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:
- 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!
- We are loving our neighbors by protecting our neighbors.
- We are not being fearful. We are being responsible.
- 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!
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!
- 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.
- 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!