Weekly Newsletter
Week of January 8th - January 14th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, January 8th: 
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion in the Fellowship Hall
-11:30 a.m. Women's Fellowship Work Day and Meeting
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, January 9th: 
-7:00 p.m. Trustees

Sunday, January 12th:
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service
- 10:00 a.m. Worship Service
-Sunday School
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Youth Choir
-11:30 a.m. Board of Missions
-2:00 p.m. Youth Group Rock Climbing Outing and Meeting
-2:00 p.m. "To Love Your Neighbor, Know Your Neighbor" Seminar

Monday, January 13th:
-7:30 p.m. Board of Christian Education

Tuesday, January 14th: 
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study
-2:20 p.m. Youth Group to Colchester for Eldercare Visit
-7:00 p.m. AA

God is Still Speaking
  About Us:

Reverend Dr. Denise Esslinger 
Minister of Mission and Faith Formation:
Stephanie Haines 
Minister of Music:
Danielle Hoehn
Administrative Assistant:
Sally Fritsche

Worship: 8:30 a.m.

Worship w/Sunday School and Choir: 10:00 a.m.

Summer Worship: 
9:00 a.m.

Gathered: 1748
Meeting House: 1838
Fellowship Hall: 2008
We are an Open & Affirming Church
Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group

The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group will resume meeting this morning. The group now meets in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings. The group is currently reading
"Giver of Stars" by Jojo Moyes. It is based on a true story of depression era Kentucky and Eleanor Roosevelt's idea of a traveling library. All are welcome! If you have any questions concerning the book group, please contact Sandy Hooker at jackandsandyh@gmail.com.

Women's Fellowship Work Day
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 11:30 am

The Women’s Fellowship will be holding a workday this morning starting at 11:30 a.m. The main goal of this workday is to take down Christmas decorations. If you have any questions, please contact Renee Ellis (228-3363) or Jean Dormer (228-9009).
Youth Choir

We have an exciting opportunity for your child(ren) to connect with their faith. Many of us feel God’s presence through music and we are pleased to welcome Danielle Hoehn, our new Minister of Music! Your child is invited to meet her personally and sing a song which will be sung in our worship service on Sunday, February 9th. Rehearsal dates are as follows: Sunday, January 12th, Sunday, January 19th, Sunday, January 26th, and Sunday, February 2nd.   Rehearsals will be brief and take place in the Music Room from 11:30 a.m. to noon. No prior experience is necessary. We look forward to seeing you there! If you should have any questions, please contact Danielle directly at stonecold.5239@gmail.com .
2019 Giving Statements 

Our Assistant Treasurer, Joan Cordier, has prepared giving statements for 2019. They will be available this Sunday, January 12th in the front of the Sanctuary for you to pick up. We  are grateful for your financial support of the ministries of the Gilead Church, and hope this update will be helpful. If you have any questions about your statement, please contact Joan Cordier (860-228-4718). Thank you!
"To Love Your Neighbor, Know Your Neighbor"
Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Join us this Sunday, January 12th at 2:00 p.m. at the Gilead Church for a conversation on the religions of our neighbors. A panel of people who are Muslim, Jewish and Christian will share their religious beliefs and practices with a time to ask your questions too. Come to learn more about the three Abrahamic religions. Come to hear what we share in common and how we differ too. The Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding is collaborating with Gilead Congregational Church, UCC, United Brethren Synagogue, The Church of the Holy Family, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to offer this program to our community. There is no fee to attend and a time of refreshments and fellowship will follow the conversation and discussion. If you have any questions, please contact the Gilead Church (860-228-3077).  

Silver Lake Camp
Registration begins on Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Silver Lake has announced its offerings for the summer 2020 conference season. Details and registration are available at www.silverlakect.org along with downloads of the forms needed for registration. Register by January 31st to save $50 (coupon code EARLY20). 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.

New Members Dinner
Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm

On Sunday, January 19th, the Welcoming Committee will be hosting our Annual New Members' Dinner. Everyone who joined the Gilead Church in 2019 is invited to come from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. for a potluck dinner and a time to meet others, and share with the Welcoming Committee your hopes and dreams for our Church. Significant others and children are

Sunday School Teachers Meeting
Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 9:00 am

All Sunday school teachers are invited to attend our meeting on Sunday, January 26th at 9:00 am in the Fellowship Hall. If you have any questions, please contact Heather Franzese at 860-228-5276.

A "Wonder-Full" Stewardship Season

Thanks to everyone who made a 2020 pledge to the mission and ministries of the Gilead Church. If you have not yet made made a pledge, we hope you will do so. As of Sunday, January 5th, we have received 124 pledges totaling $250,160. Our pledge goal is $286,394 so we still have $34,734 to meet our goal. As the community of Bedford Falls came together and gave what they could to support George Bailey at the end “It’s a Wonderful Life", we ask for your support of the work of our Church. Pledge cards are available in the front and back of the Sanctuary or by calling the Church office (860-228-3077). Pledge cards can be placed in the offering plate or returned to the Church (672 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT). If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with a member of our Stewardship Committee: Mark Bierbaum, Michael Bierbaum, Lisa Cox (Co-Chair), Charles Daniels, Lauren Henry (Co-Chair) and Bruce Langevin. Thank you!

