Tag Archives: Voters

Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2024


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
January, 2024

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.
Epiphany Choral Vespers in celebration of the new organ console, Sunday, January 21, at 4:00 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although the world more or less ends its celebration of Christmas on Christmas Day, the Church continues to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas which conclude on January 5th, “Twelfth Night,” the Eve of the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord. Epiphany has often been called the “Christmas of the Gentiles” because the wise men were the first Gentiles to worship the Christ Child and offer Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. As the poet Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (A.D. 348-413) says in his Epiphany hymn:

Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh his sepulcher foreshows.

As the magi offered frankincense to the Savior, so we will offer incense – pure frankincense – at our Epiphany celebration; and we will sing those familiar carols which speak of the journey of the wise men and of their gifts: The First Nowell, What Child is This, and We Three Kings of Orient Are. The celebration of the Epiphany of our Lord is a joyful way to bring our annual celebration of Christ’s coming into this world to its happy conclusion.

The Rev. Philip Jaseph will be installed as the ninth  pastor of  Martini Church at Hanover and Henrietta Streets on Saturday, January 6th at 10:00 A.M. Please let me know if you plan on staying for the reception that follows. Call me at (410)554-9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

On Sunday, January 21st, at 4:00 P.M. there will be a Choral Vespers in celebration of our new organ console which on October 22 was dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Joseph Silver. Mr. Silver served faithfully as president of Our Saviour congregation for a number of years and held other offices in the church as well as serving as our sexton. The Choral Vespers will celebrate the Epiphany season in which we celebrate Christ’s manifestation of His deity in the guiding star and the worship of the magi, in His baptism and in His changing of water into wine at the marriage in Cana,  and in His glorious transfiguration. Our guest organist for this service is Cameron Kuzepski who is the principal organist at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen here in Baltimore. He studied organ and piano at the Peabody Conservatory, attended the Juilliard School of music’s pre-college division, has studied orchestral conducting in Bulgaria with the International Musicians Academy and the Vidin Sinfonietta, and participated in an internship with the Netherlands Bach Society in Utrecht, Holland. Do plan on attending this Choral Vespers and invite your friends! A reception will follow the service.

The January Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on January 28th. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen and older, is eligible to participate in this congregational meeting.

Because Easter is early this year (March 31st)  the Christmas Cycle of the Church Year – Advent, Christmas, Epiphany – ends with the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Sunday, January 21st, and the Easter Cycle – Pre-Lent, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost – begins with Septuagesima Sunday on January 28th. The Latin names of the three pre-Lenten Sundays – Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima – tell us that it is approximately 70, 60, and 50 days until Easter. This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th – which is also Saint Valentine’s Day!

Please do not forget our on-going support of the GEDCO Food Pantry and of the Helping Up Mission. The need remains so great!

Thanks to the generosity of our members we were able to provide thirteen $40 Aldi gift certificates to needy families connected with the Waverly School at Thanksgiving and thirteen $100 gift certificates at Christmas.

Sherry James, the daughter of Eugene James, has been hospitalized since before Christmas Day. Remember her in your prayers, also 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 remains at Keswick Multi-Care Center, 700 W. 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 700 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I am writing these lines on December 28th which in the calendar of the Church Year is the Holy Innocents Day when we remember the infants slaughtered by King Herod in his vain attempt to destroy the infant Savior. How sad it is that the slaughter of innocent children continues in our own day! It goes without saying that as disciples of Him who is the Prince of Peace we Christians will pray fervently for peace throughout the world, especially in Ukraine and in the Holy Land. Every life is precious to Him who is the Maker and Redeemer of the whole world. And so let us turn to Him who “makes wars cease to the end of the earth” (Psalm 46:9). The late Rev. Dr. Alfred Fuerbringer, who for many years was like his father Ludwig the president of our Synod’s Saint Louis Seminary, noted that during the First World War the congregation of Trinity Church in Saint Louis – the “mother church” of our Synod – at the end of every service sang the ancient prayer for peace which Dr. Luther had translated and which now is found in our hymnal (777. 778):

Grant peace, we pray, in mercy, Lord; Peace in our time, O send us!
For there is none on earth but You, none other to defend us.
You only, Lord, can fight for us. Amen.

Let me conclude this letter by thanking you for your Christmas cards and gifts and by reminding you of the blessing and privilege that is ours as Christians: that every Lord’s Day the God of great mercy is present for us through the preaching of His holy Word and in the Sacrament of our Lord’s true body and blood. The Lord of Mercy graciously invites you. How will you respond?

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parish News, July, 2020


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
JULY, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In several sermons during these past weeks I have found myself referring to the story of Cain and Abel. Cain kills his brother Abel, and when God then asks him, “Where is your brother?” Cain responds, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In these words we can read the whole sad tale of Adam’s lost and fallen race. So much of this world’s misery is reflected in these words! That we are “our brother’s keeper” is clear not least from the words of our Savior: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39).

