Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: July 10, 2020

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Beloved Friendship,

My prayer is that this week’s update finds each of you well! Whether you realize it or not, God is good amid a global pandemic. Though we live in continual uncertainty, we have hope and help through the faithfulness of God.  I know there are several thoughts on what God is saying and doing in this global pandemic season, and as I have said before, I do not presume to present that I know exactly what God is saying and doing, but I know God is both speaking and at work. Ultimately I believe this season is a call to FOCUS—a call to FOCUS on God and his purposes in our individual and collective lives. You and I do well to FOCUS on what God wants from us, how God wants to use us, and where God wants to take us. It is my prayer that as you read the New Testament and journal with the SOAP method, that you will FOCUS more on God and draw closer to Him. 

I am still concerned about the rise of cases locally and nationally. As you know, we are in a surge/spike. The news is not always clear nor encouraging, but what is clear is numbers are rising. As your pastor, please know that I am praying and paying attention to everything to provide the best leadership I can in this crazy season. I continue to ask that you PRAY, not PANIC, take PRECAUTIONS, and be PATIENT.  Again, I do not know when we will re-gather. I do not know what re-gathering will look like. Currently, guidelines are calling for a limit on corporate singing in worship services. As you can imagine, this guideline has had us scrambling this week. We will use soloist moving forward and utilize some prerecorded worship until things change.  We are committed to providing the best quality virtual worship service on Sunday that we possibly can. Thank you for your patience in all of this! I look forward to your joining us this Sunday.  

Speaking of Sunday, beginning this Sunday, Lady Karima and I will launch At the Door with the Currys. This is a virtual experience that will take place after each worship service on Sunday. It is a time for Lady Karima and me to connect with you just like we would at church on Sunday. We invite you to join us via Google Meet with your camera on to check-in and connect with other church members and us. We want to see your face, greet you, and hear how you are doing. If you are using a mobile device, be sure to download the Google Meet app ahead of time and follow the link HERE.

As I announced last week, Discipleship Bootcamp 2020 (AKA Vacation Bible School) takes place next week! It will be a virtual experience via Google Meet. Here are a few details:
  • Dates:  July 14th -16th
  • Adult Classes:  July 14-15, 2020 at 7:30pm (1 class each day)
  • Youth Classes:  July 15-16, 2020 at 6:30pm (1 class each day)
  • Children Class:  July 16, 2020 at  5:30pm (1 class)
  • Theme:  Stay Focused ~ Philippians: 3:15-16 MSG
  • Free T-shirts:Pick up at the church beginning Tuesday, July 7th (9-4:30pm).

Also, 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! It kicked off yesterday, and I hear it was AMAZING. Summer Blast is a weekly virtual meet-up 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.

Guess what! Beginning this Sunday, we will offer EX Hour for youth. Yes, you read that correctly, EX Hour for our youth sixth grade to twelfth grade. We are excited to expand our virtual Bible Study offerings to include our youth. Parents, please encourage your students to join youth teachers for this biblically fun opportunity to learn God’s word, connect with others, and grow. To join Youth Ex Hour, follow the link HERE.

Here are a few reminders:

  • Phone Line for Worship: 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.‬‬

  • EX HOUR: Ex Hour meets weekly on Sundays, and we are studying Proverbs. 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 via this link HERE.

  • 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. We will not meet on July 15th because of Discipleship Bootcamp! See you on July 22nd! ‬
  • FBC FOOD BANK OPEN: 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!

  • 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 all I have, please practice physical distancing and wear your mask. There is a statewide mask order and a directive to practice physical distancing. Let’s protect ourselves and protect one another. Remember, people spread this virus and not places. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. 

Continue to pray. Continue to take care of one another. Continue to be the church!

Serving you gratefully,
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor
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