Posts Tagged ‘Prayer at the OGHOA’

Ocean Grove evolves. Autumn 2022. Paul Goldfinger. Click to enlarge. Who are we?


The OG Underground surfaces on Pilgrim Pathway. Paul Goldfinger slice-of-life photo. Dec. 2022.  Who are we?




By Paul Goldfinger, MD.   Editor Blogfinger.net December 2022.  Article below is from 2011 but updated to 2022.


Blogfinger is currently   (2011)  running a poll which asks, “Should there be a prayer at the start of each Home Owners Meeting?”

We have over 130 participants so far, with 52% voting no, 44% voting yes and the rest are undecided. There are a variety of reasons why someone would vote one way or another, but having 52% vote “no” means that Ocean Grovers are very careful to be respectful towards their neighbors, because no one has publicly complained about that prayer.

Religion has played a central role in the life of Ocean Grove, and does today, so it is not surprising that there is a tradition of prayer prior to Home Owners meetings, even though the organization itself is secular.

Ocean Grove is a unique, quirky, fascinating and diverse town, and most of its residents prefer not to disturb the delicate balance. We have had some clashes, such as the pavilion controversy of 2007, but most Grovers are used to the religious practices here; they see them as part of the fabric of life and they don’t want to quarrel, even those who are not so keen on religion themselves.

It is interesting, however, that this poll, if conducted 25 years ago, would likely have had few “no” votes. Many of the new people in town now are second homers who seem more inclined toward secular life styles. The poll does strongly suggest that the demographics here are evolving, and it gives us a bit of data to consider when we wonder “who are we?”

We hope that our poll will offer folks the incentive to discuss these matters. But there is no argument at this time, it is not our intention to start one, and the OGHOA is a private organization that will choose its own policies.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger


Note 2022;   We have been consistent in our views about religion in the Grove. At Blogfinger we have supported freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom to  enjoy democracy which is a core belief in America.

This town is a microcosm  (a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.”)

We are a mix of religious persuasions, but most citizens in the Grove are secular while the CMA following is mostly of religious tourists who come here in large numbers in season because the CMA lures them with one program after another.

This poll, if conducted now would probably  show even less numbers who would want a prayer at OGHOA meetings.   What do they do now?   Anybody know?

As I have said before, “We in Ocean Grove should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion.”

Our unique potential  tensions in this regard are unlikely to be found in any other town in America.   That’s why we need a town culture that pulls together with common goals. And why the OGHOA should cancel their forum which wants to identify a “non-religious” group in town.  That’s a divisive mistake.


TOWNES ZANDT.   “Dead Flowers.”   From The Big Lebowski soundtrack,


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