Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Weekend, Jersey Shore

The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ



Ocean Grove—

This tiny Christian community

comes to life in the summertime

Methodist. Camp Meeting.

Boxy tent houses

with colorful flower gardens

American flags and banners

surround The Great Auditorium

with its lighted Cross

facing the ocean


It’s just a mile square

Quiet. Subtle.

Not in-your-face-religion


church bell chimes

do break the quietude now and then

with a gentle interruption

and there’s a pavilion

on the boardwalk

where Gospel events take place

Folks can walk-in or walk by

and there’s a tabernacle

for morning worship

and solid Bible teaching

but it’s optional


Personally, the spiritual amenities

are what draw me

to this particular place

at the Jersey shore


What’s surprising

is that many vacationers come

not for the Bible Hour

not for the concerts

not to hear great preachers

from all over the world

not to worship in the great old edifice

with its magnificent pipe organ

not to sing hymns of antiquity

in fact, they come

not for the Gospel, at all


but for peace and quiet

for one square mile

of no hawking of tee shirts

and games of chance

roller coasters, carrousels

freak shows and body piercing

in fact, there’s nothing for sale

on the boardwalk

and no alcohol for sale

in the grove


No, they come

for a sandy beach

and ocean spray

quaint Victorians, B & Bs

curiosity shops on Main

and shady sidewalk dining

oh! and ice cream at Nagle’s or Day’s


and they know they can rely upon

good old fashioned

Ocean Grove wholesomeness

and Christian acceptance

even if they’re not necessarily

seeking the Christ of Christianity


…and to my way of thinking

miss out on the Best

this precious little gem

has to offer


Maude Carolan Pych
We just returned from a very pleasant weekend in Ocean Grove, NJ, where we listened to Tony Campolo preach on Sunday morning.
The Camp Meeting Association is currently trying to raise the funds needed to complete repairs to The Great Auditorium and the boardwalk, which were damaged during Super-Storm Sandy, last October.


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