Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of December 12th - December 18th         
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, December 12th:
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
-7:00 p.m. Choir

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

Friday, December 14th:
-5:00 - 9:00 p.m. Youth Group Babysitting in the Fellowship Hall

Saturday, December 15th:
-2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Christmas Cookie Drop Off in the Kitchen

Sunday, December 16th:
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service with Christmas Music 
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale
11:30 a.m. Youth Choir
-4:00 p.m. Christmas Caroling followed by a Potluck Supper at the Kimball's

Monday, December 17th:
-6:00 p.m. Refugee Core Committee at Berry Honore's

Tuesday, December 18th:    
-9:30 a.m. Knitting Circle
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study in the Music Room
-7:30 p.m. AA Meeting  

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 

Ministry Quicklinks:
More About Us


Join Our Mailing List
Advent and Christmas Worship Services 


December 16th-Third Sunday of Advent
One worship service at 10 a.m. with
special music featuring our Choir and Organ

December 21st-Blue Christmas Service
A service of healing hope
Friday at 7:00 p.m. 
December 23rd-Fourth Sunday of Advent
One worship service at 10 a.m.
December 24th-Christmas Eve
One candlelight worship service at 7 p.m.
December 30th-First Sunday after Christmas
One worship service at 10 a.m. with lessons and carols

Youth Group Babysitting 
Friday, December 14th 

Our Youth Group will be offering free babysitting to members and friends this Friday, December 14th from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.  The babysitting is for children ages 0 through 6th grade.  Children should have dinner before they arrive.  Snacks will be provided along with crafts and games.  If you have any questions, please contact Susan Parker 860-530-1134.  All are welcome!  

Cheerful Giving!
2 Corinthians 9: 7

Thanks to everyone who has cheerfully made a pledge for 2019! We currently have 119 who have made pledges totaling $243,368. Thank you!  However, we still have $36,031 to go to meet our  pledge  goal for 2019.  

If you have not yet made a 2019 pledge, we hope you will. Pledge cards can be found in each pew as well as in the front and back of the Sanctuary or by calling our Church Office (860-228-3077). Cards can be placed in the offering plate on any Sunday or returned to the Church (672 Gilead St, Hebron, CT 06248) to the attention of our Assistant Treasurer, Joan Cordier.  
Thank you for your consideration, commitment and support!

Your Stewardship Committee,
Lisa Cox (Co-Chair), Charles Daniels, Lauren Henry (Co-Chair), Bruce Langevin, and Duane Sauer      
5th Annual Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale
Sunday, December 16th

The 5th Annual Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale is scheduled for this Sunday, December 16th immediately following the 10:00 a.m. worship service in the Fellowship Hall. Cookies may be brought to the church kitchen this Saturday, December 15th between 2:30-3:30 p.m. or prior to the service on Sunday, December 16th.  Please plan to purchase cookies, sold by the pound, to support our Women's Fellowship. If you have any questions, please contact Pat Martin, Gayle Sylvester or Karen Voghel. Thank you!

Christmas Caroling
Sunday, December 16th
Please join us this Sunday, December 16th when we will be going caroling to members and friends.  We'll meet at the church at 4:00 p.m. to car pool together.  Join us at the home of Gloria and Jon Kimball (23 Chestnut Hill Road) for a time of fellowship and a potluck supper following the caroling.  If you know you are coming, please R.S.V.P. to Gloria at 860-228-3817 or via e-mail at gloriaokimball@gmail.com letting her know what you will be bringing to share and number attending. Feel free to come impromptu as well. The Kimballs will provide beverages, but you are welcome to bring your favorite too. 
Blue Christmas Service
Friday, December 21st 

On Friday, December 21st at 7:00 p.m. we will have a Blue Christmas Service of comfort, healing and hope. This service provides a space and time for us to acknowledge that this season isn't always an easy or happy one. Bring your fears, pain and grief and join us for this time of prayer, reflection, singing, communion and a candle lighting ceremony. Join us in this time of worship and fellowship following the service.   

Special Mission Offering - The Christmas Fund
Sunday, December 23rd 

On Sunday, December 23rd, a special offering will be held as part of our UCC's wider mission efforts. The offering will benefit the Christmas Fund which provides financial aid to retired and active ministers and their surviving spouses and children who face overwhelming financial demands. This special gift at Christmas time reminds these "Veterans of the Cross" that they have not been forgotten and that the Church is grateful for their service. Envelopes for this offering are available in the front and back of the Sanctuary this Sunday. Thank you for your consideration. If you should have any questions regarding the fund, please, do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Haines at (860) 228-3077.   

Holiday Pies for a Purpose 
Do you enjoy homemade pumpkin or apple pie? Are you looking for pies for the upcoming holiday? Order a delicious pie from Amy Huhn or Lexi Weir today! Proceeds will benefit HELO, a non-profit orphanage in Les Cayes, Haiti as well as Lexi Weir's second trip to Haiti. Please see Amy Huhn or Lexi Weir after church or contact Amy at 860-462-0919 or at pvault1459@gmail.com for more information.
2019 Usher Sign Up 
Please contact Phyllis Kurz or signup online:
1) Click this link on SignUp.com: http://signup.com/go/ezSYDT
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Phyllis (860-228-2469) and she can sign you up manually.

