Weekly Newsletter
Week of November 20th - November 26th
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC

Meetings and Services this week:

Wednesday, November 20th: 
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Group
-6:00 p.m. Confirmation Class
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Sunday, November 24th:
- 8:30 a.m. Worship Service 
- 10:00 a.m. Worship Service Joining
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour
-7:00 p.m. Hebron Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Peter's (30 Church St.)

Tuesday, November 26th: 
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study in the Music Room
-7:00 p.m. Choir
-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
Stewardship Season: A Wonder-Full Life!

In the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a crisis of money creates vastly diverse reactions from several characters. In our final stewardship season worship service, this Sunday, November 24th, we’ll be taking a look at living with gratitude. The end the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" is a joyful celebration of community and generosity, and George Bailey's thankfulness is infectious. At the heart of our relationship to money is living and giving with gratitude--whether the assets we have to give are monetary, or our own capital of time and energy for the sake of the human family. We will end our stewardship season by looking for the hope that has been cultivated and the possibility that we will transform fear to gratitude in the act of sharing.

On this Sunday we will also be dedicating our 2020 pledge cards. We invite you to bring your completed pledge card with you to worship this Sunday, November 24th. During the service, you will have the opportunity to bring your card forward as an act of gratefully dedicating them and all that you are to God. If you aren't able to be with us this Sunday, please feel free to return your pledge card to the Church (672 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT 06248) before Sunday and we will include it in our dedication. If you'd prefer not to come forward during worship, you can place your pledge commitment in the offering plate as it is passed.

If you’d like to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life,” copies are available on the table just outside of the Sanctuary. Please note your name on the sign out sheet. You can also get a copy by calling the Church Office (860-228-3077). 

If you have any questions about our stewardship season, please feel free to speak with a member of our Stewardship Committee (Mark Bierbaum, Micheal Bierbaum, Lisa Cox (Co-Chair), Charles Daniels, Lauren Henry (Co-Chair) and Bruce Langevin).
Potluck Coffee Hour 
Sunday, November 24, 2019

Please bring a goodie to share this Sunday, November 24th as we will be having a Potluck Coffee Hour following the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Thank you!  

Advent Calendars Available

The Board of Christian Education is offering Advent Calendars outside of the Sanctuary starting this Sunday, November 24th . There will be calendars for adults and youth. May this be a season for you of growing closer to God as we celebrate Jesus' birth and the abundant gifts he offers us! 
Hebron Interfaith Thanksgiving Service 
Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Our Hebron Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held at St. Peter's (30 Church Street) this Sunday, November 24th at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend and join in an evening of reflection and song. Houses of worship participating in this year's service include: Church of the Holy Family, Gilead Congregational Church, UCC, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, and United Brethren Synagogue. During the service, there will be an offering to benefit Hebron Interfaith Health Services. Please join us for this special service. All are welcome!     

Christmas Bell and Mitten Tags 
Due by Sunday, December 15, 2019

Please consider picking up a bell or mitten tag this Sunday, November 24th to support local agencies, including Hebron Interfaith Human Services and the Covenant Soup Kitchen, in their gift giving this holiday season. Each tag has an item needed for local families listed on the back. Please take a bell or mitten tag and record your name and item on the sheet provided. Gifts are due back by Sunday, December 15th and can be returned to the back of the Sanctuary. For further information please contact Stephanie Haines at 860-228-3077. Thank you!  

Christmas Angel Tags
Due by Sunday, December 1, 2019

Thanks to everyone who took an Angel Tag. Due to security at the Department of Children and Families (DCF), gifts should be returned in a gift bag. Gifts are due back by Sunday, December 1st. If you have any questions, please speak with a member of our Confirmation Class or with Nancy Bennett, who is our CCC liaison. Thank you!
HELO Pie Sales 

It is pie season! If you would like to order a homemade apple or pumpkin pie for the holidays, please see Amy Huhn. All proceeds will benefit HELO, an orphanage in Les Cayes Haiti. The cost of pies is all donation based. Pick up dates will be Wednesday, November 27th or Monday, December 23rd in the Fellowship Hall from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. If you have any questions please contact Amy at (860) 462-0919 or pvault1459@gmail.com

Christmas Flowers/Memorial Order Form 
Deadline is Sunday, December 1, 2019

_____ In lieu of plants, I would like to make a donation to the Memorial
          Fund (suggested donation is $10)
_____ I would like to order Poinsettia(s) at $5.25 per 5” pot
            ____# Red, ____# White, ____# Pink, ____# Marble
_____ I would like to order Poinsettia(s) at $9.75 per 6 ½" pot.
            ____# Red, ____# White, ____# Pink, ____# Marble
_____ I would like to order a Poinsettia(s) at $16.25 per 7 ½” pot
           ____# Red, ____# White, ____# Pink, ____ #Marble

GRAND 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 St, Hebron, CT 06248 (860- 460-3221 )

