Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of April 11th - April 17th        
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, April 11th:
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast
-9:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group
-7:00 p.m. Choir
-7:00 p.m. Financial Peace University

Thursday, April 12th:
-9:30 a.m. Hebron Clergy
-7:00 p.m. Trustees
Friday, April 13th:
-6:00 p.m. Faith and Film Series

Saturday, April 14th:
-9:00 a.m. - Noon Spring Work Day

Sunday, April 15th: 
-7:15 a.m. Youth Mission Team Leaves for Philadelphia
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service  
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour

Tuesday, April 17th
-9:30 a.m. Knitting Circle
-11:00 a.m. Mobile Foodshare Van at Church of Hope
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study
-7:30 p.m. AA Meeting  

About Us:

Reverend Dr. Denise M. Esslinger 
Minister of Mission and Faith Formation:
Stephanie Haines 
Minister of Music:
Bruce Gale
Administrative Assistant:
Sally Fritsche  

Worship: 8:30 AM
Worship w/Sunday School:  10:00 AM
Summer Worship: 
9:00 AM 

Gathered:  1748
Meeting House:  1838
Fellowship Hall:  2008


We are an Open & Affirming Church 

Ministry Quicklinks:
More About Us


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Faith and Film Series - Friday, April 13th 
Join us this Friday, April 13th (please note the date change) when we will gather at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a potluck supper followed by watching and discussing "Darkest Hour" (Rated PG-13). Winston Churchill's stirring defiance of the Nazi threat is the focus of this historical drama that depicts his fearless refusal to surrender Britain to Adolf Hitler and his relentless army during World War II's early days. Please bring a dish to share and join us! 
Spring Work Day - Saturday, April 14th 
Our church's Spring Work Day will be this Saturday, April 14th (rain date of Saturday, April 21st) from 9 a.m. to noon.  Come and help to spruce up the church grounds and do some cleaning inside.  Donuts, coffee and juice will be provided.  Please join us!    
Youth Mission Trip to Philadelphia 
Our Youth Mission Team is leaving for their mission trip to Philadelphia this Sunday, April 15th. They will be there through Thursday, April 19th. A blog has been set up so you can follow their trip.  Follow them at:  www.gccyouthtravel.wordpress.com  .
The Lord's Prayer
At the past couple of Deacon's meetings, following a discussion at a Stewardship Committee meeting on the meaning of "debts", the Deacons have been discussing The Lord's Prayer.  It is found in two places in the Bible, in Luke 11: 1-4 and Matthew 6: 9-15. The prayer we say each Sunday is a combination of these texts in which Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray.  

While The Lord's Prayer is considered the universal prayer among Christians, there are differences based on text and translation. We probably notice this when we join with other Christians in saying the prayer and find that while some say "debts" and "debtors", others say "trespasses" and "those who trespass against us," while others will say "sins" and "those who sin against us."  

The Deacons thought it would be worthwhile, as a way to bring our awareness to the prayer and to the words we are saying, to try different ways of saying the prayer.  We'll be doing this over the next few months.  Here's what we'll be trying:

"trespasses and those who trespass against us"

"sins and those who sin against us"

"offenses and those who offend us"

It is our hope that this will be meaningful to do, and will deepen our understanding of this prayer.  If you have any questions or feedback to share, please speak with Pastor Denise or one of our Deacons (Jan Andrews, Bill Cox, Amy Huhn, Jim Ledbetter, Katie McClaine (Chairperson), Teresa Olio, Gary Sarra, Margot Sheehan and Doug Stewart).  

Special Collection for the H.I.H.S. Food Bank! 
The 4th grade Sunday School class will be collecting some much needed items for the Hebron Interfaith Human Services Food Bank, April 8th - 22nd. Currently the food bank is most in need of:
  • Dish Soap
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Toilet Paper (single wrapped or 4 pack)
  • Canned Pasta
  • Juice Boxes
Children will be collecting the items outside of the Sanctuary on Sundays and personally delivering them to HIHS during our "Love Your Neighbor: Day of Caring" on April 28th. The class will also be "sprucing up" the food bank with a spring clean and new flower boxes to make the building more beautiful and welcoming. If you should have any questions please contact Kathy Lukow at (860) 228-3435 or Jaime McKinley at (860) 228-1415. Thank you for your support! 
Organ Console Campaign Update
Thanks to the generosity of everyone who made a commitment toward our campaign for a new organ console, we have exceeded our goal!!!  As of Sunday, April 8th we have received 94 commitments totaling $105,271.  Thank you, everyone!

