Online LIFE Groups!

I hope this email finds you healthy, safe, and socially distant!  These days can be very different and very difficult for all of us.  This season we are in could be the most visible example of how much each of us truly needs community in our lives.  We are created for relationships – relationships with each other and relationships with Jesus.

In order to help with this need for each one of us, we have organized and created new Online Life Groups for you to join and experience community, connection, and prayer each week. These groups are primarily going to function by meeting online through Zoom at a designated time each week to check in with one another, walk through a handful of discussion questions related to Sunday’s sermon, and end with prayer requests and pray together. These groups will begin this coming Sunday, April 5th. There are a few groups that are doing a longer, more in-depth study and a few workout groups using video links.

Many of our current Life Groups that started in February are continuing to meet online and finish out their studies.  Some of the groups will end once that happens and some will continue on with the sermon-based discussion and prayer time.  If you are currently in a group please check with your leader on the plan.  For a list of all our Online LIFE Groups, go to this page and sign up today!

We love you Coastal, and we believe community, even experienced online, is more important now than ever! This is a great time to join a group and connect with others who call Coastal home.  We hope these options for Online Life Groups are a help to you and your family!  If you have any questions, please reach out to our Associate Pastor, Scott Huff.

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Watch Coastal Online!

I just wanted to encourage you to join us online today and share some good news with you!  Our normal service times are Sundays at 9:30am, 11:15am, and 6pm.  But starting today we’re going to post our Sunday services at 9:30am, 11:15am, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm – ALL DAY LONG!  Spread the word, share our posts, and invite your friends to watch!  While you can see the service on Facebook, the best place to watch the service, fill out a Connect Card, submit prayer requests, give, and interact with one another is https://coastalcommchurch.churchonline.org.

Also, if you’re a parent don’t forget to check out our new web page for your children: “Coastal Kidz Online.”  There you will find lesson videos for kids of all ages, parent guides to help you discuss the Bible lesson with your children, reinforcement activities, and a Youtube playlist of worship songs. For the elementary grades, there are several days worth of reinforcement activities.  We will update this page every week! If you have any questions, please reach out to our Children’s Director, Janet Rollins.

If you have a Middle or High School Student, be on the lookout for an email from our Student Pastor, Ryan Spell with each week’s virtual schedule and follow our Instagram page (wavesstudentministry) for daily updates and events! Every day of the week they will have a different digital event taking place from Instagram Challenges and Scavenger Hunts to Netflix Parties and even Zoom Small Groups.

And finally, most of our LIFE Groups have already gone online, and we’re adding several new Groups.  Many of the new groups are Prayer & Devotion Groups that will give you an opportunity to check in, go over a short devotion/questions from Sunday’s sermon, and pray together.  We want to do our best to keep everyone connected during this season of “social distancing.”  If you are interested in joining a new group or even leading one, respond to this email or reach out to Pastor Scott Huff.

I love you Coastal and I’ll “see” you online today! 

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Children & Students – Online Resources!

With all this talk of churches “going online”, I just wanted you to know that we haven’t forgotten about your kids!  Last week Janet sent out an email encouraging you to take advantage of Right Now Media and even picked out some age appropriate resources.  If you haven’t taken advantage of your free membership from Coastal, simply go here:  https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Account/Invite/COASTALSC.  There are literally thousands of resources for the whole family!

Thanks to technology, we not only have the ability to provide online worship services for our adults, but also an online worship experience for our children. On Coastal’s updated website, look for our new page: “Coastal Kidz Online.”  There you will find lesson videos for kids of all ages, parent guides to help you discuss the Bible lesson with your children, reinforcement activities, and a Youtube playlist of worship songs. For the elementary grades, there are several days worth of reinforcement activities.  We will update this page every week!

WSM (WAVES Student Ministry – 6th-12th Grade) has also gone virtual! Every day of the week we will have a different digital event taking place from Instagram Challenges and Scavenger Hunts to Netflix Parties and even Zoom Small Groups. Parents, be on the lookout for an email with each week’s virtual schedule and follow our Instagram page (wavesstudentministry) for daily updates and events.

We love you Coastal and we love your children & students!  We hope all of these resources are a help to you and your family!  If you have any questions, please reach out to our Children’s Director, Janet Rollins or our Student Pastor, Ryan Spell.

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Friday’s 5 – 3-27-20

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the News4 story on our church last week and our “Grab & Go Drive Through Tailgate”!  During the last 2 weeks, I’ve learned so much about our church.  I’ve learned that you are flexible – willing to adapt.  I’ve learned that our Staff is relentless and willing to do whatever it takes to keep moving forward, to keep pursuing excellence, and to keep leading and loving our church.  I’ve learned that our church is full of generous people who are willing to sacrificially give even during difficult times.  I’ve been reminded that although I love our Sunday morning SERVICES, it’s our SERVICE to the community that will make the greatest IMPACT.  I’ve learned that our church is more concerned about building the Kingdom of God than our little castle called Coastal.  I’ve learned that we’re not just a church that DOES small groups, we are a church OF small groups that truly values community in whatever form it takes.  And as always, I’ve been reminded that we don’t just GO to church, we ARE the church!  Coastal, I love you all, and I’m so proud of you.  I truly believe that this is going to be one of those defining moments for the church.  Let’s not let this pass us by!

