Friday’s 5 – 12-14-18

First of all I want to thank those of you stepped up to my challenge last week and made an initial gift to our 7thAnnual Christmas Offering.  Again, every gift counts, every gift matters.  I also want to give you an update on where the offering is being invested.  We picked up our annual t-shirts that we give to Oakland Elementary School as a Christmas gift yesterday.  The students receive their shirt on Wednesday and then they take a huge group picture of the entire school.  The Principal tells me it’s her absolute favorite day of the year!  I’ll be there for the picture and I’ll be sure to share it with you next week.  Just think about this, each student knows that that t-shirt comes, no strings attached, from Coastal Community Church!  How cool is that?!  That’s just a small glimpse of the IMPACT your Christmas Offering makes in our community!  Also, our security/alarm company has been installing cameras in our Coastal Kidz’ classrooms this week!  We hope everything will be up and operational sometime next week.  It is our desire to do all that we can to create a safe, secure environment for our children and the children of our community.  That’s just a sample of what your Christmas Offering is already doing.  Remember you can give any time between now and January 13th.  Also, our entire offering during both Christmas Eve Services will go towards our Christmas Offering.

And now the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK (drumroll please) . . . . . the Outdoor Christmas Party this Saturday (tomorrow) IS ON!!    Chris Jones will be at the church today starting at 2:30 p.m. until around 6:00 p.m. to stage and prep some of the equipment for Saturday.  We can receive some of the food items (storage at the church is limited) at that time should you have other plans and need to drop off early. We’ll also be warming some of the hams overnight in the warmer. However, we are still asking our volunteers to bring their food donations warm and ready to serve on Saturday morning if at all possible. 

On Saturday morning, the church will be open by 7:00 a.m. to finish warming food items, making coffee, etc. If you want to come early, then by all means please do. Otherwise, we’ll see everyone at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. It may be chilly in the morning but should warm into the lower 60’s. It might be good to bring a light jacket but once we get to moving around, it should be just fine. This may very well be the perfect weather for a Christmas party!  

We’ve been planning, postponing and then planning this event for weeks. Thanks so much for sticking with it!  This is going to be a great day!  Most of the blankets have ribbon and are ready to go, additional chairs have been donated for seating, paper products (plates, forks, knives and spoons) have been ordered, and the Christmas tree is on-hand. We are SO ready!  If people in your workplace, family or community want to come out to provide support, let them come along…let’s overwhelm the place with the love of Christmas!  For some of the people we will be serving…this IS Christmas for them. Let’s make it the best ever.  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Jones at Jonescg73@gmail.com or 843-870-4613. 

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

1. We are in the planning stages of the Spring Semester of LIFE Groups!  If you are interested in leading, assisting, or hosting, please sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday or respond to this email.  LIFE Group Sunday will be January 27th and LIFE Groups will begin the week of February 10th.

2. Along with our regular Sunday morning services on Sunday, December 23rd, we’ll have special Christmas Eve Services on Monday, December 24th at 5:30pm & 7pm.  There will be a special PJ’s & Pizza Party for Children ages Birth-5th Grade during both services in the Coastal Kidz Building.

3. Mark your calendars and make plans NOW!  Starting on Sunday evenings on February 10th, 2019!  Financial Peace University is a proven program that will show you how to master budgeting, pay off debt, build wealth, and give generously!  Indicate your interest on your Connect Card on Sunday or by responding to this email!

4. During our Marriage Sermon Series in the new year, Coastal will host a Marriage Conference – Friday & Saturday, February 22-23.  Cost $100 per couple/$50 per individual.  Meals and Childcare are included.  Open to the community.  See bulletin insert this Sunday for schedule and deposit details.  Sign up on your Connect Card!

5. Attention all parents and volunteers who work with children or students (honestly, attention everyone who cares about this issue and wants to make a difference):  Coastal is hosting “Darkness to Light” and their “Stewards of Children Prevention Training” on Tuesday night, January 15th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm at our church.  The training is free (Coastal is picking up the $10 per person fee).  Spread the word and invite anyone in the community.  The training teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.  It is the only nationally distributed, evidence-informed program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes, and change child protective behaviors.  Please RSVP on your Connect Card or respond to this email.

