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

PASTOR'S UPDATE DECEMBER 1, 2023

What's Up Friendship FAM!

It is your pastor, Pastor Curry!

Can you believe it?  We have finally made it!  We are in the last month of the year!
IT IS DECEMBER!
Today is December first!  The year 2023 is quickly coming to an end!

Look, I am looking forward to seeing you this Sunday for Worship. We will kick off our Advent series. This year, we have a series entitled, COME THOU ALMIGHTY KING! This series based on a devotional published by Christianity Today entitled, THE ETERNAL KING ARRIVES: Journeying Through Advent With Our Humble King!

This devotional highlights the humility, glory, and sovereignty of Christ. 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 on the home page of our website for those who prefer an electronic copy or for those who do not receive a hard copy once our supply is depleted.

Advent is one of my favorite times of the year! Why, you ask?  Because Advent focuses our attention on CHRIST! The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and to the anniversary of Our Lord’s birth on Christmas.

So ADVENT is about DUALITY!

It’s a double celebration! We celebrate when Christ came to earth the first time, and we wait in expectation for Christ to return the second time! From the earliest days of the Church, people have been fascinated by Jesus’ promise to come back. Advent is not about speculation or prediction. It’s about HOPE and PROMISE!

Advent also includes an element of repentance in the sense of preparing, quieting, and disciplining our hearts for the complete joy of Christmas. It’s a time of reflection on our spiritual condition, a condition that needs Christ!

Or, for those of you who grew up in or attended more traditional or liturgical churches, you are familiar with Advent candles and Advent wreaths.  These items articulate the themes of each Sunday of Advent.

The four Sundays and themes of Advent are:
  • First Sunday: HOPE
  • Second Sunday: PEACE
  • Third Sunday: JOY 
  • Fourth Sunday: LOVE

Since I will preach through devotional our Series will highlight CHRIST in partnership with the devotional while still emphasizing the four themes of Advent. This Sunday I will preach about THE CHARACTER OF THE KING from Micah 5:2-5. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

Here are this week's announcements...
Note: we made the pictures a bit smaller, please tap or click on them to enlarge.
FAMILY PRAYER SERVICE - TONIGHT
Please note, as we get ready for First Sunday, the last first Sunday of the year, the Prayer Posse invites you to join us tonight, Friday, December 1st for our Monthly Family Prayer Service. This service happens regularly on the Friday before First Sunday, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm via Google Meet.

We will pray on this month’s prayer focus which is" Gratefulness for our Lord & Savior!"  We are grateful for Christ Birth, his ministry on earth, his death, burial, and resurrection. To join in at 7:30 pm, you may click HERE.

STEWARDSHIP MEETING - THIS SATURDAY
Don’t forget our next Stewardship Meeting will take place tomorrow, Saturday, December 2nd at 10am. This meeting is a joint membership and leadership meeting where we will review 2023, present the budget for 2024, give our 2024 theme and ministry focus, vote on the new bylaws and update you on our FUTURE NOW project! This meeting will take place in person only. Please plan now to join us for this meeting!

SIDE BY SIDE COUPLES GATHERING
The next Side by Side Couples Ministry Session will take place on Friday, December 8th at 7pm via Zoom. This group is studying the book US IN MIND by Ted Lowe.  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.
RHEMA MEN'S MONTHLY FELLOWSHIP
Men of Friendship, our RHEMA Men’s Ministry invites you to our LAST Men’s Fellowship of 2023 taking place on Monday, December 11th at 7pm. LIVE & IN PERSON here at Friendship! We will be tying the knot on Evangelism and celebrating the season with each other. There will be food, fellowship and gift exchange. To participate, bring a gift valued in the $25 range.
Participation in the gift exchange is optional. Your presence is more important.

SINGLE'S MINISTRY CHAT-N-CHEW
Then for our Singles, our Singles Ministry invites you to their last Singles Chat-N-Chew of 2023 on Saturday, December 16, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. You do not want to miss this in-person event. This is something new and different.  Our very own Sis. Sybella Patten will share her amazing experience and skills in teaching a "hands on" canning class.  Sis. Sybella will teach research-based practices of boiling water-steam canning. The class will create two delicious recipes and that's not all...each of the participants will take home a jar of each product! Here’s the thing...they only have room for 12-class participants, so don't delay - register today!  
To register, go HERE.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ESSAY WRITING CONTEST
The FBC Silver Eagles Ministry is calling for students 3rd grade through 12th grade to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Writing Contest. Students are encouraged to research and learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, accomplishments, and how he worked to help improve people’s lives, and write an essay that explains how Dr. King’s life inspires the legacy they would like to make on our community and world.   Submissions are due by Thursday, January 4, 2024 at 4:00pm.

Please email your essay in by the due date to Rosa Kelson HERE.  You can also place your printed essay in the Silver Eagles Ministry mailbox in the Carrington Building. For more information Click HERE!

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
As you may know Christmas EVE is on Sunday this year. We will meet in person and invite you all to join us. We will have one service at 10:00am on December 24th. We plan to have a 2-Hour interactive service with music from our various choirs, video, drama, and dance. We will also have places around campus where families can take pictures together and celebrate the holiday season.

WATCH NIGHT SERVICE - NEW YEAR'S EVE
Then on Sunday, December 31st the last Sunday of the year we will have our regular Sunday morning worship services at 8am and 11:30 am. We will also celebrate Watch night with the East Coast Saints with a service at 7:30pm that will end at 9pm. This will be about a 90 minute service.

"DENT THE DEFICIT"
Friendship, as I close, we continue to need your partnership to close the gap and raise the budget by the year’s end, and make a “Dent in the Deficit!”  We have just FIVE SUNDAYS to meet the 2023 Budget. We need to raise $500,000 in those Sundays. That’s $100,000 per Sunday. This is not merely about reaching the budget but about our walk of faith.

This Sunday, as I said is a first Sunday. On First Sundays we ask that you BRING THE WHOLE TITHE. Returning a whole tithe articulates faith in God’s Word. We have asked before in a letter and here in the update if you do not feel you can return a whole tithe at this time, would you consider increasing your contribution by $25 per week until the end of the year? Or Give $200 more by the end of the year?

If every one of us would do so, we would clear the deficit and meet our 2023 budget. If we go into the new year with a deficit, it makes it that much harder for us to do excellent ministry. I am confident that all things are possible together and with God! To give, go HERE.

General Church things to remember:
  • 2023 CHURCH THEME:
      Resilient Faith
      Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV

  • PRAYER FOCUS:
     December - Grateful For Jesus's Work of the Cross
     Lk. 12:8-9; Jn. 8:12; Rom. 5:1, 8:1; Gal. 3:26; Eph.1: 7-10; Phil. 4:19

  • BIBLE READING
     We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  30 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 starting a Bible reading plan! 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)
Plans have been printed and you may pick up a copy in the foyer of the Carrington Building.
  • WEEKLY HEALTH WALK 
      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.
  • 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 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 10 am 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.  

Well that’s it!  Trusting God with you!

I love you Friendship, But God Loves you BEST

I look forward to worship with you SUNDAY and celebrate ADVENT!  

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

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