Pastor’s Weekly Update November 19, 2021

Greetings, My Beloved Friendship Family!

Happy Thanksgiving! I know it’s a little early, but this is my last update before Thanksgiving, and following last year’s pattern, this will be the last update for two weeks. We will not send an update next Friday, which is the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving Day! Plus, many of you will be out shopping anyway and won’t have time to hear a message from me! So the next time you hear from me in an update will be Friday, December 3rd!

As we prepare for THANKSGIVING, I have been meditating and reflecting on the concept of GRATITUDE. Actually, I am thinking of preaching about GRATITUDE this Sunday and continuing the conversation on GRATITUDE at Thanksgiving Day Service. Gratitude is a virtue most worthy of our cultivation. Indeed, in every Christian life, gratitude should be planted, watered, dressed, and harvested.

Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be a created, finite, fallen, and redeemed individual who the God of all grace sustains. The word “gratitude” comes from a Latin word meaning “thankfulness.” It means to show appreciation for the kindness that has one has extended readily. It means to return kindness for kindness. I love it!

Gratitude is thankfulness in action. Psalm 136:1 states, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” To have gratitude, we must be mindful of God’s goodness to us. In other words, we must be aware! Awareness of God’s activity in our world and our lives leads to gratitude! Expressed thankfulness!

Having an attitude of gratitude is not a denial of unpleasant circumstances, nor is it a response that only a few people can demonstrate. It’s a matter of choice. We choose to be grateful because we see and appreciate the activity of God even in unpleasant circumstances. Then, we choose to say, “THANK YOU, LORD, for ALL YOU’VE DONE FOR ME!” In both the good and bad experiences of life, I want my choice to be a consistent attitude of gratitude. How about you?
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Well, I have said enough. Let me quickly update you with this week’s announcements.
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving Holiday, I want to make you aware of two things related to Thanksgiving!

  • First, our annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Give-a-way tomorrow, Saturday, November 20th, beginning at 11am. We will distribute BASKETS on a first-come, first-served basis. So if you or someone you know needs a Thanksgiving Food Basket, you are encouraged to show up tomorrow beginning at 10am. 

  • Secondly, we will broadcast our Thanksgiving Day Service on Thursday, November 25th, at 10am via our social media platforms. We pray you will join us! 

Remember, Thanksgiving Day bears its origin from the harvest festival. In Massachusetts, the Pilgrim settlers held the original Thanksgiving celebration during their second winter in America in December 1621. Initially, this pause to give thanks was designed to thank God for the autumn harvest and every other success they had achieved that year. Scripturally, we find things related to the issue of giving thanks from cover to cover in the Word of God.

We give thanks in all circumstances, as encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Yes, we give thanks in the middle of this UNFINISHED global pandemic! We give thanks! We pray you will join us for this service. Again, it will take place on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th, at 10am.  

Please note the Frosty Forrest Christmas Tree vendor will utilize our campus again this year. This is the final year of their five-year contract with us! Because of changing city ADA requirements, they have been relocated to the lower parking lot. Please note that we have redirected traffic in the lower lot to accommodate this. Thank you for your understanding and understanding with this. They open for business on Friday, November 26th, the day after Thanksgiving.

Please note, On Sunday, November 28th, we will have special music from our children’s choir, the Voices of Friendship, at the end of our 11:30am worship service, outside in the QUAD. That’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving. All Voices of Friendship Choir Members are invited to participate. For more information, please get in touch with Deaconess Pat Johnson or Sister Sonya Griffin.

In conjunction with the children’s Voices of Friendship Choir that will sing AFTER the 11:30 service on November 28th, our children’s ministry will have a special time of outdoor games, music, and Bible stories during the 11:30am service for all children in Kindergarten through the 5th grade. Parents, you will need to sign your children into the event in the Multi-Purpose Building before you go into the sanctuary for worship.

Also, ministry leaders remember ministry elections need to take place by November 30th. If you will not meet the deadline, please advise your Governance Committee Liaison.

Our next Stewardship Meeting will take place on Saturday, December 4th at 9am. This meeting time is an hour earlier than we usually meet to allow me to participate in the Orange County Spirit of the Heart Event, which I will discuss next. This meeting is a joint membership and leadership meeting where we will review 2021, present the budget for 2022, and give our 2022 theme and ministry focus! This meeting will take place via ZOOM. We will send out the link on Friday before.

On December 4th, I will be a program participant in the Orange County Spirit of the Heart Community Forum. This community forum is designed to create dialogue and advocacy for health services and awareness in communities of color. This year’s event will be my third year serving as a participant. HERE is the advertisement for the event!

I am excited to announce that I have been asked to speak at the next Transformation Ministries Conference being held on February 10th and 11th at South Shores Church in Dana Point. This is the conference we hosted for Transformation Ministries in 2015 here at Friendship. The 2022 Transformation Ministries Conference is built around the theme: Only GOD. We will revisit the book of Acts and look at how the supernatural work of God turned the world upside down. I will speak from the thought, ONLY GOD IS WORTHY!
All of you are invited to attend the conference! It is FREE for you to do so as long as you register under Friendship! To register, go HERE. Select “I need to add my name to my church’s registration.”  Then enter Friendship Baptist Church for the church name and enter our church address which is 17145 Bastanchury Road, Yorba Linda, CA 92886. Then enter your contact information under Attendee Information. Let me know if you have a problem by emailing me HERE.

