask that we spend one hour in the House of God to join together in giving thanks for His blessings to us all?

The last Sunday in November is the Last Sunday of the present Church Year. The following Sunday, Advent Sunday, will be the beginning of the new Church Year. As one Church Year is ending and another about to begin we surely need to examine our lives in the light of the Word of God. In doing so we will surely come to see our many sins in thought and word and deed and our utter dependence on the mercy of God in His Son Jesus Christ our Savior. Let us then be diligent in the use of God’s Word and Sacraments in which He freely bestows forgiveness of our sins, life, and salvation. Ask yourself: If this were my last day on earth, how would I wish to live?

I ask your prayers for me; you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

When I went to tally the results of the Free Flea markets this year, I was pleasantly surprised. 144 people attended and 1,165 items were distributed. And 12 volunteers assisted 32 times at these occasions. But even more impressive are the numbers for the 6 years we have been doing this outreach to the community. We touched the lives of 979 people and distributed 6,698 items. Wow!!!! That’s a lot of people and items that we gave from the bounty the Lord has given us! It couldn’t have been done without the helpful hands of the volunteers, who came out 264 times to assist. Quite impressive for a small congregation!

And that change that’s in your pocket? It all adds up. Bert Buchanan’s husband emptied his pockets every night in a jar for years. She recently shared these coins to be used to purchase items for the Helping Up Mission. The total came to $56.43. So every penny counts and is used to help others.

– Judy


Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2019

in the City of Baltimore

September,  2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This summer seems to have passed by rather quickly. We have certainly had some very hot and humid days – including Sundays. But the summer Sundays have not been uneventful!

Elizabeth Katherine Ford, who was born on January 11th, received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on Sunday, August 11th. Her parents are Carlos Juan Ford and Kimberly Ann nee Gado. Elizabeth is a great-granddaughter of Frank Ford. It was a very happy occasion! We sometimes forget that as a Christian congregation it is our duty to remember those who have been baptized in our prayers that they may grow up as faithful members of Christ and His Body the Church.

We were happy to have Joshua Dub with us as our summer vicar for most of July and August. Earlier in the summer he served as summer vicar for Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries with Pastor Robert Kieselowsky who serves Saint John’s Church in the suburb of Springfield and the Logos Church in center city Philadelphia. We were glad to hear him preach twice and lead our Sunday Bible Study of the Gospel according to Saint Mark. Joshua is very gifted musically and we were happy to hear him chant the Gospel on Sunday, August 11th, the Seventh Sunday after Trinity. He joined me in visiting several of our shut-in members and also made such calls and also hospital calls on his own. Pastor Coats and I joined him in weekly study of the original Greek language of the Sunday readings from Holy Scripture. Josh has definite scholarly interests and is already involved in the preparation of translations of significant works of theology including some of the new volumes in the American edition of Luther’s Works. He now returns to Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne for his second year of study. After a full year as a vicar and a final year at the Seminary he will be ready to be ordained. I am convinced that he will be a fine pastor, truly a blessing to those whose lives he will touch.

Those of us who were at Divine Service on July 14th heard the Rev. Dr. John Bombaro preach. He made a very interesting visual presentation at the Sunday Bible Class about the work he will soon begin in the City of Riga in Latvia, establishing an English-speaking congregation there and teaching at the Luther Academy in that City. It was wonderful to hear about the revival of the Lutheran Church in Latvia after so many years of Soviet oppression and persecution.

Kate Phillips was with us on Sunday, August 18th, and made a visual presentation at the Bible Class and spoke to the congregation about the work she will soon begin in the Dominican Republic where there is clearly tremendous need. She is in the Deaconess Program at the Fort Wayne Seminary and this two year internship is part of that program. Kate’s parents live in Arnold near Annapolis. She attended the Christian Day School of Saint Paul’s Church in Glen Burnie and happens to be a friend of my great-nephew Wes Pierce who also attended Saint Paul’s School.

The presence of Dr. Bombaro and of Kate Phillips reminded us of the larger mission of the Church throughout the world. Let us faithfully remember them in our prayers and – as we are able – support their work financially. You may send a check clearly marked on the memo line with “Bombaro-Latvia Support” or “Phillips-Dominican Republic Support” to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, Saint Louis, Missouri 63166-6861.

Looking ahead, the last free flea market of this year will take place on Saturday, September 14th from 9:00 to 12:00 noon and that will be followed immediately by a picnic in honor of our City Council member, Mary Pat Clarke, who will be retiring from public service. Mary Pat is a good friend of Our Saviour. Please come and enjoy lunch and say thank you for all of the support she has given us.