P.S. On Sunday morning, December 30th we are having ONE SERVICE at 9:30am.  There will be no 11:15am service.

Friday’s 5 – 12-7-18

I want to issue a small, but simple challenge that potentially could have huge results. Here’s the challenge – give something to the Christmas Offering this weekend. In general, I would say that over the years most people give to the Christmas Offering during 3 times:  closer to Christmas, Christmas Eve, or right after Christmas in January.  Now if that’s your plan, I’m not asking you to change that plan.  In fact, Janet and I typically do the same thing.  I’m not asking you to give everything now.  But, I am asking everyone to give something this weekend – even if that something in your mind is very, very small.  I’m issuing this challenge for a couple of reasons.  One, it’s a reminder that every gift counts, every gift matters.  Some people don’t give, because they mistakenly think that their “small gift” doesn’t make a difference.  Many times, it’s the small gift given sacrificially that matters the most.  We can’t all give the same amount, but it’s when all of us, together, make a sacrifice and give by faith that God shows up and does a miracle.  Two, I believe that giving unlocks the door of generosity and blessing in our lives.  Let’s open that door now!  One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is of Joshua and the children of Israel crossing the Jordan River and finally entering the Promised Land.  Joshua 3:15 says, “Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.”  Does God have perfect timing or what?  How many times do we come to a new experience with God, a new challenge, a new blessing and He patiently waits for us to step out in faith?  He waits for us to get our feet wet.  We have no way of knowing how God will provide or deliver.  He’s just waiting on us to move forward, to make the ask, to invite that friend, to pray, to serve, to love, and to give.  So, whether your initial gift is $1, $10, or $10,000, let’s all step out in faith, get our feet wet, and give something this weekend!  Just make sure that however you give, you mark you gift with the keyword, “Christmas.”

I know this is going to sound like a broken record, BUT due to weather concerns, the Outdoor Christmas Party has been postponed again one week to next Saturday, December 15th.  The weather is simply uncooperative. With the chance of rain throughout the weekend remaining high, coupled with unseasonably chilly temperatures, it creates an environment that is extremely difficult for us to accomplish our goals. Our hope is to create a memorable Christmas event for those who are homeless, hungry and already hurting.  We think we can still do that, but unfortunately not this weekend.  We understand that changing the dates can result in losing some volunteers because of scheduling, but if at all possible we hope you will consider staying onboard for just a little while longer.  If you’ve cooked something already, please freeze it until next week. Items selected for the menu should keep and reheat without any problem until next week.  Be mindful that storage at the church is limited, so if you can store items at home, please do so.  We have ample blankets, hats and gloves. However, if you have additional donations, we will still accept them and ensure they are distributed. A final Go/No-Go decision will be made next Thursday night 12/13; communication from Chris Jones will be provided once the decision is made.  We cannot control the weather, but we all know who does. Let’s commit to prayer for better conditions next Saturday so that we can share and experience the life and love of Jesus with those in our community.  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Jones at Jonescg73@gmail.com or 843-870-4613.

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

1. Our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry is kicking off a brand new curriculum December 16th, and all volunteers, including assistants and student volunteers, need to go through a Training Session.  There is a session offered this Saturday (tomorrow), December 8th, 10am-12noon AND a final/make-up session offered on Monday morning, December 10th, 9am-11am.  If you haven’t already done so, please respond to this email to RSVP.

2. We are in the planning stages of the Spring Semester of LIFE Groups!  If you are interested in leading, assisting, or hosting, please sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday or respond to this email.  LIFE Group Sunday will be January 27th and LIFE Groups will begin the week of February 10th.

3. Attention all Students (6th-12th Grade):  The WAVES Christmas Party is this Wednesday night, December 12th, 6pm-8:15pm at Coastal!  You won’t want to miss it!  Wear an ugly Christmas Sweater or your Christmas Pajamas!  Bring a wrapped White Elephant Christmas gift (under $10).  Dinner, candy, fun, obnoxious Christmas music – all provided!

