Well, honestly, if I had thought this through I would have written this week’s “Friday 5” in advance and just had it scheduled for today.  But I did not.  So, I am literally sitting in my hotel room in Jerusalem after a long day full of glorious adventures typing away.  It’s 7 hours ahead here in Israel, so right now it’s about 9:45pm.  We’re on the 2nd half of our trip.  The first half we stayed at Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee as our home base.  Tonight we arrived in Jerusalem and this will be home base for the second half of our trip.  Tomorrow we hit Masada, Qumran, The Dead Sea (look or me floating), and Jericho!  I hope you’re enjoying all of my/our pictures on Facebook (friend me) and Instagram (follow me).  It really has been the trip of a lifetime!  I definitely think we’ll do it again – maybe in 2 or 3 years (let me know if you’re interested).

I’m going to keep this real short.  I just wanted you know that we’re safe (no “international incidents”. . . yet), we’re having a blast (haven’t kissed or been kissed by a Jewish girl . . .yet), I miss my wife, and I miss you guys!  It really is an overwhelming experience to take in.  I’m sure we’ll all be processing it all for months.  I remember many things from 36 years ago – much of Israel is timeless.  But much has changed.  Honestly, I’m the one who’s changed.  I had only been a Christian for a short time 36 years ago.  Now I’ve started and Pastored a church for over 28 years.  It’s a totally different experience!  So far, I would say the highlight was Baptizing several people in the Jordan River and then taking a swim there!

I won’t be there on Sunday.  Ryan will be preaching.  He’ll be in chapter 4 of James.  Don’t miss it!  And definitely don’t miss Sunday, just because I’m not there.  That would be quite pathetic especially during a series about losing religion and putting your faith into action.  I will be there the following Sunday and can’t wait to see everyone and hug your necks!

Keep us in your prayers!

Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

1.  You should have received your Annual Christmas Offering letter from me this week!  I hope that you and your family will prayerfully consider what you will give toward this special offering – above and beyond your regular giving. We can’t all give the same amount, but together we can all make the same sacrifice! And that’s when God shows up and does a miracle!  You can begin giving toward the offering this week until the second week of January – 10 weeks.  However you choose to give, simply use the keyword, “Christmas.”  Our goal is $60,000!  The offering will be used for our Student Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and our Missions/Outreach.  You can give any Sunday over the next 10 weeks.  Or you can give any time using the Offering Envelope you received in the mail this week (or one you pick up from church), you can give online from our website, you can give from our church app, or you can simply TEXT any amount to 843-277-8337.  Just remember to use the keyword, “Christmas.”  If you are interested in making a large donation that we can use for a matching gift, please let us know.

2.  Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry is kicking off a brand new curriculum soon and all volunteers, including assistants and student volunteers, will need to go through one of the two Training Sessions offered:  Friday, November 16th, 6:30pm-8:30pm OR Saturday, December 8th, 10am-12noon.  RSVP for a session on your Connect Card or respond to this email.

3.  Attention all Coastal Volunteers!  Let us show you our APPRECIATION by joining us for a special night of THANKS & VISION (an exciting announcement from Pastor Chris) on Friday night, November 30th, 6:30PM!  Oyster Roast, Hotdogs, & Chili!  Childcare provided.  Please RSVP online, on your Connect Card, or respond to this email.

4.  LAST CHANCE MEMBERSHIP CLASS! Don’t let 2018 go by without officially making Coastal Community Church YOUR church family!   The last Membership Class of 2018 is Saturday morning, December 1st, 9am-12noon.  Childcare and light refreshments are provided.  You can sign up for the class on our website, respond to this email, or sign up Sunday on your Connect Card.

5.  The Red Cross Mobile Blood Bank will be at Coastal Community Church on Tuesday, December 4th from 2pm-7pm.  Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. need blood.  It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries.  Come give blood!  Your donation can save up to 3 lives!

P.S. I don’t know if you heard the good news!  But one week ago Friday night we packed and wrapped a total of 631 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child– a Coastal record!  This is a picture of everyone laying their hands on and praying for all the boxes!  Thank you Coastal for your generosity!  I love you and I love what we get to do together!