Tag Archives: Augsburg Confession

Our Saviour Parish News, June, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Pentcost, June 5, 2022
Festival Divine Service, 11:00 AM

Memorial Service
for the Rev. Gary L. Fisher
Pastor of Our Saviour  1989-2006
Saturday June 11, 2022 12:30 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During this past month our country has yet again been horrified first by the killing of African Americans in Buffalo and then by the killing of little children and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Included with this newsletter is a statement following the Buffalo tragedy by the President of Synod, the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison. Although words can never be enough in responding to this kind of evil, I urge you to read and to ponder what he has to say. These killings are occurring with mind-numbing regularity. Each of us must, according to his or her particular role and place in society, do what we can and also pray for an end to these intolerable events. Surely God is calling us all to repentance.

Saint Peter called to repentance the large crowd gathered in Jerusalem on that first Day of Pentecost. In response to his preaching, about three thousand people were baptized. Together with Easter and Christmas, Pentecost is one of the Three Great Festivals of the Christian Year. On Good Friday the Savior finished His redeeming work, on Easter His victory was revealed, on Pentecost the Holy Spirit came, Christ’s victory was proclaimed and the Church was born. And since that first Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit has continued through the preaching of the Word of God and the administration of the Holy Sacraments to bestow eternal life. For the Holy Spirit is, as we confess Him to be in the Nicene Creed, both “the Lord and Giver of life.”

Everyone is invited to the Memorial Service for Pastor Gary Fisher on Saturday June 11 at 12:30 PM. Pastor Fisher served as pastor of this congregation 1989–2006. Be sure to let your friends who may have been members here during those years know about this service. Pastor Fisher’s children will be present.

On the cornerstone of this church building, following the name of this church, we find the letters “U A C,” which stand for Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the confession of faith which was presented by the Lutheran princes and cities to Emperor Charles V in the City of Augsburg on June 25, 1530. And so on the last Sunday in June we commemorate the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession. This is the principal confession of the faith of the Lutheran Church. So important is this Confession that there was a time when the Constitution of Our Saviour Church and of other churches required members to know not only Luther’s Small Catechism but also the Augsburg Confession. The text of the Augsburg Confession can easily be found online. We also have a number of paper copies available for the asking.

At the Voters Meeting on May 15 we approved the budget for fiscal year 2022–2023 and elected members of the Church Council: Bernie Knox, Merton Masterson, Ben Orris, Gabe Purviance, Mary Techau, Paul Techau, Gary Watson. As pastor, I am very grateful for the faithful and willing service of these leaders in our congregation. I do not take them for granted; they often go far above and beyond the call of duty!

Two people are attending a membership class on Saturday mornings at 10 o’clock. Anyone wishing to be a member of the church may attend, as well as anyone wishing to review the essential Christian teachings. This will continue through the month of August.

The first free flea market of this year was held on May 14, and the next one will take place on Saturday, June 11, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM. The Ednor Gardens/Lakeside Association held a yard sale on our parking lot on May 21 and will hold an Ice Cream Social on Saturday, June 11, at 4:00 PM.

Please remember to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway has been living at the Augsburg Home for some time now: 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

I continue to bring Holy Communion to members who are unable to come to church. If you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament, call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charles.mcclean42@gmail.com. If you are in need of transportation to church, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be glad to make arrangements for that purpose.

Let us continue to remember one another in prayer and to pray for peace and tranquility both in our own country and throughout the world. And let us each and every one follow the example of the Church in the days after that first Pentecost, as described in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers… And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42, 47).

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


A number of people regularly attend our Free Flea Market; this is the story of one of those persons: She is an older lady who is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Loch Raven. She is always looking for school supplies and other items for children, and she also checks out clothing, especially shoes, for adults. At the May Free Flea Market, she had 3 large bags of items to take home; as she travels by bus, that presented challenges for her. So I offered to take her home—I knew she lived off Loch Raven Blvd since I had seen her walking in that area. She accepted my offer, and on the ride home, she filled me in on her background: She is from Jamaica and has lived here for many years. Her mission is to support families who come here from Jamaica and help them learn about the USA. And there are occasions on which she insists on giving us a donation! It is a joy to know that our outreach to the community is helping those in need.

Many thanks to the volunteers who faithfully come out on the second Saturday of each month. We couldn’t do it without your hel

—Judy Volkman

A Word in the Wake of the Buffalo Tragedy


May 18, 2022

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Once again violence saddens our nation. A young man, gripped by the satanic delusion “you shall be like God,” has stolen the precious lives of innocent mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, sons and brothers in Buffalo, N.Y. In his writings, the perpetrator rejected Christianity and espoused the demonic ideas of racial hatred and violence. Yet each one of the slain was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and each was as valuable as the blood of Jesus (John 3:16).

