Greetings Friendship Family,
I will be honest with you. I am heavy hearted this week as I talk to you. As many of you know, on Sunday after the second service we found out about the passing of our beloved member, Sister Lori Sims.  Sister Lori Sims passed away sometime early Sunday morning, October 8th, and I am still in shock, sadness and grief as well. I’m just sharing what I am feeling, and I know that you are experiencing the same thing.  We often talk about time being filled with swift transition, but it is still very difficult for us to deal with. I did a funeral on Wednesday, and I articulated some truth from John 14:
1 "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:1-6 ESV
Beloved, we have to hold on to that. The truth of that text is that we are comforted by His person. So be comforted; we are also comforted by his provision, I go to prepare a place for you - comfort that He provides when this life is over. So, we are grateful. Of course we can trust His promise.  He says that if I go, that I will come again.  So prayerfully that gives you some comfort this week. We do not have any plans yet for Laurie Sims’ service, but as soon as we know, we’ll get information out to you.  Please pray for her family, her friends and for our community of faith as we deal with this together, amen? Amen.  Look, I want to give you a few announcements, and move us along.

Here are this week's announcements...
On Wednesday evening,  October 18th at 7:30 pm our scholarship ministry will have its annual mandatory orientation.  This is for all NEW and RETURNING students.  This will be a virtual meeting on Google Meet.  Our scholarship ministry leaders will share general info, recent updates and award criteria.  You can join this meeting on Wednesday by following the info in the above picture or by clicking HERE.
Women's Day - Praise-In-Pink is right around the corner (October 22nd)  and there is another rehearsal on Wednesday, Oct. 18th.
Time:  7:00 pm
Click HERE to find the song Playlist.

All singles are invited to participate in a new Bible study on the Book of Galatians. This class starts on Thursday, October 19th at 7 pm and will be held virtually. If someone asked you to explain the gospel, what would you say? What is the good news of the Christian faith? In this 8-week series, we’ll journey through the book of Galatians and study some of the clearest explanations of the gospel in the New Testament. We’ll utilize Right Now Media for this study, so no book purchase is needed. To register, click HERE.
Kingdom Women, IT'S TIME - Join us for our first, post-pandemic, “In-Person” Women of Radiant Design (W.O.R.D.) Conference! The date is Saturday, October 21, 2023 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and it is here at Friendship!

The theme for this year’s conference is Kingdom Women: Created and Called According To God's Kingdom Purpose.  We are excited and waiting with tip-toe anticipation as our special guests and beloved sisters in ministry join us with a Timely Word and Timely Teaching.
To REGISTER for the conference, CLICK HERE.
And That's Not All!  Be sure to join us on Sunday, October 22nd as we celebrate Women’s Day - Praise In Pink at Friendship.  Our guest speaker, Pastor Connie Jackson, will deliver a powerful Word at the 8:00 and 11:30 am services. We invite FBC members and our guests to wear something pink in honor of breast cancer survivors and to honor the memory of those we lost to the disease.  All are encouraged to wear Pink - All pink, pink and black, black with pink accents, etc.
Ladies, you don’t want to miss out on this Wonderful Women’s Weekend!  

Throwback Sunday.  Where your church finest and Ladies, wear your hats! We will be installing some new Mothers to our Mothers Ministry.  Our Mother's Ministry is an honorary ministry but these mothers serve as witnesses of the faithfulness of God in the church!  We have three Mothers that we will bring to our Mother's Ministry: Mother Dimple Baylis, Mother Hattie Knuckles, and Mother Mildred Henderson.  This is first Sunday, so we will also celebrate the Lord's Supper together. 
We trust that your choice to participate in GriefShare proves beneficial and that healing may begin and or continue in your life.  This group is here to encourage, and support you in this journey to healing from our loss.  This session will begin on November 7th at 7:00 pm and goes for 13 weeks.  It is our intention to meet each week as scheduled with the exception of really bad weather and for the winter holidays.  This group is open to our Friendship family and guests.  Please go HERE to register on our GriefShare page.
Join us here at Friendship on Thursday, November 9th for the Spirit of the Heart Community Forum.  The Spirit of the Heart is the signature community program of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC). We are going to be discussing health in the African American Community. This program is scheduled in several U.S. cities each year and  are developed to help consumers understand that heart disease is preventable, and to share heart-healthy practices as important steps for longevity. This program has made measurable differences in communities nationwide even leading to legislation for health care reform. This event is open to everyone! To register, please scan the QR code above or click HERE.
Save the date!  November 10th. We are in this new series entitled US IN MIND by Ted Lowe.

