We are now Mask Optional for worship on Sundays!!!
Greetings Friendship Family, 

How grateful I am to God for each of you! I am grateful to be a part of the Friendship Family and to serve God with each of you. To God be the glory for all He is doing with us here at Friendship! 

Your outpouring of love was absolutely tremendous this past Sunday. Both Lady Karima and I are so appreciative of you! It was great to see so many of you here worshiping and celebrating with us. But, as I said Sunday, YOUR PRESENCE was GIFT enough for me! 

I told you Sunday that Pastor E. Dewy Smith, Senior Pastor/Teacher of The House of Hope Atlanta, Macon, WestPointe, Georgia– one church in three locations – has a song entitled Your Presence is a Gift. HERE is a link to the song so you can hear it yourself. I pray it is a blessing to you!

Though Pastor Smith is singing this song of God’s presence in his life, in our lives, this song has some applicable words to how I feel about you, Friendship. You as a people sent by God are a reward to me! Thank you for how you love Lady Karima and me and pray for us faithfully. We appreciate you for this, and Thank God for you! Your presence in our lives is a gift. A precious GIFT! 

I also want to thank the Guardian Angels, the staff, our Deacons and Trustees, the various ministries, and our guests who cheer us on from various unseen spaces. Thank you all for your support, prayers, and kindness! Sunday was a great day, and we appreciate all of you!

I could go on and on, but I will not do that today. So let me get these announcements out of the way!
This Sunday, October 2nd, is the First Sunday of October, Yep! It’s October already. We are entering the last quarter of the year.
So please note several things! It’s the First Sunday, so we will have Communion together. If you attend worship online ONLY, please prepare your communion elements in advance so you can have them when we take Communion Sunday. If you need more information on your items, please go HERE.

New Members Class:
If you’ve recently become a member of Friendship or are a member who has never attended the New Members Class, we invite you to attend a new session starting on Sunday, October 2nd. Over eight weeks, this class teaches what we believe about fundamental Christian doctrines, including Salvation, the Trinity, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. In addition, this class provides a good foundation on key doctrines in the Bible. Join us at 10 a.m. on Sundays; we meet on the 2nd floor of the Carrington Building, Room 209.

Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday:
This Sunday and every First Sunday through the end of the year is Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday. Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday is an extension of our Call to Biblical Stewardship Sermon Series. Every Frist Sunday through the end of the year, we will remind ourselves of the biblical concept of stewardship by practicing faithful tithing. 

We ask that you start praying now about being honest with God and trusting God by bringing God your “whole” tithe each week. Since most are paid at the end of the month or the first of the month, we will emphasize bringing the whole tithe on the First Sunday. If you get paid bi-weekly or on some other schedule, we encourage you to bring your whole tithe accordingly as an act of faith and obedience on the appropriate Sunday. Remember, you can still give online, via the mail, or in person on Sundays.
Remember, we are Mask Optional for worship on Sundays.
We moved back to our Masks Optional phase for Sunday Worship. So yes, Masks are optional now for worship. You are welcome to join us for in-person worship if you choose to continue to wear a mask or not. We recognize some of you may prefer to wear a mask as a personal choice or to protect a family member who may be at high risk. We understand.

A safe worship environment is still our goal. We encourage physical distancing when possible. If you don’t feel well or think you may have been infected, please remain at home and worship with us via the Live Stream. Remember our refrain: We pray, we don’t panic, we take precautions, and we remain patient.

Here are a few highlighted announcements…

Prayer Posse invites you to join us tonight, Friday, September 30th, for our Monthly Family Prayer Service. This service happens regularly on the Friday before First Sunday, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm via google Meets. Remember, this prayer meeting is an open prayer time, so if you feel led to pray, simply unmute your line and PRAY! See you there!  To connect with our prayer service, please follow this link HERE or dial +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. We will pray on this month’s prayer focus which is Dependence on the Lord! Depending on God was the example displayed as Jesus walked upon the earth and the call for us to follow His footsteps and depend on God alone. So that’s our prayer focus for the entire month of October.

