Greetings in the New Year! I thank God for you, having seen many of you in person at our Christmas Eve services, and knowing that many more joined us online to celebrate “God with us.” Recognizing that the Christmas season could bring a spike to the number of COVID cases, we have not met in person since then. Today I want to let you know that Friends Church is postponing our re-opening for a few more weeks.
We cannot ignore that our hospitals are filled to overflowing with COVID cases. Friends of mine in the medical field tell me that circumstances are truly dire, as tents are being set up on hospital properties and the need for medical oxygen has never been more urgent. In light of all this, our elders and staff have considered how Friends Church could best respond. We’ve had multiple discussions, and spent much time in prayer. We’ve asked how we can best love our people, honor God, and serve our community.
At this time our decision is to actively support our Frontline Workers. Our first step was to ask medical personnel how we could best support them, and a team has put into place coffee and food delivery to local hospital staff, offering products from our Awaken café to those in our area. This is Phase One of our ongoing response plan. We will keep you informed and ask you to participate however you can. We have many opportunities for you to help, so please let us know here.
We all would agree that we need each other in these difficult days: our emotions are all over the place and our nation is experiencing drastic and violent expressions, as seen in the U.S. Capitol building yesterday. As Christians, we need to find sanctuary with each other’s company and in the company of the Lord. Though we have postponed our in-person services, we must and will keep other forms of fellowship in place for our own well-being.
Personally, I think it’s no coincidence that we are just four days into our 21 Days of Prayer in 2021! Don’t forget - you can join together every morning at 7A for 30 minutes of prayer via Zoom. Members of our church and staff have also written excellent daily devotionals to help draw us to the Lord (if you’re not getting those, text PRAY to 714-942-4604). There’s live worship in-person daily at 7P in our Pavilion at the Yorba Linda campus (Wednesdays at noon). So far, more than 800 of you have registered to join us in prayer daily, and we’re seeing more than 100 of you every day on Zoom for prayer or in the safe “open air” Pavilion for worship. Please join us!
Also, we encourage you to lean in to your Life Group communities, and to point people to Rooted starting in the coming weeks. If you’re not yet involved in a smaller community (Life Group), click here for more information! And make sure that you’re subscribed to our weekly eNews so you can stay up-to-date with our plans for ministry areas, such as NextGen and upcoming ways to serve.
Friends, we’re living in circumstances very few of us have ever experienced. We believe these steps are necessary as we abide by our mission of becoming a community of authentic Christ-followers compelled to change our world. Please continue to pray with and for us and know how thankful I am for this family called Friends Church.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” - Romans 12:9-13
Matthew Cork, Senior Pastor