Tag Archives: Bible Class

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

October, 2022


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we celebrate the ninety-second anniversary of the dedication of this church we will rededicate the bells which were placed in the tower in 1934. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Carl Kruelle, who grew up in this church and was ordained to the holy ministry in this place. Many people have contributed to the restoration of the bells. The project could finally be completed because of a very generous gift from Doug and Beth Skinner, a gift given in memory of Brian Lessor and his mother Gloria who were members of Immanuel Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

When King David had gathered together all the rich materials for the temple which would be built by his son Solomon, he prayed before all the people: “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from Thee, and of Thy own have we given Thee” (I Chronicles 29:14). These words powerfully remind us that everything we are, everything we have, finally belongs to God the Great Giver and of our obligation and privilege to give in return. Saint Paul exhorts the Christians in Corinth to be generous givers: “Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). It is sometimes said that we should “give till it hurts.” But Saint Paul is telling us to give until it feels good! “God loves a cheerful giver.” Do give some thought to your offering for the support of the Church’s work in this place. Ask yourself, does my offering truly reflect my gratitude for all God’s blessings as my Creator and my Redeemer, including the many blessings that are mine through His Church? Could I perhaps give more than I have been giving? Of course one must carefully consider one’s financial circumstances! Saint Paul instructs the Corinthians: each must give “according to what one has, not according to what one has not” (2 Corinthians 8:12).

And speaking of giving, do remember the Church’s organ fund. Checks for this purpose should be marked “organ fund.” And then there are the ALDI gift certificates that we give to needy families connected with the Waverly School at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Checks for this purpose should be marked “Gift Certificates.” And since giving involves more than financial contributions, let me also remind you that as a congregation we also support the GEDCO food pantry. There is a table with boxes just inside the door near the church office. It is all too easy to forget the many people who are so impoverished that they would go hungry were it not for the various agencies such as GEDCO that provide them with food at no cost. And finally there is our support for the Helping Up Mission which for so many years has helped men and is now also helping women get back on their feet and return to useful lives. There is also a box for the Helping Up Mission just inside the door near the office. Be sure to read Judy Volkman’s report on our free flea markets at the end of this newsletter. These free flea markets are yet another way in which we give.

The Fall Voters Meeting will be held after Divine Service on Sunday, October 16. Members of Our Saviour Church, eighteen years and older, are eligible to participate in the meeting.

On the last Sunday in October we celebrate the Festival of the Reformation, October 31 being the 505th anniversary of Dr. Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses—propositions for debate among theologians—which were a clarion call to repentance as can be seen in the very first thesis: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ He meant that the whole life of Christians should be one repentance.” The reforming work of Dr. Luther and his associates can only be rightly understood when that work is seen as calling the Church and its members to repent: to turn away from everything in the teaching and life of the Church which obscured or even denied the Savior’s gift of pardon and peace to penitent sinners. And so we read in the 62nd thesis: “The true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” It is by the Gospel of God’s grace in His Son, freely bestowed through His holy Word and Sacraments, that the Church lives. And so, every year at the Festival of the Reformation, we give thanks to God for the restoration of the Gospel to its rightful place and pray that the Holy Spirit will preserve this precious gift for all the Christian people. The Reformation began with Luther’s call to repentance and every anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation calls us to repent of all our own sins of ingratitude, indifference, and neglect of the Gospel in which is all our life and hope.

In the September Newsletter I said that we expected to announce the name of our new organist very soon, but we are still unable to do so. None of the applicants we interviewed has accepted our offer and so our search continues. We do have substitutes engaged for the whole month of October and are working on substitutes until a new organist is in place. We are discovering that the shortage of organists is all too real. Let us pray for God’s guidance and help.

The adult Bible Class continues to meet on Sunday at 9:45 AM. We have recently been studying the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the ancient Church in which the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the Person of Christ were clearly confessed and errors that contradicted the truth were named and rejected. We are about to begin a study of the First Epistle of Saint Peter which was addressed to churches undergoing persecution in what was at that time northern Asia Minor, now known as Turkey. This Epistle is full of hope and joy in the crucified and risen Lord. Come join us! Our discussion is quite informal and questions are very welcome.

