FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF OWOSSO
114 W. Mason St., Owosso, MI 48867
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: fbcowosso.org
REFLECTIONS ON POLITICS AND THE MESSIAH OF CHRISTMAS
Here is a worthwhile article that seems fitting for this time of year. Pastor Ray
Let's Elect a Dictator! By: David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews for Jesus
(Edited for length by Pastor Ray Strawser)
With the presidential elections behind us at last, responses to our new president-elect range from
jubilation to despair to everything in between; some are bursting with enthusiasm while others are
ridden with anxiety. Everyone has hopes or fears (or both) about changes the new administration
will make—changes that will affect our lives and the life of our nation.
I am glad to live in a democracy like the United States. However, I don't believe that any existing
form of government can guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for any of us in these perilous
times. My hope for change, politically and economically, is grounded in the arrival of a very
particular person, in fact, a dictator. Just hear me out.
The Psalmist asks, "Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?" (Psalm 2:1). Since
the beginning of time human beings have struggled to govern ourselves effectively, have fought for
power, have imagined that we alone are the determiners of our own destiny. The Tower of Babel is
long gone, but the prideful attitudes that fostered that ill-fated building project are still
prevalent. And how does God react?
The Psalmist declares, "He who sits in the heavens shall laugh" (Psalm 2:4a). This is not to say that
God thinks our problems or our sins are humorous. He is not making light of what is happening on
earth. As I read this passage, I imagine God laughs over our notions that our choices either escape
his attention or threaten His sovereign control of the world He has created.
Time and time again God in His Word reminds us that He is the one who raises up kings and removes
them (Daniel 2:21); that "the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord and like rivers of water he
turns it wherever He wills" (Proverbs 21:1). God was not surprised by the U.S. election results.
We are indeed fortunate to be able to vote for our political leaders. I think that democracy is the
best form of government we can contrive for ourselves, knowing that all are fallen and flawed and
that it is dangerous to give too much power to any one individual. But thankfully (oh blessed relief),
God can and will deliver something even better than democracy—a divine dictatorship is coming.
The Psalmist commands, "Kiss the son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way" (Psalm 2:12a).
The best and final government that is soon coming to this earth is none other than the benevolent
dictatorship of Y'shua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. While a mere human
1 December 2008
claiming to represent God represents the most frightening potential for corruption and tyranny, the
reign and rule of God incarnate is quite the opposite. He will govern with absolutely incorruptible
righteousness and justice.
His rule over all is an absolute certainty; yet in God's amazing politics we still get to cast our "vote"
for Him to govern our lives. We don't punch a ballot or touch a screen; instead we kiss Him, that is,
pay homage, submitting our hearts and our wills to His. Whoever thinks their vote doesn't matter
needs to hear that their own well-being is at stake. The consequences are eternal.
The Bible tells us that those who don't submit to the Son's lordship will most definitely incur His
wrath and ultimately perish. That is why we are invited to campaign for Jesus each and every day
with passion and persistence, "beseeching the world on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God" (2
We have no need to pin all our hopes on temporal leaders, nor do we need to despair if they fail to
measure up to our hopes or expectations. We know who will win in the end. In fact we are invited
not only to be a part of His campaign, we have been offered a position in His administration: "If we
endure, we shall also reign with Him" (2 Timothy 2:12a). That is no ephemeral political promise made
in the heat of an election; it is a guarantee that we can count on now and forever.
I am not saying that we should not be involved and be concerned citizens when it comes to the
decisions our democracy affords us. I'm only saying that whatever we may conclude about recent
elections, there is another conclusion on the horizon.
In the end, God's rule and reign is the dictatorship that will trump democracy. While that may
terrify those who don't know and trust Him, those of us who have experienced His goodness and
grace can say, "The sooner the better!" Each and every day we have the privilege and responsibility
to exercise our vote of confidence in His promises and His plan for this world. Let's cast a vote of
faith in God’s Son, born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and let's get out there and campaign for His
coming dictatorship as though the future of each person we meet depends on it. Because it does.
PASTOR RAY’S ADVENT SERMON SERIES:
THE WONDERS OF CHRISTMAS —
Mystery, Majesty, Miracle, and Meaning
SUNDAY MINISTRY SCHEDULE
DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS – 9:15 A.M.
FELLOWSHIP TIME – 10:00 A.M.
WORSHIP SERVICE – 10:30 A.M.
