Weekly Newsletter
Week of October 21st - October 27th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
ChurchPhoto
Meetings and Services this week:


Wednesday, October 21st:
-9:30 a.m. Bible Study on Zoom
-11:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Group


Sunday, October 25th:
-10:00 a.m. Sunday Worship Service in the Garden of Remembrance and live-streamed on our Gilead Church Facebook Page
-11:30 a.m. Board of Missions on Zoom


Monday, October 26th:
-7:00 p.m. Garden of Remembrance Committee in Fellowship Hall
God is Still Speaking
 About Us:

Pastor:
Reverend Dr. Denise Esslinger  
 
Minister of Music:
Danielle Hoehn

Minister of Communication and Technology:
Lisa Cox
 
Administrative Assistant:
Sally Fritsche


Worship: 10:00 a.m. in Garden of Remembrance and on Gilead Church Facebook Page


Gathered: 1748
Meeting House: 1838
Fellowship Hall: 2008
 
We are an Open & Affirming Church
 
Sunday Worship Live Streamed and in Garden of Remembrance
Sunday, October 25th

This Sunday, October 25th, we will be gathering for worship outdoors in our Garden of Remembrance at 10:00 a.m., weather permitting. Beginning next Sunday, November 1st we will move inside for worship. Our Deacons have prepared information and protocols for how we will be worshipping inside. They are contained in a separate block below. We invite you to review these protocols and contact Pastor Denise or any one of our Deacons with questions or suggestions.

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 any other way for our service. 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 contact 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.

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. You can connect with our service on our Gilead Church Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/GileadChurchUCC. Following the service, it will be posted to the site, so you can view it at any time.

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!

Youth Group Pumpkin Bowling
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Plans are in the works for the ever popular and fun pumpkin bowling! Please keep an eye out on your emails for more details, but the current plan is to gather from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the church parking lot. We will provide the pumpkins and we ask you to bring empty 1 or 2 liter plastic bottles for the pins. Of course, face masks and social distancing will be required. Contact Mrs. Byrne or Mrs. Cohen for more info. We hope to see you there!

Annual Meeting
Sunday, November 1, 2020

All members of the Gilead Congregational Church are called to the Annual Meeting to be held on Sunday, November 1st on Zoom at 11:30 a.m. for the purposes of:

1.  Accepting the minutes of the previous Annual Meeting;
2.  Accepting the Annual Reports of Board and Committees;
3.  Electing Officers and Board and Committee Members;
4.  Approving the 2021 budget;
5.  Conducting any other business of the Church.

Information to connect to this meeting is below. If you need assistance connecting on Zoom, Lisa Cox is available to help you prior to the meeting. Please contact her at coxlm@comcast.net or at 860-916-6814.
 
Note: This year, in an effort to be a good steward of resources, there will be a limited number of paper copies of our Annual Report available on Sunday morning. The 2020 Annual Report is posted on our Church's web site (www.gileadchurchucc.org) and we encourage you to access and read the report there.

Annual Meeting
Nov 1, 2020 11:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

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Passcode: 529497
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Christmas Angel Gift Tags
Due Sunday, November 22nd

This past Sunday, October 18th, we kicked off our 26th annual Christmas Angel Tag Mission. The mission provides Christmas gifts for children and youth in the care of our adopted DCF (Department of Children and Families) Social Worker Jeff Brown. Thank you to everyone who took an Angel Tag.
All 43 Angel Tags have been taken.

All angel tag gifts should be returned by November 22nd in a gift bag with tissue paper and with the Christmas angel tag attached (gift wrapping is prohibited by DCF security).

You may return the gift on any Sunday before November 22nd and leave it at the entrance to the Garden of Remembrance this Sunday or in front of the Sanctuary beginning next Sunday, November 1st when we move to indoor worship. Or you may leave gifts on the porch of the Parish House at your convenience at any time.

Thank you for your continued support of the Christmas Angel Tag mission for the special children and youth in the DCF system!

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Forums on Race

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, is hosting a series of online discussions called CCM CARES. The CARES stands for Communities Advancing Racial Equity Series. Each 90-minute session will feature a panel of community leaders talking about policing issues, public education, public health, and affordable housing. To register for the forum in our area, which will take place virtually on October 26th, go to www.ccmcares.com.