Know it also isn't too late to make a commitment to the fund and to support this effort. There are some additional enhancements the Music Committee is interested in, as well as some carpentry and electrical work that needs to be done for the installation of the new console.   

Commitment cards are available in the front of the Sanctuary or by calling the Church Office (860-228-3077).  Cards can be placed in the offering plate on any Sunday or returned to the Church (672 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT 06248) to the attention of our Assistant Treasurer, Joan Cordier.  

We request, given the timing of payments for the organ, that  commitments be paid by November 1st of this year. Our hope, if all goes smoothly, is to have the new organ for our Christmas Eve Services.  

If you have questions about the new organ console and/or campaign, please contact Carolyn Bennett (Chair of the Music Committee, 860-930-9219) or Ned and Renee Ellis (Co-Chairs of the Organ Fundraising Campaign, 860-228-3363) with your questions.  

Sunday School Mission Project - A Day of Caring - Saturday, April 28th 
  • Preschool : Hebron Fire Department (April 29th during Sunday School Classes. Fire Department will visit GCC. Children made baked goods for blood drive in February).
  • Kindergarten - 1st Grade : Hebron Senior Center, 14 Stonecroft Drive - Ice Cream Social, 1 - 3 pm.
  • 2nd - 3rd Grade: Douglas Library, 22 Main Street - Planting, inspirational bookmarks and lemonade stand, 9 - 11 am.
  • 4th Grade: Hebron Interfaith Human Services, 20 Pendleton Drive - Planting, outside clean-up and food bank drive, 9 - 11 am.
  • 5th - 6th Grade: Hebron Elementary School, 92 Church Street - Playground landscape project and teacher appreciation, pick a shift 10 - 12 pm or 12 - 2 pm.
  • 7th - 8th Grade: AHM Youth & Family Services, Playground clean-up project for KinderRHAMa Preschool Program inside RHAM High school, 85 Wall Street, 1 - 3 pm.
Love Your Neighbor T-Shirts will be available to take home on Sunday, April 15th and Sunday, April 22nd! Visit our table outside the Sanctuary. Please wear your t-shirt during your service project on April 28th and Children's Sunday on June 10th!
" As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John 13: 34-35
You're Invited to an Ice Cream Social! - Saturday, April 28th   
Our Kindergarten and 1st Grade Sunday School students invite you to join them for ice cream and fun! On Saturday, April 28th, the class will be hosting an ice cream social from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Russell Mercier Senior Center, 14 Stonecroft Drive in Hebron, Building D. Children will serve ice cream and visit seniors all the while having some fun playing BINGO and creating crafts together. The young people are look forward to making new friendships! All are welcome and this event is free. If you should have any questions please contact Marybeth Aker at (860) 228-1079 or Cathy Luddy at (860) 228-1577.

Blankets Plus - Mother's Day Cards 
Please consider purchasing your Mother's Day cards following worship on April 29th and May 6th. The cost of a card is $5.00. With your purchase, a Church World Service blanket will be donated in honor of your mother, grandmother, aunt or any special woman in your life. Think of all the love and care the special women in your life have given you and in return, "blanket the world with love"!
Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the country help people in need around the world, including the U.S. For over 60 years, Church World Service (CWS) has worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future including blankets, tents, and food and other emergency supplies in the wake of a disaster. Stop by the Mother's Day Card table, staffed by our Board of Mission's Hunger and Heating Subcommittee, and learn more about this special mission opportunity and places where blankets are shipped around the country. Please contact Stephanie Haines with questions at (860) 228-3077. Thank you! 
Peace, Love and Art: Hope for the Children of the Serapio School in Mexico 
Please join us for "Peace, Love and Art: Hope for the Children of the Serapio School in Mexico", an ice cream and arts fundraiser on Friday, April 27th from 6-8 pm at the church. This community event is being hosted by Skylar Haines, a member of Gilead Church and junior at RHAM High School. "Peace, Love & Art" will feature live music entertainment, games (including the much anticipated sponge target toss featuring brave teachers) and opportunities to create your own works of art with the instruction of local artists.
Thanks to your generosity last year, Skylar was able to start-up and incorporate a music program and computer center for the Serapio School where she taught English and volunteered. The school has nothing, lacks sufficient funding, and has extremely underdeveloped educational programs as a direct consequence. Teaching there showed her just how much the children could do with a little support. The children there are resilient, full of joy and willing to learn if only given the supplies, instruction, and funding they need to be successful. We hope you will consider supporting the children of Serapio and Skylar's efforts in giving them the same opportunities she feels she has been blessed with. All proceeds will support the continued development of these programs. 