(Checks payable to:  Gilead Congregational Church ) or e-mail completed order form to the Church Office at gcc@gileadchurch.net  and provide payment to Katie. Thank you!
    No flower orders accepted after the December 1st Deadline               
Advent Celebration
Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 11:30 am

Please join us on Sunday, December 1st from 11:30-12:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall as we celebrate the beginning of the Advent season! We will enjoy homemade soups, bread, Christmas music, games and crafts for all ages! Adults and children are invited to make a precious keepsake ornament, cards, fresh evergreen swags, and much more! This event is a wonderful way to start the Advent season and is offered to you by the Board of Christian Education. We are need of crockpots of soup to be enjoyed that chilly day. If you would be willing, please sign up outside of the Sanctuary. Please contact Stephanie Haines (860) 228-3077 if you should have any further questions. Let's start the Season right! 
Christmas Pageant
Sunday, December 8, 2019

Please join us Sunday, December 8th during our 10:00 a.m. worship service for our wonderful Christmas Pageant. See the story of Jesus' birth come alive through the sweet voices and imaginations of our children. This year's pageant is titled "The Real Story: A Christmas Comedy". We are excited to have Joe Zuzel as our pageant director. All Sunday School children are invited to participate . We will hold a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 7th at 9 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Instrumentalists of all ages and abilities are needed as well. If you play an instrument and would be willing to bless us with your talent, please contact Joe Zuzel at joezuzel@hotmail.com . For questions regarding the pageant or to sign-up your child to participate, please contact Stephanie Haines at stephanie.haines@hotmail.com .  

6th Annual Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale
Sunday, December 8, 2019

The 6th Annual Women's Fellowship Cookie Sale is scheduled for Sunday, December 8th immediately following both the 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. worship services in the Fellowship Hall. We are in need of cookie donations. For those bakers who would like to support this event, there is a sign up sheet on the table underneath the name tags. Cookies may be brought to the church kitchen on Saturday, December 7th between 2:30-3:30 pm or prior to both services on December 8th. Please also plan to purchase cookies, sold by the pound, to support our Women's Fellowship on this day. Some Christmas decorations will also be available for purchase. If you have any questions, please contact Janet Kline, Pat Martin or Karen Voghel. Thank you!

Finding God in Contemporary Issues

Our “Finding God in Contemporary Issues” discussion group will resume meeting in January. We’d like to give more people the opportunity to join us, so will meet after worship on the 4th Sundays of the month. We’ll meet in one of the classrooms off of our Fellowship Hall starting around 11:30 a.m. and going until about 1:00 p.m. We’d also like to hear from you about the topics or issues that you feel are important and would like to gather to discuss and hear different points of view. You can share your thoughts by talking with John Jenkins or Margot Sheehan who co-facilitate this discussion group, or by calling (860-228-3077) or emailing ( gcc@gileadchurch.net ) the Church office with your ideas, or you can write them down and put them in the FGICI box that is located right outside of the Sanctuary. Slips of paper and a pen for your suggestions are by the box. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will mark your calendars and plan to join us for our first gathering on Sunday, January 26th. 
Hebron's Got Talent Update

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you that the Children’s Subcommittee of the Gilead Congregational Church Board of Missions has made the difficult decision to postpone our annual Hebron’s Got Talent showcase for 2020. We have not received the talent applications that we need in order to make a show possible. We are hopeful that we will be able to secure the talent we need in order to have a show in 2021. 

Over the past six years, we have raised over $35,000 for the children’s scholarship programs of AHM Youth & Family Services and Hebron Parks & Recreation Department, and we continue to firmly believe in the importance of nurturing the gifts and talents young people. Our Board of Missions is committed to supporting local children in need, ensuring their continuing healthy growth and development and sharing with them the message of God’s love and hope. 

Thank you for your tremendous past support of Hebron’s Got Talent! It has been a beautiful experience of our community coming together and caring for one another and we couldn’t have done it without you.  
Jason Castonguay in Concert at Second Congregational Church in Coventry
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 2:30 pm

You are invited to hear Jason Castonguay in concert at Second Congregational Church (1746 Boston Turnpike) in Coventry on Sunday, December 8th at 2:30 p.m. Jason is an accomplished musician and a CCSU graduate. Totally blind since birth, at the age of four, he was discovered playing the National Anthem in its entirety. If you are interested in attending the holiday concert, please contact the Coventry Church Office at 860-742-1616 for tickets ($15 for adults and $30 for families).

Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
Wednesdays at 9:30 am

Our weekly Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group is currently discussing " This Is How It Always Is" by Laurie Frankel. This is a story about a boy who grows up and says he wants to be a girl. The story focuses on how the family first "secrets" this information, but then shares and the impact on their family. The group meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. at the home of Judy Brown and Deena Watson (130 Charles Lane). The group will not be meeting on Wednesday, November 27th. They will resume meeting on Wednesday, December 4th and begin discussing "The News of the World" by Paulette Jiles. This historical fiction novel centers on an older gentleman who travels and reads the news from around the world to people anxious for such information. He also becomes challenged with the responsibility of delivering an orphan to an area near San Antonio. The orphan herself is a challenge with language and behavior.  If you have any questions about the group, please contact Sandy Hooker at (860) 228-985. All are welcome!  

