Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: May 28, 2021

Happy Friday, Friendship Family!

As always, I pray this week’s message finds each of you well!

Did you know that life can seem like a never-ending treadmill—if we stop running, we’re afraid we’ll fall off? We often find it harder and harder to escape the feeling that they’re fighting a losing battle, working harder and harder to stay in the same place. As a result, we see signs of stress, burnout, and despair all around us. Especially after this pandemic!

At such times, we need to reflect on the Apostle Paul’s words: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

That, in a nutshell, is God’s stress management strategy: Do everything as if you were doing it for Christ. Stop worrying about the outcome; He is in control of that. That’s what we must remember, God is in control! God is in complete control of every molecule in the universe at every moment, and everything that happens is allowed by Him for His perfect purposes.

Hold on to that! God is in control! Things are still strained, but God is in control. You and I feel stressed, but God is in control. There is still uncertainty, but God is in control!

God is in control as June 15th draws near. Remember that is the date that the Governor and his team have set as REOPENING DAY here in California.  No one is sure what that will look like; some indications imply that sitting and usage capacities will become null and void, and the state will lift physical distancing requirements. Mask requirements will align with CDC guidelines, but we are unsure what the new expectations will be. This is where that idea of flexibility must continue. Additionally, we must continue to wash our hands, watch our distance, and wear our masks. Whether you are vaccinated or not!

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.

If you have not been vaccinated and can be vaccinated, we want to encourage you to get vaccinated. Remember, as I have told you previously, the goal is herd immunity.  

Speaking of vaccinations, remember we are hosting a Vaccination Clinic at 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 

Participants receiving a two-dose regimen will receive a date to return for their second dose at the first dose.  

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.

This week’s announcements:

As announced Sunday in our worship service,  we invited you to attend Comedy Night at the Ship XI – “It’s time to laugh, AGAIN!” This is a Live & In-Person event taking place at Friendship Baptist Church. So come out and get your laugh on with our host Jordan Conley (Host of Chocolate Sundays at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood) and comedians Trenton Davis, Beny Mena, and Chris Sneed. Again, this is a FREE event sponsored by the RHEMA Men’s Ministry of the Friendship Baptist Church. Attendees must register, and it’s first-come, first-served, so register ASAP! Unfortunately, the comedy show will not be live-streamed, and we cannot offer childcare. To register, please go HERE.

Registration is NOW open for this Sunday’s worship experience.

This Sunday is Men’s Day here at Friendship. Our guest speaker is Pastor Stephen Thurston II of the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago. Pastor Thurston encouraged us as our closing speaker of the RHEMA Men’s Summit earlier this month. So, brothers, we pray you will join us for this special day. Let’s make this a great day of in-person worship. 

Please register today. Registration allows us to monitor capacity. To register, please go HERE. This will be the last weekend that we will require pre-registration for Sunday worship. 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 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.  Please sign up by Tuesday, June 1st, to be included.

Please note, Monday, May 31st, is Memorial Day, and the Friendship church offices will be closed. Please plan accordingly. Thank you!

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.

Before I close, I wanted to take the pastoral privilege to congratulate a friend of mine and a former member of Friendship Baptist Church. First, I want to congratulate Mr. Terrence Wooten on his recent appointment as the chief executive at Providence Queen of Valley Medical Center in Napa, California. As stated, Terrence is a friend. We served together in ministry here at Friendship. He was chair of our Trustee Ministry and a faithful Teacher of the Word of God. Terrence is a good man, and I am very proud of him. He has worked for the St. Joseph Health System for 25 years and has done exceptional work. For the past five years, he has served as the chief operating officer for the Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach campuses. He has been responsible for the overall planning, development, coordination, implementation, and hospital operations management. He will be the first person of color to serve in this position at this particular hospital in Napa. Terrence, congratulations as you begin the next chapter of your career!

As I close, I need to make an announcement that might surprise many of you, and others might already be aware. On Tuesday, May 25th, Rev. Eric Archer submitted his resignation as Executive Minister of Worship, Strategy, and Engagement here at Friendship Baptist. Rev. Eric feels a strong call of God to move his family to South Carolina and await God’s next assignment. I support him in this endeavor and prayerfully commit him, his wife, Victoria, and their children to the providential hands of God! Rev. Eric has served Friendship for seven years. I am grateful for ALL he has brought to the table in ministry, from his early days as our Youth Pastor to his most recent assignment as our Strategy and Engagement Specialist. Eric has proven himself faithful and dedicated, and I am appreciative of his work. I have known Eric for approximately 20 years and have seen him grow in every season of life. I do not doubt that the next chapter of his life will be fruitful. Rev. Eric’s last day of employment will be June 30th. However, because of some planned vacation and timing issues, we will bless him and his family on Sunday, June 13th. More information will come at a later date. For now, I invite you to pray for the Archer clan and God’s plan for their lives.

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 a 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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