Weekly Newsletter
Gilead Congregational Church, UCC
Week of February 6th - February 12th         
Meetings and Services
this Week:

Wednesday, February 6th:
-9:30 a.m. Wednesday Morning Book Discussion
-6:00 p.m. Confirmation Class
-7:00 p.m. Choir

Thursday, February 7th:
-7:00 p.m. Deacons

Friday, February 8th:
-6:30 p.m. Hebron's Got Talent at RHAM

Friday, February 8th - Sunday, February 10th:
-Confirmation Class on Retreat at Silver Lake

Sunday, February 10th: 
-8:30 a.m. Worship Service 
-10:00 a.m. Worship Service
-Sunday School 
-Coffee Hour
-11:30 a.m. Board of Missions
-4:00 p.m. Mission Trip Team Building
-6:30 p.m. Youth Group Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, February 12th:    
-11:15 a.m. Bible Study in the Parish House
-2:20 p.m. Youth Group to Colchester ElderCare Visit
-7:00 p.m Finding God in Contemporary Issues
-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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Please Join Us for Hebron's Got Talent 2019! 
Friday, February 8th

Tickets are on sale now for Hebron's Got Talent! Our 6th annual showcase will take place this Friday, February 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the RHAM High School Auditorium. Ten acts, ranging from singing to dancing, will perform to compete for the $250 grand prize! Local celebrity judges including last year's winner, Olivia Siracusa, a dancer and student at RHAM, as well as local celebrity, Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei, will provide their comments on each act but ultimately, the winner is selected by your audience vote! Tickets are $8 each or $25 for a family of four and can be purchased at Ted's IGA Supermarket, Hebron Parks & Recreation, AHM Youth and Family Services, the Gilead Congregational Church or at the door. All proceeds benefit the children's scholarship programs of Hebron Parks & Recreation and AHM Youth & Family Services because every child should have the opportunity to explore and grow their talents and abilities! Snow date is Friday, March 8th. We hope to see you there! This event is sponsored by the Gilead Congregational Church Board of Missions.


Shoe Drive for "Soles for Souls"! 
Ends Sunday, February 10th
Fernando Martins, a great lover of sneakers, is putting his passion for footwear to good use by collecting gently used shoes for the non profit organization Soles for Souls. All types of shoes in all sizes (including sneakers of course!) will be accepted and distributed both locally and abroad to those in need.  Thanks to everyone, Fernando has reached his goal of 50 pairs and will be collecting through this Sunday, February 10th.  A box is set up at the end of the hallway as you enter from the parking lot. Fernando will also be available to answer any questions.  You can also check out "Soles for Souls" website at www.soles4sould.org to see where your shoes may end up!
Offering a Word of Peace
It's been our tradition at the Gilead Church to sing the response "Go in Peace" following our Benediction.  This response offers up the prayer that the peace of God be with us always.  In an effort to be a welcoming and hospitable congregation, our Deacons are inviting everyone to share a word with someone near you following the singing of this response.  It could be a simple "Go in peace" or "God be with you".  We hope this time might allow you to meet someone new or to connect with a well known friend.  If you have any questions or any feedback, please speak with any one of our Deacons or with Pastor Denise.  
Finding God in Contemporary Issues Discussion
Tuesday, February 12th 
Our next FGICI discussion will be this Tuesday, February 12th at 7 p.m. in the Parish House.  We'll be discussing "abortion" and asking where we believe God is in the midst of this issue.  Articles to read ahead of time are available on the table underneath the name tags. John Jenkins and Margot Sheehan will be facilitating this discussion. Please speak with Margot or John if you have any questions.   

