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Which Church Do You Attend?

By Rich Largent, EAA 512497, President of Chapter 939, Oak Island, North Carolina

June 2016 - One of Paul Poberezny’s most oft quoted sayings was that “Chapters are the churches of EAA.”

Not wishing to wax religious, but indeed I believe his observations to be quite prophetic. Religious beliefs are as varied as the winds upon which we fly, but like the wind, they provide a continuity of thought, an avenue to transport us from one place or time to the next. 

If chapters are to be seen as churches, then I guess it would follow that chapter leaders could be viewed as their ministers. I don’t like that analogy all that much, but the truth is, chapter leaders, like ministers, have a unique task and challenge that folks who are in charge of other organizations may not have. Like church congregations, chapter members are volunteers.

They have chosen to “come to church” for many different reasons. They are not bound by employment obligations to participate. They are not required to perform any special duties. They attend because they share a common interest and hopefully are seeking to further those interests by participating in the company of like-minded folks.

Each week, or in the case of chapters each month, the “minister” prepares and delivers a sermon, hopefully illuminating facets of the faith that have brought folks to the chapter in the first place. This process can be the minister’s greatest challenge. It can be greatly enhanced when and if the “parishioners” come forward to profess their interest in expanding their “faith.” What has brought them to this EAA church? Where do their interests lie? What will help them realize the fulfillment of their aviation interests?

The long and short of it is most chapter leaders don’t have these answers. They need to depend on their members to illuminate these pathways, and then together, perhaps with some guidance, the chapter, or “church,” is defined.

This chapter leader is no different. I know what interests me about aviation and could preach long and often about it. Even the most enthusiast preacher is going to send the flock fleeing if the message is always the same. If indeed our members are likened to parishioners, each brings a unique perspective to the group. Those perspectives are so very important, and as such, should be known to all.

A popular TV ad asks, “What’s in your wallet?” Unlike a church service, chapter leaders aren’t necessarily asking for monetary donations, but rather to have you, the chapter member, open your wallet of ideas and donate some thoughts and ideas and step up to support your “church.”

Each of you has a reason for having joined a chapter. Is your chapter meeting your expectations? Are there avenues you would like to pursue, sermons you would like to hear? Please let us know!

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