Happy Advent Friendship Family,

I am excited about this Advent Session as we anticipate the Promised One! Jesus is the Promised one. God made a promise in the Old Testament, and he fulfilled that promise in the New Testament. He is a promise keeper!

Rember the story I told on Sunday, which you will read again tomorrow in your devotional if you are tracking daily. Imagine a boy being bullied on the playground. Kids surround him, taunt him, and push him onto the ground. He’s fighting back the tears, but that’s about all he can fight; there’s no way to stop the terror and the torment.

Then, almost out of nowhere, a car pulls up. It’s the kid’s father. “Get in the car, son,” the dad yells. Rolling out of the other kids’ grasp, the boy scrambles to his feet and stumbles to the car. They speed off. As the boy looks briefly out the window, he is sure the bullies are laughing. The boy is safe, but there’s no way to count that as a win. An evacuation is not a victory. We know that the Advent season is the waiting time between two arrivals. But the truth is, it is also a waiting between two victories. Jesus the Mighty One has overcome, and Jesus the Mighty One is coming again. And when he comes, he comes to dwell.

During Advent, we prepare our hearts to celebrate the arrival of this child—the infant Jesus, laid in a manger, loved by Mary and Joseph, and worshiped by shepherds and wise men. But Advent—which means “arrival”—invites us to prepare for much more than the holy night of his birth.

Back to the playground. Imagine a different scenario: Instead of the dad yelling for his kid to get in so they can drive away, the dad parks the car, gets out, and walks slowly over. The authority of his very presence drives away the bullies. He embraces his son. He calls out to other kids who are hiding and hurting to come out into the light. Finally, he decides to settle in and remake the playground entirely, now with better equipment and brighter delights. Food and drinks arrive. Then comes the music. And ice cream. Laughter abounds. Somehow the place of pain has become the place of joy. This is the message of Advent! Amen!

Here are your announcements…

Look, I am looking forward to seeing you this Sunday for Worship. We will continue this ADVENT series. This year we with a series entitled THE PROMISED ONE. This series is based on a devotional published by Christianity Today. We have several copies left, so pick up your copy this Sunday. Once they are gone, they are gone. Also, we have a link to the PDF of the devotional for those who prefer an electronic copy or for those who do not receive a hard copy once our supply is depleted. This Sunday, I will preach about JESUS ~ THE PRINCE OF PEACE!

This Sunday is the First Sunday of December and the last First Sunday of the year. Since it’s the First Sunday, 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. There’s a link provided in the blog that will help with this.

Also, this Sunday is Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday! Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday is an extension of our Call to Biblical Stewardship Sermon Series. Bring the Whole Tithe Sunday reminds us of the biblical concept of stewardship by practicing faithful tithing.

We ask that you pray 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, but if you are paid bi-weekly or some other schedule, we encourage you to bring your whole tithe 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.

And since I am talking about giving. Thank you, Friendship, for your faithfulness and generosity during our generosity & gratitude campaign last month. We are still counting funds, but to date, you have given over $13,000, which means we will give well over $26,000 to needy causes. We may end up giving away $30,000. Let’s see what God does through us! Amen again!

⚫ Parents, Children’s Ex-Hour is in full effect on Sundays! Please bring your children to Ex-HOUR at 10am on Sundays. All children & youth classes meet in the multipurpose building.

⚫ Also, we have our Mommies with Babies class simultaneously in the Multi-Purpose building. Mommies with children two years old and younger are invited to this EX-HOUR class and are encouraged to bring their children with them! Come for encouragement, community, and growth! Amen!

⚫ Also, parents, please note that we have Children’s Church on Sundays at 11:30a service ONLY. This is a worship service for kids in 5th grade and below! They are doing an advent series as well. They will not meet on Christmas, nor will they meet on New Year’s Day! So bring your kids out while you attend the 11:30 worship service.

Prayer Posse invites you to join us tonight, Friday, December 2nd, 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 open, 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 Gratefulness for our Lord & Savior! We are grateful for Christ’s birth, ministry on earth, death, burial, and resurrection.! Beloved, this is when we recall and reflect on God’s goodness and articulate that we are thankful. Again, expressing appreciation is good for us. So that’s our prayer focus for the entire month of November.

Our next Stewardship Meeting will occur tomorrow, Saturday, December 3rd, at 10am. This is a joint membership and leadership meeting where we will review 2022, present the budget for 2023, give our 2023 theme and ministry focus, and discuss the exciting plans for the ministry! This meeting will take place in person only. So please plan now to join us for this meeting!

⚫ As you know, Christmas is on Sunday this year. So we have decided to meet in person and invite you all to join us. We will have one service at 10:30am. We plan to have a 75-minute service.

⚫ Furthermore, we will have a Watch Night Service on Saturday, December 31st, at 10:30pm. This will be about a 90-minute service.

⚫ Then on Sunday, January 1st, we will have in-person service at, yes, you guessed, 10:30am. This will be a 75-minute service. I hope that is easy enough to remember!

⚫ All services from Christmas through the beginning of the New Year are at 10:30! 

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

Praying that Friendship is Grateful for our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ
Lk. 12:8-9; Jn. 8:12; Rom. 5:1, 8:1; Gal. 3:26; Eph.1: 7-10; Phil. 4:19.

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 in-person youth Ex Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please encourage your students to join youth teachers for this biblically fun opportunity to learn God’s Word, connect with others, and grow.

CHILDREN’S EX-HOUR: As stated in previous weeks, our Children’s ExHour and Children’s Worship service is back. The archive of all the weekly Children’s Ministry Worship Videos is still available to keep our children connected, encouraged, and worshiping during the week or anytime! 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.

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 COVID-19, we invite you to apply for one of our $500 assistance grants. The guidelines are available HERE, and the application is available HERE.

Have you lost your favorite Bible, glasses, or a personal item while here at the church? If so, please get in touch with the church office at 714-528-0990 or stop by on the 1st floor of the Carrington Building Monday-Friday between 9:00am-5:30pm or Sunday between 10:00am-2:00pm. There is a collection on the blue counter under the TV monitor.

Well, that’s all I have, and that’s enough! See you Sunday!

God loves you, and so do I!

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected! 

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