SERVICE: SUNDAYS ONLINE ONLY AT 8:00AM & 11:30AM

Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: April 9, 2020

My Friendship Family, 

I greet you today in the victorious name of Jesus Christ! 

This week is Holy Week (Passion Week in some circles), and I am grateful to reach out to you with our weekly update. It is holy because of what Jesus does for us. He prays for us. He suffered for us. He died for us. And He rose for us. As we walk with Jesus this week, remember it’s all for you. And even in the darkest moments, remember that Easter (the Resurrection) is coming. If Jesus did all this for you, He will watch over you today.

Though we are not able to meet together in person, I want you to remember this, we are STILL the church, and we are STILL having church! #churchISNOTcancelled, #hopeISNOTcancelled, #PraisetheLord!

As I told you last week, the church is NOT limited to buildings. We, the people of God, the people of Friendship, are the church! So with that, I am excited to invite you to join me online for all of our services this week, beginning with Maundy Thursday Service tonight, April 9th, at 7:30p. This will be an enlightening service with a presentation on the Messiah in the Passover presented by Joseph Ryan from Chosen People Ministries.  Maundy Thursday is a time of sorrowful reflection, as well as a contemplative celebration! This worship experience is designed to provide a picture of spiritual restoration through the bold declaration of pardon (forgiving of sin) through prayer and reflection, teaching on the significance of the Passover, and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper embodying the mystery of Christ’s enduring redemptive presence. At the end of this service, we will celebrate communion together, and we will have prayer and reflection experiences that you can do on your own in the privacy of your home. Hopefully, you have communion elements leftover from Sunday. If you need more information on your items, please go HERE.

Our Good Friday Service will take place tomorrow evening, April 10th, at 7:30p. We will have the Last Seven Sayings of Christ from the Cross in monologues, music, song, and dance. This will be a wonderful service of remembrance, reflection, and appreciation! You do not want to miss this! 

Resurrection Services are Sunday, April 12th, at 5:30a, 8:00a, and 11:30a. We will gather online to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! He’s Alive; He has Risen as He said! “When the world gets darker, hope gets brighter.” We who have the Hope of Jesus are Hope Experts to a desperate and dark world. The message of the Resurrection is a message of hope. The Resurrection was the beginning of hope for all! That hope continues today and in the future. #hopeISNOTcancelled
“He is not here; he has risen!”
Luke 24:6-7

“With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
Acts 4:33
Remember all of our services stream via our website, app, Facebook page, on the Boxcast App on Apple TV, Roku or Amazon FireTV, and now on YouTube Live. You can find more information on how to view our live stream by clicking HERE. Would you please share this with your family and friends? In fact, would you go to our church Facebook page and like the page? This will help to get the message of our services and ministry out. I also invite you to encourage five of your non-Friendship friends to like our page as well. Let’s see what we can to increase our visibility!

Families, children, and youth be sure to tune in for all that our Children, Youth, and Young Adult (CYYA) Ministries are doing this weekend.  There will be a short “Children’s Worship” video for Good Friday, and the church website will have some activities for preschoolers through older children like coloring pages, word searches, and more for your children to do over the weekend.  These items can be found at wearefriendship.church/kidslesson .  Also, be sure to tune in on Sunday at 6p for the Children’s Worship Easter Celebration and at 7p, the youth will meet on Google Meet (code: rzj-jfmf-zkg) for a brief Easter rally.

Now looking ahead, on Monday, April 13th, we start reading through the New Testament as a church family. We will utilize an adaptation of the F260 Bible Reading Plan, only reading the New Testament.  This is a manageable plan that believers at every level can complete. And we will do it together. The program expects believers to read 1 or 2 chapters a day for five days each week, with an allowance for weekends off. The two off-days a week are built-in, so you may catch up on days where you’re unable to read to digest more of the Word. This plan also includes scripture memorization. Each week comes with a verse, or two, that readers should memorize for the week. Remember, we are doing this together. To access the reading plan and begin reading Monday, go HERE. It will take us 22 weeks to read the entire New Testament together. You can also sign up for push notifications through the church app that will remind you what you need to read each day. To sign up for push notifications simply visit our church app, open the Menu (three horizontal lines), choose Settings > Notifications and click Bible.

I will preach each Sunday from one of the passages you have read during the week beginning Sunday, April 19th.  Also, starting Wednesday, April 22nd, I will host a Virtual Bible Study through Google Meet to discuss the Sunday Sermon and our reading from the previous week. As you read, I invite you to journal daily utilizing the SOAP method. Many of you have used this practice before. For an example, please go HERE or see below. Your journal will help with our Bible Study time. We will provide a link to the Bible Study on our website and in the church app. I am excited about this! I pray you will join me. Happy reading!

As I said to you last week, I believe there is a need for us to fast and pray.  I have been fasting from 6a to 6p on Wednesdays, which is our prayer day in the Friendship Worship Community. I want to invite those who are willing to join me in fasting. Some of you have heard me talk about this on the prayer line. I fast from food entirely and only drink water. I encourage you to choose a fast that fits you and is safe for you health-wise. This fast is not mandatory, but merely an invitation. Would you consider joining me? If you are joining me would you send me an email to [email protected] and simply put in the subject line, I’m In! Remember,
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves,
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, 
then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
Again, I am not going to reiterate everything I have said in previous updates. Please read the last four updates to understand the trajectory of my communication with you.

As I close this week’s update Friendship, I know we are living in surreal times—it is a moment in history when America and nations around the world have been shut down. We are under restrictions to stay home, and many workplaces have closed their doors. I know people are frightened and concerned about what might happen next. Yet for Christians, there is great hope, because of the Resurrection. As Jesus’ time to be tried and crucified approached, the disciples were fearful and confused. The future looked bleak and frightening. All of that changed after the Resurrection. The Resurrection changes everything! 

Many of us are experiencing our concerns today as we face a pandemic like nothing we have ever seen. While recent news reports are revealing a potential light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, there are still many questions about this disease that remain unanswered. When will we ever return to a sense of normalcy? Yet, because of the Resurrection, we have hope.  To those of you who are overwhelmed by the cares of life right now and are burdened by the weight of the world during this season of uncertainty, I urge you to look to the risen Christ. He is our eternal hope! May His grace and peace surround each of you, not only on Resurrection Sunday but every day of the year.

Blessing to you all, 
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/lK6ri-mjKfB2sIhmcqg2Hi5NyudCSRNzgARr3Mf2K6eUJbquKsJKTjRH8bwIsoC_hqMxDcBGgvz_iM-bLMT8GRoG7ZyW8HAgJwXEgcNgXaSzgCXTwPnItGvBjZf7eqWKVIIalN7w
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor

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