Tag Archives: prayer

Our Saviour Parish News, December, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
December, 2023


Christmas Eve – The Holy Night Communion, 7:30 P.M.
Christmas Day – Divine Service, 10:00 A.M.
First Sunday after Christmas Day – Divine Service, 11:00 A.M.
New Year’s Day: The Circumcision and Name of Jesus –
Divine Service, 10:00 A.M.
Eve Of The Epiphany Of Our Lord, Friday, January 5th
Divine Service, 7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The beginning of this month of December brings with it the beginning of the season of Advent in which we make ready for the annual celebration of our Savior’s birth.  I often think that the best image for the Advent season is that of waiting in the darkness for the coming of the Light. As another candle of the Advent wreath is lighted on each of the Sundays in Advent, the increasing light of the candles tells us that we are drawing ever closer to the coming of Him who is Himself the Light in all our darkness both through His coming in lowliness at Bethlehem and through His coming in glory at the Last Day. The Epistle which from ancient times has been read at the Holy Night Communion points both to His coming in Bethlehem and to His final coming in glory. Saint Paul writes: “The grace of God has appeared” and then he speaks of how we Christians are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus” (Titus 2:11, 13). As Christians we live in joyful hope between these two comings of our Savior, our hope meanwhile sustained by His coming to us in the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood. Christ came, Christ comes, Christ will come again! With Christ’s coming again in glory faith will give way to sight and hope will give way to fulfillment. In the words of a familiar Christmas carol:

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heavens and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their king,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Every few years Christmas Eve falls on the Fourth Sunday in Advent as it does this year. This means that the Sunday morning service is an Advent – not a Christmas – service. Our Christmas celebration begins with the Holy Night Communion at 7:30 P.M. and continues with Divine Service at ten o’clock on the morning of Christmas Day. Note that the New Year’s Day Divine Service also begins at ten o’clock. On the eighth day after His birth the infant Savior was circumcised and given the name Jesus (Saint Luke 2:21). And so on January 1st we not only celebrate the New Year but also the circumcision and Name of Jesus.

December 3rd is the deadline for contributions for the Aldi Gift Certificates for needy families connected with the Waverly School. Be sure to mark your check “Holiday Gift Certificates.” In giving to others we express our thankfulness for God’s generosity to us in His gift of His Son to be our Savior.

The church will be decorated for Christmas following the Divine Service on December 17th, the Third Sunday in Advent, which is also the deadline for ordering poinsettias. Wayne and Jean West are in charge of ordering the poinsettias: (410)236-6392, (410)236-8092. Each plant costs $11.00.

Our dear sister in Christ, Queenie Hardaway, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, November 9th. Her funeral service was held here at church on the following Thursday. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon here and may the risen Lord comfort all who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

A memorial plaque for the new organ console has now been affixed to our organ. It reads:

Console given to the Glory of God
and in memory of Joseph Silver
a devoted servant of God and His Church
October 22 the Year of Our Lord 2023

Do remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry and personal items for the Helping Up Mission. The need remains great and each of us can and should make a contribution as we are able.

We continue to remember in prayer Bridget Bauman, James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Timothy Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Steve and Joyce Eaves, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Marian Rollins, Elaine Schwab, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson; Marvalisa, Sierra, Jonathan and Steven Gibson.

Helen Gray is now at the Keswick Multi-Care Center, 700 W. 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211. 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.

Please do not hesitate to email me (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) or call me (410-554-9994) if there is anything on your mind that you would like to talk about or if you wish me to visit you or bring you the Sacrament. If you need a ride to church, I will see to it that that need is met.

There is a prayer for the Advent season, written by John Goter (1650-1704), which wonderfully expresses the spirit of this season:

We ask Thy grace, O God, that we may make a due use of this holy time for preparing our souls to receive Christ our Lord coming into the world at the approaching solemnity of Christmas. Grant that we may be watchful at this time above all others, in avoiding everything that can be injurious to our neighbor, whether in afflicting him, or giving him scandal, or drawing him into sin or casting any blemish on his reputation; but in all things, O God, may we follow the spirit of charity, being forward in bringing comfort and relief to all, as far as their circumstances shall require, and ours permit. Grant, O Lord, that thus we may prepare to meet our Redeemer.

It goes without saying that in these difficult days Christians will turn in prayer to the Lord “who makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 46:9).