Acts of evil such as this make us ask, “Is there no reasonable path to preclude the deranged from the legal acquisition of firearms?” “Are threats of violence from such a person free speech?” “Must free speech mean the infinite, unending gush of hatred and filth on the internet, including evil, racist rants with associated threats of violence?” “Is there no stronger pre-emptive remedy available?” We cannot settle for the status quo.

Yet Paul reminds us to persevere in goodness. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). But who of us does not grow weary? Good citizens, loving family and friends, are murdered in cold blood; a heroic retired police officer gives his life for others … again. We pray with the psalmist, “I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God” (Psalm 69:3).

On Nov. 30, 2021, a shooting occurred at the high school my niece and nephew attend in Oxford, Mich. They had attended school with the eventual assailant for years. Their friends were murdered. Other close friends barely survived being shot, including the grandchild of a retired LCMS pastor. The signs were all evident in the young man whose life had become captive to sin, death and the devil, a participant in the demonic. I think of how devastating this incident has been for my sister’s family. I thank God for their resilient faith in Christ and courage in the face of evil, even when answers are not easily at hand.

I now pray for the courage of the victims’ families in Buffalo, that Christ’s merciful love would surround them all and that they would look to Jesus’ cross and resurrection for eternal hope.

Today I think of the beautiful and ever-growing collage of saints in the LCMS. I think of your love and humility. I think of your clear confession and witness to Jesus Christ, a Jew from Palestine, whose racial identity few among us share. He is our precious Savior. I think of His zeal to reach the Jews, the Samaritans and the Syrophoenician woman. I think of Simon from Cyrene, the African who bore our Savior’s cross (Matthew 27:32), and his family who were vital members of the earliest church (Mark 15:21; Acts 11:20; Romans 16:13). I think of my pagan Slavic and German ancestors — apart from Christ and all hope — who were grafted into the family of God when they heard the witness to Jesus. I think of my own precious granddaughter, who has more African genetic material than German. I think of our black brothers and sisters whose hearts have been so won by Jesus and His Word that they hold the Gospel as the greatest treasure and confess the Lutheran faith from deep conviction, despite our many weaknesses and failings.

I thank God that in this dark world of sin and hatred, you are light in Christ. “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness” (1 John 2:9). Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Paul says that “the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true” (Ephesians 5:9). Peter reminds the church, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Let us act as good citizens of this world as we demand reasonable laws and strict prosecution of evil doers to thwart evil. “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who

carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. … Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:3–4, 8). It is a good work of love to practice civil righteousness toward our neighbor and to demand justice from our leaders. “Public remedy, made through the office of the public official, is not condemned, but is commanded and is God’s work” (Apology of the Augsburg Confession XVI 59).

Please join me in praying for the saints of our LCMS Eastern District and their president, the Rev. Dr. Chris Wicher, that they would not lose heart, but be greatly empowered in their witness to Jesus, the light of the world.

May the words of Paul and Barnabas continue ever more to mark us: “For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 13:47).

O Spirit, who didst once restore Thy Church that it might be again The bringer of good news to men, Breathe on Thy cloven Church once more, That in these gray and latter days There may be those whose life is praise, Each life a high doxology To Father, Son, and unto Thee.

(Lutheran Service Book 834:4)

Pastor Matthew C. Harrison President

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This month of October brings Family Day on October 9th, the beginning of the “Christian Essentials” class on October 16th, a Voters Meeting of the congregation on October 23 and Reformation Sunday on October 30th.

The Rev. Jacob P. Okwir, Pastor of Saint James’s Church, Overlea, will be the preacher on Family Day. Pastor Okwir was born in Southern Sudan; he lived in Uganda, Kenya, and Egypt before coming to the United States where he settled in Michigan. After completing studies in preparation for the Holy Ministry at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, he was ordained and installed as Pastor of Saint James’s Church this past July. Following the Divine Service there will be a congregational meal and fellowship time. Fried chicken and ham will be provided but we are asking everyone to bring a side dish. So that we can know about how many people to expect, please sign up on the clipboard on the piano and indicate what side dish or dessert you will bring. Bernie Knox is coordinating the meal, so call her at 410.335.3744 if you have any questions.

The “Christian Essentials” class which begins October 16th is intended both for adults who wish to prepare for confirmation, for inquirers, and for those who wish to review the teachings of Holy Scripture as set forth in Luther’s Small Catechism. The class meets at 9:45 A.M. Questions are especially welcome!

