A Personal Reflection on Ministry at the Chapel
by Caroline Grout, Summer Assistant at the Boardwalk Chapel
Life at the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, New Jersey, is filled with witnessing, conversations, fellowship with fellow believers, learning, praying, the necessities of life (sleep somehow wanders in). Amidst this burst of physical exhaustion, the Spirit fills us up. On a personal level, there is no way to survive the summer intact without fleeing to the feet of the God we walk the boards to proclaim. This reliance on Christ as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ brings joy-filled fellowship even relieving the staff as a whole of individualism as we focus on Christ together. This draining of emotional, physical, and spiritual energy is all by the grace of God as He brings us to the end of ourselves that we might be filled with Him. It was during the times of greatest personal weakness that God chose to work the most incredible wonders amongst the staff and those we witnessed to. The truth is that God uses weak and broken vessels to carry out his great works that his name might be glorified. At the end of each day it is impossible to reflect without thinking, "God came through, again, in the small things, in the big things ... what a mighty, loving God we serve.
God's grace was especially apparent this last summer of 2013. It would take much more than the room allotted to this article to list each of His mercies but there are a few of note. Pastor James Zozzaro, Director of the Boardwalk Chapel, was perhaps the largest part of God's blessing this year. He served us while working full-time and set an example for us all in the way he placed his role of father and husband over his role as director and pastor. Churches, youth groups, and individuals, in and outside of the OPC donated a plethora of musical instruments, utilities for the house, food, hard work, and joyful fellowship. Even after the season ended, God is still actively gracious in providing a roofer to replace the chapel's roof which had been damaged after Hurricane Sandy. We continue to wait on the Lord in full confidence of His grace to provide funding for the roof as well as staff members and volunteers for the future. Please pray for the future of the Chapel that God would exhibit His continual grace financially, spiritually, and personally to the many individuals the Chapel influences — from the staff members, to the volunteers and youth group members, to those who walk into the Chapel, and those the Chapel members speak to each night throughout the summer.
This article first appeared in the September 2013 issue of Presbytery Life, the newsletter of the Presbytery of New Jersey, and is used with permission.