We have just SIX more Sundays to meet our 2021 budget, and it is within our reach!

Friendship, thank you for your generous financial support of your church. You are amazingly faithful and generous. This fourth quarter campaign helps to ensure we finish 2021 strong financially! Please remain faithful to your church and continue your financial support. Your generous contributions have assisted us in maintaining a high level of ministry here at Friendship. Finishing strong will help us this year and position us greatly for next year as we anticipate greater in-person ministry opportunities!  Please know we are constantly investing in the ministry here at Friendship! We are making progress!

I know many of you make year-end gifts that you want to be credited in the current year. I have included a schedule below to help you ensure that your gift is credited correctly. Would you please read it and govern yourself accordingly?

  • Sub-Splash/Online Giving: Sub-Splash will not process any giving over Christmas weekend. For Sub-Splash, the last date of transmission for 2021 is December 29th. Therefore, we recommend that members who want to give electronically for 2021 do so no later than December 22, 2021. Due to the Holiday season, any giving processed after December 22, 2021, will most likely be credited for 2022.  Please note, we do not have control over when Sub-splash processes the giving batches.
  • Concerning mailed giving: All financial gifts postmarked December 31, 2021, will be processed for 2021. Keep in mind mail is much slower nowadays. So please be aware all giving received under this time frame will not hit your bank account until 2022.

We would also like to remind you that Friendship is a part of AmazonSmile as a Charitable Organization! AmazonSmile is a program that Amazon offers to support select non-profits. Friendship Baptist Church is one of the non-profit organizations eligible to receive donations through Amazon Smile. When you shop, half a percent of your purchase will be donated back to the church. For Friendship to receive your donation, you must Choose Friendship Baptist Church Yorba Linda as your charitable organization in your profile. Once you have made this selection, Amazon will remember it for future purchases under that account. Sign up for AmazonSmile HERE.

On Friday, October 22nd, we informed you that our friend and member, Brother Thomas Agnew passed away on Friday, October 15th. Many of you have asked about services for him. His 96 years old mother, Laverne Agnew, and his sister, Dorothy Pryor, reported that Thomas did not want a service, and they would abide by his wishes. However, they have asked me to thank the Friendship Family for your cards and prayers. They ask that we keep them in prayer, especially his mother, who has health challenges. They know we loved and appreciated Thomas, and they know he loved this church!

Make sure to follow us on our social media pages for upcoming content. For Facebook, that’s Friendship Baptist Church, and for Instagram and YouTube, it’s @wearefriendship. In addition, we invite you to follow our new Tik Tok page @wearefriendshipchurch, especially, where we post highlights from the Sunday sermons.

General Church things to remember:

You have 42 days, including today, to complete a Bible reading plan. This is a reminder that you still have time to read the WORD and accomplish a goal you may have set for yourself! At Friendship, we encourage every member to read one of six Bible reading plans in the year.  These plans include;

          ✔️ The entire Bible,
          ✔️ The Pentateuch (or the first five books of the Old Testament),
          ✔️ The entire Old Testament,
          ✔️ The Gospels (or the first four books of the New Testament),
          ✔️ The entire New Testament, and
          ✔️ Psalms and Proverbs (3 times)

If you have not completed a reading plan, there is still time. To help you, we will load a 90-day plan to complete the Gospels in the Church App. Simply open the “Bible” tab from the bottom menu of the church app and select “plan.” Each day will include a reading of ONE chapter per day... just one chapter a day to complete the Gospels in 90 days!  If you would like to complete a different plan, I have attached some other 90-day plans HERE for you to download and follow. So let’s finish strong and read our Bible before the end of 2021.

  • IN-PERSON EX-HOUR: In-person Ex-Hour meets each Sunday from 10am to 11am each Sunday in the Multipurpose Building. We invite you to stay after the first service or come earlier for the second service to attend Ex Hour in person. 

  • EX HOUR: Virtual Ex-Hour meets weekly on Sundays via ZOOM. Join us for class at 10am via this link HERE

  • YOUTH EX HOUR: Our youth Ex Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time via Google Meet and in-person. Yes, it’s a hybrid approach! 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.

  •  CHILDREN’S MINISTRY VIDEO: Remember there’s a weekly Children’s Ministry Worship Video designed to keep our children connected, encouraged, and worshipping! Rev. Jaron Singley works hard weekly to produce a Children’s worship video. It is available through our website HERE or via the Friendship YouTube Channel HERE. 

  • WEDNESDAY Prayer Day: Join us each Wednesday for Prayer. We pray at 6:30am, 12pm, and 6:30pm. 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 2:30pm-4:30pm.   

  • COVID Recovery Kits:
    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. 

  • 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.

Well, that’s all I have this week. Let me pronounce the Old Testament Priestly Blessing over you this week as I close: 
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
Continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected!

God loves you, and so do I!

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