Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: June 26th, 2020

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Happy Friday Friendship,

Lady Karima and I are back from our brief vacation in celebration of our wedding anniversary. Thank you again for all of the well wishes on our anniversary. We had a good time, and we are back in the saddle at our respective jobs. I trust you have viewed my video here this week and are reading to gain more information regarding the items I address in the video message.

Beloved, I am concerned about the rise of cases in our state and around the country. I anticipate that states will start to pull back on their re-opening plans to help flatten the curve once again. I know it is summertime and many are tired of being in the house. I understand cabin fever well. I want to encourage you, however, to be safe when you are out and about and moving around. Please continue to practice physical distancing and wear your mask. The newest guidance is to wear your mask and physical distance, not just when physical distancing is not possible.

Remember, we are NOT through this yet! The numbers are rising!  We must continue to Pray, not PANIC, and take Precautions! PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASKS.

In light of this, I need to announce that we are canceling our Church Picnic. As you know from a previous communication, I had hoped to host this as our one big event of the summer, especially since the guidance from the state encourages outdoor events. As we began our planning, however, we learned Craig Park, while open is has canceled all scheduled events through July 15th. Further research revealed that they could not guarantee that our July 18th date would be honored either. We had planned to have a catered prepared boxed lunch, DJ, and physically distanced games. In our evaluation, we felt we could not move forward with this amount of uncertainty, and I feel the state may reverse their current guidance with the rise of cases. So, again, I say all of that to say the picnic is canceled. Just as Disneyland did recently, we are continually re-evaluating things, so please do not hold it against us.

Please forgive my lengthy explanation, but I wanted you to know that the staff was working really hard to make this happen and make it happen safely. As we have from the beginning of this global pandemic, we have remained flexible in our planning and execution. I will update you as things change or become clearer. As a reminder, we have NOT set a regathering date here at Friendship. We are researching, reviewing, listening, and learning about best practices for regathering. We remain a vibrant ONLINE worship community!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday for Worship. I will be preaching from 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, and the Youth praise team will join us and provide music as it is fourth Sunday and, therefore, Youth Sunday. It is also Baccalaureate Sunday, where we honor our High School Graduates. How exciting! Also, after our service ends Sunday, we will have our Scholarship Awards Ceremony, and so we invite you to stay online and view the ceremony. Again, I want to congratulate all of our students as the academic year has come to close.  

We are also planning a Drive-by Graduation Celebration at Friendship, in the parking lot, on Sunday, July 5th, at 1:30pm for our 11 graduating High School Seniors. Cars will line up in the lower Parking lot at Friendship. Would you consider participating to show our love for these students? They have had a rough last semester of High School. Please consider bringing a card to encourage their hearts.

As I mentioned last week, our Children, Youth, and Young Adult ministries are planning a fun-filled month-long event in July called Summer Blast! There will be weekly virtual meet-ups for children and youth with games and crafts as well as a Family Night Drive in Event at the end of the month.  CLICK HERE to find out more and to register.

Here are my updates for you this week:

  •  Phone Line for Worship: I am excited to announce, for our members who may have a tough time connecting to our worship service online for whatever reason, we are now offering a way for those members to dial in and listen to service over the phone. To access the service via telephone, members and guests need to dial 1 216-930-8774‬ and enter the PIN: 464 267 559#. It is live for both the 8:00am and 11:30am worship services.

Ongoing Reminders:

  • FBC FOOD BANK RE-OPENING: The FBC Food Bank is NOW OPEN with a new drive-thru system where our clients will receive a pre-packaged food box and bag of groceries.  The Food Bank hours of operation are Tuesday - Thursday 2:30pm-4:30pm.  Members of Friendship are encouraged to participate. Thank you to all of you who have volunteered to assist with set-up, preparation of grocery bags, placement of food items in car trunks, and to assist with traffic control.  Now we need to spread the word to our local community, so tell a friend and help us serve the community!

  • EX HOUR: Ex Hour started a new study on Proverbs this month. This study will continue through the end of August.  We have Ex Hour books if you would like to follow along better and study on your own. You can pick up a book Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.  Remember, EX Hour takes place every Sunday through the video conference app, Google Meet. Join us for class on Sundays at 10:15a by opening our church app, clicking “ATTEND” and choosing EX Hour. A Google account is not required, but if you access on a mobile device, you may need to download the Google Hangouts: Meet app. You can also join on your computer by visiting and following the instructions listed.

  • WEDNESDAY Prayer Day: 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 HERE or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#

  • RTNT Bible Study with Pastor Curry: 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 HERE or dial in at +1 302-455-8997‬ and use the PIN: 906 944 250#‬. ‬I hope you are keeping up with your reading and your SOAP journaling. The reading plan is available HERE.‬‬‬‬

  • COVID Membership Assistance Fund: We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the COVID Membership Assistance Grant. If you are experiencing financial distress due to COVID19, we invite you to apply for one of our $500 assistance grants. We have thirty of these grants available, and they are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The guidelines are available HERE, and the application is available HERE.

That’s it beloved, continue to pray. Continue to take care of one another. Continue to be the church!

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