God bless us all in these Advent days.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, May/June, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
May/June, 2023


SUNDAY, MAY 28, 11:00 AM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are the three chief festivals of the Christian Year.

This year Pentecost falls on the last Sunday in May. But before we come to Pentecost we celebrate Ascension Day, which is always the sixth Thursday after Easter Day because it was on the fortieth day after His resurrection that our Lord ascended into heaven. Preaching on Ascension Day, Saint Leo the Great (A.D. 400–461) had this to say: “Since, then, the ascension of Christ is also our exaltation, for there is hope that the body will be summoned whither the Head has preceded in glory, let us give worthy expression to our exceeding great joy and be glad in fervent thanksgiving. For today we have not only been confirmed as possessors of paradise, but in Christ we have scanned the heights of heaven. Greater benefits have we obtained through the ineffable grace of Christ than we had lost through the malice of Satan. Those whom the raging foe had thrust from their first peaceful dwelling, the Son of God has united to Himself and has placed them at the right hand of the Father.”

Ten days after His ascension, on the Day of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples who then proclaimed His saving work to people of many languages gathered in Jerusalem. The Savior’s victory for us was accomplished on the cross, revealed in His resurrection, and proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost when three thousand people were baptized and so added to the Church. Saint Luke tells us that the members of this first Church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). And so it has continued as the churches throughout the world have continued to gather every Lord’s Day to hear the teaching of the apostles in the words of Holy Scripture and in the preaching, and as the risen and ascended Lord gathers His church into one body through the gift of His holy body and precious blood in the Sacrament of the Altar.

And so it will continue until the Lord Jesus comes again in glory.

The first Sunday in June is the Festival of the Holy Trinity, commonly called Trinity Sunday, and the last Sunday in June is the 493rd anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession by the Lutheran princes and cities to Emperor Charles V. These two festivals are connected because the Augsburg Confession begins by confessing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity which shows that the Lutheran confessors did not imagine themselves to be “founding” a new church but continuing steadfast in the faith the one Church that has been in the world since the first Pentecost. Through His incarnate Son God has revealed Himself as the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God. This is a great mystery—the mystery that God Himself is no solitary being but communion in love who in love redeems the fallen world. What happened at the Reformation is that everything in the church’s life that had obscured the truth that our salvation is wholly the gift of God’s love was removed so that the pure Gospel of God’s saving grace could shine in all its splendor. We remember that in his 95 Theses Dr. Luther wrote: “The true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” This is what is confessed in the Augsburg Confession, and so important was the Augsburg Confession to those who built our church that on the cornerstone, right after the name of our church, we find the letters “U A C” which stand for “Unaltered Augsburg Confession.” Christ alone is our Savior and He bestows salvation through the preaching of the Gospel, through Baptism, Absolution, and the Holy Sacrament. Through these means of grace the Holy Spirit brings Christ to us and us to Christ who brings us to the Father.

The first Free Flea Market of this year will be held on Saturday, May 13, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM. We always need volunteers to help greet those who come and hand out items. Saturday, June 10, will be our second free flea market. We are grateful to Judy Volkman who has taken the lead in making this happen. This is a way of reaching out to our community and sharing with others what God has given us.

The spring Voters Meeting will be held after Divine Service on Sunday, May 21. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen years and older, is eligible to vote. At this meeting we will elect the Church Council and approve the budget for fiscal year 2023/2024.

I wish to thank our members who helped with this year’s Saint Mark’s Conference: Paul and Mary Techau, Bernie Knox, Richard Brown, Jake Mokris, Ben Orris, and Ted Jones. I have heard good things from those who attended the conference and who are looking forward to next year’s.

We continue to remember in our prayers James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Jean West, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road in Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda 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 21207.

Please remember to bring food items for the GEDCO food pantry and personal items for the Helping Up Mission. The need continues to be great, even daunting.

The Sunday morning Bible class continues to study Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Come join us! Questions are very welcome!

Please let me know if you are unable to come to church and wish to receive Holy Communion at home. Email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com or call me at (410) 554–9994. Please let me know if you need a ride to church and I will see that that need is met.

