Tag Archives: Easter

Our Saviour Parish News, March, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
March, 2023

Mid-Week Lenten Vespers
Wednesdays, 7:30 PM
Soup Suppers 6:30 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At this year’s Lenten Vespers we are meditating on the Passion of our Lord according to Saint Mark. He was not himself an eyewitness of these events, but from earliest times it has been understood that Mark’s Gospel is based on the teaching of Saint Peter, who was an eyewitness. Typical of the witness of the early church fathers is that of Saint Irenaeus who wrote: “After the death of Peter and Paul, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us the things preached by Peter.” So as we listen to the Gospel according to Saint Mark we are hearing the voice of Saint Peter.

Remember that Lenten Vespers at 7:30 each Wednesday is preceded by a soup supper at 6:30. Donations at the soup suppers will be used to purchase Thanksgiving and Christmas ALDI gift certificates for needy families connected with the Waverly School.

Several weeks ago, in his weekly message to the people of Immanuel Church in Alexandria, Pastor Esget called their attention to two prayers which can be used in our private devotions during Lent. One is the Lenten prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, a theologian and hymn writer who lived during the 4th century:

O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant.
Yes, O Lord and King,
Help me to see my own faults and not judge my neighbor,
For You are blessed unto the ages of ages.

The other is the church’s Collect—the appointed prayer—for Ash Wednesday which was written by Thomas Cranmer in 1549 for the first Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. This prayer came into use among English-speaking Lutherans here in America in the late 19th century. The service books of our Synod at one time directed its use throughout the season of Lent.

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that Thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Both these prayers are so rich in content that they also provide much food for meditation during the Lenten season.

With Easter little more than a month away, it is time to order the Easter lilies. Each plant costs $16.00. Be sure to include with your check the names of those you wish to honor or remember. The deadline for ordering the lilies is Palm Sunday, April 2. Envelopes are available at church.

At the end of this newsletter you will find the schedule of our Holy Week services. It is not a minute too soon to make plans to attend these services in which we remember and celebrate our Savior’s passion, death and resurrection, the foundation of our faith as Christians. In truth this is the heart of the Christian Year. Is it too much to expect that Christians will join in the services of these great holy days?

Some necessary work will be done on the organ beginning Monday, March 6. That means that we will not be able to use the organ for several weeks. In the meantime we will use the piano, which has recently been tuned. The work will be completed before the beginning of Holy Week.

I am grateful that the pastor’s study has gotten some long needed attention. There has been some water damage which predates my arrival here in May 2013. That has now been repaired and the study given a fresh coat of paint. Jean West put us in touch with Rafael Montoya who has done a splendid job for a very reasonable price.

Let us continue to remember in prayer: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana 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, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Jean West, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782; Yolanda Ford at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Drive, Pikesville, MD 21208; Queenie Hardaway at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207. It is now possible to visit them; cards are always welcome.

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 12. Remember to set your clocks forward by one hour: “Spring forward, Fall back.”

Please remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry. I am sure we all realize that the need remains very great. And remember to bring personal care items for the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for these works of mercy can be found just inside the door from the parking lot north of the church.

The Sunday morning Bible Class is continuing its study of the First Epistle of Peter. The Christians Peter addressed were suffering because of their faith. Come join us at 9:45 AM! Questions are very welcome.

If you are sick or wish to talk with me or bring you the Sacrament, do not hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

Lent was anciently the time when candidates were prepared for Holy Baptism at Easter. At your baptism (and again at your confirmation) you promised to be faithful to the triune God by walking in conformity to the will of God, being sustained by faithful use of the means of grace: by listening to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word and by the Holy Sacrament. Ask yourself: Have I been faithful to the promises made at my baptism and confirmation or am I negligent, even indifferent to God’s gracious gifts in His Word and Sacrament? There is also this. As a baptized Christian, you are a member of Christ’s mystical body, the Church, and therefore have an obligation to your fellow members, not least by encouraging them by your presence at Divine Service on the Lord’s Day. When you needlessly absent yourself from the Divine Service, you not only sin against God but also against your fellow Christians. Lent is especially a time for repentance, for new beginnings. Think on these things! Says the psalmist, “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8).

