Weekly Newsletter
Week of August 7th - August 13th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, August 7th: 
-6:00 p.m. Summer Potluck & Prayer

Sunday, August 11th:
-9:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Summer Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour 

Tuesday, August 13th: 
-2:20 p.m. Youth Group to Colchester for Eldercare Visit
-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 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
Summer Potluck & Prayer Gathering Tonight!

Please plan to join us tonight and again on Wednesday, August 21st for our summer Potluck and Prayer gatherings. We'll meet on the Gathering Terrace at 6 p.m. Our Deacons will grill up hamburgers and hot dogs and have lemonade and ice tea to share. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. After dinner, we'll close our evening with a brief time of worship and prayer. All are welcome!
Bruce Gale's Retirement 

Bruce has shared with us that he and his husband, Joe, will be retiring to South Carolina in August. On their travels they have found that Joe, who has struggled with some health issues, feels much better in the climate there. They have found a home in a 55+ community, which provides lots of opportunities to get involved and to stay active. While we will miss Bruce’s presence and all the gifts he brings as our Minister of Music, we wish him and Joe all the best in this new chapter in their lives. Bruce’s last Sunday with us will be on Sunday, August 18th. Our Choir is planning to sing and we hope you will be able to be with us to say farewell.  If you would like to contribute to a farewell gift for Bruce, please feel free to see Carolyn Bennett or Pastor Denise by Sunday, August 11th.
Minister of Music Search 

Given Bruce’s leaving, we have begun a search for our next Minister of Music. A Search Committee has been formed with representatives from our Choir, the Music Committee, Deacons, Board of Trustees, a parent with children in our Youth Choir, along with a teenage member of our Church. Resumes will be received until the end of August. The position description is posted on our web page at  gileadchurchucc.org . Please feel free to share it with anyone you feel might be interested. Our hope is to have interviews in September and to have someone on board in October. Our Committee will keep you posted. If you have any questions or input to share, please feel free to contact Carolyn Bennett, who is serving as Chair of the Search Committee, or with Pastor Denise. 

Steeple Chase Bike Tour 

On Saturday, August 17th, Jeff Brown and Carol Geyer will be co-leading a team from the Gilead Church who will be riding in the 28th Annual Steeple Chase Bike Tour, which raises money for Perception Programs, Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, and the Windham Region No Freeze Project. The team has a fundraising goal of $450. If you would like to support our team, please contact Jeff or Carol. You can also make a donation online at www.PledgeReg.com/3139/Team/11916. If you would like to join our team, you can find more info at www.steeplechasebiketour.org. Please be sure to enter the name of our team on your registration form -- Team GCC CYCLERS - Gilead Congregational Church.

Water Cooler 

Later this month, the water cooler will be removed from our Fellowship Hall. Ready Refresh,  the  company we rent the water cooler from, is implementing a  significant  price increase. This increase would raise our cost from $30 a month to $46, a 53% increase. Given that our water has passed testing for more than two years and that steps have been taken to ensure it will continue to pass, the water cooler will be removed. The water fountains outside the bathrooms are on and available to use. If you  have  any questions, please feel free to speak with a member of our Board of Trustees (Greg Brand, Jim Burgess, Ron Dejewski, Brad Franzese, Brian Lemire, Barry MacLachlan, Steve Petro, Steven Schoeck, and Al Tarbox)

Back to School Supply Drive - July 7th to August 11th
Help to send children back to school with a healthy start!

The Children's Subcommittee of our Board of Missions is hoping to provide our local food bank, HIHS, as well as RHAM High School with much needed back to school supplies. Please consider donating any items below or making a donation. For a $25 donation you can sponsor a young person to go back to school with a fully stocked backpack!
Collection bins to place your donations will be available outside the Sanctuary. If you are making a monetary donation please make checks payable to Gilead Congregational Church with "Blessing of the Backpacks" in the memo. Your specifically labeled check can be placed in the offering plate during worship. 
School Supplies Needed: 
  • heavy duty, zip-up, 3-Ring Binders (large)
  • sturdy backpacks for teens
  • earbuds
  • flash drives
  • #2 pencils
  • dry erase markers
  • pencil cap erasers
  • pack of glue sticks
  • high lighters (varied colors)
  • sturdy plastic folders with pockets
  • zipper pouches to hold pens, pencils, etc.
  • graph paper
  • contained pencil sharpeners
  • planner/agenda books
  • compasses/protractors 
  • toiletries
  • socks for teens
Healthy Non-Perishable Snacks needed:
  • snack-size fruit cups
  • raisins 
  • pretzels 
  • microwave popcorn
  • trail mix 
  • granola bars
  • whole grain crackers
Items can be placed in the designated bins outside the Sanctuary through August 11th. Thank you so much for your support!
On August 25th we'll be having our annual "Blessing of the Backpacks". We will be offering our prayers as we send off our young people, teachers and school professionals for the new school year ahead. We hope you will join us!  
Garden of Remembrance (GORC) 

In the last few months I have received several inquiries regarding the Garden of Remembrance, including one from Texas and another regarding a relative of one our church members. The Garden of Remembrance is a place of beauty and serenity. It is adjacent to the Church and provides a place to inter or scatter the ashes of loved ones who have completed life's journey. The Garden also provides a peaceful place for contemplation and prayer in a setting that reflects God's created beauty. Currently, there are fourteen members and friends whose cremains have been interred or scattered in the garden and thirteen who have prepaid their interment. The fee for interment is only $200.00 per person and is used for the upkeep of the garden. Gifts and donations are gratefully accepted and appreciated. For further information, please feel free to speak with any member of the GORC. 

