Tag Archives: Family Day

Our Saviour Pariish News, November, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

November 1st is All Saints Day. We will keep this great festival of the Christian Year on the following Sunday. This festival brings to mind some words of Pastor Wilhelm Loehe (1808–1872) who for many years served as pastor in Neuendettelsau but whose labors proved to be a blessing far beyond that little Bavarian village. The Father Founder of our own Synod, Pastor Ferdinand Walther (1811–1887), once said that our own Synod owes more to Pastor Loehe than to any other human being. In his Three Books Concerning the Church Pastor Loehe has this to say: “We are born for fellowship. The Lord did not make the earth for one man nor heaven for one man. The divine fellowship is the Church of God, the communion of saints. In my pilgrimage through this dark vale I am not alone. The Church is an eternal fellowship here and hereafter.” On the feast of All Saints we celebrate and give thanks to God for this blessed reality, remembering especially all those who have loved and served Him in this world and now rest in His nearer presence. Here at Our Saviour it has long been the custom to remember especially fellow members of this congregation who have fallen asleep in the Lord since last All Saints Day. This year we remember our dear sister in Christ, Dorothy Bell, who entered eternal rest this past January. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her.

On All Saints Sunday we will for the first time use the new white frontal—altar cloth—which now replaces the one that had been in use here since at least the 1940s. The old frontal had begun to fall apart and could not be repaired. The new frontal is like the old one decorated with blue and gold orphreys—decorative vertical panels of fabric—and with two pieces of embroidery from the old frontal: a decorative cross and what appear to be the letters I H S. These letters are actually the first three letters of the name of Jesus in the Greek language: iota, long e, sigma. The frontal has been made by Davis d’Ambly of Philadelphia. He is unquestionably one the finest ecclesiastical artists of the present day; examples of his work can be seen at his website: liturgicalartist.com.

This month of November will see the replacement of the mechanism which rings the eighteen bells in the church tower. Many people have contributed to this effort. We are now able to complete this project because of a very generous gift from Doug and Beth Skinner of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, who are friends of Our Saviour Church. And we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mary Techau who has done so much work to make this happen!

In the October newsletter I neglected to mention that the Church Council has decided to begin an organ fund. We are of course blessed with a fine Moeller organ which was built when this church was dedicated in 1930 and rebuilt in 1988. But like all organs it requires ongoing attention and care. There are some things that need to be done now and others that can be done when funds are available. If you wish to contribute to the organ fund, simply write a check to the church and mark it “organ fund.”

Family Day was certainly a happy occasion. We had the best attendance we’ve had since Family Day last year. On the same day we were able to welcome a mobile vaccination clinic of the Baltimore City Health Department which was also here on Sunday, October 24th. In making space available for this effort we have been able to help our neighbors in this difficult time.

Our Sunday morning Bible Class has finally finished its study of the Gospel according to Saint Mark and has begun to study the book of the prophet Micah. We meet at 9:45 AM. Questions are welcome. Come and join us!

It seems as if I have much the same thing to say every year as Thanksgiving Day comes around: When I was a boy, the churches were filled, but that was a very long time ago. Nowadays it seems as if most people feel no need to be present in God’s House at Thanksgiving. But is it really too much to expect that Christian people worship in God’s House on our national day of Thanksgiving? I suspect that question answers itself. “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come!” (Lutheran Service Book, hymn 892) Like all our evening services, Thanksgiving Eve Vespers is at 7:30 PM.