4. Mark your calendars and make plans NOW!  Starting on Sunday evenings on February 10th, 2019!  Financial Peace University is a proven program that will show you how to master budgeting, pay off debt, build wealth, and give generously!  Indicate your interest on your Connect on Sunday or by responding to this email!

5. During our Marriage Sermon Series in the new year, Coastal will host a Marriage Conference – Friday & Saturday, February 22-23.  Cost $100 per couple/$50 per individual.  Meals and Childcare are included.  Open to the community.  See bulletin insert this Sunday for schedule and deposit details.  Sign up on your Connect Card!

P.S. Along with regular Sunday morning services on Sunday, December 23rd, we’ll have special Christmas Eve Services on Monday, December 24th at 5:30pm & 7pm.  There will be a special PJ’s & Pizza Party for Children ages Birth-5th Grade during both services in the Coastal Kidz Building.

Child Protection & Safety at Coastal

In light of the recent news at another church in Charleston, I want to share with you what we are currently doing on Sunday mornings at Coastal to ensure the safety and protection of our children and what we are changing.

First of all, no volunteer ever serves alone, and a background check is run on all Coastal Kidz volunteers ages 18 or older.  We also have a Security Team member and a City of Charleston Police Officer monitoring all classrooms and hallways during each service.

We’ve tried to not take a child to the restroom alone, but at times in the past, it has happened.  However, from now on, it is now the policy of our church that you CAN NOT be in the restroom with a child alone without another volunteer being with you.  It is NEVER allowed under any circumstances.  There are ALWAYS other options.

For most classes, this is not a problem.  Nursery and 2 year olds use the restroom in the nursery. Keep the door open or have a nursery volunteer assist.  4-Kindergarten use the restroom in the classroom. Most children will not need any assistance. If they do, take another volunteer with you. 1st-5th Graders should not need anyone in the restroom with them. Escort the children to the restroom, but wait in the hall for them.  This leaves the 3 year old class which typically has children who are potty training or possibly need assistance with zippers, snaps, buttons, etc. Do not take a child to the restroom alone.  Other options include calling Janet, our Children’s Director (she will have a radio with her – all classrooms have a radio);  contacting the Security Team Member; or paging the parent (we would rather inconvenience the parent, than to sacrifice the safety of a child).

Our first priority must be the safety of our children. This is important: Parents & Volunteers, if you ever see something that bothers you, seems strange, or suspect ANY inappropriate behavior, YOU MUST SPEAK UP!  Contact Janet, our Children’s Director or another staff member immediately.  Again, we have a police officer on campus every Sunday.  We would rather have to apologize to an adult than to sacrifice the safety of a child.

On Monday of this week, we met with our current Alarm/Security company for an estimate to go ahead and install cameras in all of our classrooms and to integrate those cameras with our current cameras in a monitoring room.  However, it does no good to have cameras and a monitoring room unless those cameras are actually monitored.  I have spoken with Bryan Miller, our Security Team Leader, and once this project is completed, this position will become a priority.  It will be more important to have a Security Team Member assigned to the Monitoring Station than assigned to me.

We have decided that part of our Christmas Offering will go towards this project.  So, I make no apologies in asking you to please give generously to our Christmas Offering.  In fact, I’ll just put it bluntly, if you really care about the protection of our children, put your money where your mouth is and give.  In fact, if you haven’t given yet, why not go ahead and open the door of generosity in your life and do it right now.  You can give through TEXTing any amount to 843-277-8337.  You can go to our website and give there.  However you choose to give, simply use the keyword, “Christmas.”

I also make no apologies in encouraging you to get involved and serve in our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry and on our Security Team.  We have an awesome Team of Volunteers!  Help us make those Teams even better!  If you are interested in volunteering, simply respond to this email and we will follow up with you.  We are also looking into scheduling “From Darkness to Light” & Infant/Child CPR training for our volunteers.  And finally, if you ever have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please reach out.  TOGETHER, we all help create a safe, nurturing environment for our children to learn about the life changing love of Jesus!

Sincerely,
Pastor Chris

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