Hello Friendship Family!
Another week is coming to an end!  And the weather has taken an unexpected turn.  It seems like we are fast-forwarding to summer!

I pray you are being careful by staying cool and being safe!  I still believe that we are coming out of this global pandemic, but we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to be safe.  This does not mean fear.  This means precautions.  Washing hands, masks when and where appropriate, testing when necessary, and getting vaccinated and receiving boosters when eligible.

Currently, second booster shots are being offered to those with a compromised immune system and/or over 50 years old.  This means you can have up to four shots by now if you fit those categories.  So, beloved, keep up to date on the changing landscape.

Before I give you our weekly announcements, I want to encourage us.  This month our prayer focus is concerning unity!  We are praying for the unity of the Friendship Family!  In fact, we had a rich time of prayer concerning this prayer focus last Friday.  Our prayer leader, Sister Melanie Porter, shared an excellent devotional on the subject, and you can read it HERE.  

Friendship, UNITY MATTERS! 

Jesus told us in John 13:35, “By this, all people will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.” Therefore, our love for each other marks us as the people of Jesus!  Furthermore, on the night of His betrayal, Jesus prayed for our unity in John 17:20-21.  “I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You.”

Then in Ephesians the Fourth Chapter, Paul urged the people of Ephesus to do everything they could to keep that unity.  He gives us a beautiful picture of why unity matters in that same chapter.  He says in Ephesians 4:15-16, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From Him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

We are the body of Christ!  We are those who must support, grow, and be built up.  But that beautiful blessing is only possible through unity.  As Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, “A house divided against itself will not stand.” Unity Matters!

But does it matter enough to us?  Are we making every effort to keep it?  Although this call to unity was written almost 2000 years ago, it seems incredibly timely for us.  We have brothers and sisters walking away from each other because of political views, leaving churches over perceived slights that are never confronted, and not speaking to one another because a differing preference or belief was shared on social media.

Beloved, not only must we pray for unity, we need to nourish unity through the positive speech that Jesus modeled for us!  We must be kind and supportive of one another!  What would happen to our unity as the people of God if we replaced our harmful speech with positive encouragement?  How unified would we be if our gossip was replaced with compliments, our criticism was replaced with praise, and our complaining was replaced with thanksgiving?  This is one simple effort we can make to maintain our unity – refuse to speak negatively and instead sincerely and specifically complement one another because Unity Matters.


Well, here are your announcements for this week.

The next Side by Side Couples Ministry class for 2022 is scheduled for this evening at 7:00pm via Zoom.  The class is studying the book The Art of Marriage, Growing Together in Christ.  The topic for the upcoming session is Making Disciples.  Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Deacon Hilton McDaniel (949) 652-1489 or email Sheila McDaniel at [email protected].  They look forward to you joining the class.  To join the session, go HERE.

The next Men’s Fellowship will take place on Monday April 11th, at 7:00 pm via Zoom.  Join the brothers as we discuss the topic: Losing a Loved One - Surviving The Loss of Someone Close.  Our session leader will be the Rev. Aubrey Craig, Associate Minister at Friendship.  We have all gone through or are going through the grieving process.  As our 2022 Theme states, we are God’s people united in mission, ministry, and mandate.  Brothers, we are here for one another.  Let’s come together to discuss this real topic.  Having experience in caring for and then making arrangements for family members, Rev. Craig will share his personal experience and allow us to share and encourage one another so we can and will be an encouragement to others around us.  To participate, please register HERE.  We will send the Zoom Meeting link within the confirmation email you will receive after registering.  Please enter the correct email address.

Sunday, April 17th, is Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter Sunday.  Resurrection Sunday is the foundation of Christian theology and the bedrock of the evangelical faith.  It celebrates the resurrecting reality of Immanuel, God with us!  It celebrates Christ as a waymaker, miracle worker, and promise keeper!  Jesus, through His death and resurrection, offers us himself.  He offers the chance to know God Almighty in His fullness and the opportunity to experience His unconditional love and acceptance and grace amid hurt and heartbreak.