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Palm Sunday—Distribution of Palms, Procession and Divine Service; 11:00 AM
Maundy Thursday—Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar; 7:30 PM
Good Friday—Liturgy of Good Friday; 7:30 PM
EASTER EVE—The Easter Vigil and first Eucharist of Easter; 7:30 PM
EASTER DAY—Festival Divine Service; 11:00 AM. Bible Class will not meet.

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
February, 2023

February 22, 2023, 7:30 PM
Divine Service with the Imposition of Ashes

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Easter Day is the heart and center of the Christian Year, for apart from the resurrection of our Lord there is no salvation. Saint Paul writes:

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:17–20)

From ancient times the Church has prepared for Easter by forty days of fasting and prayer which call to mind the Savior’s fast of forty days in the wilderness. In the English-speaking world this forty day season is called “Lent,” a word which comes from an old English word “lencten” which means “spring” and refers to the lengthening days at this time of year. And just as earth comes to life after the death of winter, so also the Lenten season is a time of spiritual renewal through reading and meditating on God’s Word, through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In Christ’s sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:2–21) it is very clear that our Lord expects those who would follow Him to devote themselves to prayer, fasting and almsgiving—not because God needs our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving but because we do if we are to be ever more closely conformed to the image of the Savior. We pray in response to God’s command and promise that our prayers are heard. We fast because our bodily appetites—though good in themselves—are disordered through sin. We give alms as a weapon against selfishness remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) and because of the tremendous need that meets us on every hand. Do keep in mind the needs of the GEDCO food pantry and the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for donations are just inside the door near the church office.

Lent is a time for saying no to everything in our lives that contradicts Christ and His love for us and for every human being. 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. Again this year we will have our Wednesday evening Lenten services at 7:30 PM, preceded by a soup supper at 6:30 PM. On Ash Wednesday we have the Divine Service with imposition of ashes. On the other Wednesdays in Lent we have Vespers, the church’s order for evening prayer, with the Litany. Dr. Luther regarded the Litany as “next to the holy Lord’s Prayer the very best that has come to earth.” The late Rev. Dr. Luther Reed wrote: “The Litany is a responsive prayer of the church, penitential in character but unselfish in its intercession for all human need and mighty in its grasp of the grounds for divine compassion.” In a word, the Litany is one of the church’s treasures; sadly, it has in more recent times been a neglected treasure.

No one can look at the world today and fail to see the ravages of human selfishness, greed, and lust for power. No one can fail to see the groaning of the fallen creation in earthquake, fire, and flood—to say nothing of the ravages of disease. Through all of this God is calling us to repentance and amendment of life. Is His voice being heard? Are you and I hearing His voice?

The Church Council continues to address the maintenance of our buildings and will keep you informed as progress continues. We are hoping to have some necessary work done to the organ in the weeks ahead which will mean that we will be without the use of the organ for several Sundays. The piano in the front of the church was recently tuned so that it can be used while the organ is out of commission.

Do consider joining us for the adult Bible Class on Sunday mornings at 9:45. We continue our study of the First Epistle of Saint Peter.

We continue to remember all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. In my recent visit to Maggie Doswell she told me how much she appreciates the cards sent to her. She remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford is still at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardway is at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

If you are not able to come to church and want to receive the Sacrament at home, do not hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. Do let me know if you need a ride to church. We are continuing to livestream our services at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook.

Remembering that every Sunday—also every Sunday in Lent!—is a “little Easter,” the Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House at the Lord’s Own Service every Lord’s Day.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
April, 2022


PALM SUNDAY—Procession and Distribution of Palms
Divine Service,  April 9, 11:00 AM
MAUNDY THURSDAY—Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar
April 14, 7:30
GOOD FRIDAY—The Liturgy of Good Friday
April 15, 7:30
April 16, 7:30 PM
April 17, 11:00 AM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I must begin by thanking you for the wonderful celebration of my 80th birthday on the last Sunday in March. It was a real treat for me to have a guest preacher that morning, my good friend Pastor Brian Westgate. The brunch that followed Divine Service was delightful in every way. Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in preparing it and to everyone who sent cards and gifts! I have been asked a number of times how it feels to have reached this age. My answer to that question is that I am very grateful to God and to all the people through whom He has blessed me for so many years, including the people of Our Saviour congregation. But I must admit that I am also astonished! As God gives strength, I look forward to serving you in the days to come. Thank you—and God bless you for your kindness and generosity!

