Weekly Newsletter
Week of September 11th - September 17th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, September 11th: 
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Group
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, September 12th: 
-7:00 p.m. Trustees

Sunday, September 15th:
- 10:00 a.m. Worship Service 
-Sunday School 
-All Church Brunch
-6:30 p.m. Youth Group Kick Off Meeting 

Monday, September 16th: 
-7:30 p.m. Board of Christian Education

Tuesday, September 17th: 
-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 
Interim Minister of Music:
Carol Geyer
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
"Peace I Give You" - Sunday School Kick-Off Celebration 
Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:00 am 
Please join us this Sunday, September 15th as we celebrate the beginning of our new Sunday School year! Enjoy a delicious brunch after the 10:00 a.m. worship service in the Fellowship Hall by our own chef, Glen Hadley, and team. A donation basket will be at the door to help defray the costs of the brunch. 
Children will have the opportunity to meet their new and enthusiastic Sunday School teachers who are looking forward to teaching them more about God's promise of peace and great love for them. Sunday School registration forms will be available for families.
The theme this year is “ Peace I Give You ”. Today our fast-paced society can promote constant activity and distraction. Overwhelming family schedules can come at the expense of personal peace. Youth and families can struggle with worry and stress. Together, we hope to explore and learn more about how to cope with stress and anxiety and to find God’s peace.
We are looking forward to a wonderful start to our Sunday School year! We hope to see you soon! 

Upcoming Worship and Sunday School Schedule 

Please join us for Worship and Sunday School at the following times as we transition to our fall schedule:
Sunday, September 15th -Worship at 10 a.m. with the kick off of our broadly graded Sunday School (ages 3 and up through and including 8th grade). A special brunch will follow worship in our Fellowship Hall. All are invited and a free will donation will be received to help defray the cost. If you can help with the brunch, please contact Glen Hadley (g.hadley@comcast.net).

Sunday, September 22nd -Worship at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. resumes with Sunday School and Choir during our 10 a.m. service.    

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Groups Resumes 
Wednesdays at 9:30 am

Our weekly Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group will resume meeting this morning. The group will be discussing "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman. The group meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. at the home of Judy Brown and Deena Watson (130 Charles Lane). If you have any questions about the group, please contact Sandy Hooker at 860-228-985. All are welcome!  

Adult Choir Resumes 
Wednesdays at 7:00 pm

Rehearsals for our Adult Choir will resume this evening at 7:00 p.m. The Choir will share their talents in worship beginning Sunday, September 15th. If you would like to join the Choir or if you have any questions, please contact our Interim Minister of Music, Carol Geyer at carolgeyer@sbcglobal.net.  

Youth Group Kick-Off Meeting
Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 6:30 pm

All youth in 7th grade and higher, their friends, and parents are invited to join us for our Youth Group Kick-Off Meeting this Sunday, September 15th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Come to hear about the exciting plans for the year ahead! Ice cream sundaes will be made and youth are invited to bring a favorite topping to share. Parents will also have the opportunity to complete permission forms. Please join us! Please speak with Karen Cohen (860-228-5188) or Heidi Byrne (860-228-8397) if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!
Nominating Committee

Our Nominating Committee will be meeting later this month to begin working on filling openings on our Boards and Committees for 2020. This year, our Nominating Committee  will   be  looking for folks to serve on our Board of Trustees and our Board of Christian Education. Our Board of Trustees is responsible for our building and  grounds  as well as for oversight of our finances. Our Board of Christian Education is responsible for all of our faith formation programs. These boards  typically  meet once a month and a term is for three years, which is renewable for a second term. We also welcome folks to join our Welcoming Committee. This Committee works to ensure that our  church  is a welcoming community to all. There is no term limit for  serving on this Committee, and it meets once a year to host our annual new member dinner.  If you re interested in serving on any of these Board or Committees,  please  contact Pastor Denise or any member of our Nominating Committee: Terry Lukow, Paul  Miller   and  Phil Parizeau. Thank you!

