Weekly Newsletter
Week of June 12th - June 18th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Thursday, June 13th:
-7:00 p.m. Trustees

Friday, June 14h:
-7:00 p.m. Ladies Evening at Penny Besmond's

Sunday, June 16th:
-Father's Day
-9:00 a.m. Worship Service
-Summer Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour 

Tuesday, June 18th: 
- 11:15 a.m. Bible Study in the Music Room
-7:30 p.m. AA Meeting

God is Still Speaking
  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 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
Summer Worship Service and Office Hours 

Starting th is Sunday, June 16th, we will gather for worship at 9:00 a.m. This summer worship time will continue throughout the summer, through and including Sunday, September 8th.

Summer Sunday school is offered each week for children in 3rd grade and under.

During the summer, our Choir is off. If you are willing to share a musical gift during one of our summer services, please contact Bruce Gale, our Minister of Music (bgale@snet.net).   

Also, Sally Fritsche, our Administrative Assistant, is in the Church Office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon during the summer.

Stephanie Haines, our Minister of Mission and Faith Formation, is off after Sunday, June 16th for the summer and will resume her regular schedule on Sunday, August 25th. 
Children's Sunday & Pentecost - "Precious In God's Sight!" 
This past Sunday, June 9th, the children led the worship service, shared their mission efforts, and reflected on their past year at the Gilead Congregational Church. In addition, young people took the opportunity to recognize their super Sunday School teachers and Youth Group leaders.
Ladies Evening of Relaxation & Companionship 
Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm

On behalf of the Fellowship Committee, we are inviting all GCC women to an evening of relaxation and companionship on Friday, June 14th, 7:00 -10:00 p.m., at the home of Penny Besmond (246 Old Colchester Road, Amston). Please bring a beverage of your choice and a small plate to share, either savory or sweet. Please consider car-pooling, due to parking limitations. To RSVP, call Penny at 860-228-4282 and leave a message.

Announcing - Youth Mission Trip to NYC! 

Young people 7 th grade and above are invited to participate in our upcoming mission trip to New York City, April 14 - 18, 2020. We will be participating in the Urban Immersion Program provided my Metro Baptist Church and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, serving the homeless. Youth volunteers are invited to learn, listen and serve alongside one another in the heart of the quintessential urban environment of NYC. Although the focus of the mission work will vary and be dependent on need, youth volunteers may serve meals, provide activities and companionship to those in shelters, distribute food and supplies to food pantries, and plant or harvest a community garden. Certainly, young people will have the opportunity to be a message of God’s love and hope through service. There will also be time each day for prayer and reflection where youth volunteers will be asked to ponder difficult questions and challenged to explore how faith fits into their mission efforts and lives. A brochure providing details is located outside of the Sanctuary. A $100 deposit will be due on or before October 20 th to confirm your participation and finalize our mission team for the spring. Scholarships are available if needed. If you have any questions regarding the trip please reach out to Brian Byrne at  bebyrne89@comcast.net or Heidi Byrne at hnbbyrne@comcast.net .
Bible Study 

Our Bible Study will continue meeting through and including Tuesday, June 25th. The group meets at 11:15 a.m. in the Music Room. The group will then take a summer break and resume meeting on Tuesday mornings in late August or early September. More info to come. Thanks to Rev. Bob Woodward for leading this study.

Gilead Helping Hands (GHH) 

Our next project is to rebuild a handicapped access ramp in Colchester on June 29th & 30th. If you can help, please go to Signup.com link below.

GHH is now using Signup.com to aid in informing volunteers about upcoming projects and allow online signup to help with projects. Our GHH Group page is located: 
Please take a look and volunteer if you find something that inspires you.

If you need information please contact Les Kurz 860-416-7884.

Willing Weeders for Church Grounds & Garden of Remembrance

Our Trustees are looking for folks who are willing to help weed around the church during the upcoming summer months to keep our church grounds looking great. Also, the Garden of Remembrance Committee is looking for folks to help with weeding in the garden. There are sign up sheets underneath the name tags for both opportunities. Weeding in each area takes about an hour. Please consider signing up for a week or two. If you have any questions, please speak with Terry Lukow, chairperson of our Board of Trustees, or Diane Desruisseaux, member of the Garden of Remembrance Committee. Thank you!   