Tickets are $5 per person and include all you can eat ice cream sundaes and can be purchased after worship or at the door the night of the event. Tie dye "Peace, Love & Art" shirts will also be available for sale and tickets towards a "Gift Tree". 

For questions or to volunteer, please contact Skylar at peaceloveandartserapio@gmail.com or visit her table after worship, outside the Sanctuary. Thank you for your support. It is truly a blessing! 

"Favorites Tea" - Saturday, May 5th 
The Fellowship Committee will be hosting their annual "Favorites Tea" in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, May 5th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please plan to attend and bring your favorite teacup and a sweet or savory treat to share. Also, please feel free to invite your "favorite female" as your guest. There will be a home d├ęcor, kitchen gadget and accessory swap (such as jewelry, hats, scarves, belts, purses, etc.) to share.  Please sign up on the sheet outside of the Sanctuary.  If you have any questions, please speak with Gloria Kimball.
Walk Against Hunger - Saturday, May 5th   
On Saturday, May 5th, we will be participating in Foodshare's Annual Walk Against Hunger. We are forming a team called ACHM Hunger Action Team. To join the team or to sponsor the team, please go to Foodshare.org and sign in under "ACHM Hunger Action Team". We will also have registration forms on the table under the name tags.  This 2 mile walk, which starts and ends at Dunkin' Donuts Park, raises money for both Foodshare, our regional food bank, along with Hebron Interfaith Human Services, our local food bank.  We will meet at the Church at 8:45 a.m. on May 5th to carpool together to Dunkin' Donuts Park. Thank you!  
Spring Gardening 
It's time to dream of Spring! We invite you to begin bringing in your extra seeds, seed catalogues, peat pots, garden implements or anything else that will help other people get ready for the growing season. Like the full-fledged garden swap of summer, you don't need to contribute to take something home - we're just trying to encourage more home gardeners. If you have questions please contact Paul Miller or Bruce Langevin.
Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to Phoebe Shirk on the recent death of her mother, Mary Riehle.
Rolling River Rampage: Experience the Ride of a Lifetime with God 
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you!"  -Isaiah 43: 2
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is an ecumenical program sponsored by the churches of Hebron, and is open to all children entering kindergarten through fifth grade. This year VBS will be held Monday, July 23rd  hrough Friday, July 27th from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Gilead Congregational Church.
This year our theme is "Rolling River Rampage."  At the Rolling River Rampage, children will meet our fantastic river guides and Romper, the river otter. After a high-energy opening assembly, children will experience an interactive Bible lesson followed by a variety of activities, crafts, music and recreation as well as a tasty treat in our snack zone.  Participants will also be able to contribute to our mission project.
Early Bird Special:  All registration forms/payments received by July 4, 2018 will be only $25 per child. All registration forms received after July 4, 2018 will be $30 per child. The fee covers class materials, daily snacks, crafts, and outdoor recreation. Scholarships are available.
Please make checks payable to Gilead Congregational Church with VBS in the memo line and include a completed registration form. Registration forms can be found underneath the name tags outside of the Sanctuary. Please mail checks and registration form to Gilead Congregational Church/VBS, 672 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT 06248 or give them to Stephanie Haines or Lydia Abu-Rahmeh. We hope you will join us!
Thank You 
Dear Denise,
I wanted to thank you and all of my Gilead Church family for the outpouring of support we've received following the death of my sister, Kim. The cards and words of sympathy and love were a great comfort to us upon returning from our trip. I am continually grateful, but especially at this time, for the blessing of being part of our loving faith community. 
Most Sincerely,
Mark Hand 
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Margot and Joe Sheehan
Ushers for next week: Susan and Les Fredette
Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Bill Cox
Deacon of the Day for next week: Doug Stewart
Liturgist: Mark Hand      Acolyte: Ella Cabrera
Call to Worship: Meredith Weir
Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday: Lynn Lukach and Brenda Houghton
Coffee Hour Hosts for next week: Deb Boone and Alice Marien
Greeter for this Sunday: Bonnie Tarbox  
Greeter for next week: Janet Leary  


Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Luke 24: 36b-48

God of the journey, human and divine, though we may not always recognize you, you ever walk beside us in the risen Christ, and reside within us.  We praise you for the constancy of your caring and involvement with us on the road of life. Inspire us with new life so that we may be prepared to participate with you in bringing to fullness Christ's victorious resurrection reign on earth.  Amen.

Contact Info
Sally Fritsche
Administrative Assistant
672 Gilead St
Hebron, Ct   06248
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until noon (Parish House)