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Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: October 16, 2020

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Greetings Friendship Community,

I have had a busy week this week, but I am resting in the power of our great God. I am grateful that though this week has been busy, it has been productive. I am reminded that God is with me. He is with us, and we are not in this problematic pandemic alone.   

The passing of our beloved deacon, Deacon Allen Smith, saddened me. However, I am grateful that we were able to celebrate his life, living, and legacy well today.  The songwriter was correct when she wrote, “Time is filled with swift transition.”  Things change very quickly and seemingly unexpectedly. Equally true is the line in the same song, “Build your hopes on things eternal  and hold to God’s unchanging hand.” The writer, Mary Jane “Jennie” Bain Wilson, was born on a farm in Cleveland, Indiana, in 1856. She survived typhoid fever as a little girl, but the bacterial infection damaged her spine. She used a wheelchair from childhood and was educated at home. Wilson wrote thousands and published hundreds of Christian hymns; she is often referred to as the “Fanny Crosby of the West.” Her hymn Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand was wildly popular in the 1910s and 1920s.

I reminded us last week that we must Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand. I am pushing on it a bit more this week. I know we mourn and lament “the swift transitions” or unexpected changes longing for the way things used to be, but there are some truths revealed within this timeless  hymn that remain true and steadfast regardless:

  • We  must build our HOPE on “things eternal” rather than on people, or relationships with them, Luke 21:16-17; instead, we must  “Trust in Him who will not leave you,” Hebrews 13:5;  

  • We  must build our HOPE on “things eternal” rather than on earthly riches that “so rapidly decay;” instead, we must invest in “heavenly treasures” that “will never pass away,” Matthew 6:19-21; 

With all that is going on globally, is there a better time to Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand?

Let’s continue to pray for Deaconess Rose Smith and Family. I also ask that we pray for all families who have experienced loss in this pandemic predicament. Please note, we will have our Second Remembering our Lost Loved Service on Tuesday, October 20th. The ceremony will be on LIVE ZOOM. You can attend by following the link HERE.

Here’s what I have for you this week!

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 17th, our Women’s Ministry will host their first Virtual Women’s Conference broadcasting live from our YouTube page. The Conference is from 10a-2p and will feature Pastor R. Janae Pitts‐Murdock, Rev. Karen Stewart, Pastor MarQuerita Story, and the Rev. Dr. Debra Haggins. Radiance will be in the house, and there will be many other exciting surprises. This Virtual Conference is a free event, but you must register. To register, please go HERE.  Ladies, consider inviting your family and friends to be blessed by this event. We currently have 300 ladies registered. We can STILL get to our goal of 500 participants. Let’s do it!  This Conference proves how resilient we are as a church and that MINISTRY CONTINUES at Friendship despite the PANDEMIC.

Our new WEDNESDAY EVENING Bible Study kicked off on Wednesday, October 14th, and went VERY well. You are invited to join us on Wednesday for The Greatest Words Ever Spoken (Studying the Words of Jesus.) Our Associate Ministers teach this class. Please join us! It takes place via ZOOM on Wednesday at 7pm. To attend the class, please use the link HERE.

Our Adult EX-HOUR class made a successful and smooth transition to Zoom on SUNDAY, October 11th. So don’t forget that we are on Zoom from now on! To attend the class, please use the link HERE. You may also visit our website at the Ex Hour page or the Events page located at www.wearefriendship.church/events to access the class. It is on our App as well on the Meets TAB.  Again only the ADULT Class is moving to ZOOM. The YOUTH EX-HOUR CLASS will remain on Google Meet. 

Speaking of YOUTH, We are excited to officially kick off the 2020-2021 academic year for the Scholarship Ministry.  The Scholarship Ministry is hosting a mandatory meeting online to kick off the year, and we will review ministry guidelines and introduce the K-5th and the 6th-12th ministry mentors. All participants must attend as ministry leaders will highlight the changes and adaptations to the guidelines made to accommodate our current environment. This meeting will take place via Google Meet HERE. 

Due to the pandemic, the pumpkin patch will not be coming this year, and we will not be able to host our traditional Harvest Festival.  However, our CYYA team has planned a fantastic event on October 31st called “Faith-fall Family Amazing Race!” Do you like word puzzles, brainteasers, scavenger hunts, the reality show “The Amazing Race?”  Participants of this great adventure race will be led all over the local area by clues that combine word puzzles, visual brain teasers, and city-specific trivia questions and more; according to the event’s co-founder Jaron Singley, “It should be an enjoyable, family-friendly way to explore our area and get out the house safely.” The race will begin @ 2pm on October 31st at Friendship. For more info and to register, go HERE.  See you there!

The first Sunday is coming! Do you know what that means? Yup! DRIVE-IN Service is coming! YAY! Please register for our next Drive-in Service on Sunday, November 1st!  You can register and RSVP now by going HERE. RSVP ASAP.

As you know, the ministry continues at Friendship despite the pandemic, as you have heard me say in the past. With that, we need volunteers to keep the ministry going. We currently need volunteers in the FOODBANK, and we need volunteers to help with TECHNOLOGY and MEDIA. If you are available to serve in our foodbank, please contact Rev. Patrick Christian at [email protected]. Can you help with  ZOOM TRAINING, CAMERA OPERATING, or VIDEO EDITING? If so, we need you.  Please contact either Rev. Eric Archer at [email protected] or me at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

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! 

Lastly, Lady Karima and I will NOT host Currys at the Door this Sunday! It has been a long week, and Pastor needs a break. I look forward to seeing you in worship, however!

Things to remember:

  • CELEBRATE RECOVERY meets every Thursday at 7pm via ZOOM! Celebrate Recovery offers an opportunity to worship our God and stay connected as we surrender our hurts, habits, and hang-ups to the Lord! Each week we have praise and worship, reading the CR principles, and a featured weekly speaker. The open share takes place virtually and maintains the confidentiality requirements based on CR guidelines. To participate in this event, please use the link HERE.

  • 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.

  • 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. This study will continue through the end of November. Remember, EX Hour takes place every Sunday through the video conference app, ZOOM. 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 via Google Meet. 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

  • AT THE DOOR WITH THE CURRYS: Remember this virtual experience happens each worship service on Sundays. It is a time for Lady Karima and me to connect with you just like we would at church on Sunday. Please note we will not host Currys at the Door this Sunday, October 18th.
 
  • 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#. 
‬‬
  • 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.   

  • 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.

We are STILL attempting to support our members with small businesses. If you would like us to feature your small business, please contact Rev. Eric Archer at [email protected].

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected!

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

In His Holy Grip,
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/lK6ri-mjKfB2sIhmcqg2Hi5NyudCSRNzgARr3Mf2K6eUJbquKsJKTjRH8bwIsoC_hqMxDcBGgvz_iM-bLMT8GRoG7ZyW8HAgJwXEgcNgXaSzgCXTwPnItGvBjZf7eqWKVIIalN7w
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor
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