This coming Saturday, April 9, we are having a work day at church to prepare the church for the coming festival. We begin at 9:30 and conclude at noon. Do join us if you can.

April 10, Palm Sunday, is the deadline for ordering Easter lilies. As with many items, the price has gone up to $15 for each plant. Order envelopes can be found on the table in the back of the church. Remember to fill out the form to honor or remember a loved one and return it to Judy Volkman.

For the third year in a row we will be celebrating Easter during a pandemic that has yet to end and very unsettled conditions in the world. I must admit that I had assumed that something like the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the kind of thing that belonged only to the increasingly distant past. It has now been almost eighty years since the end of the Second World War. Given all these circumstances, I find myself returning yet again to some words that were written not long after that catastrophe by the distinguished Lutheran theologian, Walter Kuenneth (1901–1997):

The course of history, as it has so terribly disclosed itself to us, can only be a confirmation of the Christian insight that all mankind is trembling on the brink of destruction and groaning under the tyranny of death. In this dark night of the world there is only one single source of light: the joyful news, “Christ is risen!”

That is the foundation of our faith, the sure and certain ground of all our hope! It was Saint Augustine who said, “We Christians are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.”

But before we come to Holy Easter there is the Holy Week of the Lord’s Passion. I invite you to participate in the blessings of this holiest week of the Christian Year. On Maundy Thursday we go in spirit to the upper room where the Savior institutes the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. As the altar is stripped, we remember how at the Savior’s arrest in Gethsemane all the disciples forsook Him and fled. On Good Friday we stand beneath the cross. Easter Eve brings the Easter Vigil with the lighting of the Paschal Candle, the reading of Old Testament lessons which point forward to Christ’s resurrection, we renew the vows of baptism in which we were joined to Christ’s saving death and life-giving resurrection, and then finally meet the risen Lord as He truly comes to us with that holy Body which death could not hold and with His precious Blood. On Easter morning we again receive Him in the Holy Sacrament, celebrating with great joy the Day of Days, the Queen of Feasts. Because of the Real Presence of the crucified and risen Lord in the Holy Sacrament, our worship is no bare remembrance of all He has done and suffered for us: He is truly present in these Holy Mysteries. And that is why this Holy Sacrament is the beating heart of the Church’s life! I love the old anthem:

O sacred banquet
in which Christ is received,
the memory of His passion renewed,
and a pledge of future glory given unto us!

Let me also call your attention to the Tre Ore Service which will again this year be held on Good Friday at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Ave, 12:00–3:00 PM. Come when you can, leave when you must. This is a fine opportunity for anyone who is hesitant about driving after dark. Seven pastors will preach on the Savior’s Seven Last Words.

The annual Saint Mark’s Conference will take place April 25, Saint Mark’s Day, and April 26. Last year we were privileged to hear the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, the President of our Synod, and the Rev. Prof. John Pless of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, speak about the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Hermann Sasse (1895–1976). This year the Rev. Dr. John Stephenson of Concordia Seminary, Saint Catharines, Ontario, will speak on Dr. Sasse’s life and witness during the terrible years of the Nazi rule in Germany. Our good friend, Pastor Coats, will speak on the life and work of the Rev. Frederick Roth Webber (1887–1963), and I will speak on the relationship between Dr. Sasse and the Rev. Dr. (Colonel, US Army Chaplain Corps) Arthur Carl Piepkorn (1907–1973). Both Pastor Webber and Dr. Piepkorn had a direct connection with Our Saviour Church: When the decision was made to build this Church, Pastor Stiemke invited Pastor Webber, an authority on church architecture, to address our congregation. Pastor Webber’s book, The Small Church: How to Build and Furnish It has pictures of our Church and praises it as a model church building. Dr. Piepkorn was the officiant at the service in which our beautiful chancel windows were dedicated in October 1951. Saint Mark’s Conference is primarily intended for pastors, but everyone is invited. Information about the Conference can be found at oursaviourbaltimore.org.