I have been invited to the 175th anniversary of Saint John’s Church in Springfield, Pennsylvania, which will be celebrated on Trinity Sunday, June 4. I served there as pastor from 1976 to 1982. Kathy Panek became organist at Saint John’s the same year as I began my ministry there and continues as organist to this very day. Our good friend, Pastor Noah Rogness, associate pastor at Immanuel Church in Alexandria, will be here in my absence.

In his presentation at Saint Mark’s Conference, Pastor Kurt Reinhardt of Trinity Church in Kurtzville, Ontario, showed us how even when most alone a Christian’s prayer is not solitary. In all our prayers we pray with the entire communion of saints in heaven and on earth—as we say at every celebration of the Holy Eucharist: “Therefore with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name…” As those baptized into Christ and His Body the Church we are never alone. We pray as our Lord and Savior commanded and taught us: Our Father… In that awareness let us continue in prayer for one another, for the whole Church and for the whole world.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, March, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
March, 2023

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


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

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
February, 2023

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Savior Parrish News, March, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
March, 2022


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The beginning of this month brings the beginning of the holy season of Lent. On Ash Wednesday there will as usual be Divine Service with the imposition of ashes. The ashes are an expression of sorrow for sin and are a sign of our mortality: “You are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

Lenten Vespers will be held at 7:30 PM every Wednesday until Holy Week. This year the meditations will be based on the Passion of our Lord according to Saint Luke:

March 9 – Christ in Gethsemane
March 16 – Christ before Caiaphas
March 23 – Christ before Herod
March 30 – Christ before Pilate
April 6 – The Way to Calvary

We will as always use the Order of Vespers which is the Church’s liturgy for daily evening prayer. And we will pray the Litany, a prayer which comes to us from the ancient Church, and of which Dr. Luther said that it is “next to the holy Lord’s Prayer the very best that has come to earth.” It was in view of the looming threat to Europe of invasion by the Turks in the year 1529 that he translated the Litany into German and urged its use in churches. It has been said that in praying the Litany we can turn to the whole world, Christian and otherwise, and say, “This is how we pray, this is how we are taught to think of life and death, of God and man.” In a word, the Litany is one of the treasures of the Church. And how timely are its petitions: “From pestilence and famine, from war and bloodshed, good Lord, deliver us”!

We will be having our soup suppers on the last four Wednesdays in Lent: March 16, 23, 30, and April 6. At these suppers we always have an offering which is used to provide gifts for needy neighbors at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 13th. Be sure to put your clocks forward one hour.

Order envelopes for Easter Lilies are on the table in the back of the church. As with many items, the price has gone up to $15 for each plant. Remember to fill out the form to honor a loved one and return to Judy Volkman by April 10th, Palm Sunday.

Pastor Gary Fisher’s family recently informed me that they still intend to have a memorial service for him this spring. I am happy to be able to report that the work on the restoration of the bells is nearing completion. Be sure to read the Historic Preservation Update concerning the waterproofing of the undercroft at the end of this newsletter. The Church Council continues to address these problems.

Please 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, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. During a recent visit with Maggie Doswell, she told me how grateful she is that members of Our Saviour keep in touch with her. She 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 was recently hospitalized but has now returned to Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I continue to bring Holy Communion to members who are unable to come to church. If you want me to visit and bring you the Sacrament, never hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or to email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you are in need of transportation to church, do not hesitate to contact me; I will be glad to make arrangements for that purpose.

We naturally pray for our families and friends and for our fellow members at Our Saviour. It goes without saying that we also continue to pray for those who govern our city, our state, our nation, and indeed all the nations of the world. It was Saint Paul who wrote, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (I Timothy 2:1,2). We of course do just that in the general prayer of the Church at every Divine Service, but we must be faithful intercessors also in our own personal prayers throughout the week. If you find yourself at a loss for words, not knowing what to pray for, you might consider a suggestion once given me by an older and wiser friend. She urged me in such circumstances to pray repeatedly, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

Let us make good use of the Lenten season that now begins! God does not need Lent. We poor mortal sinners do.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Waterproofing the undercroft: Rainwater in the undercroft has been a problem for many years; thus a French drain system was installed in the undercroft last week. During the installation the kitchen cabinets were removed; as they were too water damaged to be reinstalled, we are looking into installing new cabinets/countertops. The contractor has also given us quotes to replace the tile floor in the undercroft and paint the walls.

