Pastor's Weekly Update September 17, 2021

Good Day, Friendship Family!

I trust and pray this week’s email blog, and video blog finds each of you doing well. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to serve as your pastor and for the opportunity to worship God with you weekly.

I firmly believe in the community and fellowship of the believers. Our ability to maintain fellowship is paramount to our ongoing spiritual development and our personal spiritual growth. The fellowship that exists between Christians is the gift of God. It is a true means of His grace. As spiritual people, who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light, it is easy to become discouraged in this world, with all of its shifting values! God, however, gives us hope in one another! We have the opportunity to enjoy fellowship with one another! Our fellowship with each other, like-minded believers, is marvelously therapeutic and sweet. Fellowship exists between believers because we have these main things in common: the experience of saving grace, our separation from the world, the expectation of His coming glory, a thirst for God, grateful love for Christ, and acceptance and reliance on the Word of God!

This week I call us to remember the fellowship! Remember the community. I am not calling you to attend in person. Some of you do, some of you don’t. In-person attendance is not my priority. My priority is the fellowship of believers. We must encourage one another, strengthen one another, pray for one another, and love one another. Please do not forget about your fellow brothers and sisters. We are all going through so much. Perhaps this weekend, you will take the time to reach out to someone in our church you have not seen in a while but have thought about. Send them a text or give them a call. Let them know you are thinking about them. Perhaps have a word of prayer with them. Small things have a huge impact!

Let us remember the one another’s of scripture. Here are a few today:

✔️     John 13:34 states that we should LOVE ONE ANOTHER. This command occurs 16 times in
✔️    Romans 12:10 tells us to be DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER in love and to HONOR ONE
✔️     Romans 12:16 tells us to LIVE IN HARMONY WITH ONE ANOTHER.
These are but a few scriptures that remind us we need one another. May I add to this Hezekiah Walker’s song, I Need You To Survive to the mix? It says,
I need you, you need me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
Stand with me, agree with me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
It is His will that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
Here are your announcements and updates for this week. As I said last week, Sabbath Rest is officially over, and we are getting back in the swing of things here at Friendship. It is time for us to reengage and to carry on!

Ladies, tonight is the next VIRTUAL Women’s Monthly Fellowship featuring our beloved First Lady, my wife, Lady Karima. She will teach from the topic, “When Waiting Turns into a Wilderness Experience!” Lord have mercy! Again, this event is virtual and takes place via Zoom, beginning promptly at 7:30 pm. Please register HERE.

I am excited to announce the launch of our Sermon-based Small Groups next week! Yes, I have received final approval to move forward on MONDAY. I really am excited. It looks like we will have four groups; two in-home small groups, one on-campus group, and one zoom small group.

If you signed up previously, you should have received an email from me regarding the start date of your group and all associated information. If you did not receive the email, please email me at [email protected].

We still have approximately eight spots in one of our home-based small groups. If you are interested in this home-based small group, please follow the link in the written portion of the email and sign up. We are asking that the individuals in this particular group be fully vaccinated. The group would meet in the Walnut/Diamond Bar area on Thursdays. Register HERE.

We also can add another on-campus group. The group would meet on campus at Friendship on Wednesdays. We would need you to register by Sunday evening. Again, Register HERE.

There is still time to join our new Bible study classes, many of which started this week. So next week will only be their second week. All classes are held virtually, and books are available for purchase and pick up in the church office during the week and on Sundays. So here is what we are offering:

  • Hermeneutics: New study series starts on Saturday, September 11th. This 10-week class teaches the art of rightly dividing the word of truth and clarifying inaccurate interpretations & application of the Scriptures. Teacher: Rev. Patrick Christian
  • Precept Upon Precept: New Study starts on Tuesday, September 14th at 10 am. This 12-week series will focus on the book of Hosea and emphasizes, ‘A Love That Won’t Let Me Go.’ Teacher: Sis. Joyce Jackson
  • Women’s Bible Study: New Study starts on Wednesday, September 15th, at 7:30 pm. All ladies are invited to join us for a new study based on the book Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us From the Inside Out.  This study explores the “Holy Makeover” God wants to give each one of us. Ladies will be encouraged to direct your gaze past your shortcomings to the God who stands ready, willing, and able to make you into new women-from the inside out. Teachers: Rev. Belinda Wright & Rev. Fredia Travis
  • Singles Class: This new study starts on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 pm. Are you tired of going through the motions of faith? Do you want to make real progress in your life but not know where to start? If you want to grow spiritually and help others grow, join us for this new study based on the book How to Grow: Applying the Gospel to All of Your Life by Daryl Dash. How to Grow offers actionable ideas to facilitate spiritual growth in the lives of regular, messy people—people like you and me. Teachers: Allen Gobert & Elona Brown

All classes will be held virtually, and books will be available for pick up shortly in the church office. To register for any of these classes, please visit the church website HERE. We hope you’ll join us for one of our new studies. Let’s learn and grow together in God’s Word!

beloved, I am looking forward to the fourth Sunday, September 26th, when we will celebrate my 8th Pastoral Anniversary serving here at Friendship. As I said last week, this is NOT merely my anniversary; it is our anniversary as Pastor & People! Remember our speaker is my friend, sister, and colleague, the Rev. Dr. Karen Elizabeth Stewart, First Lady and Director of Evangelism and Discipleship at First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ. She will preach for both the 8am service and the 11:30 service. View the advertisement HERE and share it with others on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

We will also have a refreshment hour outside from 9:45 am to 11:15 am, observing ALL safety guidelines. Ex-Hour will be canceled on that Sunday for both in-person and online classes. I pray you will plan to join us. If you attend the 11:30 service, plan to come early and enjoy the SAFE fellowship! AMEN! I hope to see you there! For more information on the day, please go HERE.

We are excited to announce the open enrollment for our Scholarship Ministry beginning today through October 4th! We are now accepting applications for students to join for this academic year. The scholarship ministry is available for all students K-12th. Our scholarship ministry is designed to nurture Friendship’s students to be the best scholars and be a meaningful part of our faith community that we believe is a catalyst for faithful ministry and service. Potential applicants and their families can find the application on our website.  Please go to to access the application.  We need all new and returning students to complete the online application.  More information about our “Virtual Kick-Off Meeting” in early October will be coming soon. If you have any questions, please email Rev. Jaron Singley at [email protected].  

Looking ahead, We will have our 2021 Remembering Our Lost Loved One's Service on Tuesday, October 19th, here at Friendship in the Sanctuary. Yes, we are planning an in-person event that will also stream live. If you would like to remember your loved one in this service, please send their name, relationship to you, and photo to Leigha Carrington in Membership Services at [email protected].  Especially note if your loved one passed away in 2020. You can submit via email or regular mail. The last day to submit this information is Friday, September 24th.

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. 
  • 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
  • CHILDREN’S MINISTRY VIDEO: Remember there’s a weekly Children’s Ministry Worship Video designed to keep our children connected, encouraged, and worshipping! Rev. Jaron Singley works hard weekly to produce a Children’s worship video. It is available through our website HERE or via the Friendship Youtube Channel 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.
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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