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group 
The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group is currently discussing "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and meet on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the home of Judy Brown and Deena Watson (130 Charles Lane) this week. The group will not meet on Wednesday, December 26th, but will resume on Wednesday, January 2nd. On Wednesday, January 2nd the group will begin discussion of "Unsheltered" by Barbara Kingsolver. It is the latest novel by this author with a story woven "between past and present which explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion". All are welcome!

Hebron's Got Talent - Still Looking for Talent
Applications are being accepted for the 6th annual Hebron's Got Talent showcase which will take place on Friday February 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the RHAM High School Auditorium.  Ten acts will be chosen to compete for the $250 grand prize!  Talent could include singing, dancing, musicians, comedy, magic or something surprising! You do not need to be a Hebron resident to apply. Local celebrity judges including last year's winner and Bridget Oei, Miss Connecticut, will provide their feedback on each act but ultimately, the winner is selected by audience vote!  Applications can be picked up at Ted's IGA Supermarket, Hebron Parks & Recreation, AHM Youth and Family Services or the Gilead Congregational Church.  Please submit applications or contact Stephanie Haines as soon as possible. All proceeds benefit the children's scholarship programs of Hebron Parks & Recreation and AHM Youth & Family Services because every child should have the opportunity to explore and grow their own talents and abilities! Snow date is Friday, March 8th.  Please contact Stephanie Haines at 860-228-3077 with any questions.   

Participants Needed 
Katie Weber,  a PhD student in the Communication Studies Department at UConn is doing research on hate speech and social support for LGBQT individuals. If you are 18 or older, part of the LGBQT community who has experienced hate speech and found it painful, and you have a friend or family member who can join you, you are eligible to participate. You will be compensated $60 for about 3 hours of your time. If interested, please contact Ginny Miller either at church or at 860-559-5273. 


Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to Jill, Barry, Annie and Grace MacLachlan on the recent death of Barry's mother, Shirley. 

Also, our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to Dan and Jean Dormer on the recent death of Dan's brother, George.
Thank You 
Dear Members of the Women's Fellowship, 
Thank you for your continued support of HELO and my missions. I am so thankful to be part of Gilead congregational Church and have your support. You are a wonderful part of our Church community and I thank you for that.
Many blessings and thanks,
Amy Huhn
Puerto Rico Mission Trip 2019
There are still a few spots available on our upcoming mission team going to Puerto Rico, April 14 - 20, 2019. The team will be helping to rebuild and repair roofs after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Serving on a mission trip, being God's hands and feet, and getting away from the everyday bustle can be an amazing opportunity to experience God's presence. Cristina Schoeck, Mark Hand or Debbie Meincke would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the trip. A $200 deposit will be collected to finalize our mission team for the spring. Scholarships are available if needed. Please contact Cristina Schoeck at cbschoeck@gmail.com or Mark Hand at markhand73@gmail.com.  

Christmas Angel Tag Mission Thank You 

Thank you to all of those who participated in the Christmas Angel Tag Mission. We donated 67 angel tag gifts to the Department of Children and Family Services. Our donation was comprised of both gifts and gift cards totaling $2,728 in value. So many children will be blessed with a Christmas gift from our loving and caring congregation. And special thanks to Nancy Bennett and our 2019 Confirmation Class for coordinating this project.  

Christmas Pageant
We enjoyed this year's Christmas Pageant this past Sunday, December 9th during our 10:00 a.m. worship service.  The story of Jesus' birth came alive through the sweet voices and imaginations of our children. This year's pageant was titled "Just a Little Christmas!"  Special thanks to Joe Zuzel, Stephanie Haines and Bruce Gale for coordinating our pageant.  

Coffee Hour Hosts Needed 
Members of the Fellowship Committee are asking members and friends to sign up for co-hosting coffee hour on Sunday mornings after our 10 a.m. service. Please consider serving as a host. You can sign up to host a coffee hour on the sign up underneath the name tags.  If you can serve as a host or have any questions, please contact Gloria Kimball (860-228-3817) or Lorraine Kreeger (860-643-4082).  Thank you!         
Faith and Film Series
Friday, January 4th 
Join us on Friday, January 4th at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a potluck dinner followed by a film and discussion. We will be watching the film "To Kill a Mockingbird". It is not rated. Southern comforts abound in this big-screen adaptation of Harper Lee's novel as lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck, in an Oscar-winning role) defends an innocent black man (Brock Peters) against rape charges but ends up in a maelstrom of hate and prejudice. Meanwhile, with help from a friend (John Megna), Finch's children, Jem (Phillip Alford) and Scout (Mary Badham), set their sights on making contact with a reclusive neighbor (Robert Duvall). Bring a dish to share and join us!
Installation of Board and Committee Members
Sunday, January 6th 
During our 10:00 a.m. worship service on Sunday, January 7th, all persons who serve on one of our Boards or Committees will be installed. Whether you are a new member, or have served for a number of years, you are invited to come forward with all who serve to formally be installed as this new year in our church life begins.     
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Margot and Joe Sheehan
Ushers for next week: Sandy and Jack Hooker
Deacon of the Day for this morning: Jan Andrews
Deacon of the Day for next week: Katie McClaine
Liturgist: Steve Petro    Acolyte: Needed
Call to Worship: Ella Cabrera
Coffee Hour Host for this morning: Phyllis Kurz
Coffee Hour Host for next week: Teresa Olio
Greeter for this morning: Sharon McKenna
Greeter for next week: Tim Fellman


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)