—Mary Techau


Our own Pastor McClean is turning 80 on March 26. In honor of this event, Our Saviour is having a celebration for him on March 27. We will have a guest preacher for Divine Service that day (11:00 AM), the Rev. Brian Westgate of Redeemer Church in Oakmont, PA. Pastor Westgate has served each year as the organist for the St. Mark’s Conference. We will also have a brunch immediately following the service. If you are able to attend, please either call the church office ((410) 235–9553) and leave a message or sign up on the sheet on the piano by March 15 so we can properly prepare for the amount of food that we will need.

—Paul Techau, Council President

Our Saviour Parish News, February, 2021


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218

Ash Wednesday
February 17
7:30 pm Divine Service

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Lent begins on February 17, Ash Wednesday. Divine Service will be celebrated at seven thirty in the evening. On the following Wednesdays in Lent there will be Vespers with the Litany, except on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in March when Divine Service will be celebrated.

Wednesday, February 24, is Saint Matthias Day. Since Saint Matthias was chosen to replace the traitor Judas, this holy day is directly connected with the Lenten season.  Saint Matthias was chosen during the ten days between our Lord’s ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 1:15–26).

Wednesday, March 24, is the Eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, a most important holy day because it celebrates the conception of Jesus following the virgin Mary’s assent to the message of the angel Gabriel. Nine months before His birth in Bethlehem (Saint Luke 1:26–38) the eternal Son of God took on Himself the humanity that is yours and mine in the womb of His virgin mother. And that is in the most real sense the beginning of the journey which would lead to the Cross. The ancient appointed prayer or collect for the Annunciation expresses this in a memorable way:

O Lord, as we have known the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel to the virgin Mary, so by the message of His cross and passion bring us to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

On the three remaining Wednesdays in Lent the meditations will focus on Old Testament Types of Christ’s Passion. “Types” are events which point forward to the Savior. We will consider the Sacrifice of Isaac, the Passover Lamb, and the Blood of the Covenant.

I wish I could announce that our midweek Lenten services will as usual be preceded by our popular soup suppers. But the circumstances surrounding the COVID virus do not make that possible at this time. Depending on circumstances we may be able to have them as Lent goes on.

We recently heard from the office of the President of Synod, the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, that he is planning to come to our Saint Mark’s Conference which will, God willing, take place April 19–20. Dr. Harrison was to have spoken at last year’s conference which had to be canceled because of the COVID pandemic. On the Monday in Holy Week, March 29, he will make a decision as to whether or not he can come. We will be sending out notifications with the proviso that all depends on the circumstances of the pandemic. The theme of the Conference will be the one announced last year, the life and works of the Rev. Dr. Hermann Sasse (1895–1976) of blessed memory. Last year was the 125th anniversary of Dr. Sasse’s birth. He was almost certainly the greatest faithful Lutheran theologian of the last century. His writings continue to guide and enrich the Church of the Augsburg Confession throughout the world. English-speaking Lutherans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the President of Synod who has himself translated countless pages of Dr. Sasse’s works and has caused them to be published.

Our dear sister in Christ, Dorothy Bell, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, January 28. She was born on September 8, 1931 in Meherrin, Virginia, and will be buried in Saint Matthew’s Cemetery in Meherrin. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon her and may our heavenly Father comfort her husband Louis, her children, and all who mourn her departure. As of this writing, funeral arrangements are incomplete, but you will be notified as soon as they are in place.

Our Saviour Church in fact has roots in Saint Matthew’s Church, Meherrin, which was founded as an African-American congregation in 1883, nine years before the founding in Baltimore of Our Saviour Church, which was then called Jackson Square. It was members of Saint Matthew’s in Meherrin who founded Saint Matthew’s Church in Baltimore in 1928  which in 1973 merged with Our Saviour. So our roots as a congregation in a real sense go all the way back to 1883.

Gabe Purviance had been sick with the COVID virus but has made a good recovery. His father Philip was hospitalized with the virus but is now with Gabe and his wife Louise and is making a good recovery. Continue to keep them all in your prayers together with Joe Silver who will undergo surgery this Friday, and also Yolanda Ford, who having been hospitalized is now in the Future Care home on North Point Boulevard.

Our former organist, Matthew Bunn, resigned as organist on Sunday, January 24th. We are fortunate that John Igoe has agreed to serve as our organist for some weeks to come. He has served before as substitute here at Our Saviour and we are happy that he is available. He played for Divine Service on January 31.