Lastly, in the last several weeks, I have told the congregation we are in a $200,000 deficit. Our deficit continues, and my team and I are concerned. We need ALL members to continue to be faithful and generous, and we also need you to help encourage the others in our membership and fellowship to do so. We must try and close the gap and raise the budgeted amount by the end of the year. We have roughly 1,000 givers here, so if every member gives an extra $200 on top of what we are already giving for the year, we will meet our budget.  We need to make a "Dent in the Deficit!"  We must raise essentially $1.2M by December 31st. If we go into the new year with a deficit, it makes it that much harder for us to do excellent ministry. We will be sending a letter out soon that says "Thank you" for your past giving as well as articulate our current need. I sincerely want to thank all of those who give faithfully here at Friendship. You may give HERE.

Also, please continue to pray for the Future NOW Initiative. God is up to something!

Also, please continue to pray for the Future NOW Initiative. God is up to something! Plans are being reviewed and we are making progress!  Prayerfully, we can start sometime in November. Pray!

On the pledge form, please indicate your planned pledge amount and your frequency of giving. Again, if you have the printed form, please put your total pledge amount on the KICK STARTER LINE. Then tell us, on that form, whether you will give your pledge over 12 months or 15 months. Lastly, please tell us the frequency of your giving, whether you will give weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly (as a one-time gift). Also, the form is available online HERE.  

General Church things to remember:
  • 2023 CHURCH THEME:
      Resilient Faith
      Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV

     October - Walking in the Wisdom of God
     Col.2:2-3; James 3:17; 1 Cor 1:30; James 1:5; Prov.2:6

     We invite everyone to consider reading God’s Word this year! As of today, you have  79 days to complete a Bible reading plan, including today. At Friendship, we encourage every member to read one of six Bible reading plans in the year. Consider joining a Bible-reading small group that will be starting soon! The plans include:
✔️ The entire Bible,
✔️ The Pentateuch (or the first five books of the Old Testament),
✔️ The entire Old Testament,
✔️ The Gospels (or the first four books of the New Testament),
✔️ The entire New Testament, and
✔️ Psalms and Proverbs (3 times)

      Remember,  Health Care Ministry is sponsoring a weekly Health Walk every Saturday  from 7:00 am to 7:35 am led by Rev. Aubrey Craig and Sister Sandra Jones. This is a 30-minute walk. The walking group will meet on the corner of Bastanchury Road and Rose Drive.  If you want to participate, show up with water and energy snacks. Water and snacks will not be provided. For more information, please call Sister Sandra Jones at  909-438-7217.
      We invite you to stay after the first service or come earlier for the second service to attend EX-Hour in person. Remember, we have two adult classes meeting in person on campus and a Young Adult Class. They meet as follows:
  • Adult Class One (Sanctuary): The team teaching in the Sanctuary includes Lady Karima Curry, Pamela Jones, Deacon Demetrius Linebarger, Melanie Porter, Vivian Randolph, & Deacon James Shelby
  • Adult Class Two (Carrington Building Room 217): The team teaching in the Carrington Building Room 217 includes Le Shon Archer, Deacon Rick Archer, Karen Ammons, Gwen Matthews, and Rev. Phil Yoder
  • Young Adults Class (Carrington Building Rooms 207-208): This class is designed for those aged 18-35.
  • EX HOUR: Virtual Ex-Hour meets weekly on Sundays via ZOOM. Join us for class at 10:00 am via this link HERE.
  • YOUTH EX HOUR: Our in-person youth EX-Hour takes place during our designated EX Hour time in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please encourage your students to join youth teachers for this biblically fun opportunity to learn God’s Word, connect with others, and grow.
  • CHILDREN’S EX-HOUR: As stated in previous weeks, our Children’s EX-Hour is back and meets on Sundays at 10am in the Multipurpose Building. Parents, please note you must check in and check out your children weekly for Ex-Hour.  
  • MOMMIES WITH BABIES: We have our Mommies with Babies class simultaneously during EX-Hour in the Multipurpose Building. Mommies with two years old and younger children are invited to this EX-HOUR class and are encouraged to bring their children with them! Come for encouragement, community, and growth! Amen!
  • WEDNESDAY Prayer Day: Join us each Wednesday for Prayer. We pray at 6:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:30 pm. 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 a bag of groceries.  The Food Bank’s hours of operation are Tuesday - Thursday, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm.  

That is all I have!

Be in prayer for Israel.  The Bible says pray for the peace of Israel.  We are discouraged and saddened by what is taking place in that part of our world. Pray. Pray for our nation's leaders and our country's role in this. Prayer still works, and it changes things, people and situations.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.  I will be closing out our series on Commitment. Then, the following week we have Women's Day and then I have other surprises for you.

Remember this, God loves you and so do I!

God bless you!

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

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