Grace Covenant Weekly News | November 9, 2017
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Of all that God has shown me
I can speak just the smallest word,
Not more than a honey bee
Takes on his foot
From an overspilling jar.
~ Mechtild of Magdeburg (13th century)

Sunday Preview

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Worship services @ 8:30 & 10:30 AM
Education Hour (for all ages) @ 9:15 AM

Sermon:  "Wisdom and Wonders" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures:   Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-20; Matthew 25:1-13

Congregational Meeting | Sunday, Nov. 12 | 11:30 AM | Sanctuary
The Session and Creating Sanctuary Team will host an opportunity for questions and conversation about the scope of sanctuary, how GCPC is responding to needs in our local immigrant community, and GCPC’s role as a supporting congregation to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.
Upcoming events this week:
Power and Race Team (PART) Opportunity:
Beneath the Veneer: Growing Up Black In Asheville - Documentary Trailer Viewing & Panel Discussion | TONIGHT! Nov. 9 | 7-9 PM | FPC
Systemic inequity plays a major role in limiting opportunities for success and well-being in communities of color, both locally and nationally.  Beneath The Veneer  is a documentary film (in production) about a community in the process of healing from the physical, mental and emotional impact of multi-generational systemic inequity, as seen through the eyes and experiences of 6 young black men in Asheville. The film is being created as part of a initiative to use arts and culture in order to drive learning, action and evaluation by communities seeking to increase social cohesion and civic engagement toward greater participation in policy making and improved wellbeing.

Please join Director Diane Tower-Jones, Producer Sekou Coleman and Community Leader Keynon Lake  for a short introductory film and panel discussion.
Cabbage Harvesting for Children | THIS Sunday, November 12th | 
9:15 - 10:15 AM  (during Sunday School)   | GCPC World Garden 
This weekend, our children (grades 1 st -5 th ) will be heading outside together to harvest cabbage from our garden. Please make sure that they have clothes that can get dirty and layers, in case it is chilly! Parents, we would love your extra hands so feel free to join us.
Our Life Together: A Family Systems Approach  
Sunday, Nov. 12 | 5:00-6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall 
Who are the overfunctioners and underfunctioners in your community systems? What anxiety might they be trying to mitigate with this activity, or lack of activity? Or, who is the black sheep of your community systems, and how might they be expressing an issue that is somehow larger than a single individual's problem? This week, we will be looking at 'symptoms' of anxious systems and the relational and spiritual patterns that help us bring change into the communities of which we are a part. Again, such conversation is vital for any congregation, as being able to deal with anxiety directly is a major part of becoming a place of welcome and inclusion.  Email Richard with questions. 

Stewardship Corner
Faith Forward update - 135 pledges totaling $599,148.40
3rd Quarter Statement Corrections
ACS, our contribution software company, is working to fix a glitch that caused pledges to miscalculate on the 3rd quarter contribution statements. We will reprint the 3rd quarter statements once they have resolved the issue and notify you when they are available again for pick up in the information center. If you have questions in the meantime regarding your pledge balance or payments, please contact Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator, at or  828.254.3274, ext. 202 .
Setting Up Your Online Payment
You can set up a new recurring 2018 Pledge donation online by going to  and clicking on the  button on the bottom of the page. From there, you can log in to manage your account and set up recurring weekly or monthly gifts.
The  Give +  mobile app is another easy way to set up and manage recurring gifts. Simply download “Give Plus Church” from the app store on your device and search for “Grace Covenant Presbyterian.”
If you need help setting up your online payments or would prefer our Finance Office set them up on your behalf, please contact Natalie Weaver, our Stewardship & Financial Administrator, at  or  828.254.3274, ext. 202 . Once you've filled out and signed the authorization form, she'll be happy to do it for you! 
Once your pledge has been received, you will receive an acknowledgement from our Finance Office confirming the pledge amount and donation frequency. If you do not receive this letter within 2 weeks of submitting your pledge, please contact our office at  828-254-3274, ext. 202 . We have received a few pledge cards missing names. Thank you!

Creating Sanctuary Team
NEXT Creating Sanctuary Team Mtg. | Sunday, November 19 |
11:45 AM | Garden Room
This will be a good opportunity to discuss developments in the wake of the recent affirmative vote by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville to become a sanctuary congregation, and to learn about how we can respond to requests, and to share ideas. All are welcome. (Garden Room – formerly known as Marcia’s office on the first floor of the Admin. building)
In the above map, historian / geographer Donald Meinig imagines the borders of the United States if Henry Clay had won the Presidential election of 1844. But the “great compromiser” Henry Clay lost a close race to James “Manifest Destiny” Polk. Outgoing President and expansionist John Tyler then pushed through Congress the annexation of the Texas Republic.  Mexico considered this an act of war. The ensuing conflict led to the U.S. gaining territory that would become California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Who, then, are many of today’s real immigrants?

