Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of December 6th - December 12th        
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, December 6th:
-9:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group
-6:30 p.m. Choir

Thursday, December 7th:
-7:00 p.m. Deacons


Saturday, December 9th:
-9:00 a.m. Christmas Pageant Rehearsal
-2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Women's Fellowship Cookie Drop Off in the Kitchen

Sunday, December 10th:
-8:30 a.m. Worship
-9:30 a.m. Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale
-10:00 a.m. Worship with Christmas Pageant
-No Sunday School
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale
-11:30 a.m. Youth Choir
-11:30 a.m. Board of Missions
-6:00 p.m. Youth Group Monthly Meeting 



Tuesday, December 12th:  
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study in the Music Room
-2:20 p.m. Youth Group to Colchester for Eldercare Visit
-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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Advent and Christmas Worship Services
December 10th-Second Sunday of Advent
Two worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. with Christmas Pageant at 10 a.m. service
December 17th-Third Sunday of Advent
One worship service at 10 a.m. with Christmas Cantata

December 21st-Blue Christmas Service
7:00 p.m. 
December 24th-Fourth Sunday of Advent
One worship service at 10 a.m.
December 24th-Christmas Eve
One candlelight worship service at 7 p.m.
December 31st-First Sunday after Christmas
One worship service at 10 a.m. with lessons and carols

January 7th-First Sunday after Epiphany
Two worship services at 8:30 and 10 a.m.  with  Communion
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, December 3rd, we have received 111 pledges totaling $219,378.  Our pledge goal for 2018 is $271,022, so we are $51,644 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!
Christmas Bell and Mitten Tags - Gifts Due Sunday, December 10th 
Thank you to those who took a bell or mitten tag to support local agencies, including Hebron Interfaith Human Services and the Covenant Soup Kitchen, in their gift giving this holiday season. Gifts are due back this Sunday, December 10th and can be returned to the back of the Sanctuary. For further information please contact Stephanie Haines at 860-228-3077. Thank you! 
Christmas Pageant - Sunday, December 10th
Please join us Sunday, December 10th during our 10 a.m. worship service for our yearly Christmas Pageant. See the story of Jesus' birth come alive through the sweet voices and imaginations of our children. This year's pageant is titled "I Will Play My Part!".  Shelley Yerke is our pageant director. All Sunday School children are invited to participate. We will also hold a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 9th in the Sanctuary.  Children with speaking parts and instrumentalists are asked to arrive at 9 a.m.  Everyone else is invited to come at 10 a.m.  For questions regarding the pageant please contact Stephanie Haines at stephanie.haines@hotmail.com.  
4th Annual Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale - Sunday, December 10th
The 4th Annual Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale is scheduled for this Sunday, December 10th immediately following both worship services in the Fellowship Hall.  Cookies may be brought to the church kitchen on Saturday, December 9th between 2:30-3:30 pm or prior to both services on December 10th. Please plan to purchase cookies, sold by the pound, to support our Women's Fellowship. If you have any questions, please speak with Dale Bland, Janet Kline, Pat Martin or Karen Voghel. Thank you! 
Beautiful Lights in Garden of Remembrance
Our Garden of Remembrance Committee has placed Christmas lights around the gazebo and on a tree in our Garden of Remembrance.  Thanks to Glen Hadley for his vision and donation.  And thanks to Jon Kimball who took this photo during the recent full moon.  
Youth Group Babysitting - Friday, December 15th
Our Youth Group will be offering free babysitting to members and friends on Friday, December 15th from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.  The babysitting is for children ages 0 through 6th grade.  Children should have dinner before they arrive.  Snacks will be provided along with crafts and games.  Please sign up on the sheet underneath the name tags if you plan to come, but know you are welcome even if you don't sign up.  If you have any questions, please speak with Susan Parker 860-530-1134.    

Christmas Caroling - Sunday, December 17th 
Please join us on Sunday, December 17th when we will be going caroling to members and friends.  We'll meet at the church at 4:00 p.m. to car pool together.  Join us at the home of Gloria and Jon Kimball (23 Chestnut Hill Road) for a time of fellowship and a potluck supper following the caroling.  If you know you are coming, please R.S.V.P. to Gloria at 860-228-3817 or via e-mail at gloriaokimball@gmail.com letting her know what you will be bringing to share and number attending. Feel free to come impromptu as well. The Kimballs will provide beverages, but you are welcome to bring your favorite if you wish.