Parking Lot Improvements 

Our Trustees are moving ahead with improvements to the back parking lot (behind the stone wall). The work to be done includes taking out top soil, installing stabilization fabric, and adding gravel. Lines to identify parking spaces will also be added. The changes will not only add additional spaces, but will also allow people to park there without the possibility of getting stuck in the mud during the spring and fall. The work will likely be done over the summer months. If you have any thoughts or concerns that you would like to share, please contact Terry Lukow ( lukow@comcast.net or 860-228-3435) who is Chairperson of our Board of Trustees. 

"PEACE" T-Shirts! 

The theme for the Sunday School 2019-2020 Program will be “ Peace I Give To You ”. We invite you to join us in the spirit of “Peace” and think of ways you might seek to have more peace in your own life as well as promote peace in our world.

We are also offering the congregation an opportunity to purchase a fabulous “ PEACE
t-shirt. There is a sign up table outside the Sanctuary. Deadline for t-shirt orders is August 1st. The cost for the Hanes tag-less, heavy cotton t-shirt is $15. Children 8 th grade and below as well as Sunday School teachers will receive complimentary shirts. Please indicate the size you or your child needs on the sign-up sheet! Proceeds from the t-shirt sales will help to support the children’s peace promoting mission efforts. Checks can be made payable to GCC with “ Peace T-Shirt ” indicated in the memo line and will be collected when you pick-up your shirt during our Sunday School Kick-Off on Sunday, September 15 th .

Please contact  gcc@gileadchurch.net or (860) 228-3077 if you should have any questions.

Summer Potluck & Prayer Gatherings

Please plan to join us on Wednesday evenings July 10th, July 24th, August 7th, and 21st for our summer Potluck and Prayer gatherings. We'll meet on the Gathering Terrace at 6 p.m. Our Deacons will grill up hamburgers and hot dogs and have lemonade and ice tea to share. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. After dinner, we'll close our evening with a brief time of worship and prayer. All are welcome!
Summer Picnics at the Hebron Douglas Library 

Please join us for complimentary "Summer Picnics" at the Douglas Library in Hebron, 22 Main Street. Enjoy a delicious lunch at 12:30 p.m. in the library community room along with a surprise visit from a guest "Mystery Reader" for children of all ages. The dates are as follows: July 9th , picnic provided by Big Y Market, July 16th , picnic provided by Wicked Slice, July 23rd , picnic provided by Gina Marie's Restaurant, July 30th , picnic provided by Something Simple Café, and August 6th , picnic provided by FennAgain's Restaurant. All are welcome to enjoy!   

A Girl’s Retreat
Saturday, August 24, 2019
3 – 7 pm
Poolside @ the Fournier’s
35 Warner Pond Lane, Hebron
Girls, 6th grade and up, are invited to share an afternoon and evening connecting with friends, exploring their faith and considering how dearly loved and precious they are in God’s sight. Enjoy creating art, yoga, fun activities, dinner and swimming.

Facilitated by the Board of Christian Education
Please sign-up outside of the Sanctuary by July 28th.   
Summer Sunday Morning Greeters 

We are in need of Greeters to greet everyone as they come to worship on Sunday mornings for our summer 9:00 a.m. service. Simply arrive at 8:45 a.m., stand at the end of the hallway as you enter from the parking lot, and welcome everyone as they arrive. If you would like to be a greeter, please sign up on the sheet under the name tags. Thank you!

Ready, Set, Plant!