"Slice of Talent": Pie & Talent Auction

Are you an artist in hiding? Are you handy at home-improvement projects? Have a passionate hobby you would be willing to share? EVERYONE has a talent and we need you! Once again, we will be auctioning off "people" and their talents on Friday, October 25th. This year, proceeds will be going to support our local Community Mental Health Fund initiated by the Gilead Congregational Church, Board of Missions after the tragic events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012 as well as support the “Getting Ahead” educational program which helps local families struggling with self-sufficiency. We would like to get a head start this year getting our auction items together. Everyone has something God has given them to share! If you have a talent, trade or handmade item that you would be willing to donate and put up to auction for this worthy cause, please sign-up on the sheet provided below the name tags or drop off your item(s) to Sally Fritsche at the Parish House, Monday - Thursday anytime between 8 am and noon. Thank you for your support!

Knitting Circle Resumes 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 9:30 am

Our Knitting Circle will resume meeting on Tuesday, September 17th from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Parish House. The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month to knit shawls for others to celebrate life, to comfort, to heal, and to bless. No knitting experience is required and yarn can be provided. Please contact Doris Links (860-228-9015) if you have any questions.
The Grief Journey
Bereavement Support Group Reconvenes Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The loss of a loved one is not well understood or always supported by our society. Deep emotional wounds often caused by the death of a loved one are not unlike physical injuries. Losing a loved one is a real injury that deserves equally prompt attention. Many individuals have benefited from some guidance through the process of grief. Bereavement Support Group meetings provide a safe place to share stories of our loved ones as well as learn about the process of grief with others.

The Grief Journey: Bereavement Support Group will meet on Wednesday evenings, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., beginning on September 18th at the Church of the Holy Family Parish House, 185 Church Street, Hebron, CT. The group is facilitated by grief educators Michael Glazier and Stephanie Haines. All grieving adults are welcome whether your loss is recent or past, and you may come to one session or as many as you would like. This support group is non-denominational and brought to you by a collaborative effort of the Hebron Faith Communities. There is no registration and all are welcome to attend. Please call Stephanie Haines at (860) 228-3077 if you would like more information.

Bible Study
Tuesdays at 11:15 am

Our weekly Bible Study meets on Tuesday mornings from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Music Room. Rev. Bob Woodward leads the study. The group is currently exploring the Sermon on the Mount. Please bring your own Bible. All are welcome!  

Annual Reports Due 
Sunday, September 29, 2019

A reminder to Board and Committee Chairs that Annual Reports are due to Sally (gcc@gileadchurch.net) by  Sunday, September 29th . If you are unable to meet this deadline, please contact Sally. Thank you!     

Acolyte Training 
Sunday, September, 29, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.

Young people in the 2nd grade and higher are invited to serve as acolytes at our 10 a.m. worship service.  On Sunday, September 29h after the 10:00 a.m. service, our Deacons will be holding an orientation and training for young people who are interested in serving as an acolyte. Please speak with Deacon Amy Huhn if you have any questions.  

Blessing of Animals 
Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Join us on Sunday, September 29th at 1:00 p.m. for a service of Blessing of Animals in our Garden of Remembrance. Bring your pet along for this special service to receive a blessing.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Wednesday, October 2nd from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

On Wednesday, October 2nd from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m., we will be holding a blood drive in our Fellowship Hall. Our goal is to have 43 people sign up to give blood on this day. A sign up sheet is located underneath the name tags outside of the Sanctuary. You can also sign up by calling the Church Office (860-228-3077) or by going to Redcrossblood.org and looking for our drive. We are holding this drive to give back to honor of all of our members and friends who have needed and who regularly need blood transfusions. We hope you will join us in this effort to support and honor them.

