Tag Archives: Epiphany

Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
January, 2023

followed by a reception

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Let me begin by thanking you for your Christmas cards and gifts! And speaking of gifts, through the generosity of members of our congregation we were able to give twelve ALDI gift certificates, each worth $65, at Thanksgiving and twelve certificates, each worth $100, at Christmas to needy families connected with the Waverly School.

I suspect that almost everyone is familiar with that delightful song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The song can remind us that the Church’s celebration of Christmas continues for twelve days. The twelfth day of Christmas, January 5, is often referred to as “Twelfth Night,” the Eve of the Feast of the Epiphany when we celebrate the coming of the magi to Bethlehem. The coming of these Gentile wise men to worship the infant Savior was both a fulfillment of prophecy and itself a prophecy of the coming of all nations to worship Him, and of the blessed hope that at His great epiphany—His coming in glory at the Last Day—every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The Festival Divine Service on Epiphany begins at 7:30 PM. Come and join in singing familiar carols: “The First Nowell,” “What Child Is This,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are”—and bring your friends! The wise men offered frankincense to the Christ Child; pure frankincense will be used at this service. A reception will follow Divine Service.

During the week before Christmas two of our members were called to Christ’s nearer presence. Lucille Carmichael fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, December 20. Robert Siperek fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 21. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may the Savior comfort those who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. When many years ago a dear friend of mine died around the middle of December, a mutual friend sent me a note saying: “We know that his is the real Christmas.” And so I say of Lucille and Robert: “We know that theirs is the real Christmas.” As we sang on Christmas morning: “Oh, where shall joy be found? Where but on heavenly ground? Oh, that we were there! Oh, that we were there!”

Our new organist is Deborah Lewis. She has been playing for us for a while but now has been offered and has accepted the position of organist. This is good news as anyone knows who has heard her play! She took the lead in providing for the playing of chimes on the Fourth Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Eve. And I thank those who played the chimes: Gabe Purviance, Justin Ricci, Abigail Scheck, Judy Volkman, Mary Techau, and Paul Techau, our faithful cantor.

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, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, 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, and Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway is at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

The winter Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on January 15. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen years old and older, may participate as we consider our work as a congregation.

The Lord’s People are present in the House of the Lord at the Lord’s Own Service—the Holy Communion—every Lord’s Day. If you are unable to come to Church and want me to bring you the Sacrament in your home, you need only call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

I wish you a truly happy new year in the name of Jesus.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


We’ve had quite a year, with in-person worship services back to normal, the dedication of the bells, adding new members, and endless other blessings. We’d like to sincerely thank you for making all of the good we did this year possible with your generosity.

We also have had lots of projects this past year, and one large one was the replacement of the 60-year-old boiler that was original to the Education Building. This replacement is approximately $24,000. The council approved going ahead with the replacement, as the heating season is upon us and we did not want to have a failure. The installation of the new system was completed in mid-December. Money from the church savings account, which has about $65,000 in it, was used to fund the replacement. We are hoping to replenish the money in the account in order to maintain our cash reserves.

We need your help with replacing these funds. If you are able to make a donation, please designate your donation for “boiler replacement.” If you are not able to give at this time, please share our need with your family and friends.


On December 11, a gathering was held to thank me for my 60-plus years of involvement with Our Saviour. My involvement was not undertaken for accolades; I did it because the Lord put me where I was supposed to be. Sometimes, I liked it. There were other times when I asked “Why!” As I look back, I am proud to have been part of a significant time in the life of Our Saviour, the merger with St. Matthew’s. Yes, there was a departure of a number of members, but we hung in there and are now on the upswing, thanks to new and younger members. It is time for others to step in and take on the responsibilities that I had assumed. If I stay in the positions, there is no need for someone to step up! So this is an opportunity to revitalize our congregation!

Thank you so much for the recognition. It has been a joy and a learning experience.

Our Saviour Parrish News, January, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218


Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on January 2.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Writing on this fifth Day of Christmas, December 29, I want to thank you for your Christmas cards and gifts. Thank you for your kindness in remembering me! At the end of this newsletter Quilla Downs tells us about the gifts our congregation has given to needy neighbors at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I must thank her for taking the lead in making all of this possible. In the Christ Child we see the astonishing generosity of God, a generosity we try to reflect in our own generosity to those in need. I must also thank Judy Volkman for her untiring efforts in connection with our Free Flea Markets.

The Church celebrates Christmas for twelve days—and then on January 6 celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. As always, there will be a Festival Divine Service at 7:30 PM. We will sing familiar carols: “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” “The First Nowell,” “What Child is This” and that wonderful Epiphany hymn, “As with Gladness Men of Old.” Since the wise men brought the gift of frankincense to the Christ Child, it is fitting that incense will be used in our celebration. This Feast has been called the Manifestation—Epiphany means manifestation, revealing, appearing—of Christ to the Gentiles. The coming of the wise men to worship the Christ Child is both a fulfillment of prophecy and itself a prophecy of the gathering of all nations in Christ’s one holy Church. Since the shepherds who came to the manger were Jews, Epiphany has also been called the Christmas of the Gentiles. Epiphany is a bright culmination of Christmas: “We have seen his star in the east and are come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).

