Happy (Almost) New Year, Friendship Family,

It is Pastor Jaron here bringing you good tidings!  It is almost time for the calendar to flip and for us to begin a brand new year. This year is wrapping up—with its mix of joys and sorrows, goals met and goals missed, friendships gained and friendships lost—is behind us.

For many, New Year’s is just another holiday. For others, it’s a time of deep reflection, both on the past year and on the one ahead. For followers of Jesus, New Year’s has no specific significance. There’s no central biblical narrative informing our celebrations.

New Year’s can remind us of the new birth. In a sense, each day with Jesus is a chance to turn the page on an old way of life and embrace a new one. We are, after all, new creation people, and we serve a King who renews us daily by the Holy Spirit.

Setting goals for a new year are an important sign that we’re intentional about glorifying God in our callings—work and business, home and church, private and public witness.  But before we write out our goals, we should begin in the heart. The temptation for Christians is to make our plans and add a dollop of Jesus on top, rather than allowing him to form in us the desires and motivations to do his work.

So whether or not we’re making concrete goals or more abstract ones, whether we’re writing down resolutions or foregoing them altogether, here are four important steps we can take, as we peer into 2023, to draw closer to Christ.

1. Remember
In January, the year is young and the opportunities seem fresh. So many productivity gurus preach a gospel of self-empowerment, but as gospel people, we know the fragility of human life. We know every breath is a miracle, a gift given to us by our Creator.

In the often tumultuous world, creation itself reminds of God’s great faithfulness. Every new season is a testimony to grace. So the proper response to the past year, whether good or bad, is not simply “I made it through” or “Look what I achieved.” It is “Thank you, Lord.”

2. Repent
Our worship of God for his faithfulness and majesty, evidenced by the changing of seasons, should then lead us to repentance. His goodness breaks us in fresh ways as our sin is exposed by the light of his glory. Beginning the new year with repentance is to draw closer to Jesus, to appropriate the fresh grace that is ours in him. This is why confession always brings relief and joy. It is the gateway to greater intimacy with God.

How can we begin new plans and journeys in 2023 without first allowing his light to penetrate the darkness of our hearts and to reveal areas in need of growth? How can we start hustling and working and dreaming without first renewing our joy in the One who directs our steps?
3. Renew
New Year’s should also be a time of renewing old commitments, like marriage, family, and church. Before we begin grand plans to lose weight or develop a new skill—good creational goals—let’s begin by renewing the core commitments we already have.

Our most vital work is what we do within the walls of our homes. We live out the gospel best when we live it out in the daily rhythms of repentance and forgiveness with loved ones. We must reject the lie that says success requires abandoning family commitments.

We should also renew ourselves to the faithful body life of our church. We as the church are the central place of God’s mission in the world, where we gather in community to declare Christ’s kingship each week, and where we work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Commitments to marriage, family, and church don’t always look or feel significant. But faithfulness in these core things over a long period is a radical, countercultural life. They form the habits of a disciple and show the world what it looks like to be a Christian.

4. Rest
New Year’s should be a time to rest. First, we rest in the reality of our identity in Christ. We may have failed to meet some of our heady goals in 2022. Jesus still loves us, despite our failures, unchecked boxes, and disappointment at the scale. The gospel tells us that he loves us in the midst of these.

Second, we should plan to physically rest. We don’t often do this on New Year’s. We plan to work and hustle. But do we schedule time to reflect and acknowledge our need for sleep and leisure? Rest isn’t a sign of laziness or weakness; it’s a sign of spiritual strength and confidence that when we close our eyes, our lives are in the grip of a sovereign God.

So as we make our plans for 2023, let’s remember that even in our failures, we serve the One who remembers our frame and knows we are dust (Ps. 103:14). We make plans, but we hold them lightly. We entrust our future, not to Evernote or Google Calendar or a reading list, but to the King who holds the world in his hands.
*adapted from The Gospel Coalition

No long announcements this week. Just a few reminders…

  • Our final prayer service for the year is tonight (Friday) at 7:30pm.  This is a virtual gathering that takes place via Google Meet.  To connect with our prayer services, please follow this link HERE or dial +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. 


  • We will have a Watch Night Service tomorrow, Saturday, December 31st, at 10:30pm. This will be about a 90-minute service. 

  • Then on Sunday, January 1st, we will have in-person service at 10:30am. This will be a 75-minute service.

  • Please NOTE we will not have EX-HOUR on Sunday, January 1st. 

