Our vision: To offer practical ministries in the name of Jesus, that impact our community, resulting in changed lives

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114 W. Mason St., Owosso, MI 48867

EMAIL: fbcowosso@michonline.net WEBSITE: fbcowosso.org

989-723-1670/toll-free 877-525-1244


OUR VISION: To offer practical ministries in the name of Jesus,

that impact our community, resulting in changed lives.

Well, we've come to the close of the final chapter of our ministry together. My ministry among you concludes on January 1, 2012. I began serving as pastor of FBC on June 1, 1993….18 1/2 years ago. I came here willing to serve and stay as long as God and God's people wanted me to stay. I have to say I never thought it would be 18-1/2 years. But God said stay, and you have supported my leadership. So the Strawsers stayed. We've had our ups and downs, our successes and our failures. God has guided and provided through it all.

Now God is leading me into a new chapter of ministry. I will continue serving as the Hospice Chaplain with Memorial Healthcare in Owosso, a 1/2 time salaried position. I feel very gifted and blessed in this work and I am hoping this position can grow to full time work in the near future. In addition, I believe God is leading me to become a supportive spouse to Laura Lee's ministry at MABC, something she has offered me for most of the last 18 years (when she was not in ministry at FBC Birmingham). Laura Lee accepted a full time call to serve as pastor of Michigan Avenue Baptist Church in Saginaw, MI, as of August 1, 2011. This position has allowed us to purchase our first home. We moved from Owosso on Nov. 12th - a distance of 28 miles. Now I'm doing the commuting.

So I must follow God. Your church has begun the process of searching for a new pastor. A wonderful pastoral search committee has already been formed and is meeting with the leadership of Doug Dixon. This congregation has good leadership and good ministry with great potential for growth. Please pray for this search committee as they seek God's leader for the next season of ministry.

I want to say a big thank you for the wonderful celebration of our years in ministry together. I greatly enjoyed the dinner and farewell ceremony held on Sunday, Dec. 18th. Special thanks go out to Owosso Mayor Ben Frederick, ABC Michigan Executive Minister Dr. Mike Williams, Dr. Tim Oliver, Shannon Hinterman, Mary Johns and to all who helped make that day very special to me.

I will be sharing my final reflections during worship on January 1st. I hope you will be there. I wanted our final Sunday together to include The Lord's Supper and I wanted to get you started into the New Year with some pastoral wisdom and advice. My last service will be videotaped and broadcast via Skype for those who may be interested.
I will miss FBC Owosso greatly. I've given the heart of my ministry and professional career to you, and I'm glad I did. We have already shed tears together and there will be more tears flowing on January 1st, but I am confident this is God's leading. I am also confident that the friendships we have formed will not be lost here on earth or in eternity. And I am completely confident in the God who walks with us and leads us along the pathways of life. Look to God. Love God. Serve God. And rejoice as we all move towards eternity.

Serving the Lord of My Life and ever grateful for your friendship,

Pastor Ray

10:00 am – Praise and Worship Service
10:15 am – SPARK Sunday School
11:00 am – Coffee Fellowship


Due to a conflict in scheduling, this year’s “unhanging of the greens” will take place on Wednesday, January 11th at 6:30 p.m. prior to the choir rehearsal. Anyone who would like to help out is also invited to come to the fellowship dinner at 5:45 p.m. or if you can’t make that just come at 6:30 p.m. If you aren’t able to help out that night and would like to help out at some other time, please contact Doug Dixon, 725-6703, to make arrangements. If you are planning to come to the dinner, please RSVP to Mary Johns at 277-8171.


During the month of January, we will be collecting for the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO). The RMMO is an annual AVBC-USA offering that provides:

1. Thank you checks to over 3,000 retired American Baptist Ministers and Missionaries or their widowed spouses based on at or more years of ABC service.

2. Emergency and other financial assistance based on need.

Our goal is $410. Please help us Remember Them with Love and Give with Gratitude. Your gift makes a difference!



Next ABW Meeting: The next meeting of the ABW will be held on Thursday, January 12th at 1:00 p.m. The program will be White Cross. ALL women are invited to attend.

The FBC Annual Meeting is scheduled for

Sunday, February 19, 2012.

Please save this important date and plan to attend.

REMINDER. All annual reports from Ministry Teams and Committees submitted no later than February 1ST.


Danielle Dunn

Graduated from Grand Valley State University

Ashley Furnuri

Graduated from Wayne State University

Our congratulations to the following winter graduates:
Danielle Dunn graduated from Grand Valley State University
Ashley Furnuri graduated from Wayne State University.

The Keenagers potluck will be held on January 26th at noon at FBC. Bring a passing dish and come and enjoy the fellowship.


Dear Church Family,
You all have gone above and beyond what I would imagine or think anyone would do for me. Thank you is not enough to say!!
Love, Angie Henderson
Nyle Pickard Lauren VanLoon

10133 Lapeer Road 8850 Main Street

Apt. #304 Apt. 303D

Davison, MI 48423 Fort Drum, NY 13603

Telephone: 989-714-8049
New telephone number for Shirley Badgero: 989-472-3503
Pat Hathaway has been transferred to Tender Care of Frankenmuth located at 500 W. Genesee Street in Frankenmuth until she is well enough to start physical therapy.

FROM: Don and Peggy Ashmall

Merry Christmas!

Starting this note with our “fur children:” 2011 has seen Annie and Emma sniffing their way up and down our driveway on their frequent walks, enjoying their beagle lives. Walter and The Princess have after all this time become feline friends, except for the occasional battle – usually timed to awaken us early to fix pet breakfasts.
Peggy’s newest volunteer venture is helping with the Gouldsboro Historical Society. The society museum’s new curator has plans for upgrading the cataloging of the collection; this will mean that there will be tasks to be done in the winter as well as during the summer weeks when the museum is open to visitors.
Don’s position as Council Minister for the International Council of Community Churches began in January. This has meant full-time involvement and much travel around the country. The position is an interim one, but the council has not yet announced when the search for a new “permanent” officer will begin.
Our children and grandchildren continue to make us proud and happy. We have discovered that time is compressible; grandchildren seem to grow and grow up even faster than children do.
Merry Christmas to all!

All items for the February Newsletter need to be submitted to the church office by Thursday, January 26th.


God always gives us a lot to be thankful for if you think to look for it. Right now I’m sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.

1/03 Julie Creighton 1/21 Melanie Sadilek

1/03 Terry Golladay 1/21 Tracy Walker

1/04 Arvine Maurer 1/29 Al Snell

1/08 Wayne Roszman 1/29 Joan Holtforth

1/20 Margaret Chrenka

THRU 11/30/11



Current Expenses

$ 79,427.98


Special Receipts *

$ 3,430.00

$ 3,430.00


$ 82,857.98

$ 84,193.40

Average Weekly Collection thru 11/30/11 = $1,654.75

NEEDED Per Week = $1,668.85

Special receipts include gifts to memorial, building, music and miscellaneous funds. These gifts are “disbursed” to savings, reserve funds or as designated. Transfers are not included.

** Major Capital (building) expenses are not included here.

* Mortgage payment donations are placed in a restricted fund and are not reported here.


1/01 Bob Johns 1/01 HAPPY NEW YEAR

1/08 Shirley Walls 1/08 NEED VOLUNTEER

1/15 John Creighton 1/15 NEED VOLUNTEER

1/22 Betty Kelsey 1/22 NEED VOLUNTEER

1/29 Lola Jean Smith 1/29 NEED VOLUNTEER

1/01 Betty VanAmburg & Richard Bruder January 1st – Church Council

1/08 Lola Jean Smith & Carol Paksi

1/15 Rolene Zacharda & Karen DeLong SNOW SHOVELERS

1/22 Char Elliott & Mable Reid Week of 1/01 – Doug Dixon

1/29 Betty VanAmburg & Richard Bruder Week of 1/08 – NEED VOLUNTEER

Week of 1/15 – NEED VOLUNTEER

USHERS FOR JANUARY Week of 1/22 – Doug Dixon

Craig Wotring and Bob Johns Week of 1/29 – NEED VOLUNTEER


NEW PRAYER NEEDS: Christine Constine (lost house in fire), Ron Ellenberg (eye), Dale Reid (heart problems), Jodie Dickerman (medical), Jim Henderson (recovery from surgery), Will Pulley, Jr. (back problems), Beth Ritchie (bad time during holidays), Pat Hathaway (fall, broken left leg), Joyce Gleiss (fall, broken kneecap), Ruth Roszman (starting chemo), Jack Morlan (stroke), Shirley Kidd (surgery for eye problem), Jeff Druce (starting chemo for lymphoma), Dale Roszman (starting radiation), Andrea Canoza (starting more intensive chemo), Vertia Francis, Bradon (medical tests), Dale Turner (aneurysm), Will Kohagen (psoriatic arthritis), Roger Crist (cancer issues), Rick Miller (cancer), Diane Osmer (cancer recurrence),