The Christmas decorations will be taken down following Divine Service on the First Sunday after the Epiphany, January 9. Many hands make light work. Everyone is invited to stay for brunch which will be prepared by Richard Brown and Ben Orris.

The January Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on Sunday, January 16. Every member of Our Saviour, 18 years old and older, is eligible to participate.

On Monday, December 13, I received from his daughter, Heidi, the sad news that Pastor Gary Fisher, who served this congregation from 1989 until 2006, had been found dead in his home that morning. May he rest in peace and may Light perpetual ever shine upon him. A memorial service will be held for Pastor Fisher later in January. Due and timely notice will be given.

It seems that we can never have too many lessons in patience! We had hoped to have our bells ringing for Christmas. Men from the McShane Bell Company were indeed here to work on them from December 14 through 16, but there is still some electrical work that must be done. I think we can still reasonably expect to have a service of rededication of the bells on February 27, the last Sunday before Lent. We all owe Mary Techau a tremendous debt of gratitude, as without her tireless efforts we would not have been able to make this progress in repairing the bells. When they are ringing again, they will give pleasure to all who worship in this church and will also be a witness to Christ’s Gospel in our neighborhood.

We are also in need of patience as the COVID pandemic continues, with all its twists and turns. Ongoing prayers are in order for all who have suffered and continue to suffer, for physicians and nurses and first responders, and for those who are doing research to find effective prevention and cures. God Himself has given all of this to us, and it makes no sense to expect the help of God while despising the help He has in fact provided for us in so many ways. I am glad that our Church has twice been able to serve as a location for mobile vaccination units.

We continue to remember in prayer 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, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues her recovery at Cadia Health Care, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. During my recent visit she said how much she appreciates the cards sent by members of our congregation. Yolanda Ford is making some progress as she recovers at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell is at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I continue to bring the Holy Sacrament to those members who are unable to come to church. Never hesitate to email (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) or call me at (410) 554–9994 if you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament when you are unable to leave your home.

The new year of 2022 is almost here. No one knows what the new year will bring, but we do know Who holds all things in His hands: Those are the hands that still bear the marks of the nails and the spear, the marks of His love. And so we can be at peace.

Keep me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


On behalf of Pastor McClean, our church family and giving friends, we thank you for your continued generosity in support of our efforts to bless some of our less fortunate neighbors. As the list of referred families has increased, so has the outpouring of generosity to meet the needs. Your donations made it possible for our small congregation to provide 31 families with Aldi’s gift cards during the combined Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. During Thanksgiving, we gave $35 gift cards to 15 families; during Christmas, we gave $65 gift cards to 16 families. In addition to our usual Waverly elementary/middle school referrals, we responded to a direct plea from a caregiving grandmother on behalf of her grandchildren— providing a $65 gift card and a few items of clothes, books, and toys for the children. The gifts were received with gladness and thanks.

The need at the Helping Up Mission remains the same—grooming items. When the men and women arrive at the Mission, most times, they have let themselves go for a long time. The residents are given a daily supply of grooming items; so basic, but so important to the overall confidence of the residents and the success of the recovery program. Know that your gifts contribute to that success. Thank you for helping the Mission to save and change lives in the City of Baltimore. “Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” May the Lord continue to bless and favor you in the new year.

—Quilla Downs

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

OSLC 5Transfiguration

January 24, 2021 AD

Old Testament: Exodus 34:29-35
Epistle: II Peter 1:16-21
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

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

Listen to the service:

Second Sunday after Epiphany

2nd Sunday After Epiphany

January 17, 2021 AD

Old Testament: Amos 9: 11-15
Epistle: Romans 12: 6-16
Gospel: John 2: 1-11

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

Listen to the service:

The Baptism of Our Lord

OSLC 5The Baptism of Our Lord

January 10 2021 AD

Old Testament: Isaiah 42:1–7
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:26–31
Gospel: Matthew 3:13–17

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

Listen to the service:

Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

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

Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
JANARY, 2020

Monday, January 6

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

I doubt that anyone will disagree with me when I say that we begin this new year in a deeply troubled world. For one thing, it seems that so much is unsettled! How then shall we live? What are we to make of all this? Well first we need to remember that “the world, the flesh, and the devil” are not only the clear teaching of Holy Scripture; they continue as a fearsome reality in this fallen world and will continue until the Lord Jesus comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead. And since that is so, we Christians are – as Saint Peter addresses the recipients of his first Letter – “sojourners and exiles” (I Peter 2: Il) in this world; as Saint Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus” (Philippians 3:20) and “we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4: 18).