Sunday School Program

This past Sunday, October 18th, our Board of Christian Education offered a Sunday school opportunity for children and youth during our 10:00 a.m. worship service. The program included decorating pumpkins and the sharing of a pumpkin parable.
Our Board of Christian Education will be offering two more Sunday School programs this year. One will be on Sunday, November 15th and another on Sunday, December 6th. The November 15th gathering will focus on the themes of gratitude and Thanksgiving and the December 6th gathering will be Advent and Christmas orientated. More details as well as a sign up to come!
Fall Work Day
Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

Our Trustees will be having a Fall Work Day on Saturday, November 14th from 9:00 a.m. - Noon. Bring a rake and help spruce up the Church grounds. Social distancing will be practiced. Please join us!

AHM's National Take Back Day
Saturday, October 24, 2020

AHM Youth and Family Services in collaboration with Connecticut State Police will host its semi-annual National Take Back event this Saturday, October 24th at RHAM High School between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information, call AHM at 860-228-9488.
Successful Soup Swap

This past Sunday, October 18th, the Fellowship Committee held their annual Soup Swap in a new way! Members were invited to pick up pre-packaged soup after church or to drive through for a container. Our Deacons also delivered gift bags with soup, bread, a cupcake and a beautiful handmade card to some of our at-home members. Thanks to our Fellowship Committee and to everyone who made soup which fed many bodies and warmed many souls!

Relay for Life Results

Thanks to everyone who supported this year's Relay for Life, which supports the work of the American Cancer Society. Our team has raised over $1,300! It still isn't too late to donate. If you'd like to make a donation:


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CROP Walk Results

Thanks to everyone who supported this year's CROP Walk! In these unusual times, we were able to raise $2,130 which will go to support Church World Service as well as Hebron Interfaith Human Services. It isn't too late to make a donation. You can donate at www.crophungerwalk.org/columbiact . Donations can also be mailed to the church or dropped off at the Parish House (please make checks out to CWS/CROP). Contact Phyllis Kurz (860-228-2469) or Bob Owens (860-228-9541) for more info.  Thank you!
Bible Study on Zoom

Our weekly Bible study, led be Rev. Bob Woodward, meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom.  The group is currently exploring and discussing the book of Exodus. The book of Exodus, the second book in the Bible, is about the people of God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt, their wandering in the wilderness on their way to the promised land, and God’s presence with them. It is a relevant and appropriate book for the times we are living in, which can sometimes feel like wilderness times. All are invited and welcome to join this discussion and study. Come when you can! To join, click on the this link at 10 a.m. on Wednesday mornings: 


If you have any questions or need assistance connecting with Zoom, please contact our Church Office (gcc@gileadchurch.net or 860-228-3077). 

Protocols for Indoor Worship
Sunday, November 1, 2020

Beginning on Sunday, November 1st, we will be moving to worship in our Sanctuary. All services will continue to be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those who prefer to stay home. Below are the guidelines and protocols that our Deacons have put in place in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. If you have any questions, 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. 

1)   Participation and pre-registering. Participation will be limited to 50 people in the sanctuary. Those attending will be asked to sign up prior to the service and will be checked in by a Deacon. If you are unable to sign up in advance, we ask that you share your name and contact number with the Deacon prior to being seated. This is to keep an accurate record of people in attendance, if needed, for contact tracing. When it is needed, we’ll make plans to conduct a second service.

2) Please enter the church via the parking lot entrance. 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 household has tested positive for COVID-19

4) 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. Deacons have marked pews with areas available for seating. The remaining seating should remain unused to comply with the 6-10 foot spacing requirement.

5) After the service, ushers will dismiss people by pew to avoid any congestion at the door or in the hallways. At the end of service parishioners can use either the front or back door. There will be no coffee hour.

6) No singing, joining aloud in unison prayers, Communion or offering plates are to be shared or passed during the service. On Communion Sundays (first Sundays of the month), you will be 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 Sanctuary for offerings.  
 
7) Our Board of Christian Education will offer a Sunday school program on one Sunday a month for children and youth. Safety protocols will be followed and more information including dates and program offerings will be in the weekly e-newsletter and included during announcements at the beginning of worship. On other Sundays, children and youth are invited to remain with their families during the service. There will be no nursery.
 
8) 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. Please take it home after the service.
 
9) We request that you refrain from use of the bathrooms. The worship service will typically last 45-50 minutes. 
 
Hebron Interfaith Human Services Food Drive

Hebron Interfaith Human Services has asked for our help with collecting specific canned goods they are in need of. Needed are:

  • canned vegetables (any variety)
  • macaroni & cheese
  • canned soup (any variety

We will be collecting these items through the end of October. A bin is available outside of the double door Church entrance for you to drop off your donations at any time. Thank you!

