SERVICE: SUNDAYS ONLINE ONLY AT 8:00AM & 11:30AM

Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: November 13, 2020

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Greetings Friendship,

God is STILL good and STILL greatly to be praised. God is worthy of our praise, even as we navigate this global pandemic, antagonistic political environment, and our personal problems.  God is good and greatly to be praised.

This week has been a tough week for me as we celebrated the life of one of our young adults, recent high school graduate, Brandon Porter. I pray that you will continue to pray for the Porter family, specifically Brandon’s parents Melanie and David Porter. On their behalf, I want to thank you for your loving support during this difficult time.

Next week, prepare ourselves to celebrate the life of a long time member of Friendship who has been a member here for decades, Deaconess Maggie Johnson, who passed away Saturday, November 7th  at the age of 95. Maggie was a founding member of the Deaconess Ministry here at Friendship! Her service will take place Thursday, November 19th, at 11am here at Friendship. 

Friendship, I pray that you find these weekly email and video messages helpful and beneficial. It is merely my way of keeping us together. I try to make sure to keep us all in the loop, share my heart, and give helpful information. Some weeks I am better at it than others, but I keep working at it. 
 
This Saturday, I will serve as a panelist for the Association of Black Cardiologists’ Virtual Spirit of the Heart Community Forum and Wellness Symposium. This virtual interactive symposium, co-hosted by Celebrity Actor and Community Health Advocate Lamman Rucker, will offer educational sessions on health & wellness, healthy eating/nutrition, and COVID-19 – what you need to know. The symposium will take place tomorrow, Saturday, November 14th, from 10:00am - 2:30pm via Zoom. It’s a FREE event!  You can register by going HERE. You can also see a video with additional information on the symposium HERE.  I participated in this event last year and am happy to serve again.

Did you know heart disease kills more people than any other disease, taking over 100,000 African American lives each year? It is a fact that cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death: one in every seven deaths in the U.S are from heart disease. As we look around this morning, one in seven of our family can likely be affected by heart disease.  The good news is, this is preventable! By taking control of our diet and making time to exercise, and encouraging our family and friends to care for their bodies, we can win together as a community!

Let me share the Association of Black Cardiologists’ seven (7) steps to a healthy heart that can help you preserve your heart, temple, and quality of life. 

  • Step # 1 – Be Spiritually Active 
  • Step # 2 – Take Charge of Your Blood Pressure 
  • Step # 3 - Control Your Cholesterol 
  • Step # 4 – Track Your Blood Sugar 
  • Step # 5 – Eat Smart and Enjoy Regular Exercise 
  • Step # 6 – Don’t Smoke 
  • Step #7 – Access Better Healthcare and Take Medications as Prescribed

If you’d like more information on the Association of Black Cardiologists and how to get involved as a community advocate, please visit https://abcardio.org.

Here’s what I have for you this week…

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.

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 19th, Rev. Patrick Harris will be our guest speaker! Attend and hear his testimony and the story of his journey! To participate in this event, please use the link HERE.

On Saturday, November 21st, we will have another installment of our Saturday Science Fun Day
STOMP ROCKETS: THEORY, CONSTRUCTION & LAUNCH!  This event will take place at  11:00am. The workshop will last 90 minutes with a 5-minute break at the midway point. We are repeating this workshop once again in preparation for an advanced event next year.  Please register for each person (children and adults) attending. The cost is only $10 per family. Click HERE to register and for more information.  

Looking ahead…

We will broadcast live our Thanksgiving Day Service on Thursday, November 26th  at 10am via our social media 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 this month. 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. We will NOT be online this Sunday! 
 
  • 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 need volunteer help with the Foodbank, Media department, Technology (Zoom & Google Meets), and the Shepherds Ministry. If you are willing and available, please contact the church office! 

Also, we continue 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,
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/lK6ri-mjKfB2sIhmcqg2Hi5NyudCSRNzgARr3Mf2K6eUJbquKsJKTjRH8bwIsoC_hqMxDcBGgvz_iM-bLMT8GRoG7ZyW8HAgJwXEgcNgXaSzgCXTwPnItGvBjZf7eqWKVIIalN7w
Rev. Kenneth C. Curry, Jr.
Senior Pastor
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