For those of you who like, “True Crime Stories,” I’ve got a little story of my own to share. This past Saturday was “Double Tailgate Day” at Coastal. In other words, both Box Trucks were out in use in the community, feeding and serving those in need. One Truck was at Charleston Vets and the other one was at The Pink House. I went to the Pink House. After we got back to the church, I stuck around to help unload and clean up. After everyone left, I went over my sermon for Sunday. When I went outside to go to my car, I was surprised to find our last remaining coyote (the other 3 “coyote decoys” have already been stolen) on top of my car! My first thought was this was some sort of prank. I took a picture and sent it to the Staff – thinking maybe they knew who the culprit was (okay, maybe I thought one of them did it – haha!). No one had a clue. When I got home, I pulled up our video cameras and “watched the tape.” The culprits were two young boys. They rode their bikes down the drive behind the church, saw the coyote, and decided to destroy it – or at least try to. Then they threw it in the woods and left. But before they left, they got another idea, went back to the woods, retrieved the coyote, and threw it on top of my car. Then they picked up some rocks and threw them at my car. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy watching all this transpire. In fact, I wanted to drive over to the church, ride around the neighborhood, and find these two boys. But I simmered down and honestly was a little too tired to head back to the church, and waste the rest of my Saturday on what would probably be a useless search.
Well, on Sunday morning, I was doing what I normally do before church, standing in our Gather space, welcoming everyone as they come through our front door. Just a few minutes before the first service started, an older woman with two young boys comes through the front door. “OH MY GOODNESS, IT’S THEM,” I thought to myself! The criminals have returned to the scene of the crime! I recognized them from the video! So I walked up to them and with great enthusiasm said, “Good morning boys! How are you doing?” They said nothing. Their Great Grandmother said, “Say something boys. The preacher is talking to you.” Still nothing. I stooped down and said, “What did you do this weekend? No, I want to know what you did YESTERDAY, here at our church.” You should have seen their eyes – wide as saucers! Their Great Grandmother knew something was up and laid into them, “What did you boys do? You told me you were going to play basketball!” Still nothing from the boys. I said, “Tell her. Tell her what you did.” Still nothing. I said, “That’s okay, I’ll tell you exactly what you did. I watched the whole thing on video.” I then proceeded to retell their every move. And when I got to the part about throwing the coyote on top of the car, I leaned in a little closer and said, “And that car, was MY car. And then you picked up rocks and threw them at MY car.” At that dramatic moment, one of the boys broke silence, stepped back, pointed his finger at his brother and shouted, “He did it! It was his idea! He did it!”
Needless to say, their Great Grandmother was mortified and livid. After the service, she gave me their mom’s name and phone number. I called their Mom on Monday. We had a great conversation. She assured me that they were being disciplined and that her boys would be back at church and would be giving me a proper apology. She’s a single mom, with two other small children with special needs, trying to do the best she can, living with her Grandmother, their Great Grandmother, right around the corner from the church. I told her that I believed that God was going redeem this whole story and use it as a turning point in her boy’s lives. The Mom and Grandmother wanted me to come up with something for the boys to do here at the church. So, on Saturday, June 4th, they will be coming with me to our next Saturday Serve. I will put them to work and take them with me to the North Charleston Tailgate where they will help feed and clothe those in our community who have far, far less than they do.
In the grand scheme of things, this was just a small infraction by 10 year old boys. Most of us can probably remember quite a few things we did in our younger days, much, much worse. And most of us probably wish we had learned a few lessons early in life. Hopefully, prayerfully, they will learn a lesson about grace and God’s love (and, don’t mess with Pastor Chris – haha!). They’re actually students at Oakland. And on Tuesday morning when I was passing out coffee & doughnuts to the Teachers, they sought me out and spoke with me. What’s really interesting is that on that Friday – before the incident – I was the Substitute Teacher in their younger brother’s classroom (my substitute teaching stories are the subject for another day). But my point is, it’s amazing how God weaves the stories of our lives together, stories of redemption and hope. Pray for these boys and their family. Pray that God would open our eyes and hearts to see opportunities all around us to be used in His unfolding story of redemption. I love you Coastal, I love being your Pastor, and I can’t wait to see you on Sunday!
LIFE & LOVE!
- UPCOMING OUTREACH PROJECTS:
Patriot Villas Veterans Tailgate – We will be putting on a Tailgate for the Veterans at Patriot Villas on Thursday, May 26th, 6-8pm. Meet at Coastal.