The last Sunday in November is Advent Sunday, which is the beginning of the Advent season and the beginning of the new Church Year. The word “Advent” means “Coming,” and during this season the Church has always considered the three-fold Coming of our Lord: His coming in lowliness at Bethlehem, His daily coming in His holy Word and Sacraments, His coming in glory at the Last Day to judge the living and the dead. It is of course no secret that for many years now the holy season of Advent has been eclipsed by the frenzied “holiday season” which knows nothing of the necessary spiritual preparation for the Christmas festival. As human beings, we are (among other things) creatures of habit. Church attendance is (among other things) also a habit. Everyone knows that bad habits have a life of their own whereas good habits require effort! If during this Church Year now drawing to its close you have been negligent in joining your fellow Christians for Divine Service on the Lord’s Day, I strongly recommend that you use the arrival of the new Church Year as an opportunity to recover the good habit of worship every Lord’s Day. Worship on the Lord’s Day is a happy privilege because every Lord’s Day is a celebration of Christ’s Resurrection in which is all our hope.

Remember in your prayers 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, Chris Mokris, Eric Phillips, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cedia Health Care Center, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. During a recent visit she told me how much she appreciates the cards Our Saviour’s people have sent to her. Frank Ford’s daughter, Yolanda, continues to recover at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell is now living at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208.

We continue to livestream our services; we must thank Richard Brown for making this happen. Never hesitate to contact me via telephone (410) 554–9994 or email charlesmcclean42@gmail.com if you wish to receive the Sacrament at home or if you would like me to visit or just have a friendly chat. Please remember me in your prayers: you are in mine.

Pastor McClean


Although we are not having Free Flea markets over the colder months, we are still collecting items for next spring. We need both men’s and women’s summer clothes, jewelry, and household items. We did receive books and some other assorted items from Holy Cross Lutheran on Loch Raven Blvd. These were not sold at their Yard Sale on October 9 and they kindly donated them to us. Donations can be dropped off at the church.

—Judy Volkman

91st Anniversary of the Dedication of the Our Saviour Church Building

OSLC front Holga-ish91st Anniversary of the Dedication of the Our Saviour Church Building

October 3, 2021AD
Rev. Lucas Witt
Immanuel Lutheran, Baltimore, MD

Old Testament: I Kings 8:22-30
Epistle: Revelation 21:1-5
Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

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

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

(followed by luncheon)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, You may remember the familiar story of Jacob’s dream in which he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. When Jacob awoke from sleep he exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place I did not know it. How awesome is this place! This is none other than the House of God and this is the Gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:16,17). Jacob’s words, “The House of God and Gate of Heaven,” appear on the sign in front of our church building and also in the Sunday bulletin to bear witness to the truth that a church building is in fact a holy place where God comes to us through His Word and Sacraments, especially in the Sacrament of the Altar where our crucified and risen Lord is present in His holy body and precious blood. Here we truly meet and receive Him, and here we worship “with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven”—as has been said in every celebration of the Holy Eucharist from time immemorial.

On Sunday, October 3rd, we will celebrate the 91st anniversary of the dedication of our church building. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Lucas Witt, who is the associate and missionary pastor at Immanuel Church on Loch Raven Boulevard. Since it was a group of laymen from Immanuel Church, then on south Caroline Street, who in 1892 founded this congregation, it is fitting that one of Immanuel’s pastors will be the preacher for this anniversary. October 3rd is also Family Day, and as usual lunch will be served after the Divine Service. So that we can know how many expect to join us for lunch, please call Bernie Knox at (410) 355–3744 if you plan on being with us. Last year we had the best attendance we’d had since the beginning of the pandemic, and we hope that we will have a good attendance again this year. And do remember that it is not only our duty as Christians to be present for Divine Service every Lord’s Day, it is also our privilege—and our joy!

We recently learned that the McShane Bell Company hopes to have our tower bells back in working order by Thanksgiving. It would certainly be wonderful to have them ringing again as we celebrate Christmas!

