Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: May 15, 2020

Happy Friday Friendship,

I am happy to connect with you weekly. Thank you for reading, viewing the video, and sharing the post.

As I stated last week, reopening is the major conversation everywhere.  Please know that I am monitoring the situation and reviewing all of the information. We are working on our plan to return. It will most likely be a four-phase plan designed to restore gathering and to keep members safe. Please note I did not say restore worship because we have been worshipping weekly. To effectively pull together our plan, we have designed a membership survey. You can find that membership survey HERE. Would you please complete the survey ASAP? I need your responses by Wednesday, May 20. Thank you to those who have already completed the survey. Again, all responses help. Your responses help us get a sense of your heart and concerns as we synthesize all information, including; best practice guidelines along with the return guidelines distributed by the CDC and the State of California. Please partner with us, and please pray for us.

I just have a few things to update you on this week:

  • Pre-Mother’s Day Service! I hope you had the opportunity to join us for this special service on Friday, May 8th. It was amazing. The speakers were all so personable and encouraging! I have received several positive comments from across the country. I would like to thank Sisters Pamala Ellens, Shani Nelson, Deborah Cunningham, and the Rev. Terry Abercrombie for their authenticity and transparency.  If you missed it, please visit our YouTube page HERE and view the service. 
  • COVID Membership Assistance Fund: I am excited to announce that we have reached our goal. We have actually exceeded our goal of $15,000. To God be the GLORY! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Thank you for supporting our vision. We reached our goal before our planned deadline of  Sunday, May 17.  WOW!
  • BABY ANNOUNCEMENT: I am excited to announce the birth of Noah Chris Archer, born to the Rev. Eric and Victoria Archer on Sunday, May 10, 2020, at 12:37pm. What a great Mother’s Day present for Sister Victoria. Congratulations! Noah came in at 6lbs 7ozs and 19.5 inches long. Congratulations also to the Archer and Wall grandparents, who are members of our worship community as well. 
  • RELOCATION ANNOUNCEMENTS: I have recently learned of the pending relocation of one of our beloved members, Mother Delores Galloway. Mother Galloway will move to Dallas, TX, in June to be near her son and his family. She has been a faithful member since 1997. She will be missed. Be sure to reach out to her and wish her well. Also, some of you are aware, but I wanted to announce that Deborah Warren relocated to Chicago, IL, in early April to be with her daughter and grandchildren. Deborah served Friendship in a variety of ways since becoming a member in 2002. Deborah helped with all of our Membership Directories since 2004, our church Cookbooks, our 50th Church Anniversary celebration publication, and a myriad of other good church work. Most recently, she served as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor and worked tirelessly for the last year to help get me organized and be efficient. She is already missed. I want to thank Deborah Warren for her service, publically! Deborah, you will ALWAYS have a home here at Friendship. Thank you for giving to the Lord!
  • 56th Church Anniversary: This Sunday, May 17th, we celebrate our 56th Church Anniversary. If you are new to Friendship, our church anniversary is our church’s birthday and is celebrated on the third Sunday of May each year. Our actual anniversary is May 20th. We thank God for the 56 years of ministry and miracles experienced. Even though we are in the middle of a global pandemic, our ministry continues. To celebrate, I invite you to take a look at our ministry last year. Go HERE to view our 2019 year in review video.

That’s all I have. I know many are discouraged by the longevity of these stay at home orders. Please know that I feel your pain. I see these stay at home orders as both a necessity and an opportunity. The necessity (and priority) is to keep people safe, healthy, and alive. Desperate times call for desperate measures. As a pastor who has performed more than my fair share of funerals, please know I do not want to see anyone die when prevention is possible. The opportunity? Well, we have an opportunity to reimagine how we do community, worship, and our relationships. How do we make meaningful connections when connecting opportunities are limited? We figure it out. We become more imaginative and utilize the ingenuity that resides in us!  I have been impressed by the very creative approaches to graduations, as an example, for those completing their high school and college educations. I feel terrible for those who do not get to experience a traditional commencement this year. Still, I am impressed by the work of individual school districts, high schools, colleges, and universities that are figuring it out.

Let me close by saying CONGRATULATIONS to the class of 2020. Remember these words from the Apostle Paul, “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6 ESV. I preached this for watch night service on December 31, 2019. God will get you where you need to be!  

Beloved, may we need to continue to pray. May we continue to take care of one another. May we continue to be the church!

Serving you and grateful,
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor

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