Weekly Newsletter
Week of January 13th - January 19th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, January 13th:
-8:45 a.m. Hunger Action Team on Zoom
-9:30 a.m. Bible Study on Zoom
-10:30 a.m. Book Discussion Group in the Fellowship Hall

Thursday, January 14th:
-7:00 p.m. Trustees on Zoom

Sunday, January 17th:
-10:00 a.m. Sunday Worship Service live-streamed on our Gilead Church Facebook Page and YouTube
-11:30 a.m. Installation of Board and Committee Members on Zoom
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 10th

This Sunday, January 17th we will worship at 10:00 a.m. via live stream only. We hope you will join us!

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.

Rev. Dr. Denise Esslinger to Retire

Jon Kimball, Chair of our Board of Deacons, shared the following words with us at our worship service this past Sunday:

“For everything there is a season…”

In the book of Ecclesiastes we’re reminded that there are seasons in our lives in which we are called to do different things.  

As many of you now know, Pastor Denise shared with us this week that, after a period of reflection and discernment, God is calling her to another season.  She will be ending her time as the pastor at Gilead Congregational Church on June 30th of this year. Denise has served us at Gilead Church for 22 years, noting that those years have been the most meaningful and richest season of her life.  In those years together, she has shared with us times of great joy, tearful times of tender loss, as well as plenty of ordinary hours sharing how God is with us in our everyday lives.

For those of us, the flock at the Gilead Church:  The prospect of losing our beloved shepherd is sorrowful beyond words.  Denise has guided us through life’s most painful times, and celebrated life’s most joyous events, showing us that God’s love shines on us in the best and worst days of our lives. 

Denise- We’re all certainly aware of how saddening this change will be for you.  The love and caring that you have for us comes from deeply sincere, God- given love that you have for each and every one of us.   We know that it will be difficult for you to see that season pass.  But, at the same time, the pleasing image of you and Phil in your beautiful new home in Woodstock, planning the next season of your lives together is certainly a joyful image to all of us.

What’s next?  We have meetings planned with our United Church of Christ professionals to help guide us successfully through the transition process.   The process will likely involve a thoughtful self- assessment of who we are as a church and what are our needs, a search committee, and likely an interim pastor.

There is a slogan that the Gilead Church has long used: “Serving Christ and the community since 1748.”   Going forward, we need to remember that this is God’s church. We’re blessed with a great many wise, loving and capable Christians willing to make sure that the Gilead Church continues to thrive and “Serve God and the Community” for a great many years.  
Installation of Board and Committee Members
Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:30 am on Zoom 

We thank and welcome our Board and Committee members and Church Officers who will be serving in 2021. This Sunday, January 17th we will install our Board and Committee members via Zoom, and on Sunday, January 24th we will share the recording during our 10:00 a.m. worship service. Please use the below link to join us for the Installation Service this Sunday at 11:30 a.m.:

"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 Nancy Thorpe.

We also want to thank everyone who has returned their 2021 "Planting Seeds of Hope" pledge card. We have received 110 pledge cards totaling $219,646. Our pledge goal is $289,282, so we still have $69,636 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

Silver Lake Summer Camp
Registration begins on Friday, January 15, 2021

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.

2020 Year End Giving Statements

Our Assistant Treasurer, Joan Cordier, has prepared giving statements for 2020. They will be mailed within the week. 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!
Minister of Music Search

A Minister of Music Search Committee is meeting and receiving resumes. 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 will be serving as our Interim Minister of Music beginning in January. 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 discuss John Chapter 1 this morning and on Wednesday, January 13th, the group will begin discussing Numbers. 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). 

UCC Leaders Response

The national leaders of the United Church of Christ shared a statement in response to the chaos in Washington, DC last week. Their statement can be found at:


Foodshare's Drive-Thru Food Distribution - January Schedule 
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. 


Our Church family expresses it deepest sympathy to Nina and Jerry Krasser on the recent death of Nina's father, Gerald Golden.

Anniversary Congratulations

Congratulations to Robin & Keith Carlough and Kathy & Terry Lukow who are both celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries this week. If you would like to send your wishes to the couples, here are their addresses:

Robin & Keith Carlough
150 Naubuc Ave.
East Hartford, CT 06118

Kathy & Terry Lukow
72 Charles Lane
Hebron, CT 06248
Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

Help us to listen to you, O God: not only with our ears, but with our hearts, and with our minds, and with our whole beings.  Open us this day, that we might receive the truth that you speak to us. In the name of Jesus the Christ, we pray. 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).