Greetings, Friendship Family!

Happy Friday to each of you! I pray you are prosperous, in good health, and trusting in the Almighty God, the owner of everything! God is the owner of everything. That’s what we talked about this past Sunday, the first sermon of our new preaching series. Yes, God is the owner of everything. 

The owner of something has certain attributes, or perhaps it would be better to say rights that a renter, borrower, or simple user does not have. We would call these attributes or rights unique. The owner can do what he wants to with what is his. He can use and abuse what he owns. He can sell it, exchange it, or give it away. He can use it wastefully or abandon it. He can even ruin it if he wants to. No one can prevent him, for it is his. We may call this attribute the sovereignty of the owner over his property.

According to the Bible, God alone is the owner of everything. Psalm 24 puts it this way:

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

The biblical idea of ownership emphasizes that the true owner is the one who has something without having received it from anyone. The true owner doesn’t need anything because he has everything. Only God fits these requirements. This idea is emphasized in 1 Chronicles 29, which I preached from Sunday. 

The Bible says that the earth is God’s. We, the animals, and everything else in the world belongs to God. He is the absolute owner of everything that exists. Search, and you won’t find a single verse of Scripture suggesting God has surrendered his ownership to us. God didn’t die and leave the earth—or anything in it—to me, you, or anyone else. And if we should think, “Well, at least I own myself,” God says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 

“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

We are twice his—first by creation, second by redemption. Stewardship is living in the light of these overriding truths. Living with the awareness that we are managers, not owners; we are caretakers of God’s assets, which he has entrusted us for this brief season here on earth. How we handle money and possessions demonstrates who we believe is their true owner—God or us. 

This is just food for thought as we continue our series, A Call to Biblical Stewardship. I hope to see you Sunday as we discuss the idea that We Own Absolutely Nothing

My, My, My!

Speaking of Sunday…

In light of the rising Covid cases in both Los Angeles County and Orange County, we have decided that beginning this Sunday; we will return to a MASK REQUIRED when indoors. My prayer is that you will understand our decision. We want to keep everyone safe; this is the only way we know how. We will also return to a more strict physical distance seating protocol. 

As your pastor, you need to know that I am very concerned about the Omicron variants that apparently can re-infect recently sick individuals and infect those who are fully vaccinated. 

A safe in-person worship experience is a priority! So that you know, we are currently testing our praise team twice a week to ensure their safety and yours. Also, I am testing weekly and working to limit my community interactions so I can stay healthy and minister to each of you! So, please understand the most recent decisions and continue to hang in there with us! 

Remember our refrain:

We pray, we don’t panic, we take precautions, and we remain patient.

So I will see you Sunday!
Here are your announcements and ministry updates for this week…

Ladies, tonight is the night. It’s Ladies’ Night! Tonight, Friday, July 22nd, is the next Virtual Women’s Monthly Fellowship, and it kicks off at 7:00pm sharp. The special guest speakers are Sister Elona Brown and Sister Sonya Griffin. They will speak on I’m Not Okay, Is That Okay? These two women love the Lord! We invite you to come to learn, be encouraged, and be encouraging! Register today HERE.

Then, I look forward to seeing you at our Church Stewardship Meeting tomorrow,  Saturday, July 23rd, at 10am. The meeting will take place in the Sanctuary and is open to all members, and will be informative, encouraging, and inspiring! Plan to join me as I chart vision, introduce staff, discuss finances, and discuss other matters related to the effective advancement of God’s church! At this meeting, you’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions and gain insight regarding various aspects of the church and our ministries. We value your partnership. So plan to join us!

Our new session of the New Members Class has begun, and it’s not too late to join this 8-week class that meets on Sundays at 10am in the Carrington Building, Room 209. This class covers the beliefs, culture, ministries, and organizational structure of Friendship Church. If you have recently joined Friendship or joined but never completed this course show up on Sunday at 10:00 am. Let us guide you through getting to know your new church! 

Ex Hour Live, the Young Adult Edition, is coming! We will launch a new Ex-Hour class for Young Adults ages 18-35 on August 7th. This class will be held in the Carrington Building Room 207 and offers young adults the opportunity to explore the Bible, examine the scriptures, and experience transformation relevant to this stage of their lives. Join HERE to sign up for this class and receive more information before class begins.

Starting this Sunday, young adults ages 18-35 are encouraged to stop by the YA Ex-Hour Snack Shack after the 8am and 11:30am services! The teaching team would like to connect with you, share more about the class, and get your feedback on how to make this a great learning experience.

Here at Friendship, August is a time of rest and refreshing. We call this time Sabbath Rest. Therefore, many Bible study classes will pause for 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?

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. Most things are low-key, but our ministry continues in the most needed areas.

We received an abundance of fresh plums in the Food Pantry this week, and we could not distribute them all. However, we do not want them to go to waste, so we will give plums away this Sunday after the worship service. Take some for yourself and others you think might enjoy them.

Remember, Friendship is not immune to the current difficulties of the economic times, inflation, deflation, and increased fuel cost. The summer months can be challenging for the church and our budget as we seek to avoid what is known as the summer slump in the church administration world. 

I prayerfully ask for your partnership and support as we seek to honor God in our giving. I believe we can make up for our current shortfall. Thank you in advance for your consideration and partnership!

Don’t forget that there are multiple ways you can give to Friendship: cash (on Sundays) and check (anytime), and also you can give online, via your desktop, laptop, or smartphone at our website or the church mobile app. To give TODAY, please go HERE.

Would you please Complete the Compelling Preaching Survey? The Compelling Preaching Initiative seeks to explore the current and future state of preaching in the Black Church context! Therefore, we are asking that you complete a five-minute survey. If you are a regular church attendee, please complete this survey: If you know someone you are a non-church attendee, please complete this survey You need only complete one of the surveys. Namely, the one that best describes your church attendance.

Your contribution to this initiative will serve as a critical component in crafting resources to help re-tool, re-teach, and re-equip the post-modern preacher, enabling them to speak differently to a population that now listens differently. For more information, please go HERE.

Beloved, since there has been a slight spike in Covid cases, we have decided to return to Praise & Worship Teams only for July & August, meaning we will not have choirs during this time. This is a precaution to keep everyone as safe as possible. We look forward to seeing you in worship each week. 

Christian Education and Discipleship is preparing to bring back children and youth Ex-Hour in September this year!  We are also preparing for the children and youth Discipleship Bootcamp and need volunteers for both areas.  If you are ready to see our children back in their age-appropriate bible study groups and are willing to help with teaching, classroom assistance, and administration, please email us here at [email protected]. It takes a village to bring our children back, and we need your help!

Here are a few church office updates…

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 be unashamedly led by the Holy Spirit
Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8, Acts 15:8

You have 163 days to complete a Bible reading plan, including today. Friendship encourages 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: 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: A weekly Children’s Ministry Worship Video is provided to keep our children connected, encouraged, and worshipped! 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.
Well, that’s all I have!

Continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected!

God loves you, and so do I! 

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