Our garden swap gets into full swing in late June and July, but the earth is ready to produce things right now. Consider a container with an early lettuce crop or a row of rainbow Swiss chard in a garden plot. The rewards of gardening are many and it’s really fun to share the bounty with others. An added benefit is that any excess is delivered to the HIHS food bank! Please consider sharing any extra pots, seeds, plants or garden tools in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday and talk with Bruce Langevin or Paul Miller if you have questions or suggestions.
Relay for Life

Save the Date! Its time to join the Gilead Congregational Church Relay for Life Team! The Relay for Life event of Greater Windham is being held on October 19, 2019 at the Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) Sports Center in Mansfield. 

Gayle Sylvester and I are Co-Captains of the team this year and we hope you will join us to support the fight against cancer.  

The Relay is a 12-hour event running from 10 a.m - 10 p.m. and we hope Gilead will once again come together to support this important fund-raiser.   We look forward to your participation on the team this year. Whether you walk, donate or help with preparation, your help is greatly needed.  The first step is to officially sign-up and become a member of the team.  You can donate to the team or sign up to be on the team by going to www.relayforlife.org and searching for the event by entering your zip code.   

More details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.  Please feel free to reach out to me or Gayle with any questions.

Thank You! 
Dawn Salan (and Gayle Sylvester)

Silver Lake Summer Camp

Silver Lake has announced its offerings for the summer 2019 conference season. Brochures are available underneath the name tags and one is hanging on the bulletin board. Details and registration are also 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 Karen Voghel (860-508-3326) if you would like to take our Women's Fellowship up on their offer.

Thank Yous

T hank you to everyone who supported the Youth Group's Holy Cow grinder fundraiser on Children's Sunday. With your generous help, we raised more than $375 which will directly support the 2020 Youth Group mission trip to New York. Thank you for your continued support of our activities.

Dear Denise,

Thank you for a wonderful baptism for DJ. It means a lot to be welcomed in the church family and to share and celebrate new life together.

On a personal note, it is very special to Brian and me that you married us and baptized our two children, and are a friend dear enough to have come over to celebrate afterwards with family. Your presence was much appreciated. 

Thank you to the Gilead Congregation for DJ's rose and cross to commemorate his baptism.

We hope you have a lovely, rewarding and relaxing summer.

With love,

Alison and Brian Munroe


Dear Rev. Esslinger,

Please find enclosed a donation to the Gilead Congregational Church. I am presenting this donation in honor of a very good friend/neighbor of mine and member of your church, Joe Sheehan. Joe repaired a very old rock wall behind my home. Joe spent many hours working on the wall which is almost 50 feet in length. At completion I asked Joe what I could do as a thank you. Joe answered that the greatest thank you gift was a donation to his church. So please accept this donation in honor of Joe Sheehan. Joe continues to amaze me daily in his strength and determination to make other people happy by doing what he loves -- rebuilding rock walls.


Pauline Gadbois

Congratulations to Jaimie Cordier and Sean Leigh on their marriage this past Saturday, June 8th. Rev. Esslinger officiated at the wedding on Long Island. Proud and happy parents are Joan and Jim Cordier.
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Jan Andrews and Janet Leary
Ushers for next Sunday: Diane Dixon and Margaret Gibbs

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Jim Ledbetter
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday: Margot Sheehan

Liturgist: Judy Brandi

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday:   Renee Ellis and Elaine Aubin
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday:  Denise Esslinger and Phil Parizeau

Greeters for this Sunday: Janet Leary
Greeter for next Sunday:  Penny Besmond

Summer Sunday School Teachers for this morning: PreK/K: Todd Helweg
                                                                                 Grades 1-3: Sandy Waldo
Summer Sunday School Teachers for next Sunday: PreK/K: Maggie Bierbaum
                                                                                 Grades 1-3: Cindy Fagan 

Scripture Readings and Prayer for the Week
Romans 5: 1-5 and John 16: 12-15
O God our Sovereign, how wonderful are the many ways we experience your presence!  Help us to draw near to you that we may receive all that you have to offer us.  Open our ears so that we can hear wisdom's call.  Set our hearts ablaze with your healing fire.  Nourish us with the gift of community.  Empower us to follow and to serve you, in the name of Jesus Christ, 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)
Summer Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until noon (Parish House)