December 2023 Newsletter

Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel


In this Issue:

Chairman’s Corner | Advent Services| Upcoming Events| The Meaning of Advent| Handbell Ringers Attend Festival | Operation Christmas Child | Prayer Requests


Message from James

W. James Ormond, Board of Governors Chair – 2023-2024


First Sunday of Advent – Dec 3

Second Sunday of Advent – Dec 10

Chancel Choir Sunday – Dec 10

Luncheon Following Choir Presentation – Dec 10

at Breezeway Motel/Restaurant

Third Sunday of Advent – Dec 17

Fourth Sunday of Advent – Christmas Eve Service


Sunday, December 24 – 10:00am

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

    Sunday, December 24 – 5:00pm

Service of Songs and Readings with Stuart Sanderson


Advent Season is a very special time of year that sometimes gets lost in the bright lights of the Christmas season it precedes. The first day of Advent is the first day of a new Liturgical (or church) calendar and begins a four week period of preparation for the nativity of Jesus Christ at Christmas.

The Advent Season is all about reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth in the world as it is today. It is a time for faith communities and families to remember, through prayer, reflections, special music, and good deeds the true meaning of Jesus’ birth. There are many different Christian traditions associated with the four weeks of Advent.

The Advent season invites us to step away from what can be a frenzied time of parties, shopping, amd holiday noise to consider how we commemorate the birth of Jesus, one of the holiest times in Christian faith.

The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for “arrival” and is associated with the four weeks of time of preparation for Christmas. Historians have tracked the first Advent celebrations to 5th century northern Italy. In the Italian tradition, churchgoers observed weeks-long spiritual preparation for the feast day of Christmas that involved a period of fasting, prayer, and reflection on the values of the Christian Church.

Advent calendars were first adapted some time in the 19th century by German Lutherans as a way to mark the days of the hopeful season of preparation for Christmas.

The most significant tradition of the Advent season is the four-candle Advent Wreath. The concept of the Advent wreath originated among German Lutherans in the 16th Century. However, the modern four-candle Advent wreath, with its candles representing the Sundays of Advent, originated in 1839.

The evergreen wreath and candles are full of symbolism tied to the Christmas season. So what does the Advent Wreath symbolize? The wreath itself, which is made of various evergreens, signifies continuous life. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the eternal life we find in Christ.

Even the individual evergreens that make up the wreath have their own meanings that can be adapted to our faith. The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering. The pine, holly, and yew signify immortality and the cedar signifies strength and healing. The pine cones that decorate the wreath symbolize life and resurrection. The wreath as a whole is meant to remind us of both the immortality of our souls and God’s promise of everlasting life to us through Christ.

The candles also have their own special significance. The four colored candles represent the four weeks of Advent, and one additional candle is lit each Sunday. The flames of candles are a representation of the Christmas light approaching, bringing hope and peace in the struggle against darkness.

The first candle, which is the color purple, symbolizes hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah.

The second candle, also purple, represents love. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

The third pink candle symbolizes joy. It is called the “Shepherd’s Candle” and is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy. The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.

On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolizes peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”

Sometimes a white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath; this is a beautiful modern adaptation. The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve. This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and represents the life of Christ. The color white is for purity because Christ is our sinless, pure Savior.

Using an Advent Wreath is an excellent way to prepare your mind and heart for Christmas.

A category big enough to sit by itself is music. Music is another way people celebrate Advent Season. We will be celebrating through music on December 10, 2023, with our “Music Sunday” followed by a covered dish luncheon at the Breezeway Motel/ Restaurant.


Attending the Capital Area Handbell Festival (l to r) Debbie Hill, Jean Stowers, Cathy Cox, Dave Miller, Merle Morris, Joan Ebert, Freddie King, Barry Taylor, Debo Bell, Jamie Stallings

It took the Scott Building on the fairgrounds to house 28 handbell groups!

