OCC Offers Vast Number Of Ministries

The quintessential white clapboard church situated on the Town Green is the Orange Congregational Church.

In 1792, the first meetinghouse was erected measuring 30’ by 36,’ and was located at the north end of what is today the Orange Town Green.{{more}}

Today the OCC is an integral part of the town’s fabric from its many ministries the church offers to its congregants participation in town events such as the annual strawberry festival, major tag sale on the town green and an annual golf tournament.

Additionally, the church participates in the annual town holiday festival where the church plays host to a very beautiful hand bell concert and offers alternative holiday gifts which benefits the Heffer Project.

The Rev Suzanne Wagner is the interim senior spiritual leader. She has replaced Stoddom King who retired after 30 years of ministry at the church.

Interim pastors do everything that fulltime rectors are responsible for but also have the special job of working with the congregation to help it identify goals during this time of transition.

Wagner started in January.

“I love living in the center of town … Orange is a wonderful community,” she said.

Wagner said OCC has 620 members, which is large for a congregation. Most have 200 to 300 members

OCC, she said, is also a very active ministry.

Angel Food Express, a group of women who prepare food and bread for pastoral needs, have also been known to prepare complete meals for families.

Wagner is a creative person and one way she expresses that creativity is to write several blogs. http://anitinerantpreacher.blogspot.com and http://orangedailyphoto.blogspot.com/.

Wagner said there are many different ways to be active in the church.

There is the prayer shawl ministry where parishioners knit shawls and pray while the shawls are being knitted,

The shawls, she said, are given to people who are in need of comfort in some way.

The group hopes to expand their knitting to include cancer caps and wheel chair covers Wagner said.

There is also a large selection of church school programs for all age groups that offer children and young adults the opportunity to serve others and be an active participant. These programs are under the direction of Beth Rafferty.

The Christian Service and Outreach Board of the Orange Congregational Church stresses missions to local organizations such as the Orange Community Services, Fish of Greater New Haven, New Haven Diaper Bank, monthly dinners at Columbus House in New Haven, 10,000 Villages, and St Martin de Porres Academy, a tuition free school in New Haven. They al;so participate in the Crop Walk for Church World Service, Habitat for Humanity and Heifer International. Additionally they sponsor the Paul Ode Annual Golf Tournament on Columbus Day at the Orange Hills Country Club with half of the proceeds going to Columbus House.