Weekly Newsletter
Week of April 10th - April 16th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, April 10th:
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast 
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, April 11th:
-1:00 p.m. Hebron Clergy
-7:00 p.m. Trustees

Saturday, April 13th:
-9:00 a.m. Spring Work Day

Sunday, April 14th:
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Sunday School 
-All Church Palm Sunday Brunch
-11:30 a.m. Youth Choir
-6:30 p.m. Monthly Youth Group Meeting

Sunday, April 14th - Saturday, April 20th: 
-Mission Trip to Puerto Rico

Tuesday, April 16th: 
-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
Lenten Theme - "Shout Out"  - Palm Sunday 
Luke 19: 28-40

"I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."
Luke 19: 40

Have you ever been so excited you had to shout out?

What in your life today would you give a shout out for?

A Palm Sunday Prayer
 Use these hands to carry the burden.
Use this voice to carry your word.
Use these feet to walk in your footsteps.
Use this heart to transform the world.

from FaithandWorship.com

Spring Work Day
Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 9:00 am

Our Church's Spring Work Day is this Saturday, April 13th (rain date of Saturday, April 20th) from 9 a.m. to noon. Come and help to spruce up the church grounds and do some cleaning inside. Donuts, coffee and juice will be provided. If you have any questions, please contact Barry MacLachlan (860-530-1264). Please join us!      

Palm Sunday 10:00 a.m. Worship Service and Brunch
Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 10:00 am

 We will have one worship service at 10:00 a.m. on Palm Sunday, April 14th followed by an all Church Brunch in the Fellowship Hall. Our Men's Fellowship will be hosting the brunch.  If you can help with the brunch, please contact Patrick Fagan (860-228-1118). A free will offering will be received to help defray the costs.  Join us!  

Holy Week Services 
Maundy Thursday Service on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 6:00 am
Easter Festival Worship on Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 10:00 am
Maundy Thursday, April 18th - Tenebrae worship service with Communion at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

Good Friday, April 19th  - Our Sanctuary will be open for prayer between noon - 3:00 p.m. This is the time that tradition tells us that Jesus hung on the cross.

Easter Sunday, April 21st - Sunrise Service in the field behind the church at 6:00 a.m. A time of fellowship including coffee and donuts will follow in the Fellowship Hall. At 10:00 a.m. we will have our Easter Festival Worship in the Sanctuary. 
Collection for Lutz Museum   

Zeke Violette is on a mission to collect items for the Lutz Children's Museum! Lutz is a non-profit museum in Manchester where his mother works. Their mission is the hands on education of children ages 2- 10. One of the ways the children get to learn "hands on" is by meeting and viewing live animals. All of the animals that live in the museum are rescues. Furthermore, all of the native wildlife they have are unable to be returned to the wild due to medical issues. Domestic species have come from previous owners who could no longer care for their pets. The intent is for all of these animals to be able to teach kids more about their species and the planet. As a non-profit museum, the Lutz relies on donations to be able to continue educating young people and their families. A fun fact is that the museum has the official Connecticut State Groundhog "Chuckles the tenth". At any given time they have approximately 50 live animals in their care. All animals they take in stay with the museum for life. There are all manner of items the animals need new or used. Some key items needed are: 

Timothy Hay
rabbit/guinea pig/chinchilla pellets
small animal toys/foraging items
ferret toys
large bird toys/foraging items
cat toys
clumping litter
Dawn dish soap
heat lamps/bulbs
PetSmart, Petco, Lowes, Home Depot gift cards
grocery store/Walmart gift cards (for fresh food items)
paper towels
laundry detergent

To learn more, please visit Zeke’s table outside the Sanctuary after worship. He will have a collection box through this Sunday, April 14th. Thank you for your support!     
Easter Dinners   

Thanks to everyone who has helped us to collect the needed items to help bless a family with an Easter Dinner. All items are due back by this Sunday, April 14th.  Our Confirmation Class will be assembling the 50 Easter meals for Hebron Interfaith Human Services and those in need after worship this Sunday. Thanks to everyone for your support!

If you have any questions please contact a member of our Board of Missions Hunger and Heating Subcommittee: Phyllis Kurz (860) 228-2469, Bob Owens (860) 228-9541, or Alice Marien (860) 228-4416. 
Easter Egg Hunt at The Farm at Woodsong Hollow 
Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Here is an invitation to the littlest ones of our Church family. Joy and Joe Zuzel are hosting a large Easter Egg hunt at their farm (126 Grayville Road, Amston, CT) on Saturday, April 20th at 2:00 p.m. It's free, but Joy and Joe ask you to please R.S.V.P through the facebook site for The Farm at Woodsong Hollow or directly to Joy Zuzel at joyzuzel@gmail.com Parking is available across the street at Grayville Park. Join us to celebrate Easter!

