Happy Friday My Beloved Friendship Family!

We are starting day five of our 21-day fast and it is my prayer that God is meeting you right where you need to be met!
Hopefully you have taken advantage of the 21-day reading plan, which has us reading through the book of Acts. Remember we will be in for the first 9 months of the year, roughly.

Also, don’t forget to join our prayer leaders daily at 12pm for prayer. It is a great time to pause and pray with the family of Friendship. I know Deacon Shelby is looking forward to being with you later today!
Look, I wanted to send a word of encouragement on day five. Five in biblical numerology is the number of GRACE!

There are five books of God's Law (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) commonly referred to as the Pentateuch ('Penta' means five). The 4 Gospels plus Acts equals five books that, as a set, can be designated as "the New Testament Pentateuch." They reveal Jesus' teachings concerning the Law and the Prophets.
So five is the number of grace, and I just want to encourage you today!

Our 2024 theme is Advancing and Expanding for the Glory of God Alone!
If you were with me on the prayer line on Monday, I talked a little about advancing! I talked about how the children of Israel in Numbers 13 were afraid to advance. That is, everyone except Caleb and Joshua!
Beloved we cannot be afraid to advance.

I also talked about advancing in our identity in God through Christ! Caleb and Joshua didn’t put their confidence in their own limits, but rather, they put all of their confidence in the God who had saved them and had promised them that they would be His people. Caleb and Joshua knew that God had loved the Israelites so much that He led them out of slavery and into freedom with the promise that He would continue to protect them. (Exodus 15:13; Numbers 14:8-9)
Today I want to briefly encourage us to advance in unity as the body of Christ here at Friendship.

Think about this illustration. Have you ever played the game Scrabble? Do you ever look at a word and think of other words you can make from its letters?
With this in mind, let’s look at the word C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y
A keyword that is contained in the word community is U-N-I-T-Y.
Community cannot be created without unity.

This gives the first indication of what the heart of community is. The first expression of community in the bible is Genesis 1:26 (NIV Emphasis Added). “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.”  This collective language signifies the Trinity: three Persons - Father, Son, and Spirit - unified as One God. God is community.

We all have an innate desire to belong and be a part of a community but often wonder how to make it happen. The reality is that we have to step up first and be the community we wish to see around ourselves. Do you want someone to listen to you? Go ask someone how their day is going. Do you want encouragement? Step out and give encouragement.  Do you want community? Then be the community you desire to see.

We are designed to live in community.  To feel safe, seen and known. Because we’re created in God’s image, community is part of God’s design for us. But creating community is our responsibility and is achieved by giving loving words and actions to others.
In the high priestly prayer where Jesus prays for his disciples he says to God in John 17:23, “You live fully in me and now I live fully in them so that they will experience perfect unity”. When we see Jesus in one another, our individualistic and often exalted opinion of ourselves will shrink.
As the body of Christ, we are called to live in unity under the Lordship of Christ. To advance in community means that we bring whatever we can do to help others experience the love of Christ.
Let’s pray! 
“Father, thank you that you are the perfect role model of a unified community. Holy Spirit, weave in and through us a passionate love for others. Help us to grab ahold of Your courage and be welcoming to those that need it most. Amen.”
Be encouraged!

Beloved, I want to make you aware of a couple important things and then I want to remind you of another.
  1. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I am postponing Convocation 2024. I will let you know when we have a new date. 
  2. This year, we are celebrating our 60th Anniversary all year.  We are planning to produce a 60th Anniversary Celebration Book and would love to include your congratulatory words or messages of encouragement and photos.  You may submit your words and photos by completing the form HERE.
  3. As a reminder, Monday is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday and the church offices will be closed.  Please plan accordingly.

Now here are the ongoing announcements...

We are now taking requests for 2023 CONTRIBUTION STATEMENTS now. You can request your statement HERE.

The next Side by Side Couples Ministry Session will take place tonight, Friday, January 12th 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.  

Calling all youth 6th-12th Grade!  This Sunday, January 14th @ 11:30 am, in the Carrington Building Basement. Let's get together and celebrate the new  year and plan and pray for what's ahead.  We are planning a fun time of games, music, food and prizes.  Feel free to bring your friends!  Parents are welcome too! 

We begam a new 8-week New Members Class session on Sunday, January 7th. It is not too late to join in!  If you joined Friendship, but have not completed the New Members Class, we strongly encourage you to complete this 8-week course which will introduce you to the foundational beliefs, biblical doctrine, and operations of our church.  This course takes place in-person on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am.  To register, go HERE.

Our time of prayer and fasting for 2024 began on Monday, January 8th and goes through Sunday, January 28th. If you have not started yet, it is not too late!  You may start now and end with us or start now and do 21 days. This is a 21-Day Fast of your choosing and you may chose the time that your fast will begin. You can choose in complete fast, selective fast, partial fast, or a soul fast. You must govern your own fast and grow closer to God.

THERE is a FASTING GUIDE designed by Pastor Miles McPherson and The Rock Church and adapted for Friendship that we have used for the last three years. It is designed to help you choose and fasting method by explaining the four types of fast mentioned above. Get it HERE.