Welcome New Members!

We welcomed the following new members into our Church family this past Sunday, November 17th during the 10:00 a.m. worship service:


Suzanne lives in Hebron and works for Pratt & Whitney as an Associate Director for International Strategy. One of her passions is rescuing and rehabing wildlife. She is licensed with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She also enjoys art, hiking, fitness, mentoring, and her dogs. 


Shoshonah lives in Hebron and recently moved here from Colorado to be closer to her daughter and family. Shoshonah is retired but keeps busy with her granddaughter, Chloe. She also enjoys reading and going to the movies.  
Minister of Music Search

Our search continues. If you know of anyone who might be interested in our Minister of Music position, please feel free to share that the position description is posted on the home page of our Church’s web site ( www.gileadchurchucc.org ). Interested candidates can send their resume and cover letter to the church ( gcc@gileadchurch.net  or 672 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT 06248). If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to speak with a member of our Search Committee: Carolyn Bennett (Chair), Renee Ellis, Brad Franzese, Ciara Franzese, Jon Kimball, Laurie Larsen, Katie McClaine, and Ken Manthorne.

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. Please bring your own Bible. All are welcome!  

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. We are also specifically looking for coffee hour hosts on Sunday, December 8th. If you have any questions, please contact Annette Langevin at (860) 228-1313.    
Gilead Church Cookbook 

Our Women's Fellowship is in the initial stages of planning a Gilead Church Cookbook. Start looking for your favorite recipes to share. If you would like to help with this project, please speak with Margaret Gibbs (860-384-4327). Watch for more details!
Open Letter from Getting Ahead Investigators
We, the participants in the 2019 Getting Ahead program of Hebron would like to take this opportunity and express our appreciation. Prior to attending this program, some of us were feeling some type of way. Some felt absent, others financially disorganized, others physically tired and some just looking for a way to start a path to financial independence. Overall, we came as ordinary people with related circumstantial experiences searching for a break through.

These past nine weeks we have gained more than just valuable insights, we have gained strategies on how to approach that next level of accomplishment. The first level of success that we have learned was commitment. For many, commitment is the one factor that holds back that successful story that you hear about in the media. Fear of not wanting to feel that disappointment overpowered our initiative desire. The risk you take exhausting your precious time that you already don't have. We arrived as ordinary people who took the initiative and overlooked all emotional feelings, any conflicted barriers and decided to stand up for ourselves and fight for our well being.

Mrs. Haines, we appreciate and value all the work you and the Hunger Action Team did in reaching out and putting together this group of investigators and helping us have our breakthrough. We are also thankful for the work Alice Turner has provided in these past nine weeks. She has been respectful and overall patient, and because of all of your hard work, we are now not just ordinary people, but investigators with a plan and goals.


Getting Ahead Investigators and soon to be employees, new business owners, college graduates and goal achievers.
Thank Yous 

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your generous gift to the CWS Blankets program. As families and communities around the world recover from emergencies and struggle in the face of challenges, you are standing with them. You are providing relief and hope.

Your contribution provides hope to neighbors near and far, from migrant families facing cold and wet conditions to refugees who have just arrived in the United States to build a new future to guests at homeless shelters. Around the world, your support of this program means vital supplies and support for those in need.

Because of you, Church World Service is able to respond when disasters occur and support is needed. We thank you!

May God bless you for your support,

Rev. John L. McCullough
President and CEO
Church World Service

Dear Rev. Esslinger,

We are grateful for your financial support of the ministries of the Connecticut Conference and the national setting of the United Church of Christ. We are grateful for the ways in which we do more together than we can accomplish alone. We truly believe that the ties that bind us together as God's people enable us to carry out the vision of the United Church of Christ: "United in Christ's love, a just world for all."

I want to thank you for submitting your church's Basic Support/OCWM giving for 2019. Your giving as a church affirms our unity and interdependence and helps us to carry out God's mission and ministry in our time. I give thanks for your congregation and its ministry and mission and I look forward to continuing our partnership as members of the United Church of Christ.


The Rev. Kent J. Siladi
Conference Minister
Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Michelle and Diane Pawlina
Ushers for next Sunday: Sandy and Jack Hooker

Deacon of the Day for this Sunday:  Teresa Olio
Deacon of the Day for next Sunday: Gary Sarra

Liturgist: Ginny Miller
Acolyte: Benji Morrissey
Call to Worship: Jayden Bennett

Coffee Hour Hosts for this Sunday:  Potluck Coffee Hour
Coffee Hour Hosts for next Sunday: All Church Advent Celebration

Greeter for this Sunday:    Joe Sheehan
Greeter for next Sunday:  Ken Manthorne

Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Acts 4: 32-35

Holy and Living God, transform our fears into awe-inspired wonder. Open us to your light, and to the rich possibilities that it brings us for a “wonder-full” life.  We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, in whom name 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)