Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of January 10th - January 16th        
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, January 10th:
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast
-9:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group
-11:30 a.m. Women's Fellowship Work Day and Luncheon
-6:00 p.m. Deacons
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, January 11th:
-9:30 a.m. Hebron Clergy
-7:00 p.m. Trustees

Friday, January 12th:
-6:00 p.m. Faith and Film Series

Saturday, January 13th:
-8:00 a.m. - Noon Board and Committee Workshop in the Fellowship Hall

Sunday, January 14th:
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service 
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Youth Choir
-6:30 p.m. Youth Group Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, January 16th:
-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


Join Our Mailing List
Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group 
The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion group will begin reading and discussing "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver this morning. It is a fictional account of an evangelical Baptist who takes his family to live in the Belgian Congo in 1959. The group meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. at the home of Judy Brown and Deena Watson (130 Charles Lane). All are welcome!     
Women's Fellowship Work Day & Luncheon 
The Women's Fellowship will be holding a workday this morning  starting at 11:30 a.m. We will break for lunch and a business meeting around noon. The main goal of this workday is to take down Christmas decorations. Bring a sandwich for lunch. Dessert and beverages will be provided. If you have any questions, please contact Renee Ellis (860-228-3363) or Jean Dormer (860-228-9009).  
12 Steps to a Compassionate Life - Lenten House Gatherings 
Would you be interested in hosting a Lenten House Gathering? The season of Lent offers us an opportunity to pause and join others for a time of devotion, discussion and fellowship.  Our Lenten theme will be "40 Days of Compassion" and together  we will read and study the book "12 Steps to a Compassionate Life" by Karen Armstrong, reflecting on how God's compassion is present in our lives and world. Lenten groups will meet once a week for six weeks, starting the week of February 14th leading up to Easter on April 1st. Hosts decide where, what date and time they will meet during the week. Gatherings can be held at your home, a public spot, or rotate at homes of participants. Hosts will also decide what, if any refreshments will be served. It could be a potluck dinner, just dessert or simply coffee/tea. Hosts can also indicate if your gathering will host children or not.
If you would be willing to host a small group please sign up outside of the Sanctuary or contact Stephanie Haines at stephanie.haines@hotmail.com  by January 14th with any questions. A small study guide and opportunities to obtain the book will be provided prior your gathering. Please indicate on the sign-up sheet the specific requirements you may have in order to host your group. Thank you so much for your support! We hope these Lenten studies will be a wonderful opportunity to grow nearer to God this season of Lent.
Monthly Youth Group Meeting - Suicide Prevention 
Sunday, January 14th  
Our Youth Group has invited Leah Nelson, Program Manager at The Jordan Porco Foundation, to offer a training on suicide prevention at the Youth Group meeting this Sunday, January 14th.  The training will provide our youth with an increased awareness of mental health resources and services, challenge misconceptions about suicide and mental health, empower peers to be gatekeepers by understanding warning signs and knowing how to react, and increase willingness to ask for help if experiencing emotional distress.   

Youth Group will meet at our usual time (6:30-8 pm) on the 14th and will begin the training promptly no later than 6:35. Due to the sensitivity of this topic and the fact that we may not know who has been impacted directly or indirectly by suicide, we will be joined by Susan Stewart and Jenna Langevin, who have offered to have their therapy dogs on hand throughout the presentation.  We will make it clear that anyone who needs to leave the room at any time is more than welcome to do so and we will make sure that nobody is left alone. Following the training, which is slated to last about an hour, we will share snacks and an informal time of fellowship. We suggest that a parent or guardian pick up each participant following the meeting.
Unlike our usual activities, this is a sensitive topic and we have limited training resources, so we respectfully ask that Youth Group members don't invite new friends to this meeting. 
If you have any questions, please speak with one of the Youth Group Advisors or with Pastor Denise.   
Faith and Film Series - Rescheduled to this Friday 
Join us this Friday, January 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a potluck dinner followed by a film and discussion. We will be watching the film "He Named Me Malala" (Rated PG-13). This movie vividly portrays the obstacles Pakistani women face in getting an education because of prohibitions by the Taliban. This affecting documentary chronicles the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old who was shot because of her advocacy efforts. Bring a dish to share and join us!       
Coffee Collection for Month of January
We are collecting cans of coffee (Folgers and Folgers Decaf have been suggested) for use throughout the year for our coffee hours. Please bring a can to worship with you during the month of January and place it in the basket outside the Sanctuary. Decaf coffee is especially needed. Coffee will be collected through Sunday, January 28th.
This Is God's Church! 
Thanks to everyone who made a 2018 pledge to the mission and ministries of the Gilead Church-God's Church!  

As of Sunday, January 7th, we have received 131 pledges totaling $252,178.  Our pledge goal for 2018 is $271,022, so we are $18,844 short of our goal.  

For those who have not yet made a pledge commitment, we hope you will. Pledge cards can be found in the front and back of the Sanctuary or by calling our Church Office. Cards can be placed in the offering plate on any Sunday or returned to the Church to the attention of our Assistant Treasurer, Joan Cordier. Thank you for your consideration, commitment and support!
Coffee Hour Sign Up 
Members of the Fellowship Committee are asking members and friends to sign up for co-hosting coffee hour on Sunday mornings. Please consider serving as a host.  You can sign up to host a coffee hour on the sign up underneath the name tags.  If you can serve as a host or have any questions, please contact Gloria Kimball at 860-228-3817. 