Listening Session
Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 11:30 am 

The Deacons have scheduled a “Listening Session” after the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, October 6th. After hearing some concerns regarding the move of the flags from the sanctuary to the entryway, the Deacons have planned a time for people to share their views. We hope, whether you are pleased with this move or upset by it, that you will come to this gathering to share your thoughts and be open to hearing other points of view as well. The Rev. Chuck Ericson, who is our Interim Eastern CT Regional Minister, will be with us to facilitate this time of sharing. At this gathering, the Deacons will also share more about their discernment and discussion, which took place over many months and led to the move. Articles on the pros and cons of having flags in the sanctuary will also be available to read prior to this session. Information will be available under the name tags. We’ll plan to meet in the Music Room. If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with one of our Deacons or with Pastor Denise. 
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 2:30 p.m., with the walk stepping off at 3:00 p.m.. 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.  
Coffee Hour Hosts Needed 

Members of the Fellowship Committee are asking members and friends to sign up for co-hosting coffee hour on Sunday mornings following our 10 a.m. worship service. You can sign up to host a coffee hour on the sign up underneath the name tags. If you have any questions, please contact Annette Langevin at 860-228-1313.    
Minister of Music Search 

We have begun a search for our next Minister of Music. 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.  If you have any questions or input to share, please feel free to speak with a member of the Committee: Carolyn Bennett (Chair), Renee Ellis, Denise Esslinger, Brad and Ciara Franzese, Jon Kimball, Laurie Larsen, Katie McClaine and Ken Manthorne.  

Garden Swap!

Our gardens are producing and you are invited to bring in your bounty to share. Please come to coffee hour and select what you need. 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
 Saturday, October 19, 2019

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)

Relay for Life Fundraiser - Making Christmas Cards
Saturday October 5, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 p.m. 

Join us in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, October 5th from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. to create your own Christmas cards. Lorraine Tierney and Gayle Sylvester will provide all of the supplies. Each card will cost $1 and all proceeds will go to support Relay for Life. All are welcome!
Hebron Harvest Fair Parking Fundraiser Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who came out this past Saturday, September 7th to staff the parking at the Lion's Hebron Harvest Fair. We were responsible for staffing the parking at their large lot all day. This was a great opportunity for us to raise some extra funds. Special thanks to Barry MacLachlan for coordinating this project and for being onsite the entire day!

Missing a Tea Cup? 

We have a beautiful tea cup in our kitchen. We are thinking that someone may have forgotten it while attending the Favorites Tea back in May. If this is your tea cup, please call the Church Office at 860-228-3077 and we will get it to you. 

Our Church family expresses its deepest sympathy to Scott, Heather, Sydney and Jordan Summerer on the recent death of Scott's father, Ken Summerer.
Thank You 

Dear Pastor Denise and Gilead Family, 

Thank you for all the kind thoughts, get well cards and especially the prayers. I had a few bumps in the road after my knee replacement and know your prayers got me through it all! I'm doing well and hope to be back soon.

Thank you all again!

Elaine Aubin
Parish House Office Hours 

With summer coming to an end, we are resuming our fall schedule in the Church Office.  Our Administrative Assistant, Sally Fritsche, is in the office on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Rev. Esslinger is generally in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Our Minister of Mission & Faith Formation, Stephanie Haines, is typically in on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.; and works from home on Monday and Thursday mornings. You are welcome to reach us by calling 860-228-3077 or via e-mail at  gcc@gileadchurch.net. Since their schedules can vary, it's always a good idea to give a call first before coming to see Stephanie or Denise. They are also willing and available to schedule meeting times outside of these office hours.
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday: Laurie and Don Larsen
Ushers for next Sunday: Heidi and Brian Byrne

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday: Katie McClaine
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday: Bill Cox

Liturgist: Ginny Miller            Acolyte: To be determined
Call to Worship: Tucker Haines

Coffee Hour Host for this Sunday: All Church Brunch  
Coffee Hour Host for next Sunday:  Teresa Olio

Greeter for this Sunday:    Pat Gallagher
Greeter for next Sunday:  Diane Dixon

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
John 14: 1, 25-27

Compassionate God, you care for us.  You nourish us with an embrace of holy love that surrounds us, forgives us, and encourages us.  You set us in families where guidance, wisdom and acceptance may abound. You call us into families of faith where our spiritual roots grow deep and strong.  As we live in these relationships, may we feel the deep presence of companionship and belonging.  Help us, Lord God, to realize that we also belong to one great human family and that you have set before us the day when we will live together in peace; in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, 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)