JUNIOR WORSHIP – 10:45 A.M.
DISCIPLESHIP CLASS FOR ADULTS – 11:45 P.M.
2 December 2008
ADULT DISCIPLESHIP ~CHURCH NEWS~
Pastor’s Bible Study – Meets on KEENAGERS POTLUCK
Sundays at 6:00 p.m. starting again in The Keenagers Holiday potluck will be
January, 2009. All meetings are held held on Thursday, December 4th at noon in
in the Thurston Lounge. the Fellowship Hall. Meat, potatoes,
Life Together Dixon Group – gravy, rolls and dessert will be furnished.
Meets every week at 9:15 a.m. RSVP’s would be appreciated.
Life Together Bruder Group –
Meets every other week with the next DECEMBER CHURCH OFFICE
meeting on December 7th after HOURS
worship. Further meeting dates will Church office hours during December will
be announced in the church bulletin. be from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Monday,
Discipleship Journal Class – Tuesday & Thursday. During the
Led by Ruth and Bill Pulley and meets Christmas holiday, the office will be open
at 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. on December 22, 23, 26, 30, and 31.
They are studying the bi-monthly
periodical titled ―Discipleship Journal‖
COFFEE FELLOWSHIP HOSTS
Each volume has a unique theme.
A new list for coffee hour hosts is being
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE developed. If you do not wish to be on
December 24th at 11:00 pm – Please come this list, please let the church office
and bring your family and friends to our know as soon as possible.
beautiful, inspirational candlelight service
on Christmas Eve. A great way to usher in OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Christmas and to remember the real REPORT
reason to celebrate. Forty-four shoeboxes were collected for
_____________________ Operation Christmas Child. Thanks to all
who contributed gifts, boxes, and cash.
ABW NEWS Special thanks to Lisa Ann Dixon for
promoting this ministry for us.
Women of the church, kick off your
Advent Season by attending the Annual NEWSLETTER DISTRIBUTION
Advent Tea, sponsored by ABW, on This December Newsletter is being
Saturday, December 6th from 2:00 – 4:00 distributed either by E-Mail, by picking
pm in the church lounge. The program will up your copy in the Welcome Center or by
be presented by Marilyn Dixon and Ruth direct mail to shut-ins and those who
Pulley. Shut-ins will be our honored request one. An edited version (prayer
guests, and the ABW women of Corunna requests and financial reports are
First Baptist. ABW women, we will collect deleted) is also available for download on
our final Love Gift Offering of 2008 at the FBC website. Please let us know if you
the Tea. would like this by e-mail each month and
furnish us with your e-mail address.
NEXT ABW MEETING _______________________________
The next ABW meeting is scheduled for
Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
3 December 2008
CHRISTMAS MESSAGES TO THE the project of supplying food baskets for
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH FAMILY the needy. If you can help supply fresh
produce, turkeys, cash donations, or other
This year, we are starting a new tradition. items, please contact Mary Johns or
We are printing holiday messages from Laura Lee Strawser.
individuals in the church to our Baptist
family and friends. This is their CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS – If you
Christmas card to you. wish to donate poinsettias for Christmas,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ please fill out the form available in the
Let us remember the blessing of the Welcome Center and put it in the
greatest gift “Jesus” at Christmas and collection plate, or contact the office by
throughout the New Year. Many December 17th to be included in the
blessings to everyone. bulletin. Poinsettias may be dropped off
on Saturday, 12/20 by noon and picked up
Wayne and Ruth Roszman after the Christmas Eve service.
PASTOR’S CHRISTMAS LOVE GIFT -
To our Baptist Family and Friends,
During December, Christmas Love gifts
Wishing you Joy, Peace, and Love as
for our pastor and family will be collected.
you celebrate the season of God’s gift
Please use the special envelope available in
of a savior.
the pews and place your gift in the
Sunday offering plate or in the decorated
collection box on the Welcome Center
Dale and Mable Reid
The church pastor stood before his
CHRISTMAS OFFERING – Your gifts to congregation and announced, “I have
this year’s Christmas Offering will go to bad news, I have good news, and I
the Shiawassee Hunger Network and the have bad news. “The bad news is that
FBC Benevolence Fund. Use your the church needs a new roof. The good
Christmas Offering envelope from your news is, we have enough money for the
box, or designate your gift ―Christmas new roof. The bad news is, it’s still in
Offering.‖ your pockets.
