Friday’s 5 – 4-24-20

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!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

This Week Online – 4-21-20

Coastal, I know I keep saying this each and every week, but it’s true – I’m so proud of your willingness to serve and love our community, to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus where we live, work, and play.  Between our Food Bank, Blessing Boxes, volunteering at the Low Country Food Bank, and the Saturday “Grab & Go Meal Drive Through” we are literally feeding thousands of people in our community!  Our plan all along was to continue to offer the Saturday meal until the students went back to school.  Well, at this point it’s starting to look more and more like we’ll be doing this until the Summer.      

I want to let you know about something else that we’re going to be doing to serve our community.  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.  Now, because of health and State regulations, they are only accepting meals and food from DHEC certified kitchens.  In other words, even though normally they would be thrilled to eat food cooked by Pastor Chris & Janet or any number of awesome Coastal cooks, they’re not able to at this time.  However, they are working with local restaurants and organizations to help provide meals.  So, 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.  We’re also going to be working with MUSC to help provide meals at other locations in the West Ashley area.  So another thing we need people to do is to write “Thank You” notes to the Health Care workers (we’ll provide the stationery).  And get this – they were so excited to learn about everything we’re doing in the community that beginning this week, they are going to be advertising our Saturday meal to all their employees!

Coastal, the other thing that has blown me away (but really should be no surprise) is your generosity!  You are living out 2 Corinthians 8.  The context of this passage is that a group of poor, struggling Christians in Macedonia heard about a financial need in Jerusalem, and they begged the Apostle Paul for the opportunity to help.  Listen to these words, “Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia (through Coastal Community Church). They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor.  But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.  For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.  They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing. . .” 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NLT)  Coastal, that’s YOU!  
So, as I’ve said before, at this point and at this scale, the BIGGEST WAY TO HELP is donating money.  You can simply go to our website and give  or text ANY amount to 843-277-8337 and use the key word “meals” (ex. $100 meals).  Thank you in advance for your generous giving!

Just a few other reminders about this week:

  1. Our “We Love Coastal” video was such a hit this past Sunday that we’d like to keep doing it during this series.  So now that you’ve seen what we need – get busy!  We’re looking for 10-15 seconds of you and your entire family saying your name and what you love about Coastal or what a difference we’ve made in your life or what comes to mind when you think about your Coastal family.  All videos should be in a well lit area.  Do your best to minimize background noise.  All videos should be in landscape / horizontal perspective (“long ways”).  All videos recorded on iPhones can be texted to Pastor Scott at 859-230-5129 OR emailed to Pastor Scott at scotth@coastalcommunitychurch.org.  All videos recorded on any other phone or video equipment can be emailed to Pastor Scott at scotth@coastalcommunitychurch.org.  If for some reason, we can’t use/edit them for the service, we’ll do our best to use them on our social media.
     
  2. This Wednesday morning, April 22, 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 (please make note of the new time).  Both Groups will participate in a Zoom “SCAVENGER HUNT” 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.
     
  3. We still need more Christmas Cards written for Operation Christmas Child.  You can pick up the cards & envelopes at the church.  This month’s (April) gift item that we are collecting is stuffed animals (May will be coloring books).  Also, we are looking for volunteers to start wrapping shoeboxes.  We have the boxes and paper ready to go at the church!
     
  4. Because of the amount of food we are giving away each week through our Food Bank and Blessing Boxes, we still need food donations.  Items that we always need more of are:  pasta, rice, pasta sauce, canned fruit, canned pastas and canned protein (chicken, tuna, etc.).  Don’t forget that you can go directly to the Blessing Boxes themselves.  Their locations are:
    – 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.
     
  5. All of our LIFE Groups are now online and open for new people to join!  For a list of all our Online LIFE Groups, go to this page and sign up today!  And I’d like to give a shameless plug for my Tuesday night Group.  We just wrapped up our “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” study, but we’re going to continue on as a Young Couples Group!  So we’d love for you to join!  Sign up today!
     
