To my fellow Chanticleers,

As we know there's not much Coastal lacks, and that's part of what makes it so special to us Chanticleers. As CCU students we are diverse, there's no one type of person here. Coastal took this into consideration when building up its community, which is why so many different types of students call it home. No matter where you are from, Sydney, to Tokyo, Massachusetts to right here, born in raised in Conway, there is guaranteed to be a group of people just like you. From our most recent National Championship Men's Baseball team 2016, to our women's volleyball Sun Belt Champions 2016, to our sorority and fraternity life, to The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), to the CCU fishing club, to our beach volleyball team, you name it, there's a community within Coastal for every personality type. A home away from home as we (members of Coastals Greek community) like to say. These separate communities keep us busy, socially connected, and focused on our more temporary-college-goals. They also give us connections for our immediate after-college-goals, and friends that will hopefully last a lifetime, but wait, something detrimentally important is missing here. What about our long-term goals, our spiritual goals? When it’s time to get serious about our impact, the mark we wish leave on this world, you know, when we’ve become “our person.” Not who we were in middle school, high school, and no, not even college, but our true person. The person we’ve been working towards all these years, because the fact is, although we don’t like to admit it, we’re still figuring ourselves out.

And that’s okay, that’s why we’re here. Because we’re not ready yet, our spiritual journey is still taking place, but who’s helping it along? Unfortunately, at Coastal, the answer is probably you, and you alone. The truth is, there’s a lack of spirituality on this campus, and there is a lack of emphasis when it comes to the most important thing there is, our soul; our soul the essential of our beings, and our spiritual journey, the most necessary of all journeys. Because no matter what type of student/person, no matter what organization we belong to, each and every one of our journeys purpose is the same, to find truth. We are all seeking truth, and we are all seeking hope for truth.

But we shouldn’t have to embark upon this spiritual journey alone. In fact, we can’t do it alone. As humans, community is a necessary part of our being, it’s in the scriptures “to bind them together in love and to encourage their resolution until they are rich in the assurance of their complete understanding and have knowledge of the mystery of God.” Colossians 2:2. And within this community, in the midst of Gods work, and his love there is truth, and there is freedom "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17 That is why I’m telling you of an amazing new community amongst Coastal Carolina University’s campus—SōL. Based off this verse (2 Corinthians 3:17) and students with a passion for a that can never die. People just like you, and just like me, seeking truth, hope, and completeness of the soul.

It began about a year and a half ago with three people, and has grown immensely. Here’s what one of them has to share with you about SōL, and why you should share in it.

“God gave a dream to us to bring freedom and truth to the college atmosphere. As I went in my early years of college I noticed the lack of Jesus on this campus. I'm not talking about Christianity but the love of God and open arms. Which seems to be seen at Coastal as harsh and judging.. but it's actually the complete opposite. So "Young and Free" was born. Based off 2 Corinthians 3:17, "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." Recently we changed to SōL because of copyright and creating a more mature atmosphere. The vision of SōL has been to simply, gather people in love and make Jesus known. It slowly grew from 3 to 20 to 30 to 50 to 70 and now between 80-120 people weekly. It's crazy the work many of us leaders/people have put in and what God has shown us along the way. It's different because students are leading students. We hate calling it an organization because it's not. It's a gathering of people, a community, ultimately drawing to one name, Jesus. We don't care what you come with, what you believe, or what you wear, just that you love people and want HOPE. Seeing hope is key to what we do. By gathering up with food, throwing parties and listening to music, that's really the smaller details. Yet, within it has formed crazy friendships and relationships and bonds that will last forever. That's because it'll always be about Jesus at the core. We threw a Christmas party of 125 people and saw "broke" college kids give $350 to families without gifts this Christmas, that’s Jesus, and that’s hope. Now into the new year, we are gathering even bigger, and longing to reach a campus in a way no other organization has. We long to be different. We long to love people so well, and call all to belong. The heartbeat is to make Jesus known in every crack and crevice of this campus whether dark or light. We don't like to call ourselves super churchy, just love and God. Simple. We want to carry this love and this name of Jesus to many campuses around by planning over time, starting with Coastal, and with you. This model we have, we believe to be a game changer. In the next year we long to seek investors and make moves, ultimately plugging young folks into church and building better men and women. Right now, 81% of college students don't attend church. We believe it's because they first, have nowhere to go. We the people are the church. We want SōL to be that place for college kids. It's a loving and real environment and I promise you want to be there...”

So, I get it, "Tongy's is lit" but this Tuesday I'm asking that you give yourself to something more deep. Come experience Coastals community in a way you never have before. And most importantly, don't forget.. CINO