Tag Archives: 125th Anniversary

Our Saviour Parish News, March, 2017

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
March 2017


Wednesday, March 1
6:30 P.M. Soup Supper

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The beginning of March brings with it the beginning of Lent. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he meant that the whole life of believers should be repentance.” This first of the 95 Theses which Dr. Martin Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31st 1517 reminds us that repentance is by no means confined to one season of the Church Year. In his Small Catechism Dr. Luther asks, “What does such baptizing with water signify?? It signifies that the old Adam in us should through daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die together with all sins and evil desires, and again a new man daily come forth and arise who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.” Nevertheless the Church has from ancient times set aside the forty days of the Lenten season as a time when we are especially conscious of Christian life as one of repentance. In preparation for Easter we meditate on the sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus for our sins, we confess our sins and are strengthened by the daily forgiveness He extends to all who with penitent hearts place their trust in Him. It is a very serious error so suppose that God somehow needs our Lenten observance: it is rather you and I who need this holy season. And so I hope that everyone will make a sincere effort to be present in church as we begin the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday with Divine Service and Imposition of Ashes. Receiving the ashes we hear the words God spoke to Adam after he had fallen into sin: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). And “the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). On each of the following Wednesdays of the Lenten season there will be Lenten Vespers at 7:30 P.M. with meditations on the Passion of our Lord. A simple soup supper precedes these Lenten services at 6:30 P.M. 

Included with this newsletter is a copy of a letter from the President of Synod, Pastor Matthew Harrison, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the founding of our congregation. It was on March 10th, 1892 that twelve members of Immanuel Church, then on Caroline Street in east Baltimore, founded our congregation under the leadership of Pastor William Dallmann who was then the Pastor of English Emmanuel Church in west Baltimore. Emmanuel Church had been founded in 1888. So these two congregations were the beginning of the English work of the Missouri Synod in Baltimore. The name of our congregation has changed through the years. It was at first known as Jackson Square Lutheran Church because of its location. When in 1919 the old church was sold to Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church (which still worships in the old church) and the Church moved to its present location, the name was changed to The Church of Our Saviour. Then upon the merger of Our Saviour and Saint Matthew’s Church in April 1973 we became Our Saviour Lutheran Church. 125 years is a significant milestone which we will celebrate on Sunday, April 30th. The preacher for this occasion will be the Rev. Christopher Esget, Pastor of Immanuel Church in Alexandria and one of the five regional vice-presidents of the Missouri Synod. Do note this date in your calendar and plan on being present. You might also inform former members of our congregation about this celebration.

I think that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the potluck lunch on Sunday, February 12th, and the film on the life of Rosa Young, her remarkable work among the African American community as a confessor of the Gospel as proclaimed by the Lutheran Church. Mary Bridges, one of our older members, was in fact a student of Rosa Young. We give thanks for Rosa Young’s faithful witness as we continue to confess the same saving Gospel of Christ.

More than twenty people came to the meeting here at Our Saviour on February 18th to lay the foundation for a chapter of Lutherans for Life here in Baltimore. Hilary Haak, the Mission and Ministry Director of the national organization, led us through a very enlightening presentation on the basics of founding a chapter. We also were honored with the presence of the Rev. Everette Greene, vice-president of Lutherans for Life, a Baltimore native who is now Pastor of Immanuel Church in Cincinnati. There will be a follow up meeting here at Our Saviour on Saturday, March 18th, at 10:00 A.M. Everyone is welcome to attend. We are very much in just the beginning stages of this effort.

Confirmation classes for young people will be held on Tuesdays at 3:30 P.M. beginning February 28th. Dymond Hawkins and Ted Jones will be attending. Do let me know if there are other young people who might be invited.

The second Saint Mark’s Conference will be held on April 24 and 25 which is Saint Mark’s Day. Forty people attended last year’s Conference and we hope for a good response also this year. Although the Conference is chiefly of interest to pastors and seminarians, anyone may attend. The topic this year will be The Office of the Holy Ministry which will be considered in the light of Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, church history in general and the history of the Missouri Synod in particular. Publicity about this Conference will soon appear on our website.

