So how are you doing? On a scale of 1-10, one being barely hanging on by a thread, ready to throw in the towel; ten being not just surviving but thriving and growing – how are you doing? My guess is that it depends on the day (maybe even the time of day – haha). And if we’re being honest, we all have moments at either end of the spectrum, and most of us are probably somewhere in between. Here’s my simple message for you today – BREATHE, JUST BREATHE. Seriously, take a moment, close your eyes, focus your mind on God and His love and faithfulness and take a big, deep breath. I don’t mean to over simplify things, but sometimes we just need to start with the basics. You’ve got this. Actually, God’s got this, and you are His child. Let the truth of these verses wash over your heart and mind today:
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
- “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
- “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:4-9
I’m pretty sure most everyone was anticipating our State’s decision to continue at home education for the remaining of the school year. However, I’m sure the reality of that decision hit pretty hard this week for everyone – teachers, parents, and students. You are in my thoughts and prayers. At Coastal, don’t forget that we have an abundance of people to lean on – teachers, former teachers, and seasoned homeschool educators. If you are in need, please reach out, and we’ll connect you to the support and resources you need. My wife Janet was both a former public school and homeschool teacher and would be glad to help out in any way possible.
Keep our church in your prayers as we continue to strategically plan and think through when and how we will eventually return to our building for worship. Just as we did when we made the decision to go completely online, we are praying, talking to other church leaders, and listening to local and state officials. We want to make the best decision for the safety, health, and well-being of our church and surrounding community. I honestly don’t have a date in mind right now, but whenever it is, I’m sure we’ll be saying the same things we did before we went completely online, “If you’re sick, immune compromised, vulnerable, or caring for those who are – STAY HOME and watch our service online.”
And when it happens, I’m sure we will go to extra lengths to make people feel comfortable – opening doors for people, wiping everything down between services, serving people at the cafe instead of people serving themselves, making masks & gloves available, having servers with gloves at the Communion Stations to hand out the Communion elements instead of people handling their own, offering buckets stationed throughout the building instead of passing the buckets down the row, and I’m sure there will be other efforts made as well. But right now, like I said, continue to breathe and pray. And please remember, no one – no employer, no pastor, no elected official, and no one with an opinion on the situation – has ever led through or lived through a time exactly like this. Grace is needed. Being hostile online or in person is counterproductive and un-Christlike. We will grow through this together! Breathe.
LIFE & LOVE!
Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:
- This Saturday, April 25th, 11am-1pm, will be week 6 of our FREE “Grab & Go Meal Drive-Through.” This week we are planning on feeding 1,000 people in our community FRIED CHICKEN, mashed potatoes, green beans, and dessert – plus a free roll of toilet paper for every family!! If you’re hungry, in need, or know someone who is, we’d love to help! Feel free to pick up a box and deliver it to someone you know. It’s our way to love and serve our community! Help us spread the word! At this point and at this scale, the BIGGEST WAY TO HELP is donating money. You can sponsor a meal by giving on our website: https://coastalcommunitychurch.org/give/ or simply text ANY amount to 843-277-8337 and use the key word “meals” (ex. $100 meals).
- For our next Membership Class, we’re going to do something we’ve never done before. We’re going to offer a virtual Membership class, an online class. It’s going to be Monday night, May 4th, 7-9PM. You can sign up on your Connect Card on Sundays or right now from our website. The week before the class, we will mail you the Membership Packet/notes for the class.
- Each Wednesday morning, Janet Rollins will be hosting an online Zoom meeting for Coastal Kidz! There will be two 30 minute sessions: 9:00AM – Preschoolers ( 2 yr. olds – Kindergarten). 11:30AM – 1st-5th Graders. Both Groups will participate in a Zoom “TALENT SHOW” this week! To participate in any of our Coastal Kidz Zoom Connections, please go to https://zoom.us/j/4864196205 just a couple of minutes before your child’s scheduled time to join the meeting.
- Did you know that we have 5 Blessing Boxes in the community! Consider choosing a Blessing Box as a family and restock it with non-perishable food, toiletries, and even notes & cards of encouragement. This can be done by going directly to the Blessing Box. Here are the addresses to our Boxes:413 Geddes Avenue, Charleston
928 Savage Road, Charleston
2758 East Surrey Drive, North Charleston
1998 Hugo Avenue, North Charleston
1050 St. Andrews Blvd., Charleston
If you have any questions about the Blessing Boxes, please reach out to Chris Jones.
- On Wednesday, May 6th, our church is going to be providing lunch for all the Staff & Health Care Workers at the MUSC COVID-19 testing site at Citadel Mall. We’ll be purchasing the meal from a local restaurant. We look at it as a “win – win”! We get to help feed and encourage those working on the front lines of this crisis, and we also get to help and support our local restaurants that have been hit hard financially at the same time. The meal will cost approximately $800. If you’d like to help with the cost of this meal, you can give on our website: https://coastalcommunitychurch.org/give/ or simply text ANY amount to 843-277-8337 and use the key word “meals” (ex. $100 meals). We’d also like to write “Thank You” cards that we’ll deliver with the meal. You can pick up the note cards at the church and start writing!
P.S. Coastal is teaming up with the Veteran’s Administration and Soldiers’ Angels to supply local low-Income veteran families with food assistance at the mobile food distribution on Friday, May 8th from 8:00am-12:30pm. Many of Charleston’s veterans rely on the food assistance provided by this event and without volunteers these veterans would go without. If you are interested in this event, sign up on your online Connect Card. This project can support up to 40-volunteers. If you have any questions, contact Pastor Chris Jones.