Mark Strauss, “A Map of the U.S. if there had never been a Mexican American War,” gizmodo, 7/30/14.
Habitat for Humanity House Update
Our last volunteer slot for the Habitat House was on Tuesday. We have had 100% turnout for the seven GCPC folks that signed up. Way to go GCPC!!! For the next phase, the house will be in the hands of core Habitat volunteers.  
The GCPC family has a chance to meet our Habitat family on Sunday, November 19th at the 10:30 service. Prayers are still important and any financial donations are appreciated. The best way is to make the check payable to GCPC with "2017 Presbyterian/ Methodist Habitat House" on the memo line. Many thanks to all our amazing volunteers and for your continued support! Contact Bill Ryan with any questions.

Bill Ryan and Anne Sayers with future homeowners, Nikita Norris and Regina Hunter
Bill Ryan and Anne Sayers last Saturday.
Bill Ryan and Jim Veilleux working on siding.
Godly Play Coordinator!
Amy Fowler will be serving as our Godly Play Coordinator as we search for a new Director of Children & Family Ministries. Amy was born in Chapel Hill and attend Mars Hill College (before it was a university). The mountains got in her blood and she decided to make Asheville home.  She is married to Todd and has a son, Hill, who is in kindergarten at Asheville Montessori. Amy loves Godly Play because it allows kids to learn about God, Jesus and the Bible in a very “wondering” kind of way. Unlike traditional children’s Sunday School classes, Godly Play utilizes objects/characters to tell the story and always ends by asking the kids poignant questions about the story they have just heard.  
Calling all Bakers (for New Members)!
Do you love the smell of fresh baked bread in your home on Sunday morning? We are sending out a request to our bakers who would like to help in preparing freshly baked bread for our new members. New member Sunday comes about every two months, and you would be on the rotation with other names for baking bread. Thank you for your interest in welcoming our new members! Please contact Richard or the church office if you would like to be one of our bakers!
This Sunday's Adult Education Classes:
Pressure Points: Religious Violence | Choir Room
Fall Term | We will examine how misreadings of Biblical passages have been used to rationalize and even promote religious violence.  As we continue our study of religious violence, we will look at the role of power in religion. In his book,  Not in God's Name,  Rabbi Sacks suggests relinquishing power is crucial to avoiding religious violence. Is relinquishing our power the best option for peace? We will consider the source of our power, and ways that covenantal power transforms not only violence, but ourselves as well.  For those following along in the book, our discussion will be loosely based on chapters 12-13.

Digging In: Creation Care & Scripture | *Jerusalem Room
Fall Term | Over the nine weeks of this course we will look at Scripture in relation to contemporary concern for Creation Care.  This Sunday we will examining two passages and two questions. First, we will be asking about our relationship with animals with Job 12:7-10. Then, we will move back to Genesis 8:13-9:17 to ask how our relationship with scripture has been distorted. 

The Improv: Boundaries | *Fellowship Hall
Fall Term  | The Boundaries class will explore how to establish healthy boundaries with friends, parents, children, coworkers, self, and God.  This Sunday we will continue to look at how to establish healthy boundaries in specific relationships. We will be focusing primarily on boundaries with ourselves this week.
EDUCATION HOUR (for all ages) at 9:15 AM

Click HERE to see a preview of the full year of
2017-2018 Adult Education classes.
The Racial Justice Book Club | Thursday, December 14 | 12:15 PM | Jerusalem Room
This year, GCPC is committing to reading a book every month by an author of color who examines issues of race and justice. In the fall, we will be looking at racial justice from a systemic perspective. The book club will be meeting the second Thursday of every month. For December , we are reading Ebony and Ivy: Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities by Craig Steven Wilder. Please contact Richard or Marcia for any questions.