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

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

Wishing you a truly happy new new, I am

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

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

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



Our Saviour Parish News, December 2018

in the City of Baltimore


This charming picture of the birth of our Lord is by the German artist, Martin Schongauer (1430-1491). We see the Christ Child in the manger and His blessed mother kneeling in adoration. We see the angels and also the shepherds approaching the stable. But why are the cow and donkey there, gazing at the Christ Child? It seems that Christians long ago were impressed by some words of the prophet Isaiah:”The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib…” (Isaiah 1:3). And so in John Mason Neale’s familiar paraphrase of one our oldest and best-loved carols, In dulci jubilo (Now Sing We, Now Rejoice) we sing, “Ox and ass before Him bow, and He is in the manger now, Christ is born today!” The One who lies in the manger is not only our truly human Brother born of the Virgin Mary but also God the Father’s eternal Son and Word “through whom all things were made” (John 1:3), the Lord of all creation and so the Creator come to save this ruined race and bring us to the joy of the resurrection and the life of the world to come.

Note that on Christmas Eve The Holy Night Communion will begin at 10:30 P.M. For several years our Christmas Eve worship has begun at 7:30 in the evening but, at the recommendation of the Church Council, the Voters have agreed to return this year to what had in fact been the practice here for many years. If you need a ride to church on Christmas Eve, please call me at 410.554.9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com and I will see to it that someone will pick you up and bring you safely home. Driving at night is difficult for some of us. I know how that is: it was in fact a bit difficult for me until my cataracts were removed! As we all know, the word “Christmas” means “Christ’s Mass,” “Mass” being the Divine Service of Word and Sacrament. It goes without saying that all Christians will be eager to celebrate our Savior’s birth at “Christ’s Mass,” receiving in our Christmas Communion the Body born for us this night of Mary. The Real Presence in the Sacrament is not only on Christmas night but always cause for wonder and joy!

The Church’s Christmas celebration goes on for twelve days, and so the Sunday Divine Service on December 30th is a Christmas service as is also the Divine Service on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve not only marks the turn of the year but is also the Eve of the church festival of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus. Eight days after His birth the Christ Child was circumcised and given the holy name of Jesus which means Savior (Luke 2:21) The New Year’s Eve Divine Service is at 7:30 P.M.

Because of the Savior’s great love for us we are eager to show kindness to those who are needy. At the end of this newsletter Quilla Downs and Judy Volkman tell us about our efforts to share with the needy. We all realize that the need in our world is simply immense and all of us must do what we can to address this crying need.

Looking ahead, on January 27 we will be having an Epiphany Service of Lessons and Carols at 4:00 P.M. followed by a reception. We will have as guest organist, Matthew Machemer, who is the Associate Kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. There will also be a quartet that will include: Marie Herrington (our organist and Paul Techau (our cantor). Plan on attending and invite your friends!

Helen Gray was briefly hospitalized this past month but is now again at home. As of this writing Queenie Hardaway has been in Johns Hopkins Hospital for several days. Remember them in your prayers.

I hope that we will all use the Advent season – these four weeks before Christmas – to prepare for our yearly celebration of Christ’s Coming in lowliness and also for His Coming in glory at the Last Day. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


The closing Free Flea Market was held on November 10th, distributing 187 items to 20 people. This included winter clothes and Christmas items. The Free Flea Market has been reaching out into the community for 5 years now, and we have made a considerable impact. We have had 835 people attend, and they received 5633 items for free! All this was made possible through the generous donations from church members, Orphan Grain Train, and community donations. We are now giving back to Orphan Grain Train 8 bags of clothes to be distributed to others in need. Of course, this couldn’t have been done without faithful volunteers; they were present to hand out items 232 times. So many thanks to all who supported this outreach and shared the bounty that God has given us.
– Judy Volkman

For a number of years, Our Saviour has partnered with Waverly Elementary/Middle School during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to needy families in our community. We intend to continue the holiday food giveaways because the need is great. Food items have come from donations from generous church members, but most items are purchased with funds collected during our Lenten soup suppers. In the past, we delivered the baskets to the school, and earlier still, we made deliveries to homes. Of late the baskets have been picked up at our church. However, it is difficult for some families to pick up their food due to lack of transportation and conflicting work schedules. In addition, we do not have the necessary manpower re shopping and distribution to accommodate all of the circumstances in the chain of distribution. This Thanksgiving we had to repurchase some turkeys due to thaw on the lower shelves of the refrigerator. We repurchased due to concern for health and liability. I believe the church and the families would be better served with gift certificates. I am asking the council to consider the purchase of gift certificates at one of the food chains such as ShopRite or Aldi’s where food purchases would go further and the families would have the dignity of making their own food choices. We have never accommodated more than 11 families. If this request meets with the approval of council, I will facilitate follow through with the grocery merchant and the school social worker. Many thanks for your continued support and concern for those who are in need.
        – Quilla Downs