Pastor’s Weekly Update December 31, 2021

Greeting Friendship Family! 

Well, this is the last weekly update of 2021!

Yes, today, December 31, 2021. The very last day of 2021. Tonight at midnight, 2021 will be over and gone, and that is an exciting prospect for many of us! Many are looking forward to a New Year, a new season, a new opportunity, and a reset or redo.  

As we look forward to 2022, may we reflect on the faithfulness of God in 2021. When I think of 2021, I recall a song we sang when I was a kid growing up in church. The song simply said,
If it had not been for the Lord on my side
Where would I be? Where would I be?
If it had not been for the Lord on my side
Where would I be? Where would I be?
Have you asked yourself that question? It is an excellent thought to consider. I know 2020 and 2021 have both been difficult and perplexing years, but I am so grateful God has been on our side throughout the difficulty and uncertainty of the last two years! He has been faithful!

Psalm 124 speaks to this very thing! There the Psalmist declares:
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side—let Israel now say—
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us,
Then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;
Then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;
Then over us would have gone the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

At its core, Psalm 124 teaches us that we can depend on God and that we must depend on God in every season of our lives, no matter what! The psalm describes “The Great Blessing of Having the Lord on Your Side.” You could have many people on your side and still be ruined. You could have a mother and father for you yet still live in defeat and disaster. You could be very well-liked and have many friends who want you to do well and still end up in hell – both figuratively and literally. The ONE we must have on our side is the LORD. ONLY the LORD is capable of defending us against the many things that come against us in this world. 

As you look back on 2021, please see that God has been on your side. Then as you look forward to 2022, with its uncertainties, please remember God is on your side!

Friendship here are a few things we want to be sure you know:

Please note that the church office is closed today, Friday, December 31st, observing the New Years Day Holiday.

Typically, the Friday before the First Sunday, we would have our monthly Friendship Family prayer service. However, since we know many are getting started on their long weekend, we ask that you carve out some time to pray for the Friendship Family on your own. Would you please pray for your church, your pastor, and Sunday’s worship service? I thank you in advance for your prayers.

Please note the following:
2022 Church Theme:
United & Unashamed
God’s People United in Mission, Ministry, & Mandate

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 ESV; Romans 1:16-17 ESV

January Prayer Focus
Praying for Friendship’s Unified Commitment to the Lord
Prov. 16:3, Ps 37:5-6, Ps 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7
Please plan to join us, TONIGHT, for our Watch Night Service. This service will be virtual only, begin at 10:30pm, go through 12:05am on January 1st, and stream from all social media streaming platforms.

On Sunday, January 2nd, we will have Celebration Sunday, where we will have our 10am service followed by a CELEBRATION RECEPTION. Together we will celebrate the NEW YEAR, Rev. Dr. Linda Long’s Retirement after 14 years of service to Friendship, my twenty years of service to Friendship as a staff member, our 35 years here in Yorba Linda, all those who have completed their Bible reading in 2021 and those who have had mid academic year graduation. 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! Our guest preacher will be the best-selling author and keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Marcus “Goodie” Goodloe.

  • You can report your Bible reading progress to Lady Karima at [email protected]. Please send your name and the plan you completed by Friday, December 31st. Again, we will celebrate all participants on Celebration Sunday at the 10am Service! 

  • Remember we have canceled Ex-Hour is this Sunday! 

  • Don’t forget to have your communion elements ready if you attend service virtually. If you attend in person, we will have communion elements for you.

Attention all youth in the 6th through 12th grades, our Youth Ministry invites you to attend the Ignition Youth Conference on January 21st - 22nd. This is a weekend experience for middle & high schoolers designed to intentionally create an environment where students can exalt Christ, engage scripture through messages and small group discussions, and be equipped with the necessary tools to pursue Christ passionately.

At the Ignition Youth Conference, there will be four Gospel-centered messages that cater to youth, high-energy worship, and a weekend experience that will inspire our students to be the best version of themselves, leaning into who God created them to be. Plus, the conference offers an awesome concert featuring Social Club Misfits, a Christian Hip-hop duo. Space is limited, so sign up soon. The cost of the conference is $40. Parents are welcome to attend. The event begins on Friday evening, January 21, from 6:00 pm until 9:30 pm. We then resume on Saturday at 9:00 am and go until 9:00 pm. Click HERE for more information and to register.

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.

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:

  • 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. Remember there is no Ex-Hour this Sunday since we have only one service at 10am. 

  • EX HOUR: Virtual Ex-Hour meets weekly on Sundays via ZOOM. Join us for class at 10am via this link HERE. Remember there is no Ex-Hour this Sunday since we have only one service at 10am.

  • 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. Remember there is no Ex-Hour this Sunday since we have only one service at 10am.

  •  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!

Happy New Year!!!

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