Harvey Desruisseaux, Chair
Ending Hunger One Step at a Time
CROP Walk - Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm 

P lease plan on joining us for our annual "walk to end hunger" on October 6th. Our Gilead walk team will be honoring the memory of Donna Wertenbach and her dedication to helping others on this 50th anniversary of the CROP walk. All money raised by walkers will go to Church World Service's international hunger relief programs and to our local food bank. The walk route follows the Hop River State Park Trail with easy grades and a smooth walking surface, starting and ending at The First Congregational Church of Andover, 359 Rt. 6, Andover. Registration is at 2:30PM, with the walk stepping off at 3PM. A pot luck dinner will be served to walkers afterward. The walk is sponsored jointly by the Congregational Churches of Andover, Columbia and Gilead. Donate to support our walk team or register to walk at  www.crophungerwalk.org/columbiact  . Contact Phyllis Kurz 860-228-2469) or Bob Owens (860-228-9541) for more info.  
Summer Coffee Hour Hosts Needed 

T he following dates are still open to host a simple coffee hour after the 9:00 a.m. service: 

September 1st
September 8th

Please help make this special time of fellowship continue over the summer. Sign up sheet is under the name tags or email the Church Office with a date you can host. Any questions, contact Annette Langevin at 860-228-1313. 
Announcing - Youth Mission Trip to NYC! 

Young people in 7 th  grade and above are invited to participate in our upcoming mission trip to New York City, April 14 - 18, 2020. We will be participating in the Urban Immersion Program provided by Metro Baptist Church and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, serving the homeless. Youth volunteers are invited to learn, listen and serve alongside one another in the heart of the quintessential urban environment of NYC. Although the focus of the mission work will vary and be dependent on need, youth volunteers may serve meals, provide activities and companionship to those in shelters, distribute food and supplies to food pantries, and plant or harvest a community garden. Certainly, young people will have the opportunity to be a message of God’s love and hope through service. There will also be time each day for prayer and reflection where youth volunteers will be asked to ponder difficult questions and challenged to explore how faith fits into their mission efforts and lives. A brochure providing details is located outside of the Sanctuary. A $100 deposit is due on or before October 20 th  to confirm your participation and finalize our mission team for the spring. Scholarships are available if needed. If you have any questions regarding the trip please reach out to Brian Byrne at  bebyrne89@comcast.net or Heidi Byrne at hnbbyrne@comcast.net
Garden Swap!

Our gardens are growing and some very good folks have been bringing in greens to share. There’s more to come, so please come to coffee hour and select what you need. Remember the variety will increase every week. Bring something in, if you’ve got it to share or take something away if you can use it, or do both. Anything that’s left is delivered to the food bank at Hebron Interfaith Human Services, so there can’t possibly be too much.

Relay for Life

Save the Date! Its time to join the Gilead Congregational Church Relay for Life Team! The Relay for Life event of Greater Windham is being held on October 19, 2019 at the Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) Sports Center in Mansfield. 

Gayle Sylvester and I are Co-Captains of the team this year and we hope you will join us to support the fight against cancer.  

The Relay is a 12-hour event running from 10 a.m - 10 p.m. and we hope Gilead will once again come together to support this important fund-raiser.   We look forward to your participation on the team this year. Whether you walk, donate or help with preparation, your help is greatly needed.  The first step is to officially sign-up and become a member of the team.  

To join our team or make a donation to support it, please go to: 

More details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.  Please feel free to reach out to me or Gayle with any questions.

Thank You! 
Dawn Salan (and Gayle Sylvester)

Sixteenth Annual AHM Charity Golf Open

This year's 16th Annual Charity Golf Open will be held this Friday, August 9th at Blackledge Country Club in Hebron. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a Shotgun Scramble at 9:30 a.m.
The cost of this year’s golf open is $125.00, which will include: your cart and eighteen holes of golf, an AHM golf open shirt, two mulligans, entrance into our Hole in One contest, coffee and donuts and a great luncheon at the end of the day!

The tradition of playing in the AHM Charity Golf Open continues this year with a day of friendship and fun on the links, while raising money to support counseling services for local kids.

Please contact Joel Rosenberg at Joelr@ahmyouth.org or 860-228-9488 if you have questions or would like to play. 

Thank You 

During my time in Santorini, Paul and I talked every day. And each conversation started with Paul telling me of the wonderful dinner that the amazing Gilead chefs provided for him! We are both so touched by the kindness and caring of the very special providers. All of you added a visit with him, and that, on top of the very delicious food, exemplifies the true sense of community that’s so much a part of our church.

With more gratitude than you can imagine,

Ginny and Paul Miller

Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Margaret Gibbs and Lynn Lukach
Ushers for next Sunday:  Carol and Dave Geyer

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

Liturgist: Penny Besmond

Coffee Hour Host for this Sunday:   Leslie Brand
Coffee Hour Host for next Sunday:  Deacons

Greeter for this Sunday:   Joe Sheehan
Greeter for next Sunday:  To be determined

Summer Sunday School Teachers for this morning: PreK/K:  Candice Smith
                                                                                 Grades 1-3:  Amy Daniels
Summer Sunday School Teachers for next Sunday: PreK/K:  Jenny Dilling
                                                                                  Grades 1-3:  Karen Risley

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Ephesians 3: 14-21

Loving God, you have called each one of us by name, and placed within our hearts a desire to love and to serve you.  May your Spirit of Grace surround us, enliven us, and fill us with the joy that only you can give. Receive us as we are, and make of us who you would have us to be.  Then, send us out into your world with joy, that we may proclaim in word and action, your great love for all creation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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)
Summer Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until noon (Parish House)