CHRISTMAS FOOD DRIVE – Again this
year, in place of adopting a family, we are Adam and Eve had the most perfect
asking the congregation to support a food marriage in history: Eve never talked
drive. Please bring canned, boxed and about her old boyfriends, and Adam
other non-perishable food items to the never bragged about his mother’s
church. Collection boxes will be located in cooking.
the Narthex and in Fellowship Hall.
FOOD BASKETS FOR THE NEEDY - ~~~~~~~~~~
The Fellowship & Caring and Mission &
Outreach Ministry Teams have taken on
4 December 2008
Dear Friends at First Baptist Church:
On behalf of the patients and families served by the Aflac Cancer Center & blood Disorders
Service let m express warm appreciation to the First Baptist Church 2008 Vacation Bible
School for your #341 donation from the Aflac Michigan South fundraiser.
Your gift will benefit the Aflac Cancer Center Pediatric Cancer Research Endowment Fund.
This research fund enables the Aflac Cancer Center to currently conduct over 275 clinical
trials, 12 of which are being conducted for children whose cancer has returned or is poorly
responding to therapy. The Aflac Cancer Center is at the forefront of 14 experimental therapy
trials using new drugs to treat recurrent cancer. The opening of these clinical trials offers the
gift of hope to children with cancer and blood disorders, and it is support such as yours that
makes them possible. The dream we share to end cancer and blood disorders in children all over
the world will be realized because of your generosity. Thank you for being a part of this urgent
Aflac Field Force Liaison
OWOSSO HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
6:00 pm – Tree Lighting in the new Main Street Plaza
6:30 – 8:00 pm – Caroling
All day – Midnight Madness Shopping
2:30 pm – Santa’s Arrival on the Polar Express
3:00 – 5:00 pm – Santa will be available for visiting with kids at the Owosso Community
Players Annex, 114 W. Main St.
All day – Live reindeer will be making a visit to the Chemical bank parking lot
TOYS FOR TOTS
Collection boxes are located throughout Shiawassee County, including the schools, for the
U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Please help needy children in the area by
dropping off a new, unwrapped toy to any drop-off location.
OWOSSO CARES FOOD DRIVE
The CHARACTER COUNTS! Community Council invites you to participate in the Owosso
Cares Food Drive to help combat hunger in our community by donating non-perishable food
items. Food will be donated to Owosso food pantries.
WHEN: December 1st through 12th
WHERE: Food may be dropped at:
Baker College Welcome Center (north door) Hi-Temp Heating & Cooling
Michigan Honda Owosso Public Schools
Gilbert’s True Value Hardware Memorial Healthcare (main lobby)
Owosso City Hall Shiawassee United Way
WHY: December’s CHARACTER COUNTS! Pillar of the Month is Caring. Support the
food drive by caring for community members in need.
QUESTIONS Call 729-5682 or 723-4987
5 December 2008
12/01 Debbie Burke 12/15 Angie Henderson
12/02 Marie Johns 12/16 Kay Snell
12/05 Helen Hoover 12/18 Denny Walker
12/08 Cal Kilburn 12/22 Jay Creighton
12/09 Bill Kohagen 12/26 Betty VamAmburg
12/11 Kate Wallen 12/27 Joy Maurer
12/13 Bev Kohagen
FALL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
At the November 16, 2008 Fall Congregational Meeting, a budget of $104, 416.00 was approved
for 2009. This is $654 less than the 2008 budget. We also decided not to hold the Swiss
Steak Supper in 2009. Changes in health regulations, an aging work force, ABW’s decision to
give up sponsoring the event, and reduced ticket sales were all factors in this decision.
YEAR TO DATE GIVING
THRU 10/31/08 OUR GIVING OUR MINISTRY
Current Expenses $ 75,386.02 $85,813.65
Special Receipts * $ 3,640.10 $ 3,640.10
TOTAL $79,026.12 $89,453.75
Average Weekly Collection Thru 10/31/08 = $1,753.16
NEEDED Per Week = $2,033.04
ACCUMULATED DEFICIT TO DATE =$10,427.63
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
** Major Capital (building) expenses are not included here.
* Mortgage payment donations are placed in a restricted fund and are not reported
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The accumulated deficit is covered by money from our Reserve
Fund, which is a gathering of special income (such as the Rummage Sale and the Annual
Flower Sale), interest income from restricted funds, and the principle of unrestricted
estate gifts (like the Richmond Estate gift).