Summer of IMPACT!!!! – Summer of IMPACT kicks off on June 1st! It’s a month-long effort (the entire month of June) where we as a church saturate our community with the love of Jesus through simple acts of service. It’s basically what we normally do all throughout the year, but ON STEROIDS for the month of June! There is something for everyone – from serving through our existing partnerships with non-profit organizations all over Charleston like the Lowcountry Food Bank, Soldiers Angels, the Ronald McDonald House, Carolina Youth Development Center, Charleston Vets, The Pink House, Patriots Villas, and Lowcountry Orphan Relief, to sewing lap throws for the residents of Joseph Floyd Manor, to feeding, clothing, and bring supplies to literally hundreds of hungry, hurting, and homeless people all over Charleston. There are opportunities nearly every day of the month. You simply sign-up and then show-up. It’s that easy. Every project has a leader and every project is well-organized. So here’s what I am asking you to do RIGHT NOW:
Click on this link: https://coastalcommunitychurch.org/missions/
Take a look at all the opportunities. Find the project(s) right for you and then sign up today! You can sign up for as many opportunities as you want directly from our website.
As always, if you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday or sign up now on our website. If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613.
- If you would like your family to participate in the Baby/Child Dedication on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19th, please respond to this email. Include the child’s full name and the service you will be attending. Coastal’s Baby Dedication is a special time for our parents and children. The purpose of our Baby Dedication is not for the child’s salvation. It is more of a prayer/renewal time for the parents as they commit to raise their child the way God wants them to and a time of prayer for the child to grow to be the man or woman God has called them to be. It is also a time for our church family to commit to you, the parents, to be the support that you need. Most people think of a Baby Dedication as just for our newborns, but we’ve had all different ages participate. If you’ve never had that special prayer time for you and your child, we’d love for you to sign up and participate.
- We are planning our Annual BEACH BAPTISM out at Folly Beach County Park on Sunday, June 12th, at 5pm. You can sign up for it on our website. The only requirement for Baptism is that you have personally given your life to Jesus. Baptism is a public profession of your faith. At Coastal we call it “going public,” and it’s a great celebration! In fact, the whole church is invited out to Folly to celebrate! If you’re unable to participate in our Beach Baptism, remember at Coastal we’re ready for you to get Baptized any service, any Sunday. If you are interested in getting Baptized simply respond to this email, sign up on your Connect Card, or sign up on our website.
- We’re looking to grow and expand our Online Engagement Team. Coastal’s Online Engagement Team serves online, every Sunday, during both services. What do they do? They greet and serve our guests, regular attenders, and members who are attending our services virtually on Church Online (by way of our church website), Facebook, and on YouTube.
When you consider the Online Engagement Team think of it as, First Impressions, but online. Our Team members chat in the chatrooms, share thoughts about upcoming events, share moments during the service, pray for people requesting prayer, and provide the same level of excellence we’ve come to expect during our in-person services. The reality is this, if we’re going to take the online experience to the next level, we’re going to need some additional help. You’ll receive training and can serve as little as once per month or as many times as you like. If you are looking for a great serving opportunity, this might be it! Reach out to Pastor Ryan Spell (email@example.com – 843-442-8985) or Pastor Chris Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org – 843-870-4613) for more information.
- We are so excited about Vacation Bible School at Coastal this year! After COVID & Construction, VBS is back and will be better than ever in our brand new facility! The dates & times for VBS this year are Monday, July 11th – Friday, July 15th, 6pm-8pm! This year’s theme is “Make Waves – What you do today, can change the world around you!” VBS at Coastal is ALL HANDS ON DECK! In other words, it takes EVERYONE to pull off a great VBS for our church and our community. There will be greeters, security, snacks, registration, teachers, games, worship, decorations, nursery, crafts – in other words, something for EVERYONE! If you are interested in serving in any capacity, please go to our website and sign up today! To register your child, ages 4 year olds – 5th Grade, go to https://coastalcommunitychurch.org/vbs/ and sign them up today! If you have any questions, contact Janet Rollins at email@example.com or 843-442-8299.
P.S. Interested in officially making the Coastal church family, your church family? Our next Membership Class is Monday night, June 6th, 6-8:30pm. You can respond to this email, sign up on our website, or sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday. You can join us either in-person or online through Zoom.