Coffee Hour Instructions
Coffee Hour is held after the 10:00 service during the school year and after the 9:00 service in the summer. There are two hosts during the school year and only one during the summer. Coffee, tea, sugar and paper goods are provided by the Church.
Coffee Hour Host Responsibilities are as follows:
  • Make two carafes of coffee - 1 decaf and the other hi test. Fill insulated pitcher with hot water for tea from the machine. Instructions for making coffee are posted by the machine.
  • Set up kids table and another table with a few chairs when setting up ( helpful hint - don't put all of the food out at once, let the first wave of starving children come through before putting everything out).
  • Bring cream for coffee, juice for kids and goodies. Coordinate with the other host family on who is bringing which items.
  • Clean up, wipe down tables, and leave the kitchen as you found it. Make sure the coffee pot is turned off and pots rinsed out. Also please sweep the fellowship floor.
  • Recycle items in the appropriate containers.
Suggestions for food: We invite you to be mindful of medical issues such as diabetes, dairy, nut and gluten allergies by providing a mix of baked goods, tortilla chips, rice cakes, fruit and cheese and crackers. If you bring something with nuts, please label it.
Silver Lake Summer Camp 
Silver Lake has announced its offerings for the summer 2018 conference season. 
The Silver Lake summer brochure is available online. There is also a brochure hanging on the bulletin board at the church.  Registration opens January 15th.  Details and registration are available at www.silverlakect.org along with downloads of the forms needed for registration. 
2018 Daily Bible Reading Guides 
2018 Daily Bible Reading Guides are available in the front and back of the Sanctuary or by calling the Church Office.
Hebron's Got Talent!
Tickets are on sale now for Hebron's Got Talent! Our 5th annual showcase will take place on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the RHAM High School Auditorium. Ten acts, ranging from singing to dancing, will perform to compete for the $250 grand prize! Local celebrity judges including last year's winner, Jonathan Farrington, a musician and singer from RHAM High School, as well as local celebrity, Cassandra Go, will provide their comments on each act but ultimately, the winner is selected by your audience vote! Cassandra is a past New England Patriots Cheerleader cheering at Super Bowl XLVI, featured in two swimsuit calendars, chosen to be on the cover of one and made her TV debut in a national commercial in 2012. She has also danced for the CT Sun's WNBA and dance captain and choreographer for the NLL New England Black Wolves.  Cassie has won numerous championship dance awards and has worked professionally as a performer, choreographer and promotional model.  Tickets are $8 each or $25 for a family of four and can be purchased at Ted's IGA Supermarket, Hebron Parks & Recreation, AHM Youth and Family Services, the Gilead Congregational Church or at the door. All proceeds benefit the children's scholarship programs of Hebron Parks & Recreation and AHM Youth & Family Services because every child should have the opportunity to explore and grow their talents and abilities! Snow date is Friday, February 9. We hope to see you there! This event is sponsored by the Gilead Congregational Church Board of Missions.  

Also, the Board of Missions is seeking sponsors for "Hebron's Got Talent!" 2018. All proceeds from HGT! 2018 will be donated to the children's scholarship programs of AHM Youth & Family Services and Hebron Parks & Recreation.  These programs support families who may not be able to afford opportunities to develop their child's gift and strength.  Scholarships may afford children the opportunity to take music lessons, attend camp or afterschool activities, benefit from tutoring or STEM programs, participate in theater or leadership development programs, and more! Over 800 members of the community attended HGT! 2017, and 100% of the proceeds raised ($6,841) were donated to these scholarship funds. The following sponsorship opportunities are being provided:
Media Sponsor - $450
Be the sponsor of a half-page ad in the Rivereast after the show, to thank all of the participants and sponsors, plus four tickets to HGT, sponsor seating, a full-page playbill ad, media recognition, and listing in the Church's E-news and bulletin.
Gold Sponsor - $250
Four tickets to HGT, sponsor seating, full page playbill ad, media recognition, listing in Church's e-news and bulletin.
Silver Sponsor - $100
Two tickets to HGT, half page playbill ad, media recognition, listing in Church's e-news and bulletin.
Bronze Sponsor - $50
One ticket to HGT, quarter page playbill ad, media recognition, listing in Church's e-news and bulletin.
Super Fan - $25
Perfect as a "shout-out" for your favorite performer.  Business card size playbill ad, listing in Church's E-news and bulletin.
For more information, please contact Brenda Houghton at littleredhouse91@yahoo.com.
Detailed sponsorship brochures and applications are available outside the Sanctuary. Please share one with the businesses you frequent!

