This Sunday we’re in week 4 of our “Hope in the Dark” series.  I hope you’re enjoying this journey through 1 Peter.  The truth is, we all need hope.  Hope is one of those necessary elements of life.  I mean there are some things in life that you just can’t do without.  Or at least you can’t go very long without.  For instance, food.  How long can you live without food?  Some of you didn’t have breakfast, so you’re thinking in just about an hour or two you’re going to starve to death.  But, we know you can at least live 40 days without food.  Jesus Himself, and others fasted for 40 days from solid foods.  How about water?  How long can you last without water?  Studies show three days.  72 hours. We need water more than we need food, because our bodies are made up mostly of water.  How long can some of you live without your smart phone?  Not very long.  What about air?  How long can you live without breathing?  Your body can survive for eight minutes without oxygen.

But, let me ask you this, how long can you live without hope?  The answer is not one moment.  You can’t live without hope.  You need hope in order to cope with all that life throws at you.  Hope is not something you only need when you’re in trouble, or when you’re facing problems, or when you feel like you’re drowning.  You need hope every moment.  You need hope now.

Some of you are having a really tough year.  You lost a job.  Or maybe you’re struggling financially.  Some of you, you went through a breakup, or maybe you received a bad diagnosis at the doctor.  Or maybe in the last year you lost someone who you loved a great deal.  And you need hope.

And listen, the people in your life need hope too.  Because the people in your life who don’t know Jesus, you know what they’re placing their hope in?  They’re placing their hope in things that don’t last.  They’re placing their hope in their bank account, in their job, in their career, in a relationship.  In other words, they put their hope in things that are temporary.

We all need hope, but where do we find it?  Hope, real and lasting hope, can only be found in one place.  Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”  God is the ultimate source of our hope.  Not a Presidential candidate.  Not a bank account.  Not a job or a person.  God is the source of our hope.  And we, as the church, we are God’s chosen means of taking His hope to a lost and broken world.  We are the only organization that Jesus left behind to communicate God’s love to a world who desperately needs it.  And what that means is when we’re really being the church, when we’re doing what the church is supposed to do, the church is the hope of the world!  Who do you know in your life, in your circle of influence, where you live, work, parent, and play, who needs a shot of hope?  Share your story, share your faith, and invite them to a place – Coastal Community Church – where they will be introduced to the true Hope of this World!  See you Sunday – in-person and/or online!

(We exist to share and experience the LIFE & LOVE of Jesus with Charleston & the world!) 

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!
    Lowcountry Orphan Relief –  Lowcountry Orphan Relief provides support services and aid to meet the needs of Lowcountry children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. Coastal has a long standing relationship with LOR and on Friday, October 16th from 9am- 11am we’re sending a team to build emergency care kits for children in the community. We meet at 1850 Truxton Ave in North Charleston.   
    Suburban Hotel Tailgate –  Let’s make an impact together by serving local veterans and persons transitioning from a local homeless shelter in Charleston into permanent housing at the Suburban Hotel in North Charleston! On October 17th from 10am until 1pm we’re sending a Tailgate Team who will provide grilled burgers and hot dogs for those in need. We meet at Coastal in the Welcome Center! This is a project that is suitable for the whole family.
    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. Not only has construction started, but our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry has gone portable!  During construction Coastal Kidz will be meeting across the street (where most of you park) at Orange Grove Middle School! We will be setting up Coastal Kidz every Saturday morning at 8:30am.  We would LOVE for you to join us!  If you are interested in being a part of the Coastal Kidz Set-Up Team, respond to this email or reach out to Janet Rollins at 843-442-8299.
  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 Newcomer’s Reception is Sunday, November 8th, in the Welcome Center immediately following the 11:15am service (at approximately 12:30pm).  This is a great way to learn more about Coastal, meet staff and key volunteers, as well as meet some other new people.  Childcare provided.  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. This Sunday there will be a Volunteer Insert in the Bulletin for our 1st Impressions Team and our Security Team.  As more and more people make their way back to in-person worship, we’ve got to build back up our Volunteer Teams.  If you’ve served in the past, we need you!  If you’re new to Coastal, and haven’t started serving, we need you!  But let me be clear, we don’t need you simply because there are spots to fill.  We need you because Jesus said that you find LIFE by giving your LIFE away in service to others.  You see, YOU need it!  If you are interested and willing to serve, fill out the insert on Sunday or respond to this email.