Following the Divine Service on October 23 we have a Voters Meeting of the congregation. One of the items to be discussed is the schedule for the Thanksgiving and Christmastide services. Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Eve. Christmas Day comes on a Sunday this year, and so we shall as usual have Divine Service at I I :00 A.M. Although we have not in recent years had a service on Christmas morning, it is surely unthinkable that the church should stand locked and empty on the morning of any Lord’s Day! Last year we had the Christmas Eve Divine Service at 9:30 rather than 10:30 P.M. We need to decide what is the best time for this service of the Holy Night. New Year’s Day also comes on Sunday this year and so there will – as on any other Sunday – be Divine Service at I I :00 A.M. There was in fact a time when Our Saviour regularly had a service on the morning of January 1which is not only the civil New Year but also the Festival of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus (Luke 2:21). We’ll need to decide whether or not we also wish to have the New Year’s Eve service this year. Do come to the Voters Meeting and share in reaching a consensus.

The last Sunday of October will as usual be kept as The Festival of the Reformation. It was on October 31st, 1517, that Dr. Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church of All Saints in Wittenberg his ninety-five theses. Although this event has come to be seen as a highly dramatic occurrence, it was in fact a perfectly ordinary one. For the door of the Castle Church was a kind of bulletin board; all kinds of notices were apparently posted there, also theses – such as Luther’s – for disputation among theologians. But though this event was in the context of the times perfectly ordinary, the theses posted in Wittenberg were soon known all over Europe. Devout Christians had long been lamenting the desperate need for a reformation of the Church: Luther’s theses were received as a clarion call to repentance – as we in fact read in the very first of his theses: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ [Matthew 4: 17] he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” In his sixty-second thesis we read: “The true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” Penitent sinners receive forgiveness, are made alive and receive great comfort, through the Gospel which is the good news of salvation through the saving death of Christ. This Gospel is given through Holy Baptism into Christ’s saving death, through Holy Absolution – the forgiveness spoken “in the stead and by the command of Christ” by His called and ordained servants, and through the gift of Christ’s true Body and Blood in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The entire reforming work of Dr. Luther and his colleagues consisted in removing only that which had come to obscure or deny the Gospel in the teaching and practice of the Church and then retaining everything that is so precious in the life of the Church through all the ages. And so in the Augsburg Confession, the principal confession of the faith of the Lutheran Church, we read in Article XXIV: “Our churches are falsely accused of abolishing the Mass (the Divine Service of Word and Sacrament), for the Mass is retained among us and celebrated with the highest reverence.” Our use of this liturgy is the outward and visible sign of continuity with the Church of all the ages, a priceless treasure to be cherished and handed down to those who come after. The Divine Service as we find it in the several authorized service books of our Synod – The Lutheran Hymnal (the red book), Lutheran Worship (the bluebook) and the more recently published Lutheran Service Book – is essentially the historic liturgy of the Church as that has been received among the churches of the Augsburg Confession. I cannot resist the urge to add that the letters “U A C” – which are literally written in stone on the cornerstone of our church building! – always remind us of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession which is part of the foundation of the Lutheran Church in general and of Our Saviour Church in particular. And so we pray:

Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide,
For round us falls the eventide;
Nor let Thy Word, that heavenly light,
For us be ever veiled in night.

In these last days of sore distress
Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness
That pure we keep, till life is spent,
Thy holy Word and Sacrament.

These hymn stanzas which come to us from the 16th century have often been prayed daily by pious Christians. I commend them to your use “in these last days of sore distress. I hope to see you on Family Day, on Reformation Sunday, and on every Lord’s Day when we gather to celebrate the glorious, life-giving resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ in whom is all our life and hope.

Affectionately in our Lord,
Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, September 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

September 7th is the eighty-sixth anniversary of the dedication of this wonderful church building in which we worship the triune God, hear His Word, and receive the holy Sacraments. At the service of dedication on the morning of that day the preacher was Pastor William Dallmann who in the year 1892 had led the little group of faithful laymen, formerly members of Immanuel Church then on south Caroline Street (now at Loch Raven and Belvedere), who had come together to establish a church in which Christ’s true Gospel would be preached in the English rather than in the German language, His sermon at the dedication of our church building: “Confessing Christ in Augsburg in 1530 and in Baltimore in 1930,” drew attention to the fact that the same faith which had been joyfully and faithfully confessed by the Lutheran princes and cities before Emperor Charles V in the city of Augsburg in 1530 would be confessed also here in this building being dedicated four hundred years late. And so the cornerstone of this church building reads: “The Church of Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran U. A. C.” “U.A.C.” stands for Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Why unaltered? Because attempts had been made already in the sixteenth century to change the teaching of this Confession, notably the article concerning the Holy Sacrament, so as to make the Confession acceptable to those who do not believe in the Real Presence of the true body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament but see the Sacrament as nothing more than a memorial meal in which the bread and wine merely represent the Lord’s body and blood. And so that “U.A.C.” On our cornerstone not only expresses our church’s adherence to the Augsburg Confession in general but also to Article X of that Confession in particular, that Article in which the Real Presence is confessed. And it is the Real Presence which makes of the Sacrament a heavenly feast of love and joy, the very center of the Church’s life.

