Weekly Newsletter
Week of May 15th - May 21st
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, May 15th:
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
-6:00 p.m. Confirmation Class
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, May 16th:
-7:00 p.m. Council

Friday, May 17th:
-7:00 p.m. Peace, Love & Art Fundraiser

Saturday, May 18th:
-11:00 a.m. Memorial Service for Patricia Johnson
-2:00 p.m. Memorial Service for Ed Gallagher

Sunday, May 12th:
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service with Baptism 
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour 
-11:30 a.m. Music Committee
-11:30 a.m. Board of Missions
-4:00 p.m. Board of Christian Education at Sandy Waldo's Home
-6:30 p.m. Youth Group Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, May 21st: 
-9:00 a.m. Gilead Golf Open Tournament at Blackledge Country Club 
-9:30 a.m. Knitting Circle
-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
Upcoming Sunday Worship Schedule 

Sunday, May 19th:
    Two services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Sunday, May 26th - Memorial Day Weekend:
    One Service at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday, June 2nd - Confirmation Sunday:
    One service at 10:00 a.m. with Communion  

Sunday, June 9th - Children's Sunday:
    One service at 10:00 a.m.  

Sunday, June 16th - Father's Day:
    One service at 9:00 a.m.    

Following June 16th, our 9 a.m. worship service time will continue throughout the summer through and including Sunday, September 8th.
Staff and Ministry Evaluation

During the month of May, our Pastoral Relations Committee is conducting an evaluation of our Church’s staff and ministry. This is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on how our Church staff is doing along with how we are doing overall as a community of faith. The survey will be available in hard copy on Sunday mornings in May. You can also complete the survey on line by going to:

We anticipate the survey will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Know your input is valued and important and will be used in setting future goals and direction for our staff and congregation. We hope you will take the time to complete it. The deadline is Sunday, May 26th. A box for completed hard copy surveys will be on the table underneath the name tags. If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to speak with a member of our Pastoral Relations Committee (Brian Byrne, Phyllis Kurz (Chair), Sharon Ledbetter, David Olio and Heather Summerer). Thank you!

Summer Sunday School Teachers Needed - One Sunday Only!

" He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me ." -  Mark 9:36 -37

Looking for a rewarding and wonderful way to serve? Consider teaching! We are blessed to have a fabulous, fun and vibrant Sunday School Program with dedicated teachers! During the summer months, our teachers take a much deserved rest and we offer classes to children 3rd grade and below. Summer Sunday School classes are co-taught with a teacher for Preschool - Kindergarten and another for 1st - 3rd grade. This summer, children will learn about "Favorite Stories from the Bible". A book, discussion questions and craft is provided for you. All that is required is your presence! A sign-up sheet is located outside the Sanctuary with summer dates that need to be filled. We appreciate your support. If you have any questions please contact Sandy Waldo at slwvt747@gmail.com , Karen Risley at krisley@comcast.net , or Stephanie Haines at (860) 228-3077 or stephanie.haines@hotmail.com . Thank you so much for your support!

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group

The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group will begin discussing "An American Marriage " by Tayari Jones this morning. It is a story of "...the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward.. .into the future..." 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!

Peace, Love & Art: Hope for the Children of the Serapio School in Mexico  
Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Please join us for "Peace, Love and Art: Hope for the Children of the Serapio School in Mexico" on Friday, May 17th from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Gilead Congregational Church (rain date May 24 th ) . This special community event is being hosted by Skylar Haines, a member of the church and senior at RHAM High School. "Peace, Love & Art" will provide an outdoor movie featuring “Ferdinand”. The movie shares a simple, peace promoting message about a Spanish fighting bull who would rather smell flowers than fight and is for all ages. A delicious, all you can eat popcorn bar and drinks will be included. Please bring your lawn chairs and comfy blankets!

Thanks to your incredible generosity these past two years, Skylar has been able to start-up and incorporate a music program and computer center for the Serapio School where she taught English and volunteered. Please know that these programs have changed the children’s lives in incredibly meaningful ways! The school has nothing, lacks sufficient funding, and has extremely underdeveloped educational programs as a direct consequence. Teaching there showed her just how much the children could do with a little support. The children there are resilient, full of joy and willing to learn if only given the supplies, instruction, and funding they need to be successful. We hope you will consider supporting the children of Serapio and Skylar's continued efforts in giving them the same opportunities she feels she has been blessed with. All proceeds will support the ongoing development of these programs, purchase much needed school supplies and help to continue the Spanish/ English letter exchange between the students of Serapio and Hebron Elementary School.

Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased after worship or at the door the night of the event. Tickets towards a "Gift Tree" will also be available and tie-dye “Peace. Love and Art” t-shirt orders taken.

For questions or to volunteer, please contact Skylar at peaceloveandartserapio@gmail.com . Thank you so much for your support. It has been an incredible blessing!
Youth Group "Holy Cow" Grinder Sale 

H ungry? Enjoy a freshly made grinder on Children's Sunday, June 9th. The Youth Group will be taking orders for grinders that will be available for your picnicking pleasure on June 9th. Ham, turkey, veggies or a combo...let us know what you'd like and we'll have it ready and waiting for you following the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Grinders are $7 each or order a combo with chips for $7.50. We will have lemonade and water on hand. See order form in this Sunday's bulletin or stop by our table outside the Fellowship Hall. Proceeds from the grinder sale will be used to help fund the 2020 Youth Mission Trip. Thanks, as always, for your support!  

