Greetings Friendship Family!

Happy Friday, Beloved! It is the first Friday of a new month! We are in the Month of March now! WOW! 

February was a trip with all the crazy cold weather. We have had unprecedented rain and snow in January and February of this year. It reminds me that we serve a Mighty God! Californian Leaders and Politicians have been complaining about the water shortage in our STATE! Then we have record-breaking precipitation and rain everywhere. Officials say the drought conditions across the state are improving, and the water supply looks much more promising than a month ago. He’s a Mighty God

So those of you who have been praying for rain, keep praying! If you haven’t been praying for rain, maybe you should start! He’s a Mighty God! 

So look, I have been listening to this song all week that our young people used to sing. It’s by Joshua’s Troop and entitled He’s a Mighty God! It’s just in my spirit, so you know I have to share. Here’s a link to He’s a Mighty God! You have to listen to it! 

He’s a Mighty God! 

Whatever you are dealing with, remember He’s a Mighty God! I’ve requested that the young people sing the song very soon. 

Things to note this weekend…

Well, it is the Friday before the first Sunday, so you know what that means, right? Yes, we have Friendship Family Prayer tonight! Sister Melanie Porter, our Prayer Ministry Leader, and the Prayer Posse invite you to join us tonight, Friday, March 3rd, for our monthly Family Prayer Service. This service occurs tonight from 7:30pm to 8:30pm via Google Meets. To connect with the prayer services, 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, Walking in the Peace of God!  

This Sunday is the First Sunday of March. 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. Here’s a link to 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 HERE, via the mail, or in person on Sundays.

We also want to thank those who have already started to give for our FUTURE NOW INITIATIVE. This month (March), we request that you submit your PLEDGE FORM and begin making your pledges. 

On the pledge form, please indicate your planned pledge amount and your frequency of giving. Again, if you have the printed form, please put your total pledge amount on the KICK STARTER LINE. Then tell us, on that form, whether you will give your pledge over 12 months or 15 months. Lastly, please tell us the frequency of your giving, whether you will give weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly (as a one-time gift). Also, the form is available online HERE.  

Here are this week’s announcements… 

Starting Saturday, March 4th, the Health Care Ministry will sponsor a weekly Health Walk. The walk will take place every Saturday from 7am to 7:35am and will be led by Rev. Aubrey Craig and Sister Sandra Jones. This is a 30-minute walk.  The walking group will meet on the corner of Bastanchury Road and Rose Drive.  If you want to participate, show up with water and energy snacks. Water and snacks will not be provided. For more information, please call Sister Sandra Jones at  909-438-7217.

If you’re seeking an adult Bible Study class to attend during the week, you’re invited to join a new study on the Book of Acts. This in-person class meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Carrington Building and is taught by Deacon Toreno Winn. This study recently started (two sessions held), and new members are welcomed! Register to attend: The Book of Acts Bible Study

The next Side by Side Couples Ministry Session will occur Friday, March 10th, at 7pm via Zoom. This group is doing a six-week study entitled CHERISH by bestselling author Gary Thomas. The discussion topic for this session is “Your Honor.” If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Hilton McDaniel at (949) 652-1489 or email Sheila McDaniel at [email protected]. To join the session, go HERE. They look forward to you joining the class.  

Attention all VETERANS, on Saturday, March 11th, from 11am to 1pm, the Friendship Veterans Outreach Ministry will celebrate women in the Armed Forces with its first all-female workshop in honor of Women’s Month. The workshop will be held here at Friendship in the Multi-Purpose Bldg. 

The Special Guest speaker is Loma Holland - a retired Navy Reserve NCIS investigator and LAPD Sargent & Detective Supervisor. She will give special insight into a career that is male-dominated. Come hear her most valuable lessons learned and how her faith brought her through her best and worst experiences. Following the presentation, there will be an open forum for women to share their experiences with other women.  

Ladies, you do not have to be a veteran to attend and share your stories and hear the stories of others. Come and be a part of this monumental event. Also, come learn what programs the VA and other non-profit organizations like Veterans Legal Institute of Santa Ana and the Tierney Center for Veteran Services of Tustin have available for women! Finally, come get advice for young women who are seeking a career in the military.

Veterans! Please encourage your female family members and friends to attend this exciting new workshop! If you have any questions, concerns, or recommendations, please don’t hesitate to contact Mark Saunders, the leader of the Veterans Ministry, at (714) 914-1411 or email him at [email protected].

Do you quilt? Are you a seamstress? Or just someone who sews? We have a group here at Friendship seeking to make quilts for youth 5–18 years old who have cancer as part of the Linus Project and for other charitable organizations serving youth. This is an outreach opportunity. 