We recently received the good news that, thanks to the generosity of Synod and Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, we will have a summer vicar. We will soon be able to announce his name. I know how much we all enjoyed the presence of Trent Demarest as our vicar together with his wife Maritza and his infant son John. Do keep the Demarests in your prayers as Maritza is expecting another child in early March.

Darlene Grant is still hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital, James Gray is temporarily living at the Augsburg Home and recovering strength, Gabe Purviance is undergoing treatments. Remember to keep these fellow members in your prayers. 

I suspect most of us are familiar with the tithe as a guideline (not a law!) for giving in response to God’s gift of forgiveness, life and salvation. Less familiar perhaps is the idea of Lent as the “Tithe of the Year.” The year has 365 days, Lent has 40 days. There is of course no divine law that Lent must be observed and consciences must not be burdened with such a mistaken idea: God does not need our Lenten observances but you and I do. In His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6) our Lord speaks of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving which have always been understood as the traditional Lenten disciplines. I urge you to read and meditate on Matthew 6 as we begin the Lenten season. It is always a mistake to try to do too much by way of Lenten discipline. Consider your own spiritual health – or perhaps the lack thereof. For example, if you have been negligent in prayer for others you might make a short list of people who need your prayers. If you have been negligent in worshiping on the Lord’s Day, resolve to be present each Lord’s Day to celebrate the weekly memorial of the Lord’s resurrection and receive the precious gift of His holy Body and Blood. By your presence you also encourage your fellow Christians in their faith. I also highly recommend the use of “Portals of Prayer” which provides a fine brief meditation on Scripture and prayer for every day of the year.

As during this Lenten season we remember God’s great mercy toward us in His Son, let us pray for grace to be merciful to others, keeping our hearts free of all judgmental, condemning thoughts. In the words of that 4th century Syrian Christian, Saint Ephrem: 

O Lord and Master of my life,
Put far from me the spirit of pride, vainglory and hypocrisy,
But give rather to your servant a spirit of
humility, chastity, patience and love.
Yes, O Lord and King,
Help me to see my own faults and not to
judge my brother.
For you are blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2017

3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
February 2017


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When blessed Mary, the Virgin Mother of our Lord, and His foster father Joseph presented the forty day old Christ Child in the temple at Jerusalem, they were met by the aged Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:22-40) In the calendar of the Church Year February 2nd has from ancient times been kept in remembrance of this event. Saint Luke tells us that the aged Simeon took the Christ Child in his arms and prayed, “Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; Your word has been fulfilled. My own eyes have seen the salvation which You have prepared in the sight of every people…” We are told that the aged prophetess Anna, who was ceaselessly praying and fasting in the temple, spoke of the infant Savior to all the people. Early on Sunday morning, January 15th, the Savior called our beloved sister Myrna Curtis out of this earthly life to His nearer presence. Like Simeon she rejoiced in her Saviour and like Anna she was a faithful witness to Him. And so, although we mourn her passing from us, we give thanks that for her faith has now given way to sight. Many people came to her funeral service on Monday, January 23rd; she had clearly touched the lives of so many people and led both little children and adults to the knowledge of their Savior. Her faithfulness, her cheerful and humble presence, were a great blessing to all of us who were privileged to know her We shall miss her, nevertheless, we rejoice in the hope of a blessed reunion in the presence of the risen Lord. May she rest in peace and may the Light perpetuate ever shine upon her!

Several of our members are convalescing at the present time: Darlene Grant, James Gray, and Gabe Purviance. Remember them in your prayers that they may have a good recovery.

On Sunday, February 12th, we will – as usual on the second Sunday of the month – have a potluck luncheon which will then be followed by a short film called “The First Rosa” which presents the life of Rosa J Young: a teacher, a confessor of Christ, a church planter, a member of our Synod. With her passion for helping others, educating children and sharing the good news of Jesus, She accomplished extraordinary things for the African American community. I understand that at least one of our older members was in fact a student of Rosa Young. She is called “The First Rosa” by way of contrast with Rosa Parks who was such a fearless leader in the civil rights movement Both of them were used by God to touch the lives of many people Do plan on staying for lunch, invite your friends, and bring a dish to share.

