It was quite a blur of a weekend for our family. On Thursday afternoon we took off for Virginia to pick up our daughter from Liberty University for Thanksgiving break. We drove to our good friends Buck & Laurie Wardle’s in Martinsville, Virginia. We had a great but very quick visit and late Friday morning we finished our trip to Liberty. They live a little longer than an hour from the campus.
Lydia got out of class at 12:15. We at lunch on campus and then took off. It’s right at a 7 hour trip. Traffic was terrible on the way home. Janet drove several hours of the trip and enabled me to finish up my sermon. Thank God for laptops.
On Saturday morning I went to the church and finished up everything for Sunday. Saturday afternoon Lydia went with me to a wedding I was performing at Kiawah. It’s kind of a Daddy/Daughter thing we enjoy doing together. She likes seeing the dresses and we both enjoy hanging out together. It was a nice wedding except for one small little detail. They failed to get a SC Marriage License – big oversight for a destination wedding.
Sunday was cold, wet, and dreary for Charleston. Our attendance was slightly down, but we still have 1st time guests each week. It was week 3 of our, “Questions?” series. I talked about handling life’s problems. We also introduced our December series, “The Real ‘F’ Word.” In case you’re wondering the “F” word is Forgiveness. I really think this series is going to make a huge impact.
We had some guests who came to Coastal on Sunday who used to go to the church who formerly owned our building and campus – St. John’s Episcopal Church. They were genuinely impressed with all the changes we have made. And you can imagine the huge changes from a traditional Episcopal church to Coastal! After their tour, the wife told me how impressed she was with all that we had done. She said it was like seeing a dream come true – all the life and children!
Sunday was also Newcomers Day. We had a lunch immediately after the second service and then dessert and coffee immediately after the 6PM service. We hold these event about once a quarter for anyone new to Coastal. It is one of those initial next steps and entry points into our church life. We tell people it is a chance to enjoy a good meal, meet new friends, learn more about Coastal, and discover possible next steps. I share my testimony, tell our story and mission, and talk about LIFE Groups and Ministry opportunities. It is one of my favorite things we do.
Love meeting new people and getting to hear their story as well. One newcomer shared how much they have loved coming to Coastal. She shared how her out of town daughter was having a hard time finding and connecting to a church family. She had come to Coastal on a visit and brought her children with her. She said that during this time of searching for a church home her grandson said, “Can we go to grandma’s church. They love us there!” Wow! I hope that continues to be the mark of Coastal – a place where they love people.
Anyway, it was just a great weekend. Love having my whole family together. My throat is raw and ragged out after preaching 3 times and talking for our 2 Newcomers events. We’re now getting ready for Thanksgiving. Invited anyone who doesn’t have plans to come to our home for Thanksgiving. Hoping a bunch of people take us up on our offer. I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for!