As we enter the last quarter, it is our custom to participate in our FOURTH QUARTER PUSH! Just as a football team might experience intense focus and renewed momentum in the fourth quarter to FINISH STRONG and win the game, our FOURTH QUARTER PUSH is our way of encouraging the Friendship Family to FINISH STRONG.

✔️ Finish Strong in Biblical Stewardship ~ returning a whole tithe and giving generously. Remember, every FIRST SUNDAY is Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday.

✔️ Finish Strong in Bible Reading ~ beginning this next week; we have eight Bible Reading Small Groups to help you complete a Bible reading plan by year-end. These groups are designed to promote reading a Bible plan in community with others and accountability. See below for more information.

✔️ Finish Strong in Bible Study ~ we have several Bible Study opportunities that begin next week. Will you consider joining one? See below for information on our Bible Studies.

✔️ Finish Strong in adopting Spiritual Disciplines. Consider reading the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster and taking the personal challenge I give each week at the end of each message.

The RHEMA MEN’S MINISTRY is hosting a church-wide zoom session on Monday, October 3rd at 7pm titled, VOTE 2022 - THE MIDTERM Election. During this session, information will be shared regarding the upcoming California, November 8th, midterm elections and will provide an understanding of the critical issues facing the American people. Deacon James P. Shirley will be our session leader. You can find more information through the link provided in the written portion of this week’s update. No registration is necessary - the registration page provides the zoom info. Access more information HERE

The RHEMA MEN’S MONTHLY FELLOWSHIP will be in person in the MPR on Monday, October 10th, at 7pm.  We will continue our discussion from the September fellowship titled Man Up! Again, Dr. David Smith will join us as our session leader. Food will be served. We’re asking all men to register via the provided link so we can plan accordingly. Registration requested for headcount and roster info. Please register HERE.

New Members Class: If you’ve recently become a member of Friendship or are a member who has never attended the New Members Class, we invite you to attend a new session starting on Sunday, October 2nd. Over eight weeks, this class teaches what we believe about fundamental Christian doctrines, including Salvation, the Trinity, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. In addition, this class provides a good foundation on key doctrines in the Bible. Join this class at 10a on Sundays on the 2nd floor of the Carrington Building, Room 209. Please register to attend: New Members-Fall 2022

Women’s Bible Study: This new class started Wednesday, September 21st, and ladies, there’s still room for you to join! This 12-week Bible study titled “Learning Contentment in a Culture of More” will focus on the book of Numbers and help participants see themselves in the story of the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. Though God led them out of slavery and provided for all their needs, they grumbled and chose to go their way instead of following God’s instructions. Through their story, students learn how to be content with deliverance, preparation, uncertainty, obedience, opposition, and blessings.

We still have a few books remaining and invite all ladies to consider joining us for this exciting study.  The cost per book is $10. The class meets at 7:30p and is held virtually. Please utilize the following link to enroll in this class: Women’s Bible Study: Numbers, Learning Contentment in a Culture of More

Assurance of Salvation: Starting this Wednesday, October 5th, at 7:30 p.m., Deacon Toreno Winn will lead an in-person bible study on our Assurance of Salvation.  Come study what the scriptures reveal about the believer’s confidence in Jesus Christ as our assurance of salvation.  When leading others to Christ, can you clearly articulate why believers are confident in their salvation and eternal life? Join this class and be equipped with the Word. This class will meet weekly on Wednesday evenings in the Carrington Building, room 207/208. Register to attend: Assurance of Salvation Bible Study

Men’s Bible Study: All men are invited to join our weekly Men’s Bible Study as we continue to study books of the Bible. This Wednesday, October 5th, the men will start a new study in the Book of Galatians. A primary theme of the book of Galatians is that believers are justified in Jesus Christ alone. Deacon Hilton McDaniel leads this study and invites all men to join him online at 7:30 p.m. Register to attend: Men’s Bible Study