  6. Our WAVES Student Ministry (6th-12th Grade) has Virtual Small Groups taking place on Wednesday Nights at 7:00pm. These video based small groups are designed to be a time where students can join in with their friends/other students their age (high school and middle school boys and girls) and spend some time connecting with them and leaders. The group kicks off with some virtual hangout time and then the students will go through a video study; spending some time discussing various topics. To join the zoom video chat at 7:00pm on Wednesday, just visit the student page on the Coastal website (https://coastalcommunitychurch.org/connect/students/) and click the group pertaining to you.  For all the latest Student Ministry info, please be on the lookout for their weekly email and follow them on instagram!
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. And last but not least, Janet and I will be hosting another Facebook LIVE event this Wednesday night at 8pm from my Facebook page (back by popular demand – haha!).  Send me a Friend Request if we’re not already friends.  No real agenda, just a fun time of hanging out and maybe a little bit of Q & A (send in/post those questions)!  But this week Janet and I (mostly Janet) will be making her world famous carrot cake – and GIVING IT AWAY to a lucky viewer!  And I will try once again not to say or do anything inappropriate!

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Friday’s 5 – 4-17-20

This Sunday we’re in Part 2 of our “Welcome Home” series.  I’ll be talking about how when you come to God, not only will you find forgiveness (last week’s message), but you will also find a family!  The church is a family.  It’s not a building; it’s not a service; it’s not an organization; it’s not a club.  It’s a family.  Church is not a place you go to.  Church is a family you belong to.  And I LOVE MY CHURCH FAMILY!  I DO!  If this season of social distancing and staying home has done anything, it’s reminded me just how much I love our church family.  And I’m so proud of you Coastal and how you’ve responded to this crisis.  Your faith, your love, your service, and your generosity are examples to many and are planting seeds that will bear much fruit for years to come and into eternity.  Remember, no matter what the circumstances of life are, our mission has not changed.  Let’s not be distracted or diverted – people still need Jesus, and He is still the hope of the world!

Speaking of our church family, maybe it’s time for you to make a commitment to Coastal and officially become a Member of our church. So, how do you become a member of our church family?  You make a commitment.  At Coastal we have a class that I teach, our Membership Class, where we go over our Statement of Faith, our structure, our purpose, what it means to be a member of God’s family, and we ask people to make a commitment.  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, 6-9PM.  Sign up today on your Connect Card and we’ll mail you the notes for the class.

I can’t begin to thank everyone enough for the response to our “Grab & Go Meal Drive Through”!  This “little meal give away” has grown to the point where we are now planning on feeding 1000 people tomorrow! Go to my Facebook page and share my post about the event.  Help us get the word out.  Our menu for tomorrow: pulled pork barbecue, red rice, cole slaw, and dessert.  Because we are trying to limit the number of people on our campus and because so many people have signed up to serve, we are having to turn people away from serving.  At this point and at this scale, the BIGGEST WAY TO HELP is donating money.  You can simply go to our website and give  or text ANY amount to 843-277-8337 and use the key word “meals” (ex. $100 meals).

Not only are we giving away hot meals each Saturday, but we are giving away an enormous amount of groceries from our Food Bank.  We can still use donations of canned goods and non perishable food items.  Foods that we always need are rice, pastas, sauce, canned fruit, canned proteins (tuna, chicken, etc.).

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. Looking for something positive and life changing to do while you’re staying at home during this pandemic?  Join your church family in continuing to read through the New Testament for the rest of the year!  Come on, what else are you going to do?  Binge watch “Tiger King” on Netflix?  Instead of a daily reading schedule, we’ve given you a block of chapters to read for the week at your own pace (email us for the schedule)  But we would encourage you to try to break it up and read a little portion each day.  Enjoy!
  2. 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 (April) we are encouraging everyone to bring stuffed animals that will fit in a shoebox.  May will be coloring books.  Even though our Sunday morning Services are online right now, you can still drop off OCC items during the week at the church.  You can even pick up shoeboxes & wrapping paper to start wrapping shoeboxes.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Teresa Spell.
  3. All of our LIFE Groups have now gone online! Join a Group and experience community, connection, and prayer each week. You can go to our website and sign up today! If you might be willing to start/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.
  4. 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.
  5. This coming Sunday, April 19th we’ll be taking Communion together online.  If you’re able to pick up some grape juice/wine and bread this week at your local store, great.  However, they are symbols, and you can use whatever you have available (water and crackers would work just fine).  We’ll also be making up some family “Communion Packets” (ziplock bags with small containers of juice and bread) that can be picked up this week at the church.