Nine handbell players and Director, Merle Morris, attended the Capital Area Handbell Festival the weekend of November 3-4 on the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Our ringers were joined by 27 other handbell groups from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Individual ringers came from states as far away as Maryland and Washington. The festival included a Friday night workshop and Saturday’s massed rehearsals in preparation for the Public Concert in the afternoon. Five of the eight pieces performed during the public concert were written or arranged by guest conductor, Jason Krug, of Indianapolis, Indiana. A highlight of the festival was the special concert by the Raleigh Ringers. The Raleigh Ringers is an internationally recognized and advanced community handbell ensemble that presents concerts across North Carolina and other states. They are often seen on PBS during the Christmas season. Our handbell players look forward to playing two of our concert pieces during the Christmas Cantata on December 10.


Great news from EAMC OCC………114 boxes were delivered to OCC on November 14 at Scott’s Hill Baptist Church.

Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts delight the hearts of boys and girls in more than 100 countries, where local partners deliver these boxes along with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For some children, it is their first gift ever!

Many of these recipients also participate in the follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey, where they learn to know Jesus, grow in faith, and spread the Good News.

We have 24 affiliates going to Boone on Dec 12,13, &14 to work in the Processing Center for Operation Christmas Child. Keep us all in your prayers as we travel there and back…..and no snow!

It is not too late. If you missed our local deadline, you can still participate in this wonderful opportunity to spread the joy and love of giving by going to Samaritan’s For a fee of $25. a box will be filled for you.


Combined Prayer List

Family of Mary Stevens

Family of Anna Bateman

Family of Lee Bryan

Family of Terry Merritt

Family of Edna Batts

Family of Bobby Humphrey

Family of Lauch Faircloth

Family of Norma Eggleston

Family of Brenda Rivenbark

Family of J.A.Reeves

David & Dianne Barnes

Jac & Grayson ReVille

Howard & Pat Braxton

Ed & Cecile Broadhurst

Sandy & Linsday Jordon

Susan & Mark Daley

Stuart & Denise Sanderson

Caroline Brewer

Dwight Davis

Caroline Longhorn

Ben Arab

Lynn Sutton

Gary Rouse

Cathy Carroll

Catherine McClain

Beth & Bill Meyer

Pat Almond

Scott Parrish

Laurie Sparrow

Mary Beth McKeever

Jessica Pollock

Bess Durham

Joe Bell

Denette Moore

Robert Pellerin

Neal McHenry

Emily Irland

Patricia Miller

Joyce Bilonesto

Teresa Smith

Jane Combs

Joe Bustamante

Sandra Bustamante

Whitney Burnette

Wayne Ross

Sam & Kim Usher

George Turner

Jenny Mizelle

Nancy Pool

Donald Fleshman

Edna Dougher

Jim McMullen

Larry Warren

Dick Ford

Drew Clifton

Silvia Rodriguez Ruiz

Larry Kier

Jeannie Bloodworth

Susan Risbon

Chuck Mazzarna

Gideon Hall

Francis Keir

Steven Wells

Anne Cox

Drew Grifton

Chris Fann

Bob Finkenzeller

Dottie Smith

Tim Horner

Mike Nelson

Don Edwards

Judy Wood

Wiley Sloan

Chuck Taylor

Jeff Spearman

John and Shiela

Joni Fetterman

Marvin Mitchell

Eric Lund

Kat Kourtney

Harrison & Jude





Ria’s Mom








Julie S.


All unspoken prayers

If you have prayer requests, please submit those to Rick Benton or Nancy Green.


Our history book, God’s Grace, is available for $25.00

It is full of pictures detailing events of Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel from 1986 – 2015.

To purchase, call Gayla MacMillan at 910-340-2672


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You can also view past sermons by clicking here.

Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel is a nondenominational church that gathers for worship, the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, and Christian fellowship.

Our mission is to glorify God and to proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of all.


Topsail Beach NC 28445


Chapel  •  1040 S Anderson Blvd  •  PO Box 3071

Fellowship House  •  1045 Channel Blvd

Parsonage  •  1101 S Anderson Blvd

Youth Cottage  •  1038 S Anderson Blvd  •  PO Box 3197

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