Singles Class: All singles are invited to participate in a new Bible study titled, Be Still. A Simple Guide to Quiet Times. This class starts Thursday, October 6th at 7p and will be held virtually. For some, these two simple words, “be still,” are a welcome invitation to slow down. Others feel impossible, out of reach in our increasingly noisy world, or simply too hard to maintain. This 7-session study will equip you with the tools needed to deepen your relationship with God and help you see that even amid a busy life, you can spend quiet time with God. Books can be purchased between Sunday services or in the church office during the week. The cost per book is $15. Please utilize the following link to enroll in this class: Singles Bible Study: Be Still

Hermeneutics Class: Join Rev. Patrick Christian for a new Hermeneutics class starting on Saturday, October 15th. Hermeneutics is the method of interpreting the meaning of text or Scriptures. Over the centuries, many Christians have abused the Bible by their “proof-texting:” Using the Bible like a telephone book of text, they cite by chapter and verse to prove their viewpoint. This approach can and has led to many distortions and errors. This 12-week course will help participants learn how to interpret God’s Word accurately and will be offered online on Saturdays at 11a. Please register to attend: Hermeneutics-Fall 2022

You have 93 days to complete a Bible reading plan, including today. This weekend begins the final quarter of 2022 (can you believe it?!), and we want to encourage all who desire to complete a Bible reading plan by year-end to know: There’s still time for you to do so! Starting the week of October 10th, we will offer several Bible Reading Small Groups. These groups are designed to promote reading a Bible plan in community with others and accountability. As many of you may recall, we offered Bible Reading Small Groups earlier this Spring. After the Spring sessions, approximately 40 participants completed one of the reading plans after 90 days! To God be the glory!  Please note: Reading Plans start THIS SUNDAY, October 2nd, and are provided below. To join a Bible Reading Group, the DAY of the week and reading FOCUS is highlighted below. Click the link after the description to register for your desired reading plan(s). Again, Bible Reading for All Plans Start Date: October 2, 2022

Old Testament: Schedule: 6:30p, 2nd and 4th Mondays, starting October 10th. Facilitators: Freda Petersen & Dea. Al Upshur. Registration link: Old Testament Bible Reading Group-Mondays Reading Plan: Old Testament 90-Day Reading Plan
The Gospels: Schedule: 7p every other week, starting October 10th. Facilitators: Brandon & Audrey Shelby. Registration link: The Gospels Bible Reading Group. Reading Plan: The Gospels 90-Day Reading Plan

New Testament: Schedule: 7p every other week, starting October 11th. Facilitators: Tonya Whiteside, Deaconess Debra Hailey, & Greg Green. Registration link: New Testament Bible Reading Group-Tuesdays. Reading Plan: New Testament 90-Day Reading Plan.

Entire Bible: Schedule: 7p every other week, starting October 11th. Facilitator: Rev. Keturah Washington. Registration link: Entire Bible Reading Group. Reading Plan: Entire Bible 90-Day Reading Plan

New Testament: Schedule: 6p every other week, starting October 12th. Facilitator: Dea. Bill Jenkins. Registration link: New Testament Bible Reading Group-Wednesdays. Reading Plan: New Testament 90-Day Reading Plan

Old Testament: Schedule: 10a every other week, starting October 13th. Facilitators: Ray & Ava Campbell. Registration link: Old Testament Bible Reading Group-Thursdays. Reading Plan: Old Testament 90-Day Reading Plan

Psalms/Proverbs 3x: Schedule: 7p every other week, starting October 13th. Facilitators: Rina Bailey & Erwin Cross. Registration link: Psalms/Proverbs 3xs Bible Reading Group. Reading Plan: Psalms/Proverbs 90-Day Reading Plan.

The Pentateuch: Schedule: 7:30p every other week, starting October 13th. Facilitators: Deaconess Brenda Matthews & Shawna Chambers. Registration link: The Pentateuch Bible Reading Group. Reading Plan: The Pentateuch 90-Day Bible Reading Plan.