Healing from Cancer:

Janet Fernandez, Fr. Ray Strawser, Marvin Ostrander, Sally Dexter, Geri Harris, Verna Harris, Morgan Peters, Deb Grazier, Jared Oliver, Carter Wyeth, Nancy Selleck, Dale Roszman, Dave Denard, Nancy Hayden, Jim Apsey, George Parker, Barbara Brock, Dennis Herrington, Junior Sewell, 11 year old with brain cancer (friend of Madison Stevens), Susan Dana, Kelly Booth, Herta Wendell, Andrea Canoza, Ruth Roszman

Other Medical/Personal Needs: Mr. and Mrs. George McClain, Arlene St. Johns, Butch VanAmburg, Becky Ellis, Annie Wirt, Doris Leavitt, Diane Smith, Bill Kohagen, Mary Lisk, Bill Pulley, David Napier, Joyce Gleiss, Charlie Miller, Dan Spaine, Karen Cummings, LaDonna Key, Brittany Butcher, Cedric & Betty Call, Richard Turner, Gladys Creighton, Gloria Corbin, Jeff Soich, Jim Burke, Angie Henderson, Roy Thompson,

Pray for our Military Servicemen: Ken Paksi, Brett Wallen, Jason Sawyer, Jay Warner

Remember our Shut-Ins: Leona Daniel, Bernice Stewart, Wilma Willitts, Virginia Skinner, Margaret Chrenka, Joan Holtforth, Elgie Hart, Ronnie Kilburn, Pat Hathaway, Arv & Joy Maurer

We Share in Christian Joy: On the birth of Henry David Whalen to Erin and Sean Whalen. He was born on 12/11/11 and weighed 9’6”. He is the 1st grandchild for Chris and Sara Bouck and the 11th great-grandchild of Doreen Bouck.

AND, on the birth of Wyatt Michael Zacharda to Michael and Jennifer Zacharda born on 12/19/11. He weighed 8’2” and was 20 inches. His great grandmother is Rolene Zacharda.

Our Christian Sympathy is Extended To: The families of: Hal Degerstrom, Pat Cox, Stephanie Canute, Lena Sherman, Cynthia Pierce

Prayer for a Ministry of our Church:

Pray for the Pastoral search committee, (Doug Dixon Chair) as they move forward finding God’s leader for the future of FBC.


Want to make a huge difference in someone’s lift? Be a Respite Volunteer! Upcoming respite Volunteer training will be held on Tuesday, January 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Corunna Untied Methodist Church located at 200 W. McArthur St., Corunna. A light meal will be provided at each training for potential volunteers participating. To register or for additional information, please contact the Respite Volunteer office: 989-725-1127 or respitevolunteer@frontier.com. Find Respite Volunteers on Facebook.

Just a reminder, the Baby Pantry which is held at our very own First Baptist Church is also in need of volunteers. They are open on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, or you can volunteer at other times to help sort donations. Contact the church office for more information.


TREASURE’S FAMILY RESTAURANT in Owosso invites our congregation to visit them any time Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and bring along your current weekly bulletin. They will keep the bulletin and attach your paid bill to it. Once every month, they will total those numbers (pre-tax) and make a 5% donation back to First Baptist Church. They hope these monies will assist in supporting our favorite mission in these economic hard times. This program will go on indefinitely.
Treasure’s Restaurant is located at 109 N. Washington Street in downtown Owosso. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner specials and have a daily luncheon bar from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They also offer a Friday seafood bar from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday mornings they offer an omelet bar from 8:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m.

Author Unknown

Submitted by: Marilyn Dixon

1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble, or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger, the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself.

By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective, and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.


Submitted by: Marilyn Dixon
As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.
By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone….and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.
When the Head Goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies the point.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs with people or with geese flying south.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
What do we say when we honk from behind?
Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and flies out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.
If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that. ….Source unknown
In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. God designs our body as a model for understanding our lives together united as one in heart and mind. Each part (person) has a specific function and gift necessary to the body as a whole. Each part depends on every other part and we are united by our common faith in Christ. Our congregation faces many challenges in the year ahead. It is amazing what we can do together.

January 2012

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