Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: May 21, 2021

Greetings, Friendship Family!

I thank God for every remembrance of you! That’s what Paul says in Philippians 1:3.

Paul begins the great epistle of Philippians with this greeting! He had many reasons to be thankful for the Philippians. First, with their help, he had successfully founded a church in their city. Second, these believers faithfully supported his ministry over the previous years, as noted in Philippians 4:16. Not all of the churches Paul worked with were so generous.
Friendship, I know I am a blessed man to have the opportunity to serve as your pastor. I am blessed because you constantly encourage me and pray for me, my wife, and our family. I am blessed to share God’s Word with you. You bless me in so many ways, and for these reasons, I borrow Paul’s words and say again, I thank God for every remembrance of you!

Things are changing; as I noted last week, things continue to change with Los Angeles County and Orange County. Both counties are now in the yellow tier, and things are opening up, and people are moving about more freely. Riverside and San Bernardino County have a little more work to do, but the leaders in those two counties remain hopeful they will soon get to the yellow tier.

What remains a mystery, however, is what happens to the tier system on June 15th. As you are aware, our governor, Governor Gavin Newsom, has pledged to reopen California’s economy on June 15th. No one is quite sure what that means, but we anticipate it happening. Will the restrictions all go away completely? Will masks no longer be required? Will sitting and usage capacities become null and void? We do not know! For now, however, we operate with what we have. We have the current tier system, and we have a mask mandate that remains in place at least until June 15th.

So I remind you, continue to wash our hands, watch our distance, and wear our masks. Whether you are vaccinated or not!

Speaking of vaccinations, I wanted to say something to all of us. I hear lots of talk about vaccinations. Some good. Some not so good. I hear individuals making judgments regarding why people are not getting vaccinated or what people should do. I want to encourage us to be careful with your prejudgments. Please realize some in our population have pre-existing health conditions that keep them from getting a vaccination, and their health issues are private. Please do not put people in a position to feel guilt and shame.

We continue to advocate for the vaccine. As we do so, we will share information with you regarding locations to get a vaccination. If you have information on clinics, please contact my office so we can share that information.  Please read the joint statement from the Black Orange County pastors HERE.

We are excited to announce that a Vaccination Clinic is coming to Friendship on Tuesday, June 1st, Thursday, June 3rd, and Sunday, June 6th.  The Tuesday and Thursday dates will take place at the Food Pantry. The Sunday, June 6th date will take place in the Multipurpose Building. We will have approximately 125 doses for each day, and participants will have the freedom to choose which vaccine they would like to take. 

We will have…

  • Pfizer - for 12+, 2 doses required. 
  • Moderna, for 18+, 2 doses required 
  • Johnson & Johnson, for 18+, single dose

At the first dose, participants receiving a two-dose regimen will receive a date to return for their second dose.  

Through our member, Nurse Karon Heard, I was also informed that Kaiser Permanente is NOW offering all three vaccines at all of their Orange County Locations. The same age restrictions apply. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. You do not have to be a Kaiser patient or subscriber. To make an appointment, call 1-833-KP4CARE (1-833-574-2273) (TTY 711).

Again, as I get more information on vaccination clinics, I will share that information with you. If you have information on clinics, please contact my office so we can share that information.

I said last week, the goal is reaching herd immunity through vaccination and disease recovery.  Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune or are vaccinated.

This week’s announcements:

The next Women’s Monthly Fellowship will take place tonight, May 21st, at 7pm via ZOOM, and all the women of Friendship are invited. Our speakers are Sis. Angella Gardner and Sis. Elona Brown. They will continue the series based upon the book Wait and See – Finding Peace In God’s Pauses and Plans by Author Wendy Pope.  

