Weekly Newsletter
Week of August 14th - August 20th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Thursday, August 15th: 
-7:00 p.m. Deacons

Saturday, August 17th:
-9:00 a.m. Steeple Chase Bike Tour 

Sunday, August 18th:
-9:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Summer Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour 

Monday, August 19th: 
-7:30 p.m. Board of Christian Education

Tuesday, August 20th: 
-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
Bruce Gale's Retirement

Bruce and his husband, Joe, will be retiring to South Carolina later this month. They have purchased a home in a 55+ community, which provides lots of opportunities to get involved and to stay active. While we will miss Bruce’s presence and all the gifts he brings as our Minister of Music, we wish him and Joe all the best in this new chapter in their lives. Bruce’s last Sunday with us will be this Sunday, August 18th. Our Choir is planning to sing and we hope you will be able to be with us to say farewell.  
Minister of Music Search 

Given Bruce’s leaving, we have begun a search for our next Minister of Music. A Search Committee has been formed with representatives from our Choir, the Music Committee, Deacons, Board of Trustees, a parent with children in our Youth Choir, along with a teenage member of our Church. Resumes will be received until the end of August. The position description is posted on our web page at  gileadchurchucc.org . Please feel free to share it with anyone you feel might be interested. Our hope is to have interviews in September and to have someone on board in October. Our Committee will keep you posted. If you have any questions or input to share, please feel free to contact Carolyn Bennett, who is serving as Chair of the Search Committee, or with Pastor Denise. 

Steeple Chase Bike Tour 

This Saturday, August 17th, Jeff Brown and Carol Geyer will be co-leading a team from the Gilead Church who will be riding in the 28th Annual Steeple Chase Bike Tour, which raises money for Perception Programs, Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, and the Windham Region No Freeze Project. The team has a fundraising goal of $450. If you would like to support our team, please contact Jeff or Carol. You can also make a donation online at www.PledgeReg.com/3139/Team/11916. If you would like to join our team, you can find more info at www.steeplechasebiketour.org. Please be sure to enter the name of our team on your registration form -- Team GCC CYCLERS - Gilead Congregational Church.

Final Summer Potluck & Prayer Gathering

Please plan to join us on Wednesday, August 21st for our final summer Potluck and Prayer gathering of the season. 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!
Water Cooler 

The water cooler has been removed from our Fellowship Hall. Ready Refresh, the company we rented the water cooler from, has implemented a sig nificant  price increase. This increase would raise our cost from $30 a month to $46, a 53% increase. Given that our water has passed testing for more than two years and that steps have been taken to ensure it will continue to pass, the water cooler was removed. The water fountains outside the bathrooms are on and available to use. If you  have  any questions, please feel free to speak with a member of our Board of Trustees (Greg Brand, Jim Burgess, Ron Dejewski, Brad Franzese, Brian Lemire, Barry MacLachlan, Steve Petro, Steven Schoeck, and Al Tarbox)
Blessing of the Backpacks and School Professionals

During our worship service on Sunday, August 25th, at 9:00 a.m. we will be having a special blessing of young people and their backpacks for the school year ahead. We will also be recognizing and offering a prayer for those in our congregation who are teachers and school professionals. Please join us for this service, and don't forget to bring your backpacks to be blessed! 
Bible Study Resumes
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 11:15 am

Our weekly Bible Study will resume meeting on Tuesday, August 27th. The group meets on Tuesday mornings from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Music Room. Rev. Bob Woodward will once again facilitate the study. The group will be exploring the Sermon on the Mount. Please bring your own Bible. All are welcome!  

Hebron Harvest Fair Parking Fundraiser
Saturday, September 7th 

We have been offered the opportunity to staff the parking at the Lion's Hebron Harvest Fair this year on Saturday, September 7th. The parking is at their large lot and we will be responsible for staffing it all day. In the past, the Lions have made a donation of $2,700 to the group who does this. This is a great opportunity for us to raise some extra funds. 

Now, we need to provide volunteers to help on September 7th. The time slots to help are as follows:
6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. - Midnight

We invite families with children in middle or high school to consider taking a slot as a family during the day. We would like adults only in the evening (from 6 p.m. to midnight). Barry MacLachlan will be there all day to represent the Gilead Church and his cell is 860-604-0963 if you need to contact him. Staff from the Lion's will also be there too to assist. Water will also be provided. 

When you go, you should arrive 15 minutes prior to your shift and enter at Gate B and proceed to the Lions' Parking Area behind the pulling ring to sign in. It is important that you sign in, so we get acknowledgment of your volunteering. 

We'll send out a reminder with all the details to everyone who signs up closer to September 7th. 
If you can take one of the slots, please sign up on the sheet posted underneath the name tags or by contacting the Church Office at 860-228-3077. 
Please also feel free to spread the word to friends who may be willing to join you or help. It doesn't have to staffed by all Gilead Church members and friends. We just need to fill the slots. 

Thank you!

