Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: July 30, 2021

Hey there Friendship, 

Happy Friday to you! I do pray that this week’s communication finds each of you well.

We are at the end of the week, but we are also at the end of the month. Tomorrow is the last day of July! Wow! Seven months down and just about halfway through the summer. Hopefully, you are taking time to rest, relax, refresh and recuperate. 

Everything in the news this week centers on the current Covid surge, the Delta Variant, and the updated masking guidelines from the CDC. I want to remind us of our guiding principles for the pandemic. We pray, we take necessary precautions, we don’t panic, and we are patient

I realize that all of the current news is concerning. It seems we take several leaps forward, and then we are knocked several steps back. Again, we are coming out, but it is still a slow process with low vaccination rates in many areas. I am grateful that California is not as bad as other places, though we see rising cases daily. Nevertheless, we must continue to wear our masks, watch our distance, and wash our hands.

Many have moved on from these principles because they were confident in the vaccines. I am an advocate of vaccines. I still see the vaccines as safe and reliable. Additionally, I see them as an answer to our prayers. We asked God to help us, and He did! Yes, we were able to develop these vaccines quickly! I know some don’t trust the science of all of this, but I trust God.  I would encourage everyone who can get the vaccine to do so ASAP. I understand that everyone has a different situation and different reasons for why they may not be able to be vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated and don’t plan to be, please take all necessary precautions for yourself and those around you. 

The new CDC Guidelines suggest masks while indoors, even for FULLY vaccinated individuals in a public indoor setting. Again, this guidance aims to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe. As you will recall, at the beginning of July, we here at Friendship decided to maintain our mask requirement. I am very grateful that we did. We will continue to wear masks in worship, and we will continue to monitor the situation. 

Remember, the CDC, the doctors, and the scientist say the Delta Variant is more transmissible. It is the dominating strain of Covid in the United States, so we must be vigilant. I have asked my team here at Friendship on Sundays to make sure we all abide by the mask requirement. Would you please help us with this? Thank you! 

Before I move on, I want to encourage you, Friendship! We will get through this! Let’s continue to pray, take precautions, don’t panic, and remain patient. 

Here are a few things to remember this week, 

  • Tonight, Friday, July 30th, is our next Monthly Family Prayer Service. We gather and have prayer every Friday before the First Sunday regularly. This service is a time for us to pray through the monthly prayer focus, come together as a worship community, and prepare for the First Sunday. This time is an open time of prayer where members are encouraged to pray. I pray you will consider joining us. This prayer meeting remains virtual for now via our Google Meets Prayer line. We start promptly at 7:30 and go for approximately one hour. The prayer focus for August is Faith Forward in Refreshment.

  • This Sunday is the First Sunday of August, so please do not forget it is a communion Sunday. For those joining us for in-person worship, we will have Communion for you. If you worship from home, we want to encourage you to gather your communion elements for worship on Sunday. For more information on how to prepare yourself for Communion virtually, please go HERE

  • Here at Friendship, August is a time of rest and refreshing. We call this time Sabbath Rest. Many of our Bible study classes will pause for either all of August or a portion of the month. Would you please check with your individual Bible study teachers for more direction? Additionally, several ministry meetings will pause. Would you please follow up with your ministry leadership for further details? Finally, a few ministry events still happen in August, and those will take place as scheduled. 
  • Our food pantry ministry will remain open, and our in-person worship services will continue. Also, Ex Hour will continue to meet weekly online and in person. For the most part, things are pretty low key, but our ministry continues in the most needed areas.

  • As we approach August, I want to thank you all for your generous financial support of Friendship. You have been amazing, and we are very grateful to you. August is usually a slow month for us, and honestly, it is historically our slowest month in giving. As you travel and celebrate the summer, I pray you will remember your church and continue your financial support. Your generous contributions have assisted us in our local ministry and our mission fields, both near and far. Because of you, we can help spread the word of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you again for your consideration. 

