Tag Archives: Organist

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
September, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I must begin by telling you that our search for an organist has just come to a very happy conclusion: John Igoe will again be our organist, beginning Sunday, September 24th. We were certainly very fortunate to have had him as our organist and are very happy that he will be with us again! I hope that many of you will be in church on the 24th to welcome him back.

Mark your calendars now for Sunday, October 1st, which will be Family Day. Our guest preacher will be our good friend, Pastor Elliott Robertson, who for many years was Pastor of Martini Church in south Baltimore. As usual there will be lunch following Divine Service. There is a sign-up sheet on the piano where you can indicate whether you will join us for lunch on Family Day so that we know how many to prepare for. As has been our custom for several years, we will celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of this Church on Family Day. The actual date of dedication was September 7, 1930, but there is an old church custom that the celebration of the anniversary can be moved to a different date if the actual date is in some way inconvenient. In Baltimore the weather in October tends to be better – less hot and humid! – than early September can be.

Our last free flea market of this year will take place on Saturday, September 9th, 9:00 A.M.-Noon. As always we need volunteers to greet our visitors and help them.

Remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry and personal items for the Helping Up Mission. Why not make it a habit to pick up a few items to donate to the GEDCO food pantry when you do your grocery shopping? Toward the end of this newsletter Bernie Knox calls our attention to the Gift Certificates for needy families which we provide at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Surely no one needs to be told that the need is great.

Also at the end of this letter is Paul Techau’s report on the Milwaukee convention of our Synod. Paul was the lay delegate for the circuit of Baltimore churches to which we belong. Be sure to read his encouraging report. The convention showed that, as members of our Synod, we belong to a worldwide fellowship of churches united in faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Four more church bodies were received into fellowship with our Synod: churches in South Sudan and Sudan, Uganda, Finland and Ukraine. The convention also showed that, whatever difficulties our Synod is facing, there is a degree of unity which is remarkable in this day when there is so much strife and uncertainty and even apostasy in many parts of Christendom. Yet we cannot take this for granted and so must pray – as we do in the Prayer of the Church we customarily use in the Divine Service – “that all who confess Your holy name may agree in the truth of Your holy Word and live in unity and godly love.” Satan and his minions delight in sowing seeds of doubt and confusion and division wherever the flock of the good Shepherd is found. And “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). And so we pray in Dr. Luther’s morning and evening prayer: “Let Your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me.”

We continue to remember in our prayers James Bauman, Bridget Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Elaine Schwab, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson; Marvalisa, Sierra, Jonathan and Steven Gibson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yoland Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208; Queenie Hardaway at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.

Please remember me in your prayers. You are in mine. If you are unable to come to church and wish to receive Holy Communion at home, you may call me at (410)554-994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you are in need of a ride to church, please let me know and I will see to it that that need is met.

Please remember me in your prayers. You are in mine.

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Again this year OSLC will be providing Aldi’s Gift Certificates to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are including this in our bulletins and newsletters now so that our gifts may be as generous as possible. Please indicate on your check memo line or on an accompanying note that the funds are designated for these Gift Certificates.

We also use the collections taken at our Lenten Soup Suppers to help support our Gift Certificates. In 2022 our four Soup Supper yielded a total of $143. By Thanksgiving, including the Soup Supper funds and congregational donations, we were able to provide 12 families with a $65 gift certificate. At Christmas time our congregational donations were greater and we were able to provide 12 families with a $100 gift certificates. The recent 2023 Soup Suppers provided $348 as a beginning for our 2023 Thanksgiving and Christmas Gift Certificates.

Please begin now to think about making generous donations that will allow us to continue to help those less fortunate than ourselves provide a special meal for their families at a holiday which reminds us to be thankful for all the Lord has given us and at a second holiday which celebrates God’s greatest gift of all – the birth of our Savior Jesus.

– Bernie Knox

Report on the Synodical Convention

At the end of July, I had the privilege of representing our circuit (each circuit in the LCMS gets one pastoral delegate and one lay delegate to the convention) at the LCMS National Convention in Milwaukee. Mary attended the convention with me as a representative of the Wyneken Project here in Baltimore, which serves to help our churches continue to faithfully preach the Gospel and preserve their Lutheran identity.