This year the last Sunday in October is Reformation Day. In the Ninety-five Theses—those propositions for debate among Christian theologians which Dr. Luther posted on October 31, 1517, the Eve of All Saints’ Day—there are two which wonderfully point to the heart of Dr. Luther’s faithful witness to the truth. The first thesis reads: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he meant that the whole life of Christians should be one of repentance.” And the sixty-second thesis reads: “The true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” Like Saint John the Baptist, Dr. Luther points to Christ saying: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)” The Church called Lutheran invites all Christians to see all Christian doctrine and life in the light of that blessed, saving truth as found in the Word of God and confessed by Christ’s one holy Church. Dr. Luther invented no new religion, but recalled the Church to unity in the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Reformation Day always comes as a call to repentance for our own sins of indifference and neglect, and also as an occasion for thanksgiving and for prayer that God would preserve us in the truth of the Gospel. How we need to join our Lutheran forbears in praying:

Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide,
For round us falls the eventide.
O let your Word, that saving light
Shine forth undimmed into the night.

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

Remember in your prayers 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, Chris Mokris, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cedia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Frank Ford’s daughter Yolanda remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell, the husband of the late Dorothy Bell, is living at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208. Sending a card is a good way to let them know that they remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Remember that our services are livestreamed at Our Saviour Facebook on Sundays at 11 AM. Remember that I am always glad to bring the Sacrament to anyone who is unable to come to church. Never hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or to email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. As Christians have from earliest times we pray for the needs of the whole Church and the whole world at the Divine Service on the Lord’s Day. It goes without saying that we should also do so in our own prayers at home, especially in this time when the need is everywhere so great. Do remember me in your prayers as you are in mine. The Lord’s people are in the Lord’s house every Lord’s Day.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market: Attendance in 2021 has picked up from the previous year. We hosted 106 individuals who received 1025 items. Since we began this outreach in 2014, we have touched the lives of 1144 people and distributed 8208 items to them. At the outset, there were 24 volunteers assisting; in 2021 there were 9 faithful members who came to assist on the second Saturday of the month, May through September. Outstanding for a small Congregation!

There were a number of “new” visitors who came in September and so we will continue this outreach to the community next year, starting in May. The inventory from this year has been donated to Orphan Grain Train. So we need to restock with new items for next year. Adult clothing, shoes, and household items are needed. Donations can be dropped off at the church. or let Judy Volkman know if you need something to be picked up. She can be reached at (410) 377–8833 or judy.volkman@verizon.net.

Helping Up Mission: Our Saviour has been supporting them also since 2014. Our donations have been small, but it all adds up. A recent flyer received from them told of the impact that donations have made: 998 men and women served, 139,561 bed nights of shelter, and 415,000 full meals served. They are certainly filling a great need in Baltimore. We continue to collect personal care items for them, and well as donating many dress slacks and shirts for men from our inventory from the Free Flea Market.

—Judy Volkman

Again this year, Our Saviour Church will be providing Aldi’s Gift Certificates to needy families. We give the certificates at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please mark on your check memo line or on an accompanying note any funds donated toward these gift certificates. Generally we use the offering taken at our Lenten Soup Suppers to help support our food gift certificates; this year we had to forego Soup Suppers due to COVID.

Last Thanksgiving we distributed 10 Aldi’s Gift Certificates for $30 each and, because of a generous donation at Christmas, we were able to give 11 Certificates for $70 each. We thank you in advance for your gifts for the 2021 Aldi’s gift certificates.

—Bernie Knox

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Mark your calendars now: Sunday, October 3, will be Family Day; we will also be celebrating the 91st anniversary of the dedication of our Church. It was in fact dedicated on September 7th, 1930, being the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, but there is an old church custom that the anniversary can be kept on another day if the actual date is in some way inconvenient. Because  the first Sunday in September occurs during Labor Day weekend, and because Baltimore’s hot and humid summer weather can still be with us, last year we celebrated the 90th anniversary on the first Sunday in October. We will continue to do this every year. Such a celebration provides an opportunity to thank God for this splendid building in which we are privileged to worship and to remember all the faithful Christians whose life in Christ has here been sustained through the Gospel of Christ and His holy Sacraments. Family Day has always involved a meal and will again this year. As we get closer to the date, a decision will be made as to how this will be done in the light of whatever constraints the continuing pandemic may require, but be sure to plan now on being present.