Happy Birthday, Alia and Ali!  
We celebrated Alia and Ali Karahja's birthdays this week.  Alia turned 32 and Ali turned 13.  The Karahja family continues to do well.  The parents both are working and the children are all doing well in school. 
Run for Refugees Fundraiser   
Please consider supporting our team--Gilead Congregational Church Supports Refugees-- as we raise money for Integrated Refugee Immigrant Services (IRIS), our co-sponsors of the Karahja family.  IRIS' big fundraiser is the Run For Refugees coming up on February 4th, and a team from GCC will be running and walking this race.  Pictured below is the team that took part last year. 

We have issued a challenge to other co-sponsorship groups in CT - there's a prize for the team with the most participants!!  You don't have to participate in the race, just donate to the team in any amount to be counted. If you have any questions, please contact Deb Meincke at  debmeincke@gmail.com.

Youth Group serves at Covenant Soup Kitchen 
Our Youth Group prepared and served the noon meal at the Covenant Soup Kitchen on Saturday, January 6th. They would like to thank the congregation for the donations of  homemade desserts and potato side dishes.  
Driver Needed for Youth Group Eldercare Visits  
We are looking for a driver to assist us 3 times during the year with driving to our Colchester visits. Youth are picked up at RHAM High School on the second  Tuesday of the month at 2:20 p.m. and  driven to Colchester for the visit.  The visit is typically over around 3:30 p.m. and youth are then driven home.  If you are available and interested in volunteering, please speak with Pastor Denise or call the Church Office at 860-228-3077. Thank you!
Follow Gilead Church on Facebook 
Did you know that the Gilead Church is on Facebook?  We invite you to follow us. It's another way to see pictures and to learn about the events and activities occurring at Gilead Church.  Thanks to Gayle Sylvester for helping us to keep this page fresh and up to date.
Congratulations to Sara (Bennett) and Nate Carter on the birth of their son, Benjamin Nicholas Carter. Benjamin was born on January 3, 2018 at St. Francis Hospital weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces and 19 3/4 inches.  Proud grandparents are Nancy and George Bennett. 
Congratulations to Ricardo Rinon and Brett Thompson who were married at the Memorial Chapel at Wesleyan University on Saturday, January 6th.  Rev. Esslinger officiated at the ceremony.

Sunday School Cancellation Policy 
If inclement weather should happen and forces cancellation of Sunday School, our Sunday School Superintendents will contact Sunday School teachers. Parents please check web sites: www.wtic.com , www.956tic.com , or www.wrch.com for cancellation information.  If Gilead Church is not listed there will be Sunday School.  Worship will never be cancelled as Pastor Denise lives so close to the church.  Please, however, use your discretion and always stay safe!  
Ushers Needed for 2018 
Ushers are needed for Sunday Worship services.  Please sign up on the Signups.com link at  http://signup.com/go/ezSYDT or by contacting Phyllis Kurz at plkurz@comcast.net. Thank you!
Annual Contribution Statements 
Annual contribution statements are available in the front of the Sanctuary. Any statements not picked up within a reasonable time period will be mailed.  To comply with IRS regulations regarding the deductibility of your contributions, it is suggested that you do not file your 2017 income tax return until you have received your statement.  If you have any questions, please contact Joan Cordier, Asst. Treasurer (860-228-4718) 

Journey Home Needs Volunteers 
Journey Home, an organization that supports people moving from homelessness into a home, is in need of Volunteers.  

Tuesdays - Deliveries
We need your help to join us at our storage units and deliver items to clients in need! 
Wednesdays - Organizing and Deliveries 
Morning and Afternoon opportunities available! Even if you can only help for an hour or two, any assistance would be greatly appreciated! 

Thursdays - Pick ups and Deliveries 
Pick ups in Manchester, Marlborough, and possibly Hartford with deliveries in Hartford as well. Morning deliveries and afternoon pick ups to be scheduled. Let us know when you are able to help and we will finalize the timing! 
Please contact Alison Scharr, Volunteer & Communications Coordinator at Journey Home if you have any questions or if you can volunteer. Alison can be reached at alison.scharr@journeyhomect.org
Thank You 
Thank you to the Christmas carolers who came to my home. It was lovely to sing along and visit with so many friends. And thank you for the surprise gifts of a white poinsettia and Christmas cookies. May you have a blessed New Year.  
Jean Derby        

Prayer Chain at Gilead Church 
In this new year, we are inviting people to consider joining our church's prayer chain. Prayer requests are sent out via email and you are asked to keep the requests in your thoughts and  prayers.  If you'd be interested in learning more or would like to join our prayer chain, please speak with Pastor Denise (860-228-3077).
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Ann and Gary Sarra
Ushers for next week: Margot and Joe Sheehan
Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Katie McClaine
Deacon of the Day for next week: Bill Cox
Liturgist: Les Fredette            Acolyte: Zeke Violette
Call to Worship: Ella Cabrera
Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday: Dale Bland and Janet Leary
Coffee Hour Host for next week: Berry Honore and Sandy Waldo
Greeter for this Sunday: Joe Sheehan    
Greeters for next week: Leslie and Greg Brand    


Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Samuel 3: 1-20         

O God, we encounter you in places we might not expect and in people we might never imagine.  Sometimes we see you very clearly and sometimes we pass by without seeing you at all.  Open our eyes to see you.  Open our mouths to speak and sing and shout the good news that you are here, and that you are everywhere.   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)