Our Lord said to His disciples, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). Because Christ is the Truth, wherever truth is found it belongs to Himit is His truth. I am deeply moved by some words of truth spoken by Josef Ratzinger on the occasion of his installation as Bishop of Rome: “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” Surely these words express the same truth we learned in Dr. Luther’s explanation of the First Article of the Creed: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures.” So I urge you to ponder these words as you think about the current state of our country and the world.

I also urge you to read carefully and ponder the statement issued by the President of Synod, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, on June 2 in response to the killing of George Floyd and all that has followed. The statement is enclosed with this newsletter.

The altar cross which was given back in 1966 has now been refurbished and supplied with a hand-carved image of the crucified Savior. I have given this in memory of my parents, Charles Louis and Anna Eleanor (nee Moesta) McClean. My mother’s parents together with her brothers and sisters were in fact members of the old Jackson Square congregation in which my mother was baptized by Pastor Theodore Sorge in 1911, eight years before the congregation left the old building and relocated here as the Church of Our Saviour.

This coming Sunday, July 5th, will be the last Sunday that our summer vicar, Samuel Abliganz, will be with us. He will be preaching at Redeemer Church in Irvington on July 12th and will soon thereafter return to Germany. We heard him preach a splendid sermon this past Sunday and we have been fortunate to hear him chant the Sunday Gospels these past weeks. He is gifted among other things with a lovely singing voice. We have enjoyed and have been blessed by his presence among us. We pray God’s continued blessing on him as he returns to his homeland and continues his studies in preparation for the Holy Ministry. I am certain that he will be a blessing to many.

The Voters Meeting postponed from May will take place following Divine Service on Sunday, July 12th. Every member of Our Saviour Church, eighteen years old and older, is eligible to participate in the meeting. We need to approve the budget for the next fiscal year and elect the Church Council. Join us!

I trust you have all received the mailing about the reopening of the Church. Do review these materials and contact me either by phone (410.554.9994) or by e-mail (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) if you have questions and concerns. Although our church is open again, not everyone will feel ready to come to Divine Service and Holy Communion. So please contact me if you would like me to bring you the Sacrament at home. The Sunday service will continue to be livestreamed (Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/oursaviourbaltimore/) and the sermon can be heard by calling 410.587.0979.

Dorothy Bell has recently undergone successful surgery and is now convalescing at the Autumn Lake Healthcare at 7 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville, MD 21208. Although visits are not possible, one can still send cards or flowers. Dorothy’s husband Louis is now at the same facility. Remember them in your prayers.

It goes without saying that we must continue our prayers for all who are sick together with all who care for them and all who are bereaved. We must pray fervently that effective medications will be found and an effective vaccine. Remember that through this crisis God is calling us all to repentance.

I ask you to remember me in your prayers as you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Free Flea Market: We will not have a give-away in July. We do have many men’s large slacks and lots of household items. We are in need of ladies’ clothing (dresses, tops, pants, jeans, shoes) and men’s t-shirts, jeans, shoes. You can drop your donations off at the church and let Judy know what you have brought. Thank you for supporting our outreach to the community. It is even more important that we share our bounty in these trying times.


Statement on the death of George Floyd and the ensuing riots


June 2, 2020

Discriminatory treatment of human beings on the basis of race is irrational evil and results in evil. It is folly, which can produce only anger and hatred. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” America’s original sin of legal racism, the denial of human rights based on race, has reaped the whirlwind.

God’s Word rejects racism. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “No one is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). All are equally created by God. All are equally accountable to God. The sins of all are equally atoned for by Christ. All are equally precious to God. Racial animosity is the result of sin and is sin in itself. Racism is not acceptable in the church. Jesus Himself bids us love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and did so precisely while rejecting racial preference (cf. Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25–37).

Unity in the church according to the Augsburg Confession is defined by Article VII: “For it is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached … and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word.” Christ and His gifts bring unity and equity in the church. Racial discrimination in or by the church is sin. Racial conflict in our nation calls every Christian to introspection. “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “Righteous indignation” without self-reflection and repentance is meaningless, or worse, hypocrisy.

The one who grievously and unjustly took the sacred gift of life from George Floyd — resulting in a charge of 3rd-degree murder — will, ironically, be given the very thing he denied his victim, due process of the law. Justice must be meted out according to the law. Others may be charged.

We weep for George Floyd, for his family and loved ones because he was robbed of life. We weep for our nation. We weep for those across our nation who believe their only recourse is destruction. We weep for police officers everywhere, who carry out their honorable vocations with courage and goodwill but find their task infinitely more challenging and dangerous in the wake of the sad events in Minneapolis. We pray for the safety of all and the welfare of those who have lost property and livelihood. We pray for the police who must stand against mayhem. We support the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protestors.

We deplore injustice. We deplore destruction, robbery and doing physical harm to others. That, too, is injustice. We plead to citizens and governments of this nation for communities beset by poverty, crime and injustice. We plead for rational and unifying policies that will end injustices and address social breakdown, lack of economic access, and other factors that fuel anger, hatred and dissension.

We shall pray, but we shall do even more. We shall follow the ancient mandate of the prophet of Yahweh: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

And we shall proclaim Christ, “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7–8).

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:1–17 ESV).

Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

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