    P.S. For those of you who normally give to Coastal on Sunday mornings by check, cash, or card swiping, we want to help you to continue to be faithful with your generosity.  If you would like us to mail you offering envelopes or step you through online giving, please respond to this email or call the church office (843-571-1777).  Your weekly gifts are a vital resource that allows us to continue the work that God has called us to do. When you continue to give during this crisis, your gifts allow us to maintain critical ministries that many depend on.  Thank you so much for your faithfulness!

Post Easter Praises!

Well, it was an Easter like no other – one that we will forever remember!  I want to share some good news with you.  Months ago as we were planning this Easter we set a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of 2,000 in attendance.  The previous 3 Easter’s had grown from 1000, 1200, and 1600.  Well, this Easter weekend we had 2,213 attend church online!  The past 2 weeks our church online numbers were 1100 and 1300.  By the way, those are individual unique viewing sessions.  Some of those sessions represent multiple people or whole families.  It also doesn’t count Facebook.  Our online service had 7630 views on Facebook!  Even more exciting is that we had 56 people indicate that they made a decision for Christ online!  

Coastal, I’m hearing similar numbers from Pastors and churches all around the country.  You see, what the enemy meant for evil, God is using to reap a harvest of LIFE change!  People are open right now to spiritual things.  They are searching for hope and help.  And the church has answers.  People are most receptive during times of tension, trouble, and transition.  That pretty much describes the times we are living in right now.  So again, this is not a time for the church or believers to hide, hibernate, or hunker down.  No, it’s our time to storm the gates of hell and rescue people one life at time!

Just a few other reminders about this week:

  1. We still need those 10-15 second videos that describe what the Coastal family means to you.  We really need about 15 more by tomorrow night.  (See previous email for all the details.)  All videos recorded on iPhones can be texted to Pastor Scott at 859-230-5129 OR emailed to Pastor Scott at scotth@coastalcommunitychurch.org.  All videos recorded on any other phone or video equipment can be emailed to Pastor Scott at scotth@coastalcommunitychurch.org.
     
  2. This coming Sunday, April 19th we’ll be taking Communion together online.  If you’re able to pick up some grape juice/wine and bread this week at your local store, great.  However, they are symbols, and you can use whatever you have available (water and crackers would work just fine).  We’ll also be making up some family “Communion Packets” (ziplock bags with small containers of juice and bread) that can be picked up this week at the church.
     
  3. I can’t begin to thank everyone enough for the response to our “Grab & Go Meal Drive Through”!  This week we are planning on feeding 1000 people! Our menu: pulled pork barbecue, red rice, cole slaw, and dessert.  The only thing we need donations of this week are: cookies and/or prepackaged desserts (rice krispy treats, Little Debbie’s, etc.).  If you are interested in serving at the event itself, please respond to this email.  Keep in mind that we are limiting the number of volunteers and because of the response have had to rotate volunteers each week.  At this point and at this scale, the BIGGEST WAY TO HELP is donating money.  You can simply go to our website and give
     
  4. Please pick up all Easter Yard Signs this week around town and drop them back off at the church at your convenience.  We will use them again next year. 
     
  5. This Wednesday morning, April 15, 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).  10:00AM – 1st-5th Graders.  Both Groups will participate in a Zoom “Show & Tell” this week!  Please have your child ready to show something and tell about it.  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.
     
  6. We still need more Christmas Cards written for Operation Christmas Child.  You can pick up the cards & envelopes at the church.  This month’s (April) gift item that we are collecting is stuffed animals (May will be coloring books).  Also, we are looking for volunteers to start wrapping shoeboxes.  We have the boxes and paper ready to go!
     
