One of the challenges that most of us face every Christmas is connecting with the Christmas story with a fresh set of eyes that hasn’t been glazed over with familiarity. A lot of us have heard the story of Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men so many times, that our brains can easily shift into neutral whenever we hear it. In fact, it’s easy to mentally check out because we already know the story. I mean, we LOVE the story, but we sometimes no longer HEAR the story.
And so to combat that tendency, each year we Pastors try to look at the story from a slightly different angle –– not so much to see “new” things –– but to see the same great truths with a new freshness! And this year I want us to experience the wonder and joy of the birth of Jesus through the eyes of the Wise Men and the gifts that they brought Jesus.
Matthew 2:1-2 says, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Verse 11 of that same chapter says, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” So who were these Magi or Wise Men from the East? And what if anything is the significance of these gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh? Join us this Sunday, December 5th, as we kick off “Christmas at Coastal” and discover the answers to those questions and so much more!
And speaking of Christmas at Coastal – a few other things to make note of:
- Our facility looks AWESOME (thank you Teresa Spell for your vision and all your hard work)! You’re definitely going to want to get family pictures in our facility!
- Sunday, December 19th, is going to be “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” at Coastal! We’re encouraging everyone to break out and wear that ugly Christmas sweater!
- We’ll have 3 special Christmas Eve Services on Friday, December 24th at 3pm, 4:30pm, and 6pm. Childcare (Birth-5th Grade) will be provided for all 3 Christmas Eve services with a Christmas Pajama Party for children 2 years old and up.
- Sunday, December 26th, there will be NO IN-PERSON SERVICES. All services will be ONLINE ONLY.
- Sunday, January 2nd, there will one in-person service at 9:30am. As always, the service will be online live at 9:30am, and rebroadcast online at 11:15am and 6pm.
Invite and bring someone to church during the Christmas season! Let me ask you a question – how did YOU find Jesus? My guess is that Jesus drew you to Himself through His Spirit and His Word. But He also provided a “star,” a travel guide, someone to help lead you to Jesus. It might have been your Mom and Dad who pointed the way. It may have been someone at work, a neighbor, a close friend, a teacher, a pastor – someone that God had cross your path. It was probably someone whose light was bright, whose love was real. Well, guess what? God wants to use you as His star! Who do you know in your “universe” (where you live, work, parent, and play) who needs to be guided to Jesus? Daniel 12:3 says, “…and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever.” Be that guiding light, that bright star, and invite and bring someone to Coastal. And you never know, maybe, just like the Wise Men, they will bow down and worship Him!
LIFE & LOVE!
Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:
- UPCOMING OUTREACH PROJECTS:
Saturday Serve – The foundation of all of our serving opportunities at Coastal really starts with Saturday Serve – the first Saturday of every month. The next Saturday Serve is tomorrow, Saturday, December 4th. We meet in the Welcome Center/Cafe at 8:30am, project leaders make a “pitch” for their serving opportunity, and then we serve! Make plans NOW to be there!
Neighbors Together (formerly Tri-County Ministries) – We will be assisting with their Emergency Grocery Distribution, Wednesday, December 8th, 9:45am-12:30pm. Meet at: 2105 Cosgrove Ave. North Charleston.
Patriot Villas Veterans Tailgate – We will be putting on a Tailgate for the Veterans at Patriot Villas on Thursday, December 9th, 6-8:15pm. Meet at Coastal’s Welcome Center.
Clothing Team – Our Coastal Clothing Team will be organizing and sorting clothes Friday, December 10th, 9:30am-11:30am. Meet at 2952 Old Pond Road on Johns Island.
PINK House – The PINK House is a community center in the Ardmore subdivision in West Ashley. We are going to be putting on a community Tailgate Party, Clothing Distribution, Saturday, December 11th, 10am-1pm.
If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday or sign up now on our website. If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613.
- Our goal for our 9th Annual Christmas Offering is $125,000! Now through the second Sunday of the New Year, January 9th (6 more weeks), we are encouraging our entire Coastal family to give above and beyond their regular tithes and offering to this year’s Christmas Offering. To give, all you have to do is designate your gift “Christmas” on your check, offering envelope, card swiping “description”, online through Paypal, or TEXTing (843-277-8337). You can give your gift during these 6 weeks at any of our regular Sunday morning services or anytime through TEXTing, our website, or our App. You might also consider giving it all at once during one of our 3 Christmas Eve Services (Thursday, December 24th, 3pm, 4:30pm, & 6pm). Our entire Christmas Eve offering will go toward our Annual Christmas Offering. With this year’s offering we are purchasing a second box truck and remodeling our old auditorium.
- We’re excited to announce that starting January 1st, 2022 we’re going to be reading through the Bible together this year at Coastal! We’ll be following the One Year Bible reading plan (a daily reading of the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms & Proverbs). We’ll have a limited number of One Year Bibles for purchase at the church ($10) if you’d like a hard copy, or you can purchase them online. You can also simply choose the One Year Bible reading plan through the YouVersion app or Bible.com. You can sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday, and we’ll add you to an email list for regular encouragement and Study notes throughout the year! If you’ve never read through the Bible, this would be a great way to get started!
- SPRING LIFE GROUP LEADERS! If you are interested in Leading, Co-Leading, or Hosting a Spring 2022 LIFE Group in-person or online, sign up on your Connect Card. For more details or to answer any of your questions, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you’re fairly new to Coastal, a great next step is our Newcomers Reception. Our next Newcomers Reception is THIS Sunday, December 5th, in the new Gather Space next to the cafe immediately following the 11:15am service (at approximately 12:30pm). This is a great way to learn more about Coastal, meet staff and key volunteers, as well as meet some other new people. You can respond to this email, sign up on our website, or sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday. Childcare provided.
P.S. We’ll be back at Joseph Floyd Manor on Saturday, December 18th for a HUGE Christmas Party! We would love for you to join us! You can sign up to bring food, buy gifts, stuff stockings, and/or assist at the cookie decorating station here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4cada929abf58-christmashttps://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044fa4a929a1fa7-josephhttps://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4cada929abf58-stockings1https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a094aa8a92fa0fa7-jfmcookie