By the way, over 1100 people watched our service online this past Sunday and several thousand more on Facebook.  I truly believed that our church was going to be a church of over 1000 people by the end of 2020.  I just didn’t realize that it would be online!

We’ll be feeding the hungry and hurting again this Saturday with our “Grab & Go Drive Through”!  This Saturday, 9am-11am, we’ll be doing a Pancake Breakfast (pancakes & link sausages).  Please spread the word and share the post on social media.  We have plenty of volunteers, but would love for you drive through and take some food to someone in need or someone who needs to be encouraged.  One way that everyone can help is to drop off canned goods and non-perishable food for our community Food Bank.  You can drop off items on Saturday morning or during the week at the church office.  

During this crisis our new scaled back office hours are:  Monday-Thursday 9am-11am & 1pm-3pm, Friday 9am-12noon.  Our Pastors & Staff will be working remotely and rotating hours to keep the office open only for deliveries, food pick-up/drop-off for the Food Bank, Operation Christmas Child drop off, and volunteer supply pick up (Easter Yard Signs & OCC Christmas cards).  That’s right – the Easter Signs are in.  They simply say, “EasterAtCoastal.com“, and we need people to pick them up and put them in your yard and strategically place them all over Charleston.

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. 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 thousands of boxes we will pack and wrap in the Fall.  This month we are encouraging everyone to bring bars of soap & washcloths.  In April, it’s stuffed animals that will fit in a shoebox.  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.
  2. All of our LIFE Groups have gone online!  We are looking for people who would be willing to lead an online Group – go over & discuss short devotional questions from Sunday’s sermon (that we provide) & pray together.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. Today is day 87 or our 100 Day Challenge!  Just two more weeks left!  Today’s reading is John 9.  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 10:10. 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.
  5. As we temporarily move our Sunday morning services online, we want to offer children the experience to feel connected as well. You can now go to our websiteand find supplemental resources for this week’s up-to-date curriculum, including: video lessons, worksheets for each respective age group and a YouTube playlist kids can sing along and worship to.  We pray the online programming for Coastal Kidz will help children feel blessed and included as they navigate through the curriculum and as they join alongside their parents during online services.  For more information, contact Janet Rollins via email at:  janet@coastalcommunitychurch.org.

    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!

Looking For Ways to Help?

So many people have been asking what they can do to help during this crisis.  I want to give you an updated list of some practical ways you can help our church, our community, and our world:

#1 Help keep our Blessing Boxes stocked. Consider choosing a Blessing Box and as a family, restock it with non-perishable food, toiletries, and even notes and 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 

#2 Help keep our church Food Pantry stocked. As you might have guessed, supplies are diminishing, and the church will continue to assist as many families as we can. The church will gladly accept donations dropped off at our church. Historically, an even better way has been through Coastal’s Amazon Food Pantry Wish List (however, be aware that many of these items are now out of stock). These items when ordered through Amazon are shipped directly to the church where they are then distributed to the community. The wish list contains many of the more common items used in both the pantry and our Blessing Boxes. 

#3 Volunteer to help keep the Food Pantry organized. If you have an hour to spare to help organize the Food Pantry, this would be a great opportunity for a family wanting to serve. This opportunity includes putting new donations onto the shelves, checking for expired and damaged items, and packing food bags ready to go when people come for food.  There is also the opportunity to pack replenishment kits for future distribution to our Blessing Boxes. 

#4.  Operation Christmas Child Donations & Card Writing.  Operation Christmas Child is now an ongoing, year round mission of our church.  Each month we are collecting different items/supplies.  This month we are collecting bars of soap & washcloths.  In April we are collecting small stuffed animals (that will fit in a shoebox).  We also need volunteers to start writing Christmas Cards that will go in the boxes.  We will provide the cards, you simply have to pick them up at the church.

#5. Start an Online LIFE Group.  Now, more than ever before, we’ve got to do everything we can to help connect people and provide an outlet for spiritual growth and community in this new reality we’re all facing.  Online Groups are part of that answer.  We’re going to make it as easy and simple as possible.  If you’ve ever used a computer and surfed the web at all, you CAN DO THIS.  The technology we’ve been using is ZOOM (although others are available).  Pastor Scott Huff will provide a training and answer any questions you might have.  For the Groups themselves, we’re really looking for Prayer & Devotional based Groups (although you can choose any study you want to do).  For the devotion, each week we’re going to provide you with small group questions from the previous week’s sermon.  Then you simply share prayer requests and pray together.  All of that and more (praises, announcements, etc.) can happen online.  These Groups can be anywhere from 30-40 minutes in length to longer.  If you are interested, go to this link and fill out the Online LIFE Group Leader Form.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff.