Red Cross Blood Drive
Wednesday, October 2nd from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

On Wednesday, October 2nd from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m., we will be holding a blood drive in our Fellowship Hall. Our goal is to have 43 people sign up to give blood on this day. A sign up sheet is located underneath the name tags outside of the Sanctuary. You can also sign up by calling the Church Office (860-228-3077) or by going to Redcrossblood.org and looking for our drive. We are holding this drive to give back to honor of all of our members and friends who have needed and who regularly need blood transfusions. We hope you will join us in this effort to support and honor them.

Garden of Remembrance (GORC) 

In the last few months, I have received several inquiries regarding the Garden of Remembrance, including one from Texas and another regarding a relative of one our church members. The Garden of Remembrance is a place of beauty and serenity. It is adjacent to the Church and provides a place to inter or scatter the ashes of loved ones who have completed life's journey. The Garden also provides a peaceful place for contemplation and prayer in a setting that reflects God's created beauty. Currently, there are fourteen members and friends whose cremains have been interred or scattered in the garden and thirteen who have prepaid their interment. The fee for interment is only $200.00 per person and is used for the upkeep of the garden. Gifts and donations are gratefully accepted and appreciated. For further information, please feel free to speak with any member of the GORC. 

Harvey Desruisseaux, Chair
Ending Hunger One Step at a Time
CROP Walk - Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm 

P lease plan on joining us for our annual "walk to end hunger" on October 6th. Our Gilead walk team will be honoring the memory of Donna Wertenbach and her dedication to helping others on this 50th anniversary of the CROP walk. All money raised by walkers will go to Church World Service's international hunger relief programs and to our local food bank. The walk route follows the Hop River State Park Trail with easy grades and a smooth walking surface, starting and ending at The First Congregational Church of Andover, 359 Rt. 6, Andover. Registration is at 2:30 p.m., with the walk stepping off at 3:00 p.m.. A pot luck dinner will be served to walkers afterward. The walk is sponsored jointly by the Congregational Churches of Andover, Columbia and Gilead. Donate to support our walk team or register to walk at  www.crophungerwalk.org/columbiact  . Contact Phyllis Kurz 860-228-2469) or Bob Owens (860-228-9541) for more info.  
Needed: Willing Weeders! 

O ur Trustees are still looking for folks who are willing to help weed around the church during the remainder of summer to keep our church grounds looking great.

Weeks still needed for the Church grounds include:

August 25th
September 1st
September 8th
September 15th
September 22nd

There are sign up sheets underneath the name tags. You can also sign up by calling or emailing the Church Office (860-228-3077/gcc@gileadchurch.net) Thank you!
Summer Coffee Hour Hosts Needed 

T he following dates are still open to host a simple coffee hour after the 9:00 a.m. service: 

September 1st
September 8th

Please help make this special time of fellowship continue over the summer. Sign up sheet is under the name tags or email the Church Office with a date you can host. Any questions, contact Annette Langevin at 860-228-1313. 
Youth Mission Trip to NYC! 

Young people in 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 by 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 is 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
Garden Swap!

Our gardens are growing and some very good folks have been bringing in greens to share. There’s more to come, so please come to coffee hour and select what you need. Remember the variety will increase every week. Bring something in, if you’ve got it to share or take something away if you can use it, or do both. Anything that’s left is delivered to the food bank at Hebron Interfaith Human Services, so there can’t possibly be too much.

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.  

To join our team or make a donation to support it, please go to: 

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)


Congratulations to Chris and Jenny (Ouellette) Fisher on the birth of their daughter,  Philippe (Pippa) Anne Fisher. Pippa was born on August 7th weighing 7 lbs 3 oz and is 19 inches. Caring big brother is Eli and proud grandparents are Phyllis and Les Kurz.

Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathies to Les, Susan and Kyle Fredette on the death of Les’ father, Roland.  

Also, our Church family expresses its deepest sympathies to Jim and Joan Cordier on the death of Jim’s brother, Richard.

Thank You 

(The following "Thank you" is an excerpt from an email sent to Penny Besmond.)

Briony was thrilled to receive the prayer shawl and beautiful message. When she was reading out the message in the card Jack was lying on the floor supposedly engrossed in a game on the iPad. He piped up and said “ Isn’t that nice mum! “ Briony loved the color too and has asked me to pass on her heartfelt thanks to the Gilead Prawl Shawl Ministry. Glen was amazed that someone on the other side of the world who had never met Briony would take the trouble to make it for her. What creative talent.
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Carol and Dave Geyer
Ushers for next Sunday: Annette and Bruce Langevin

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Bill Cox
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday: Jon Kimball

Liturgist: Leslie Brand

Coffee Hour Host for this Sunday:   Sharon and Jim Ledbetter
Coffee Hour Host for next Sunday:  Potluck Coffee Hour

Greeter for this Sunday:   Sharon McKenna
Greeter for next Sunday:  To be determined

Summer Sunday School Teachers for this morning: PreK/K: Jenny Dilling
                                                                                 Grades 1-3:  Karen Risley
Summer Sunday School Teachers for next Sunday: PreK/K: Jeff Haines
                                                                                 Grades 1-3: Stephanie Haines

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Luke 12: 49-56

Most Gracious God, remind us of your love and your ways.  We know in our hearts that we need your presence in our lives.  Help us to be open to you, in the name of Jesus, the One who loves us and challenges us and teaches us, and in whose 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)
Summer Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until noon (Parish House)