Greater Cape May has enjoyed a remarkable 2018 Summer tourist season, according to tourist data. More visitors. More economic growth. More memorable family experiences. This Summer, Cold Spring Presbyterian Church has enjoyed many visitors and has made many new connections, as well.
With the Summer season officially ending with Labor Day, we have already noticed less traffic on the roads, more available parking spaces when we shop, getting a table at our favorite restaurant without reservations, and we have enjoyed saving money with seasonal discounts. Cape May has welcomed vacationers from near and far for an extraordinary experience. But according to New Jersey tourism officials, the season isn’t designed to be over at Labor Day. Commissioned studies have found that the modern tourist is increasingly upscale, desires shorter experiences because of a more demanding work and school schedule, and wants experiences that feel vibrant and exciting. I think Cold Spring Presbyterian Church can apply many of these tourism discoveries to its year-round mission. We have a call from God as a community of faith to achieve a positive impact on the communiuty at large in the name of Jesus Christ. God is on the move. Every. Single. Day. And we are uniquely positioned to serve our community in every season of the year.
The tourism study stated that it “isn’t enough to advertise the beach.” That is, to advertise the typical, expected, and in some respects ordinary beauty of the beach. Sure, the beach is beautiful. But the modern tourist wants active, unique experiences that capture the spirit of our seashore community. Similarly, its not enough to be the oldest church in the area, or have the largest campus, or be a resting place for our centuries of dearly departed. While these are blessing from God and ministry assets, our neighbors and visitors alike want to nurture their spirits with engaging, unique experiences that not only “capture the spirit of the community,” but offer unique experiences with the Spirit of God.
Modern tourists in the study want an “insider view” of wherever they visit. They want to connect. The study asked the question: “What could the county do by 2020 to attract that new kind of tourist? Creative, all-season activities that are more diversified and age-interest focused have attracted more participation in recent years. Our congregation’s ministry, likewise, has a year-round crowd, Summer-attending individuals, those who return in the Fall, and still others who leave in the Winter who return in the Spring. Each of these groups present a wonderful and challenging opportunity to deliver “experiences that feel vibrant and exciting” in our worship, community programs, Bible studies, weddings and other family-focused events, dinners, and connections with other community groups. Everything Cold Spring Presbyterian Church does will not be for everyone all the time. Some our our activities focus on our current congregation. Other events provide opportunities for our current congregation to bring friends and neighbors to enjoy. Other programs will be geared to a more youthful group while other ministries will be perfect for those who are older. Our interactions will be available onsite and also online which offer us amazing opportunities for impact.
Our leadership team is exploring ways to feature our “beaches” which represent our physical assets including our beautiful, historic, red brick building and 200-acre campus along with developing new programs and improvements that engage our community all year long. Our partnerships with community groups, support groups, the Lower Township Chamber of Commerce, the Historic Cold Spring Village, and other churches help us to learn and grow. We will increasingly provide spiritual resources for everyone to live the abundant life in Christ through seasonal attractions that seek to bring regulars, neighbors, and visitors back to experience the Spriit of God again, and again.
Be inspired at Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. There is a place for you to meaningfully learn, grow, and serve all year round!