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Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: September 4, 2020

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Happy September Friendship Family,

We are in the ninth month of 2020 and roughly six months into this shelter-in-place type of living with regards to the global pandemic and when it began to impact our nation. Though we may not necessarily like everything that is going on or how things are handled by or national and state leaders, we must rest in the sovereignty and providence of God. Ultimately, beloved, we must remember that God is in control of everything!  

Last week I wrote that it had been an emotionally draining week. It seems that we really can’t get a break. I know many, including yours truly, are mourning the death of Chadwick Boseman, a talented actor who portrayed Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall, but is best known for his role T’Challa the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the loss of Kobe Bryant earlier this year, the many deaths due to COVID-19, and now Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death due to colorectal cancer, many are reeling from all that has taken place this year! Remember that God is in control of everything!  This year has been challenging, but God is STILL a sustainer! 

Today marks the beginning of the Labor Day Holiday Weekend. This is a weekend that signifies the end of summer and a return to the “busyness” of life, including the return to school, work, and other various activities. It’s the last holiday of the summer, and we like to barbeque, grill, gather, eat, laugh, and generally have fun. Our government officials, however, are asking us to limit our activity and to do everything we can to minimize the spread of the COVID-19. I want to encourage you to be careful this weekend. Remember and adhere to the following simple precautions:

  • Limit the size of social gatherings. Outside events are better than inside.
  • Wear your mask or face covering, always, even around family!
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Look out for one another.

Though this weekend is a holiday weekend, it is a busy weekend at the Ship!  I invite you to join me tonight, Friday, September 4th,  for our Monthly Family Prayer Service beginning at 7:30pm-8:30pm via Google Meet. To connect with this prayer service, please follow this link HERE or dial in at +1 (413) 418-4274 and use the PIN 287683504#. I look forward to praying with you tonight! 

Sunday, September 6th, is our next DRIVE-IN Service. Services will take place at 9am, and 11:30am and will stream live at those times as well. There is still time to register! You can register and RSVP now by going HERE. Remember that since we are meeting live this Sunday, there is no Pastor and Lady Karima at the door virtually Sunday!

Monday, September 7th, is the Labor Day Holiday, and Friendship will be closed. Please plan accordingly. Thank you! 

Beloved, we continue to do ministry and make progress at Friendship. Throughout August, we worked to transition more of our ministry to a virtual format so we can continue to be the church God has called us to be. I am very appreciative of all ministry leaders for taking the lemons we’ve been handed and making lemonade. Ministry has not stopped! MINISTRY IS STILL HAPPENING AT FRIENDSHIP!  I am excited about what you will see this “fall” here at Friendship! 

  • Last week I told you about the Wives Bible study, Kingdom Wives: The Power of A Praying Wife, and the class for widows entitled Kingdom Widows: Being Made Whole! Both classes have begun, and it’s not too late to join! To join either of these classes, please go HERE.

  • There is also another women’s class starting on Thursday, September 10th entitled Uninvited: Living Loved When you feel less than, left out, and lonely! This class meets virtually and is led by Deaconess Celeste Wall. For more information, go HERE.

  • Caregivers Class returns on Thursday, September 10th, and it’s a four-week course, the last day will October 1st. This class is for those who are taking care of loved ones and need support, guidance, and encouragement. Also, the Grief Class will start on Tuesday, September 22nd, and its four-week course as well. It is designed to help those experiencing grief. Both meet virtually! For more information, go HERE.

  • Also, don’t forget we are offering a Marriage Conference in collaboration with RightNow Media on Saturday, September 12th, from 4pm to 7:30pm. This conference/event is FREE to Friendship Members!  To register for this event, please go HERE

  • Please note, ROOTED is postponed until the spring due to a lack of interest, which we understand with ALL the many things going on. I STILL believe in ROOTED and look forward to its return in the spring. ROOTED is a 10-week discipleship course/pathway designed to bring you closer to God! 

Please remain connected and remain engaged! If you need to know what opportunities are available to you, please go to www.wearefriendship.church/events. There you will see all we offer every week! 

I am excited to announce that Revival 2020 is coming. I am calling this year’s revival the Virtual Throwback Revival. Revival will take place Monday, September 14th through Wednesday, September 16th, at 7pm, as indicated on our 2020 Church Calendar. It will feature past messages from guests we have had for either Revival or Convocation. I pray you will join me for Revival 2020. We will feature:

  • Pastor Sherman Fort of the Word Church in Mesa, AZ
  • Rev. Dr. Claybon Lea, Jr. Pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Fairfield, CA 
  • Rev. Dr. Jerry Carter, Jr. of Calvary Baptist Church of Morristown, NJ

Friendship, I want to share with you some vital information about our congregation care program. Over the past two years, our deacons have communicated with you on periodic bases. 
I want to let you know that we have experienced some changes within the Deacon Ministry that necessitates us to re-assign some of our members.  Please be aware that between now and December 2020, you will receive a call, text, or email from your assigned Deacon. Please know that we at Friendship value this vital program and look to continue our on-going communication with you.

As schools return, mainly with a virtual format, we want you to know that we are here to serve and support your educational efforts. Our College and Career Prep Initiative (CCPI) has produced an excellent and comprehensive one-stop virtual academic and education assistance resource for parents and families of  K- through 12 and college-bound students. Click HERE to access our Google Classroom.  Feel free to share with others.

We are STILL attempting to support our members with small businesses. Recognizing that this pandemic has been especially difficult for many of you, we would like to promote your business through our website, church app, social media outlets. If you would like for us to feature your small business, please contact Rev. Eric Archer at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you! 

Remember, we have a civic responsibility as believers. While we have a heavenly hope, we live in an earthly reality and should do our part to exercise justice and mercy in the world. For us as citizens of America, this is done through practicing our right to vote. Please plan to VOTE. We are currently in a partnership with Christ Our Redeemer (Pastor Ralph Williamson), Second Baptist of Santa Ana (Pastor Ivan Pitts), and New Hope Presbyterian (Pastor Chineta Goodjoin) to get Souls to the Polls. 100 FBC volunteers are needed to join our voter outreach effort to contact FBC members to provide information and voter registration assistance beginning September 1st.  If you are interested in joining our voter registration team, please contact our office with your name, phone number, and email address.  We will follow-up with additional information soon. 

Also, if you have not already done so, please complete your 2020 Census information. It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone, or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker. Let’s do our part.

Here are our weekly 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 8:00a and 11:30a worship services.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • EX HOUR: Ex Hour meets weekly on Sundays, and we are studying Isaiah beginning this Sunday. Our member, Sister Leshon Archer, helped to write the curriculum with a team of five other individuals. This study will continue through the end of November. 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. Also, there is a YOUTH EX HOUR: Our youth Ex Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time. 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.

  • 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 7p. 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#‬. ‬The reading plan is available HERE
‬‬
  • FBC FOOD BANK OPEN: The FBC Food Bank is 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 2:30p-4:30p.  We also need ADDITIONAL volunteers for the food pantry; if you are available, please contact Rev. Patrick Christian at [email protected]

  • COVID Membership Assistance Fund: We are STILL 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. The guidelines are available HERE, and the application is available HERE.

Remember to PRAY, not PANIC, take PRECAUTIONS, and be PATIENT.

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