I trust that you have all received the recent letter from the Church Council concerning the finances of our congregation. Saint Paul says that “the Lord loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). It is a grateful heart which cheerfully gives. I remember that Pastor Engelbert (who baptized and confirmed me) once said that every line of the Apostles Creed is reason for gratitude, for thanksgiving.

On the last Sunday in September we will have an opportunity to give thanks for the ministry of the holy angels: in the calendar of the Christian Year September 29th is the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. Surely there is a great comfort which this feast suggests. At every Divine Service we worship “with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven” in the presence of the risen Lord who is truly present in the Holy Sacrament. The Morning and Evening Prayers in the Small Catechism conclude with the petition, “Let Your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me.” Yes, the holy angels are yet another reason for gratitude, for thanksgiving!

The first Sunday in October will be Family Day and on the last Sunday in October the Joint Reformation Service will be held here at 4:00 P.M.

It is all too easy to become discouraged or even cynical about so many things. But that is what the devil wants! Because Christ is risen we have hope that can never be put to shame! Every Lord’s Day we are privileged to celebrate that victory of the eternal love of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Let us continue to remember one another in our prayers!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

 Sharing our bounty. On July 24th, CARES came to the church and picked up 4 crates of canned food items. This will help them through the lean summer months. Keep on bringing in canned food items so we can have them come soon again!

The Free Flea Market on August 10th had 30 people attending, and 192 items were distributed. This is less than we have done in previous flea markets. Maybe it was because it was a nice Saturday (not so hot) and everyone wanted to enjoy it! The last Flea Market of the season will be held September 14th. At that time, we will have fall clothing items to get ready for some chillier weather. If you have any fall clothing and/or household items, please get them to Judy before the 14th. And there will be a gathering to honor Mary Pat Clarke immediately after the Flea Market.

A generous donation of personal care items has been received from the Ronald McDonald House and will be distributed to the Helping Up Mission. As you probably know, the Ronald McDonald House provides housing for families when they have a loved one receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins. When these people are traveling, they collect the personal care items found in hotels. The House had an abundance of items and contacted us through a volunteer that Judy knows and shared them with us. They, and we, are good stewards of the bounty God has bestowed on us!

Thanks to all who have contributed in our outreach to those who need it.

– Judy Volkman

We are fast approaching the date of our fall delivery to Helping Up Mission. Our planned date of delivery is the 3rd week of September. As we reported earlier, the Mission has expanded, and is now accommodating women who are committed to recovery. However, the women are housed in a separate location until such time a permanent facility is constructed. As we minister to the men with our gifts, please keep the women in mind. The needs remain the same; soap, deodorant, wash cloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc. There is also need for socks, t-shirts, and any item of men and women’s apparel. In addition to new items, the Mission accepts clean, gently used clothing. Thanks to all who deposit loose change into the poor boxes; those funds are designated to purchase additional items for Mission residents. Many thanks to the congregation for sustained support of Helping Up Mission, know that we are contributing to the success of recovering men and women.

– Qullia Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, July/August, 2019

in the City of Baltimore

July/August,  2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although I do not always agree with him, George F. Will is one of my favorite journalists. In an article published some years ago he had this to say: “Modernity teaches that freedom is the sovereignty of the individual’s will – personal volition that is spontaneous, unconditioned, inviolable, and self-legitimizing.” This deplorable misunderstanding of freedom is at the root of so much of the disarray in today’s world. In the beginning of the human story Satan whispers to Eve, “You shall be as gods”: yourselves sovereign, yourselves the arbiter of good and evil, yourselves subject to no one, subject to no One – to God. In one of its beautiful ancient prayers the Church addresses God as the One “in whose service is perfect freedom.” The original Latin of the prayer makes this even clearer: that “to serve God is to reign/cui servire regnare est” Genuine freedom is found in obedience to God’s will, obedience to our own sinful will is only a more terrible form of bondage! In a recent book Rod Dreher notes that “the repaganization called the Sexual Revolution can never be reconciled with orthodox Christianity…For the Christian, there is only one right way to use the gift of sex: within marriage between one man and one woman. This is heresy to the modern world, and a hard saying upon which hearts, friendships, and even families and even churches have been broken. There is no one teaching of the Christian faith that is less popular today, and perhaps more important to obey”(The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, pp. 197,195). Writing to the Galatian Christians, Saint Paul says: “You were called to be free…only do not turn your freedom into license for your lower nature” (Galatians 5:13 New English Bible). And so we are all called to repentance which includes compassion for those who are ensnared by their ignorance of or rejection of Christ’s teaching. We are called to pray for their – and our! – deliverance from sin, remembering that we sin not only in deed and word but also in our thoughts which are known to God “unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid.”

