The Owosso-Area Community Choir will present the 2017 Community Thanksgiving service on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. “Giving Thanks Through Praise And Worship” will be shared in the Owosso Middle School auditorium, 221 N. Water Street. The Community Thanksgiving service is an annual part of the Owosso Area Ministerial Association’s (OAMA) calendar of events, inviting area churches to worship together, according to Pastor Nathan Struble, president of the Ministerial Association.

The first Community Choir group was organized in 1998 with 37 members, who shared Don Moen’s “God With Us” at the Owosso Wesleyan Church. Lynn Webster, then minister of music and worship at Bethel Evangelical Free Church, directed the choir. Webster recalled, “It was kind of hectic, with the sanctuary totally packed. Since then we’ve utilized the Owosso Church of the Nazarene, the Lebowsky Center, the Owosso High School and Owosso Middle School auditoriums as sites for the community-wide event. A really special part of this service has been asking folks to bring nonperishable grocery items as a “cover charge” to benefit the Owosso Public Schools’ ‘Owosso Cares’ food-gathering project that has donated thousands of pounds of food to local food pantries.”

Each year an offering is taken to benefit a local organization, which has included the Salvation Army, Walls Of Warmth, the Baby Pantry, the Shiawassee Hunger Network, the Zac Frolka Project and Habitat For Humanity. OAMA treasurer, Lt. Jonathan Tomayo, expressed his gratitude to the community: “During the years that our Thanksgiving Service has been presented by the Community Choir, more than $40,000 dollars has been given to local charitable groups! This has provided considerable help to the community.”

The 2017 offering is designated for the Owosso SafeCenter on N. Hickory Street, Owosso. The Owosso SafeCenter is an advocacy organization to protect individuals in violent situations.

Webster shared that this year’s presentation will offer expressions of thanksgiving “to our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m very excited about this year’s program, which will include soloists Susie Barker, Leonora Fruchey, Barb Olds, Mike Reath and Amy Welch. With great soloists and this year’s 60-voice choir, the sound will be wonderful!” More than 20 area churches are represented within the choir.

Pastor John Miller, now pastor at Oakley Community Church, was president of the Ministerial Association in 1998 when the first Community Choir event took place; he returns again as the narrator. The members of our Community Choir and members of the OAMA cordially invite area residents to attend “Giving Thanks Through Praise And Worship,” as local churches celebrate the 2017 Community Thanksgiving Service.

Owosso-Area Community Choir was last modified: November 14th, 2017 by Karen Elford