As we look forward to Resurrection Sunday, we are planning a week of services leading up to Resurrection Sunday:

Holy Week Revival: This will be a virtual event from Tuesday, April 12th through Thursday, April 14th at 7pnightly!  Our guests will be Pastor Larry Weaver of Atherton Baptist Church, Pastor Sonja Dawson of New Mount Calvary, and Pastor Jerome Grice of Mt. Zion of Pomona.
Good Friday Service: Friday, April 15th at 7:30p, we will have an in-person Good Friday Service!  This service will occur at Friendship, and we will have a traditional presentation of the Seven Last Saying of Christ with ministers from Friendship and guest ministers.
Easter Holiday Food Giveaway: Our Friendship Food Pantry is having a Holiday Turkey & Ham giveaway on Saturday, April 16th, from 11:00a to 12:30p or until supplies are exhausted.  This is for the Friendship Family as well as the community at large.  It is first-come, first-serve.  Please note there will be one item per car.  If you or someone you know could benefit, please feel free to come by and pass this information on.  No pre-registration is necessary.  
Resurrection Sunday: Sunday Morning, April 17th, we will celebrate the Resurrection with three services at 5:30am, 8am, and 11:30am.  Yes, we will have Sunrise Service at 5:30am.  
Please note the Sanctuary will be filled from the front to the back; however, if you preferer to sit towards the back, our Ushers will have you wait in the quad or vestibule, and you’ll be seated once the Sanctuary starts to fill up.  Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Guests should encourage everyone in their party to arrive simultaneously to ensure they’ll be seated together.  There will be no seat saving allowed.  The outer sections will remain socially distant seating.  However, we have opened up a few rows in the back of all the middle sections, also known as the cozy sections, where guests will be seated closer together, not shoulder to shoulder, but a bit closer to maximize seating space.  Please be flexible, patient, and joyful as you wait to be seated.  The Hospitality team will do their VERY best to seat as many people in the Sanctuary quickly and safely.
Ressurection Sunday Family Event: The Children & Youth Ministry will host a special family event in place of Ex-Hour at 10am in the Multipurpose Building.  They need you to pre-register for this event so that they can plan for your participation and have enough supplies.  Would you please register HERE

As discussed Sunday in the sermon, we will are excited to announce the launch of our Leadership Excellence and Development Academy on Thursday, April 21st.  Leadership Excellence and Development Academy, also known as LEAD, seeks to develop existing and future church leaders through meaningful discussion, readings, training videos, mentorship, etc.  This class is for all existing and aspiring leaders.  This is course will be approximately 50% in-person and 50% online.  To enroll, register HERE.

The Christian Education Department is pleased to announce two classes starting this month!  
NEW MEMBERS CLASS: On Sunday, April 24th, the New Members class will begin a new eight-week series.  If you have joined Friendship and have never taken the New Members class, you are invited to enroll.  Enroll HERE.

BIBLE IN 90 DAYS: Additionally, the Bible in 90 days will begin Tuesday, April 26th, from 7-8:30pm, and will meet weekly online.  This study will walk through the entire Bible in 90 days.  To enroll, register HERE.

Our next Leadership Meeting is an in-person meeting ONLY.  It will take place on Saturday, April 23rd.  It begins promptly at 10am in the Sanctuary.  After the meeting, we will host an OPEN HOUSE for you to see some of the improvements we have made since 2020 as we prepare to welcome ministries back to campus.

We need volunteers!  We need willing workers to serve in our Food Pantry on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  We have been severely short-handed in the last few weeks.  If you are willing to serve on those days from 1:30p-4:30p, we would greatly appreciate your assistance!  You just show up, and Sister Gloria Banks will put you to work.  If you prefer to call first, please contact Rev. Felton Patrick Christian at 714-579-7066 or [email protected].

We need volunteers!  We need facilities volunteer help in the coming weeks.  We are preparing to put new carpet in the classrooms and offices of the Carrington Building, and we will need brothers to help us move furniture, etc.  If you are willing and available, please contact Sharon Preston in the church office at 714-579-7060 or [email protected].

Here are a few church office updates…
We invite you to visit the church website and see the jobs we have posted.  We invite qualified candidates to apply.  Go HERE to see the job postings.

General Church things to remember:

United & Unashamed: God’s People United in Mission, Ministry, & Mandate
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 ESV; Romans 1:16-17 ESV

Praying that Friendship Walks in the Unity 
Ps. 133:1, I Cor 12:12, Eph.  4:13

You have  268 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.  These 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)

Make sure to follow us on our social media pages for upcoming content.  For Facebook, that’s @FriendshipBaptistChurch.  For Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, it’s @wearefriendshipchurch.

In-person Ex-Hour meets each Sunday from 10am to 11am 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 10am 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: 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 the Friendship YouTube Channel HERE.

WEDNESDAY Prayer Day: Join us each Wednesday for Prayer.  We pray at 6:30am, 12pm, and 6:30pm.  To connect with our prayer services, please follow this link HERE or dial +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, 2:30pm-4:30pm.  

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 COVID Membership Assistance Grant applications.  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 Sunday!

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