Weekly Newsletter
Week of January 27th - February 2nd
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, January 27th:
-9:30 a.m. Bible Study on Zoom
-10:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group in the Fellowship Hall

Thursday, January 28th:
-6:00 p.m. Minister of Music Search Committee

Friday, January29th:
-12:30 to 1:00 p.m. Youth Group Drop off Food at Church for Covenant Soup Kitchen

Sunday, January 31st:
-10:00 a.m. Sunday Worship Service live-streamed on our Gilead Church Facebook Page and YouTube
God is Still Speaking
 About Us:

Reverend Dr. Denise Esslinger  
Interim Minister of Music:
Carol Geyer

Minister of Communication and Technology:
Lisa Cox
Administrative Assistant:
Sally Fritsche

Worship: 10:00 a.m. on Gilead Church Facebook Page

Gathered: 1748
Meeting House: 1838
Fellowship Hall: 2008
We are an Open & Affirming Church
Sunday Worship Live Streamed
Sunday, January 31st

This Sunday, January 31st we will worship at 10:00 a.m. via live stream only. We hope you will join us!

We welcome and thank Sandy Hooker who will be filling in for Carol Geyer, our Interim Minister of Music, this Sunday.

You will be able to watch 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 for access to our Live Stream:
YouTube link:  www.bit.ly/GileadChurchUCC Note: Please click on subscribe to be notified of future live streams or new video’s.

2020 Year End

Our Board of Trustees wants to share with everyone the good news that we ended 2020 with a surplus of just over $12,000. Our expenses for the year were down due to a decrease in our facility use as well as savings from our Minister of Mission and Faith Formation salary. Our expenses were approximately 85% of what was budgeted for the year. Giving also remained strong, at 89% of budget, even without the fundraisers (e.g. Maplefest Craft Fair, Hebron Harvest Fair Parking and Gilead Open) we typically have during the year. The Trustees voted at their January meeting to give 10% of this surplus to the Board of Missions and to put the remaining amount in our church’s Long Term Capital Improvement Reserve. In the year ahead, it is likely that some of these funds will be used to replace the roof on our Church’s Sanctuary due to several leaks. The Trustees have received four bids and are finalizing plans for this to happen, weather permitting, in the months ahead. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Pastor Denise or to Barry MacLachlan who is Chairperson of our Board of Trustees.  

Meet Our Confirmands

Our Confirmation Class began meeting at the beginning of the year and we have seven 9th graders in our class. In the months ahead, we'll be sharing with you a brief bio and picture of those who are in our class. Today we introduce you to Ben Fournier.

My name is Ben Fournier and I like to do lots of sports and be active.  Some sports I do are football and diving and I like to ski and bike. I have two sisters that one is my twin and one is 11.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Information

The state is currently in phase 1b of the vaccine roll out. Phase 1b consists of 3 primary groups:

·         Individuals 75 years of and older
·         Front line essential workers 
·         Individuals and staff in congregate settings

The state has an online registration tool for people to register and schedule vaccination appointments –https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations  

For the most up to date information, please go to the following link:
If you are unable to schedule an appointment on line, there is CT COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224 which is available Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

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.
Pictured above is Pat and Art Austin after receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Planting Seeds of Hope" Stewardship Update
Each week, as part of our stewardship update, we'll be sharing photos of our Church members and friends from our "Planting Seeds of Hope" campaign. Pictured above is Alice Marien.

We also want to thank everyone who has returned their 2021 "Planting Seeds of Hope" pledge card. We have received 113 pledge cards totaling $224,070. Our pledge goal is $289,282, so we still have $65,212 to go to meet our goal.

If you haven't yet returned your 2021 pledge card, we ask you to return it to the Church soon. You can mail your pledge card to the church (672 Gilead St, Hebron CT 06248) or drop it off in the bucket on the porch door of the Parish House at any time.

We give thanks always, but even more especially in these days, for the seeds you so generously plant in so many ways as part of our community of faith.   

The Stewardship Committee, 
Mark Bierbaum, Lisa Cox (Co-Chair), Charles Daniels, Lauren Henry (Co-Chair), and Bruce Langevin

Hearts of Hope
To benefit the AHM Community Mental Health Fund

During the month of February, join us in the spirit of community to keep spreading HOPE by placing a heart of H❤️PE in a window.

Hearts (pictured below) will be available starting February 1st to pick up in tubs at AHM Youth and Family Services, Ted’s Supermarket, Ace Hardware, the Douglas Library, Gilead Congregational Church, UCC, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Church of the Holy Family and St. Colomba’s. 

