Weekly Newsletter
Week of August 11th - August 17th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, August 12th:
-7:00 p.m. Live Stream Wednesday Evening Music and Prayer on Gilead Church Facebook Page

Sunday, August 16th:
-9:00 a.m. Summer Sunday Worship Service in the Garden of Remembrance and live-streamed on our Gilead Church Facebook Page

Monday, August 17th:
-7:00 p.m. Board of Christian Education on Zoom
God is Still Speaking
 About Us:

Reverend Dr. Denise Esslinger  
Minister of Music:
Danielle Hoehn
Administrative Assistant:
Sally Fritsche

Summer Worship: 9:00 a.m.

Gathered: 1748
Meeting House: 1838
Fellowship Hall: 2008
We are an Open & Affirming Church
Music and Prayer

Join us for our Wednesday evening music and prayer on our Gilead Church Facebook page. In order to be a part of this service, please join our Gilead Church Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/GileadChurchUCC and join us at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12th. In this brief time (~10 minutes) together, we will share with you a piece of music, its history and a prayer. We hope this time will bring comfort and peace.

Note: We still do not have power at the church building as of Tuesday at noon. We are hoping it will be restored by tomorrow, so we can have our Music and Prayer gathering this week. We will post a message on our Facebook page to let you know.

Sunday Worship Live Streamed and in Garden of Remembrance
Sunday, August 16th

This Sunday, August 16th at 9:00 a.m., we will be gathering for worship outdoors in our Garden of Remembrance, weather permitting. If you plan on attending outdoor worship this Sunday, the Deacons ask you to sign up by clicking on the following link: 

We ask everyone to sign up including those who will be serving as ushers, deacons, or in other ways for our services. We would like to have an idea of how many will be attending for spacing purposes as well as to keep a list, which hopefully will never be needed, for contract tracing purposes.

On Sunday, please enter the Garden of Remembrance via the arbor where a Deacon will welcome you and check you in. Your name will be added to the list if you didn't sign up ahead of time.

Pastor Denise will also be by the entrance prior to the service, so you can share any prayer requests you may have with her.

Also, Deacons will be setting up some pop up tents for more shade spots in the garden and you are invited to bring umbrellas as well.

Know that live streaming of our worship services will continue for those who don't feel comfortable attending and prefer to worship with us at home. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work on our live steaming outdoors. You can connect with our service on our Gilead Church Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/GileadChurchUCC.

If weather should be inclement, an email will be sent out via our weekly e-newsletter distribution list and also posted on our Church's Facebook page at least one hour prior to the service time. Worship, in this case, will be live streamed only and we invite you to join us from home. 

For those wishing to attend the outdoor service, please read the below protocols established by our Deacons.

Protocols for Outdoor Worship
1)   Participation will be limited to 150 people in the Garden of Remembrance.

2) All are asked to enter the Garden via the main (arbor) entrance. Those attending will be asked to sign up prior and will checked in by an usher. If you are unable to sign up prior, you will be asked to share your name and contact number with the usher prior to being seated. This is to keep an accurate record of people in attendance, if needed, for contact tracing. An usher will then walk you (at a distance) to your space to sit and will provide hand sanitizer, if desired, prior to entering the worship area.

3) Participants are asked NOT to attend if they have any of the following symptoms:
·      Fever above 100.4
·      Cough or respiratory distress
·      Sneezing
·      Headache
·      Runny nose
·      Diarrhea
·      Nausea
·      Sore Throat
·      Chills
·      If anyone in the house has tested positive for COVID-19

4) Participants are asked to bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on. Face masks are required for the entire service. Face masks will be provided, if needed.  Participants must remain 6-10 feet apart from non-family members at all times.

5) After the service, you are asked to exit the garden via the parking lot side of the garden and maintain 6-10 feet from non-family members.  

6) No singing, joining in unison prayers, Communion or offering plate will be shared or passed at the service. On Communion Sundays (first Sundays of the month), you are asked to bring your own Communion. Deacons will provide Communion packets for those who desire them. A basket will be available at the entrance to the Garden for offerings. There will also be no summer Sunday school or coffee hour.
7) The worship bulletin will be emailed prior to the service. Please feel free to print out your own copy of the service. A limited number of bulletins will be available at the service as well. These should be taken home after the service.

8) If severely inclement weather is expected, notification will be sent via email and on our Facebook page at least one hour prior to the scheduled service time.

9) All services will continue to be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those who prefer to stay home or for when there is inclement weather.

10) The church building will be closed and bathrooms will be not be available. The worship service will typically be 45-50 minutes.  

If you have any questions, concerns or input to share please contact our Deacons (Amy Huhn, Jon Kimball, David Kline, Jim Ledbetter, Kate McClaine, Teresa Olio, Gary Sarra, Margot Sheehan, and Doug Stewart) or Pastor Denise. Thank you!

