Happy Friday, Friendship Family! 

I pray God’s richest blessings on you! 

I am still basking in the overflow of this past Sunday’s worship. Not merely the message that I preached and the response to it, but also the atmosphere that the children and youth set as they led us in worship and the presence of God’s Spirit at the baptism service. Did you know we baptized five individuals ranging from ages seven to seventy? To God be the Glory! 

I thank God for Alyssa, Cameron, Ian, Paul, and Viola. Thank God for the public confession of faith in a risen Savior! Thank God for the opportunity to witness this outward demonstration of their inward faith! Amen! 

Baptism is not simply something we do because our parents or the church tell us to – we do it because it is meaningful to our relationship with God.

Baptism and faith go together; without faith, baptism is just another way to get wet. When we choose baptism, our belief in Christ’s death and resurrection strengthens our faith. 

Baptism is a way for believers to understand death and resurrection meaningfully.

Romans 6:4-5 states,
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
Both baptism and communion are ways for us to unite with Christ through his suffering and resurrection. These ordinances help us reflect and understand what He did for us, strengthening our faith. In other words, it helps us Keep the Faith.

Again, baptism is a purposeful declaration of one’s commitment to follow Jesus. Anytime someone decides to follow Jesus, it is a reason to celebrate and evaluate our relationship with God! Baptism should encourage you! Keep the Faith!

Speaking of Communion…

Do you know what this Sunday is? It’s the first Sunday! Which means it’s Communion Sunday!

Communion is fundamentally all about Jesus. Focusing on Jesus helps us avoid being distracted by side issues. Jesus instituted communion for his disciples to remember his death and sacrifice. At its core, communion is a celebration, remembrance, and proclamation of Christ’s death.

Communion is a time of blessing and giving thanks.

Communion is a symbol of the New Covenant.

Further, Communion is FAITH BUILDING. As we participate by faith in the Lord’s supper, God can move through the symbols of his presence to strengthen and encourage us by his grace.

Yes, Communion encourages us to Keep the Faith!

So please plan to join us this Sunday for Communion and another message in our Keep the Faith Series! I am excited to preach Sunday.

If you can’t join us this Sunday, prepare your elements and join us virtually for worship and communion. I have provided a link HERE to instruct you on preparing your elements for Sunday though I doubt you will need them since we’ve been doing this for three years.

Now, on to this week’s announcements.
OK, since it is the Friday before the First Sunday, you know what that means, right? Yes, we have FRIENDSHIP FAMILY PRAYER tonight! Melanie Porter, our Prayer Ministry Leader, and the Prayer Posse invite you to join our Monthly Family Prayer Service tonight, Friday, June 2nd. This service occurs tonight from 7:30pm to 8:30pm via Google Meets. We will pray on this month’s prayer focus, Embracing the Mercy of God!    To join in, please click HERE.

Singles are invited to participate in the Singles prayer and praise that takes place the next day, tomorrow, June 3rd  at 9am on the SAME prayer line
Also, tomorrow, June 3rd, is our 2023 Ministers and Teachers Conference. We are excited to welcome ALL associate ministers, FBI teachers, and LEAD Academy graduates and current students to this impactful event! Come and join us at 8:30am for continental breakfast, with the program starting promptly at 9am. We will have great speakers, lunch and a time of prayer and encouragement! Our theme is Equipping Leaders: Building Strong Faith (Eph. 4:11-12). This conference is designed to enrich, equip, and encourage leaders to build strong faith in ourselves and others. To register, click HERE.

Ladies, we have a new Bible Study starting for you on Wednesday, June 7th. Ladies, have you ever considered or studied what the Bible says about hospitality, generosity, and stewardship? This new study, Every Good Gift, will encourage you to develop a generous nature. Again, this new study starts Wednesday, June 7th, at 7:30pm and will meet virtually. Join facilitators: Rev. Belinda Wright & Rev. Fredia Travis on the road to generosity.  To join the class, click HERE.
The next virtual Side by Side Couples Ministry class is scheduled to take place on Friday June 9th at 7:00 pm. via zoom. We are studying the book Cherish by Gary Thomas. The topic for our upcoming session is Taking Your Marriage to the Next Level.  No registration needed. The link to join the ZOOM class on Friday evenings is listed HERE. Should you have any questions, please contact Deacon Hilton McDaniel (949) 652-1489 or email Sheila McDaniel HERE. We look forward to you joining the class.

On Saturday, June 10th at 7:00 pm.  This original event chronicles African American lives and artistry through chorale works, dance, orchestra, band theatre and spoken word.  With more than 100 performers, Gospel Voices of OC spans June 19, 1865 to contemporary times. It's a joyous Juneteenth celebration of freedom and excellence sure to inspire all people of all ages.
For tickets click HERE.

CLASS OF 2023!
We are trying to collect the names of all Friendship Baptist Church member graduating from high school or college this year.  If you are a member of Friendship Baptist Church and are graduating from high school or college or know a student that is connected to Friendship Baptist Church who is graduating from high school or college in 2023, please let us know by adding their name HERE.

Friendship Family, our Celebrate Recovery Ministry, invites you to join them weekly for encouragement and fellowship! Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens the face of his neighbor.”

Celebrate Recovery is a biblically-balanced approach to help bring sustainable recovery and healing to our hurts, habits and hang-ups. It guides us toward new healthy truths and life-giving habits as we repair our broken relationships.

Join us every Thursday Night in the Multipurpose Building. Dinner begins at 6:00pm. The General session begins at 7:00p  and the Men’s and Women’s Small Group begins at 8:00pm.

The Evangelism Ministry wants to encourage you to stretch your faith by serving outside the walls of our church. On July 1st  & 2nd  2023 the two-day Harvest Crusade event will be held at the Honda Center. They are offering ministry opportunities in a variety of positions. The various areas of services are listed in this week’s bulletin. If you want to serve,  please sign up HERE

The Outreach Department will begin sign-ups for the Angel Tree projects in June 2023. Angel Tree mobilizes local churches like ours to minister to hundreds of thousands of children by delivering a gift, the Gospel message, and a personal message of love on behalf of their mom or dad behind bars.
 If you are interested in participating, please complete the interest form HERE.  

Beloved, as the summer approaches, we encourage you to remain faithful in your giving. I know it is graduation and travel season, but we still have ministry and financial obligations, and we need your faithful tithing support to meet those obligations! Therefore, we ask that you continue to be honest and trust God by bringing God your “whole” tithe weekly. 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. Give HERE.
We also want to thank those who have already started to give for our FUTURE NOW INITIATIVE. 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.  
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

      June – Embracing the Mercy of God
   Eph.2:4-5, Titus 3:5, Heb 4:15-16; James 3:17; 1 Peter 1:3

    Join us for our current preaching series, Keep the Faith: The Road of Resilience! Resilience is generally defined as the ability to perform well during times of stress and to bounce back after setbacks. One factor that helps people bounce back is drawing from our faith in Christ and the spiritual resources available to us. Of course, Christians do much more than draw from our faith and spiritual resources. For us, God in Christ is “it.” As Paul said, “ Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28a, NIV)  and “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NASB)

     We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  212 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. Consider joining a Bible-reading small group that will be starting soon! The 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)

      Remember,  Health Care Ministry is sponsoring a weekly Health Walk every Saturday  from 7:00 am to 7:35 am 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.

      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 EX-Hour is back and meets on Sundays at 10am in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please note you must check in and check out your children 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.  
Well, that’s all I have this week. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected!
Remember, God loves you, and so do I! 

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