Let us continue to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. When I recently visited Maggie Doswell, she told me how much the cards she receives from our members mean to her. She is still at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Quilla Downs is hoping to be with us some Sunday. Her new address is 1000 Brightseat Road, Apt.462, Landover, MD 20777.

As God fed the Israelites with manna during their forty-year sojourn in the wilderness, God feeds us in the holy Sacrament of His Son’s body and blood. The Holy Sacrament is food for our journey through this world to the heavenly fatherland. Because the Holy Communion is the Sacrament of the unity of the Church, it is normally received during the Divine Service in God’s House. But if you are not able to come to God’s House, it is the pastor’s duty to bring the Sacrament to you in your home or in the hospital. Do not hesitate to ask me to visit you and bring you Holy Communion. My phone number is (410) 554–9994, and my email is charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. And please do not hesitate to contact me if you need a ride to church.

No one can fail to realize that we are living in more than usually unsettled times. There come to mind the words of Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble … Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:1, 10), And in the words of the Epistle that was read in church on the last Sunday in September: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). The need is truly staggering and, as Christians, each one of us must do what we can, not least continuing in fervent prayer for all who suffer in so many ways.

The Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House every Lord’s Day.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Here is a summary of our Free Flea Markets: In September, 21 people visited us and 180 items were given out. Our total for the year of 2022 was 129 attendees and 913 items were distributed. As we look back over the 8 years that the Free Flea Market has been held, a total of 31 members assisted at the Flea Markets, totaling 310 hours. A total of 1323 people passed through our doors, receiving 9121 items. That’s pretty impressive for a small congregation. A job well done to share the bounty the Lord has given us! Many thanks to those who gave of their time and those who shared their bounty with us.
—Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2018

Our Saviour Lutheran Church
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

October, 2018


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

FAMILY DAY this year is SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14th. This is always one of the highlights of our year, We will have lunch following Divine Service. Sandwiches will be provided but everyone is invited to bring a side dish to share. There is a sign-up sheet for this on the piano in the front of the nave. Our guest preacher this year is the Rev. Noah Rogness who serves as Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the United States Army Pastoral Care Advisory Team. Before going to seminary Noah had served in the United States Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. Pastor Rogness is a dear friend of mine. I first got to know him ten years ago when he was serving as assistant to Chaplain (Colonel) Jonathan Shaw who preached at the Easter Vigil here at Our Saviour in 2017. Chaplain Shaw now serves at the Pentagon as the Director of Operations of the United States Army Chaplain Corps.

The Sunday morning Bible Class meets at 9:45 and we are continuing our study of the Letter to the Hebrews. On October 28 and on the following two Sundays the class will be led by Joshua Rystedt who is completing course work with Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin, in order to prepare for entrance into seminary. He will also assist in the Divine Service and will accompany me on several visits to members no longer able to come to Church.

The regular Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on October 21st. Every member of Our Saviour who is eighteen years old or older is eligible to participate and vote. Among other things we will be considering the schedule for our observance of Thanksgiving and of the Christmas season.

On Saturday, October 27th, the 19th Annual Meeting of the Baltimore City Historical Society will be held in our Church at 2:00 P.M. A reception in the undercroft will follow. The Historical Society will be meeting here because our Church has now been placed on the Society’s register of historic buildings. A building placed on the register has a sign briefly summarizing its history; planning for ours is almost complete. It will be placed on the 33rd Street side of our Church. The Society’s website says that the Society is dedicated to “preserving, curating and telling Baltimore’s story.”

