Weekly Newsletter
Week of June 2nd - June 9th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, June 2nd:
-9:30 a.m. Bible Study
-10:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group

Thursday, June 3rd:
-6:30 p.m. Deacons in Garden of Remembrance

Saturday, June 5th:
-5:30 p.m. Wedding of Renee Guyette and Chris McLeod in Westbrook, CT

Sunday, June 6th:
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service in the Garden of Remembrance and live-streamed on our Gilead Church Facebook Page and YouTube
God is Still Speaking
 About Us:

Reverend Dr. Denise Esslinger  
Minister of Music:
Andrey Stolyarov

Minister of Communication and Technology:
Lisa Cox
Interim Administrative Assistant:
Tonya Maurer

Worship: 10:00 a.m. in the Garden of Remembrance on our Gilead Church Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Gathered: 1748
Meeting House: 1838
Fellowship Hall: 2008
We are an Open & Affirming Church
Sunday Worship Service
This Sunday, June 6th, we will be worshipping outside in our Garden of Remembrance, weather permitting. Our hope is that being outside will feel safer, as well as allow as many people who would like to attend in-person to join us since we can spread out in the field beyond the garden. We still ask you to sign up, so we can keep a list of those present, if ever needed, for contact tracing purposes. We invite people to bring your own chairs.

Our Deacons have updated our outside protocols and for those who have been fully vaccinated, face masks are optional. We ask that those who have not been fully vaccinated continue to wear a face mask. The Deacon's continue to closely monitor public health recommendations and update our protocols as soon as we safely can.

This Sunday we will be sharing Communion. We invite those joining us in person to bring your own Communion. Our Deacons will also have wafer and juice packets available as you enter the garden. We invite those joining us at home to get a piece of bread, a cracker, a muffin and some juice, tea or water and bring it to the place you will be worshipping with us; knowing that God can take what is ordinary and make it holy.

If weather should be inclement, we will move inside. An email will be sent at least an hour prior to the service time and posted on Facebook notifying everyone. If we move inside, people are invited to join us for worship inside, but seating will be limited due to social distancing. If needed, additional seats will be available in the Fellowship Hall.

Know that we’ll continue to live-stream services on our Facebook page and YouTube for those who prefer to stay home. Information on how to connect on-line is provided in the block below. 

Use the button below if you would like to join us in person for our 10 a.m. worship service this Sunday, June 6th:
Below are the outdoor protocols for us to follow for worship in our Garden of Remembrance:
1)  Outdoor worship in the Garden of Remembrance will not be limited to any number of people, but we’ll be following this safety protocol, including wearing masks for those not fully vaccinated and social distancing.
2) All are asked to enter the Garden via the main (arbor) entrance. Those attending will be asked to sign up prior and will checked in by our Deacon of the day. If you are unable to sign up prior, you will be asked to share your name and contact number with the Deacon prior to being seated. This is to keep an accurate record of people in attendance, if needed, for contact tracing. 
3) Participants are asked NOT to attend if they have any flu-like symptoms or if anyone in the household has tested positive for COVID-19. 

4) Please bring your own chairs or blankets. 
5) After the service, you are asked to exit the garden either via the parking lot side of the garden or the arbor entryway.  
6) The congregation is invited to join in the prayers and the singing (those not fully vaccinated, while masked). No Communion or offering plates will be shared or passed during the service. On Communion Sundays (first Sundays of the month), you are asked to bring your own Communion. Deacons will provide Communion packets for those who desire them. A basket will be available at the entrance to the Garden for offerings. There will also be no Sunday school or coffee hour.
7) The worship bulletin will be emailed prior to the service. Please feel free to print out your own copy of the service. Bulletins will be available at the service as well. These should be taken home after the service.
8) If severely inclement weather is expected, notification will be sent via email and on our Facebook page at least one hour prior to the scheduled service time.
9) We will continue to live-stream our service on Facebook or YouTube for those who prefer to stay home or for when there is inclement weather.
10) Bathrooms available if necessary. 
11) Our Board of Christian Education is planning some opportunities for our young people during worship. Watch for more information on these. 
If you have any questions about these protocols, please reach out to one of our Deacons (Amy Destine, Todd Helweg, Jon Kimball (Chair), David Kline, Jim Ledbetter, Lynn Lukach, Ginny Miller, Teresa Olio, and Margot Sheehan) or speak with Pastor Denise.
Live Streaming of Services Continues

We will continue to live stream our worship services at 10:00 a.m.

