Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of March 7th - March 13th        
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, March 7th:
-9:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group
-7:00 p.m. Lenten House Gathering at the Sheehans

Thursday, March 8th:
-9:30 a.m. Hebron Clergy
-7:00 p.m. Trustees
-7:00 p.m. Lenten House Gathering at the Fredettes

Friday, March 9th:
-6:00 p.m. Faith and Film Series

Saturday, March 10th:
-9:30 a.m. Youth Group to Covenant Soup Kitchen
-10:00 a.m. - Noon New Members Gathering

Sunday, March 11th: 
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service  
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Sunday School with Walk Trough Holy Week
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Music Committee
-11:30 a.m. Board of Missions
-6:30 p.m. Youth Group Monthly Meeting

Monday, March 12th:
-7:00 p.m. Lenten House Gathering at the Hookers

Tuesday, March 13th:
-10:00 a.m. Lenten House Gathering at the Cooks
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study
-2:20 p.m. Youth Group to Colchester for Eldercare Visit
-7:00 p.m. Finding God in Contemporary Issues Discussion in the Parish House
-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 Rescheduled - Friday, March 9th 

Due to the weather last Friday, our monthly Faith & Film series has been rescheduled for this Friday, March 9th at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  We will be watching the film "The Glass Castle" (Rated PG-13). Adapted from the novel of the same name, this family drama follows future writer Jeannette Walls, who spends her hardscrabble childhood on the run with her negligent artist mother and storytelling alcoholic father.  All are welcome.  Bring a dish to share and join us!    
Organ Console Campaign Update
Thanks to everyone who attended the meeting after worship this past Sunday to hear about the new organ console we will be purchasing for our congregation.  If you weren't able to attend the meeting or have questions about the organ and campaign, members of the Music Committee will be available to speak with you after worship services throughout the month of March.  You may also 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.  On Sunday, March 11th, Greg Martiros from Allen Organ will also be with us to answer questions.  

Our hope is that everyone in the congregation will support this campaign.  Our goal is to raise $100,000 and to date we have commitments totaling $87,113.  One way you may want to consider giving is by purchasing an organ key.  There are 113 keys on the organ and each key is $250.  Those who purchase a key will have the opportunity to receive a key from our current organ when it is dismantled.  

Commitment cards for this campaign were mailed to each home and 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.

The campaign will run through the month of March.  We ask, 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.  
Youth Group to Covenant Soup Kitchen - Saturday, March 10th

The Youth Group will be preparing and serving the noon meal at the Covenant Soup Kitchen this Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to everyone who signed up to provide a side dish or dessert. Donations can be dropped at the Church this Saturday, March 10th between 9:15 - 9:30 a.m. If you have any questions, please contact Brian Byrne. 
New Members Gathering - Saturday, March 10th 
Our Deacons will be hosting another gathering for persons who are interested in exploring membership with the Gilead Church.  This gathering, which will be an informational time to learn more about our church, will be this Saturday, March 10th from 10 a.m. to noon in the Music Room.  New members will be joining during the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, March 25th. If you have any questions, please speak with one of our Deacons or with Rev. Esslinger.    
One Great Hour of Sharing - Sunday, March 11th
This Sunday, March 11th, we will be receiving our special One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, United Church of Christ members reach out in the name of Christ to:
Build sustainable communities.   OGHS supports self-help programs in more than 80 nations to build sustainable communities that enable people and communities to stand against and rise above hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other forces of injustice that deny and destroy dignity.
Respond to disaster.   OGHS provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, storms, floods, tidal waves, fires, explosions, technological disasters, civil strife, war, or other natural or human-caused events. On average, OGHS responds to a disaster once every 2.5 days.
Minister to refugees. OGHS responds with advocacy and help, hope and hospitality for people who have been uprooted from their home of origin. More than 30 million of the world's people are uprooted at any given time.

