I think we’re going to go ahead and plan some sort of “Hurricane Preparation Party” for the second week of September next year (not a bad idea)!  But wow – what a crazy week!  The truth is, however, we have SO MUCH to be grateful for here in the Lowcountry!  Please continue to pray for Wilmington and the surrounding areas affected in North Carolina.

I do know this, I seriously can’t wait to see everyone on Sunday for our Big Day and the Kick-off of our “Losing My Religion” series!  It’s going to be AWESOME!  Don’t forget, we will have 3 services this Sunday – 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am.  We will go back to our normal service times of 9:30am and 11:15am the following week.  On top of that – LIFE Groups finally start this coming week!  Woohoo!

So what can you do to help make this Sunday a success?

1. Pray!  Pray for the people you are inviting and for all the people our church invited through the large postcard we sent out.  Pray for people to come to know Jesus.  Pray for me & my messages (3 services).  Pray for our staff.  Pray for our volunteers.  Beg God to draw people to Himself through our church.

2.  Invite!  Make it a personal goal to invite and bring so many people.  Send emails.  Send personal messages on facebook and other social media.  Share my Facebook posts.  Use the invite cards/postcards we’ve been handing out.

3.  Welcome!  Go out of you way to speak to & welcome all of our guests (or anyone you don’t know).  Help us treat everyone as our welcome, expected guests in our home.  Remember, guests are GIFTS from God!  Help us treat everyone that way!

4.  Consider serving!  A new series & new people mean we need more and more volunteers.  If you’re not already serving somewhere, it’s time to start!  Our 1st Impressions Team is a great place to get started.  Give Chris Ranew our 1st Impressions LIFE Team Leader a call or send him an email – 706-941-2044, chrisranew@gmail.com.  Our Children’s Ministry is also a great place to serve on Sunday morning.  Call Janet, our Children’s Ministry Leader or send her an email – 843-442-8299, janet@coastalcommunitychurch.org.

5. Give.  Special Days incur special expenses.  Even though there will be a lot going on after each service, come prepared to give generously.  Or better yet, you can give any time using any of the different ways we have to give at Coastal – our website, texting (843-277-8337), or our app.

4 More Things to Consider on the day of the “Big Day” itself.  Parking:  the farther away you park, the better!  Please park at Oakland and save the closer parking for guests.  Service times:  the key is come to the service that your guests are coming to.  BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT, come early!  Everything goes smoother (Child Check-In, coffee, getting a seat, helping our guests) when you come a little earlier.   Seating:  no matter which service you come to, PLEASE sit to the front and center of each section.  This makes more room for people as they come in.  And finally, everyone PLEASE FILL OUT A CONNECT CARD!

Whew!  I think that’s about it!  Sunday is going to be AWESOME!  Most importantly, people are going to come to Jesus!  Like I’ve said Coastal, let’s pray and beg God like it all depends on Him.  But then let’s work, invite, and share like it all depends on us.  Then let’s walk by faith and trust God with the results!

See You & Your Friends Sunday!

For this week’s “Friday 5” here are the 5 different organizations/groups that will be on our campus this Sunday and what you can do to help!

1.  Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has partnered with local churches around the world to deliver 157 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to children in need in 160 countries. Each one—packed full of fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items—is sent with prayer that the child who receives it will experience God’s love through their simple gifts. This Sunday, we’re asking you to bring toys/items to fill these shoeboxes!  Here are some suggested things to bring:  Hot Wheels cars, children’s jewelry, small balls, stuffed animals, books, noise makers, yo-yo’s, travel size games, cards, small craft kits, stickers, flashlights with batteries, brushes, combs, toothbrushes, hairbands, small notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, solar powered calculators, markers, crayons, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, socks.

2. As you know, our church has a very special relationship with Oakland Elementary School – and we want to build on it!  This Sunday you will have the opportunity to sign up to volunteer at the school.  All it takes is 30 minutes-1 hour of your time, once or maybe twice a month. We’re looking for people who would be willing to sit with a class during lunch (to help provide a duty free lunch to teachers), volunteer in a classroom, or read with students.

(**Note: All volunteers will need to complete a background check and sign up at:  http://www.ccsdschools.com/community/volunteering.)

3. The Sea Island Habitat for Humanity ReStoreraises funds and awareness for the mission of building safe, affordable houses for families in need on James and Johns Island, through re-selling donated furnishings and construction materials. The goods you give help fund affordable housing in a safe, stable environment with interest-free mortgages. Sea Island Habitat for Humanity has provided housing for over 320 local families.  So this Sunday, bring old furniture, household items, building supplies (anything) to church this Sunday and they will be loaded up on the Habitat for Humanity Truck where they will be distributed to families in need.

4. 40 million people face hunger in the U.S. today — including more than 12 million children and more than five million seniors. Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including our own. Donations to the Coastal Food Bank not only feed the hungry/hurting people here in our surrounding community, but donations are also taken out in a mobile food pantry to feed the homeless and hungry in North Charleston during our monthly Saturday Serve tailgate project. So, this Sunday, please bring nonperishable food items with you to church and help us stock our Food Bank!

5. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. A single donation can save up to three lives. In addition to facilitating the life-saving donation of blood, the American Red Crossresponds to an emergency every 8 minutes. From small house fires to multi-state natural disasters, the American Red Cross goes wherever needed, so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them most.  This Sunday at Coastal you will an opportunity to find out what it takes to donate blood and choose a date to give blood.  You will also be able to talk to a Disaster Relief Specialist and learn about volunteer opportunities in our community.

P.S. Our Annual Coastal Tailgating Day – is Sunday, October 16th!  Sign up this Sunday on your Connect Card for a Tailgating Spot (we’d love to have 15-20 Tailgaters)!  We’ll also have jump castles and other outdoor activities for the kids.  And then after each service, in the center of all the Tailgating Tents we’re going to have an outdoor Baptism Service!  You can sign up to get Baptized on our website, on your Connect Card, or simply respond to this email.