  • We are recruiting for three full-time positions at Friendship. First, we are looking for a Chief of Staff known internally as COS. The role of the COS is to drive the collective effectiveness of the Church leadership and its numerous ministries. Second, we are looking for a Senior Administrative Logistics Assistant, formerly known as the Church Secretary.  This position assists with the numerous ministries of Friendship through organizing information, managing church logistics, communicating information relating to the church calendar, building usage, and ministry functionality. The third position is the Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor and the Chief of Staff. This Executive Assistant provides comprehensive professional skills and high-level administrative support to both the Senior Pastor and Chief of Staff with extreme care and confidentiality. More information is available on our website at HERE. To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected]

  • Remember, we need your help. We want to serve you better and to do so, and we need your most up-to-date contact information. So, would you please follow the link HERE and update your personal information and the information for all household members? To date, we only have approximately 80 families who have participated. We will close this membership update drive on August 15th, and we will assume that the balance of the membership’s information is correct. Thank you in advance for your participation in this.

  • We need volunteers and would love to have you join our volunteer core. Whether you have a heart for serving others, are skilled with technology, or love to make people feel welcome, we have space for you to use your God-given passions and talents for the sake of the Kingdom and the community! There is work to be done, and we need you. If you want to volunteer, complete the CHANGEMAKER form by clicking HERE, and we will get you connected to the right ministry opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • We also need interns in our media ministry. So if you are a student who needs an internship opportunity, we welcome you to be a part of the Media Ministry here at Friendship! To apply for a non-paid intern position, please email Candace Clark at [email protected]

  • We recently have been introduced to an agency that may help several of you. This agency is the Inland Empire Resource Center (IERC). The Inland Empire Resource Center provides services to consumers, lenders, faith-based organizations, government organizations, and the community. With the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy, they explicitly work with individuals and families on a wide range of financial services. They provide credit counseling, homebuying counseling, and services for loss mitigation. If you are a homeowner and are behind in your mortgage and are at risk of foreclosure, they can help! Access their website HERE. Access the flyer they prepared just for Friendship HERE. Rev. Felton Patrick Christian has agreed to serve as our onsite contact through our outreach ministry, and he has an intake form for you HERE. Rev. Christian can also be reached at the church at 714-579-7085 and [email protected]

  • I want to thank those who have answered my appeal for individuals to be a part of my research project on sermon-based small groups. I still need more individuals to commit to meeting for 8-10 weeks to discuss the Sunday Sermon and its application to our lives. I have requested to modify this study. So please pray for me. I am hoping to add a Zoom or virtual option. I know there is still much concern about the coronavirus. I am sensitive. Would you please pray that my professor is as well? I will update you after I meet with him next week. 
  • I need, however, at least four small groups with 10-12 participants that meet in homes. So I need 40-50 individuals to commit to meeting for 8-10 weeks to discuss the Sunday sermon and its application to our lives. I also need four individuals/couples willing to serve as hosts for the small groups.
  • If you are interested and willing, please sign up HERE. The small groups will commence after Labor Day. Thank you in advance for your help with this.

General Church things to remember:
  • IN-PERSON EX-HOUR: In-person Ex-Hour meets each Sunday from 10am to 11am each Sunday in the Multipurpose Building. We invite you to stay after the first service or come earlier for the second service to attend Ex Hour in person. We are studying Job & Ecclesiastes.

  • EX HOUR: Virtual Ex-Hour meets weekly on Sundays via ZOOM. Join us for class at 10a via this link HERE

  • YOUTH EX HOUR: Our youth Ex Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time via Google Meet and in-person. Yes, it’s a hybrid approach! Parents, please encourage your students to join youth teachers for this biblically fun opportunity to learn God’s Word, connect with others, and grow. To join Youth Ex-Hour, follow the link HERE

  • WEDNESDAY Prayer Day: Join us each Wednesday for Prayer. We pray at 6:30a, 12p, and 6:30p. 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 2:30p-4:30p.   

  • 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 applications for the COVID Membership Assistance Grant. If you are experiencing financial distress due to COVID19, we invite you to apply for one of our $500 assistance grants. The guidelines are available HERE, and the application is available HERE.

I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday morning, either in person or in the cyber sanctuary at 8am or 11:30am. We will continue our FREEDOM preaching series!  

Well, that’s all I have this week! Thank you for reading!  Thank you for your prayers and support! 

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

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