I am so excited to share with you our plans for our 5th Annual Christmas Offering! Historically, this offering has made a huge impact on our ministry! Last year, for example, the Christmas Offering enabled us to help dig a well for a community in Haiti, totally remodel our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry as we moved into the new building, and help fund (over $17,000) a home renovation for a family on Wadmalaw Island! God used our church and the Christmas Offering to do all of that! Well, beginning Sunday, November 20th, through the first Sunday of the New Year, January 1st (7 weeks), we are encouraging our entire Coastal family to give above and beyond their regular tithes and offering to this year’s special Christmas Offering.
To give, all you have to do is designate your gift “Christmas” on your check, offering envelope, card swiping receipt, pay pal, or TEXT (keyword “Christmas”). You can give your gift during those 7 weeks (Nov. 20th – Jan. 1st) at any of our regular Sunday morning services or anytime through TEXTing or PayPal. You might also consider giving it all at once during one of our 2 Christmas Eve Services (Saturday, December 24th, 5:30pm & 7pm). Our entire Christmas Eve offering will go toward our Annual Christmas Offering.
Why a Special Offering? It’s a way for us to grow in our faith and to prepare us for what God wants to do through our church in a bigger way in 2017. It’s a way for us to sacrifice together as a church family and give generously. This offering is not because we are behind on budget, but rather it is to position us to make a greater impact in our community and in our church in 2017. Christmas is all about giving. Many people, during this time of year, are in fact looking for charitable opportunities to give.
What is our goal and where is the money going? Our overall goal is $50,000! Is that a big goal? Yes! Can we reach it? Absolutely! In fact, we gave just over $50,000 last year toward the Christmas Offering. As always, I am very excited about where this year’s money will be going and the potential Kingdom impact. The money will be used for Haiti, Student Ministry, Children’s Ministry, our Food Pantry & our Community Partnership. We feel like these ministries give our church the greatest opportunity to make an eternal impact in the lives of children and families internationally, locally, and at home.
Let me explain each: Last year a portion of our offering went to dig a well in Haiti. It ended up being a little bigger of a project than originally anticipated because of the depth they had to drill. Because of the scope of the project we are now going to help fund a solar energy power source for the well and look into the possibility of helpting the church in Haiti buy the land that the well is on (right now, it’s under a long term lease). Haiti is one of the poorest countries on the planet. This is a tangible way to make a lasting impact for generations to come.
Our Student Minstry and Children’s Minstry really need no explanation. Children and Students are not the church of tomorrow. They are the church of today. When a church stops reaching the next generation for Christ, that church dies. Specifically, we hope that this offering will help cut down the costs of Summer Camp and fully fund VBS.
Throughout the year Coastal does a lot to feed & help hurting families in our community through our Food Bank. We house our Food Bank in a “make shift” pantry/closet in our old kitchen in the old facility. Truthfully, the old kitchen is the one room in our old building that we have never remodeled or even touched – calling it dilapidated is being kind. If we’re going to continue to feed & help people in our community, we’ve got to get this room upgraded and more fully functioning.
And then finally, we want to continue to fund our Community Partnership with Oakland Elementary School. This past year, for example we gave them $1000 for books/supplies, bought school uniforms, and purchased Christmas gifts for needy families. Not only do we bring teachers doughnuts and coffee every week, but we paid for the Christian Juggler to perform 4 shows at their school, the Friday before Children’s Day this year. We want to continue to be known as a generous church in our community.
How much should you give? Prayerfully consider giving a gift that will stretch your faith and include your whole family. For some people, coming up with “extra” money is difficult. We’ve learned that as we give, God provides. Maybe you decide to give up eating out or buying coffee for 7 weeks and give that money to the Christmas Offering. Maybe you sell something or have a yard sale. For some people $1000 above your regular giving is a huge sacrifice. For others, it’s not. Maybe there is someone who might be willing to give a large matching gift. Just like our “All In” Giving Campaign that enabled us to build our new building, we can’t all give the same amount, but TOGETHER, we can all make a similar sacrifice.
Remember, this offering should be over and above what you regularly give. If you’re not regularly giving, use this time of year to start. If you’re not tithing (10% of your gross income), step out in faith and start tithing. Reaching this goal will be a celebration of what God can do through us as together we stretch our faith.
PS – If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.