Gilead Church Lending Library
"Planting Seeds of Hope"

Our Little Lending Library (LLL) has an excellent selection of books to borrow. Please come and borrow as many as you'd like and keep them for as long as you'd like. This week we are highlighting:

"I Am Enough"
Written by Grace Byer
Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

"I Am Enough" is an uplifting story highlighting empowerment and respect of young girls. Although the cover features a beautiful black child the story includes girls of many races. It is written in rhyming verse and the message is simple and clear. The story is summed up in it's final verse.
"And in the end, we are right here to live,
a life of love not fear.....
To help each other when it's tough
to say together:
I Am Enough."
There still remains a tub near the Lending Library for books when they are “returned." When books are “returned," they will be sanitized and put back into the Lending Library. There will also be sanitizing wipes available by the tubs for you to use.

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. Checks can made payable to Gilead Church Women’s Fellowship.

Foodshare's Drive-Thru Food Distribution - Volunteers Needed! 

Foodshare has an immediate need for Volunteers! Each Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in October they could use up to 30 volunteers at Foodshare’s Drive-Thru Food Distribution at Rentschler Field, East Hartford.

At Rentschler, the volunteer’s day begins at 8:00 am and goes through 12:30 pm. Social distancing will be enforced. Every volunteer will be expected to wear a mask, and wear sturdy, comfortable closed-toe shoes. Gloves will be provided.  Don't forget your sun screen lotion! As an additional screening tool, volunteers' temperatures will be taken on site.  Children ages 12-15 must volunteer with an adult/guardian; ages 16 and over can come on their own. Must be able to lift 20 pounds consistently during the 4.5 hour shift. Water and break times are provided.

Register to Volunteer at Rentschler Field:
Individuals – can sign up online at Foodshare’s VolunteerHub – listed as Produce Sorting – (Pop-Up Produce) - E. Hartford
VolunteerHub will list the number of volunteer slots that remain open on a specific day, if filled, please check another date.
Corporate Groups – are welcome, please call Edna Bailey at 860-856-4326
Church Office Hours and Protocols 

Sally, our Church’s Administrative Assistant, is in the Church Office on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon. She will continue to work from home on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon. If you need assistance from Sally, the best way to reach her is to contact her via email or phone (gcc@gileadchurch.net or 860-228-3077). If you need to come to the Church Office, we ask that you make every effort to contact Sally ahead of time to let her know you are coming. Face masks are required to enter the building and when you arrive, please come to the Parish House side door and knock. Sally will let you in. If you are having any symptoms (e.g. fever, sore throat, coughing, etc.) or not feeling well, we ask that you do not come. We will be happy to make other arrangements to conduct any Church business that you need. Denise will generally be in the Church Office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings although her schedule varies with meetings and visits. Please feel free to call or email her at the Church Office if you’d like to set up a meeting.  

Baptism Congratulations

Congratulations to Hope Rose Engster, daughter of Jessica and Matt Engster, who was baptized this past Sunday, October 18th during outdoor worship. Pictured below are Fred Schwartz, Hope's godfather, Matt and Jess Engster with Hope and son, Emmett. Welcome Hope to our Church family!
Thank You

Dear Denise and our GCC Family,

Thank you so much for the beautiful and meaningful Baptism ceremony for Cassidy. We were blessed with a beautiful day after many months of delay, but were blessed even more by your heartfelt words and spirit, Denise, and by the music of Carol and Jerry. Being with the fellowship of our Church and broader Christian community while we welcomed Cassidy as an "official" member of the Church meant the world to us. May God bless you each and every day as we continue to live out and carry Jesus' message!

Love,

Mark, Kacie and Cassidy Hand

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Matthew 22: 34-46

God of love, you loved us first and continue to love us.  We long to love you in return.  We long to love ourselves and our neighbors.  Come to us this day and bless us with grace to cooperate with one another in love and service that we may be signs of your uniting love to our fractured world.  Amen.
Contact Info
Sally Fritsche
Administrative Assistant
672 Gilead St
Hebron, Ct  06248
860-228-3077
  
Office Hours: Our Administrative Assistant, Sally Fritsche, will be in the Parish House Office on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8:00 a.m. - Noon. She will be working from home on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. - noon.. She is available for assistance via email (gcc@gileadchurch.net).