  7. Because of the amount of food we are giving away each week through our Food Band and Blessing Boxes, we still need food donations.  Items that we always need more of are:  pasta, rice, pasta sauce, canned fruit, canned pastas and canned protein (chicken, tuna, etc.).
     
  8. All of our LIFE Groups are now online and open for new people to join!  For a list of all our Online LIFE Groups, go to this page and sign up today!
     
  9. Our WAVES Student Ministry (6th-12th Grade) has Virtual Small Groups taking place on Wednesday Nights at 7:00pm. These video based small groups are designed to be a time where students can join in with their friends/other students their age (high school and middle school boys and girls) and spend some time connecting with them and leaders. The group kicks off with some virtual hangout time and then the students will go through a video study; spending some time discussing various topics. To join the zoom video chat at 7:00pm on Wednesday, just visit the student page on the Coastal website (https://coastalcommunitychurch.org/connect/students/) and click the group pertaining to you.
     
  10. Janet and I will be hosting a Facebook LIVE event this Wednesday night at 8pm from my Facebook page.  Send me a Friend Request if we’re not already friends.  No real agenda, just a fun time of hanging out and maybe a little bit of Q & A!

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

Happy Easter!

First of all, Happy Easter and Happy 30th Anniversary!  Make sure you catch one of our 9 online services to today.  

Today’s service times are:
7am, 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm
On Facebook make sure you checkin, share the post, start a watch party, etc. – it’s a great way to advertise our church!  However, the best place to watch the service is still  https://coastalcommchurch.churchonline.org.  There you’ll be able to easily fill out a Connect Card, interact with Staff and other through the chat, Give, and submit Prayer Requests.

If you didn’t see my Social Media post yesterday about our “Grab & Go Drive-Through”, I wanted to share it with you.  Here’s what I wrote:  

“WOW! Not only can Jesus multiply loaves and fish, but evidently He can do the same thing to ham, mac’n cheese, potato salad, and green beans! Last week we gave away over 400 meals. I was pretty sure we had enough food today for over 500 (each of the previous 3 weeks we had grown by 100). Today we gave away over 800 meals in a little over an hour!!! That doesn’t count all the toilet paper, candy filled Easter Eggs, and bags and bags and bags of groceries we gave away from our Food Bank!”

“I can’t thank all of our volunteers and the generosity of our church enough! Next week, we’re planning on serving over 1,000 meals (pulled pork barbecue, red rice, coleslaw, bread, chips, and dessert)! If you watch the news today, you’ll see a lot of doom and gloom, hatred, selfishness, and negativity. That’s not what I see! I see love, kindness, generosity, community, and sacrifice. I love you Coastal, I love being your Pastor, and I love what we get to do together! Hold on to your fork, the best is yet to come! Happy Easter and Happy 30th Anniversary Coastal Community Church!”

So many people have asked how they can help.  Honestly, at this point the biggest way to help is through your giving.  Each week, depending on the meal, we’ll let you know if there are specific food items to be donated.  And we do need volunteers each Saturday, but we are limiting the number.  So again, with the number of people we’re feeding, the best way to help is through your generous, consistent giving.  Believe it or not, we’ll have a few more things we’re going to be doing to serve our community in the weeks ahead and I’ll let you know about those soon. 

Don’t forget to send in your short video to Pastor Scott about what a difference the Coastal family has made in your life (see previous email).

Much, Much Love & Gratitude!
Pastor Chris

P.S.  Next Sunday, April 19th we’ll be taking communion together online.  If you’re able to pick up some grape juice/wine and bread this week, great.  However, they are symbols, and you can use whatever you have available (water and crackers would work just fine).

Friday’s 5 – 4-10-20

Finally – Easter Weekend is here!Our first of 19 online services starts tonight at 7pm!  You can watch  services on Facebook LIVE but the best, easiest place to connect, fill out a Connect Card, Give and interact with others is at https://coastalcommchurch.churchonline.org.  Now, it’s definitely not the Easter anyone imagined, but you know what?  It’s probably a lot closer to that very first Easter than any other Easter we’ve ever experienced.  

