I want to issue a small, but simple challenge that potentially could have huge results. Here’s the challenge – give something to the Christmas Offering this weekend. In general, I would say that over the years most people give to the Christmas Offering during 3 times:  closer to Christmas, Christmas Eve, or right after Christmas in January.  Now if that’s your plan, I’m not asking you to change that plan.  In fact, Janet and I typically do the same thing.  I’m not asking you to give everything now.  But, I am asking everyone to give something this weekend – even if that something in your mind is very, very small.  I’m issuing this challenge for a couple of reasons.  One, it’s a reminder that every gift counts, every gift matters.  Some people don’t give, because they mistakenly think that their “small gift” doesn’t make a difference.  Many times, it’s the small gift given sacrificially that matters the most.  We can’t all give the same amount, but it’s when all of us, together, make a sacrifice and give by faith that God shows up and does a miracle.  Two, I believe that giving unlocks the door of generosity and blessing in our lives.  Let’s open that door now!  One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is of Joshua and the children of Israel crossing the Jordan River and finally entering the Promised Land.  Joshua 3:15 says, “Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.”  Does God have perfect timing or what?  How many times do we come to a new experience with God, a new challenge, a new blessing and He patiently waits for us to step out in faith?  He waits for us to get our feet wet.  We have no way of knowing how God will provide or deliver.  He’s just waiting on us to move forward, to make the ask, to invite that friend, to pray, to serve, to love, and to give.  So, whether your initial gift is $1, $10, or $10,000, let’s all step out in faith, get our feet wet, and give something this weekend!  Just make sure that however you give, you mark you gift with the keyword, “Christmas.”

I know this is going to sound like a broken record, BUT due to weather concerns, the Outdoor Christmas Party has been postponed again one week to next Saturday, December 15th.  The weather is simply uncooperative. With the chance of rain throughout the weekend remaining high, coupled with unseasonably chilly temperatures, it creates an environment that is extremely difficult for us to accomplish our goals. Our hope is to create a memorable Christmas event for those who are homeless, hungry and already hurting.  We think we can still do that, but unfortunately not this weekend.  We understand that changing the dates can result in losing some volunteers because of scheduling, but if at all possible we hope you will consider staying onboard for just a little while longer.  If you’ve cooked something already, please freeze it until next week. Items selected for the menu should keep and reheat without any problem until next week.  Be mindful that storage at the church is limited, so if you can store items at home, please do so.  We have ample blankets, hats and gloves. However, if you have additional donations, we will still accept them and ensure they are distributed. A final Go/No-Go decision will be made next Thursday night 12/13; communication from Chris Jones will be provided once the decision is made.  We cannot control the weather, but we all know who does. Let’s commit to prayer for better conditions next Saturday so that we can share and experience the life and love of Jesus with those in our community.  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Jones at Jonescg73@gmail.com or 843-870-4613.

Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

1. Our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry is kicking off a brand new curriculum December 16th, and all volunteers, including assistants and student volunteers, need to go through a Training Session.  There is a session offered this Saturday (tomorrow), December 8th, 10am-12noon AND a final/make-up session offered on Monday morning, December 10th, 9am-11am.  If you haven’t already done so, please respond to this email to RSVP.

2. We are in the planning stages of the Spring Semester of LIFE Groups!  If you are interested in leading, assisting, or hosting, please sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday or respond to this email.  LIFE Group Sunday will be January 27th and LIFE Groups will begin the week of February 10th.

3. Attention all Students (6th-12th Grade):  The WAVES Christmas Party is this Wednesday night, December 12th, 6pm-8:15pm at Coastal!  You won’t want to miss it!  Wear an ugly Christmas Sweater or your Christmas Pajamas!  Bring a wrapped White Elephant Christmas gift (under $10).  Dinner, candy, fun, obnoxious Christmas music – all provided!

4. Mark your calendars and make plans NOW!  Starting on Sunday evenings on February 10th, 2019!  Financial Peace University is a proven program that will show you how to master budgeting, pay off debt, build wealth, and give generously!  Indicate your interest on your Connect on Sunday or by responding to this email!

5. During our Marriage Sermon Series in the new year, Coastal will host a Marriage Conference – Friday & Saturday, February 22-23.  Cost $100 per couple/$50 per individual.  Meals and Childcare are included.  Open to the community.  See bulletin insert this Sunday for schedule and deposit details.  Sign up on your Connect Card!

P.S. Along with regular Sunday morning services on Sunday, December 23rd, we’ll have special Christmas Eve Services on Monday, December 24th at 5:30pm & 7pm.  There will be a special PJ’s & Pizza Party for Children ages Birth-5th Grade during both services in the Coastal Kidz Building.