Needless to say I hope that you will be able to be present every Lord’s Day for the Divine Service but I especially hope that many of you will be present on the Second Sunday in July – July 14th – because our summer Vicar, Joshua Dub, will be with us for the first time and Chaplain/Dr. John Bombaro will preach and address the Bible Class which as always will meet at 9:45 A.M.

Vicar Joshua attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he studied Classics and German and was involved in various musical ensembles. After college he spent a year teaching English and Latin in Windsbach, Germany, at the school for the boys choir of that city, one of the renowned boy choirs of the world. He has most recently been serving in the Philadelphia area with Pastor Kieselowsky at Saint John’s Church in Springfield (where I served as pastor 1976-1982) and at the Logos Church in center city Philadelphia. He will also be serving with Pastor Coats at Redeemer Church in Irvington. Vicar Joshua will preach, lead the Sunday Bible Class, attend meetings of the Church Council, and accompany me on visits to our sick and shut-in members. I am also hoping that with his help we may move forward in outreach to college students in this city.

Chaplain Bombaro, who is at present attached to the Pentagon, will soon be leaving to teach at the Luther Academy in the City of Riga in Latvia, to plant an English-speaking church there, and to organize theological conferences in Eurasia. The Luther Academy was founded in 1997 to be a school for the education of pastors, teachers and church musicians. At our Sunday Bible Class Dr. Bombaro will show slides about his new work which is part of our Synod’s mission in other parts of the world. The Lutheran Church in Latvia suffered terribly under the Soviet tyranny, but since the fall of the Soviet Union has experienced a rebirth. For the past twenty-five years, under the leadership of its Archbishop Janis Vanags, our Latvian sister church has become a beacon of faithful Lutheranism in that part of the world. Do plan on coming to see and hear Chaplain Bombaro’s presentation in the air- conditioned rooms of our education building!

As faithful Lutherans, we know that the Church in the truest sense is the gathering of believers around the Word and the Sacraments. At the same time we do cherish the buildings in which our gracious God comes to us. More than a year ago our Church was placed on the register of historic buildings. Among other things, that designation makes it easier for us to obtain grants from outside sources for needs connected with the physical fabric of our building. And so the Church Council has formed the Our Saviour Church Historic Preservation Committee. We are extremely fortunate that Theresa Barrett, a friend of Merton Masterson, a grants expert, is willing to work with us in this effort. Chairman of the Committee is Mary Techau, Bernie Knox is treasurer, Richard Brown is secretary; Merton Masterson, Gary Watson, Gabe Purviance, and Paul Techau are also members. We most certainly do not worship buildings, but our Church building is a treasure of which we are stewards, stewards so that the mission of Christ the Savior can continue in this part of Baltimore.

Under the leadership of Judy Volkman we continue our Free Flea Markets on the second Saturday of each month; this meets the real needs of many people. We also continue our support for the Helping Up Mission by donating items needed by the men who are being helped by that wonderful institution. There is a box adjacent to the door next to the church office for depositing these items. We also continue to collect food for GEDCO. The box for donations is next to the door of the church office. As Christians we cannot be indifferent to the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves but must do what we are able to do to help them.

The triennial Convention of our Synod meets in Tampa, Florida, July 20-25. Pastor Charles Minetree of Immanuel Church is the pastoral delegate from the Circuit of congregations to which we belong and Harry Reinhardt of Martini Church is the lay delegate. Remember in your prayers those who will be taking counsel for the life of our Synod so that we may remain faithful to the Word of God and the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and so be an ever more effective mission in the world.

Looking ahead, Family Day/Homecoming is tentatively set for Sunday, October 6th. The annual Joint Reformation Service of our Synod’s Baltimore congregations will be held here at Our Saviour on Sunday, October 27th, at 4:00 P.M. The Rev. Dr. Gregory Todd, Rear Admiral United States Navy, Deputy Chief of Naval Chaplains and Chaplain of the Marine Corps, will preach. You will want to hear him.

As always let me encourage you to remember one another in your prayers. Pray also for the leaders of our nation, our state, our city in these difficult days. Please remember me in your prayers as I remember you in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, May/June 2019

in the City of Baltimore

May/June,  2019

Thursday, May 30
7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This month of May finds us in the Easter season of the Christian Year. Our celebration of the Lord’s resurrection does not end on Easter Day but continues for forty days. And that is why we continue to sing Easter hymns and why the Paschal – Easter – Candle burns at all the services as a sign of the presence of the risen Lord.