Gilead Helping Hands (GHH) 

Gilead Helping Hands (GHH) is a mission effort of the Board of Missions to serve local community neighbors in need through hands-on efforts. This past weekend members of GHH repaired a roof on a home in Amston. GHH is always looking for volunteers. No skill is needed in order to offer support, just a willing heart and hands.
If you have the time available or would like to learn more about how you can help please contact Mark Tierney at mark.tierney2@pw.utc.com , Wendy McCarthy at mccarthywendy02@icloud.com , Les Kurz at leslie.kurz78@gmail.com , Gayle Sylvester at  gayle.sylvester@comcast.net , or Jessica Blacketter at jessicab13@sbcglobal.net .

Upcoming projects include:
  • May 18th - Roofing Project in Hebron. Volunteers needed for up on the roof and below on the ground for clean-up. 

  • May 26th - Installation of a kitchen floor in Vernon. Volunteers needed to help tear out damaged floor and install a new one, making it safer for the homeowner with a walker.

Willing Weeders for Church Grounds & Garden of Remembrance

Our Trustees are looking for folks who are willing to help weed around the church during the upcoming summer months to keep our church grounds looking great. Also, the Garden of Remembrance Committee is looking for folks to help with weeding in the garden. There are sign up sheets underneath the name tags for both opportunities. Weeding in each area takes about an hour. Please consider signing up for a week or two. If you have any questions, please speak with Terry Lukow, chairperson of our Board of Trustees, or Diane Desruisseaux, member of the Garden of Remembrance Committee. Thank you!   

Parking Lot Improvements 

Our Trustees plan 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 gravel. Lines to identify parking spaces will 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. 

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. 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.

Covenant Soup Kitchen  
Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 9:30 am

Members of our Youth Group will p repare and serve a Memorial Day picnic at the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic on Saturday, May 25th. The Youth Group is asking the congregation for donations of potato and pasta salads as well as homemade desserts. Sign up on the sheets underneath the name tags or by calling the Church Office (860-228-3077). If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Byrne (860-228-8397).

Sunday Morning Greeters 

We are in need of Greeters to greet everyone as they come to worship on Sunday mornings for our 10:00 a.m. service. Simply arrive at 9:45 a.m., stand at the end of the hallway as you enter from the parking lot, and welcome everyone as they arrive. If you would like to be a greeter, please sign up on the sheet under the name tags. Thank you!

Ready, Set, Plant!

Our garden swap gets into full swing in late June and July, but the earth is ready to produce things right now. Consider a container with an early lettuce crop or a row of rainbow Swiss chard in a garden plot. The rewards of gardening are many and it’s really fun to share the bounty with others. An added benefit is that any excess is delivered to the HIHS food bank! Please consider sharing any extra pots or seeds or garden tools in the Fellowship Hall and talk with Bruce Langevin or Paul Miller if you have questions or suggestions.
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.

Male Counselor Needed:  Jeff and Megan Lukens are co-deaning Water World at Silver Lake the week of July 13-20th. They are in need of an additional male counselor who is age 16 or higher. Please contact the Church Office at 860-228-3077 if you are interested.

2019 - 2020 Confirmation Class Orientation

On Sunday, June 2nd following our 10:00 a.m. worship service, there will be an orientation for all those in 9th grade and higher, and their parents, who are interested in taking part in our 2019-2020 Confirmation Class. The class will begin in mid-September. If you are interested in being part of next year's class, but cannot attend the orientation, please speak with Rev. Esslinger.   

War and Peace Panel Discussion

Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to Pat Gallagher on the recent death of her husband, Ed. 

Thank You

Hi Pastor Denise

I want you to know how grateful we feel being members of the church.  I feel the prayers and good thoughts everyone had for Penny really helped her through her surgery.  She loves the prayer shawl. It is so comforting to her.  And all of the phone calls and get well cards are wonderful. It cheered her up so much. All are on display on top of our mantle.  We are so blessed to live in such a nice community and be members of such a caring church.

Thank You,

George and Penny Shimchick

Dear Denise and our GCC family,

Thank you so much for the lovely, warm and comforting prayer shawl. It brings a smile to my face when I see it. We so appreciate all the cards, hugs and phone calls during these days after my mother's passing. Your support means so much and helps to ease the sadness. Thank you for being there!

With love and appreciation,

Lorraine & Mark Tierney
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Sandy and Jack Hooker
Ushers for next Sunday: Brenda Houghton and Harvey Desruisseaux

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Katie McClaine
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday: Amy Huhn

Liturgist:  Margaret Gibbs              Acolyte: Benji Morrissey
Call to Worship:  Zeke Violette

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday:  Margot Sheehan and Nancy Thorpe
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday:  Potluck Coffee Hour

Greeters for this Sunday: Sharon McKenna and Marie Santa
Greeter for next Sunday:  Elaine Aubin

Scripture Readings and Prayer for the Week
Acts 11: 1-18 and John 13: 31-35
God, we thank you for your love and grace so abundant, that you receive us in spite of our fears and our timid lives of faith.  As you encouraged the first Christians to witness in the face of risks, encourage us to follow your call rather than to live in fear.  Grant us peace in the midst of the challenges of life, and give us the vision to see and know the presence of your Holy Spirit in all things.  In Jesus' name 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)