We certainly need to be diligent in our prayers that this affliction will come to an end. Here in Maryland we seem to have been managing fairly well, but other parts of our country have not been so fortunate. Our church has approached the State of Maryland to have a mobile COVID vaccination clinic on our parking lot. More information on the time and date will be sent when information becomes available. I am hoping that we will be able in this way to make some small contribution to the well-being of our neighbors. You may remember that, in his explanation of the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill,” Dr. Luther instructs us that we “should help and befriend [our neighbor] in every bodily need.” Providing space for a mobile vaccination clinic does just that.

We continue to receive contributions in memory of our longtime organist and choirmaster, Don Weber. We recently received a generous check in memory of Don from Pastor Ron Ritter who was a member of Our Saviour and was both married and ordained here.

The lighting in the multipurpose room has been less than satisfactory for some time now. Maurice Dixon has sent a generous check which will make possible new lighting fixtures which will be provided with long-lasting LED lights. And speaking of the multipurpose room, we have notified the Ednor Gardens/Lakeside Association that they are very welcome to use it again when they are able to do so. We have of course been continuing to use the multipurpose room for our Free Flea Markets, the last of which for this year will be Saturday, September 11th, 9:00 am–12 noon. We always need volunteers to greet our visitors and help them. Be sure to read what Judy Volkman has to say at the end of this newsletter. Judy has for several years been our leader in all this and I thank her!

Remember in your prayers 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, Chris Mokris, Eric Phillips, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cadia Health Care, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Frank Ford’s daughter, Yolanda, continues to recover at FutureCare North Point, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. The late Dorothy Bell’s husband, Louis, now lives at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208. Sending a card is one way of letting them know that they are remembered and prayed for.

I continue to bring Holy Communion to members who are unable to come to church. Never hesitate to call me at (410) 554–0994 or e-mail me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com if you wish to receive Communion at home or simply desire a pastoral visit. Please continue to keep me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Since 2017, volunteers at Our Saviour have held Free Flea Markets during the summer months—and 7998 items have been distributed to the community.  Pretty good for a small congregation.

We started out with a core group of 17 volunteers.  We now have 9 people involved.  The number of people attending has declined from 215 in 2017 to 85 this year (with one more month to go).  When we started, there were several assisted living facilities whose residents attended, but we no longer see them.  Most people attend because they see the signs we put up on church property.

This is our only outreach to our community.  What can we do to enhance this?  Is there something we are missing?  What are your thoughts on this, and what are YOU willing to do to make it happen?  The Lord has blessed us with bounty.  Let us share it with those who need it! Contact Judy at judy.volkman@verizon.net or (410) 377–8833.

A generous donation of $1,000 has been received from Pastor Ron Ritter and his wife Judy for the Bell Fund.  This is to acknowledge the 50+ years of faithful service of Don Weber as Organist and Choir Director.  Pastor Ritter grew up in Our Saviour and received mentoring support from Pastor Adolph Stiemke.  He was ordained and was married at Our Saviour (Don played for their wedding), so he has many fond memories.

—Judy Volkman

On, Saturday, August 28, 2021, a delivery was made to the Helping up Mission.  After inventory, Judy Volkman determined that we had an overabundance of men’s suits, pants and coats left over from our monthly Saturday giveaway.  Not willing to have such good items go unused, Judy donated a good portion of the inventory to the Mission.  In addition to the clothes, we delivered several large boxes of shampoo, hair conditioners and assorted personal grooming items, all of which were donated by a friend of Our Saviour and the Mission.   Needless to say, personal grooming items are always needed.  Let’s not forget that, during the last few years, the Mission expanded its outreach to homeless and addicted women.  These women have committed their lives to overcoming their situation in an all-round supportive and Christian environment.  Many thanks for any and all contributions to the Mission for the fine work that they do in restoring the lives of men and women in the City of Baltimore.

—Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Sunday, October 4
The Ninetieth Anniversary of the Dedication
Of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
Family day

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this year of our Lord 2020 three out of the four Sundays of October will be festival days here at Our Saviour. On October 4th we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, October 18th is Saint Luke the Evangelist’s Day and October 25th is Reformation Sunday.

