Saturday, August 11, 2007

Calvary Chapel Ocean City, NJ

We had an exciting time at Ocean City, NJ. Our goal was to have a restful time. If you want pictures or other details you will need to visit here, here, here, here, here, here, or here.

So part of what I love on vacation is visiting a new church. Calvary Chapel Ocean City was a great worship experience. As all five of us came in, someone asked his friend, "Did a bus just let people out or something?" I did not tell them that we did not even have all our crew, since Annalee has gone to live in Illinois with her loving husband and Corrie was back in Glen Burnie holding down the fort and working at the hospital. Ryan from Pennsylvania sat next to me. He was just visiting also. Visitors at worship during the summer is a thriving ministry for the congregation. The sanctuary had folding chairs which were just about filled to capacity when we got there. Just a few minutes later, they started packing worshipers into the overflow room who are linked via a video feed. While crowds can intimidate me if I'm competing for space, I felt at home and with a group of friends who I had just met. There were ushers well identified and who were helpful. They gave out bulletins but there was no order of worship in it. There was no need. We sang, took up an offering and announcements, then listened to preaching.

Music

The worship music was forceful and moving for me. I don't think it connected as well with my teenage daughters. I'm guessing that the music connected well with me since I had worship at a Calvary Chapel in Monterey for about 18 months. So I was in sort of homecoming situation and riding on the high of nostalgia. Jeanie, I believe was her name, led a band of several musicians. The wall to wall packed room of worshipers helped with the acoustical effect and the worship was heart-felt. I did not know all the songs but the words were projected on the white wall at the front. Each song had a distinct moving background which contributed to the experience of singing in worship.

Preaching

Pastor Matt Stokes preached from Colossians 3:10-17. He did a verse by verse running commentary. He was careful to not speak down to his audience and was careful to point out that he struggled with sin in ways his congregation did. His style was down to earth, invigorating, and used humor in an engaging way. He made several references to pop culture. I came away from the sermon thinking ensure I am not adversarial with those in the body of Christ.


Radio
While on the island I scanned the band for radio stations. I found one that I liked, The Voice 92.7. I noticed that several of the pastors who preached on this station were Calvary Chapel pastors so I started wondering if the station was a low power station, and indeed it is. I really enjoyed the music. It has a different sound and beat that I am used to in praise music.

According to Pirate Jim who is the author of the webpages called Radio-History.com: New Jersey FM Radio History, Calvary Chapel Ocean City owns a low power FM station, WLOM-LP 92.7. I never heard the call letters used, nor are they on the website. Station could use a larger webpage explaining the owner and mission of the station. The Calvary Chapel Ocean City page regarding radio station does have a good program guide but it is unclear who owns the station. Some radio enthusiast would be interested in that aspect of the station regardless of the program content.
WLOM-LP - 92.7 FM, Ocean City
WLOM-LP was one of the first LPFM's to be granted a CP in New Jersey in June 2002.
The station is owned by the Calvary Chapel Of Ocean City.
WLOM-LP went on the air in December 2003 with a Christian format.
I did later see in the Calvary Chapel Ocean City bulletin that 92.7 FM The Voice is owned by the church.
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