Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of March 13th - March 19th         
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, March 13th:
-8:30 a.m. Hunger Action Team Breakfast
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, March 14th:
-7:00 p.m. Trustees

Saturday, March 16th:
-10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Maplefest Craft Fair in the Fellowship Hall
Saturday, March 16th - Sunday, March 17th:
-10:00 a.m. -  4:00 p.m. Maplefest at Wenzel's Sugar House 
Sunday, March 17th: 
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Music Committee

Monday, March 18th:
-7:30 p.m. Board of Christian Education
Tuesday, March 19th:    
-9:30 a.m. Knitting Circle
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study in the Parish House
-7:30 p.m. AA Meeting  

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 

Ministry Quicklinks:
More About Us


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Hebron's Maplefest
Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th
The Hebron Maplefest is coming up this Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.  Our Women's Fellowship and Youth Group will once again be selling maple pudding cake topped with vanilla ice cream at the Wenzel Sugar House (522 East Street).  We hope you will stop by!
We will also be having the Craft Fair at the Church on Saturday, March 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Please come and check out all of the talented artists and interesting crafts.  If you are a crafter and interested in displaying your work, please contact Becky Cook at 860-228-2029. Also, we will be having a raffle and volunteers are needed to help. If you are interested in assisting, please e-mail Beck Cook at beckycook@comcast.net
Lenten Theme Week 2-"Lament"    
Photo by Kim Carino   

Luke 13: 31-35

" How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"
Luke 13: 34b

Are there places of sadness in your life?

Where do you see God in these times?

A Prayer for All Who Lament
May God the provider
of green pastures 
and quiet waters
be the peace in our hearts today.
May Jesus our guide
on mountain top
and valley deep
be the hope in our hearts today.
May the Spirit of truth
and knowledge
comforter and friend
be the strength in our hearts today.

From FaithandWorship.com 

Wearing of the Green on Sunday, March 17th 
This Sunday, March 17th is St. Patrick's Day. All who are comfortable doing so are encouraged to wear a bit of green.
Youth Group to Serve at Covenant Soup Kitchen
Saturday, March 23rd
Our Youth Group will be preparing and serving the noon meal this Saturday, March 23rd at the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. The group is asking the congregation for mashed potatoes and a dairy free potato dish along with homemade desserts. Please sign up on the sheet under the name tags. Donations can be dropped off at the church that morning between 9:15 and 9:30 a.m.   If you have any  questions , please speak with Karen Cohen.    Thank you!
Walk Through Holy  Week 
Sunday, March 31st
On Sunday, March 31st, children will be treated during their regular Sunday School classes, to a live reenactment of Jesus' walk through Holy Week. Children are invited to actively participate in and experience the week leading to Jesus' resurrection. They will wave palms and shout "Hosanna" in the Palm Sunday parade, eat at the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples, and discover Mary Magdalene at the tomb and the risen Christ!  You won't want to miss this special experience!  We hope to see you there.  Snow date is April 7th. This event is brought to you by the Board of Christian Education.  If you should have any questions please contact Karen Risley at  krisley@comcast.net .  

Decaf Coffee Collection during the Month of March  
We are collecting cans of decaf coffee (Folgers Decaf has been suggested) for use throughout the year for our coffee hours. Please bring a can to worship with you during the month of March and place it in the designated basket outside the Sanctuary. Coffee will be collected through Sunday, March 31st.  Thank you!
One Great Hour of Sharing
Sunday, March 31st
"More than we can imagine." -Ephesians 3:20
On Sun day, March 31st , we will be receiving our special One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, United Church of Christ members reach out in the name of Christ to:
Build sustainable communities.   OGHS supports self-help programs in more than 80 nations to build sustainable communities that enable people and communities to stand against and rise above hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other forces of injustice that deny and destroy dignity.
Respond to disaster.   OGHS provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, storms, floods, tidal waves, fires, explosions, technological disasters, civil strife, war, or other natural or human-caused events. On average, OGHS responds to a disaster once every 2.5 days.
Minister to refugees . OGHS responds with advocacy and help, hope and hospitality for people who have been uprooted from their home of origin. More than 30 million of the world's people are uprooted at any given time.