We are continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols and to do our best to keep everyone safe. Many of these were discussed in the July newsletter and can be found on our church website (https://www.oursaviourbaltimore.org/2020/06/our-saviour-return-to-worship-announcement). When you arrive please wear a mask until you are in your place. Please observe social distancing in the nave. We in fact have plenty of space and we might as well use it all! We still have just four to a table for Communion—one person kneeling at each end of the two parts of the altar rail—and offering plates may be found on the piano and in the back of the church.

Our Saviour congregation was founded in 1892 as an English-speaking congregation by a number of laymen from German Immanuel Church then on South Caroline Street, now at Loch Raven and Belvedere. The old Jackson Square Methodist Church in east Baltimore was purchased as a place of worship. In 1919 the congregation moved to its present location and for ten years worshipped in a simple wooden chapel until the present splendid church was built in 1929/30.

Now, the stones and mortar and glass of a church building are not holy in themselves, but the purpose of a church building is most certainly holy. For here the Triune God draws near to us in the preaching of His holy Word and in the celebration of the Holy Sacrament in which the Son of God feeds us with His true body and blood, the price of our redemption, the sure pledge of the resurrection. Here we confess our sins, here we say our prayers, and here we adore the Holy and Undivided Trinity who has saved us. And so we can say as did Jacob when he awoke from the dream of the ladder from earth to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending on it: “Surely the Lord is in this place… This is none other than the House of God and this is the Gate of Heaven” (Genesis 28:17). And so it is completely fitting that we should give thanks for all the blessings which God has bestowed in this hallowed place now for ninety long years.

The preacher for our anniversary will be the Rev. Dr. David P. Stechholz who is Bishop Emeritus of the English District of our Synod. He will also speak on the history of Lutheranism in North America at 9:45 am. When our church was dedicated in 1930, our congregation belonged to the English District of Synod. The first convention of the English District was in fact held in 1912 in our old Jackson Square Church in east Baltimore. The term bishop is perhaps unfamiliar in our circles. Yet more than thirty years ago the English District adopted the term bishop for its district president because the district had come to the conclusion that the title bishop more clearly expresses what district presidents in fact are and do. District presidents supervise the doctrine and practice of the pastors and congregations in their respective districts and—either in person or by proxy—ordain candidates for the Holy Ministry: Bishop is quite simply the ancient churchly name for those who do these things. It has been in use continuously since the Reformation in many parts of the Lutheran Church and continues to be in use in many of our sister churches around the world.  It has recently been adopted by Synod’s Atlantic District.

In the Calendar of the Church Year (Lutheran Service Book, p. xi) October 18th is always Saint Luke the Evangelist’s Day. This year October 18th falls on Sunday and so we have an opportunity to remember and give thanks for the life and work of Saint Luke, one of the four evangelists whose statues adorn the reredos of our church’s altar. Saint Luke is the evangelist who has recorded for us the wonderful story of our Savior’s birth and some of the most beautiful parables of Jesus, for example, the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. There is a fine old hymn, dating from the 12th century, which we will sing on Saint Luke’s Day, which has some lines which so beautifully express the work of the four evangelists of the one Lord Christ:

In one harmonious witness the chosen four combine                        While each his own commission fulfills in every line.

voters meeting of our congregation will be held after Divine Service on October 18th. Every member of Our Saviour, age eighteen and older, is eligible to participate.