The end of October always brings Reformation Sunday. As faithful Lutherans we believe that through Dr. Luther God restored to the Church the holy Gospel in its purity and the Sacraments as instituted by Christ Himself. But we must never assume an attitude of pride and condescension toward our fellow Christians, let alone a malicious joy in their trials and tribulations! One of the greatest faithful Lutheran teachers of the last century — some would say the greatest of them all — Dr. Hermann Sasse (1895-1976) had this to say in connection with the hundredth anniversary of the First Vatican Council of the Roman Church which had taken place in 1870:

If the century that has passed since the last solemn session of Vatican I has taught us one thing, it is that there is a solidarity or a common destiny that binds together a divided Christendom. Every great event in the history of one church is the concern of all. Church history should have taught us this long since. Today we are learning this better from year to year. Victory and defeat, glory and shame of one church are shared by all. Therefore each individual church should be the keeper of her sisters. To know this is the beginning of true ecumenicity.

It is no secret that the Roman Catholic Church is going through a terrible crisis — perhaps its worst since the Reformation – in connection with not only predatory sexual behavior on the part of some of its clergy but also distressing evidence that many in positions of authority deliberately covered this up and so permitted this evil to continue. Nor is that all. There also seems to be a growing uncertainty concerning doctrine and practice at the highest levels of that Church, including the Pope himself. Nor is that all! For when we look at the rest of Western Christendom today we see here in many places what increasingly approaches apostasy, an abandonment of the authority of God’s Word and the doctrine solemnly confessed in the three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. And so we must pray for all Christendom that God would — as we say in the Bidding Prayer every Good Friday – “defend it against all the assaults and temptations of the devil and preserve it on the true foundation, Jesus Christ.”

On Reformation Sunday all four hymns sung in the Divine Service will be hymns of Dr. Luther. It is noteworthy that two of them were not entirely new. The first stanza of that wonderful hymn, “Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord!” had been in use for a hundred years, and the first stanza of that other hymn, “To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray,” had been sung for more than two hundred years before Luther was born. He simply added some beautiful stanzas to each of these already well loved hymns. This is significant! It shows that, not only in the liturgy but also in the hymnody of the Church, the Lutheran Reformation was truly a reformation and in no sense a revolution. As has often been said, the difference between the Church before and after the Reformation is like that of a garden before and after it has been weeded: those weeds are gone but it is still the same garden — that same Church which has been in the world since the first Pentecost and will continue until our risen and ascended Lord appears in glory at the Last Day. One sign of that continuity is that in our worship we use both words and music hallowed by centuries of use.

Since July we have been using Divine Service I in the Lutheran Service Book. This is the familiar service from the blue hymnal, Lutheran Worship. Beginning on Reformation Sunday and continuing until the end of January we will be using Divine Service Ill which is the familiar service from the red book, The Lutheran Hymnal. We are learning some hymns which are perhaps new to many of us. For a number of weeks we sang that delightfully joyful hymn, “In Thee is Gladness.” Beginning on October 7 we will be singing each week, “Lord Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor,” a hymn in which we rejoice in the Real Presence of the Savior under the humble forms of the consecrated bread and wine.

God has given so much to us here at Our Saviour: we are truly a family in Christ. Visitors quickly notice this! We are privileged to worship in a church building of astonishing beauty which wordlessly invites us to prayer. We are blessed with a remarkably talented organist, Marie Herrington. All of us were saddened when after more than a half century Don Weber was no longer able to continue his faithful service here. Yet I believe that in Marie we have found a worthy successor. She has many gifts, not least her ability to accompany the hymns in a way which truly expresses the words we sing, a way that truly lifts the heart! Before concluding this letter let me gently remind you to inform me when you or a loved one or a friend is ill or in need of pastoral care. That’s what pastors are for! And do let me know if you are in need of a ride to church. I will make every effort to see that one is provided. The best phone number to reach me is 410.554.9994. It has an answering machine and I regularly check it as I also do my email: charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

You are in my prayers. Do remember me in yours.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


During the four free flea markets this year, we have distributed over a 1000 items! We can be proud that we are meeting a need in our community. There is one more Free Flea Market scheduled for November 10th. We will be distributing winter items at that time, including coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. And there will also be Christmas items. So if you have any winter clothes items or Christmas decorations to donate, please get them to me by November 5th. The Lord has blessed us with bounty and we are sharing that with those who need it.
– Judy Volkman