Thank You and Dedication Organ Concert
Saturday, February 16th
Join us for a Dedication Concert of our new organ on Saturday, February 16th  at 3:30 p.m. It will be a "Musical Journey" through the ages. Bruce Gale, our Minister of Music, will demonstrate many of the features on the organ through a variety of musical styles. He will include music beginning with classical and moving through the years with some old standards, theater organ music, broadway, and pops. (There may also be some surprises throughout the concert!). A reception will follow in our Fellowship Hall. All are invited and welcome to attend.    
Church Painting Project
Sunday, February 17th-Saturday, February 23rd
It's hard to believe, but it's been 10 years since our church's building addition and renovations were completed.  Due to some issues with the concrete, which has impacted the flooring, the Trustees will be doing some remediation work and replacing the flooring in March.  Before this is done, Gilead Helping Hands, the Trustees, along with other volunteers will be painting the Fellowship Hall and adjacent hallways.  Can you help?  If you can give two hours  (or more) to help paint sometime between Sunday, February 17th and Saturday, February 23rd, it would be greatly appreciated.  It will be an all church effort and many hands will make it happen!  There will be a sign up sheet along with instructions available this Sunday.  Please consider signing up to help. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Tierney at  860-841-3214 or via e-mail at mark.tierney2@pw.utc.com
Lenten Dinner Circles  
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."   Heb. 13:2
The angel sightings in the halls of Gilead Church have been too many to count.  Lenten Dinner Circles will offer an opportunity to get to know some of them by enjoying a meal together.
Dinner circles are generally comprised of eight (8) people.  Four couples; three couples and two singles, or any combination totaling 8.   The time and place depends on the group.  Options may include a Sunday brunch, an evening meal, pizza ordered in.  
A sign-up sheet is below.  A question and answer sheet to clarify many of the questions you may have is available on the table underneath the name tags over at the church.  You can also contact Jean Dejewski (harborrest@gmail.com) or Margot Sheehan (margotsheehan44@gmail.com) who are helping to get the Dinner Circles started.
This year, instead of asking what can I give up for Lent?   How about asking, how can I deepen my relationships with God and others?  Join us!

Dinner Circle Registration
Are you interested in:
_____Having a children's table available
_____Having an adult only evening
Where would you like to have dinner?
_____Participants' Homes
Are there any food allergies or food preferences that would be important for your fellow mates to know?
What days of the week work best for you?
Would you be willing to lead a dinner circle?   _____yes       _____no

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!  
Valentine's Day Cards 
The Women's Fellowship would like to invite you to celebrate Valentine's Day by sending a card to one or all of our members and friends listed below:
Bea Anderson                                    Ed Meincke
Colebrook Village                               274 Burrows Hill Road
55 John E. Horton Blvd., Apt. 106      Hebron, CT 06248
Hebron, CT 06248                            
Peter Carbone                                   Lynn Owens
Cherry Brook Healthcare, Rm 216    15 West Street                                   
102 Dyer Avenue                               Columbia, CT 06237
Canton, CT 06019
Jean Derby                                         Maralyn Porter
564 East Street                                   20 Martin Road
Hebron, CT 06248                              Hebron, CT 06248
Glen Hadley                                        Ruth Rathbun
665 Horizon Lane                               Marlborough Health Care Center
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951              85 Stage Harbor Road
                                                            Marlborough, CT 06447
John Hibbard                                     Lynn Sansone
1072 Gilead Street                            436 Burrows Hill Road
Hebron, CT 06248                             Hebron, CT 06248
The Karahja Family                           Dottie Taggart
24 Church Street                               P.O. Box 63
Manchester, CT 06040                      Hebron, CT 06248
Lorraine Kreeger                               
20 Jan Drive                                     
Hebron, CT 06248                  
Scout Sunday
Sunday, February 17th
Scout Sunday is a Sunday in February that recognizes the contribution of young people and adults to scouting.  On Sunday, February 17th we will be honoring Scout Sunday at the Gilead Church.  All scouts are invited to wear their uniform to church and be recognized for the contributions that they make to scouting and to our community.  
Pizza & Game Night
Friday, February 22nd
The Fellowship Committee invites the congregation to enjoy pizza and games on Friday, February 22nd at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  Pizza, salad, and coffee will be provided. Please bring a snack, dessert, or drink to share along with any favorite games to play.  Minute to Win It games will be set up and ready to go for those who like fast paced fun!  A sign-up sheet is available under the name tags in the hallway.  Please contact Annette Langevin (860-228-1313) with any questions. 