Work on restoring the use of our bells is continuing. There are a few more issues that the McShane Company is working through. We hope to have them fully in order in the next several weeks. The bells were placed in the tower in 1934. We expect to rededicate them sometime during the Easter season.

Please remember to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, 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 charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you need transportation, do not hesitate to contact me and I will be glad to make arrangements for that purpose.

Holy Week and Easter are the heart of the Christian Year. My hope and prayer is that you will gladly make use of this yearly opportunity to follow our Savior through His passion and death to His glorious resurrection.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


The food collection baskets were overflowing, so we made a delivery to CARES to replenish their stock. We ended up with 5 milk crates of canned goods. Many thanks to all who were faithful contributors. The baskets are now empty and need to be refilled. Let us continue to support those who are in need with the bounty that the Lord has given to us.

The Free Flea Market will resume May 14 from 9 AM–12 PM. Many household items have been donated, so we are good with that. One faithful worker, Quilla Downs, will no longer be there to greet visitors and hand out tickets. We need someone who is willing to take on this responsibility. As always, we need faithful volunteers to serve their Lord in this outreach to the community.
—Judy Volkman

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 facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore. 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 charlesmcclean42@gmail.com 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 (oursaviourbaltimore.org) 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 (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) 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, April, 2019

in the City of Baltimore

APRIL,  2019

Palm Sunday — 11:00 A.M. Divine Service with Distribution of Palms
Maundy Thursday — 7:30 P.M. Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar
Good Friday — 7:30 P.M. The Liturgy of Good Friday
Easter Eve — 7:30 P.M. The Easter Vigil and First Holy Eucharist of Easter
Easter Day — 11:00 A.M. Festival Divine Service

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am glad to say that our Wednesday Lenten Vespers this year have been well attended and the soup suppers which precede Vespers certainly much enjoyed. Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in preparing these enjoyable meals!

As this newsletter is sent out we are approaching the concluding days of the Lenten season. The first Sunday in April is the Fifth Sunday in Lent, sometimes referred to as Passion Sunday, the Sunday when it was customary in many places to cover the crosses and crucifixes in purple veils for the last two weeks of Lent. The reason for this veiling is that in Christ’s passion His glory was hidden from human sight. There is some reason to think that the Fifth Sunday in Lent was chosen as the time to do this because of the concluding words of the Gospel (John 8:46-59) which from ancient times has been read on this Sunday: “So they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple” (John 8:59).

Every Christian knows that Holy Week and Easter are the heart of the Christian Year: the death and resurrection of our Lord are the ground of all our life and hope. Unless hindered by illness or by the need to care for someone or by the requirements of an employer, everyone should make the effort to be present in God’s house on the day of the Savior’s death for our salvation. Here at Our Saviour the Liturgy of Good Friday is as usual celebrated at seven-thirty in the evening. But if you wish to attend a service during the day, you can go to the Tre Ore Service (12:00 Noon-3:00 P.M.) in Bethlehem Church at 4815 Hamilton Avenue. Pastors of our Synod’s churches will preach on the seven last words of Jesus. No one is expected to remain for the whole three hours; come when you can and leave when you must. But do make the effort to join your fellow Christians on Good Friday in pondering and giving thanks for your Savior’s costly love!

Although the Easter Vigil, celebrated on Easter Eve, remains a somewhat unfamiliar service, it is in fact the oldest Easter celebration of the Church. In ancient times Christians gathered in the night before Easter Day for the baptism of converts to the faith, their baptism being preceded by readings from the Old Testament Scriptures which all point forward to the Lord’s resurrection to which we are joined in the waters of baptism. Saint Paul writes: “You were buried with (Christ) in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him” (Colossians 2:12). Because this service was held during the night it began with the kindling of fire and the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle which then burns throughout the Easter season until on Ascension Day it is extinguished following the reading of the Gospel which tells of how in His ascension the risen Lord withdrew His visible presence from us. The Vigil concludes with the celebration of the first Holy Eucharist of Easter in which the risen Lord truly comes to us in the Sacrament of His life-giving Body and Blood. Our good friend Pastor Roy Axel Coats of Redeemer Church in Irvington will as usual be with us as the celebrant and preacher. Beginning in darkness, the Vigil moves forward into the light and joy of the Day of Resurrection.