The photos below are from our first Sunday Outdoor Worship Service held on Sunday, August 9th.
Youth Group "MOO-vement"

The GCC Youth Group "MOO-vement" continues! Yard cows are "moo-ving" among GCC members and friends and we invite you, when one comes to graze in your yard, to keep it for about a week and then "moo-ve" it on to another member or friend of GCC to help spread joy! Our hope is that the cows will connect us in spirit and help us remember that although we are apart, we are still together in our hearts. When the cow comes to your home, please take a picture with the cow and forward it to Sally at gcc@gileadchurch.net. We'd like to continuing sharing as many pictures as we can. Thank moo!
The Gilead cow brought a smile to Jessica Blacketter!
Gilead Church Lending Library
"Planting Seeds of Hope"

We are very pleased our Gilead Lending Library is being used and enjoyed! For the next several weeks we will be highlighting and reviewing one of our children's books.

"The World Needs More Purple People"
By Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart
Illustrations by Daniel Wiseman

Purple is a magic color made when red and blue come together. So how do you become a "Purple Person"? This story is a challenge for children and families to become "Purple" by embracing who they are while finding common ground with those around them.

The diverse characters encourage the reader to ask questions, laugh, use their voices and to listen to each other. They work together to make changes while embracing what makes each person special. The illustrations are adorable and text is simple and amusing. Definitely worth checking out.
Books are located in a tub located outside of the main entrance from the parking lot which is under the awning. There are two tubs. One contains the books to “take" and the other tub is for books when they are “returned". When books are “returned", they will be sanitized and put back in the “take” tub. There will also be sanitizing wipes available by the tubs for you to use.

We are people who believe in the power of God’s Word, and we hope that the sharing of these words will be a meaningful expression and reminder that we are all God’s beloved children. We also hope the books will provide an opportunity for families to read together and share in conversations that support social development. 

Our Board of Christian Education is supporting this endeavor. If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with Lynn Lukach, Margot Sheehan or Pastor Denise.  

Lord's Bounty II Cookbooks

Our Women's Fellowship continues to sell copies of their Gilead Church Lord's Bounty II Cookbooks. If you'd like a copy, please contact Margaret Gibbs at 860-384-4327. She will deliver! Cook books are only $10 each and make a wonderful gift.

Please Note: There is an error on page 98. Raisin Molasses Gems should be: 
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda

Hebron Interfaith Human Services and Foodshare Need Volunteers

Hebron Interfaith Human Services would like to add more volunteers to their schedule. Volunteers must be able to lift 30-50 pounds and be on their feet continuously for at least 2 hours. Volunteers need to commit to a set schedule of once a week or once every other week. Volunteer opportunities are: Tuesday 12-3 (2 people), Tuesday 3:30-6:30 (2 people), Thursday 12-3 (2 people), Thursday 3:30-6:30 (1 person), Friday 9-12 (3 people), Friday 12-3 (2 people) and Friday 3:00-6:00 (2 people). Training will be provided. Also, masks and gloves will be available to those who want/need them.  Interested people can send a text to Christa Goodwin-Babka at 860-573-0813.  

Also, Foodshare is in need of volunteers at their food distribution sites at Rentschler Field and at various mobile distribution sties, including in Hebron. To sign up to help go to: https://foodshare.volunteerhub.com

AHM 17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Is scheduled to take place on Monday, August 31, 2020 starting at 9:00 a.m. The cost to play is $125 per player.

Day of golf includes:
  • Your cart & 18 holes of golf
  • AHM logo golf shirt
  • Complimentary gift bag with water and snacks
  • Lunch (details coming soon!)
  • Two mulligans
  • Trophies in multiple categories
  • Several chances to win a hole in one golf contest!

If you would like more information or if you would like to participate, please contact AHM Youth & Family Services at 860-228-9488. Both AHM's Golf Committee and staff are working with Blackledge Country Club to plan a fun and safe day of golf for all. Due to Covid-19 Restrictions, some plans are subject to change as CDC Health Guidelines are followed.


Congratulations to Tom Ouellette (son of Phyllis Kurz) and Jess Brey on their recent marriage. Tom and Jess were married on Saturday, August 8, 2020. We wish Tom and Jess all the best in their life together!
Congratulations also to Amy Huhn and Rock Destine on their marriage. Amy and Rock were married on Sunday, August 9th in our Garden of Remembrance. Rev. Esslinger officiated. We wish Amy and Rock all the best in their life together!
Administrative Assistant Office Hours 

For the summer, our Administrative Assistant, Sally Fritsche, will be working from home on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She is available for assistance via email (gcc@gileadchurch.net).

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Matthew 15: 21-28

Faithful God, you draw near to us in our joy and in our grief, in our hope and in our despair.  When we are bowed down, you raise us anew.  God of compassion and love, move among us this day.  Open our eyes, dispel our fears, and show us the abundant life you offer. We pray it all in Jesus' name. Amen.
Contact Info
Sally Fritsche
Administrative Assistant
672 Gilead St
Hebron, Ct  06248
Office Hours: Our Administrative Assistant, Sally Fritsche, will be working from home. She is available for assistance via email (gcc@gileadchurch.net).