The last Sunday of October brings the Festival of the Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517, the Eve of All Saints Day, that Dr. Luther posted 95 theses, that is, propositions for debate among theologians, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Much has been written and continues to be written about these 95 propositions or theses but, when all is said and done, these theses were heard far and wide as a great call to repentance. And it was that clarion call to repentance which set in motion the great movement we know as the Reformation. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ says, ‘Repent!’ he meant that the whole life of Christians should be one of repentance (Thesis 1)… The true treasure of the Church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God” (Thesis 62).  Dr. Luther and his coworkers never imagined that they were somehow founding a new church. They understood their work as one of calling the whole church to repentance and faith in our crucified and risen Savior in whom alone is all our hope. Thirteen years later the Lutheran princes and two city councils presented the Confession of their faith to Emperor Charles V in the City of Augsburg. They understood themselves to be confessing the one Faith of the one Church and to be inviting others to join them in so confessing. In its continued adherence to the Augsburg Confession the Church called Lutheran continues to issue that invitation to all Christians. We Lutherans believe that in this Confession divided Christendom can find unity in the truth as revealed in Christ through the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures and confessed in the Three Ecumenical Creeds—the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism is a marvelous summary of this teaching.

We were all saddened by the death of our long-time organist emeritus, Don Weber, on August 9th yet we are glad that he now rests in the nearer presence of the Lord Jesus. On September 15th the burial service was read at his grave in the presence of a number of his friends. On Sunday, November 22nd, there will be a Memorial Service at 4:00 P.M. This will be an opportunity to remember and give thanks.

Adult Christian Education and Sunday School will resume on Sunday, October 4th. Bishop Stechholz will speak on the history of Lutheranism in North America. Come and join us! These classes are always quite informal, and questions are most welcome.

At Mary Techau’s suggestion a video has been made of the bells in our church tower. Gabe Purviance is the narrator and Abigail Scheck has made some equipment available for better audio. You can see and hear this at oursaviourbaltimore.org or on Youtube. We are still trying to gather funds to repair the mechanism which rings the bells.

Our first free flea market of the year took place on September 12th, and the next one will take place on Saturday, October 10th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. We always need volunteers to help and welcome those who come.

Remember that the Sunday Divine Service is livestreamed every week and that you can also hear the Sunday sermon by calling 410.587.0979. Remember that if you wish to receive Holy Communion at home you should call me at 410.554.9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

We now have been living with this COVID-19 pandemic for over half a year. It goes without saying that we must pray for all who are sick and for those who mourn, also for all who care for the sick and the dying and for those who are working on a vaccine and effective medications. There also seems to be so much unrest at home and abroad: this too requires us to pray more fervently for all who are anxious and suffering. In all of this commotion we need more than ever to take to heart the words of the psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Do continue to remember me in your prayers: you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

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

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2018

Our Saviour Lutheran Church
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

September, 2018


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a happy time we had on Sunday, August 26th! We were blessed with the visit of Pastor Paul Winterstein and his wife Boots. Paul Winterstein was Pastor here at Our Saviour from 1974 through 1988. As it happens Paul and I are seminary classmates who graduated from the Saint Louis Seminary way back in 1967! How the years have flown by! Their visit was a real treat for me and for many members of Our Saviour.

Before I forget to mention it, I must talk about a “problem” of sorts for which there seems to be no solution — at least I can think of none. I should perhaps say that, since I have heard no complaints, it seems to be mainly a problem for me. Let me come right to the point! I wish that I could personally speak with every person who comes to Divine Service every Sunday. The problem as I see it is this: there are three ways to enter our Church and people quite naturally use all three entrances. But being only one person, I can’t manage to be at all three entrances as people leave the Church! Well I try to do the best I can given the circumstances. I just want each one of you to know that I am not intentionally ignoring you if I’m not able to speak with you every Sunday.

On August 13 our dear sister in Christ, Edna Price, departed this life at the age of 104 years in Salisbury, North Carolina. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her and may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn her departure.

On August 21st the Reverend Richard Hinz, President Emeritus of the Southeastern District of Synod, fell asleep in the Lord after a decades long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He had served as dean of Christian instruction at the Baltimore Lutheran High School from 1965 through 1970. From 1978 through 1994 he served as President of Synod’s Southeastern District. His funeral was held at Prince of Peace Church in Springfield, Virginia, on Friday, August 31st. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon him and may the risen Lord Himself comfort all who mourn his departure.