(Someone shared this with me – I want to share it with you.)  “Think about it.  The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship space with singing and praising.  On the very first Easter the disciples were locked in their house. It was dangerous for them to come out. They were afraid. They wanted to believe the good news they heard from the women, that Jesus had risen. But it seemed too good to be true. They were living in a time of such despair and such fear. If they left their homes, their lives and the lives of their loved ones might be at risk. Could a miracle really have happened? Could life really had won out over death? Could this time of terror and fear really be coming to an end?  Alone in their homes they dared to believe that hope was possible, that the long night was over, and morning had broken, that God’s love was the most powerful of all, even though it didn’t seem quite real yet.  Eventually, they were able to leave their homes, when the fear and danger had subsided. They went around celebrating and spreading the good news that Jesus was risen and love was the most powerful force on the earth.  This year, we might get to experience a taste of what the first Easter was like – still in our homes daring to believe that hope is on the horizon. Then, after a while, when it is safe for all the people, when it is the most loving choice, we will come out, gathering together, singing and shouting the good news that God brings life even out of death, that love always has the final say!”

Our service times over the next 3 days are as follows:  

  • TONIGHTFriday, April 10th: 7pm  
  • Saturday, April 11th:  9am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm, 9pm
  • Sunday, April 12th: 7am, 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm 

There will be plenty of opportunities for you to catch a service and to invite your friends to do the same.  Send out those emails, texts, and phone calls now!  Check-in each time you watch a service and share our social media posts.

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.

Not only are we celebrating Easter this weekend, but Easter also marks our church’s Anniversary!  Our first service was Easter Sunday, 1990, which means that this Easter we are 30 YEARS OLD!  In some ways it feels like just yesterday that we were getting ready for that very first service downtown at the Old Exchange Building.  Yes, for the first year of our church we met at one of the most historic buildings in Charleston.  I used to tell people that George Washington, Prince Charles, and Pastor Chris have all spoken at the Great Hall.  30 years of sharing and experiencing the LIFE & LOVE of Jesus with Charleston and the world!  30 years of loving and serving our community!  30 years of relationships!  30 years of stories from just doing life with people!  It has been the adventure of a lifetime, and Janet and I are beyond blessed for having lived it!  And you know what Coastal?  We are just getting started!  I truly believe that.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s like a great marriage.  I am more passionate and more in love and more committed to what God has called us to do through Coastal, than I could have ever understood 30 years ago!  Coastal is not just a church I attend or preach at – it’s my family!  I love you Coastal and I love being your Pastor!  But hold on to your fork – the best is yet to come!  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  (I promise we’ll celebrate together when this is all over!)

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

  1. Our 100 Day Challenge is now officially over!  Honestly, I don’t know if it could have come at a better time leading us into this period of staying at home, social distancing, and Easter.  I hope the challenge spurred on your faith in greater ways. Well, how would you like to continue to read through the New Testament for the rest of the year?  Come on, what else are you going to do?  Binge watch “Tiger King” on Netflix?  Instead of daily reading schedule, we’ve given you a block of chapters to read for the week at your own pace (see above).  But we would encourage you to try to break it up and read a little portion each day.  Enjoy!
  2. 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 (April) we are encouraging everyone to bring 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.
  3. All of our LIFE Groups have now gone online! Join a Group and experience community, connection, and prayer each week. You can go to our website and sign up today! If you might be willing to start/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.
  4. 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.
  5. Don’t forget to take advantage of your FREE membership to RightNow Media!  It is an amazing resource that Coastal pays for everyone to have access to. You can watch some amazing Bible study videos, devotionals, etc. by just searching the topic you’re interested in. There’s great stuff for kids too! It might give you some great stuff to watch while you’re stuck at home “social distancing!”  Here is the link:  https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Account/Invite/COASTALSC.