One Great Hour of Sharing is part of a network of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. Administrative costs are typically less than eight percent annually.  The partnership is shared with nearly 6,000 United Church of Christ congregations across the United States and Puerto Rico, where this remarkable miracle connecting UCC members to the world truly begins. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering is administered through Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ to respond to the humanitarian needs of the world. If you should have any questions, please contact Stephanie Haines at (860) 228-3077, watch https://youtu.be/R3P3I6EGq3c or visit www.ucc.org/oghs_about

Envelopes for this special offering will be in the front and back of the Sanctuary.

A Message from the Board of Trustees regarding our Parish House 
At the February 21st Board of Trustees meeting, the Trustees decided to prepare recommendations on our Parish House for presentation at our Annual Church Meeting on November 3rd.  These will address what to do about its numerous and serious issues.  The Trustees will be compiling data in an effort to determine all the requirements to meet desired future and best use.  The analysis will take into consideration a long term vision to create safe ADA compliant facilities and the potential to improve land use.  The Trustees will be engaging contractors for their expertise on ideas and cost.  These initial inquiries will be for serious renovation and may expand into other options.  Presently the Parish House provides office space, a meeting room, and some classrooms.  The efforts will be led by our Long Term Capital Improvements Subcommittee which includes:  Jim Burgess, Ron Dejewski, Brad Franzese, Terry Lukow, Brad Franzese and Barry MacLachlan.   We will also be seeking input and wisdom from others.  We invite and encourage you to speak with anyone on this Subcommittee, or with any of our Trustees, if you have thoughts, ideas or concerns to share.  Thank you!
Join the Gilead Helping Hands Team!
Sunday, March 31st
Gilead Helping Hands (GHH) is a subcommittee of the Gilead Congregational Church Board of Missions and consists of volunteers who want to serve others and their community in a "hands-on" way. Please be with us on Sunday, March 31st to learn more. On this day, there will be a special mission moment during worship, a slide show presentation of past projects during coffee hour, and current GHH members will be available to answer any questions you may have.
Did you know that Gilead Helping Hands has completed 65 projects in the past 6 years and helped local families by:
  • painting a house
  • remodeling a bathroom/bedroom to make it accessible
  • building a stair rail for safety
  • fixing a door
  • helping move a couple into an apartment
  • painting
  • repairing roofs
  • snow removal
  • repairing walls
  • securing a front sidewalk and stairs for safety
  • rebuilding a deck
  • and MUCH MORE!
We welcome volunteers with all skills...whether building, carpentry, painting, plumbing, landscaping, electrical - or even the ability to make lunch for the crew or clean up. As projects arise they are emailed out to GHH volunteers and if you are able or would like to do that particular project, you can reply. If you are interested in being a part of the Gilead Helping Hands team, please visit our table outside of the Sanctuary on Sunday, March 31st!
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
Young people are invited to bring an offering to class every Sunday. Funds that are collected this year will support these mission projects and small scholarships are available if your child's project needs funding.

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!  
Easter Dinners 
This Lenten season help to bless a family with an Easter Dinner.  The Board of Missions, Hunger and Heating Subcommittee, will be collecting items to assemble 50 Easter meals for Hebron Interfaith Human Services and those in need.  Hams, eggs, daffodils and a special prayer card created by our Sunday School children will be provided, but we are in need of the following:

Real Butter (1 package to be stored in the church refrigerator)
Condiments (mustard or mayonnaise)
Potatoes (a bag full - closer to the March 25th date)
Fresh Carrots or Green Beans (closer to the March 25th date)
Easter Candy (Peeps, jelly beans or chocolate bunnies)
Please sign up for an "Easter Dinner" item outside of the Sanctuary. Members of our Confirmation class will be collecting and assembling the dinners.  All items are due by Sunday, April 14th.  Thank you for your support!