Their topic is When Waiting Means Working Out.  Did you know God does most of His work in us, in private?  He meets us in the pastures of life with a desire to cultivate within us a heart like His.  This cultivation may take years, as it did with David.  Often, we would rather rush through our time in the pasture than wait there to experience His work.  We tend to hurry to the finish line when we should patiently stay put, showing ourselves faithful.  How?  We do what we know to do and respond to our Father with obedience, even if it means staying in our pasture. Why?  Because it is in the pasture that God is preparing us for what is ahead.  We have to allow God to do work in us before He can do work through us. Come for this exciting topic, When Waiting Means Working Out.

Again this event takes place virtually via Zoom. Register HERE.

Registration is NOW open for this Sunday’s worship experience. Please register today. Registration allows us to monitor capacity. To register, please go HERE. Remember, all attendees will still need to wear masks for worship. As stated, this is a state mandate. It will stay in place until the state lifts it.  Please note Ex Hour now meets from 10am to11am. If you desire to stay after the first service or come earlier for the second service to attend Ex Hour in person, please indicate this on your registration so we can accommodate you.  

We continue to need willing workers to help us with our regathering efforts and weekly worship experience. If you are willing to volunteer and help us execute weekly worship, WE NEED YOU! To volunteer, please contact Rev. Eric Archer at [email protected], and he will direct you to the right ministry opportunity. If you are unsure what ministry is right for you, fill out the CHANGE MAKER form by clicking HERE.

On Saturday, June 5th  at 6:00pm, our Christian Education Ministry invites you to join us on the FBC YouTube channel for a special Saturday Night Ex-Hour Live Event! This is a bonus Ex-Hour session that will review all we have explored and experienced in our study of the Gospel of Luke.  Join us for this interactive discussion as our own FBC teachers and preachers examine the scriptures and encourage thought and discussion on how we apply them to our lives.  A special musical guest will also join us! Don’t miss this special edition of Saturday Night Ex-Hour Live!”

I am excited to announce that we are planning a special baby dedication service for all the families who have had babies in the last 18 months to two years and have not had their babies dedicated and desire to do so. This service will be a special service separate from our Sunday morning Worship Service. The service will take place on Sunday, June 13th at 10am. If you are interested in participating, please register HERE.  

We still have Covid Recovery Kits through Providence Health and the Yorba Linda Rotary Club. These kits help individuals who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and are recovering at home. Each kit includes a pulse oximeter to monitor breathing, a thermometer, a box of masks, and a package of sanitizing wipes in a small canvas bag. If you or someone in your family could benefit from one of these kits, please call the church office and arrange to get one.

General Church things to remember:

  • Phone Line for Worship: For our members who may have a tough time connecting to our worship service online for whatever reason, we are now offering a way for those members to dial in and listen to service over the phone. To access the service via telephone, members and guests need to dial 1 216-930-8774‬ and enter the PIN: 464 267 559‬#. It is live for both the 8:00am and 11:30 worship services.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • EX HOUR: Ex Hour meets weekly on Sundays, and we are studying Luke. Remember, EX Hour takes place every Sunday through the video conference app, ZOOM. Join us for class on Sundays at 10a via this link HERE. Also, there is a YOUTH EX HOUR: Our youth Ex Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time via Google Meet. Parents, please encourage your students to join youth teachers for this biblically fun opportunity to learn God’s Word, connect with others, and grow. To join Youth Ex Hour, follow the link HERE
  • WEDNESDAY Prayer Day: Join us each Wednesday for Prayer. We pray at 6:30a, 12p, and 6:30p. To connect with our prayer services, please follow this link HERE or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. 
  • FBC FOOD BANK OPEN: The FBC Food Bank is OPEN with a new drive-thru system where our clients will receive a pre-packaged food box and bag of groceries.  The Food Bank’s hours of operation are Tuesday - Thursday 2:30p-4:30p.   

  • COVID Membership Assistance Fund: We are STILL accepting applications for the COVID Membership Assistance Grant. If you are experiencing financial distress due to COVID19, we invite you to apply for one of our $500 assistance grants. The guidelines are available HERE, and the application is available HERE.

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday!

God loves you, Friendship, and so do I!  

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected! 

In His Service,
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Your Pastor
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