You can join us live on either YouTube or Facebook. You will also be able to view the video’s on either platform after the service. Please use one of the links below to access to our Live Stream:

  1. Gilead Church YouTube Link
  2. Gilead Church Facebook Page
Webinar Discussion: Equity from a Faith Perspective

We are excited to share that Pastor Denise, alongside other local community leaders, will be speaking about Equity from a Faith Perspective on June 9th. The virtual event is being hosted by the Hebron Coalition on Diversity and Equity.
All are invited to attend this discussion with our community leaders. Registration is required, please use the button below to sign up for the event.
Click on this link for the webinar agenda: Equity from a Faith Perspective

Also, see the Coalition's Facebook page for event updates: Coalition Facebook Event
Celebrating Denise's 22 SEASONS OF LOVE on June 13th

Join us in person, Sunday, June 13th from 2 - 4 p.m., under the “Big Tent” to honor Pastor Denise and wish her well as she enters a new season of her life.
Bring your own lawn chairs (if able) and enjoy reconnecting with our amazing church family. Festivities will include light refreshments, an ice cream truck, lawn games, and a best of all... a Denise “Roast and Toast,” hosted by our very own Bruce Langevin. Also, there will be homemade cards available to fill out with good tidings for Denise.
So we know how many people to expect, please use the button below if you will be joining the celebration, or contact Heather Summerer (hjsummerer@sbcglobal.net or 860-463-6487).
If you would like to contribute to a gift from the Congregation and Friends, please send your contribution electronically via Paypal to @kylebmcclaine or by check payable to Katie McClaine, 860 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT 06248.

We also invite you to send cards, which will be collected and given to Denise at the in-person celebration. Please mail to Rev. Dr. Denise Esslinger, c/o Becky Cook, 99 Jennifer Dr, Hebron, CT 06248.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to Annette Langevin at thelangevins@comcast.net or 860-228-1313.

Tools of Hope for Father's Day

Please consider honoring the special men in your life for Father’s Day by donating to Church World Service (CWS) Tools Ministry and receiving a Father’s Day card to send. Each donation helps CWS equip families worldwide with the tools that they need to build brighter futures.

There are options to donate:
  1. Online: Tools of Hope
  2. In person before or after worship service through Father’s Day (June 20th).

Whether you donate online or in person you can pick up your Father’s Day cards at the service. Any questions, please contact Phyllis Kurz on our Board of Missions (860-228-2469).
Little Lending Library

We invite you to check out our Little Lending Library. Our library is filled with books for children and adults that celebrate diversity, empathy, kindness and racial understanding. It's a wonderful opportunity for families to read together and maybe open up conversations about children that are from families different from their own. A reminder we are all God's children.

Hope you get a chance to enjoy our library!
Willing Weeders

Please consider signing up to weed the Church grounds and the Garden of Remembrance starting in May and running through September. It generally takes about an hour to do both the Garden and Church Grounds. Please use the button below to sign up:
If you have any questions, please contact Diane Desruisseaux at 860-858-6189 or Phyllis Kurz at 860-228-2469. Thank you!
Bible Study on Zoom

Our weekly Bible study, led be Rev. Bob Woodward, meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom.  All are invited and welcome to join this discussion and study. Come when you can!

Discussions continue about 1st Kings 16 (Elisha) and 2nd Kings 13 (Elijah).  

Use the below button to join the zoom meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings: 
If you have any questions or need assistance connecting with Zoom, please contact our Church Office (gcc@gileadchurch.net or 860-228-3077). 

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group

Our Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group meets on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. If you have interest in joining or any questions on this discussion group, please contact Sandy Hooker at 860-228-9856.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Information

The state is currently currently offering the vaccine to:

  • Individuals 12 years of age and older

The state has an online registration tool for people to register and schedule vaccination appointments: Click to Schedule a Vaccine Appointment  

For the most up to date information, please go to the following link:
CT’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line (call for vaccination scheduling) is: 877-918-2224
·        Open 7 days a week from 8:00 am – 8:00pm.
·        Language assistance is available for those who need it
·        Deaf or hard-of-hearing can access the Vaccine Appointment Assist Line by dialing 7-1-1

If you need any assistance in arranging to get it—either with help scheduling a time on line or needing transport—please contact the Church Office at 860-228-3077 or at gcc@gileadchurch.net.
Silver Lake Summer Camp

Details and registration for Silver Lake's summer conference season 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 speak with Margaret Gibbs (860-384-4327) if you would like to take our Women's Fellowship up on their offer.

Thank You's

Phoebe Shirk shared good news regarding her brother, Danny Heath, who recently had a portion of his femur (decimated by cancer) replaced with a steel rod. He is now up and walking, and even mowing his grass. 

She said: Thank you for all the love and the prayers. They worked! God bless.


To the Gilead Church,

Thank you for the lovely prayer shawl and all the well wishes! I am so luck to be surrounded by a community of care! The support means the world to me.

Xander Williams

Scripture Readings and Prayer for the Week
Matthew 22: 1-14

Gracious God, in love you open wide the doors and welcome us into your presence. You spread a table before us, filled with the richest fare—a feast of love and mercy for the body and soul.  We give thanks for your grace and mercy in our lives.  May your Spirit inspire all we say and do this day. Amen.
Contact Info
Tonya Maurer
Interim Administrative Assistant
672 Gilead St
Hebron, Ct  06248
860-228-3077 or gcc@gileadchurch.net
Parish House Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until Noon