One Great Hour of Sharing is part of a network of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. Administrative costs are typically less than eight percent annually.  The partnership is shared with nearly 6,000 United Church of Christ congregations across the United States and Puerto Rico, where this remarkable miracle connecting UCC members to the world truly begins. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering is administered through Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Chris to respond to the humanitarian needs of the world. If you should have any questions, please contact Stephanie Haines at (860) 228-3077 or visit www.ucc.org/oghs_about. Envelopes for One Great Hour of Sharing will be in each pew and in the front and back of the Sanctuary.
Walk Through Holy Week - Sunday, March 11th
This Sunday, March 11th, children will have the opportunity to experience the meaning of Easter during their regular Sunday School classes. Children will be invited to actively participate in and encounter the week leading to Jesus' resurrection through a very special event. The story of Jesus' journey to the cross will be experienced and brought to life in a multi-sensory, hands on way for youth. Travel through, learn about and experience Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Good Friday and the first Easter through story, crafts, and the traditional food of that time. You won't want to miss this special event!  We hope to see you there.  "A Walk Through Holy Week" is brought to you by the Board of Christian Education.  If you should have any questions please contact Susan Fredette at susanfredette@yahoo.com.   
Daylight Saving Time Begins and Wearing of the Green 
Please remember to turn your clock one hour ahead this Saturday, March 10th before going to bed. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11th. Also, all those so inclined are invited to wear something green in honor of St. Patrick's Day week this Sunday, March 11th.     
Easter Dinners  
This Lenten season help to bless a family with an Easter Dinner.  The Board of Missions, Hunger and Heating Subcommittee, will be collecting items to assemble 45 Easter meals for Hebron Interfaith Human Services and those in need.  Hams, eggs, daffodils and a special prayer card created by our Sunday School children will be provided, but we are in need of the following:

Dessert Mix (brownie or carrot cake with non-perishable tub of cream cheese frosting)
Bread Mix (white, whole grain or banana)
Condiments (mustard or mayonnaise)
Potatoes (a bag full - closer to the March 25th date)
Fresh Carrots or Green Beans (closer to the March 25th date)
Easter Candy (Peeps, jelly beans or chocolate bunnies)
Please sign up for an "Easter Dinner" item outside of the Sanctuary. Members of our youth group will be collecting and assembling the dinners.  All items are due by Sunday, March 25th.  Thank you for your support!

If you have any questions please contact Kim Carino (860) 490-2470, Donna Wertenbach (860) 646-5850, or Alice Marien (860) 228-4416.    
Finding God in Contemporary Issues-Tuesday, March 13th 
We invite you to join us on Tuesday, March 13th at 7 p.m. in the Parish House for a time to talk about contemporary issues and where we see God's movement in them.  At this gathering we will be discussing the #MeToo Movement and whether or not it is a force for positive change.  Articles to read as food for thought are available on the table underneath the name tags.  If you have any questions about this group, please speak with Margot Sheehan or Mark Hand who co-facilitate it.    
Love Your Neighbor - A Day of Caring! 
T-Shirts Available
On April 28th, "Love Your Neighbor - A Day of Caring!" will be held by the Gilead Congregational Church Sunday School Program. Each Sunday School class is partnering with a community agency and will go out and perform loving acts of service for our neighbors on this special  day. We invite you to join in the spirit of "Loving Your Neighbor" as well and thinking of ways you might reach out to those in your community to be a message of love and hope.
Sunday School youth will also be receiving complimentary t-shirts with the "Love Your Neighbor" logo on them to wear during their service event. If families have not done so already, please sign-up your child(ren) for a t-shirt along with their size(s) outside the Sanctuary. If you would like, we are also offering the congregation an opportunity to purchase a "Love Your Neighbor" t-shirt for yourselves. There will be a sign up table outside the Sanctuary through the month of March with the deadline for orders being March 25th. The cost for the Hanes tag-less, heavy cotton t-shirt is $15. Checks can be made payable to GCC with "Love Your Neighbor" indicated in the memo line. Please contact Stephanie Haines at stephanie.haines@hotmail.com  or (860) 228-3077 if you should have any questions.