The four and a half days of convention business were packed full of addressing a number of items, from the election of officers and board members for the coming triennium, to recognizing the faithful service of many who have served the church, adopting resolutions that enable the Synod to carry out its business, and addressing matters of controversy within the LCMS.

The highlight of the convention occurred early in the week. On Sunday afternoon, four church bodies were received into fellowship with the LCMS: Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Sudan and Sudan; Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland; Lutheran Church of Uganda; Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine. All four were represented by their bishops. In hearing their stories, it was very evident that these men and the churches they lead have truly sacrificed for the faith more than we in this country can truly appreciate. In addition to recognizing fellowship with these four church bodies, the convention also recognized the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka, up to this point a mission of the LCMS, as a “Self-Governing Partner Church.” If you have a little bit of time, you might consider watching this as it happened online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1-Kw3dpf7I starting at about the three-hour mark).

Throughout the convention, there was remarkable unity apparent. Many resolutions were adopted by voice vote. There were some more contentious issues for which debate continued for extended periods. However, in the end, even on these issues, good results were obtained with votes of 70%, 80%, and even 90%. I thought that to be a good sign for the direction of the Synod.

Each day began and ended with worship, generally one of the daily offices. Each afternoon session also began with worship. Worshiping with a thousand other Lutherans is a very unique and uplifting experience. There were a number of addresses, essays, and catechetical lectures (all things that are specified by the synodical constitution to happen at convention), all of which were very good and very worth listening to. The video for these can be found on Synod’s website (https://www.lcms.org/convention/national/livestream) and if you get a chance to listen to some of them, it is well worthwhile. You’ll have to poke around on the videos to find the lectures and essays, but it is worth doing.

– Paul Techau

Our Saviour Parish News, September, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Mark your calendar now! At long last we will be able to rededicate the bells which were placed in the church tower in 1934. This will take place on the first Sunday in October. This will also be a celebration of the 92nd anniversary of the dedication of the church and it will be Family Day. Lunch will follow Divine Service. So that we know how many to prepare for, please sign the sign-up sheet on the piano at church or call the church office ((410) 935–2553) no later than September 25. This will certainly be a happy occasion and I hope that many will attend. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Carl Kruelle who grew up in Our Saviour Church and was ordained here.

Two of our members celebrated significant birthdays in August. On August 16 Robert Siperek celebrated his 90th birthday and on August 18 Frank Ford celebrated his 93rd birthday. We congratulate them both and pray for God’s richest blessings in the days to come.

On Sunday, September 4, Wayne West was confirmed. Jean West and Justin Ricci, having been confirmed some years ago, were formally received as members of our congregation. We pray that the Holy Spirit will guard and keep them in faithfulness to Christ and His church.

In last month’s newsletter Judy Volkman asked for volunteers to take over some of the responsibilities she has faithfully fulfilled for many years. At the end of this newsletter she gives us an update on responses to her request. Wayne and Jean West have agreed to take care of ordering the poinsettias at Christmas and the lilies at Easter and will see to it that items donated for the Helping Up Mission will be taken there. Bernie Knox has agreed to send the ALDI gift certificates to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we still need someone to contact Waverly School to get the names of needy families. And we still need someone to take over the job of financial secretary and someone to deliver food to the GEDCO food pantry. Be sure to read Judy’s update.

Remember that our next free flea market will take place on Saturday, September 10, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM. This will be our last flea market until next spring. We always need volunteers. About 40 people came to the August flea market.

Paul Techau and I have met with three applicants for the position of organist. We expect to be able to announce the name of our new organist very soon. We have substitute organists for every Sunday through October 9. This is vacation time and substitutes are in high demand, and there has for some years now been an unfortunate shortage of organists. We are very grateful to Elaine Schwab for helping us the last two Sundays in August. She will be with us again for the last two Sundays in September and on October 2. She and her husband, retired Pastor Guenter Schwab, are members of Immanuel Church where she sings in the choir and serves as substitute organist.

Please remember to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway has been living at the Augsburg Home for some time now: 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207. Quilla Downs’s new address is 1000 Brightseat Road, Apt. 462, Landover, MD 20777.