Also, please note the church office is closed Monday, January 2nd.

Our Food Bank remains open at the start of the year with its regular hours Tuesday - Thursday, 2:30pm-4:30pm. So if you or someone you know needs food, please stop by or encourage them to do so!

We have just ONE more day  to meet our 2022 budget, which is within our reach!

Friendship, thank you for your generous financial support of your church. You are amazingly faithful and generous. This fourth quarter push campaign helps to ensure we finish 2022 strong financially! Please remain faithful to your church and continue your financial support. Your generous contributions have assisted us in maintaining a high level of ministry here at Friendship. Gifts received in the church office by end of today, Friday, will be included in 2022.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your year-end gifts, don’t hesitate to contact our Interim Finance Manager, Jim Hopkins, in the church office or at [email protected].

The Friendship Silver Eagles Ministry calls for students in the 3rd grade through 12th grade to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Writing Contest.

Students are encouraged to research and learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, accomplishments, and how he worked to help improve people’s lives, and write an essay that explains how Dr. King’s life inspires the legacy you would like to make on our community and

An interested participant can find details for the Essay Contest HERE. The essay submission deadline is this coming Thursday, January 5, 2023, at 4:00pm. By this date and time, all essays should be emailed to Rosa Kelson at [email protected] or placed in the Silver Eagles Ministry mailbox in the Carrington Building.

Hopefully, by now you should have heard that our church is a part of a Health Equity and Advocacy Collective known as HEAAL (Health Equity for African Americans League). Our goal at HEAAL is to identify the social determinants of health outcomes within the Black American community in Orange County. Here is a like to the HEAAL website.

The Orange County Heath Offices has granted HEAAL, a collective of churches and community organizations, $200K to do this work. Additionally, several of our collective members have received $10K in participation grants. So, yes, here at Friendship, we have received a participation grant.

To do this, we aim to survey 3500 Black American Orange County residents and individuals who work or worship in Orange County. We hope to hit our goal of 3500 participants by the end of February 2023. Beloved, we want to equip the black community in OC with information, services, and tools to remove adverse effects on our health which sets us up for poor outcomes when significant illnesses/pandemics (like COVID-19) occur.

Here is the LINK to the survey. I am asking that you complete the survey ASAP.  

In addition to the survey, which we will deliver in various ways (electronic/digital) and pen and paper surveys, we will also seek to have forums, town halls, and other community events designed to gain the most complete and comprehensive picture possible. Thanks in advance for your participation! Don’t delay taking the survey TODAY.

We will host the 2023 Transformation Ministries Conference on February 2nd and 3rd, and we are blessed to have our beloved Senior Pastor as speaker again this year. The 2023 Transformation Ministries Conference is built around the theme: PRESENCE. Of course, we are talking about God’s presence.

We will need volunteers to serve. If you are available, please contact Sharon Preston in the church office HERE. If you would like to attend, it is FREE to attend. We need you to register, however. To register, go to and select “I need to add my name to my church’s registration,” then follow the prompts. Then enter Friendship Baptist Church for the church name and enter our church address which is 17145 Bastanchury Road, Yorba Linda, CA 92886. Then enter your contact information under Attendee Information. Let me know if you have a problem by emailing me HERE.

General Church things to remember:
  • 2023 CHURCH THEME:
Resilient Faith: Resilient and built on the unshakeable foundation of Christ's unchanging character.  A SOLID and STEADY people refusing to give in tot he weight of affliction, worries, or changing culture.
Ephesians 16:10-18 ESV

Praying that Friendship surrender to the Sovereignty of Christ
Romans 12:1; James 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; James 4:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17

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.

If you have completed a reading plan this year, you can report your progress to Lady Karima at [email protected]. Please send your name and which plan you completed by Saturday, December 31st. We will celebrate all participants at our State of the Church service in January.

  • 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#. 

    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 COVID-19, we invite you to apply for one of our $500 assistance grants. The guidelines are available HERE, and the application is available HERE.

Have you lost your favorite Bible, glasses, or a personal item while here at the church? If so, please contact the church office at 714-528-0990 or stop by on the 1st floor of the Carrington Building Monday-Friday between 9:00am-5:30pm or Sunday between 10:00am-2:00pm. There is a collection on the blue counter under the TV monitor.

Well, that’s all we have, and that’s enough! See you Saturday and/or Sunday for Worship!

God choicest blessings to you!

In His Service,

Rev. Jaron Singley
Executive Pastor of Ministries
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