Our Faith

We believe in the good news (aka the Gospel) of Jesus! We believe that healing, forgiveness and new life are found in Jesus.

You’ve hopefully heard that God loves us, that he actually IS love (1st John 4:16). But when Jesus says he loves us, that means something specific and powerful. The Bible explains that the greatest demonstration of God’s love is that Jesus, the Son of God, came here to sacrifice himself for us, to save us from ourselves and from a world filled with corruption and pain, and to give us New Life in him.

We believe that this New Life was proven real and powerful when Jesus rose from the dead. Because of this, trusting in him can bring us together, gives us peace, and sustain us. But that’s not all. This New Life in Jesus has the power to change us, to make us into the people we were meant to be, to make us part of something much bigger than ourselves. This is possible because Jesus is Emmanuel, which means God with us. Through faith in Jesus, we not only receive forgiveness and New Life, we also receive the presence of God in and with us, so that we are never alone or forgotten.

This is our hope, this is the promise we trust. It’s also the hope we work to share this hope to everyone around us, to tell the world, starting in Shoreham-Wading River, to help many more people come to know that the God of the universe loves them and understand what that really means.

To learn more about our beliefs, check out our Statement of Faith.

 

Our Mission

One of the most important things to know about us is that we are a community with a mission. We don’t exist just to sustain ourselves. We’re not a museum or a club. We’re part of the work that Jesus began and is continuing to do in this world, to bring hope and healing to the hurting and broken, to proclaim good news, and to build a loving community together. This mission is from God himself, and he has given it to us, promising to use us for his glory and the good of many people. This mission is summarized in our Mission Statement.

WRCC Mission Statement: Wading River Congregational Church invites people of all ages and backgrounds to come hear the good news of Jesus, experience His grace, and develop a relationship with the living God. We are seeking to live Gospel-centered lives by building a loving community and helping each other in concrete ways, as we glorify God and demonstrate his love in action.

This is who we are, and this is our purpose, to help people of all ages and background experience and understand the love of God through Jesus as we work to put his love in action. We hope you’ll come and join the mission. After all, you were created for a purpose, to be a part of something bigger than yourself. That purpose, the meaning we all long for, is found in Jesus. Come and see!

 

Our Worship

Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

Join us on each Sunday morning to celebrate the God who loves us and is present in our lives! In all of our worship services we sing, pray, hear the word of the Lord, and hear about God’s work in our lives. Our worship typically includes a mix of traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs and a relaxed and welcoming environment. Our worship services are made up of people of all ages who worship together. So come, just as you are, and join us!

 

Our Organization

One of the most common questions we hear is, what is a Congregational church anyway? If you are not familiar with Congregational Churches, it might sound more like something out of a history book than a place you would actually want to go.

The good news is, the answer to this is really simple. A Congregational Church is a Christian church that is run by its people. For us, this means that we are not under the authority of any leader or organization beyond the people of WRCC. Of course, God is our ultimate authority and this is his church, but the members of WRCC make their own decisions on things like the pastor and leaders of the church. It also means that we are fully self-funded, and work to use the resources God provides us in the ways that help us achieve our mission and put God’s love in action here in Shoreham-Wading River.

 

Our Leadership

Pastor

 

 

In case you are wondering how an Intentional Interim Pastor is different from a regular pastor:

Deacons – Our deacons help care for and lead the church spiritually. They are responsible to help support the spiritual health and mission of the church and work together with the pastor to lead WRCC in putting God’s Love in Action.
Current deacons: Lisa Carlen (co-chair), Kim Schmidt (co-chair), Dan Blunnie, Nancy Bosseckert, Janet Gangitano, Ann Otten, Kathy Wilson, and Diane Schembri (alternate).

Trustees – Our trustees help care for the practical needs of WRCC. They manage our resources and facility to ensure they support our ongoing mission.
Current trustees: Doug Carlen (co-chair), Mike Scarpinito (co-chair), Adam Costantino, Molly Lutz, George Schmidt, Judy Schroeder, Nancy Swenk, and Michael Wing.

Ministry Leaders

Family Ministries Coordinator:  Julie Lutz
Sunday School Coordinator:  Julie Lutz
Thrift Store Leader:  Dottie Davis
Women’s Ministry Leaders:  Ann Otten & Nancy Bosseckert
WRCC Food Pantry:  Carolyn Baier, Joe Baier & Craig Baier
Welcome Ministry Leader:  Ann Otten

Church Administrator, Robin Blanco

Treasurer: Michael Wing
Assistant Treasurer: Joe Nocerino
Clerk: Ann Otten
Assistant Clerk: Jane Throwe

 

Our History

wrcc1900

The origin of Wading River Congregational Church reaches back to the founding of Wading River in 1671. The founding families of Wading River were Congregationalists, originally from Connecticut. In the 1680s, Presbyterians from Massachusetts also moved to the area and for the next 60 years the people of Wading River worshiped together in their homes, in the open, or wherever space was available.

By 1740 the community had grown to the point that a church building was needed. The first church in Wading River, the 2nd in Riverhead Township, was built. It was founded as a Presbyterian church and sat across the street from the current building. After the revival known as the Great Awakening spread across New England, Congregational Separatists moved into the area and led a movement to reorganize the church as a Congregational Church. The church as reorganized and officially became the Wading River Congregational Church in 1785.

By 1837 the original church building was no longer sufficient, so the congregation decided to sell it and build a new one on land donated to the church by local resident Zophar Miller. The new building was dedicated to the worship of God and opened on January 1st, 1838. A church “parlor” was later added in 1906 as the church continued to thrive. During the Great Depression, however, the entire community struggled and the church was no longer able to support a full-time pastor. These struggles continued through World War 2, with WRCC sharing pastors with other area churches as they were able.

In the late 1940s, however, the area began to grow and so did the church. In 1956, and after many years, the church called its first full-time minister, Rev. Reginold Dwight Avery who served until 1960.  When he left, the Rev. Louis Tuleja came and served in Wading River for 36 years until his retirement in 1996. After Rev. Tuleja’s retirement, the church called Rev. Peter Vibert to serve as pastor. Rev. Vibert served as pastor from 1996 until 2012 when he retired. In 2012 WRCC called Rev. TJ Turner, who served as pastor until April of 2020. In September of 2020, WRCC called Rev. Susan Moody as the Intentional Interim Pastor. She served until June or 2023. In June of 2023, WRCC called Rev. John Brock Evans as pastor and he is currently serving in that role.

Through many years and many changes, WRCC has existed to glorify God and to serve the community around us by proclaiming the good news of new life through Jesus to in both word and deed. We remain committed to this mission today.