Be sure to remember in your prayers those whose names appear in every Sunday’s bulletin. I should mention that Donald Weber now lives at 2813 Woodland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215. He is always happy to hear from members of Our Saviour. We owe him so much! He faithfully served as organist here for well over fifty years. That is a remarkable achievement!

Do remember that this coming Saturday, September 8th, is our next free flea market from 9 0’clock until 12 noon. Judging by the number of people who come and by the number of items that are given away, these free flea markets are clearly meeting a real need. Judy Volkman continues to lead this effort and for that I am very grateful.

Sunday, October will be Family Day. As always there will be a guest preacher, this year Pastor Noah Rogness. He serves as Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Army Pastoral Care Advisory Team. Before going to seminary, Pastor Rogness had served in the United States Army. I first became acquainted with him when he was serving as assistant to Chaplain Jonathan Shaw who preached at our Easter Vigil back in 2017. Pastor Rogness will also be leading the Sunday morning Bible class.

We have a regular group of attendees at Sunday morning Bible class. We are at present studying the Letter to the Hebrews. We meet at 9:45 A.M. Do come and join us. The format is quite informal; questions and comments are very welcome!

To pray for one another is to love one another. Remember me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, October, 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affectionately in our Lord,
Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, September 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affectionately in our Lord,
Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

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

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

Helping Up Mission

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

– Quilla Downs

Our Saviour Parish News, October 2015

Luther in surplice
Luther administers communion with Melanchthon assisting.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the last Sunday in October we will again celebrate the Festival of the Reformation which includes remembrance, thanksgiving, and repentance. We remember Dr. Martin Luther and his co-workers, we give thanks for the restoration to the Church of Christ’s saving Gospel in its purity and the right use of the holy Sacraments, and we repent of our sins: our taking for granted all these blessings, our negligence in the use of the means of grace and in making known to the world the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The picture here seen is an old copper plate portraying the distribution of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Dr. Luther is about to administer our Lord’s body to a kneeling communicant; his co- worker, Dr. Philipp Melanchthon, holds the chalice of Christ’s blood. The picture reminds us of the blessed truth of the Real Presence of Christ’s true body and blood in the Holy Sacrament. When we come to the Divine Service on the Lord’s Day we do not find an absent Lord, for the risen Lord Himself in fact comes to us with His body and blood in the hallowed bread and cup. Because Christ Himself has taught us that the bread and wine of the Sacrament are His body and blood, we cannot invite members of churches which teach their people that the bread and wine of the Sacrament only represent the Savior’s body and blood to receive Communion at our altar. To do so would be to say that the doctrine of the Real Presence is a matter of indifference, and that we cannot do! It would in fact suggest a unity which does not exist and for which we must pray. I fear that many people— alas, even members of the Lutheran Church!— do not understand that the faithful Lutheran Church rejects not only what we believe to be the errors of the Roman Church but also the errors of the Reformed Protestant churches. We must therefore pray that these errors will one day be overcome and the unity of the faith restored. It also goes without saying that we must at all times view all our fellow Christians with kindness and compassion.

But before we get to Reformation Sunday we have our Family Day this coming Sunday, October 11th. Do plan on being present and invite your family and friends to attend. As always there will be good food and drink following the Divine Service. Our good friend, Pastor Elliott Robertson of Martini Church in south Baltimore, will preach the sermon. Do come and welcome him to Our Saviour!

And speaking of Martini Church, do plan on attending the Joint Reformation Service of our Missouri Synod Lutheran churches there at 4:00 PM on Reformation Sunday, October 25th. The Rev. Dr. Roland Ziegler of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, will preach. Following the service there will a reception with good fellowship and plenty to eat and drink.

