Dear Coastal,

Last night Janet and I went and got our Christmas Tree – yes the Rollins family gets a REAL tree!  I grew up with an artificial (FAKE) tree and always wanted a real tree.  Janet grew up with a real tree and doesn’t really care.  Actually she’s always lobbied for an artificial tree because something about always being the one to water it, clean up after it – blah, blah, blah.  And every time Janet would make her case, my son Christopher would quickly come back with, “So, what you’re saying is, you hate the Baby Jesus!” (I don’t know where he gets that from.)

Well, last night as we went to get our tree, I noted that it was the first time, since I could remember, that we got a tree without either one of our children present.  Both children have now left the nest and are on their own, starting their own traditions.  Don’t be sad for us (although don’t bring it up to Janet – with the wedding just one week away from today, she’ll lose it!) – both of our children are walking with the Lord and we couldn’t be more proud of both of them.  In fact, with the wedding & Christmas this month, we get to see Lydia twice!  We can’t wait!

And speaking of our children, I want to thank our entire church for the wonderful wedding shower for my son Christopher and his fiance Lizzy this past Sunday night!  It was AWESOME!  We were all overwhelmed with the turnout, the food, the gifts, the prayers, and most importantly the LOVE!  We have the best church family!  The love that you show me and my family is humbling and overwhelming!  Thank you!  And now you’re all invited to the wedding reception – next Friday, December 16th, 7pm at the Palmetto Brewery downtown.  It’s going to be quite the party – or as Christopher says, “The Dopest!”

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas decorations this past Sunday as we kicked off our new Christmas series entitled, “Misfits.”  Each week we’re looking at some of the unlikely characters of the Christmas Story.  This is a great time of the year to make an easy invite and bring a friend!  And speaking of inviting and bringing friends – make plans now to come to one of our 2 Christmas Eve Candlelight Services, Saturday, December 24th, 5:30pm or 7pm!  And yes – we will be lighting candles!

And speaking of Christmas, don’t forget about our Christmas Offering.  The Christmas Offering is a special/separate offering that we challenge our entire church to give above and beyond toward.  It’s basically a “mini giving campaign” that lasts for 7 weeks.  Each year, the money given goes to some amazing things.  This year the money will be used for Student Ministry (camp), Children’s Ministry (VBS), Haiti (solar powered generator for the well), remodeling the old kitchen (Food Bank), and our Community Partner (Oakland).  Our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is $50,000!  I realize that most of you haven’t given yet, but right now, we’re not even a 5th of the way there – just over $8,000.  To reach our goal, it will take our entire church – each and every one of us giving.  You can give online, text, swipe a card on Sunday, or use the offering envelope.  However you give toward the Christmas Offering, just make sure you designate it with the word “Christmas.”  Our entire offering at both of our Christmas Eve Services will be going toward the Christmas Offering.  If you’re here, you might want to give then.

Friday’s 5:

  1. WAVES Student Christmas Party this coming Wednesday night, December 14th @6pm.  Bring a fun (and inexpensive) gift to exchange and wear your favorite Christmas sweater or pajamas!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Our Security Team is looking for volunteers!  Respond to this email or sign up on your Connect Card if you’re interested in volunteering.  One person, one service, once a month makes a HUGE impact!

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Chris

P.S.  There will be no services on Sunday morning, December 25th.  There will only be one service on Sunday morning, January 1st, 9:30am.

P.S.S.  Join us for Chair Set-Up in the morning – unless otherwise noted, Saturdays at 9am!