On Saturday, February 18th, there will be a meeting here at Our Saviour for the purpose of organizing a chapter of Lutherans for Life in the greater Baltimore area This is a national organization which has as its purpose bearing witness to the sanctity of the life God gives from conception to natural death. Lutherans for Life speaks out against the scourge of abortion and seeks to help women who find themselves with unexpected pregnancies and those who are troubled by having had an abortion; it also speaks out against the growing support for euthanasia and insists on compassionate care for the dying. With other such groups Lutherans tor Life speaks for the Culture of Life in a world increasingly burdened with the Culture of Death. The meeting begins with Matins at 10:00 A.M. Lunch will be provided. All the Missouri Synod congregations in our area have been invited to send representatives. Mary Techau is coordinating this meeting,

I thoroughly enjoyed my week in Fort Wayne, attending the annual Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions. I heard some excellent papers and attended the services in the Chapel of Concordia Theological Seminary which are always marked by such wonderful music and solid preaching. A highlight was the presentation of J. S. Bach’s cantata based on Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” I also saw many old and new friends. It was especially delightful to see our former vicar Trent Demarest, his wife Maritza. and their son John who is almost walking now and also expecting a little brother or sister in early March. They send their love to the people of Our Saviour. Keep the Demarests in your prayers. Trent continues to help with our website.

At the Voters Meeting on Sunday, January 22nd, it was resolved to give Don Weber the title of Organist Emeritus. Until we find a new organist we are being helped by Charles Ames who for many years was organist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Annapolis and by Marie Herrington who is a student at the Peabody Conservatory. Don Weber will be a member of the committee to find his successor. The Voters also confirmed the appointment Of Merton Masterson as director of worship since Jake Mokris is now in Israel continuing to work on his doctoral studies in physics. Remember to keep Jake in your prayers.

The Rev. Christopher S. Esget has agreed to preach for the 125th anniversary of our congregation. He serves both as Pastor of Immanuel Church in Alexandria and also as Vice President of the East-Southeast Region of our Synod having been elected to that office during the Synodical Convention in Milwaukee this past summer. He preached for my installation as your pastor back in May 2013. The date for the anniversary service has not yet been set but will probably take place in the spring, We intend to invite former members of Our Saviour to join in this celebration,

February 18th is the 467th anniversary of Martin Luther’s death. The Church has always regarded the death of believers as their heavenly birthday. During this year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation we Lutherans are especially conscious of the blessings which God bestowed on His Church through His faithful servant Martin Luther. His Small Catechism has formed the faith and life of countless children and adults. We are never finished learning all that the Catechism has to teach about the Six Chief Parts of Christian doctrine: the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, Confession and Absolution, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Most of us have our own copy of the Catechism. If for some reason you do not have one, please let me know and I’ll be glad to give you one.

Do note that Ash Wednesday is March 1st. Plan now to attend Divine Service on that day and the Wednesday Lenten Vespers which follow.

Let me say again that I am always available to respond to your spiritual needs. It is easiest to reach me by calling my home telephone (which has an answering machine) – 410.554.9994 – or charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. I ask that you keep me in your prayers as you are in mine.

 Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Due to donations from the Lenten soup suppers and gifts from our church family, we were able to provide turkeys and provisions to seventeen needy families between the thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The families picked up their baskets from the church. We delivered baskets to two families due to disabilities. We continue to need your gifts of canned goods and nonperishable food items to fulfil our ongoing commitment to the community food pantry. On January 27, 2017 we delivered seven boxes of food. Please continue to remember our neighbors who are in need. Many thanks to the donors of food and to those who help with distribution and coordination, Judy Volkman, William Hawkins and Ron Lange.

We continue to remember residents of Helping up Mission; a February delivery is planned. We will be taking personal toiletry items: tooth brushes, towels, socks etc. Let me know if you have items you wish to include in the February delivery. Please remember to drop off any spare change in the Alms boxes. Any monies collected from the boxes will be used to purchase supplies for the residents of the Mission. Many thanks for your acts of kindness, and may God continue to bless and comfort you in the new year.
                                                              – Quilla Downs