Hey there Friendship Family!
It’s your Pastor, Pastor C!
I am so looking for to our high church worship service this weekend!  Amen! Amen! Amen!  I was with the choir for their rehearsal on Wednesday and I am telling you we are in a Holy Ghost good time!
So, before I go off on a tangent about that and this weekend, let me start by saying "Happy August" to each of you!  We are in the eighth month of the year. Time is moving on us and school will be starting before you know it. Summer is quickly coming to an end!

I invite you to join us tonight, Friday, August 4th for our Monthly Family Prayer Meeting.  This one, however, will take place in person in the Sanctuary of our church! It will NOT be on Google Meet at all.

As I said to you last week, we will have prayer and worship.  Worship and prayer; seeking God’s presence, power, partnership in our future endeavors.  Remember we can do nothing without Him.  We will meet from 7:30 pm until about 8:45 pm.

Our Prayer focus for August is Resting in the Lord because of Sabbath Rest. In addition to Resting in the Lord, I am adding Renewal, Revival, & Reorganization.

Now, earlier, I mentioned the Choir rehearsal that I attended Wednesday. Beloved it was a great rehearsal!  Our guest choir director/minister of music, Minister Omari White did a mini-choir workshop with us and it was great!

And guess what? It’s NOT too late to join in! Choir members, we have another rehearsal Saturday, August 5th @ 11:00 am. Please note this is a time adjustment. Last week I said 10:00  am. We will start PROMPTLY at 11:00 am, so get here at 10:45 am so we can get you out by 12 noon!  I ‘m telling you the music ministry will be amazing on Sunday!

Then, on Sunday, we will have what I call "High Church."  It will be more liturgical in nature. I have asked our leaders to wear their official uniforms/dress attire as we celebrate communion together!

I know we have become more casual in recent years but I feel we need to make this sacrifice as we come together and seek God’s favor on what is before us! Now I know it’s going to be hot, but I want us to pack out the sanctuary and give God praise!  Please do not stress about clothes! Where what you like!

Next Sunday we will go back to our regular, more casual dress.  It is still summer and sabbath rest after all!

Sabbath Rest Begins on Monday, August 7th!  Sabbath Rest is a time to pause, reset, and renew. This allows the people to rest and the campus to reset. All weekly Bible studies will pause.  There will be special arrangements for Choir rehearsals.  Most Ministry Meetings will pause!  Ex Hour will meet every Sunday! As well as Children’s church!

Now, the word Sabbath is used to describe God resting on the seventh day in Genesis 2:2. It is the same word that will be used later calling Israel to cease their everyday activities.  In the creation account, God established a rhythm for us to follow, both in our work and in our rest, to maintain our effectiveness and purpose as created in His image.

God rested to establish a pattern for us to follow in enjoying the goodness of our created being without the need for being productive.  One day in seven set apart for rest and reflection on the work we have completed requires us to acknowledge our dependence on God for His provision and freedom from finding our identity in our work.  As we pause and cease from the things that demand our attention and remember all that Jesus has done and all that He is, we display our trust in Him for all our needs and all the things that concern us.

Our prayer as a staff is that Sabbath Rest will reinvigorate us all in preparation for more excellent ministry in the fall.

Here are a few more announcements for you! 
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 6:00 pm. The General session begins at 7:00 pm  and the Men’s and Women’s Small Group begins at 8:00 pm. Celebrate Recovery still meets throughout the month of August even though is Sabbath Rest.

A men's step study on the first four books has begun, and will be conducted on the first and third Thursday of each month; and a step study on books five through eight will be conducted on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.  The books are based on the eight principles of recovery found in the Beatitudes and address the 12 steps of recovery. A Celebrate Recovery step study is a confidential group where you can share the answers to the questions found in the Celebrate Recovery study guides. It is basically an in-depth look at the Celebrate Recovery curriculum. You will walk hand in hand with others in your group.

The Outreach Department has begun sign-ups for the Angel Tree projects. 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.  
I am excited to announce Gateway Seminary’s Transform Conference 2023!  The Transform Conference is a one-day workshop taking place at Gateway Seminary in Ontario on Saturday, August 19 at 8:00 am. This year’s theme is Cultivating Holiness. This Conference is designed for ministry leaders and will teach how to cultivate holiness within community.

Gateway is offering this conference to Southern California churches and online to churches across the globe. I am honored that I have been asked to lead one of the breakout sessions! The regular conference cost is $20, but our Friendship family will have a special group rate of only $10! We have 30 slots at this price. Click HERE to sign up.
Our Back to School Backpack and School Supply Giveaway will take place on Sunday, August 27th from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. YES CHURCH IS STILL TAKING PLACE!  We are partnering with the NAACP of Orange County to kick off the 2023-2024 school year.

Parents, bring your children out for a fun day of play and praise! Get the school supplies you need! Plus, there will be an ART Village where students can personalize their backpacks with creative pins and patches. They will also have the opportunity to take selfies with a nice Back-To-School backdrop.  We will have food trucks, cotton candy and more!!!  Our scholarship ministries will be taking sign-ups for the new school year!  The whole family can get their praise on with our combined Children & Youth Choir at the 8:00 am and 11:30 am Services!  Friendship, this is a great opportunity to invite families you know to worship with you and get ready for the school year.
Beloved, as the summer wraps up, we encourage you to remain faithful in your giving. I know it is travel season, but we still have ministry and financial obligations, and we need your faithful tithing support to meet those obligations! Enjoy your trips and we look forward to seeing you when you return! If you have not already done so, please consider signing up in Subsplash for recurring giving.  It’s fast, it’s simple, and it really helps us keep the lights on and programs going.  Let’s keep giving to make Friendship a BETTER CHURCH!  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

      August – Resting in the Lord
    Psalm 62:1-2; Psalm 91:1; Psalm 116:7; Jeremiah 6:16; Psalms 23:1-2; Matt. 11:28-30; Heb.      4:9-11

     We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  149 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 10:00 am 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 6:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:30 pm. 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, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm.  

That is all I have!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday for "High Church!"


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