Finding God in Contemporary Issues
Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 11:30 am

Our “Finding God in Contemporary Issues” discussion group will resume meeting on Sunday, January 26th at 11:30 a.m. in one of the classrooms off of our Fellowship Hall. At this gathering, we'll be discussing "Is it possible to end the polarization in our nation?" Articles to read as food for thought will be available on the table underneath the name tags this Sunday. Margot Sheehan and Pastor Denise will be facilitating this conversation. We hope you will be able to join us. Please contact either of them with any questions you may have.
Angels Among Us! 

 At our Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service, we heard the story of Jesus' birth as told by the angels, and remembered that there are angels among us who continue to share the good news of God's love!
Bible Study
Tuesdays at 11:15 am

Our weekly Bible Study meets on Tuesday mornings from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Music Room. Rev. Bob Woodward leads the study. The group is discussing the book of Genesis. Please bring your own Bible. All are welcome!  

Youth Group Upcoming Events

Rock Climbing and Meeting: Youth are invited to meet this Sunday, January 12th at 2:00 p.m. to carpool to Stone Age Rock Gym in Manchester. The cost of the rock climbing is $20 (includes climbing time and gear). We will climb from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and then return to the church. Your parent(s) MUST complete the online waiver ( http://www.stoneagerockgym.com/waiver/ ) in order to attend. Bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothes.

Eldercare Visit in Colchester:  Tuesday, January 14th at 2:20 p.m.

Covenant Soup Kitchen:  The Youth Group will be serving the noon meal on Saturday, January 25th. They will meet at the Church at 9:30 a.m. The group is NOT asking the congregation for donations as the kitchen currently has plenty of food.

Gilead Church Cookbook 

Our Women's Fellowship is in the initial stages of planning a Gilead Church Cookbook. Start looking for your favorite recipes to share. If you would like to help with this project, please speak with Margaret Gibbs (860-384-4327). Watch for more details!
Thank Yous 

Dear Gilead Church Christmas Carolers,

We can not thank you enough for the beautiful red poinsettia that you brought us when you came caroling on Sunday, December 15th. The caroling was fantastic and it certainly brightened our day and the entire holiday season as well! We have such fond memories of participating in caroling over the past years and we hope that we will be able to take part in caroling once again in the future!

We thank you once again and we wish everyone a year ahead filled with joy and good health!

Happy New Year!

Cyndi and Warren Thomas

Dear Gilead Church Family,

Thank you for supporting the “Peace, Love and Art Foundation” during the Alternative Gift Giving Program this December. Your incredibly generous donations and continuous encouragement mean so much! You go above and beyond support to me and the children in Mexico and it has been such is such an incredible blessing.

Due to your amazing and selfless support to “ Peace, Love and Art: Hope for the Children of the Serapio School in Mexico, ” I will be able to continue to grow the music and computer programs I was able to establish there. These programs not only teach valuable skills but also help to develop an increased sense of self-worth and intercultural awareness for the students. Your contribution will greatly and directly benefit the education of the students I taught in the impoverished school.

With your help, we are able to provide these beautiful, resilient young people with curriculum, supplies and instruction as well as hope for a future. What’s more is that you are reminding them that they are worthy and intelligent and empowering them to believe in themselves. Please know your overwhelming generosity will, without a doubt, change their lives in amazing and positive ways!

Most of all, thank you for being a tangible message of love. You have graciously given them the greatest gifts of all - LOVE and HOPE – something these children so desperately need!

With endless gratitude,

Skylar Haines

To our Church family,

Thank you for thinking of our family during this difficult time with the passing of our beautiful daughter Wendy on December 6, 2019. Your sympathy cards, warm kind words, hugs, and prayers are so appreciated. Your kindness and love has touched our hearts, and has brought us comfort.

In Christian Love, 

George & Nancy Bennett and family

Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Heather and Scott Summerer
Ushers for next Sunday: Margot and Joe Sheehan

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Jon Kimball
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday: Doug Stewart

Liturgist: Harvey Desruisseaux 
Call to Worship: Tucker Haines

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday: Sharon Ledbetter and Janet Kline
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday: Jan Andrews and Jessica Petro

Greeters for this Sunday:   Heather and Scott Summerer
Greeter for next Sunday:  Joe Sheehan

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
John 1: 29-42

We encounter you, O God, in places we might not expect and in people we would never imagine.  Sometimes we see you clearly and sometimes we pass by without seeing you at all.  Open our eyes to see you this day. Open our mouths to speak and sing and share the good news that you are here and that you are everywhere. 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)