Loving neighbors both near and far is an essential part of Christian life. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, in service to a hungry world.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Outreach Ministries here at OrangeUMC have four main components: Food and Shelter Ministries, Prison Ministries, Special Events, and UMC Apportionments.
Food & Shelter
IFC Men’s Shelter
The InterFaith Council (IFC) for Social Services was established in 1963 in Chapel Hill and today it runs a number of important community missions and provides many resources to those in need. Orange Church has been providing dinner on the first Thursday of the month for decades and we’ve built a nice relationship with the IFC. Currently we split our dinner between the new IFC@ SECU Community House across the street and the old Community Kitchen on Rosemary. With your help we feed approximately 70-100 guests each month – as many as 1200 people a year! Most of our guests are men, but there are women and children who also eat at the downtown kitchen. These folks are from various walks in life; some have jobs and others have mental issues. But they are all grateful for a good meal. During our dinner we share a blessing over the food with the guests, chat with them, invite them to church, sometimes have music, and hopefully provide a much-needed brightness to their day. We could not do this without the food, time, effort, and prayers we receive from the congregation – THANK YOU! Please come join us!
Contact Liz Moore if you are interested in becoming a part of this very important ministry.
Orange is partnered with Pathways Elementary School in Hillsborough, providing food for 33 children on the weekends when school lunches are unavailable.
We pack bags on Thursday mornings and deliver them to the elementary school. Bags are packed to provide 3 meals on Saturday, 2-3 meals on Sunday and a few snacks. We provide simple items children can prepare for themselves.
Items we like to include are: soups, pasta with meat in pop top cans, Vienna sausage, mac and cheese, ramen noodles, cereal bars, oatmeal, rice or pasta in microwave bags, fruit cups, pudding cups, peanut butter and crackers, jelly, microwave popcorn. Each week we inventory what food supplies we have on hand and plan out our bags for the week. This is a thorough and methodical program.
Homestart is the local shelter which is part of IFC, for women and children located near our campus on Homestead Road. The shelter is divided into three buildings: two for women and children and one for just women. Our church is committed to providing meals to the women’s shelter the first and third Fridays of each month. In addition, OUMC provides holiday meals and extra food whenever they are in need.
Women depend on weekly evening meals, which are often the only food that the women have during the day. Several times a year, batches of soup and spaghetti sauce are provided in order to supplement the meals. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, Orange has been very blessed to be able to minister to many of the other needs that these ladies have.
If you are interested in becoming a part of this very important ministry, please contact Helen Clark.
Prison Ministry is as much a blessing, as it is challenging. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to be in kinship with those living in the margins. If you have ever felt God move your heart to be in relationship with the incarcerated, OrangeUMC has several areas to get involved:
One Day With God
With the loving support of Forgiven Ministries, Orange UMC hosts an annual One Day with God Camp for the fathers of Orange County Correctional. One Day with God Ministries partners with prisons in seven states to strengthen the bond between those who are incarcerated and their children. The camp provides several full days, consisting of a Godly Dad's forum, enriching events for the incarcerated parent and their children, and a very special retreat for the caregiver.
To best prepare the Fathers at Orange County Correctional for the One Day with God Camp, volunteers from various congregations in the area meet with the OCC Dads each month to build relationships, study Scripture, and learn more about what God’s call is for the fathers. This meeting is referred to as The Fabulous Fathers and is supplemented by weekly Bible Studies. Ideally, when a father arrives at the One Day with God camp, they have spent the prior year learning what God desires for us as fathers.
Weekly Bible Studies
OrangeUMC has some disciples who attend and facilitate weekly Bible Studies. There is currently a Monday Night Study that has been in place for more than 40 years. Though we would love for more people to volunteer for this ministry, there is an abundance of red tape and administrative obstacles that make approving new volunteers difficult. Please join us in prayer that these obstacles would be removed so that more people would be able to help in this important work.
If you would like to get involved with One Day With God, Fab Fathers, or Bible Studies, please contact Bryan Black.
When a mom or dad in is prison, it is their children who do the ‘hard time’. We can let these kids know that they are not forgotten by their incarcerated parent through the Angel Tree Project. If you have questions or would like to become involved in this area of service, contact Terry Law.
Orange County Correctional “Christmas Family day”
Would you like to help Fathers at the Orange County Correctional Center (OCC) purchase gifts for their children? If so, then purchase any NEW gift of your choice and leave it UNWRAPPED in the box marked “Christmas Family day” near the Angel Tree. OCC Fathers can ‘buy’ these donated gifts for their kids, wrap them, and give them to their children during visitation. Please remember that many of the inmates have older children, so scarves, coats, gloves and teen clothing is very much appreciated along with toys for the younger children. If you have questions or would like to become involved in this area of service, contact Terry Law.
OrangeUMC Outreach sponsors several special fundraising events throughout the year, including:
MARCH: Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day
MARCH Madness fundraiser for Backpack Buddies
APRIL: Food Truck Rodeo
MAY: Fish Fry
OCTOBER: Harvest Festival
NOVEMBER: Craft Bazaar & Bake Sale
DECEMBER: Angel Tree & Christmas Family Day at Orange Correctional
About 10% of OUMC’s annual budget goes toward apportionments that benefit UMC program agencies and other benevolent causes throughout the United States and the world. These include the World Service Fund, Africa University, and Black College Fund. OrangeUMC has a proud history of being a Rainbow Covenant church. For more information about apportionments, check out this resource from the North Carolina Conference.