Happy New Year everyone!  2021 is finally here!  But guess what?  Jesus is still on the throne, God is still in control, and our mission is still the same – “to share and experience the LIFE and LOVE of Jesus with Charleston and the world!” 

I sincerely hope you and your family have had a wonderful Christmas!  And let me say how awesome Christmas Eve was at Coastal, both in-person and online!  I want to thank all of our volunteers who served so joyfully!  We could not do what we do without you!  I especially want to thank all of our Tech Team & Worship Team who came very early and were here for all 3 services!  There was just something extra special this year, lighting candles and singing together.

For those of you who have had some time off from work this week, I hope you’ve been able to rest, refresh and enjoy spending time with family.  This is a great time of the year to reflect on 2020 (the good and the bad) and dream about 2021.  I’m sure many of you have a love/hate relationships with resolutions.  I get it.  I prefer the word goals.  Over the next several days, I would encourage you to set some goals for 2021 and share them with someone.  There is tremendous power in simply writing them down and then sharing them with someone else.  Categorize your goals – Faith, Family, Fitness, Finances, Friends.  Maybe you like these categories better:  Spiritual, Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Marital, Parental, Social, Financial, Vocational.  I truly believe that 2021 is going to be a great year at Coastal!  

Well, to help us start off 2021 in the right way, on Sunday, January 10th, we’re kicking off a new sermon series called, “This Is My Year to. . .”  We already have a direction for the series, but I would love to hear how you would respond.  You know, “This is my year to get out of debt. This is my year to grow spiritually. This is my year to forgive. This is my year to lose weight/get healthy.” You get the idea.  So, if you don’t mind, reply to this email and let me know how you would respond.

And as you’re praying about goals and changes you want to make in 2021, can I encourage you to include making Coastal a priority? “This is my year to fall in love again with the local church!”  Jesus called the church His Body, His Bride.  Jesus died for the church.  Jesus started the church.  The church is the Family of God and the only thing that will last on into eternity.  The church is the hope of the world, and when done right, there is nothing greater or more powerful than the local church.  However, there is no perfect church – because the church is made up of people, you and me, and there are no perfect people.  Church attendance/involvement is just like any other habit – it’s easy to make excuses and get out of the habit (especially if you’re trying to stay engaged online).  So, my advice, make a commitment and push through.  If it’s been a while, get back in the habit this Sunday.  If you already attend regularly, maybe it’s time you started serving.  This Saturday, tomorrow at 8:30am, is the first Saturday Serve of the New Year!  I can’t think of a better way to start serving and to kick off the New Year than to come to Saturday Serve (see below).  Maybe this is the semester that you join a LIFE Group.  How does your giving reflect your commitment to the church?  Is it consistent?  Generous?  Maybe this is the year you officially become a Member of Coastal.  Our next Membership Class is Monday night, January 25th, 6-8:30pm.  And how about this – invite and bring someone with you to church (again, in-person OR online)!  You never know the power of a simple invitation.

Don’t forget that we’re only having ONE IN-PERSON SERVICE this Sunday, January 3rd at 9:30am (no 11:15am in-person service)!  However, as always, you can watch all of our services (9:30am, 11:15am, and 6pm) on our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, or at https://coastalcommchurch.churchonline.org.  

Happy New Year!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. Upcoming Outreach Projects:
    Coastal is constantly and continually engaged in being the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.  Here are this week’s opportunities! 
    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 Saturday, January 2nd.  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!  I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2021!
    Tricounty Family Ministries –  We will be assisting with their Emergency Grocery Distribution, Wednesday, January 6th, 9am-1pm.
    Soldier’s Angels – We’ll be helping with the Veteran’s Mobile Food Distribution, Tuesday, January 12th, 8am-1pm.
    If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613.
  2. Our goal for our 8th Annual Christmas Offering is $75,000!  Now through the second Sunday of the New Year, January 10th (2 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 2 weeks at any of our regular Sunday morning services or anytime through TEXTing, our website, or our App. 

    So what are we going to do with that $75,000?  Mainly 3 things: 1. We’re going to fully fund our 2 current monthly Tailgate Parties where we feed hundreds of people each month.  2. We’re going to buy a “Box Truck”!  We’re super pumped about all the outreach possibilities of this truck – equipment and supply transportation for the tailgate parties, advertising for the church, disaster relief, community events, and more.   3. We’re going to purchase indoor and outdoor playground equipment for our new Children’s facility.  So, start praying about what you and your family can give toward this offering.  Remember, this offering should be over and above what you regularly give.  If you’re not regularly giving (weekly, monthly), use this time of year and this offering to start.  If you’re not tithing (10% of your gross income), step out in faith and start tithing.  Reaching this goal will be a celebration of what God can do through our church as together we stretch our faith.  Again, simply use the the keyword “Christmas” whenever and however you give toward the Christmas Offering.
  3. ATTENTION ALL LIFE GROUP LEADERS:  please turn in your Group Information by Monday, January 4, – study, day, time, location, style (in-person/online).  LIFE Group Leader Training will be Tuesday, January 19th, 6:30-8pm OR Saturday, January 23rd, 10-11:30am. (You just need to attend one.)  Both sessions will be offered online or in-person.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff – 859-230-5129.
  4. If you’re fairly new to Coastal, a great next step is our Newcomers Reception.  Our next Newcomers Reception is Sunday, January 10th, in the Welcome Center immediately following the 11:15am service (at approximately 12:30pm).  This will also be available online!  This is a great way to learn more about Coastal, meet staff and key volunteers, as well as meet some other new people.  RSVP online or on your Connect Card.
  5. Okay Coastal, it’s time to show your generosity once again! Grab an ornament with a teacher wishlist item from a classroom over at Oakland Elementary School. There are books, supplies, small things, big things, and “dream items”! Drop off or ship your gifts to Coastal Community Church (456 Arlington Drive, Charleston, SC 29414) between now and early January.  Label items with the tag number. To claim a tag virtually, email rachel@coastalcommunitychurch.org.

    P.S. Start the New Year off right!  Don’t forget that simply because you are a part of the Coastal family, ALL of Dave Ramsey’s best selling resources and tools are available to you for FREE!  This includes 5 classes (Financial Peace, Legacy Journey, Smart Money Smart Kids, the Jump Start Course and a new Budgeting course), the Everydollar+ budgeting tool, and a host of other resources designed to help families track their progress through the baby steps. You have access to everything for an entire year at your own pace, on your own schedule.  Here’s the link:  https://www.financialpeace.com/hosts/coastalcommunity?pc=94671724.  Sign up today!  We want to be known as a generous church, and we also want to do everything we can to equip our church and community to experience true financial peace in these difficult times!