Well, this is my semi-annual reminder to change your clocks this weekend!  But don’t worry, this is the “good one” – haha – your clocks “Fall Back” one hour.  So even though it’s Halloween this Saturday night, you’ll have no excuse to miss church this Sunday!  And speaking of this Sunday, I’ll be in 1 Peter 3:13-22 in our “Hope In the Dark” series as we make our way through 1 Peter.  My message this Sunday is all about sharing your hope.  1 Peter 3:15 says this, “And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.”

For a lot of believers though, this is the sticking point.  “I just don’t know the Bible that well.  I’m not that quick on my feet.  I don’t think that fast.  If I go out there and try to share my hope, some skeptic is going to tie me in knots with some philosophical problem that I can’t answer.  Having hope is one thing, but sharing it and explaining it?  I don’t think so.”

This is the beauty of sharing your hope.  It’s YOUR hope.  It’s YOUR story.  That’s what a personal testimony is all about.  It’s your story of how you came to know Jesus and what a difference He’s made in your life.  Peter’s not saying, “Have a snappy rebuttal for every argument that can be tossed at you.”  No, he’s just saying, “Have a reason for your hope.  It’s your hope;  it’s your story.”

You and I don’t have to know all of the answers to make an IMPACT on people.  You just have to tell them how your life has been changed.  “This is who I was.  This is who I am.  And the difference is Jesus.”  If you are a follower of Jesus, you have a story to tell.  And God will use your story to make an IMPACT in the lives of the people around you.  Sure, there are going to be some that will have questions.  Sure, there will be some who will doubt.  There might even be a few Pharisees in your life who will want to argue with you about your story (see John 9).  But, some will be amazed.  Some will believe.

You see, your story really can change the world.  And if you have had an encounter with Jesus, you have a story to share.  So here’s a question for you:  Are you ready and willing to share your story of hope with the people that God has put in your life?  Share your story – share your hope!

Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. Upcoming Outreach Projects:
    Coastal is constantly and continually engaged in being the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.  Here are this week’s opportunities! 
    Tricounty Family Ministries –  We will be assisting with the Emergency Grocery Distribution Wednesday, November 4th, from 9am until 12:30pm.
    Saturday Serve –  The foundation of all of our serving opportunities at Coastal really starts with Saturday Serve – the first Saturday of every month.  The next Saturday Serve is Saturday, November 7th.  We meet in the Welcome Center/Cafe at 8:30am, project leaders make a “pitch” for their serving opportunity, and then we serve!  Make plans NOW to be there!
    Blood Drive –  We’re serving our community by rolling up our sleeves! As part of our November 7th Saturday Serve, Coastal is hosting a blood drive from 8:30am-1:30pm at the church. You can easily sign up for a convenient time slot by clicking here: https://donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/152069. Every donor will receive a $20 gift card. You can use that gift card to meet your own needs or you can donate the gift card back to the church where we’ll use it to help struggling neighbors in our community. Let’s come together as a church and donate life! 
    If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613. 
  2. Many of you might not be aware of this, but our church has a Grief Share Group that meets on Monday nights, 6:30pm at the church.  Grief Share is a support group for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one and need support, encouragement, and hope.  On Monday night, November 16th, 6:30pm-8:30pm  our group is hosting a “Surviving the Holidays” seminar.  This event will help you discover how to deal with emotions, give helpful tips on how to survive holiday social events, and discover hope for the future.  Contact Sue Muoio at s.muoio@outlook.com to RSVP or for more information or register at www.griefshare.org.  Spread the word – the Group and this event are open to the public!
  3. One of our favorite missions that we support here at Coastal is Operation Christmas Child (OCC) – sharing the love of Jesus and the Good News of the Gospel through gifts & supplies in a simple shoebox.  What we are asking our church (YOU) is to simply pray and ask God how many shoeboxes He wants you to fill, take home the shoeboxes we provide, pack them as a family, and then bring back your completed boxes to the church between now and Sunday, November 15th.  There will be a table in the back of our auditorium with shoeboxes ready to take home each Sunday.  This would be a GREAT opportunity for you to teach your children about generosity, the true meaning of Christmas, and the love of Jesus.  You can go to OCC’s website for a great list of suggested gifts/items for the shoeboxes.  We believe that we still have an opportunity to pack hundreds and hundreds of shoeboxes and share the love of Jesus with children all around the world!  Pray about how many boxes your family would be willing to pack, step out in faith, grab a few shoeboxes on Sunday, and help us do just that!
  4. If you’re fairly new to Coastal, a great next step is our Newcomers Reception.  Our next Newcomers Reception is Sunday, November 8th, in the Welcome Center immediately following the 11:15am service (at approximately 12:30pm).  This will also be available online!  This is a great way to learn more about Coastal, meet staff and key volunteers, as well as meet some other new people. RSVP online or on your Connect Card.
  5. Interested in officially making Coastal your church family by becoming a Member?  Our next Membership Class is Saturday morning, November 14th, 9am-11:30am. You can respond to this email or sign up on our website.  You can join us either in-person or online through Zoom.  

    P.S. Young Adult Gathering – Friday, November 6th, 6:30pm-9:30pm at Coastal!   Join other young adults for a gathering at the church for volleyball, other games, food, and fellowship! Please invite any other young adults to join you who might enjoy connecting with other young adults in Charleston.  For more information, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff.