Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Since 1951

Chairman's Corner

 

Chairman’s Corner

published bi-monthly beginning in February each year

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rick Benton
Chairman
Board of Governors
2019-2021

 

   


 

December 2019

 
 

The EAMC Board of Governors held its final meeting of the year on November 16. As most of you know, the Chapel’s governing body is comprised of 20 board members and three trustees elected by the congregation. Board members serve four-year terms, and each year five board members rotate off and are replaced by five new members. One trustee is elected annually and one retires. We are deeply appreciative of the service of all of those affiliates who have served and will continue to serve the Chapel as board members and trustees, and I look forward to having the newly elected members with us at our first meeting of 2020 in January. I acknowledged all of them in my October Chairman’s Corner. 

As I’ve noted before, our Chapel is unique in that it is managed and operated by affiliate volunteer committees. It’s really amazing how this model works so effectively as an organization, as well as in spreading the gospel to our community and beyond, even globally. It works so well because of the dedication and commitment of our affiliates, but also because of the Holy Spirit directing the Chapel’s ministries. Please pray often that we may discern God’s will and direction for our Chapel.

As you may have heard, the members of our Communications Committee have been working over the past 18 months to update the Chapel’s website. The Committee reported at the recent board meeting they are endeavoring to have the new website go live by year end. The new site will not only sport a fresh new look, but will allow for many new features. One of the more “hands-on” features will be an ability for online giving via donation processor Tithe.ly. Online giving will also be available via the Tithe.ly app for phones and tablets. Committee members researched other churches’ practices, online giving trends, and various options for online giving for over a year. They collaborated with the Finance Committee to bring this capability to EAMC. 

Online giving will provide more options for affiliates to give to the Chapel, will help facilitate giving for those who don’t use checks anymore (like millennials), and will potentially increase overall giving to the Chapel, thus increasing our ability to do God’s will. Online giving via the new website will be available when the website goes live. Treasurer Greg Miller advised the Board that online giving through the Tithe.ly app for both iOS and Android is available to use immediately. Just download the app from your app store and search for Emma Anderson to get started.

Members of the Chapel’s Social Committee have recently researched the history of the Chapel so that they could recommend to the Board a definitive cycle for future Homecoming celebrations. After discussing various options based on historical events when the Chapel formed, the Board voted to schedule Homecoming celebrations every five years in the spring beginning with the 70th anniversary next year. Mark your calendars for June 14, 2020, and stay tuned for information about special events throughout the year.

I have to admit I’m human and haven’t yet gotten in the proper mindset for the Thanksgiving holidays, much less the soon-to-follow Christmas season. Nevertheless, immediately after Thanksgiving this year, on December 1, Advent begins and continues through the next four weeks until Christmas. Our Worship Committee is ahead of most of the rest of us, and has already been planning for our Advent services.

As you know, Advent is a time of anticipating and celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus, including the birth of Jesus, his coming into our lives, and his return to establish his eternal Kingdom. I trust in Jesus that as the Advent season nears, with solemn prayer, my mind and heart will be prepared so that I might be able to devotedly anticipate and celebrate Christ’s coming. I know all of us as Christians desire the same, so let’s pray and ask for God’s blessings upon our Chapel, our community, and our world as we anticipate, celebrate and worship together during Advent at EAMC as brothers and sisters in Christ.

As always, please continue to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas about our Chapel’s future. I can be reached at 910-604-3835 or via email

In Christ’s Service,
Rick

 


October 2019

At the annual congregational meeting after worship on September 22, five new Board of Governors members and one new trustee were elected to serve beginning January 1, 2020. New governors who will serve four-year terms are John Burke, Mark Daley, Gayla McMillan, Wilson Teachey and Danny Thompson. The new trustee is Rich Pollock who will serve a three-year term. Many thanks for their faithful service are extended to retiring governors Macon Basinger, Debo Bell, Tommy Daniels, Greg Miller and Pat Weyher, and retiring trustee John Hauser.

I’ve heard many say the Chapel’s 2019 Summer Youth Program was one of the best ever. Devin Wood and Will Teachey, with the support of the Youth Committee, took advantage of the enhancements to the ground floor of the youth cottage that were undertaken in the spring and delivered a tremendous summer program. And to top it off, the Youth Committee announced September 1, that Devin would be returning next year for a third summer as our youth minister. Great news and congrats to Devin!

Youth Minister Devin Wood and Youth Assistant Will Teachey are honored during worship at the end of the 2019 Summer Youth Program on August 11.
Youth Minister Devin Wood and Youth Assistant Will Teachey are honored during worship at the end of the 2019 Summer Youth Program on August 11.

Away Missions Committee Chair Jim King and affiliate Pat Gunter, on behalf of her home church in Raleigh, are planning a mission trip to Haiti, February 29-March 7, 2020, in partnership with Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM). Pastor Dorleans, HOM founding director, was with us in May and shared a great deal about his work and missions in Haiti. The cost of the trip is approximately $1500, which includes airfare plus room and board. Once we know the participants, we will determine the type of work we will do such as painting, repairing roofs, building a house, or other tasks. If you’re interested in participating in the mission trip, please contact Pat Gunter at 919-724-9459.

Many thanks are due Rich Wood and a great number of volunteers who helped secure and safeguard valuable equipment and belongings in the Chapel and other properties in advance of Hurricane Dorian, and who also helped to restore the facilities immediately afterwards so that we could worship on that Sunday. I’m grateful we have so many dedicated affiliates who, every time our Chapel has a need, will step up to help, even putting their personal needs aside for the moment. 

Vicky Faris carries a stack of Bibles back to the pews on September 7, 2019, to help get the Chapel ready for 10 a.m. worship service the next day. Vicky and 24 others made quick work of the task.
Vicky Faris returns Bibles to the pews on September 7, 2019, to help get the Chapel ready for 10 a.m. worship service the next day. Vicky and 24 others made quick work of the task.

The year is fast moving along. I was looking at the church calendar recently and noticed the Worship Committee meeting in October will include planning for our Advent and Christmas season services. The Minister Selection Committee also meets in October to review and set the ministerial calendar for 2020. And it won’t be long before we start preparing for Thanksgiving and receiving Christmas cards in the mail. Maybe we can make a conscious effort this year to slow down a little and enjoy the time leading up to the holiday seasons. Certainly, doing so can help us get in the right mindset for prayerful thought and anticipation in those special weeks leading to our celebration of the birth of Christ, our Savior. 

God Bless all of you! As always, please continue to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas about our Chapel’s future. I can be reached at 910-604-3835 or via email.

  


August 2019

 
Just like the loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings have no idea what the future holds for them as they march across the sand to the sea, often we, too, have no idea what the future holds for us. Sometimes, it’s an opportunity. Sometimes, a challenge. This year, the Chapel and its affiliates have been very busy responding to both.
 
 
 

Hurricane Florence’s negative impact on us last September was certainly a shocking and unwelcome surprise but so many positive things have happened as a result of it. Affiliate volunteers jumped in and renovated Brenda Garrison’s home after it was ravaged by the storm. Shortly thereafter, the same volunteers along with the help of other affiliates totally renovated the ground floor of the youth cottage because of water damage from Florence. 


At the same time, our contractor and affiliate volunteers were renovating and restoring the Respite Apartment for missionaries in the Fellowship House that also sustained much water damage. Brenda and her family are tickled with their “new” home, the youth are thrilled with their new “hang-out” space and are spending more time there, and recent guest missionaries just can’t believe the accommodations the Chapel provides for their families to enjoy. Again, thanks to each one of you who had any part in these projects.


The Chapel’s insurance committee has also been busy updating our insurance coverage. Members have inventoried and valued every item of personal property in all four facilities owned by the Chapel, re-evaluated building costs, and made significant adjustments to our building values. The committee has spent a great deal of time and effort over the past couple of months ensuring that our insurance coverage is up-to-date. I’m grateful for their willingness to undertake this initiative to keep us on solid footing with respect to our risk exposure.


And while all this has been going on, affiliates were working behind the scenes to evaluate and facilitate the opportunity to purchase an additional property adjacent to our current holdings. Recently, the Board of Governors authorized the Trustees to acquire the tract of land that runs between South Anderson Blvd. and Carolina Blvd., immediately to the north of the youth cottage. The acquisition was finalized in late June. 


A small, deteriorated house sits on the newly acquired property, and the Board has authorized its removal. The Board doesn’t have any plans for the property at this time, only to hold onto it for future expansion of Chapel missions and facilities. The last property acquisition by the Chapel occurred in 2007 with the purchase of the Fellowship House, and just look at what it has become. Certainly, down the road we’ll look back and think what a great idea it was also to acquire this property for future use in our mission to glorify God.


Yes, this has been a busy time in the life of the Chapel and its affiliates. And we have to continue to look forward, and to pray for future avenues for Chapel growth in missions and other opportunities to spread the Gospel. Some say “if you ain’t moving forward you’re moving backward”. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 


Many other verses in the Bible speak to moving forward and not looking back. Our Chapel is fortunate to have affiliates with the foresight to look years down the road and be ready to seize opportunities to be in God’s service. That’s having a VISION. Let’s keep praying for discernment of God’s future plans for our Chapel.

 

And also, let’s continue to pray diligently for those with health and other concerns among our Chapel affiliates, our friends and family. We all know there are many that need our prayers. Prayer is powerful and it works, we know that because we’ve all experienced it, and the Word plainly tells us it works.

 

As always, please continue to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas about our Chapel going forward. I can be reached at 910-604-3835 or via email. Thank you.

 

 

June 2019

 

Every year the onset of a new spring season fosters a new emerging and sense of renewal to our lives. Not only do we experience renewal in the physical environment around us, but we also experience it spiritually. Our Chapel offers many events and opportunities to prompt us to renew and enhance our spirituality each and every spring. The Lenten Luncheon series serves to prepare our minds and spirit for celebrating Jesus’ resurrection during the Easter holiday. Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday services also serve to get us in a spiritual frame of mind for reflection and preparation. 

Amazingly, 747 people attended our Easter Sunrise Service April 21- quite a testament to our Lord’s presence within our Chapel and community. I hope each and every one of you were touched and renewed spiritually during this past spring season as much as I was.  Our Worship Committee members deserve considerable commendation for planning and conducting all these services. I know they worked diligently to make these events possible. 

Speaking of renewal, I hope you’ve had an opportunity to see the “newly renovated” youth cottage. The summer youth program starts June 10th, and affiliates have volunteered weekly since the first of April to get the damaged downstairs renovated in time. Other than installing some shelving, cabinets, etc. the work has been completed just before Memorial Day, giving the Youth Committee time to acquire and set up furnishings, supplies, etc. critical to the program.

Volunteers worked two or more days weekly on the project, contributing over 600 hours of service. Special thanks is due to Rich Wood and David Barnes for coordinating and facilitating the effort, to members of the Youth Committee for their input, to all the volunteers who worked so dutifully each week, including those who prepared and served meals for the volunteers. 

The repairs to the Fellowship House are also nearing completion. The first missionaries for the season will be visiting the week of June 4, and the missionary apartment has undergone an extensive renovation due to water damage from the storm. Affiliate volunteers will be re-setting up the furnishings and taking care of final cleaning so it will be ready for the first missionary family. Work is also wrapping up in the Library and the Children’s Sunday School room.   

We’ve certainly had quite a time since last fall addressing our facility needs and issues. A great deal of time and resources has been committed over recent months to restoring, renovating, and renewing the physical resources of our chapel. Now, with the spiritual renewal of spring-we can begin again to focus on assuring  our resources are available for the Lord’s will through service to our youth, the Lord’s servants, affiliates and others.   

I welcome your suggestions, questions or concerns. Drop me an email or give me a call at 910-604-3835.



April 2019

It’s been described as a “God thing” and I can hardly disagree. God was at work late last year when prayer warriors Freddie King and Brenda Garrison crossed paths. Freddie was ministering to local victims of Hurricane Florence, and Brenda’s home between Surf City and Hampstead had been severely damaged by the storm, resulting in her and her two granddaughters being displaced. 

Once our Chapel’s Missions committee became aware of Brenda’s predicament in December, a plan was quickly hatched to undertake a mission to restore her home. With support and funding from the Board and Benevolence Committee, the project was on. Nine hundred volunteer hours later, Brenda’s house has been restored, under budget and ahead of schedule, and Brenda and her granddaughters are back home. 

More than 30 EAMC affiliates took part in this local mission project. I believe God had his hand in it the entire way from the beginning. How else could you account for the crossing of paths, the project idea, the support and means, the volunteerism, the cooperation, and the friendship and Christian bond that has been formed with Brenda and her family. Yes, it was a “God thing”, and we have all been blessed.

Our Worship committee has been busily planning and conducting worship opportunities for us in the coming month or so, many related to the Easter season. And the Social Committee has arranged for two special visitors to be at our annual Easter Egg Hunt. I encourage you to read the newsletter carefully to ensure you get all the April dates for your calendar. In addition, a National Day of Prayer service is scheduled for May 2, our 8 a.m. Sunday morning service will resume May 26 and run through September 1, and Children’s Church begins June 16. 

The Youth Committee has already engaged Devin Wood to return as this year’s Summer Youth Minister. This year’s Youth Assistant will be announced at services in the chapel on Easter. The Youth Program begins in early June.

The Building and Grounds committee continues to facilitate repair of storm damage to the Youth Cottage, as well as the Fellowship House. Hopefully we’ll get our facilities back to normal soon.

As you can see, spring and summer are busy times for our Chapel, but if you think about it, we’re busy with activities year round. All of this is made possible by our devoted affiliate volunteers (Thank you!) serving our Chapel and Christ through nearly 30 committees. As you already understand, our Chapel is a “God thing” itself. 

Finally, during this special season that’s upon us, let’s take time to pray that our hearts are prepared to accept the message of the cross—that Christ died for our sins, was crucified and buried, and was resurrected so that our sins are washed away that we may have eternal life with Him.

I welcome your suggestions, questions or concerns. Drop me an email or give me a call at 910-604-3835.

In Christ's service,
Rick

 

 


February 2019

 

It’s often stated that God works in mysterious ways. I feel election as the EAMC Board of Governors Chairman for the next two years is reflective of that statement. I have served in leadership roles as a member of several churches, enduring both positive and difficult times. Why me again, I’ve asked myself since first being asked to consider serving as chairman for the next two years. We have so many talented, spiritual and dutiful affiliates at Emma Anderson, how is it that I should be chairman and not others?

After a whole lot of prayer and deep thought, and encouragement from others, God through the Holy Spirit made the decision easy for me and led me to say, yes, I’ll serve. 

Frank Sherron did a terrific job during the past two years as our chairman, encouraging us to pray for discernment for God’s will for our Chapel, and leading us through sessions to help better define priorities and opportunities to implement His will. As the chairman, my primary interest is in continuing to facilitate implementation of God’s will in our Chapel through the priorities that have already been established by the board. 

As you know, our Chapel is organized to be “managed” by our affiliates. We have 27 standing committees and a governing body designed to do just that. I am always encouraged by the dutiful work of our affiliates and committees, and I encourage affiliates that aren’t yet involved in committees and leadership opportunities to pray for where to share their talents.

Our Chapel is blessed in so many ways, particularly in how we are able to share those blessings with others via various missions and activities. Recently the Benevolence Committee has been able to direct substantial financial assistance to five area churches and four families devastated by Hurricane Florence, as well as to several other groups involved in helping others recover from the storm. Additionally, 686 adults and 697 children were touched with benevolence assistance during the holidays. Our Local Missions Committee has undertaken a project to renovate a local home occupied by a grandmother and her two grandchildren who were displaced by Florence. 

Our Kingdom Crafters are always undertaking outreach projects like sending dresses to children in Haiti, or hats, scarves and gloves to local veterans. We collected 103 filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and 26 affiliates marked our 10th year of participation at the Boone, N.C., shoebox processing facility in December sending out blessings from our Chapel all over the world via Samaritan’s Purse. And that’s just touching the surface.

As you can see, our little Chapel does big things when it comes to serving our Lord. That’s because our affiliates dutifully pray and seek God’s will, then go forth and serve. As Chairman, it’s such a pleasure to serve the Chapel with affiliates who through prayer and discernment know the way of our Lord in service. 

It remains a mystery to me why I’m the Board Chairman now, but I know over time the reasons will unfold via God’s continuing will and the works of our little Chapel.

I welcome your suggestions, questions or concerns. Drop me an email or give me a call at 910-604-3835. 

In Christ's service,
Rick