If you have any questions please contact Phyllis Kurz (860) 228-2469, Bob Owens (860) 228-9541, or Alice Marien (860) 228-4416.    
Silver Lake Summer Camp
Silver Lake has announced its offerings for the summer 2019 conference season. B rochures 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.
Lost and Found Table 
Are you missing a coat or hat or maybe a plate? Please stop by the table set up in the hallway of Fellowship Hall. We encourage everyone to take a look and ensure that you have not forgotten something while worshipping with us. We will have the table up through and including Sunday, March 31st.  After that we plan to donate all remaining items. 
Easter Memorial/Flower Order Form  --- Deadline is Sunday, March 31st
 _____ In lieu of plants, I would like to make a donation to the Church            
          Memorial Fund (suggested donation is $10).           
______ I would like to order a 5" pot Pansies at $5.25                     
______ I would like to order a 6" pot Spring Mix at $9.25
______ I would like to order a 6" pot Tulips at $9.25

______ I would like to order a 6" pot Easter Lily at $10.75            
______ I would like to order a 6" pot Oriental Lily at $10.75  

TOTAL NUMBER OF PLANTS - ________        TOTAL $ AMOUNT -________    
Please "X" one of the following:            
  Plant(s) will be picked up:  ______            
  Plant(s) are being donated:  ______            
(Please note: Dedications made in memory or honor of loved ones will be            
listed the same whether flowers are ordered or a donation is made to the            
Memorial Fund.)            
Given in Honor Of: ________________________________________________            
Given in Memory Of: ______________________________________________  
Purchased by: __________________________________            
Please give order form w/payment of cash/check to Katie McClaine             
or send order/payment to: Katie McClaine, 860 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT 06248  

***(Checks payable to:  Gilead Congregational Church)            
***Please provide separate payments if you are ordering both flowers            
   and making a donation to the Memorial Fund.  Thank you!          
From our Stewardship Committee
Electronic Giving Options
Did you know that it's possible to give electronically at the Gilead Church?

Over the next few months, our Stewardship Committee will be providing more information about ways you can do this. Electronic gifts are fast and secure.  They also allow you to give anytime, anywhere, schedule and manage recurring donations or make one-time donations to special appeals or funds.

One way you can give electronically to our church is through a mobile app!  To get started, download GivePlus Church for free from the App Store or Google Play. Simply search for "GivePlus Church" to quickly find and download the app today. Then, you can easily make donations directly from your smartphone using your debit/credit card or checking/savings account. You can also choose to donate as a guest or set up an account that allows you to securely and conveniently schedule recurring donations and manage and review your giving history.  There is a small fee associated with the use of electronic giving which the giver can choose to offset or the church will pay.  

We hope you enjoy this new way to contribute to our mission and ministries. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Bierbaum at  meb39@cornell.edu  or 860-977-6555 or Lisa Cox at coxlm@comcast.net or 860-916-6814. 
CD/DVD Swap 
Sunday, April 7th
On Sunday, April 7th, our Fellowship Committee will be holding a CD/DVD and board game swap. If you have some of these items that you no longer want or use, please bring them to the church for the swap. (NO VHS TAPES PLEASE) Bins will be provided. Also, if anyone has a CD/DVD rack they would like to donate it would be helpful in displaying these items. The swap will be held after the 10:00 a.m. worship service at which time you can "peruse and choose". If you have questions, please contact Pat Martin at 860-228-8441 or Annette Langevin at 860-228-1313.
Youth Group Monthly Meeting 
Pictured below are members of the Youth Group in our Fellowship Hall for their monthly meeting last Sunday. If you would like to learn more about our Youth Group, please speak with Heidi Byrne or Karen Cohen. 

Thank You 
Dear Pastor Denise and Members & Friends of the Gilead Church,
Your prayers for my healing, visits, the many meals and especially the children's Valentine cards are felt in my heart. The visits by Pastor Denise and Sharon Ledbetter with communion are very much appreciated. Gifts of flowers, homemade breads, cookies, teas ---- a big thank you!
Lorraine Kreeger
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Colleen Hunter and John Jenkins
Ushers for next week: Lorraine and Mark Tierney
Deacon of the Day for this morning: Gary Sarra
Deacon of the Day for next week: Teresa Olio
Liturgist: Margot Sheehan          Acolyte: Landen Lemire
Call to Worship: Ella Cabrera
Coffee Hour Hosts for this morning: Dale Bland and Wendy McCarthy  
Coffee Hour Hosts for next week: Heidi Byrne and Becky Cook  
Greeter for this morning: Joe Sheehan
Greeter for next week: Marie Santa   
Scripture Readings and Prayer for the Week
Luke 13: 31-35 and Philippians 3: 17-4:1
Eternal God, we come this day with all of the burdens and blessings of our lives. May we be open to your Word in prayer and scripture this day. Unite us into one body in Christ's name, that we may be a light of hope in a world of fear.  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)