Pastor’s Weekly Update December 3, 2021

Happy Friday, Friendship Family!

Can you believe it is December already? That’s a rhetorical question. I already know the answer. You cannot, and neither can I. However, I can say that 2021 has gone by QUICKLY! We are in the last month of the year. Just 28 days left, and December will be over, and more than that, 2021 will be over! That is just incredible to imagine!

I trust and pray that each of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday! I pray you had time to consider and appreciate God’s goodness to you, the love of those around you, and the opportunities that are set before you!  I am grateful to God for my life! I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Him in ministry. Finally, I am grateful for each one of you! Some I know well and some I do not know as well, but this does not prevent me from thanking God for every remembrance of you!

We are now in Advent! Advent is one of my favorite times of the year! Why? Because Advent focuses our attention on Christ! The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and to the anniversary of Our Lord’s birth on Christmas. So Advent is about duality! It’s a double celebration! We will celebrate when Christ came to earth the first time, and we wait in expectation for Christ to return the second time!

From the earliest days of the Church, people have been fascinated by Jesus’ promise to come back. Advent is not about speculation or prediction. It’s about hope and promise! Advent also includes an element of repentance in the sense of preparing, quieting, and disciplining our hearts for the complete joy of Christmas. It’s a time of reflection on our spiritual condition, a condition that needs Christ!

This year, I am preaching an Advent series entitled Advent-ually! It’s a play on the word EVENTUALLY! We all have things we’re counting on—whether it’s the return of a loved one, a promotion at work, the arrival of a new day, or a new leader.  When these expectations and dreams are seemingly not met, we put our hope in eventually. Eventually, I will get a raise. Eventually, my kids will start to listen to me. Eventually, I’ll stop hurting inside. But what if what we’re really hoping for has already come? A hope, not in the things we own or in the emotions we feel, but in a savior that has come to bring hope, love, joy, and peace. In this series, we’ll learn that our dreams and expectations are realized in a child lying in a manger.

In 1922, Helen H. Lemmel wrote a hymn based on Hebrews 12:2, entitled Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. He is who Advent anticipates and celebrates. Television, shopping malls, and online ads mention Christmas as the bait to switch your focus to what “you need” and “others want.”  However, in “Advent’s coming,” we are reminded to set apart mental, relational, and indeed spiritual time and space to fix our eyes on Jesus… and the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Jesus alone can and does offer what all humanity wants and needs. He is the “Prince of Peace” whose Kingdom is of peace.

I have several things I want to update you on today! 

First, remember that this Sunday, though the second Sunday of Advent, is the last First Sunday of 2021. As such, we invite you to celebrate the Lord’s table with us either in person or virtually. We will have communion elements prepared for you if you are at church on Sunday. However, if you will not be at church physically but will join us in the cyber sanctuary, we remind you to prepare your elements ahead of time.

Tonight, Friday, December 3rd, is last Family Prayer Service of 2021. We gather and have prayer every Friday before the First Sunday regularly. This service is a time for us to pray through the monthly prayer focus, come together as a worship community, and prepare for the First Sunday. This prayer meeting is an open prayer time where members are encouraged to pray. I pray you will consider joining us. The prayer service begins promptly at 7:30pm via Google Meets. The prayer focus for December is Faith Forward Rejoicing as we prepare for Christmas. Beloved, this is the time we recall and reflect on Christ’s birth and its meaning for our salvation. Please follow this link HERE or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. I would love to have a record number of people on the line. Also, please know that you are invited and encouraged to pray. All we ask is that you remember to unmute yourself and limit your prayer to about two minutes. We want to give everyone who would like to pray the opportunity to do so.

Our next Stewardship Meeting will occur tomorrow, 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. The link for the meeting is HERE. You can also dial in by using this number  +1 408 638 0968. Please remember to have your name, first and last, clearly identifiable when you log in, or you will not be admitted.

Tomorrow, 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. I have provided the link to register for the event and pray you will do so! HERE is the advertisement for the event! Also, you can register HERE. This year’s theme is “Our Health Matters.”

Our goal with Spirit of the Heart is to encourage each of you to honor God by being a good steward of His temple and glorifying Him. Heart disease kills more people than any other disease, taking more than 100,000 African-American lives each year.

It is a fact that cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death: one in every seven deaths in the U.S. is from heart disease. The good news is, this is preventable! By taking control of our diet and making time to exercise, and encouraging our family and friends to care for their bodies, we can win together as a community! Let me share The Association of Black Cardiologists’ seven (7) steps to a healthy heart that can help you preserve your heart, temple, and quality of life:

  • Step # 1 – Be Spiritually Active
  • Step # 2 – Take Charge of Your Blood Pressure
  • Step # 3 - Control Your Cholesterol
  • Step # 4 – Track Your Blood Sugar
  • Step # 5 – Eat Smart and Enjoy Regular Exercise
  • Step # 6 – Don’t Smoke
  • Step #7 – Access Better Healthcare and Take Medications as Prescribed

If you’d like more information on the Association of Black Cardiologists and how to get involved as a community advocate, please visit

Lady Karima and I are EXCITED to announce this following announcement. Our youngest son, Darnell Boone, is graduating from Biola on December 17th with a degree in Cinema & Media Arts. He has recently finished shooting his senior project, a movie entitled BECAUSE I HAVE TO. He will premiere his movie at Biola on Sunday, December 12th at 7pm, and we would like to extend an invitation to the entire Friendship Family to attend! The premiere is FREE, but you do need to register. To register, please go HERE.  I would love to pack out the 250 seat theatre!

Please NOTE that we will have ONE service on Sunday, December 26th, and Sunday, January 2nd, due to the HOLIDAYS.  On both Sundays, Church Service will start at 10am.

Please plan to join us on Friday, December 31st, for our Watch Night Service. This service will be virtual, begin at 10:30pm, and go through 12:05am on January 1st. I will provide more information in the coming weeks!

On Sunday, January 2nd, we will have Celebration Sunday, where we will have our 10am service followed by a CELEBRATION RECEPTION. In this reception, we will celebrate the NEW YEAR, MY 20 YEARS of Service to Friendship as a Staff Member, and our 35 YEARS here in YORBA LINDA.

Do you know that on January 4, 1987, Friendship held its first services here in Yorba Linda? The Yorba Linda Campus is officially our longest dwelling place and a facility the membership built from the ground up! So let’s come together and celebrate what God has done and gain momentum for what God wants to do in the NEXT 35 years! AMEN!!!

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! HERE is the link to Transformation Ministries advertisement for the conference this week, featuring your PASTOR.

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 FOUR 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!

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?

  • Subsplash/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 that we do not control when Subsplash 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.

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 are NOW open for business!!! Would you please patronize them as they are very kind to Friendship?

Make sure to follow us on our social media pages for upcoming content. For Facebook, that’s Friendship Baptist Church. For Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, it’s @wearefriendshipchurch.

General Church things to remember:

You have 28 days to complete a Bible reading plan, including today. 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 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 COVID Membership Assistance Grant applications. 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. 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
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