When the forty days of the Easter season are completed the Paschal Candle is placed next to the baptismal font and lit whenever there is a baptism. At funerals it burns near the casket as a sign of the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

I believe that the visit to our former church building on Saturday, March 9th was much enjoyed by everyone who participated. From its founding in 1892 until 1919 our congregation worshiped in this building which since then has been the home of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church. We were graciously welcomed by several members of Holy Trinity and their pastor, Father John Vass, who explained the teachings and practice of their church. For me the highlight of the visit was seeing the large and wonderful painting of the risen Lord which hung over the altar of the church throughout the time our congregation worshiped there. When our congregation moved to its present location, the painting was given to Holy Trinity. We learned that it in fact continued to hang over their altar until 1975. Holy Trinity this year celebrates its centennial; I have been invited to attend its centennial celebration on Saturday, May 4th. It is interesting to note that our old church building is just one block east of what was at one time Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church where Don Weber, our organist emeritus, grew up and learned to play the organ.

On Saturday, April 13th, we will be having a Clean Up Day from 10 0’clock until 12 noon to prepare the church for Holy Week, Easter, and this year’s Saint Mark’s Conference which takes place on April 29th and 30th. “Many hands make light work” – so do join us if you are able! Information about the Saint Mark’s Conference can be found on our church’s website.

Palm Sunday is the deadline for sending in money for the Easter lilies together with the names of those you wish to be honored or remembered.

I look forward to seeing you every Lord’s Day and especially on Easter Day when we shall again with great joy celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Let us continue to remember one another in our prayers!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


On April I, 2019, Mary Techau and I delivered socks, underwear, deodorant, body power, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other assorted grooming items to Helping Up Mission. The gifts were purchased by individual members, and other gifts were purchased from monies collected from the two poor boxes. While we have always asked for grooming gifts for men at Helping Up Mission, we have just learned that the Mission also operates a 20-bed, 3- month, recovery facility for homeless and alcoholic women. The women’s facility is housed at a separate location. In addition, the Mission is in the process of expanding its outreach to vulnerable women and their children. The Mission informed us that plans are well on the way to build a Women and Children’s shelter in the immediate vicinity of the present location.

Fund raising started with the launch of the “Inspiring Hope Campaign” with a fund-raising goal of $61,OOO.OOO; the construction goal has already reached the half way mark. The building is expected to be up and operational in the next 2 years. In the meantime, we will continue to provide essential grooming items for the 580 plus men, and now women. The small gifts which we give from our plenty, will go a long way in uplifting hope and building confidence in the spiritual recovery of those who are the least of these. Thank you for helping the Mission to save and change lives in the City of Baltimore.

Men who have completed the one-year Spiritual Recovery Program will celebrate the occasion at The Annual Graduation Banquet on Sunday, April 28, at Martin’s West on Dogwood Rd. in Baltimore. The program will feature a meal, stories of hope from the graduates and music from the HUM Choir. Tickets are available at $85 per person

– Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, May, 2018

Our Saviour Lutheran Church
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

May, 2018


Ascension Divine Service May 10, 7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ not only on Easter Day but also throughout the forty days from Easter Day itself until Ascension Day which this year occurs on May 10th. Divine Service will be celebrated at 7:30 P.M. We hear Saint Luke’s account of the ascension as he tells of it in Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 24:44-53. I love these words of Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) in which he addresses the ascended Lord:

 Thou hast raised our human nature
On the clouds to God’s right hand;
There we sit in heav’nly places,
There with Thee in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
Man with God is on the throne.
Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension
We by faith behold our own.

 Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3). And so on Ascension Day we not only rejoice in our Lord’s ascension but also in the sure promise of His coming again. I hope that many of you will come to the Divine Service on Ascension Day: the celebration of the great festivals of the Christian Year is not a burden but rather a joyful privilege.

 Our hearts have been saddened by the death of our long-time member and sexton, William Hawkins, who fell asleep in Christ on Friday, April 27th. His kindness, his cheerful service, his faithfulness to Christ and His Church, his eagerness to bring others to the knowledge of the Savior will long be remembered. Ours is the loss but his is the gain for “to depart and be with Christ…is far better” as Saint Paul teaches us (Philippians 1:23). The funeral service will take place on Friday, May 11th, at 11:00 A.M. Visitation will be from 10:00 A.M. until the service. A repast will follow. If you wish to donate a dish for the repast, call Bunny Duckett at 410.842.7262.

 We extend our Christian sympathy also to Richard Brown and his family who mourn the death of Richard’s mother and father who both died as the result of an automobile accident. The taxi in which they were riding was struck by a car whose driver then fled the scene. At such a time as this we remember the promise of our Lord: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27,28).

 On the first Sunday in May we will begin to use our synod’s new hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. It combines the best of the two hymnals we have been using The Lutheran Hymnal  (the “red book”) published in 1941 and Lutheran Worship (the “blue book”) published in 1982. I think that everyone will find much that is very familiar and dear as we begin to use this new hymnal together with new hymns which will enrich our worship. Thanks to the generosity of many people these hymnals are largely paid for. It is still possible to give one or more as memorials of loved ones or to honor someone. The cost is $30.00. Be sure to mark the check for this purpose.

 Our spring Voters Meeting will take place following Divine Service this coming Sunday, May 6th. Members of our congregation 18 years and older are eligible to participate. The slate of candidates for the 2018/19 church council is: President, Paul Techau; Vice President, open; Secretary, Dana Carmichael; Treasurer, Bernie Knox; Education, Mary Techau; Property, open; Worship, Merton Masterson; At Large, Gary Watson.

 Confirmation will take place on the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 20th. Dominick and Elijah Carmichael-Myrie and Ted Jones will be confirmed. A potluck lunch will follow Divine Service. Pray for Dominick, Elijah, and Ted as they approach their confirmation.

 The rededication of the sacristy in memory of James Gray who for so many years faithfully cared for the altar and sacristy was a happy occasion as was the lunch which followed. Many thanks to all who made this happen.

 I must also thank everyone who worked so hard on this year’s Saint Mark’s Conference, especially Bernie Knox and Paul and Mary Techau. Gene Wilken from Nashville, Tennessee, graciously donated his expertise to record the Conference. The videos of the services and presentations will be available on our website oursaviourbaltimore.org. 

 The first free flea market will take place on Saturday, June 9th. Volunteers are always needed! You may call Judy Volkman at 410.377.8833.

 I will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of my ordination with Divine Service at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 23rd. This is an opportunity for me to remember and give thanks and to ask God’s continued blessing.

 You are in my prayers as I hope I am in yours.

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Our Saviour has been a member of GEDCO since its inception. This coalition of churches and community groups has done fantastic things in reaching out to those in need in our community. Last year, GEDCO provided permanent housing and supportive services to more than 530 people in need. From April 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018, GEDCO’s Community Service division accomplished the following:

Responded to 3,357 requests for food assistance, helping 2,439 individuals (Our Saviour regularly contributes food items to them)
Prevented utility turnoffs or restored power for 523 households
Prevented 97 evictions
Provided prescription medication assistance to 95 households
Prepare resumes for 166 job-seeking clients, thus helping 143 individuals procure employment.

The Church Council voted to contribute $500 to their mission, and will be looking for ways to better partner with them.                                                                                                            – Judy Volkmann

Misericordias Domini

Misericordias Domini, The Second Sunday after Easter

April 15, 2018 AD

Old Testament: Ezekiel 34:11-16

Epistle: 1 Peter 2:21-25

Gospel: John 10:11-16

Click here to listen and subscribe to Pastor McClean’s sermons on iTunes.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” – Saint John 10:27f

On this second Lord’s Day after Easter Day the Church always draws our attention to the risen Lord as the good shepherd. I doubt that there is any image of Christ more precious to the Christian heart than this image of Jesus the good shepherd of us lost and lonely sheep.