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

The beating heart of the Church’s life is the Divine Service in which God comes to us in His grace and mercy through His holy Word and Sacrament and in which we offer to Him our praise and thanksgiving and prayer—our prayer for the whole Church and for the whole world. The Divine Service is among other things a pattern for our whole life as Christians: and so, just as in the Holy Liturgy we pray not only for ourselves but also for the whole Church and the whole world, so also should we pray every day! I often think that one of my favorite psalm verses is the ninth verse of the 145th psalm: “His tender mercy is over all that He has made.” In prayer we claim God’s mercy for “all that He has made.”

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Last month, a listing of positions was published in the newsletter and Jean and Wayne West have stepped up to take responsibility for the Flowers and the Helping Up Mission. Bernie Knox has volunteered to send the ALDI gift cards to the recipients of the holiday baskets. However, we still need someone to get in touch with the school to obtain the names of the recipients.

The financial secretary position is still open.

Not listed last month was the collection and delivery of food items to CARES, which takes place approximately every other month. This would include checking the donations and determining when a delivery needs to be made (usually 4 milk crates of items). They can be delivered to the CARES office on York Road Monday through Wednesday. If you can help with this task it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks to Jean and Wayne for volunteering to take on these tasks. I now rest a little easier!

-Judy Volkman

Our Saviour Parish News, June, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
JUNE, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It was the great nineteenth-century Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass—by the way, he had been born as a slave here in Maryland—who said of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, “That was a sacred effort.” I believe that Douglass spoke the truth. The occasion for Douglass’s words was a reception at the White House later in the day of the inauguration. Seeing Frederick Douglass, Lincoln said, “I saw you in the crowd today, listening to my inaugural address. How did you like it?” It was then that Douglass replied, “Mr. Lincoln, that was a sacred effort.” I suspect that most of us remember the words toward the end of the address, “With malice toward none, with charity toward all…” but the entire address is a truly remarkable effort. Speaking in the waning days of the Civil War and not many days before his tragic death, Lincoln’s speech breathes the spirit of repentance and humility. It represents Lincoln’s profound reflections on the causes and meaning of the war. “The scourge of war” he explained was best understood as divine punishment for the sin of slavery in which all Americans were complicit. He described a national moral debt that had been created by the “bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil.” He cites the words of Holy Scripture, indeed words of our Savior, and concludes the speech with the memorable call for compassion and reconciliation. You may remember that I have alluded to this luminous speech before, both in sermons and in these newsletters. The text of this speech can easily be found online and as your pastor I recommend that everyone read and carefully ponder Lincoln’s words. I firmly believe that these words of Lincoln shed light upon our often-difficult path. There is much discussion and indeed uncertainty about Lincoln’s faith, but this address surely makes plain that Lincoln was a man who had struggled with his Maker.

As this month of June begins, we have two new faces at Our Saviour Church.

After careful consideration, the position of organist has been offered to Matthew Bunn, who played for Divine Service this past Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost. He is clearly a very talented young man and will very competently lead us in worship. During the past weeks Marie Herrington has again been with us since the church at which she is now organist has not been having services on Sunday morning. Marie remains very much a part of our church family, and we are always so happy to see—and hear!—her.

We are also fortunate to have a summer vicar with us for the next six weeks, Samuel Abliganz, who is preparing for the Holy Ministry in our sister church in Germany, the Independent Evangelical–Lutheran Church. He has studied at that Church’s Seminary in Oberursel and also at the ancient University of Tuebingen, and has just completed a year studying at our Synod’s Seminary in Fort Wayne. He will also be assisting our good friend Pastor Coats in the work at Redeemer Church in Irvington and at Saint Thomas Church in southwest Baltimore. Pastor Coats is now fully recovered from the COVID-19 illness and for that we are very thankful indeed! I know that we all prayed fervently for him while he was ill; let us both continue to ask God’s continued blessing and protection for his ministry and join in giving thanks for his recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about so many changes—both in our general lives and as a Christian congregation. I am very grateful to Richard Brown for making it possible for us to live-stream the Sunday Divine Service as well as the Divine Service on Ascension Day, and people who are unable to come to church have said how much this means to them. You may also call this phone number to hear the sermons: 410.587.0979. Videos of the services are saved on the church’s Facebook page (facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore) and audio of the sermon can also be found at the church website (oursaviourbaltimore.org). I am hoping that it will soon be possible for more people to attend church, but this depends both on the decisions of the civil authority and on people’s conscientious decisions about their health and safety. A Christian will under normal circumstances be in the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day, but it has always been recognized that conditions of health—our own and that of others—enter into responsible decisions about coming to Divine Service. Although it is far from ideal, I think that we can be truly grateful that modern technology makes it possible for us to at least see and hear Divine Service when we are unable to attend in person.

