Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: May 1, 2020

My Friendship Family,

I apologize that this update is consistently coming out on Friday these days and not Thursday, as I had promised. I may change it to your Friday update. With the new RTNT Bible Study and preparation for Sunday Service on Thursdays, I just run out of time.

Anyway, let’s get to the update! Here is what I have for you this week:

  • I hope you enjoyed services this past week and are looking forward to this Sunday’s Worship Service. If, for some reason, you missed the prayer video collage from our Friendship Family members, head on over to our YouTube page and view it there. It came out well. Thank you, Rev. Eric! Thank you, also, to those who have submitted a Shout-Out video for this Sunday.  Remember to tune in for service and see each other! 

  • Also, we have another participation opportunity coming for you. There is lots of news out there regarding Essential Workers. We want to pray for and appreciate the Essential Workers in our worship community. Don’t worry; you do not have to make a video, but we would like for you to send us a picture or selfie. Don’t overthink it. Send your picture to [email protected]. You will be happy and surprised by our final product, which will be part of our May 17th Worship Service.  To make this happen, we need your photo or selfie by Friday, May 8th. 

  • Now, this Sunday, May 3rd, is First Sunday, which means we will celebrate Communion together. I want to remind you to prepare your Communion elements ahead of time. If you need guidance on how to prepare for Communion, please go HERE.

  • Again, I invite you to join us for Ex Hour on Sundays at 10:15am. There is a tab on both the Church Website and in the Church App that will help you to connect to Ex Hour. 

  • Also, join us each Wednesday for Prayer. We pray at 6:30a, 12p, and 6:30p. To connect with our prayer services, please follow this link or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#.

  • After prayer on Wednesday evenings, please join me for RTNT Bible Study at 7pm. To connect with me for Bible Study, please follow this link or dial in at +1 302-455-8997‬ and use the PIN: 906 944 250#‬. ‬

  • COVID Membership Assistance Fund: We are making significant progress in establishing our Membership Assistance Fund to help those hit hard financially by this pandemic. My goal is to raise $15,000 above our budget. Guess what? We are halfway there. I appreciated your support. Please share our fundraiser on Facebook. Of course, you can still utilize the church app to give or mail in a check to the church. If you mail in a check, please note in the memo section that it is for the COVID Membership Assistance Fund. Let’s see if we can reach our goal by May 15th. 

  • Parents, we are working really hard to reach out to and connect with our youth in 6th grade through 12th grade. The youth meet on Google Meet (code: rzj-jfmf-zkg) each Sunday evening. Would you encourage your youth to participate? Please reach out to Tonya Brown for more information. 

  • Friendship K-12 parents, caregivers, and students now have access to two new home school learning, academic support, and college prep online resources offered by the College and Career Prep Initiative (CCPI).  The new CCPI FaceBook Page and Google Classroom are stocked full of valuable information and resources to assist our parents and students to successfully navigate the new and sometimes challenging learning environment we are experiencing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Check-out the FaceBook link below and be sure to like and follow the page.  Easy directions to access the Google Classroom are also provided.  Contact [email protected] for additional information. Also, you can go to the Friendship Baptist Church College & Career Prep Initiative (CCPI) FaceBook.

  • We have an exciting Mother’s Day presentation coming Saturday, May 8th. Please pay attention for more information in the coming days. Our Women’s Ministry sponsors this presentation. It is entitled Kingdom Women: A Mother’s Day Message, and it will stream from our website and our Facebook and YouTube pages.

As I close this week, I want to mention several things. First, I want to address the proverbial elephant in the room, “When will we return?” Well, if you have been following Governor Newsom and his plan to reopen California, you know he has introduced a four-stage plan. This plan is as follows:

Stage 1: Safety and preparedness
  • The state will build-up testing, tracing, PPE and hospital capacity
  • Prioritize safety for workers and customers in essential workplaces
  • Prepare safety guidelines for the expanded workforce, broken down by industries

Stage 2: Lower-risk workplaces
  • Gradually open some lower-risk businesses and workplaces, adapted for social distancing
  • Curbside pickup for retail businesses
  • Reopen manufacturing businesses
  • Office workers may return if telework is not possible
  • Increase access to public spaces

Stage 3: Higher-risk workplaces
  • Use restrictions on gathering sizes and other limits to reopen higher-risk workplaces\
  • Salons and gyms reopen with restrictions
  • Sports (without live audiences) and movie theaters
  • Religious services return to in-person settings

Stage 4: End of the stay-at-home order
  • The highest-risk environments will be reopened once appropriate treatments are developed
  • Live sporting events with fans
  • Concerts and festivals
  • Conventions

You can view a synopsis HERE.

The problem with this plan is its vagueness concerning the timeline. Simply put, there are no dates. The Governor is looking for favorable conditions (his six indicators) to dictate our ability to move through the stages. As you can see, churches are included in Stage 3.  So I can’t tell you when we can gather together. I am hoping for July. I would love to have Discipleship Bootcamp and our Annual Church picnic, but I am honestly not optimistic. I am beginning to plan with our staff what our return will look like. Don’t ask me too many questions, because I do not have ANY answers! ☺

Secondly, I want to thank you again for your faithful financial support of Friendship. Your faithfulness is appreciated so much. Also, thank you for your verbal and written support, as well. I have received so many letters, cards, text messages, and calls. You all make me smile. I am encouraged and determined to do the best I can. Lastly, please SHARE, SHARE, SHARE our website, Facebook page, and YouTube page. We want to get the word out.

Don’t forget to keep praying for us as we come up with creative approaches to ministry that fit our worship community. We are not trying to copy or compete with anyone else; we want to be the best that God has called us to be!

So there you have it. That’s all I have this week! We need to continue to pray. We need to continue to take care of one another. Remember, we are the church! God’s church! Please know that I appreciate you, Friendship, and I am praying for you. Thank you for your prayers and support.  

Praying for you,
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor

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