Hello, My Beloved Friendship Family! 

Blessings to each of you as you read this written message! Can you believe that we are at the end of July? We are over halfway through the year. AMAZING!!! August is here already.

Here at Friendship, August is a time of rest and refreshing. We call this time Sabbath Rest. It’s time to pause, reset, and renew. This allows the people to rest and the campus to reset. 

Hebrews 4:9-10 states, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.”

When we think about rest, the first thing that comes to mind is stopping something; taking a break from the things that demand our attention—ministry, jobs, housework, etc. Sometimes rest is just that. But sometimes, rest is so much more. It’s about more than just a day off. True Sabbath Rest is about being refreshed, filled, and renewed in God. Sabbath rest allows you to enjoy God’s gifts without trying to accomplish anything. 

In the messiness and busyness of life, we can be tempted to attach our identity to what we accomplish or do for Him. But when we rest, Jesus gently reminds us to attach our identity to Him, not to what we can do for Him. 
⚫ Resting in Jesus is a reminder that we don’t have to work for approval or aim to solve every problem, or plan the best ministry or family event.  

⚫ Resting in Jesus reminds us that no matter what we do (or how good we do it), we have His approval because of what He has done for us.

⚫ Resting in Jesus reminds us that only His presence renews our souls and gives us freedom from striving.

As we pause and cease from the things that demand our attention and remember all that Jesus has done and all that He is, we display our trust in Him for all our needs and all the things that concern us. Additionally, I pray that as we pause for Sabbath Rest in preparation for the fall, which is often a hectic time that you will maximize on this time of rest with Jesus—to be reminded of who He is, who you are in Him, and be renewed for the work He has called you to.

Here are your announcements and ministry updates for this week…

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.

School supplies, like everything else, have increased in cost. It is up twenty percent over last year. So good news, Friendship family, our annual Backpack Giveaway is August 9, 10, 11, or until inventory runs out. 

Applications are now available at the food pantry or outreach table on Sunday morning on the quad. The applications must completed and returned by August 5th. Applicants will receive a  claim check ticket when their completed application is submitted. Applicants must present that claim check to receive the backpack(s). All backpacks must be picked up by 5:00 p.m. on August 11th.

Friendship has maintained a great relationship with the Christian Community Credit Union (CCCU) as a trusted faith-based financial partner for many years. Recently, to positively impact our church, CCCU has pledged to donate $50.00 to Friendship Baptist Church anytime one of our members or attendees joins the credit union. 

CCCU has a heart for missions and a commitment to supporting ministries such as our church. We encourage you to explore the positive impact Christian Community Credit Union is making by visiting their website or by calling our dedicated representative, Michael Antaramian, who is available anytime to answer questions or share more information. He CAN BE REACHED at 1.800.347.2228 extension 6224. Check out THIS link to CCCU as well; it is designed just for the Friendship Family.

We received an abundance of fresh nectarines 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 nectarines 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.

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. Also, we have returned to a MASK REQUIRED when indoors protocol. 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. A safe in-person worship experience is the priority! Remember our refrain: We pray, we don’t panic, we take precautions, and we remain patient.

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

Praying that Friendship Rest in the Lord
Psalm 62:1-2, Psalm 91:1, Psalm 116:7 Jeremiah 6:16, Psalms 23:1-2, Matt. 11:28-30, Heb. 4:9-11 SABBATH REST

You have 155 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. Please note that Ex Hour will continue to meet weekly in person during Sabbath Rest in August.

EX HOUR: Virtual Ex-Hour meets weekly on Sundays via ZOOM. Join us for class at 10am via this link HERE.  Please note that Ex Hour will continue to meet weekly online during Sabbath Rest in August.

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. Please note that Youth Ex Hour will continue to meet weekly online and in person during Sabbath Rest in August.

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY VIDEO: A weekly Children’s Ministry Worship Video is provided to keep our children connected, encouraged, and worshipping! 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. In addition, our food pantry ministry will remain open during Sabbath Rest in August. 

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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