At the end of this newsletter Quilla Downs reports on the gifts we were able to give to needy families connected with the Waverly Elementary School this Christmas. It really is wonderful that we were able to give even more generously than last year because of our people’s generosity. It happens that I began my education in kindergarten at the Waverly School then known as School 51. Judy Volkman reports on our Free Flea Markets.

We are continuing to work toward the restoration of the mechanism which plays the bells in the church tower. Mary Techau has done much in this connection. We now have over $9,000 in the bell fund. At our website (oursaviourbaltimore.org) there is a delightful video about the bells with Gabe Purviance as narrator. Be sure to see it!

While we are on the subject of finances, I should mention that a generous friend of our congregation recently sent us a check for $10,000. The Church Council will be discussing how this may best be used.

I suspect that during Lent last year very few people expected that the world would still be plagued with COVID–19 as this Lent begins. But so it is, and Lent is almost here.
The Church has always marked Lent with the three disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as Christ teaches in His Sermon on the Mount—Saint Matthew 6:1-21. Lent is not so much a time to take on extraordinary disciplines as it is to return to those ordinary thoughts and words and deeds which are fitting for all those who have been baptized into our Lord’s death and resurrection. And so if we have been negligent in prayer, Lent is a time to return to a more disciplined prayer life. The forms of daily morning and evening prayer which Dr. Luther provides in the Small Catechism are not just forms to use but in fact a pattern for daily prayer. Public prayer is the worship of the Church. If we have for no valid reason (e.g. sickness, danger of exposure to the virus, etc.) been negligent in Sunday worship, Lent is certainly a time to begin to remedy that negligence and also to join in the midweek Lenten devotions. Almsgiving includes not just monetary gifts but anything that we do to help our neighbor, for example, our flea markets, our gifts to the GEDCO food cupboard, our gifts for the Helping Up Project, the help we recently provided for a group of Christians in Kenya. These needs are now greater than ever. But at the heart of the Lenten season is the contemplation of God’s great love in the passion and death of His only Son. God is a generous God! “God so loved the world that He gave…” Let us pray that through our Lenten discipline we may be ever more fully conformed to the image of our generous God!

Remember that our services are livestreamed at Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook and that sermons can be heard by calling (410) 587–0979. Never hesitate to call me at my home telephone: (410) 554–9994. If I am not at home, do leave a message. I check my messages throughout the day. The Holy Sacrament is the spiritual food and drink for our journey through this world. I am always ready to bring the Sacrament to those who for any reason are unable to come to the Divine Service.

Lent has always been kept as a season of fasting—but not only from food and drink! There may be fixed patterns in our lives, behaviors of various kinds, even patterns of thought which hinder our walk with Christ. We can all certainly benefit from careful self-examination. And then there is always the blessing of private confession and absolution which is always available by appointment. In the fifth chief part of his Small Catechism, The Office of the Keys and Confession, Dr. Luther provides necessary teaching about this. I am always ready and willing to answer your questions.

Let us continue to pray for one another and for this deeply troubled world.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Works of Mercy

Due to the increased funding from the Church, generosity from church family, and donor friends, we were able to more than fulfill our prior commitment to needy families recommended to us by our liaison at Waverly Elementary/Middle School. We usually provide $30 food gift cards to 10 families, but during the Christmas Holiday, additional help was requested, and our resources were such that we were able to purchase $70 gift cards for 11 families in need. The cards were redeemable at ALDI grocery stores. The COVID–19 pandemic and job loss have severely impacted already economically fragile communities and family budgets are stretched to the limit. I am glad that our congregation has again opened its collective heart and purse to make Christmas more meaningful and abundant for our neighbors in need. Many thanks for your continued support and concern for those who are in need.
– Quilla Downs

As COVID–19 continues, many of us are taking on projects that, in busier times, were set aside… like cleaning out that closet or the basement. If you are doing this, remember the Free Flea Market at Our Saviour. We can use men’s and women’s summer clothing, household items, and even Christmas items. We have gotten a number of items for Christmas and will have a “Christmas in July” sale! You can call Judy Volkman at (410) 377–8833 if you have items to be picked up or just to let her know that you have contributed some items. We will be starting the Free Flea Markets in May. Let us share the bounty the Lord has given us!
– Judy Volkman