6 December 2008
DECEMBER PRAYER MINISTRY
NEW PRAYERS: Ellie Stallings (3 year old--heart surgery), Don Henderson (surgery), Gay
Bruder (grandmother of Richard Bruder-gall bladder), Dorothy Thompson (recovery from
shoulder surgery), Ruth Pulley (knee replacement recovery), Andrea Thompson (chemo), Becky
Lamas (hepatitis C), David Marvin (employment), Chris Valley (employment), Jayden Valasek (1
year old - heart surgery), Fred Herring (heart problems), Louisette (Grant Franson’s
grandmother-cancer), Deb Frick (ovarian cancer), Clare Washburn (tumor surgery), Rhonda
Farrell (breast cancer), Elnor Diehl (cancer), Bill Burbeck (medical), James Warner (Jim & Sue’s
grandson – to Marine Boot Camp), Clare Crim (broken ankle), Rhonda Ferrell (cancer).
CONTINUE PRAYING FOR:
Healing from Cancer: Fr. Ray A. Strawser (multiple myeloma and medical problems), Mark
Hudecek, Diane Allen, Carol Verbeck, Jean Lubbers, Tammi Ferguson, John Kaczynski, Bill Crim,
Tom Collard, Emmett Hall, Brent Wesley, Collin Trask, Jim Crapo, Dick Ringstrom, Cathy
Weaver, Phil Ketchum, Jane Wilson, Jan Tyler, Andrea Thompson, Carol Tierney, Marcia Hutson,
Eugene Pulley, Wendy Rauch, Bob Dietrich,
Other Medical/Personal Needs: Virginia Martin, Darrel Butcher, Pete Plat, Leann Buehler,
Barb Vrable, Overt Smith, Ardis and Claude Cooley, Ashley Chamberlain, Courtney Black, Anne
Hisler, John Forsythe, Robin Hawley, George McClain (Laura Lee’s father), Chelsie Mead, Shane
Medore, Nan Oliver, Jan Wildermuth (transferred to Pleasant View for rehab), Gordon Brock,
Tom Capitan, Amy Hoppersberger, Allan Wright, Audrey Laclear, Lois McGarvey, Joy Maurer,
Kay Snell, Danielle Yupes, George Schultz, Bill and Ruth Pulley, Maggie Oliver, Art Graham, Bob
Remember our Shut-Ins: Marie Welch, Leona Daniel, Helen Hoover, Thelma Harris, Wilma
Willitts, Virginia Skinner, Margaret Chrenka, George Schwartz, Ardis and Claude Cooley
Our Christian Sympathy is Extended to: The families of George Valley, Gerald Kohagen,
Floyd Cheney, Rev. Roy Greer, Nancy Patrick
Our Christian Joy is Extended to:
Ruth Roszman, who received a good health report recently. God has surely answered the
prayers of many as Ruth battled cancer with courage and faith.
Prayer for a Ministry of First Baptist:
Please pray for the Christmas Food basket outreach, that families in need would be touched by
the Love of God and this congregation.
NOTE: Please call the church office (723-1670) if you would like to have someone added or
deleted from the above list.
7 December 2008
Submitted by: Mable Reid
The lord hears the prayers of the righteous…Proverbs 15:29
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful……Colossians 4:2
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and
purify us from all unrighteousness……….. 1 John 1:9
Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for
you in Christ Jesus………. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
GOD’S SERVANTS FOR DECEMBER
STEWARDS COFFEE HOSTS
12/07 Doreen Bouck 12/07 Angie Henderson & Carol Paksi
12/14 Betty Kelsey 12/14 Bob & Mary Johns
12/21 Lola Jean Smith 12/21 Mable Reid & Peggy Bucsi
12/28 Mary Johns 12/28 Lola Jean Smith & Ruth Roszman
NURSERY SCHEDULE JUNIOR WORSHIP
12/07 Karen DeLong 12/07 Suzanne Henderson
12/14 Suzanne Henderson & Angie Henderson 12/14 Doreen Bouck
12/21 Char Elliott & Evelyn Sexton 12/21 Shannon Sadilek
12/28 Nancy Dibean & Betty VanAmburg 12/28 Heather Valley
Jeri Bandkau, Karen DeLong, Char Elliott, Rolene Zacharda
Richard Bruder, Jim Henderson, Doug Sadilek, Shannon Sadilek
Please note: If you are unable to serve on a date scheduled, please call someone on the
list to trade.
8 December 2008