During the forty days following His resurrection our Lord appeared to His disciples in the splendor of His risen body and opened to them the meaning of the Scriptures of the prophets as bearing witness to Him. And then on the fortieth day He ascended into heaven. And so the fortieth day after Easter Day is Ascension Day, one of the great festivals of the Christian Year. We will as usual celebrate the ascension of our Lord with a Festival Divine Service at 7:30 P.M. “I go to prepare a place for you,” Jesus said, “and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-4). At the end of the reading of the Holy Gospel on Ascension Day the Paschal Candle is extinguished as a sign that in His ascension our Lord withdrew His visible presence from us. Weekday services provide an opportunity for those who must work on Sunday to hear the Word of God and receive the Holy Sacrament.

Before His ascension the risen Lord instructed the disciples to remain in Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Ten days after the ascension, on the Day of Pentecost – Pentecost means fiftieth, the fiftieth day after  Easter Day – the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples with the sound of a rushing mighty wind and appeared like tongues of fire resting on each one of them. Emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Saint Peter and the others proclaimed to the people gathered in Jerusalem the saving death and resurrection of Jesus calling them to repentance and faith in the Savior. Three thousand people were baptized! Pentecost is the birthday of the Church and is, together with Easter Day and Christmas Day, one of Three Great Feasts of the Christian Year. This year Pentecost falls on Sunday, June 9. I hope that everyone will make a real effort to attend the Divine Service on Pentecost. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit do we know the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer.

The Sunday after Pentecost is always kept as the Feast of the Holy Trinity. From Advent Sunday through Pentecost we celebrate what God has done for our salvation. On Trinity Sunday we celebrate the mystery of who God is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: one God. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is that God is one but not solitary. He is Himself – in a way the mind cannot fathom nor words ever fully explain – communion in love. You and I are made in the image of this God who is one but not solitary. Made in that image, we human beings are called to live as a communion of love. All the sadness and misery of this present world is rooted in contradiction of that mystery.  And so we who have been baptized in the name of this triune God are called to repentance and new life. God works this in us through His Gospel and Sacraments. And that is why neglect of Gospel and Sacraments is such a sad and serious matter.

I want to thank everyone who helped to make possible the Saint Mark’s Conference held at the end of April: Mary and Paul Techau, Quilla Downs, Bernie Knox, Julia Silver, Richard Brown, and Jake Mokris. I was happy that Trent Demarest was able to be with us. I will be leaving to visit him and his family on the evening of Sunday, June 2, returning to Baltimore on June 6. It will be a real treat to see Maritza and their three young boys: John who is now three years old, Thomas who is two, and my namesake Charles who just turned one. Another child is expected in November. Trent is now serving as Headmaster of the classical Christian day school of Trinity Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming.                                                

On Saturday, May 4th, I attended the centennial celebration of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church which since 1919 has worshiped in the building which from its founding in 1892 until 1919 was our congregation’s church home. I was again delighted to see the large and wonderful painting of the risen Lord with His banner of victory which adorned the altar when our congregation worshiped there and continued to grace Holy Trinity’s altar for the next fifty years. It can still be seen. Since May 4th was Saturday in the week of Orthodox Easter, the Divine Liturgy was filled with resurrection joy. A delightful festive dinner followed worship. It is good to know that the building which once was our church home continues to be used for the worship of the Holy Trinity who has saved us.

I also attended the Church Workers Conference of our Southeastern District which was held in Roanoke May 6-8. Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez of our Synod’s Saint Louis Seminary spoke of the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification. It was good to see old friends and new.

The spring Voters Meeting will be held this coming Sunday after Divine Service. Any member of Our Saviour Church, eighteen or older, is eligible to participate and I encourage you to do so.

Charles Dowdy and Ethlyn Gosnell were recently hospitalized but now have returned to their homes. Remember them in your prayers together with all those whose names appear in our Sunday bulletin. Queenie Hardaway now lives at Augsburg Village.

Please let me know if you must go to the hospital or if there is some other need in your life for pastoral care. You may call me at any time: 410.554.9994. If I am not there, simply leave word on my answering machine and I will get back to you as soon as I can. And do not hesitate to let me know if there is someone who is not one of our members but who needs a pastor.

Wishing you joy in our risen and ascended Lord, I am

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


The first Free Flea Market was held on May 11th and we need to stock up on some items for the remaining happenings.  We need:  men’s & ladies shoes, men’s jeans, household items, jewelry and plastic bags (to carry items home).  All items should be in fairly good condition (gently used).  You can place your items in the storage room down by the Multi-Purpose room, and let Judy Volkman know about your contribution.

– Judy Volkman