Dear Coastal,

I sincerely hope that you and your family had a wonderful, joy filled, Christ centered Christmas!  And if you were able to come to one of our 2 Christmas Eve services, I hope you were as blessed as I was!  It was such a great way to close out 2016 and be reminded that Jesus really is the light of the world.

I hope that you have been able to take some time off from work and spend it with family & friends over the last week!  I know we have at the Rollins home, and it’s been nice.  We take our daughter back to the airport tomorrow.  Although goodbyes are always tough, we’ve had a great visit and just knowing that she has great friends, in a great church, in a great Small Group and that she is pursuing God’s plan for her life, makes it so much easier.  I’m not sure we’ll make it to midnight tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be watching football, flipping channels, and listening to neighbhorhood fireworks.  I know – pretty wild & crazy stuff!

This Sunday is January 1st, 2017 and we will only have 1 service – 9:30am.  I realize that a lot people will be out of town this weekend or out late celebrating on New Year’s Eve (maybe we should have ditched the early service – haha) or have family obligations on New Year’s Day, but If you are in town, make every effort to come on Sunday.

Usually, this time of the year, I share my annual “Year In Review/Year Ahead” message.  This year, I feel compelled to do something different.  2016 has been a very difficult, painful year for a lot of people.  The truth is, that could be said every year.  But all over social media, most Year End Reviews/Reflections or New Year’s Eve Parties are all about saying good riddance or #%!@ to 2016!  Much has been made and said about all the famous people/celebrities who have died this year.  Some guy even started a GoFund Me page to keep Betty White alive!  It’s always sad to hear about the loss of life and the pain and grieving of families, and many of those icons who passed away had varying degrees of impact on our collective lives.  However, for me it was the phone call I got, yet again this morning, from a member of my Coastal family, who lost a loved one this week that seems to impacts me the most.

There is a real crisis of hope in our world today.  On Christmas Eve, I talked about Jesus – the Light of the World.  Well, this Sunday, on New Year’s Day, I want to talk about Jesus – the Hope of the World.  Don’t miss it.  I think we need to be reminded that when this world is hopeless, when everything seems to be crashing in around us, as followers of Jesus, we still have hope.  I can’t think of a better way to start 2017!  Invite and bring a friend!

One of the things that I will always look back on 2016 and remember is the generosity of our church.  And it’s not just the generous giving of a few.  It’s the growing, Biblical giving of many.  I think people are really beginning to understand that although we all can’t give the same amount, we can all sacrifice together.  I think more and more people are beginning to understand that each gift counts and each gift matters, no matter how big or how small.  I think more and more people are beginning to understand that consistent giving, over time, makes a huge impact.  And finally I think more and more people are stepping out in faith, trusting God with their finances, and beginning to tithe – giving 10% of their gross income.  And what those people are discovering is that you can’t outgive God and that if you take care of God’s business, He will take care of yours.  I pray that what I’ve seen in 2016 is just the foundation of what’s to come in the new year and beyond.

So, if you are wanting to give and have it counted as a part of 2016, you only have today and tomorrow to do so.  The easiest way to do that would be to give online or to give by TEXTing.  If you’ve never given by TEXTing this would be a great opportunity to give it a try.  Simply text any amount to our giving number 843-277-8337 and hit send.  After a one step sign up process with your bank account (takes less than 2 minutes), you’re done.  It’s that simple.  This Sunday (January 1st) and next Sunday (January 8th) are the last services to give to our Christmas Offering.  Right now, we have given over $30,000!  While that seems a long way from our goal of $50,000, I’m so proud of our church and excited to see the Kingdom Impact of that investment!  While goals are good and give us something to strive towards, my attitude has always been to “work like all depends on us, pray like it all depends on God, and then trust God with the results and celebrate!”  We will announce the total amount given on Sunday, January 15th.

Friday’s 5:

  1. We’re in the planning stages of our Spring Semester (February-May) of LIFE Groups.  If you are intersted in leading, assisting, or hosting a group, please let us know on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  2. There is a First Impressions Team Oyster Roast/Planning Meeting on Sunday, January 8th, 2017, 4-6:30pm at Coastal!  It’s for all current 1st Impressions Team Members and those interested in serving!
  3. Interested in offically making Coastal your church home?  Our next Membership Class is Monday, January 9th, 6-9pm.  Childcare and refreshments provided.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  4. New to Coastal?  Want to learn more about the church and find out how to get connected?  Join us for  the next Newcomer’s Reception, Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 immediately following the 11:15am service in the Welcome Center.  Meet other new people and our staff, enjoy some great desserts and coffee, win some prizes and discover possible next steps.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  5. Looking for a place to serve at Coastal?  Don’t want to miss a service?  Enjoy technology and fast on your feet (fingers)?  We’re looking for volunteers in our Tech Booth – specifically with computer (slide presentation), lights, and video.  If you’re slightly tech savvy and have the desire, we’d love to train you!  Respond to this email, contact Christopher (, or let us know on your Connect Card.

Happy New Year!

Pastor Chris

P.S.  There will only be one service this Sunday morning, January 1st, 9:30am!