SERVICE: SUNDAYS AT 8:00AM & 11:30AM

PASTOR’S WEEKLY UPDATE JANUARY 20, 2023

Happy Friday, Friendship Family!

I don’t know about you, but I am still floating off Convocation 2023! Did not our hearts burn as those two preachers talked to us along the way? My Bible readers know that phrase comes from Luke 24 in the Emmaus Road account. 

Listen, when I became a believer in Christ, my heart was aflame with a newfound faith. Then when God called me to preach, my heart was aflame with newfound spiritual awe at being chosen by God. Later in my twenties, when God opened a door for me to lead the Youth Ministry here at Friendship, my heart was aflame with a newfound sense of purpose. Finally, when God called me to pastor this people and body known as the Friendship Baptist Church, my heart was aflame with a newfound sense of the awesomeness of God!

Now, if I am honest, the flame sometimes is blazing hot. At others, that flame fades into embers. When that happens, I must fan to flame the gift of God in my life afresh and anew! Actually, that word is not just for me but for all of us! The Emmaus Road account reminds us that God’s Word can rekindle our faith.

In Luke 24:13-35, in the final chapter of the Gospel of Luke, two men are found distraught over the death of Jesus. They meet a man and find themselves in a deep conversation. This man was the risen Jesus Himself — only they didn’t realize it was Him. As they walk the road to Emmaus, these two men learn about Christ directly from the source. When the encounter is over, they say, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

The experience of the two men and their encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus is powerful. It serves as a model for us in our discipleship: Jesus opened the eyes of these men, steered them to the truth contained in God’s Holy Word, the Bible, and ultimately revealed Himself to them as the resurrected savior. The illuminated word of God makes our hearts burn and kindles the embers of our spiritual faith afresh! 

That’s what I hope Convocation 2023 has done for you! May these lectures and sermons from Rev. Stephen Thurston and the Rev. Dr. MarQuerita Story rekindle your faith afresh and anew. That’s my prayer for you

I pray that this second week of fasting is going well for you. Remember, this is a time of renewed focus and personal dedication to the Lord! So get what you need to get out of this time! 

Here are a few announcements for you as we REALLY start 2023.

LEADERSHIP MEETING
Leaders, we will have our first Leadership Meeting of 2023 tomorrow, Saturday, January 21st, at 10am. This meeting is an in-person meeting taking place at the church in the Sanctuary. This meeting is for all current/newly elected presidents, vice presidents, chairs, and vice-chairs of ministries and their ministry secretaries, Deacons, Trustees, Ministers, Deaconess, Mothers, Governance Committee Members, and Friendship Bible Teachers. 

STATE OF THE CHURCH ADDRESS:
The State of the Church Address will take place this Sunday, January 22nd, at both the 8am and 11:30a service. This is an important Sunday, and we invite you to join us!

21- DAY CORPORATE FAST
Please note that our time of prayer and fasting for 2023 continues through Monday, January 29th. Remember, you must govern your own fast and grow closer to God. We provide a fasting guide designed by Pastor Miles McPherson and The Rock Church HERE to assist you. 

Please join us each day for prayer at 12p. To connect with our prayer services, please follow this link HERE or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. We have prayer leaders for each day as follows:

  • Monday: Pastor Kenneth C. Curry, Jr. 
  • Tuesday: Pastor Rodney Friend
  • Wednesday: Pastor Jaron Singley
  • Thursday: Deacon Charles Owens
  • Friday: Deacon James Shelby 
  • Saturday: Rev. Terry Abercrombie
  • Sunday: Sister Melanie Porter

Please note most Bible studies are starting back, and most will be off next week for Convocation. Check out the church website or check in with your Bible Study Teacher for more information.

NEW WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY CLASS
The Wednesday Night Women’s Bible Study class will embark on a new study beginning Wednesday, February 1st, at 7:30 p.m. This is a virtual class! All ladies are invited and encouraged to join us for a new study based on the book, ‘Elijah, Faith & Fire,’ by Priscilla Shirer. In this study, we’ll journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah, who emerged as the voice of unapologetic truth during a time of national crisis and moral decline. His ministry was marked by unwavering faith and holy fire- the same kind we need to remain steadfast in the current culture.  We’ll take a fresh look at Elijah and the difficult choices of obedience that kept him anchored, sharpened his faith, broadened his impact and invited heaven’s fire to fall. Books for this study are in and available for purchase for $15. To register, go HERE. Teachers: Rev. Belinda Wright & Rev. Fredia Travis

NEW MEMBERS CLASS:
On January 29th, we will begin a new eight-week New Members Class session.  If you have joined Friendship but have not completed the New Members Class, we invite you to this eight-week course introducing you to Friendship’s foundational beliefs, biblical doctrine, and operations.  This course takes place in person on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am.

EVANGELISM CLASS
Are you among the many Christians who find sharing the Gospel difficult, daunting, stressful, and adversarial? Join us for this exciting class called “Live Ready: Sharing Jesus As you Go.” This class will start in February. This class is an opportunity to build resilience as we faithfully move forward in our call to share the Gospel. For more info and to register, click HERE.

