Weekly Newsletter
Week of April 17th - April 23rd
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, April 17th:
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, April 18th:
-7:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service

Friday, April 19th:
-Noon - 3:00 p.m. Sanctuary Open for Prayer

Sunday, April 21st:
-6:00 a.m. Easter Sunrise Service 
-10:00 a.m. Easter Festival Worship  
-No Sunday School 
-No Coffee Hour 

Monday, April 22nd: 
-7:30 p.m. Board of Christian Education

Tuesday, April 23rd: 
-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: 8:30 AM
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
Lenten Theme - "Resurrection Joy"  - Easter 
Luke 24: 1-12

"He is not here, but has risen!"
Luke 24: 5

Where do you see and hope for new life?

How can you share new life with others?

An Easter Prayer of Hope
 We are born in hope,
Raised in hope,
Nurtured in hope,
Loved in hope,
Comforted in hope,
Suffer in hope,
Endure in hope,
Overcome in hope.
Hope in the One
who has endured all things,
that we might know freedom.
Hope in the One
who has given us his Spirit,
that we might have power.
Hope in the One
who has loved us beyond death,
that we might have life.
Hope in the One
who prepares a place for us,
that we might share eternity with him.
For hope that endures, we thank you Lord.

from FaithandWorship.com

Holy Week Services 
Maundy Thursday Service on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 6:00 am
Easter Festival Worship on Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 10:00 am
Maundy Thursday, April 18th - Tenebrae worship service with Communion at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

Good Friday, April 19th  - Our Sanctuary will be open for prayer between noon - 3:00 p.m. This is the time that tradition tells us that Jesus hung on the cross.

Easter Sunday, April 21st - Sunrise Service in the field behind the church at 6:00 a.m. A time of fellowship including coffee and donuts will follow in the Fellowship Hall. At 10:00 a.m. we will have our Easter Festival Worship in the Sanctuary. 

You may have noticed this past Sunday that o ur American and Christian flags, that were at the front of our Sanctuary, have been moved to the main entrance of the church. The Deacons made the decision to do this so that the flags will be more visible and will also serve as a reminder, as we enter and exit the church, of our citizenship in God’s kingdom and in the United States of America , a country in which we are fortunate to live. The Deacons also feel that aesthetically, with the removal of the drape and repainting of the front of the Sanctuary, it looks cleaner and simpler and is in keeping with the congregational meeting house tradition. The flags will be returned to the Sanctuary for worship services held around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. If you have any questions or feedback regarding this move, please feel free to speak with Pastor Denise or with one of our Deacons (Bill Cox, Amy Huhn, Jon Kimball, Jim Ledbetter, Katie McClaine, Teresa Olio, Gary Sarra, Margot Sheehan, and Doug Stewart.)

Parking Lot Improvements

The Trustees voted at their last meeting to move 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 millings and concrete. Lines to identify parking spaces would 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. 

Easter Egg Hunt at The Farm at Woodsong Hollow 
Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Here is an invitation to the littlest ones of our Church family. Joy and Joe Zuzel are hosting a large Easter Egg hunt at their farm (126 Grayville Road, Amston, CT) on Saturday, April 20th at 2:00 p.m. It's free, but Joy and Joe ask you to please R.S.V.P through the facebook site for The Farm at Woodsong Hollow or directly to Joy Zuzel at joyzuzel@gmail.com Parking is available across the street at Grayville Park. Join us as we celebrate Easter!

Mission Trip to Puerto Rico

 O ur Mission Team headed off to Puerto Rico early on Sunday morning. A picture taken a little after 3 a.m. that morning is below. 

Pastor Denise sent them off with this prayer: 
Holy God,
go this day with each person around this circle.
Be with them as they travel to Puerto Rico
to be the hands, the feet, the face of Christ.
May their travels be safe.
May their hearts be open.
May their spirits be flexible and strong.
May they be your love in action
in our world, in these days.
We pray it all in the name of your son, Jesus,
the one who lived your compassionate love.
Please pray for our team while they are working in Puerto Rico this week. Updates and photos from their experience can be found on our Gilead Church Facebook page. They will be returning on
Saturday, April 20th and will be sharing with us about their experiences in worship on Sunday, April 28th. 
Palm Sunday Brunch

 Our Men's Fellowship hosted an all Church Palm Sunday Brunch following the 10:00 a.m. worship service this past Sunday, April 14th. Special thanks to Patrick Fagan and his entire team for preparing and serving a wonderful meal!
Foodshare's 36th Annual Walk Against Hunger  
Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 8:45 am

Join us for Foodshare's Walk Against Hunger which will be taking place on Saturday, April 27th. We'll meet at the church parking lot at 8:45 a.m. to car pool together. The walk starts at 10 a.m. from Dunkin' Donuts Park (home of the Yard Goats) in Hartford. The walk is an easy 1.5 mile walk, which raises money for both Foodshare (our regional food bank) and for Hebron Interfaith Human Services (our local food bank). HIHS obtains 80% of the food it distributes from Foodshare for a fraction of the retail cost.

If you'd like to join as a walker or support one of our walkers, go to www.foodsharewalk.org and search for our team, which is "HIHS Heroes." Either join the team or select a walker to donate to. Also be sure to click on Hebron Interfaith Human Services as the benefiting agency. HIHS will receive 50% of the donation made in their name. Last year they received $2,500!

If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor Denise. 
AHM Youth & Family Services Drug Take Back Day 
Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 10:00 am  

AHM Youth and Family Services is hosting a free collection and safe disposal of unwanted medications on Saturday, April 29th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at RHAM High School (85 Wall Street). Drop off your unwanted medications. Medications must be in original containers, with name crossed out. No needles or sharps will be accepted. For further information, please contact AHM Youth and Family Services at 860-228-9488.