Foodshare's 36th Annual Walk Against Hunger  
Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 10:00 am

Join us for Foodshare's Walk Against Hunger which will be taking place on Saturday, April 27th. We'll meet at the church parking lot at 8:45 a.m. to car pool together. The walk starts at 10 a.m. from Dunkin' Donuts Park (home of the Yard Goats) in Hartford. The walk is an easy 1.5 mile walk, which raises money for both Foodshare (our regional food bank) and for Hebron Interfaith Human Services (our local food bank). HIHS obtains 80% of the food it distributes from Foodshare for a fraction of the retail cost.

If you'd like to join as a walker or support one of our walkers, go to www.foodsharewalk.org and search for our team, which is "HIHS Heroes." Either join the team or select a walker to donate to. Also be sure to click on Hebron Interfaith Human Services as the benefiting agency. HIHS will receive 50% of the donation made in their name. Last year they received $2,500!

If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor Denise.

Favorites Tea
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

The Fellowship Committee will be hosting their annual ladies "Favorites Tea" in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, May 4th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please bring your favorite teacup and a sweet or savory treat to share. Also, please feel free to invite your "favorite female" as your guest. There will also be a home décor, kitchen gadget and accessory swap (such as jewelry, hats, scarves, belts, purses, etc.). Please sign up on the sheet outside of the Sanctuary. If you have any questions, please contact Penny Besmond at 860-228-4282.

Sunday School Mission Project

"The Oak Inside the Acorn is the story of the miracle inside each of us. For within every child is the special person God created, just waiting to grow."

Dear Families,

The theme for our Sunday School program this year is, "Precious In God's Sight". During upcoming Sunday School classes, we will be reading the book The Oak Inside the Acorn and exploring how young people are precious children of God, dearly loved and wonderfully made with unique gifts and talents. What's more, children will explore and develop their own personal mission project using those special gifts and talents to be an expression of God's love and hope to their community and beyond.

We need your help! Please support your child's mission project by brainstorming along with them how they can use their talents to bless others and helping them with their project. It should be something that "speaks" to them and that they are passionate about. Examples might include:

  • Making and selling dog biscuits to support an animal shelter
  • Playing their instrument for the senior center
  • Making cards & sending them to brighten someone's day
  • Tutoring another child

We also hope you will share a photo of your child's mission efforts which we will share in a special video presentation during our year end celebration, Children's Sunday, on June 9, 2019. Photos and questions regarding the mission projects can be sent to Stephanie Haines at stephanie.haines@hotmail.com .

All Sunday School Mission Projects should be completed by - APRIL 28th. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group

The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group is discussing "To Bless The Space Between Us" by John O'Donahue. It is "a salute to blessings as a way of life and a source of meaning, beauty, wonder, grace, healing and transformation".  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 have any questions about this group, please contact Sandy Hooker (860-228-9856). All are welcome!

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.


Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to  Katie, Kyle and Caitlin McClaine on the recent death of Katie's father. 

Thank Yous

Dear Denise,

I want to thank you for the visit in the hospital and the congregation for prayers, and cards and well wishes. The prayer shawl is beautiful and very comforting. I am blessed to be a part of Gilead Congregational family.



Dear Gilead Church,
Thank you for supporting me in my mission. We have collected 112 items and $324 for Horizon Wings. The donations were greatly appreciated.  Horizon Wings had just run out of some of the items that we dropped off. The items and money will go toward the care of the birds that they have.

Thank you again for your support.
Ian Fagan
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Dale Bland and Alice Marien
Ushers for next Sunday:  Ginny Miller and Marie Santa

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday:  Gary Sarra
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday:  Bill Cox

Liturgist:  Jan Andrews                    Acolyte:  Brandon Lemire
Call to Worship:  Ella Cabrera

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday:  All Church Palm Sunday Brunch
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday  No Coffee Hour on Easter Sunday

Greeter for this Sunday:  Joe Sheehan
Greeter for next Sunday:  To be determined
Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Luke 19: 28-40
O God, we pray that you would enter into our lives this day, as you did into Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday long ago.  Be with us as we hear and remember once again the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry along with his suffering and death. Speak to us throughout this week, reminding us of your constant love, your surprising grace, and your caring power. In Jesus' name. 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)