The quilting day will occur on Saturday, March 18th, from 9am to 1:30pm in the Multipurpose Building at Friendship. If you have a portable sewing machine and/or sewing supplies (scissors, cutting boards, pins, etc.), please bring them. Fabric will be provided, and we are accepting 5” or 5 ½” fabric square donations. The goal is to assemble quilt blocks during this time. No quilting skills are required, just a willingness to help. If you have any questions, please text Karen Ammons (714) 782-4540 or Cecil Session (951) 318-2129 to confirm your participation.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to spread the word about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer, starting at age 45. Join our Healthcare Ministry as they partner with St. Jude Medical Center, Endoscopy Department on Sunday, March 19th, 2023, from 9:30am -1:30pm, in the quad to receive valuable Colorectal Screening information. The Healthcare Ministry will also be providing blood pressure checks. 

To all Bible Teachers and LEAD Graduates, our 1st Quarter Teacher’s Meeting will be held on Saturday, March 25th, at 10 a.m. Please save the date. We are working to a part of a Black Church Education Leaders and Sunday School Workers National Simulcast here at the church and are working on the time. It may be EARLY, so we need you to keep the morning OPEN. Again, more information will come your way early next week! We will meet in person, at Friendship, in the Multi-Purpose Building. We look forward to seeing you and to our time together. 

I want to thank ALL those who participate in the Health Survey. We officially closed it on Tuesday, February 28th. While we did not reach our original goal of 3500 participants, we got over 600 responses and are very grateful for what this information will do for the Black community in Orange County! 

As I have stated, this whole endeavor is designed to help 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.

Look, Pastor has hit a wall regarding these weekly updates. I have had so many things going on and still feel behind. And while many of you do not view/read these updates, several of you do, so we will most likely continue to do them. I will probably present on the first and third Fridays and have one of my staff ministers present on the other Fridays. Then we may not have a video on some Fridays but will have a written update. It will all depend on how I feel and what my staff leadership team feels is necessary. The goal is to get pertinent and essential information to the Friendship Family!  

Now Ministry Leaders, what this means is you cannot depend solely on these weekly updates to get information out to your ministry participants and the Friendship congregation. Instead, you will need to email members and keep the office updated on ministry events so that they can be posted on the church website and in the Sunday bulletin! 

Yes, Sunday bulletins are back! For now, we will have Sunday bulletins on first Sundays and special Sundays like Friendship Day, Palm Sunday, Easter, Church Anniversary, and Pastor’s Anniversary. Ministry Leaders, you will need to plan accordingly and provide information promptly. If you have information that needs to go on the website or in the church bulletin, please contact Rikki Taylor in the church office.

Be sure to welcome Rev. Dr. Coston Charles. He is now serving as our CYYA Student Coordinator. That’s the Children, Youth, & Young Adult Coordinator. I introduced him Sunday during our Worship Services. I am happy to have him and his family as a part of the Friendship Worship Community.

Rev. Charles holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Azusa Pacific University, a Master of Divinity Degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University. He has served as a pastor, assistant pastor, and army chaplain and is currently a hospital chaplain! 

Also, I need an Executive Assistant. I will admit we do not offer the highest salary. Still, we offer a great work environment, medical benefits, a retirement package, and the satisfaction of working in a Christian environment and making a difference for the Kingdom of God. Qualified individuals should be highly organized, have problem-solving capabilities, and be willing to get things done! If that’s you or someone you know, please apply on our website HERE!

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 is 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.

These sessions began on Tuesday, January 24th. They are held weekly on Tuesdays, and four more sessions are left. Sessions go from 7pm until 8pm weekly. The sessions cover “Knowing Your Risk for Heart Disease.” Participants will learn about risk factors for heart disease. Specifically, the 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. To attend the sessions, go HERE.

Attention, Men of Friendship. We need you! We need men to help us pick up donated food from area stores and other sources to serve those with food insecurity. There has been an increase in pick-ups from stores and other sources. We need pick-up drivers on Mondays and Fridays between 8:00am and 10:00am. This does require some mild lifting. Please contact Gloria Banks or Rev. Felton Christian at the church if you can assist during these times. You can reach Rev. Felton Christian HERE.

We also need individuals to serve on our Bereavement Committee, assisting bereaved families at funerals during the repast. Losing a family member can be one of the most difficult and painful experiences a person will go through. Having a solid support system of friends and other family members is essential during such devastating times. If you are interested in serving, please contact the church office.  

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

      Walking in the Peace of God
      2 Cor 13:11: Philp 4:6-7; Psalm 4:8; 2 Thes 3:16; Col 3:15

 We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  304 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: 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 we have this week.  I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

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

God loves you, and so do we!

Hope to See you on Sunday…

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