Hey there Friendship Family!

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus Christ!

As we start 2023, I pray you are Making the Transition and Taking the Journey! Most of us see January 1st and the New Year as a chance for a new beginning. If the previous year was disappointing or they made significant mistakes, they imagine wiping the slate clean and starting over.

As believers, we know that new starts are available anytime; the calendar does not dictate them. Lamentations 3:22-23 remind us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” Amen! 

I pray that this first week of fasting is going well for you. It is not an accident that our time of consecration, prayer, and fasting coincides with the New Year. This is a time of renewed focus and personal dedication to the Lord! I am praying that this time is beneficial for you! 

As you take full advantage of these 21 days of consecration, remember these four things that Pastor Jaron shared from the Gospel Coalition on Friday, December 30th, 2022. 

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 by our Creator.

Creation itself reminds of God’s great faithfulness in the often tumultuous world. 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 the light of his glory exposes our sin. 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 reveal areas needing 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. So before we begin grand plans to lose weight or develop a new skill—reasonable creational goals—let’s begin by renewing our core commitments.

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 work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Marriage, family, and church commitments 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. We should start by resting in the reality of our identity in Christ. We may have failed to meet some of our heady goals in 2022. But 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 rest physically. We don’t often do this on New Year’s. We plan to work and hustle. But do we schedule a 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.

Amen! May this time of prayer and fasting yield you a renewed, closer relationship with Christ! 

Here are a few quick announcements for you as we start 2023.

Please note most Bible Studies are starting back, and most will be off next week for Convocation. Check out the church website or check in with your Bible Study Teacher for more information.

The Wednesday Night Women’s Bible Study class will embark on a new study beginning Wednesday, February 1st, at 7:30 p.m. This is a virtual class! All ladies are invited and encouraged to join us for a new study based on the book, ‘Elijah, Faith & Fire,’ by Priscilla Shirer. In this study, we’ll journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah, who emerged as the voice of unapologetic truth during a time of national crisis and moral decline. His ministry was marked by unwavering faith and holy fire- the same kind we need to remain steadfast in the current culture.  We’ll take a fresh look at Elijah and the difficult choices of obedience that kept him anchored, sharpened his faith, broadened his impact and invited heaven’s fire to fall. Teachers: Rev. Belinda Wright & Rev. Fredia Travis

If you need to request your 2022 CONTRIBUTION STATEMENT, you may do so HERE.

Please note that our time of prayer and fasting for 2023 began Monday, January 9th, and goes through Monday, January 29th. It’s not too late to join! This fast is a fast of your choosing. As with the last two years or so, I am only giving you the dates of the fast and access to a daily prayer line. You must decide through prayer and commitment what type of fast you will do. Again, this is a fast of your choosing. You can choose a complete fast, selective fast, or partial fast. 

Remember, you must govern your own fast and grow closer to God. We provide a fasting guide designed by Pastor Miles McPherson and The Rock Church HERE to assist you. 

Also, we invite you to join us each day for prayer at 12p. To connect with our prayer services, please follow this link HERE or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. We have prayer leaders for each day as follows:

  • Monday: Pastor Kenneth C. Curry, Jr. 
  • Tuesday: Pastor Rodney Friend
  • Wednesday: Rev. Jaron Singley
  • Thursday: Deacon Charles Owens
  • Friday: Deacon James Shelby 
  • Saturday: Rev. Terry Abercrombie
  • Sunday: Sister Melanie Porter

I am excited to announce that our guests for Convocation 2023 will be Rev. Stephen Thurston and the Rev. Dr. MarQuerita Story. Rev. Thurston will serve as our lecturer for two nights and our preacher for one night, and  Dr. Story will serve as our preacher for two nights and our lecturer for one night. Additionally, Rev. Thurston will be with us on Sunday, January 15th. Convocation 2023 will take place Tuesday, January 17th  through Thursday, January 19th, live here at Friendship! Our choirs and praise teams will provide music, and there will be other surprise ministry happenings. So plan now to have your face in the place!

Leaders, we will have our first Leadership Meeting of 2023 next Saturday, January 21st, at 10am. This meeting is an in-person meeting taking place at the church in the Sanctuary. This meeting is for all current/newly elected presidents, vice presidents, chairs, and vice-chairs of ministries and their ministry secretaries, Deacons, Trustees, Ministers, Deaconess, Mothers, Governance Committee Members, and Friendship Bible Teachers.

The State of the Church Address will take place on Sunday, January 22nd, at both the 8am and 11:30a service. This is an important Sunday, and we invite you to join us!

All Friendship Teachers are invited to attend the New Beginnings Bible Teaching Conference on Saturday, January 28th, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Gateway Seminary in Ontario. The conference theme is: Making a Fresh Start in Ministry Post-Covid. As a reminder, there is NO COST to you; registration for Friendship Baptist Church has already been secured. We pray you can join us as we start the new year being enriched and equipped to serve in Christian Education Ministry in this post-pandemic environment. To RSVP, please contact Leshon Archer ASAP at [email protected].

On January 29th, we will begin a new eight-week New Members Class session.  If you have joined Friendship but have not completed the New Members Class, we invite you to this eight-week course introducing you to Friendship’s foundational beliefs, biblical doctrine, and operations.  This course takes place in person on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am.

I am excited to announce 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. Yes, Friendship has 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 aim 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. Please 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 I am happy to serve as a speaker again this year. The 2023 Transformation Ministries Conference is built around the theme: PRESENCE. So, 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.

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

General Church things to remember:
  • 2023 CHURCH THEME:
Resilient Faith
Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV

Surrender to the Sovereignty of Christ 
Romans 12:1; James 4:7-8: Rom 12:2; James 4:10; 2 Cor 5:17

It is with joy that we will celebrate those who read the Word of God in 2022 on Sunday, January 22nd! We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  360 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)

  • IN-PERSON EX-HOUR: In-person Ex-Hour resumes this Sunday, January 8th, from 10am to 11am. We invite you to stay after the first service or come earlier for the second service to attend Ex Hour in person. Remember, we have two adult classes meeting in person on campus and a Young Adult Class. They meet as follows:
Adult Class One (Sanctuary): The team teaching in the sanctuary includes Lady Karima Curry, Pamela Jones, Deacon Demetrius Linebarger, Melanie Porter, Vivian Randolph, & Deacon James Shelby
Adult Class Two (Carrington Building Room 217): The team teaching in the Carrington Building Room 217 includes Le Shon Archer, Deacon Rick Archer, Karen Ammons, Gwen Matthews, and Rev. Phil Yoder
Young Adults Class (Carrington Building Rooms 207-208): This class is designed for those aged 18-35.

  • 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 in-person youth Ex Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please encourage your students to join youth teachers for this biblically fun opportunity to learn God’s Word, connect with others, and grow.

  • CHILDREN’S EX-HOUR: As stated in previous weeks, our Children’s ExHour is back and meets on Sundays at 10am in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please note you must sign your children in weekly for Ex-hour.  

  • MOMMIES WITH BABIES: We have our Mommies with Babies class simultaneously during EX-Hour in the Multi-Purpose building. Mommies with two years old and younger children are invited to this EX-HOUR class and are encouraged to bring their children with them! Come for encouragement, community, and growth! Amen!

  • 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 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, 2:30pm-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 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.

Well, that’s all I have this week. 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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