Youth Group Game/Movie Night at AHM 
Friday, February 22nd
On Friday, February 22nd members of the GCC Youth Group and friends will meet at AHM Youth & Family Services (25 Pendleton Drive, Hebron) for a time of fellowship from 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Please bring a snack or drink to share. We will have games and a selection of PG or G movies, but feel free to bring some too.  Hope to see you there!  Call or email Mrs. Cohen with questions. ( twstuff99@gmail.com  or 860-228-5188/860-455-6459).  
Sunday School Cancellation Policy  
If inclement weather should happen and forces cancellation of Sunday School, our Sunday School Superintendents will contact Sunday School teachers. Parents please check your personal e-mail or web sites  www.nbcconnecticut.com  or  www.wfsb.com  for cancellation information.  If Gilead Church is not listed there will be Sunday School.  Worship will never be cancelled as Pastor Denise lives so close to the church.  Please, however, use your discretion and always stay safe !    
Coffee Hour Survey Results 
The Fellowship Committee would like to thank everyone who completed the survey on coffee hour. We received 35 responses, which included some great feedback and creative ideas. The Fellowship Committee will be discussing them.  Watch for more information as we seek to make coffee hour easier and friendlier for folks to host.  If you have any thoughts or ideas that you didn't share in the survey, please feel free to speak with Annette Langevin (860-228-1313).  
2019 Usher Sign Up 
We are in need of ushers for our 10 a.m. service in 2019.  To sign up, please contact Phyllis Kurz (860-228-2469) or you can signup online:
1) Click this link on SignUp.com: http://signup.com/go/ezSYDT
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Phyllis (860-228-2469) and she can sign you up manually.

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.
Run for Refugees
T he IRIS Run for Refugees was held this past Sunday, February 3rd. Mark Hand joined a team at Yale Divinity School (Team Name: Andover Newton Seminary Runs for Refugees) and Kyra Byrne ran too. Pictured below are Mark and Kyra after completing the run.
Thank Yous
Thanks to Steve Weir and his company, American Integrity Restoration, for dry cleaning the flag in our Sanctuary. They look great! 

Dear Denise,
We are very grateful for your 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."
As we close out the contribution period for the year, I want to thank you for submitting your church's Basic Support/OCWM giving for 2018. 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
CT Conference Minister
Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group
The Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group is currently discussing "Educated" by Tara Westover. This book is the story of the author's journey to become educated beginning with life in a family living apart from mainstream society. It takes her to her first formal education experience at age 17 and then on to higher education.  The group meets on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the home of Judy Brown and Deena Watson (130 Charles Lane). If you have any questions about this group, please contact Sandy Hooker (860-228-9856). All are welcome!
Spread Love! Send Valentine's Day Cards!
A Valentine's Day Card Making Workshop was held this past Sunday, February 3rd. It was a time to create beautiful handmade Valentine cards. Upon completion individuals had made several cards and were ready to share their love!  A free will donation was received which will go to our Sunday school's mission project, which is encouraging our young people to spread love by discovering and sharing the gifts God has given them.  Special thanks to Lorraine Tierney and Gayle Sylvester for coordinating this event and sharing all of the supplies!

Upcoming Sunday Worship Servers 
Ushers for this Sunday:  Ginny Miller and Harvey Desruisseaux
Ushers for next week: Ann and Gary Sarra
Deacon of the Day for this morning: Doug Stewart
Deacon of the Day for next week: To be determined
Liturgist: Jessica Blacketter       Acolyte: Benji Morrissey
Call to Worship: Zeke Violette
Coffee Hour Hosts for this morning: Jan Andrews and Leslie Brand
Coffee Hour Hosts for next week: Lynn Lukach and Bonnie Tarbox
Greeter for this morning: Joe Sheehan
Greeter for next week: Elaine Aubin
Scripture Reading and Prayer for the Week
Luke 5: 1-11

O God, we have searched deep and wide for answers to our questions, for solutions to our problems, and for relief from those things that threaten to destroy us.  And you have brought us to faith, to the last place the worldly minded would think of turning.  Fill our nets to bursting and renew us in your Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ, 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)