Well, the Summer is officially over!  When I grew up, the Summer wasn’t over until after Labor Day, but all Charleston County students head back to school on Monday.  I can’t wait to see all the back-to-school/first-day-of-school pictures on social media.  Whether it’s Kindergarten or College, these are emotional days for parents.  You will be in my thoughts and prayers this week!  I hope you and your family have had a great Summer – making memories and sharing experiences you will cherish for a lifetime!  We’ve had a great Summer here at Coastal – Summer of IMPACT, “At the Movies”, Student LIFE Camp, salvations, Beach Baptism, VBS, “Summer Reading.”  

September typically ushers in two big things – and no I’m not talking about traffic and College Football!  I’m talking about LIFE Groups & our Fall Big Day!

LIFE Groups:  Here at Coastal we run our small groups on a semester basis – just like school.  There is a Fall Semester & a Spring Semester, each lasting 8-12 weeks.  This Sunday, we’ll have our new Fall Semester LIFE Group Catalog in your bulletin.  You’ll have the chance to check out all the different Groups being offered this Fall (Groups start the week of September 16th).  The following Sunday, August 26th, is LIFE Group Sunday at Coastal!  On that day, you’ll have the opportunity to go outside to a large tent filled with tables/displays representing all of our LIFE Groups for this semester.  It’s kind of like a job/college expo, but for LIFE Groups!  You’ll be able to meet the leaders, ask questions, enjoy some great snacks, and most importantly, sign up for a Group!  There are 3 different ways to sign up for Group at Coastal, but you only have to sign up one time/one way.  Starting next Sunday, you can sign up on your Connect Card, online from our website, or on a LIFE Group Table.  Now, for those of you who read my “Friday 5”, here’s a little secret – you can go ahead and check out all of our Groups and sign up online NOW!

Fall Big Day – Sunday, September 16th:  Obviously, every Sunday is big here at Coastal in the sense that every Sunday is important, every Sunday we share the Gospel, and each week we encourage you to invite and bring your friends.  But a “Big Day” is a strategic day on our church calendar where we tell everyone to pull out all the stops, do whatever it takes, and make that extra push to get your friends to church!  Usually on a “Big Day” we try to break the next attendance barrier and gain momentum for continued growth – basically kick Satan in the teeth!

There are several obvious “Big Days” on the calendar – Christmas Eve & Easter come to mind.  We usually put a “Big Day” somewhere in early February.  The holidays are over and it’s a great push for the New Year.  Mother’s Day is always a huge day for us.  Lately kicking off the Summer with “At the Movies” has been huge too.  The Fall “Big Day” works because Summer is finally over, kids are back in school, Labor Day has come and gone, and the football season has started.  What does any of that have to do with getting people in church? One word – routine.  People are back into a routine and they aren’t traveling as much.  In fact, September 16th is “National Back to Church Sunday.”

So on Sunday, September 16th, we’re kicking off a new series called, “Losing My Religion” from the book of James.  It’s all about putting our faith into action.  And so to put our faith into action on that day we’ll have tents & trucks outside on our campus where you can give blood to the Red Cross, bring food for our Food Bank, bring Toys/Supplies for Operation Christmas Child, and bring old household items for Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Again, that’s Sunday, September 16th – start praying now!  We’re having 3 services that day (we’re changing our services times that day only):  8:30am, 10am, & 11:30am!

Pastor Chris
Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

1. We’re signing up volunteers to serve over at Oakland Elementary School.  In fact, 39 people have already signed up!  If you’d be willing to give 30 minutes-1 hour of your time, once or maybe twice a month, simply respond to this email or sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday.  We’re looking for people who would be willing to sit with a class during lunch (to help provide a duty free lunch to teachers), volunteer in a classroom, or read with students.  For those of you who have already signed up, please go ahead and complete the CCSD volunteer form and contact Susan Cumbie.

2. Attention all LIFE Group Leaders & Assistants – don’t forget that LIFE Group Training will be this Tuesday night, August 21st, 7pm-9pm OR Saturday morning, August 25th, 10am-12noon (childcare provided for both).  Please RSVP with Pastor Scott for which Training you will attend.

3. There is a Peru Missions Tripinformation meeting on Sunday, August 26th at 1pm at the church.  The Mission Trip to Lima, Peru is next year, June 25th – July 2nd, 2019.  Come hear all the details and learn how you can make a difference in Peru.

4. On Sunday, September 2nd (Labor Day Weekend) there will be only 1 combined worship Service at 9:30am.  There will be NO 11:15am service.  Our 9:30am service will be live online as usual.

5. Our next Newcomer’s Reception is Sunday, September 9th, immediately after the 11:15am service!  It’s a great next step for people new to Coastal.  You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Coastal, meet our staff & ministry leaders, and meet other new people just like yourself.  It only lasts about 40 minutes and pizza & childcare are provided.  You can sign up online or simply respond to this email to let us know you’re coming.

P.S. Join us on Sunday night, September 9th, at 6pm for a special night of prayer and worship as we officially ordain Ryan Spell into full time Christian Ministry as a Pastor.  We will also have a special time of prayer for our Big Day the following Sunday!  There will be childcare and a reception!  Don’t miss it!