In the Calendar of the Church Year, Sunday October 18th is the day of Saint Luke the Evangelist: on that day the Church gives thanks for the life and work of Saint Luke who gave us both the wonderful Gospel which bears his name and also the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is Saint Luke who records the story of our Savior’s birth and the visit of the shepherds to the Christ Child. He also records the Song of Mary (the Magnificat – Luke 1:46-55), the Song of Zechariah (the Benedictus – Luke 1:68-79) and the Song of Simeon (the Nunc dimittis – Luke 2:29-32) which from ancient times have found a place in the Church’s worship. In fact at every Divine Service we sing Simeon’s Song, the Nunc dimittis, after we have received the Holy Sacrament.

Following the Divine Service on Saint Luke’s Day there will be a Voters Meeting. One item for consideration will be the time for the Festival Divine Service on Christmas Eve. For some years now it has been held at 10:30 PM, but there is now some feeling that an earlier hour might be better. The hope of the Church Council is that we can reach a consensus on this matter, and so I ask you to give the matter prayerful thought, and let us talk among ourselves about this. My own experience tells me that it is far better to come to a common mind about this sort of thing rather than to vote on it. And it is perhaps not too soon to remind you that on Thanksgiving Day there will as usual be sung Matins at 10:00 AM. This was once a very well attended service of worship, but it seems that people’s priorities today are— regrettably!— very different than they were when in days gone by the services of God’s house were central in people’s lives.

Do be sure to look at our Church’s website. Vicar Demarest has been doing a splendid job working on the website. It is by no means a finished project, but we are well on our way to having a very fine website as a tool of outreach for our parish. In last month’s newsletter I mentioned that we also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

And what about the boiler? On Tuesday, October 6th I spoke with the men who are working on this. They expressed the hope that the new boiler will be in operation by this coming Sunday. This has been a lengthy project but we are now seeing the light at the end of the turmel!

Several of our fellow members have been to the hospital in recent weeks: Frank Ford, Doris Goods, Helen Gray, Don Weber, and David West. As of this writing (Wednesday, October 7th) Doris and Helen are still hospitalized at Northwest Hospital. Do remember Doris and Helen in your prayers and pray for continued healing for Frank and Don and David.

The chancel at Zion Church in Detroit.
The chancel at Zion Church in Detroit.

Vicar Trent and I had an enjoyable time at the annual Saint Michael’s Conference at our Zion Church in Detroit. It is called “Saint Michael’s” because it is always held close to Saint Michael’s Day, September 29th. This conference is now in its eighteenth year. It focuses on the sacramental, liturgical, musical, catechetical life of the Church. This year’s speaker was my dear friend, the Rev. Dr. Charles Evanson, who until this year had for a number of years been teaching at the seminary of the Lithuanian Lutheran Church in the city of Klaipeda. He has also lectured for the Lutheran churches in Scandinavia, Germany, and Russia. It was a real treat to hear him and catch up on all his news. As I mentioned to the Church Council some months ago, we are hoping to have a “Saint Mark’s Conference” this April here at Our Saviour. A number of east coast Missouri Synod clergy are interested in making this happen. We’re calling it “Saint Mark’s Conference” because our plan is to hold it on or very near to Saint Mark’s Day, April 25th.

Let me remind you that we do have an adult Bible class every Sunday at 9:45 AM and the Vicar has a class for our young people. Christian education is a lifelong task— and privilege!

Let me also remind you once again that the Divine Service on the Lord’s Day— the weekly remembrance of the Lord’s resurrection— is the beating heart of the Church’s life. Here Christ the Saviour comes with His gift of pardon and peace in Gospel and Sacrament and we offer our prayer and praise to God who has saved us. By our presence we also encourage our fellow Christians. And so “The Lord’s People are in the Lord’s House every Lord’s Day.”

I must finally thank Gabe and Louise Purviance for so graciously hosting the Church Council’s Strategic Planning day at their home on September 19th. There was a very positive feeling as we reviewed the strengths and the challenges which we face as a congregation. You will be hearing more of this in the days ahead. What is vital is that we proceed with prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we daily pray for one another as members of the family that is Our Saviour congregation.


Affectionately in our Lord,


Pastor McClean