Parents and grandparents - Prayerfully, your young people are off to a great start in school this year. With the new academic year comes the start of a new year for our Scholarship ministry. The Scholarship Ministry is now taking open enrollment for all First through Twelfth grade students for the 2022-2023 school year. Representatives of the scholarship ministry will be in the quad after services on Sunday. Please visit their table for more information and even to sign up. You may also register HERE.  

We are also looking for mentors for our students. Mentors serve to encourage students and parents throughout the year. You may also inquire about serving as a mentor at the booth on Sunday.

Our annual “Remembering our Lost Loved Ones” service is fast approaching.  The date for the service is Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at 7p.  If you would like to have your loved one(s) pictured in the slide presentation, please send us the following information starting September 23, 2022.

⚫ Name of your Loved One
⚫ A picture of your Loved One
⚫ Sunrise Date
⚫ Sunset Date
⚫ Relationship to your loved one

If we included your loved one in last year’s pictorial presentation and you want them included this year, you do not have to resend the information. However, if you do not want your loved one included this year, please notify Rev Felton Christian via phone or email with the same information and include the word (Remove). The deadline to submit your information is Friday, October 7, 2022.

The 2022 So Harvest Crusade will occur at the Angels Stadium of Anaheim on November 5th & 6th. This evangelistic hope-filled event encourages those anxious about what the future holds for this crazy mixed-up world. It is two days of music, community, and hearing a life-changing message from Pastor Greg Laurie about getting right with God. Please go HERE to understand the event and see how you can attend, spread the word, invite others, and serve. There are volunteer opportunities available. Please check the volunteer page HERE.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster. In these months – which are strange and unsettling – we want to be a voice that is encouraging and hopeful and one that points to Jesus. This book is a great resource that we can utilize to structure and guide our spiritual growth. I pray that when we get to the other side of this series, we will look just a little bit more like Jesus. Go HERE for a pdf copy of the book.

Lasting success in any enterprise or field of endeavor requires discipline. A scholar must be disciplined in her academic research and writing. Likewise, an NBA player must be disciplined in perfecting his craft through lots and lots of practice. The late Kobe Bryant was known not only for his singular talent but also for his tireless work ethic.  

Proper training, discipline, and hard work are indispensable for success in education, athletics, business, public speaking, or any other area. The same is true of the Christian life. A successful Christian life requires discipline in cultivating healthy habits and routines. This series will teach us the spiritual disciplines necessary to be all God has called us to and accomplish all God has called us to accomplish. I pray you will join me on the journey.

Join in as we take the “game” into Overtime!  Pastor Curry and Executive Pastors Rodney Friend and Jaron Singley share highlights, thoughts, and jokes to help make this series even more practical. You may access this series on our YouTube channel or Follow the link HERE.

This Sunday, we return to a Mask Optional protocol for worship. A safe in-person worship experience is still our priority!

General Church things to remember:
United & Unashamed: God’s People United in Mission, Ministry, & Mandate
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 ESV; Romans 1:16-17 ESV

Psalm 62:7, Romans 9:16.

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

IN-PERSON EX-HOUR: In-person Ex-Hour meets each Sunday from 10am to 11am. We now have two adult classes meeting in person on campus, along with a Young Adult Class. They meet as follows: 

Adult Class One (Sanctuary): The team teaching in the sanctuary includes Lady Karima Curry, Pamela Jones, Deacon Demetrius Linebarger, Melanie Porter, Vivian Randolph, & Deacon James Shelby
Adult Class Two (Carrington Building Room 217): The team teaching in the Carrington Building Room 217 includes Le Shon Archer, Deacon Rick Archer, Karen Ammons, Gwen Matthews, and Rev. Phil Yoder.
Young Adults Class (Carrington Building Rooms 207-208): This class is designed for those aged 18-35.

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: A weekly Children’s Ministry Worship Video is provided to keep our children connected, encouraged, and worshipping! 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 +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! I look forward to seeing you Sunday for worship and Communion.

Continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected!

God loves you, and so do I!

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