    P.S. For those of you who normally give to Coastal on Sunday mornings by check, cash, or card swiping, we want to help you to continue to be faithful with your generosity.  If you would like us to mail you offering envelopes or step you through online giving, please respond to this email or call the church office (843-571-1777).  Your weekly gifts are a vital resource that allows us to continue the work that God has called us to do. When you continue to give during this crisis, your gifts allow us to maintain critical ministries that many depend on.  Thank you so much for your faithfulness!

Easter at Coastal

Never did I ever imagine an Easter weekend like this one in 2020!  But that’s okay. No one ever imagined that very first Easter either, and that’s when God showed up and did the miraculous!  Church Buildings around the world might be empty this Easter, but so is Jesus’ tomb, and that’s what we celebrate!  I truly believe that what the enemy meant for evil and to harm us, God is going to use in miraculous ways.  We’ve gone from planning 7 services over Easter weekend to now having 19 services online!  Our goal was to see over 2000 people for Easter weekend.  The last two weeks we’ve already seen over 1300 on Church Online alone (not counting Facebook).  We’re going to CRUSH that goal and countless lives are going to be changed for all eternity!  

Little did we know months ago, when we were planning out this “Welcome Home”series for Easter weekend, our 30th Anniversary, that we would all literally be STUCK AT HOME!  And not only that, but the graphic for the series (see above) has everyone enjoying a big welcome home hug or embrace, and now we’re NOT ALLOWED to do that anymore!  But that’s okay, because guess what?  A physical house doesn’t make a home anymore than a building makes a church!  And now, more than ever before, people are longing for community, longing for relationships.  And the simple message of Easter is that regardless of your past, regardless of where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God loves you, and He wants to embrace you and welcome you home.  That’ll PREACH!

So Coastal, here’s what I’m asking of you. Pull out all the stops, and do whatever it takes to invite everyone you know to watch one of our 19 services online this weekend.  Text, call, email everyone you know and spread the word.  You can find all 19 service times at www.easteratcoastal.com.  Use the graphic above, share the graphic/announcements we post on social media, and invite your friends to join us.

As we wrap up our 100 Day Challenge, I also want you to consider doing something else – a 24 hour water only fast.  I know many of you are participating in our 40 Day Easter/Lent Fast, and that’s great.  You’ve chosen to give up sweets or caffeine or facebook or any number of things.  Well, for those of you who are physically able, I want to challenge you to pick a day between now and Easter Sunday (Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday) to participate in a 24 hour, water only, fast.  During the 24 hours, I want you to pray not only for OUR Easter Services, but also for the church all over the world and the crisis that we’re facing together!  I simply think that times like these call for Christians everywhere to do the very thing that God instructs us to do – fast and pray and depend on Him.  This is not about weight loss.  It’s about losing the weight of fear and worry and asking God to do the miraculous.  Will you join me?

We’re also going to have a Church wide Zoom Prayer Meeting this Wednesday night at 8pm.  I’d love for you to join me for a short (about 30 minutes), simple time of scripture reading, and guided prayer as we prepare our hearts for Easter weekend and pray for our world.  The zoom link is:  https://zoom.us/j/4864196205.  Login a few minutes before 8pm.  I’d love for you to join us!

Coastal, I’ve been so blown away by your flexibility, adaptability, love, and generosity!  Every day I see example after example of our church BEING THE CHURCH, loving and serving our world!  We, the church, were established for just such a time as this!  THIS is our defining moment!  Let’s not let this one (yes, there will be more) pass us by because we were scared, worried, or selfish.  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.”

LIFE & LOVE!
Pastor Chris

P.S.  This Saturday’s “Grab & Go Meal Drive Through” will be an Easter lunch of spiral sliced ham, mac’n cheese, potato salad, green beans, and dessert.  We will also be giving away a roll of toilet paper and a bag of candy filled Easter Eggs for every family!  Spread the word!  We could definitely use cookies/brownies or desserts that can fit in a ziplock bag or prepackaged/individually wrapped snacks (Little Debbies, rice krispy treats, etc.)  We also need candy filled plastic Easter Eggs.  You can drop any of these items (or Food Bank donations) off at the church Monday-Thursday 9am-11am, 1pm-3pm or Friday 9am-12noon.

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.