Weekly Word from Pastor Curry: March 26, 2021

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Hey there Friendship Family!

As March draws to a close and we commemorate one year of fighting against Covid-19, my prayer for you this week is that you will continue to stand fast, stand firm, and hold on!
That’s what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:1, “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, STAND FAST in the Lord, beloved.”

Throughout his letter to the Philippian Church, Paul admonishes them about so much they need to do and change and be. In the fourth chapter, Paul encourages the Philippian church to stand fast, which means maintaining stationary perseverance. In other words, do not allow the culture and the things going on around you to influence your positioning. Do not move an inch.  Do not change your course. His encouragement as he ends this letter is to stand fast. Paul knew that as these Christians attempted to live out their faith, they would encounter many forces that would attempt to get them to change who they were and what they believed. Beloved, we face the same things in a changing culture that makes no allowances for mistakes and repentance. Standing fast is a common word of encouragement throughout the New Testament. It’s a word we need to remember in these times. Stand fast in faith!
Look, here are a few things I want to update you on this week, so please patiently read what is here, use the information to your benefit, and share it with others! 

The Singles Ministry will host a VIRTUAL Chat & Chew tomorrow, Saturday, March 27th, at 2pm. This event takes place via Zoom. The guests for this event are Rev. Roxanne Banks,  who will share on Financial Peace amid a Pandemic, and Dr. Laseanda Wesson will share on Creating a Personal Rule of Life. Please go to our events page HERE for more information and to register. 

There is a new Singles Bible study starting on Thursday, April 15th at 7pm. This class will be a virtual class via Zoom. The teachers are Deacon Allen Gobert and Sister Elona Brown. They will teach the book, They Were Single Too.  They Were Single Too spells out concrete steps for a healthy, God-approved attitude toward unmarried life and how one can truly serve God without a spouse. Again, go HERE to our Bible study page to sign up for this class. 

There is a new Women’s Bible Study entitled, Breathe based on Pricilla Shirer’s book of the same name, starting on Wednesday, April 7th. The teachers will be Rev. Fredia Travis and Rev. Belinda Wheaton Wright and will run for twelve weeks through July 7th.  One of the most significant challenges among women in our culture is taking time to cease all the activities and just breathe. Believers are in bondage to busyness. By neglecting time for tranquility, serenity, and repose, we limit our Christlikeness and miss out on some of God’s greatest gifts. In the Old Testament, Sabbath was given to the Israelites as a gift, and it is still a gift to us today. If you are weary, worn out, and exhausted, then the Sabbath concept will change your life. All women are invited and encouraged to join us for this 12-week study and allow God’s Word to help you B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Find more information HERE.

Holy Week is coming! Next week is Holy Week, which is the week before Easter and includes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We will offer two virtual services to commemorate each day as we did last year. Our MaundyThursday Service is Thursday, April 1st. It will include a round table on the meaning of Christ’s Crucial Conversations with His Disciples (John 13-17) before He went to the cross and His Resurrection. The service will start at 7pm. The Good Friday Service takes place on Friday, April 2nd, and we will present a traditional Last Seven Sayings service at 7pm online. I am excited to announce that our preachers will be the Rev. Belinda Wheaton-Wright, Rev. Kameron Durham, Rev. Fredia Travis, Rev. Eric Archer, Rev. Orienthio Flowers (my best friend in New York by way of Atlanta), Evangelist Francie Jones (my mother-in-law), and Rev. Jaron Singley. We will also have music from our Music Ministry. Both services promise to be a good time of worship and reflection.
Please note that our Friday Family Prayer Session, which would have usually taken place on Friday, April 2nd, is canceled to support our Good Friday Service.

The Easter Eggstravaganza is canceled again this year. Look out for an April Blast event for our children offered through the CYYA Ministry.
Remember we will celebrate Easter, Resurrection Sunday in the sanctuary at 9am and 11:30am! You need to register for the service just as you do for the Drive-In Worship Service. Registration opened on Monday, March 8th, and spaces are filling quickly. So don’t delay register HERE today. Remember, masks and physical distancing will be REQUIRED and ENFORCED! Both services will stream live.

For those of you registered for in-person worship, we will send information to your email for what to expect on Resurrection Sunday.
We recently received 35 COVID Recovery Kits through Providence Health and the Yorba Linda Rotary ClubThese kits are designed to help individuals who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and after recovering at home. Each kit includes a pulse oximeter to monitor breathing, a thermometer, a box of masks, and a package of sanitizing wipes in a small canvas bag. If you or someone in your family could benefit from one of these kits, please call the church office to arrange to get one. 

Those are my announcements this week. Thank you for your prayer, and thank you for reading this week.

General Church 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 the 9:00a worship service.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • Our College and Career Prep Initiative (CCPI) 
Our CCPI leadership 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 10:30a 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. 

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday! I love you, Friendship, but God loves you, BETTER!  Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected!

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