Our goal is not only to keep spreading H❤️PE, but also to support the mental health of our communities by raising funds for AHM’s Community Mental Health Fund.  During this pandemic there have been many challenges, and one of them has been the strain on our mental health. The AHM Community Mental Health Fund was started to support the mental health of children, youth and families in our communities by making financial assistance available for those in need.

As Mr. Rogers said, “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.” There are times in all of our lives when we can benefit from mental health support and we hope you will access resources for support, when needed, like those available at AHM Youth & Family Services.

We’re asking, in exchange for a heart and as a sign of H❤️PE, that you will go on-line and make at least a $10 donation to AHM Youth & Family Services to support the Community Mental Health Fund. You can do this by going to ahmyouth.org and click on “Make a Donation” in the upper right corner and designate the “Community Mental Health/Hearts of Hope” as the recipient. If you can consider donating more than $10, please do.  Thank you!

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Fagan, Sandy Hooker, Laurie Larsen or Pastor Denise who are part of our Board of Missions Impoverished Children's Subcommittee and leading this campaign.
Silver Lake Summer Camp

Silver Lake has announced its offerings for the summer 2021 conference season. 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 speak with Margaret Gibbs (860-384-4327) if you would like to take our Women's Fellowship up on their offer.

Valentine's Day Cards

Our Women’s Fellowship invites you to celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending a card to one or all of our members and friends listed below:                                               
Laundry Detergent Drive for Hebron Interfaith Human Services

The Confirmation Class of 2021 needs your help! We are starting a laundry detergent drive for Hebron Interfaith Human Services, and we are looking for donations of laundry detergent. Donations can be placed outside the main entrance to the Church, and will be brought to Hebron Interfaith Human Services once a week. You can also call the Church Office at 860-228-3077 and we can arrange to pick up your donations. If you have any questions, please contact Anna Parker at parkerhorse@icloud.com. Thank you!

Hebron Community Survey

The Hebron Board of Selectmen has created a Committee on Racial Justice and Equity. One of the first steps for the Committee is to conduct a community assessment, focusing on diversity and quality of life here in Hebron.  If you are interested in participating in the survey, please go to the link below:

Minister of Music Search

A Minister of Music Search Committee is meeting, receiving resumes and interviewing candidates. Carolyn McConnell is serving as Chairperson. If you know of anyone who might be interested in this position, please reach out to her or to our Church Office (gcc@gileadchurch.net).

Until we find someone, Carol Geyer is serving as our Interim Minister of Music. We give thanks for Carol's gifts and her willingness to serve during the interim. That said, Carol is relatively recently retired and would like to share this interim position with someone else. If you know of anyone who might have interest, please contact Carol (carolgeyer@sbcglobal.net) or the Church Office (gcc@gileadchurch.net). 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.  The group will be discussing the last 4 chapters of Deuteronomy this morning and perhaps the week after; and then will go on to discuss what texts participants feel are appropriate for Ash Wednesday. All are invited and welcome to join this discussion and study. Come when you can! To join, click on the this link 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). 


Our Church family extends its deepest sympathies to Laurie and Don Larsen and their daughters, Lindsay and Melissa, on the recent death of Laurie's father, George Pate.

Foodshare's Drive-Thru Food Distribution  
Church Office Hours and Protocols 

Sally, our Church’s Administrative Assistant, is in the Church Office on Monday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon. She will continue to work from home on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon. If you need assistance from Sally, the best way to reach her is to contact her via email or phone (gcc@gileadchurch.net or 860-228-3077). If you need to come to the Church Office, we ask that you make every effort to contact Sally ahead of time to let her know you are coming. Face masks are required to enter the building and when you arrive, please come to the Parish House side door and knock. Sally will let you in. If you are having any symptoms (e.g. fever, sore throat, coughing, etc.) or not feeling well, we ask that you do not come. We will be happy to make other arrangements to conduct any Church business that you need. 

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
1 Corinthians 8: 1-13

From deep within, O God, we feel your loving presence.  May our sense of that presence grow deeper, and may we learn to pay more attention to You, the one who loves us in all times and in all places.  God, of love and life, we pray for You to be more and more in us, that we might live more and more in You.  Amen.
Contact Info
Sally Fritsche
Administrative Assistant
672 Gilead St
Hebron, Ct  06248
Office Hours: Our Administrative Assistant, Sally Fritsche, will be in the Parish House Office on Mondaymornings from 8:00 a.m. - Noon. She will be working from home on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. - noon.. She is available for assistance via email (gcc@gileadchurch.net).