It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? How are you feeling? Fearful, worried, stir crazy, hopeful? Probably a mixture of all of it. It’s hard when the circumstances around us are so “fluid” (a term you’re hearing a lot of lately) right now – changing day by day and sometimes hour by hour. Do you know what I’ve found is also fluid – our feelings. In other words, they can also so easily change from day to day, sometimes hour by hour. That’s why our faith and our joy is not based on our circumstances or on our feelings. Our faith is grounded in the truth of the never changing Word of God. Here’s a couple of passages of scripture I’ve been trying to focus on in the wake of the current crisis we find ourselves in. Read them and meditate on them over and over in the coming days:
- Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
- Deuteronomy 31:6, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Coastal, we will get through this! I actually believe that we have an opportunity like never before to leverage the times we’re in to “share and experience the LIFE & LOVE of Jesus with Charleston and the world.” How do we do that? The very things that followers of Jesus are supposed to be known for: Galatians 5:22-23, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
And then our real “secret weapon” is the very thing that Jesus embodied – SERVICE! Coastal, I love our SERVICES – our times when we gather together for corporate worship! I love preaching the Good News of the Gospel! And I’m so very thankful, especially in times like these, that we have the technology to do all of that online. BUT, it’s our SERVICE that people have to stand and take notice of, our practical acts of kindness and love.
So let’s get creative and look for real ways to love and serve our community. Here’s just one example: This Saturday, from 11am-1pm, our church will be hosting a “Drive-Through Grab & Go Tailgate.” We’ll have grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, coleslaw, Mac n’ cheese, etc. People can literally pull up, roll down their window and pick up a ToGo box of food (we’ll even say a little prayer for people)! We’d especially like to serve the Oakland Elementary School families who might be picking up food during the week from the CCSD Grab & Go – or any families who might just be in need.
Obviously, we’re trying to limit the number of on hand volunteers. But if you’d like to help, respond to this email and we’ll do our best to put you to work (might be in shifts)! If you’d like to drop off food/sides that we could share – that would be awesome! Also, we’d love some pre-packaged cookies or snacks that we could give away as dessert.
But one way that ANYONE could definitely help would be to drop off any canned goods or non-perishable food items for our Community Food Bank. As you can imagine, it’s getting desperately low. We’ll be taking donations all Saturday morning.
Thank you so much!
LIFE & LOVE!
Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:
- Operation Christmas Child has grown so much at Coastal that it is now a YEARLONG Mission of our church! Each month we will feature a “donation of the month” to help us better prepare for the hundreds and hundreds of boxes we will pack and wrap in the Fall. This month we are encouraging everyone to bring bars of soap & washcloths. Even though our Sunday morning Services are online right now, you can still drop off OCC items during the week at the church. If you have any questions, please reach out to Teresa Spell.
- Due to the Coronavirus, all of our LIFE Groups have basically taken a 2 week break while we “regroup.” However, we’re very excited to announce that we’re going to be encouraging all of our Groups to “go online!” If you’re a current LIFE Group Leader, you should have received an email from Pastor Scott outlining your options. If you might be willing to lead a new online Group, please respond to this email or reach out to Pastor Scott. Let us equip you to help keep our church connected during this crisis.
- This Saturday is “Saturation Saturday!” The 3rd Saturday of every month we encourage everyone from Coastal to find some way to serve and love the people in your life or community. Now, granted, this Saturday you might have to be creative. Other than the “Grab & Go Drive Through Tailgate” mentioned above, we’re also building a team to serve at the Lowcountry Food Bank from 9:00a-12:30p. We’ll meet at the food bank at 8:50am. It’s located at: 2864 Azalea Dr, North Charleston. The food bank has made pleas to our church for help! We also have 5 Blessing Boxes in the community. Consider choosing a Blessing Box as a family and restock it with non-perishable food and toiletries. Maybe you sit down with your family and write some notes of encouragement to some people who might need it – neighbors, health care workers, nursing home residents. If you would like more information about any of these projects or the addresses of the Blessing Boxes, please reach out to Chris Jones.
- For those of you participating in our 100 Day Challenge, today’s reading is John 3. Remember there are 6 components of the 100 Day Challenge, 6 things we are asking you to do (3 are daily – 3 are next steps). Daily: 1. Read Through the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – we’re providing the calendar). 2. Memorize 1 Bible verse a week. This week’s verse has been John 3:16. 3. Get Moving. Find an activity or exercise that you can do each day for 100 Days. Next Steps: 1. Take the Next Step In Your Giving. 2. Start Serving. 3. Join A LIFE Group.
- Coastal Kidz Volunteer Meeting – Cancelled. HOWEVER, we hope to announce very soon a virtual online meeting! All Coastal Kidz volunteers will get an email invite with a Zoom link where you can login on your computer or mobile device. This will be an opportunity for Janet to update all of our volunteers on some important information from our Children’s Ministry (and probably some much needed adult interaction!).
P.S. If you’re a regular giver, please continue to be faithful with your generosity at Coastal. Your weekly gifts are a vital resource that allows us to continue the work that God has called us to do, and our in-person Sunday services only represent a small portion of that work. When you continue to give during this crisis, your gifts allow us to maintain critical ministries that many depend on. You can give online at any time at coastalcommunitychurch.org/give/, or securely by texting to 843-277-8337 with the amount you wish to give. Thank you so much for your faithfulness!