Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: March 5, 2021

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Hello Friendship Family!

I greet you this week with great excitement in my head, heart, and spirit!

I am excited that I will see many of you this Sunday at our Drive-In Service! Amen! Praise the Lord!  We are currently full for the 9am Service, but we still encourage you to register if you desire to attend. I understand that we have several lawn chair seatings available, but our parking spots are currently full. There is a waitlist! Get on the waitlist! Register HERE.

I am excited about the conversations I have had with the Orange County Health Care Agency and other Orange County pastors about creating education and access to people of color in Orange County regarding the Covid-19 vaccination. These have been wonderful conversations, and I believe something very positive will emerge for our unified efforts to ensure our communities are served effectively in the vaccination rollout.

I am excited about President Biden’s recent announcement that we will soon have enough vaccine for every American adult. This announcement was an important statement and a monumental advancement in stopping the spread and impact of Covid-19.

I am excited about our plans for Resurrection Sunday (Easter) and Holy Week. Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. Many believe Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar because it celebrates God raising his son, Jesus, from the dead and destroying the power of sin and death forever. The Resurrection symbolizes the opening of Heaven with the gift of eternal life to all who will believe.

I am just excited, but let me put my excitement in check and update you on some things and remind you about some upcoming events.

Monthly Family Prayer Service
TONIGHT is our MONTHLY Churchwide Prayer Hour. We pray TONIGHT, March 5th, from 7:30p to 8:30p on our church prayer line HERE. Join the Prayer Posse and me. This prayer meeting is an open time of prayer, so if you feel led to pray, then simply unmute your line and PRAY! See you there!

Drive-In Service & Communion This Sunday
You already know about the drive-in service this Sunday. For those of you who are not attending, this Sunday is First Sunday. I want to remind you to have your communion elements ready for this Last First Sunday of the year. For more information on preparing your communion elements go HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session
Monday, March 8th at 7pm, our Men’s Ministry will sponsor a Church-wide Informational event regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. If you are concerned about the efficacy of the vaccine or are apprehensive about getting it, this presentation is for you. If you have already received the vaccine, come and share your thoughts and maybe encourage others. Again, all are invited to join in, listen, ask questions, and better understand the vaccine or reassure others. This event will take place via Zoom and is open to membership, guests, and other churches. Our presenters will be Drs. George Small, MD in Private Practice & Deborah Small, MD of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; a Father and Daughter Team. To register for the event, please go HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall
The Links of Orange County, in conjunction with the Epsilon Epsilon Boule, are sponsoring a Town Hall on the COVID-19 vaccination. Their event takes place on Thursday, March 11th, at 7pm. Our member Dr. Tecoa Turner, a Board Certified Pediatrician,  is part of the panel and is an organizer of the event. Click HERE for the flier announcing the event. HERE is the zoom link for the event.

Veterans Ministry Event
Our Veterans Ministry is sponsoring their first workshop of the year!  On March 10th, they will host a virtual workshop via ZOOM for all veterans and their families. This workshop will be addressing Pre-planning Funeral Arrangements.  STOP! This workshop is not a dark subject. It’s a necessary one, and there are some extraordinary FREE benefits for veterans. Again, the workshop is open to all veterans and their families interested in finding out how to get Veterans burial allowances (sometimes called “Veterans death benefits”) that help cover burial, funeral, transportation costs, and pre-planning! For more information and to join the event on Zoom, please go HERE.

SIDE-BY-SIDE Couples Ministry
The Side by Side Couples Ministry class “The 5 Love Languages” is scheduled virtually on March 12th at 7pm. The topic for this class will be “ WORDS of AFFIRMATION.” You can join the meeting via the Zoom link HERE. Should you have any questions, you can contact Deacon Hilton McDaniel by email at [email protected] or call (949) 652-1489.

Remember, the Virtual Talent Show is coming. This event is for ALL children & youth and their families, a talent show is coming, and it’s all virtual. Do you sing? Dance? Do magic tricks? Do you tell jokes? Are you a junior comedian? Maybe you recite poems with dramatic flair. Perhaps you perform acrobatics or entertain your family and friends with funny skits and other entertaining specialties. If you have a secret or not-so-secret talent, we invite you to be a part of this year’s Virtual Talent Show! This opportunity is open to children, teens, parents, grandparents, and families as a whole. Again, we invited individuals of all ages to participate and entertain the Friendship family with their talent. Make us laugh, cry, and think! Here’s how you can participate: Record video with your phone sideways (landscape).  Keep the video short (under 2 minutes). Feel free to use Filters, special effects, etc.! TikTok is a great app to set your video apart! Submit your video by Saturday, March 13th, so it’s included in our Virtual Talent Show on Saturday, March 20th. Click HERE for a list of over 50 ideas and to register!

Just a reminder that it is Girl Scout Cookies season. Girl Scout cookies are on sale NOW! Usually, you might follow your nose to one of the tables set out in the quad to make your purchase, but you will have to follow a link this year.  Please help support our scouts! All of your favorites are back! Click the link HERE to see all the varieties and order information. Also, you can call or text in orders to 310-493-8396. The sale ends on March 14th. Don’t delay; order today!

Remember, we are making a service time shift beginning this Sunday, March 7th. As I said last week, we will offer only one virtual service at 9am each Sunday instead of our regular 8am and 11:30 services.  That service will then be available to view on-demand at your convenience on any of our social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, and of course, our Church Website or Church app. We will also push an ICYMI notification (In Case You Missed It). This shift will allow us to utilize our resources better! I pray you understand and make the adjustment to be with us at 9am.

Also, remember we will celebrate Resurrection Sunday in the Sanctuary at 9am, and 11:30am! You will need to register for the service just as you do for the Drive-In Worship Service. We can accommodate 200 individuals per service. Registration will open on Monday, March 8th. Mask and physical distancing will be REQUIRED and ENFORCED! Both services will stream live.

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 Luke. Remember, EX Hour takes place every Sunday through the video conference app, ZOOM. Join us for class on Sundays at a new time of 10:30am 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
  • 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’s 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.

  • 2021 Bible Reading Challenge Issued: Continuing our Church Legacy, I would like to encourage ALL MEMBERS to read through the Bible in 2021 in one of the six ways we suggest. You can read the entire Bible, just the Old Testament or the New Testament, the first five books of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch), Psalms & Proverbs three times, or the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John). 

  • Church Calendar Available: The 2021 Church Calendar is NOW available online, and it’s available for you to download to your device. The 2021 Church Calendar is digital-only. There are no paper (or hard) copies. HERE is a link to the church calendar. 

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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