As mentioned above, we have a daily prayer line available. So, we invite you to join us each day for prayer at 12 Noon beginning Monday, January 8th via our prayer line on Google Meet. The information for the prayer line is the same as our regular one - To join at Noon, click HERE 

We have prayer leaders for each day as follows:
  • Monday: Pastor Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
  • Tuesday: Lady Karima Curry
  • Wednesday: Rev. Jaron Singley
  • Thursday: Sister Leshon Archer
  • Friday: Deacon James Shelby
  • Saturday: Sister Melanie Porter
  • Sunday: Rev. Rodney Friend

The Arts & Learning Conservatory Invites You to attend their  free, pre-show concert – Rhythms of Freedom – from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, in the lobby of the Barclay Theatre on tomorrow. It will be an interactive and electrifying drumming performance by the renowned drummers of Disney's "Lion King". For more  information on this, go to their webpage HERE.

  • Thank you to all the children and youth that participated in the Silver Eagles' MLK Essay-writing contest.  We will be announcing the winners and celebrating all the participants on the fourth Sunday.
  • The Silver Eagles ministry is now launching the annual Black History Contest for all First through 12th Grade students. This year the focus is  "African Americans and the Arts." This contest requires students to chose an black person from the past or present who is using or has used their special gifts in the ARTS to serve others, and to influence history, our
    culture, and you. Then you will need to research and make a video presentation. Entries must be submitted by February 11th. For more info, go HERE.
  • The Orange County Heritage Council has an art contest for all K-12th Grade students.  A flier for the event can be found HERE. The deadline has been extended to January 21st.

  • Leaders, we have our first Leadership Meeting of the year on Saturday, January 20th at 10:00am. Please plan your schedule accordingly. Also, please note the church calendar is available online at our website.
  • We will have our annual State of the Church Address on Sunday, January 21st.

Are you one of the many Christians who find sharing the gospel with others daunting, stressful,
and adversarial? Especially when you think about the threats of the changing culture you’ll have to face? The issues is not necessarily willingness but preparedness.

Join us for "Live Ready" - Sharing Jesus as you Go. This class is set to begin January 23, 2024. This is an opportunity to strengthen our faith as we courageously move forward in our call to share the Gospel. The objectives of the class is to clarify the Christian’s role and responsibilities to, and in sharing the gospel. To build the students confidence in carrying out the great commission in practical conversations and biblically consistent ways. The Class will run for seven weeks. To register, go HERE.

Adults of all ages are invited to attend a new Bible study based on the book, Pray First by Chris Hodges. How do you approach prayer? In this 13-week study we'll gain tools to bring joy to our time with God and discover biblically grounded methods for making prayer a priority and not an afterthought. This new class will be held in-person at the church on Thursday evenings and starts January 25th at 7:30 p.m. Class materials include a book and study guide. Participants are asked to please order both via any of the following:,, or Amazon. Facilitators: Deacon Al Upshur & Sis. Melanie Porter.  To register, go HERE
Mark your Calendars! All teachers and LEAD graduates are invited to attend this year's Bible Teaching Conference taking place at Gateway Seminary on Saturday, January 27th starting at 9 a.m. This year's theme is Shaping Lives. Many of us attended last year and gained valuable insights and learnings to equip and encourage us as we serve in Christian Education Ministry. Please join us again! RSVPs can be emailed to Sis. Le Shon Archer @ [email protected] or Lady Karima @ [email protected]. An email invite and reminder will be sent to all teachers and LEAD Graduates shortly.

All ladies are encouraged and welcome to join us for a new study titled, Galatians: Free & Accepted, by Jada Edwards.  Have you ever experienced a moment when you felt unaccepted? In this 12-week series, we’ll study the importance of knowing that you are wholly and fully accepted in Christ, by Christ, and through Christ. This new study starts Wednesday, January 31st at 7:30 p.m. and will be held virtually. Ladies, please order your study guide (which includes access to streaming video) via one of the following:,, or Amazon.  Facilitators: Rev. Belinda Wright & Rev. Fredia Travis.  To register, go HERE
We want to say thank you for your giving and partnership.  YOUR GIVING MATTERS! Your faithful giving allows us to increasingly do the work of ministry for our members AND to everyone the Lord sends to us and sends us to.   Let’s keep giving to make Friendship a PRODUCTIVE CHURCH!  You may give HERE.

General Church things to remember:
  • 2024 CHURCH THEME:
     Advancing and Expanding... for God's Glory Alone
     Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

     Walking in the Will of God
     Psalm 25:4-5; Rom. 12:2; Eph. 5L:15-20; 1 Thes. 5:16-18; 1 Tim. 2:3-4

     We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  354 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 Carl Randolph.
  • 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#. 
  • Friendship FOOD BANK OPEN: The Friendship 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.  

Blessings! Have a great day and weekend and we will see you Sunday!
Continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected

God loves you, and so do I!
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Your Pastor

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