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

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, July 10th: 
-6:00 p.m. Summer Potluck & Prayer

Sunday, July 14th:
-9:00 a.m. Worship Service
-Summer Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour 

Tuesday, July 16th: 
-12:30 p.m. Summer Picnic at Douglas Library
-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 this evening and on Wednesday evenings July 24th, August 7th, and 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!
Summer Picnics at the Hebron Douglas Library 

Please join us for complimentary "Summer Picnics" at the Douglas Library in Hebron, 22 Main Street. Enjoy a delicious lunch at 12:30 p.m. in the library community room along with a surprise visit from a guest "Mystery Reader" for children of all ages. The dates are as follows:  July 16th , picnic provided by Wicked Slice, July 23rd , picnic provided by Gina Marie's Restaurant, July 30th , picnic provided by Something Simple Café, and August 6th , picnic provided by FennAgain's Restaurant. All are welcome to enjoy!   

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!  
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: 

July 28th (Pot Luck Host)
August 4th
August 18th

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
Staff and Ministry Evaluation Results

The Pastoral Relations Committee would like to thank everyone who completed the Staff and Ministry Evaluation back in May. We received a total of 55 responses between paper surveys and those who completed it online. The results overwhelmingly show that we have a strong and dedicated staff who are clearly gifted and appreciated by our congregation. It also shows that our ministry as a community of faith is active, alive and relevant. The comments made also reveal the diversity in our congregation. For example, some people feel we should do more in missions beyond our local community while another comment suggested local mission should be our only focus. Another example is one comment asked for more classical music in worship while another expressed the desire for more contemporary music. The evaluations have been reviewed by the Pastoral Relations Committee and with our staff. Staff members have also reached out to folks to hear and learn more about some of the comments that were made. If you have any questions about the evaluation results or would like more information, please feel free to contact Phyllis Kurz, Chairperson of our Pastoral Relations Committee ( plkurz@comcast.net  or 860-228-2469). The Pastoral Relations Committee conducts an evaluation every two years, so our next evaluation will be done in 2021. Thank you!

Parking Lot Improvements 

Our Trustees are moving 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. 

"PEACE" T-Shirts! 

The theme for the Sunday School 2019-2020 Program will be “ Peace I Give To You ”. We invite you to join us in the spirit of “Peace” and think of ways you might seek to have more peace in your own life as well as promote peace in our world.

We are also offering the congregation an opportunity to purchase a fabulous “ PEACE
t-shirt. There is a sign up table outside the Sanctuary. Deadline for t-shirt orders is August 1st. The cost for the Hanes tag-less, heavy cotton t-shirt is $15. Children 8 th grade and below as well as Sunday School teachers will receive complimentary shirts. Please indicate the size you or your child needs on the sign-up sheet! Proceeds from the t-shirt sales will help to support the children’s peace promoting mission efforts. Checks can be made payable to GCC with “ Peace T-Shirt ” indicated in the memo line and will be collected when you pick-up your shirt during our Sunday School Kick-Off on Sunday, September 15 th .

Please contact  gcc@gileadchurch.net or (860) 228-3077 if you should have any questions.

A Girl’s Retreat
Saturday, August 24, 2019
3 – 7 pm
Poolside @ the Fournier’s
35 Warner Pond Lane, Hebron
Girls, 6th grade and up, are invited to share an afternoon and evening connecting with friends, exploring their faith and considering how dearly loved and precious they are in God’s sight. Enjoy creating art, yoga, fun activities, dinner and swimming.

Facilitated by the Board of Christian Education
Please sign-up outside of the Sanctuary by July 28th.   
Summer Sunday Morning Greeters 

We are in need of Greeters to greet everyone as they come to worship on Sunday mornings for our summer 9:00 a.m. service. Simply arrive at 8:45 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!

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. If you would like to support our team, please contact Jeff or Carol. If you would like to participate in this event, you can find more info at www.steeplechasebiketour.org.  
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)

Thank You's

D ear Members of GCC, 
Thank you so much for the beautiful prayer shawl. The color is beautiful and the weaving exquisite.
In my time of illness and loss, it is nice to know that prayers are being said for me.


Paula Bogardo
(Mark Bierbaum's sister)

Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Penny Besmond and Judy Brandi
Ushers for next Sunday:  Ginny and Amy Huhn

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday:  Bill Cox
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday:  Amy Huhn

Liturgist:  Jan Andrews

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday:   Phyllis and Les Kurz
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday:  Sharon McKenna and Judy Brandi

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

Summer Sunday School Teachers for this morning: PreK/K:  Leisha Flynn
                                                                                 Grades 1-3:  Todd Helweg
Summer Sunday School Teachers for next Sunday: PreK/K:  Megan Stankovich
                                                                                 Grades 1-3:  Karen Risley

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Luke 10: 25-37
God of love and compassion, you call us to be people of compassion too: to experience in our living the lives of others, to laugh with their joys and cry with their sorrows.  Speak to us again your words of love and remind us again of what it means to be a neighbor.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our most beloved neighbor. 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)