The words just read as our text for this sermon are, like the Gospel read just a few moments ago, only a fragment of Jesus’ teaching about Himself as the good shepherd as we find His words in the tenth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel. It’s of course a firm principle that in order to understand rightly part of Holy Scripture we must pay close attention to the context. And Jesus’ teaching about Himself as the good shepherd immediately follows His healing of a man who had been blind from birth and immediately precedes the raising of His friend Lazarus from the dead. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “This is what’s happening as I restore sight to the blind man and raise Lazarus from the dead.” For in healing the blind man and in calling Lazarus out of the tomb, the good shepherd is seeking his lost and lonely sheep.

There is also this: the man born blind and dead Lazarus are in fact a vivid picture of us all as we in fact are apart from our good shepherd: blind to the wonderful radiance of God’s love, “dead in trespasses and sins,” and doomed to bodily and eternal death. But the good shepherd doesn’t abandon us in our blindness and in our death, He doesn’t leave us lost and wayward sheep to our own devices! He came and He comes seeking us – at the cost of His own life as He said: “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Jesus the good shepherd rescues us His sheep by himself becoming a lamb as the prophet Isaiah said: “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and as a sheep, before its shearers is dumb.” The one true and eternal Shepherd becomes a little lamb – born of the lowly Virgin Mary; dying He destroys death and rising tom the dead opens the way to eternal life for all who hear and follow Him. He has overcome the devouring grave, for as the author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes: “the God of peace has [indeed] brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep,” the Lord Jesus who says, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me; and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

The man who’d been born blind hears the voice of the good shepherd and receives his sight, Jesus’ friend Lazarus – a full four days dead in the tomb! – hears the voice of the good shepherd calling him and comes out of the tomb. The blind man and Lazarus hear the voice of their good shepherd, but those who chose to be Jesus’ enemies don’t. For they see no need for such a shepherd, they’re content to live and manage things as they see fit, and can only see in Jesus a disturbing presence who challenges their beliefs and plans, and threatens their power over the people. And so they do not hear!

As so often happens in Saint John’s Gospel, seemingly insignificant details are fraught with meaning. For example, Saint John tells us that when Judas left the last supper “it was night,” night, not only in the sense that the sun’s light no longer shone but also in the sense that all the powers of darkness were in that moment gathering together to destroy Him who is the radiant brightness of the Father’s face, the true Light of the whole world. Well Saint John tells us that our Lord spoke these words about Himself as the good shepherd during the feast of the dedication of the temple at Jerusalem when – as Saint John writes – “it was winter.” “It was winter” – winter not only in the sense that it was the cold and dreariest of all the year, but also in the sense that the hearts of Jesus’ enemies were wintry: cold to divine love, wandering all unknowingly in a confused and of world, as spiritually dead as the leafless trees and the cold, hard ground.

So how is with you, with me? Are our hearts cold and wintry? Are we blind to the light of love shining from Jesus’ cross and open tomb, therefore “full of [God’s] glory”? Are we like dead men, in the grip of guilt, or bitterness rooted in past hurts, or paralyzed by fear of what the future might hold? Are we just a bit bewildered, like sheep who hear not the familiar voice of their shepherd but the even terrifying voice of a stranger bent on harming them?

If so, there is but one remedy: to listen! To listen to the voice of the good shepherd who came and who comes seeking us as He does again this day in the holy mysteries of His body and blood which tell us with unmistakable clarity that He is indeed our good shepherd who loved us enough to die for us: “My body … given for you…My blood poured out for you… you are mine.” We listen to His voice, calling us from our wayward ways into His way of life and peace. We humbly follow where our shepherd leads until that Day when, by His mercy, we take our place among that great multitude which no man can number, standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, the heavenly flock of the good shepherd, of whom Saint John exiled on Patmos writes: “They shall hunger no more neither thirst any more, the sun shall not strike them nor any scorching heat. For the LAMB in the midst of the throne will be their SHEPHERD, and He will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Amen. The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus unto life everlasting.

