Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: November 6, 2020

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Greetings Friendship Family,

I thank God for you! I thank God for being in community with you. I thank God for your faithfulness to Him and His church. I thank God for the opportunity to serve you as your pastor. I am a thankful man. I am thankful even in this season of uncertainty and complexity! Uncertainty about the pandemic, uncertainty with the economy, and uncertainty about the election. These uncertainties lead to a complexity of issues for us as human beings. We wonder how and when things will change. We wonder will things get any better or how much worse things could be? I want us to remember five things as we navigate uncertainty and complexity: 

  1. Remember God’s faithfulness throughout history.
  2. Remember, God is working even when we can’t see it. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  3. Remember God’s provision for the rest of creation. (Matthew 6:25-30)
  4. Remember, God has a plan, and it is always good. (Romans 8:28)
  5. Remember, God has provided a secure eternal future.

Earlier this year, I preached a Remembering God series. In that series, I challenged us to remember God in every situation; positive and negative. Throughout the scriptures, we are encouraged to remember God! The whole idea of our study in Isaiah is for us to remember God. Why is it that God spends so much time in the Bible telling His children to “remember” Him? I want to offer four reasons I believe are grounded in scripture.  When we fail to remember God, we risk:

  • Falling into idolatry/trusting ourselves or our possessions (Deut. 8:13-14)
  • Never growing in trust or faith in God (Isa. 40:20-21)
  • Stumbling into sin and suffering the Father’s discipline (Deut. 8:19)
  • Forfeiting a generation to the enemy (Judges 2:10-11)

So, again, remember God throughout this season of uncertainty because He, alone, is an absolute certainty.

Beloved, I invite you to join us TODAY, Friday, November 6th, for our Annual Prayer Vigil from 2pm to 3:30pm via Zoom. To connect with this prayer vigil, please follow this link HERE or dial in at +1 669 900 6833 and use the Meeting ID 232 852 5653#. I look forward to praying with you TODAY!

Brothers, I would like to invite you to be a part of our next Men’s Fellowship taking place, Monday, November 9th, at 7pm via Zoom. Our topic is God’s Men Talking about Real Issues: Relationships, Family, Physical Health, Mental Health, Personal Development, Addictions, and Personal Finance. This is an interactive session lead by our Men’s Ministry Leader, Deacon Charles Owens. To participate in the Men’s Fellowship, please follow the link HERE. You can also dial in at 1 (408) 638-0968 and use Meeting ID: 92423533356.

Wednesday, November 11th, is Veteran’s Day! Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day, we stand united in respect for our veterans. We salute and appreciate all those who have served in the military here in these United States of America. THANK YOU for your service!

I also would like to invite you to participate in our Celebrate Recovery Ministry on Thursdays 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!  The large group, the Open share small groups, and the current step study are offered through the virtual platform. On Thursday, November 12th, Deacon Willie Harris will be our guest speaker! I am excited for you to hear him. To participate in this event, please use the link HERE.

Looking ahead…

All high school and transfer students, parents, and friends are invited to join a free CCPI virtual college connection workshop on Tuesday, November 17th, from 4-5:30pm.  The workshop offers three components:  a CSU Fullerton admissions and campus highlights, statewide CSU Campus Admissions highlights, and an overview of the 2021 Financial Aid application processes and timelines. CSU Fullerton campus administrator and Friendship member Laura Hooks will host the three-part interactive event.  Click HERE to register and for more information.  Friends and family are welcome to participate.

We will broadcast live our Thanksgiving Day Service on Thursday, November 26th  at 10am via our live stream platforms. We pray you will join us! Remember, Thanksgiving Day bears its origin from the harvest festival. In Massachusetts, the Pilgrim settlers held the original Thanksgiving celebration during their second winter in America in December 1621. Initially, this pause to give thanks was designed to give thanks to God for the autumn harvest, and every other success they have achieved in that year. Scripturally, we find things related to the issue of giving thanks from cover to cover in the Word of God. We give thanks in all circumstances, as encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Yes, we give thanks in the middle of this global pandemic! We give thanks! We pray you will join us for this special service. Again, it will take place on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, at 10am.  

I look forward to Thanksgiving, even though we may not be able to celebrate in the way we are accustomed. As many people in the United States begin to plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers the following considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19:

  • Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible. If hosting an outdoor event is impossible, and you choose to host an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, or fully enclosed indoor spaces. 
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to a safe and feasible extent based on the weather.
  • Host activities with only people from your local area as much as possible.
  • Limit numbers of attendees as much as possible (no more than three households.
  • Provide updated information to your guests about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Provide or encourage attendees to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, be sure to have extra masks (do not share or swap with others), hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and tissues.
  • If you plan in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of your household, consider asking all guests to strictly avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.

Things to remember:

  • 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.‬

  • 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.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • EX HOUR: Ex Hour meets weekly on Sundays, and we are studying Isaiah. 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 after 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. We hope you will stop in and say HELLO. Meet us 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#. 
  • 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].

Friendship, I love you, but God loves you, BETTER!  Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected!

In His Service,
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor
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