Faith and Film Series
Friday, May 3, 2019 at 6:00 pm    

Join us on Friday, May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for our Faith and Film Series. We will gather for a potluck supper followed by watching and discussing the movie, "On the Basis of Sex" (PG-13). Inspired by the powerful true story of a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, "On the Basis of Sex" depicts a then-struggling attorney and new mother facing adversity in her fight for equal rights. When Ruth takes on a ground-breaking case, she knows the outcome could alter the courts' view of gender discrimination. Stronger together, Ruth teams up with her husband, Martin Ginsburg, to fight the case that catapults her into one of the most important public figures of our time. Bring a dish to share and join us!

Favorites Tea
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

The Fellowship Committee will be hosting their annual ladies "Favorites Tea" in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, May 4th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please bring your favorite teacup and a sweet or savory treat to share. Also, please feel free to invite your "favorite female" as your guest. There will also be a home décor, kitchen gadget and accessory swap (such as jewelry, hats, scarves, belts, purses, etc.). Please sign up on the sheet outside of the Sanctuary. If you have any questions, please contact Penny Besmond at 860-228-4282.

The Worship Center's Dedication Celebration 
  Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Rev. Mark Santostefano invites all of us to join The Worship Center for a dedication celebration of their new building on Saturday, May 4th at 4:00 p.m. The Church is located at 99 Marjorie Circle in Hebron. There will be a time of refreshments following the dedication service and Rev. Esslinger will be taking part in the dedication service.

Easter Dinners   

Thanks to everyone who helped us to collect the needed items to help bless a family with an Easter Dinner. Our Confirmation Class assembled the 52 Easter meals for Hebron Interfaith Human Services and those in need after worship this past Sunday. Bob Owens, Joe Sheehan, Tucker Haines and Stephanie Haines delivered the dinners along with potted daffodils as a message of love and hope!     
Gilead Open Golf Tournament 
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 9:00 am

WANTED....Persons interested in having a good time for a good cause....previous experience not necessary. For the nominal entry fee of only $100.00 you will be entitled to 18 holes of golf with cart, a continental breakfast, a bag lunch, and an all you can eat prime rib and chicken marsala dinner. The date is Tuesday, May 21st at the Blackledge Country Club. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. with the Shot Gun following at 10:00 a.m. If you are not a golfer, you can support the cause with a $100.00 tee sponsorship or an individual donation of your chosen amount. Also, donations for raffle prizes would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to speak with any of the Golf Open Committee members who include Ken Cook, Harry Desruisseaux, Glen Hadley, Jack Hooker and Doug Stewart.

Sunday School Mission Project

"The Oak Inside the Acorn is the story of the miracle inside each of us. For within every child is the special person God created, just waiting to grow."

Dear Families,

The theme for our Sunday School program this year is, "Precious In God's Sight". During upcoming Sunday School classes, we will be reading the book The Oak Inside the Acorn and exploring how young people are precious children of God, dearly loved and wonderfully made with unique gifts and talents. What's more, children will explore and develop their own personal mission project using those special gifts and talents to be an expression of God's love and hope to their community and beyond.

We need your help! Please support your child's mission project by brainstorming along with them how they can use their talents to bless others and helping them with their project. It should be something that "speaks" to them and that they are passionate about. Examples might include:

  • Making and selling dog biscuits to support an animal shelter
  • Playing their instrument for the senior center
  • Making cards & sending them to brighten someone's day
  • Tutoring another child

We also hope you will share a photo of your child's mission efforts which we will share in a special video presentation during our year end celebration, Children's Sunday, on June 9, 2019. Photos and questions regarding the mission projects can be sent to Stephanie Haines at stephanie.haines@hotmail.com .

All Sunday School Mission Projects should be completed by - APRIL 28th. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group

The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group will begin discussing " Where The Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens on Wednesday, April 24th. The novel is a mixture of loss, survival, young love, life in the world of nature and what that can teach us. The group meets on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the home of Judy Brown and Deena Watson (130 Charles Lane). If you ha ve any questions about this group, please contact Sandy Hooker (860-228-9856). All are welcome!

Spring Work Day

The Trustees would like to thank everyone who came out this past Saturday, April 13th to spruce up the Church grounds as well as do some deep cleaning inside our building.     

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.


Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to Lorraine and Mark Tierney on the recent death of Lorraine's mother, Dorothy.

Celebrating Dottie Taggart's 95th Birthday

We celebrated Dottie's 95th Birthday during our all Church Palm Sunday Brunch. Dottie will be turning 95 years young on April 17th. 
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Ginny Miller, Marie Santa, Phil Parizeau and Ron Dejewski
Ushers for next Sunday:  Annette and Bruce Langevin

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday:  Bill Cox
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday:  Jim Ledbetter

Liturgist:  Harvey Desruisseaux                   Acolyte: Tucker Haines 
Call to Worship:  Meredith Weir

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday:  No Coffee Hour on Easter Sunday
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday: Potluck Coffee Hour & Betty Tow's 90th Birthday

Greeter for this Sunday:  Ann Sarra
Greeter for next Sunday:  Cristina Schoeck

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Luke 24: 1-12
Giver of new life, we come with our alleluias.  We come in joy to celebrate again the wonderful miracle that you bring life out of death.  The resurrection of Jesus reminds us that nothing can separate us from your love. So we pray hat the resurrection will enter into each of our lives and transform them.  In the name of Jesus, our Risen Lord, 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)