Our Saviour Parish News, April, 2018

Our Saviour Lutheran Church
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

April, 2018



Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Once again we stand at the threshold of the yearly celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. Because the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus are the foundation of all our life and hope, this is the very heart of the Christian Year. To participate in the celebration of those mighty acts whereby God in His great love has given us life and immortality is a great privilege and blessing. In addition to the services here at Our Saviour there is also a Tre Ore Good Friday Service from 12:00 noon until 3:00 P.M. at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Avenue. It goes without saying that every Christian will wish to be in the Lord’s House on Easter Day so that with repentant and faithful hearts we may receive the body and blood of the risen Lord in the holy Sacrament. With joy we exchange the Easter greeting, “Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!” 

But the Church does not celebrate the resurrection for just one day. The celebration continues for the forty days until Ascension Day when our Lord withdrew His visible presence from us and after ten days sent the Holy Spirit to be with His Church for ever. The Paschal – Easter – Candle burns at all services and we continue to sing Easter hymns. The Paschal Candle is a symbol of the risen Lord whose light dispels all darkness. The five red wax nails in the Candle remind us of the scars of nails and spear still to be seen in the body of the risen Savior. The Paschal Candle burns at all services until on Ascension Day it is extinguished following the reading of the Gospel telling of Jesus’ ascension. For the rest of the year the Paschal Candle stands near the baptismal font and is lit for baptisms since baptism is participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-11) It stands by the casket at funerals as a symbol of the hope of the resurrection. Our own Paschal candlestick is beautifully hand carved and is a gift from Pastor and Mrs. Stiemke.

There can be no greater sadness in this life than the death of one we have loved. And so we extend our Christian sympathy to those who mourn the death of Marion Purviance, the mother of Gabe Purviance and wife of Philip, and to Eugene James who mourns the death of his brother Kenneth. Marion’s funeral service was held in church on March 3rd, Kenneth James’s funeral on March 23rd. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may our heavenly Father comfort all who mourn their departure.

On Sunday, April 8th, the sacristy will be rededicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of James Gray who for so many years faithfully cared for the altar of our Church. This will take place at the end of the Divine Service and lunch will follow.

On Sunday, April 22nd, I will be preaching at Martini Church, the Church I grew up in and where I was baptized, confirmed and ordained. Martini is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Chaplain Graham Glover will be the celebrant and preacher here at Our Saviour.

 The annual Saint Mark’s Conference takes place on April 23/24. Everyone is welcome to attend. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Eucharist and Church Fellowship.” Information about the Conference can be found at our Church website: oursaviourbaltimore.org/conference

 On the first Sunday in May we will begin using our Synod’s new hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. The January Voters Meeting unanimously decided to introduce this book of worship. We have received some very generous gifts toward the cost of these new books but you can still give a hymnal in memory of departed loved ones. The cost of one book is $30.00. Be sure to mark the check for this purpose. The book includes much that is best in the two hymnals we have been using: The Lutheran Hymnal (the “red book”) published in 1941 and Lutheran Worship (the “blue book”) published in 1982. There are also new hymns which will enrich our worship.

 Because Confirmation will take place on the third Sunday in May, the spring Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on Sunday, May 6th. Members of Our Savior 18 years and older are eligible to participate.

 Dominick and Elijah Carmichael-Myrie and Ted Jones are completing confirmation instruction and will be confirmed on the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 20th. Pray for these fine young men as they approach their confirmation.

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Although the last Soup Supper during Lent was cancelled because of snow, a total of 75 people enjoyed the various dinners by our volunteer cooks.  Bernie Knox, Judy Volkman, the Ushers, Quilla Downs, and Mary Techau served up delicious meals.  And Helen Gray and her band of cooks stood ready but the weather didn’t allow them to share their goodies!  A total of $309.65 was received from the free-will offering and will be used to purchase turkeys and other food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets.  Many thanks to all who gave of their talents.

– Judy Volkman