Maplefest - Saturday, March 17th & Sunday, March 18th 
The Hebron Maplefest is coming up on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.  Our Women's Fellowship and Youth Group will once again be selling maple pudding cake topped with vanilla ice cream at the Wenzel Sugar House (522 East Street).  
We will also be having the Craft Fair at the Church on Saturday, March 17th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Please come and check out all of the talented artists and interesting crafts.  We will be having a raffle and volunteers are needed to help. If you are interested in assisting, please e-mail Beck Cook at beckycook@comcast.net.
Attention, Men of Gilead: Your hospitality and sandwich-making expertise is needed at this year's Craft Fair. Experience the wonder of Men's Fellowship in the Church's Kitchen on Saturday, March 17th from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Please e-mail Tim Fellman at fellmantim@yahoo.com for details.  
Lenten House Gatherings 
Our Lenten House Gatherings continue to meet and to discuss the book "12 Steps to a Compassionate Life" by Karen Armstrong, which explores God's compassion and presence in our lives and world. Lenten House Gatherings are meeting on the upcoming days, times and locations:
Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m.
3/12, 3/19, 3/26
Jack & Sandy Hooker
7 West Street, Hebron
Adults & Teens
Dessert & Coffee/Tea
Tuesdays, 10 - 11 a.m.
3/13, 3/20
Becky Cook & Stephanie Haines
99 Jennifer Drive, Hebron
Children Welcome
Snacks & Coffee/Tea
Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m.
3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28
Margot & Joe Sheehan
98 Northern Boulevard, Colchester
Dessert & Coffee/Tea
Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m.
3/8, 3/15, 3/22
The Fredette Family
50 West Branch, Hebron
Children Welcome
Dessert & Coffee/Tea
Financial Peace University 
Financial Peace University, a nine week money management class created by Financial Guru, Dave Ramsey, is being offered at Gilead Congregational Church in the Fellowship Hall from March 21, 2018 through May 16, 2018 (Wednesday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.). Charles & Amy Daniels and Steve & Jessica Petro will be facilitating the class. To get additional information on the class and to sign up please visit: http://www.fpu.com/1061078.
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 and copies are also available on the table below the name tags.  Details and registration are available at www.silverlakect.org along with downloads of the forms needed for registration. Also, our Women's Fellowship has once again agreed to pay the $150 deposit for any young person from our congregation who would like to attend Silver Lake. Please contact Karen Voghel (860-508-3326) if you would like to take our Women's Fellowship up on their offer. 
Wednesday Morning Book Group 
The Wednesday morning Book Discussion Group is currently reading and discussing "Hallelujah Anyway" by Anne Lamont. It explores mercy and offering and receiving forgiveness presented in the humorous down to earth style of Lamont. 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!  
Birthday Celebration for Ahmed's 45th Birthday 
Members of our Refugee Core Committee and their families gathered this past Saturday, March 3rd to celebrate Ahmed's 45th birthday!

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.
Women's March CT - We March On - Saturday, March 24th 
It is time that we be the change we want to see! Come out and march on Saturday, March 24th and demand that the lives and safety of every student become a priority.  Women's March CT - We March On and several gun violence prevention allies have organized this event.  We will march at 12:30 p.m. from the north side of the Corning Fountain to arrive at the Capitol at 1:00 p.m. for the rally which will last until 3:00 p.m.  Those with limited mobility or those who do not wish to march can gather at the Capitol at 1:00 p.m.  A group will be carpooling from GCC to Hartford to lend our support.  If you would like to be included in the plans, please let Lynn Lukach lpinluk@yahoo.com or Deb Meincke debmeincke@aol.com know.

Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Harvey Desruisseaux and Patrick Fagan
Ushers for next week: Dale Bland and Joan Cordier
Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Gary Sarra
Deacon of the Day for next week: Bill Cox
Liturgist: Margot Sheehan      Acolyte: Benji Morrissey
Call to Worship: Ella Cabrera
Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday: Heather Summerer, Denise Esslinger & Phil Parizeau
Coffee Hour Hosts for next week: Karen Cohen, Becky Cook and Bonnie Tarbox
Greeter for this Sunday: Joe Sheehan
Greeters for next week: Elaine Aubin and Marie Santa


Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
John 3: 1-21

Ever present and ever loving God, you have promised to draw near to those who draw near to you.  Come among us now, we pray, and stir the winds of our hearts; challenge the recesses of our minds; soothe the wounds of our spirits.  Blow your Spirit through our lives that we may praise you with joy and serve you with gladness.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  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)