OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH
3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
EPIPHANY (THURSDAY, JANUARY 6)
FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM
Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on January 2.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Writing on this fifth Day of Christmas, December 29, I want to thank you for your Christmas cards and gifts. Thank you for your kindness in remembering me! At the end of this newsletter Quilla Downs tells us about the gifts our congregation has given to needy neighbors at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I must thank her for taking the lead in making all of this possible. In the Christ Child we see the astonishing generosity of God, a generosity we try to reflect in our own generosity to those in need. I must also thank Judy Volkman for her untiring efforts in connection with our Free Flea Markets.
The Church celebrates Christmas for twelve days—and then on January 6 celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. As always, there will be a Festival Divine Service at 7:30 PM. We will sing familiar carols: “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” “The First Nowell,” “What Child is This” and that wonderful Epiphany hymn, “As with Gladness Men of Old.” Since the wise men brought the gift of frankincense to the Christ Child, it is fitting that incense will be used in our celebration. This Feast has been called the Manifestation—Epiphany means manifestation, revealing, appearing—of Christ to the Gentiles. The coming of the wise men to worship the Christ Child is both a fulfillment of prophecy and itself a prophecy of the gathering of all nations in Christ’s one holy Church. Since the shepherds who came to the manger were Jews, Epiphany has also been called the Christmas of the Gentiles. Epiphany is a bright culmination of Christmas: “We have seen his star in the east and are come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).
The Christmas decorations will be taken down following Divine Service on the First Sunday after the Epiphany, January 9. Many hands make light work. Everyone is invited to stay for brunch which will be prepared by Richard Brown and Ben Orris.
The January Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on Sunday, January 16. Every member of Our Saviour, 18 years old and older, is eligible to participate.
On Monday, December 13, I received from his daughter, Heidi, the sad news that Pastor Gary Fisher, who served this congregation from 1989 until 2006, had been found dead in his home that morning. May he rest in peace and may Light perpetual ever shine upon him. A memorial service will be held for Pastor Fisher later in January. Due and timely notice will be given.
It seems that we can never have too many lessons in patience! We had hoped to have our bells ringing for Christmas. Men from the McShane Bell Company were indeed here to work on them from December 14 through 16, but there is still some electrical work that must be done. I think we can still reasonably expect to have a service of rededication of the bells on February 27, the last Sunday before Lent. We all owe Mary Techau a tremendous debt of gratitude, as without her tireless efforts we would not have been able to make this progress in repairing the bells. When they are ringing again, they will give pleasure to all who worship in this church and will also be a witness to Christ’s Gospel in our neighborhood.
We are also in need of patience as the COVID pandemic continues, with all its twists and turns. Ongoing prayers are in order for all who have suffered and continue to suffer, for physicians and nurses and first responders, and for those who are doing research to find effective prevention and cures. God Himself has given all of this to us, and it makes no sense to expect the help of God while despising the help He has in fact provided for us in so many ways. I am glad that our Church has twice been able to serve as a location for mobile vaccination units.
We continue to remember in prayer all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Joseph and Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues her recovery at Cadia Health Care, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. During my recent visit she said how much she appreciates the cards sent by members of our congregation. Yolanda Ford is making some progress as she recovers at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell is at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.
I continue to bring the Holy Sacrament to those members who are unable to come to church. Never hesitate to email (email@example.com) or call me at (410) 554–9994 if you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament when you are unable to leave your home.
The new year of 2022 is almost here. No one knows what the new year will bring, but we do know Who holds all things in His hands: Those are the hands that still bear the marks of the nails and the spear, the marks of His love. And so we can be at peace.
Keep me in your prayers as you are in mine.
WORKS OF MERCY
On behalf of Pastor McClean, our church family and giving friends, we thank you for your continued generosity in support of our efforts to bless some of our less fortunate neighbors. As the list of referred families has increased, so has the outpouring of generosity to meet the needs. Your donations made it possible for our small congregation to provide 31 families with Aldi’s gift cards during the combined Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. During Thanksgiving, we gave $35 gift cards to 15 families; during Christmas, we gave $65 gift cards to 16 families. In addition to our usual Waverly elementary/middle school referrals, we responded to a direct plea from a caregiving grandmother on behalf of her grandchildren— providing a $65 gift card and a few items of clothes, books, and toys for the children. The gifts were received with gladness and thanks.
The need at the Helping Up Mission remains the same—grooming items. When the men and women arrive at the Mission, most times, they have let themselves go for a long time. The residents are given a daily supply of grooming items; so basic, but so important to the overall confidence of the residents and the success of the recovery program. Know that your gifts contribute to that success. Thank you for helping the Mission to save and change lives in the City of Baltimore. “Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” May the Lord continue to bless and favor you in the new year.