According to our congregation’s Constitution and Bylaws, we are supposed to have a Voters Meeting on the third Sunday in May. For obvious reasons that was simply not possible. It is now hoped that we may have the meeting on the third Sunday in this month, June 21. This of course all depends on what is possible in view of the pandemic.

Enclosed with this newsletter is a form called Joyful Response: Electronic Offering Program. It is now possible to make one’s offering automatically from one’s bank account. Some of our members have been doing this for some time now. The enclosed form tells you exactly how to do this. Some people regard this as a real convenience and it certainly is just that when many people are unable to bring their offering in person because of the pandemic. My impression is that our members have continued to give for the support of the Church’s work of worship, witness, and service. I encourage all of you to continue to do so. If this option isn’t congenial, you can always send a check through the mail to our church address: 3301 The Alameda 21218.  If you would like to participate in Joyful Response, please complete the form and return it to the Church to the attention of Bernie Knox. And in discussing the church’s finances, I would certainly be remiss if I did not thank Bernie Knox for her untiring work as our treasurer.

And speaking of service, there is following this letter an article by Judy Volkman about our Free Flea Market. Although we are not going to have it during the summer months, there will be one in September and possibly October. Be sure to read what Judy has to say. I am sure we are all grateful for her continued leadership in this service to our neighbors. Given all the circumstances, the need is now no doubt greater than ever.

Do remember that the first Sunday in June is the Feast of the Holy Trinity or as we usually call it, Trinity Sunday.  From last Advent until last Sunday’s Feast of Pentecost we have recalled all that God has done for our salvation; on Trinity Sunday we rejoice in who God is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God! God has revealed that He is one, but not solitary. His life is love that flows among the persons of the godhead. Human beings are made in the image of the triune God: and because that is so, we are never truly human as isolated individuals, but only as persons in relationship with one another. And because we have been baptized into Christ and His mystical Body the Church, even when we are most alone, we still always have our being in communion with the Holy Trinity and all saints in heaven and on earth.

It was in 1933 that the Rev. Eric Milner-White (1884–1963), who had served during the First World War as a military chaplain on the Western front and in Italy, published the prayer which follows. It came to mind as I reflected on the circumstances in which this June newsletter is being written. I commend this prayer to you both for prayer and quiet contemplation:

O God, who wouldest fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
Let the design of thy great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows;
and give peace to thy Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts;
through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

It’s of course one of those old cliches, but that doesn’t make it any less true: “I’m only a phone call away.” And my phone number is 410.554.9994. You can also e-mail me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. I may not always be able to answer immediately, but if you leave your number, I will make every effort to return your call just as soon as I can. Let us continue to pray for one another and use whatever means we have to encourage one another.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market: it will continue! Yes, the Governor has lifted the Stay at Home restriction, but both the City and County are not sure if they will lift their restrictions.  At the present time, we are planning to have a Flea Market in September (and possibly October!).  Now I need your support. We have gotten a substantial donation of household items, so we need clothing. We need both men’s and women’s clothing (no children’s please), preferably for fall. What we don’t get in your donations, we will obtain through Orphan Grain Train. Please let Judy Volkman know what you can contribute. The Lord has given us much, and we need to share our bounty, particularly in these trying times.

On another note, a delivery of canned food was delivered to CARES in May. Now we need to stock up again! Please bring your canned goods, spaghetti ingredients, and meat products since there is NOTHING in the cartons for donations. As you know, many families are in need of food on a weekly basis. Every little bit helps!