2023 SILVER EAGLES’ BLACK HISTORY CONTEST
This year’s theme is “Incite Hope, Not Violence.” The contest is open to all children and youth from 1st through 12th grade.  You are to choose an African American or another person of color from the past or present who inspires you because they have made or are making their life count to incite hope, not violence. Submissions are to be video presentations that are 2 minutes or less.  Students should email their submissions to [email protected] by Sunday, February 12th.  For more info, go to wearefriendship.church/silvereagles. There, you can also see the video from last year’s winners.

CONTRIBUTION STATEMENT
If you need to request your 2022 CONTRIBUTION STATEMENT, you may do so HERE.

NEW BEGINNINGS CONFERENCE
All Friendship Teachers are invited to attend the New Beginnings Bible Teaching Conference on Saturday, January 28th, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Gateway Seminary in Ontario. The conference theme is: Making a Fresh Start in Ministry Post-Covid. As a reminder, there is NO COST to you; registration for Friendship Baptist Church has already been secured. We pray you can join us as we start the new year being enriched and equipped to serve in Christian Education Ministry in this post-pandemic environment. To RSVP, please contact Leshon Archer ASAP at [email protected].

HEALTH SURVEY:
I am excited to announce that our church is a part of a Health Equity and Advocacy Collective known as HEAAL (Health Equity for African Americans League). Our goal at HEAAL is to identify the social determinants of health outcomes within the Black American community in Orange County. Here is a link to the HEAAL website.

The Orange County Heath Offices has granted HEAAL, a collective of churches and community organizations, $200K to do this work. Additionally, several of our collective members have received $10K in participation grants. Yes, Friendship has received a participation grant. 

To do this, we aim to survey 3500 Black American Orange County residents and individuals who work or worship in Orange County. We aim to hit our goal of 3500 participants by the end of February 2023. Beloved, we want to equip the black community in OC with information, services, and tools to remove adverse effects on our health which sets us up for poor outcomes when significant illnesses/pandemics (like COVID-19) occur.

Here is the LINK to the survey. Please complete the survey ASAP.  

In addition to the survey, which we will deliver in various ways (electronic/digital) and pen and paper surveys, we will also seek to have forums, town halls, and other community events designed to gain the most complete and comprehensive picture possible. Thanks in advance for your participation! Don’t delay taking the survey TODAY.

HEALTH SEMINAR
Second Baptist Church, in partnership with The Association of Black Cardiologists, Friendship Baptist, Johnson Chapel A.M.E., and Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. churches are hosting a series of ten community-based heart health educational sessions designed to provide the African American community with tools and resources to reduce cardiovascular disease and improve health outcomes by reducing disparities in cardiovascular disease.

The first zoom session will take place on Tuesday, January 24th, from 7pm until 8pm and will cover “KnowingYour Risk for Heart Disease.” Participants will learn about risk factors for heart disease. Specifically, the ten sessions will cover the following:

  • How to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes
  • How to prepare healthy food, particularly African American dishes
  • How to be more physically active, have a healthy weight, and quit smoking

The free sessions are for anyone who wants to learn more about protecting their heart. Future sessions will occur monthly every 4th Tuesday from 7pm until 8pm. To attend the session, go HERE.

TRANSFORMATION MINISTRIES CONFERENCE 2023
We will host the 2023 Transformation Ministries Conference on February 2nd and 3rd, and I am happy to serve as a speaker again this year. The 2023 Transformation Ministries Conference is built around the theme: PRESENCE. So, of course, we are talking about God’s presence. 

We will need volunteers to serve. If you are available, please contact Sharon Preston in the church office HERE. If you would like to attend, it is FREE to attend. We need you to register, however. To register, go to tmchurches.org/tmc-2023 and select “I need to add my name to my church’s registration,” then follow the prompts. 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.

SOCIAL MEDIA
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:
  • 2023 CHURCH THEME:
Resilient Faith
Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV

  • JANUARY PRAYER FOCUS:
Surrender to the Sovereignty of Christ 
Romans 12:1; James 4:7-8: Rom 12:2; James 4:10; 2 Cor 5:17

  • BIBLE READING
It is with joy that we will celebrate those who read the Word of God in 2022 on Sunday, January 22nd! We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  347 days to complete a Bible reading plan, including today. 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)

  • IN-PERSON EX-HOUR: In-person Ex-Hour resumes this Sunday, January 8th, from 10am to 11am. We invite you to stay after the first service or come earlier for the second service to attend Ex Hour in person. Remember, we have two adult classes meeting in person on campus and 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.

  • 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 is back and meets on Sundays at 10am in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please note you must sign your children in weekly for Ex-hour.  

  • MOMMIES WITH BABIES: We have our Mommies with Babies class simultaneously during EX-Hour in the Multipurpose Building. Mommies with two years old and younger children are invited to this EX-HOUR class and are encouraged to bring their children with them! Come for encouragement, community, and growth! Amen!

  • 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 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.

Well, that’s all I have this week. Continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected!

God loves you, and so do I!

In His Service,
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/lK6ri-mjKfB2sIhmcqg2Hi5NyudCSRNzgARr3Mf2K6eUJbquKsJKTjRH8bwIsoC_hqMxDcBGgvz_iM-bLMT8GRoG7ZyW8HAgJwXEgcNgXaSzgCXTwPnItGvBjZf7eqWKVIIalN7w
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Your Pastor

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