6. Grab & Go Drive Through Food Service.  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 them)! We’re trying 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. Feel free to pick up a box and deliver it to someone in need.  When we post the times on social media we need you to share and help spread the word.  We’ll be changing the menu from week to week.  This week the Drive Through will be open from 9am-11am and we’ll be serving pancakes & link sausages.  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 see if there is an open slot.  We’ll need traffic volunteers, kitchen volunteers, box hand out volunteers, and Food Pantry volunteers.

7. Give.  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. If you normally give on Sunday mornings by check, cash or card swiping, would you consider giving online.  Thank you so much for your faithfulness!

8.  Pick Up & Put Out Easter Yard Signs.  Last year, one of the most effective advertising we did for Easter was our Yard Signs that we put up all over West Ashley.  Since we are not having our Sunday morning services in person, we need people to come by the church and pick yard signs that you can put in your front yard and all over Charleston in strategic places.

9. Phone Calls, Deliveries, etc.  And then of course, there are those in our church and community who don’t have access to technology, who need a simple phone call of encouragement.  There are also those who might need food or supplies delivered to their home.  You can sign up for these and other such services here.

Church Office Hours for volunteering, picking up or dropping off food, Operation Christmas Child items, Yard Signs:  Monday-Thursday, 9am-11am & 1pm-3pm; Friday, 9am-12noon.  If you are a male and already have a key and code to the church and would be willing to man the office in any of our available time slots, please reach out to Ashley.  If you have any questions, please call the church office at 843-571-1777.  

Coastal let’s do this!  Let’s not let this opportunity to BE the Church in this defining moment pass us by.  As always, I love you and love being your Pastor.  And I’m forever grateful for your creativity, generosity, and willingness to do WHATEVER it takes to keep reaching, serving, and loving people.  And right now, this is what it takes!

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Friday’s 5 – 3-20-20

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-controlThere 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!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Coronavirus Update

Well, as I said in my previous email, this situation is very fluid and changes every day.  In light of the growing concerns, school closures now in our community, and the request of our government leaders to cancel large gatherings (10 or more now) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to host all of our Sunday morning services online.  Starting this weekend, we will be moving our services to a live, online church-at-home experience only (just like we currently offer).  You’ll be able to participate in worship, pray together, hear a message, give, submit prayer requests, make decisions and take next steps.  We are also asking all of our LIFE Groups to take a break for the next two weeks.  After two weeks, we will reassess the situation.

As things develop, we will continue to keep you updated on our plans and as to when our normal weekend services, LIFE Groups, and other Ministries will resume.  If someone asks why your church chose to respond to this health crisis in this way, here’s our response:

  1. Our physical doors may be closed, but our church is not. As I said on Sunday, you can’t cancel church, no matter where, when, or how we gather.  The church is not a building – YOU are the church, WE are the church!      
  2. We are loving our neighbors by protecting our neighbors.
  3. We are not being fearful. We are being responsible.
  4. This is what love requires of us in this season. 

Even though everyone is being encouraged to practice “social distancing”, it is NOT a time to disconnect.  We need each other, and people need the church. So, we are encouraging everyone to look for creative ways to reach out to one another and STAY connected – phone calls, text, emails, or the use of technology like Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Zoom, GoTo Meetings (ask a young adult – haha!).  Or even better, go “old school” – one on one connections!  Instead of a large group, have a friend or a couple over.  Host a “watch party” in your home on Sunday morning and have just a couple of friends over to watch our service online and pray together.  

Also, now more than ever we are encouraging everyone to “saturate” our City with love and kindness this Saturday for “Saturation Saturday” (3rd Saturday for every month)!  Wear your blue Coastal “Making An IMPACT” t-shirt, reach out and serve someone, and use it as an opportunity to tell them about Jesus and Coastal!  Truthfully, this is the time to look for ways to do that every day – not just on Saturday!  As you serve and love our city, take a picture and share your experience on Social Media.  It’s time we flood the world with some Good News!  For those of you who are able, maybe you volunteer to watch someone’s kids who are now home from school.  If you have any surplus whatsoever of non perishable food items, please bring them to the church for our Food Pantry and Blessing Boxes. 

We WILL get through this together, and we WILL come out on the other side stronger!  Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell (or the coronavirus) will not conquer it!”  I love you Coastal and I love being your Pastor!

Pastor Chris

P.S.  How can we pray for you?  I would love to hear any prayer requests that you might have and share them with our Prayer Team & Staff!

  1. If you don’t already, make sure you “like” our Facebook page and “follow” us on Instagram. We will be posting updates and additional details as needed along with a few new ways for us all to stay connected during this season.
  2. During this season we are simply encouraging you to continue to be faithful in your giving and to consider giving online or through TEXTing (843-277-8337).  It is your consistent, generous, and faithful giving that not only allows our church to operate, but more importantly to continue to share & experience the LIFE & LOVE of Jesus with Charleston and the world!

Online Connect Card

  • If this is your 1st or 2nd time joining us, we'd love to mail you a little more information about Coastal along with a thank you for tuning in today.