Although the Augsburg Confession is the Lutheran Church’s principal confession of faith, the Small Catechism is that confession of faith with which most Lutherans are familiar. Luther prepared this Catechism for the instruction Of children. At first the Catechism was printed on large charts and eventually in an illustrated booklet. You may have noticed the large posters with the text of the Catechism now hanging in the hall just outside the door next to the chancel entrance. These have been given by Paul and Mary Techau and we thank them for this gift. These charts serve to remind us of Dr. Luther’s words: “Every morning, and whenever have time, I read and recite word for word the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Psalms, etc. I must still read and study the Catechism daily, yet I cannot master it as I wish, but must remain a child and pupil of the Catechism, and do it gladly.”

I very much enjoyed my trip to Milwaukee in early July as a pastoral delegate to the triennial convention of our Church body. In a day when there IS so much division even within Christian churches the convention showed that our Synod is a remarkably united Church. It is – as it has in fact been since its founding in 847 – still very. much a Church of the Augsburg Confession. The presence of leaders from overseas showed that our Synod is part of a worldwide fellowship of faithful, confessing Lutherans. Pray for our Synod, its congregations, its pastors, its schools, and all its leaders, especially for Pastor Matthew Harrison who serves as President of Synod.

I have again been asked to speak at the annual Saint Michael’s Conference at Zion Church in Detroit on September 26th. And so I will leave for Detroit after Divine Service on Sunday, September 25th and will return to Baltimore late in the afternoon on September 27th. If you need a pastor while am gone, you may call our good friend Pastor Roy Coats at 443.745.9200. The Saint Michael’s Conference focuses on the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church.

Our last Free Flea Market in 2016 will take place this coming Saturday, September 10th from 9:00 a.m. until noon. We always need help with putting out the goods and then putting away those that remain afterward. This is a fine opportunity to meet our neighbors and introduce them to Our Church.

On the following day, Sunday, September 11th, there will be a Potluck Lunch following Divine Service. Do Join your fellow members for this! If your name begins with A-CA bring a salad; H-L, a main dish; M-Z a dessert. Drinks will be provided.

September 11 is also the first day of Sunday School for children. I thank Mary Techau, Helen Gray, and William Hawkins for making this happen. Sunday School will begin with breakfast at 9:45 A.M.

There will also be class for adults who wish to be confirmed or review the Church ‘s teaching. As of this writing we still have not fixed a time for this.

It is not too soon to mention that Sunday, October 9th. will be our annual Family Day. Pastor Jacob Okwir, the newly ordained and installed Pastor of Saint James’s Church in Overlea will be the preacher. Having been born in Sudan and having studied at the universities of Khartoum in Sudan and Nairobi in Kenya, he and his family came to this country where he studied for the Holy Ministry at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis. Following Divine Service there will be a luncheon. Fried chicken and ham will be provided. We are asking that everyone bring a side dish for this meal. Family Day is always a happy occasion. Do plan on being present.

We extend our Christian sympathy to Lucille Carmichael and her family on the death Of her husband, Dr. Robert Carmichael. May he rest in peace and may Our heavenly Father comfort all who mourn his departure.

Let us continue to pray for one another and for all the Lord of the Church will send to us.

Affectionately in our Lord,
Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

There is always need for non-perishable food items to stock the shelves at the CARES Community Food Pantry. A new school year has begun and food need has increased. As usual, the need is for peanut butter, jelly, canned vegetables, rice, boxed mashed potatoes, cereal, tuna fish, etc. Any donation large or small will help alleviate hunger.

Neighbors in need can visit the Food Pantry which is located at 5502 York Road in the rear of Saint Mary’s church. CARES allows customers/clients to choose the foods that their household members prefer. A nutritional guideline based on family size is provided on site. Hours of operation are Mondays and Thursday from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. CARES also assists individuals and families with pending evictions, utility shut off and prescription needs.

Helping Up Mission

We are encouraging members to drop spare change in the collection boxes located in the front and rear of the Church. The change will be used to purchase grooming items for the men in recovery at the Helping Up Mission. We are still collecting personal size grooming items, tooth paste, shampoo, foot powder, etc.; additionally we are collecting socks, tee shifts, (new or gently worn) to be delivered to the Mission. If you have items designated for the Mission, please deliver them to Quilla Downs, Judy Volkman, or Mary Techau. The Mission is a recovery program with a high rate of success in fighting addiction and homelessness. As we do unto the least of these, we do unto Him.

– Quilla Downs