Special Mission Offering - The Christmas Fund
Sunday, December 17th 
On Sunday, December 17th, a special offering will be held as part of our UCC's wider mission efforts. The offering will benefit the Christmas Fund which provides financial aid to retired and active ministers and their surviving spouses and children who face overwhelming financial demands. This special gift at Christmas time reminds these "Veterans of the Cross" that they have not been forgotten and that the Church is grateful for their service. Envelopes for this offering are available in the front and back of the Sanctuary this Sunday. Thank you for your consideration. If you should have any questions regarding the fund, please, do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Haines at (860) 228-3077.   
Pie Fundraiser for HELO
Who doesn't love pie for the holidays? Don't want to make it yourself? Purchase a pie for a purpose. A delicious homemade pie to benefit a great cause. Half the proceeds from each pie will benefit HELO, an orphanage in Haiti, and the other half will help Lexi Weir pay for her upcoming trip to HELO in December. Pie pick up dates are December 23rd or 24th. Any questions please see Lexi or Amy after the service or email Amy at pvault1459@gmail.com.
Blue Christmas Service - Thursday, December 21st 
On Thursday, December 21st at 7:00 p.m. we will have a Blue Christmas Service of comfort, healing and hope. This service provides a space and time for us to acknowledge that this season isn't always an easy or happy one. Bring your fears, pain and grief and join us for this time of prayer, reflection, singing, communion and a candle lighting ceremony. Join us in this time of worship and fellowship following the service.  
Hebron's Got Talent Sponsorship Opportunities
Currently 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! The sponsor application deadline is January 2nd, 2018!

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 Leslie Brand at 860-742-5555.  Thank you!   
Car for the Karahja Family! 
Another milestone has been reached in the lives of the Karahja family. Thanks to the generosity of our congregation, we were able to get them a car.  Pictured below is Ahmed and the photo shows just how happy and thankful he is.

Free Piano 
Ellen Marshall, a neighbor of Margot and Joe Sheehan, is downsizing and has a piano that she would like to offer. If you are interested in the piano, please contact Ellen at 860-603-2291.   
Thank You
Dear Friends at Gilead,   
Thank you for the many "Happy Birthday" wishes and beautiful, delicious cake celebrating my 93rd birthday. Thank you also for your friendship throughout the years. 
Bea Stokes

To Gilead Helping Hands,
You are an amazing blessing to those of us who need a little help. You not only provide a service but lift the spirits of the recipients. Thank you! 
A grateful beneficiary

Dear Youth Group,
Thank you for once again assembling our mailer. We are off to a great start. Thank you for making the apple pies and also collecting the turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Kim Bowers
Hebron Interfaith Human Services

Dear Friends,
We are so grateful for your most recent donation of $5,770.96, all of which has been dedicated to the Community Mental Health Fund. As you know, it was several years ago that as a congregation your church leadership approached AHM Youth and Family Services with the idea of creating the Community Mental Health Fund. Today the fund provides financial assistance for children and families in the Andover, Columbia, Hebron, and Marlborough communities who are unable to afford mental health services due to limited financial resources.
The fund can help to financially support outpatient and inpatient mental health care, as well as prescription medication that may be needed to treat a mental health condition. The fund can provide financial assistance for families that are trying, but unable to completely afford specialized therapeutic services for children coping with mental health conditions.
We have worked with your church leadership to simplify the process for families to feel comfortable to come forward in time of need. This unique community fund can help families during incredibly personal and challenging times and for that we are also grateful for what you have done. Our best wishes to you for a season filled with happiness and good health. 
Michelle Hamilton        and       Joel Rosenberg       
Executive Director                   Director of Development

Advent Celebration
This past Sunday, December 3rd we celebrated the beginning of the Advent season. We enjoyed homemade soups, bread, Christmas music and crafts for all ages! This event was offered by our Board of Christian Education.


Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Pat and Art Austin
Ushers for next week: Lisa and Bill Cox
Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Jim Ledbetter
Deacon of the Day for next week: Amy Huhn
Liturgist: Sarah Cohen     Acolyte: Leah Petro
Call to Worship: Ella Cabrera 
Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday: Cindy Brown and Penny Shimchick
Coffee Hour Hosts for next week: To be determined
Greeter for this Sunday: Joe Sheehan    
Greeter for next week: To be determined    


Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Matthew 1: 18-25                

O God, help us to be mindful of your presence in this Advent season.  Help us to prepare as we wait to see your glory and help us to proclaim the peace you promise.  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)