Click HERE for the entire year's reading list.
Bible Study | Wednesdays | 11 AM | *Garden Room
*Note room change. Everyone is welcome to join the pastoral staff to read and study our sermon texts for Sunday. No preparation needed, just come ready to open scripture and discuss. (The Garden Room is what was formerly Marcia's office on the first floor of the Admin. building)
Wednesday Sanctuary Open for Prayer 
Each Wednesday from 11:45 AM - 1 PM*, the sanctuary will be open for silent prayer. Some evenings will close with a brief time of centering prayer. *Please note time change.
Volunteers Needed! | "Downtown Welcome Table Thanksgiving Meal" | Haywood Street Congregation
Grace Covenant has been asked to support the set up and clean up of the Thanksgiving meal at Haywood Street. The Downtown Welcome Table rests on the assumption that food is a primary means of grace, a way to love and connect. 
There are two volunteer dates and ten slots available per shift:
  • Tuesday, November 21 | 8 AM - 12 PM | Assist with meal preparation and set up (Volunteers do not have to stay for full 4-hour shift)
  • Wednesday, November 22 | 1 PM - 2:30 PM | Clean up following the Thanksgiving meal
Click   HERE   to sign up online. Or contact Bill Wolcott at
Join the new Facebook group with our sister church in Guatemala!
We are blessed to have a sister church, Iglesia Jerusalem in Coatepeque, Guatemala. We (and they) are hoping to stay more connected. Please join this facebook group to share and see photos, prayers and messages. Let's continue growing closer as sisters and brothers in Christ.  Join here:  "Iglesias Hermanas: Grace Covenant & Iglesia Jerusalem."
Homeward Bound Donations
Today through next Tuesday, November 14, bring your gently-used furniture and household items to Mattress Man store at  85 Tunnel Road . Homeward Bound will use it to move a neighbor from homelessness to a new, comfortable home.  Here's a list of what we need . See one of the Mattress Man employees to help load your item into the truck. 
Room In The Inn | November 12-19, 2017
    Grace Covenant’s week of RITI (Room In The Inn) is now here; well the week is here, but the “Inn” will be down the street at Grace Episcopal, our kind, generous neighbors. Along with the Unitarian Universalist congregation we will be providing meals and a safe place to stay the night for the ladies currently in The RITI program.  Just Grace Covenant alone will have 85 different volunteer jobs to do during the week , which include setting-up the “Inn,” cooking, serving meals, driving our guests to and from A-Hope, and spending the night at the church in order to be able to stay awake during one of the two hour shifts through the night, cleaning up after meals, preparing for the next meal, and taking the “Inn” down. The UU congregation will have nearly the same number on tasks.
      It takes many hands to do a session of RITI , and some people are doing more than one job. If you have not signed up, but still would like to help, we will be setting up the Inn at 1:00 pm on Sunday, Nov. 12, and then taking the Inn down at 6:45 AM on Sunday, November 19 th . You are most welcome to join and help us at those times.
Thanks to all of YOU who are able to help with this last session of 2017 for Room In The Inn!
Volunteer for Saturday Sanctuary at First Presbyterian - AVL
Saturday Sanctuary: First Presbyterian opens their fellowship hall to folks without homes every Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM, October- March. Lunch is served at 12:30 and many hands are needed. This is a great volunteer opportunity for children as long as they are accompanied by their parent (or another adult). For more info or to sign up, click HERE. If enough folks from GCPC wish to volunteer, a training session (1 1/2 hours) can be offered here. Contact Tamara Puffer for more info, or 828-254-0507.
4th Annual Southside Community Thanksgiving Dinner | Tuesday, November 21 | 5-7 PM | Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center (Gymnasium)
Hosted by Green Opportunities, the Asheville Housing Authority, and Southside community partners.  This is a free, family-friendly event. This year, the Kitchen Ready team will prepare turkey, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. Last year, the GO Kitchen Ready program cooked for 650 guests from across Asheville and the Southside neighborhood. In addition to meals served at the Edington Center, volunteers from the Asheville Housing Authority Residents Council delivered 200 boxed dinners to elderly and home-bound residents. 
Sisters at the Sea | February 1-4, 2017 | Folly Beach, SC | $160 (Early Bird rate)
Are you a women age 25ish-50ish who would like a weekend of connecting and rejuvenating? Mark your calendars for our 9th annual SOS (“save our sanity”/“sisters at the sea”) retreat! Marcia will lead us this year in spiritual practices, energy work and movement in order to fill us with new sensations of our body’s power and promise. Early Bird Registration begins now!!  If you reserve your spot by Dec. 10 with a $40 non-refundable deposit, you will receive the early bird rate. Registration ends on January 14th. Scholarships available upon request. Click HERE to register digitally or you may pick up a registration form at the Info Station.
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering: "Living Liberation" Discussion | Thursday, Nov. 30 | 7 - 8:30 PM | White Duck Taco on Biltmore Ave.
"The church taught me something  in spite of  its own institutional sin and gave me a message which many of its leaders obviously did not mean for me to hear: That  Justice is another name for God ." If you are in your twenties or thirties, join Richard and Samantha downtown for a good discussion over dinner (appetizers on us!). Together we will be discussing Carter Heyward's article " Is a Self-Respecting Christian Woman an Oxymoron? " and what feminist Christianity means to our lives. Contact Sherrie by Wednesday, Nov. 22 if you need childcare.   RSVP HERE  so that we can get a table that is big enough.
Christmas at the Biltmore | GCPC Chancel Choir | December 22 | 5:30 – 9:00 PM
The Chancel Choir will be singing a 30-minute concert of traditional holiday favorites on the half hour. Tickets sell out fast so make your reservations today! Visit .
Deacon of the Week
Each Sunday morning there will be a deacon available for everything from praying with you to giving you a tour of the building. This deacon will be wearing a purple sash and stationed in the narthex before 10:30 worship and in the front of the sanctuary after worship. He or she is also available during the week if you or someone you love needs assistance from our board of deacons.
This week:  Matt Stradley,  email:
Prayer List
[We are happy to pray for anyone who is in need. Concerns will stay on this list for a month unless we hear otherwise. Please keep us updated.] 
Jerusalem Church congregation
Linda Parker (Anna Jarvis' sister-in-law)
JoAnne Hewett and family (Allison McLamb's co-worker)
Betsy Needle (Robin Gaiser’s friend)
Sherry Harcke (Les and Susan Stradley's friend)
Nikita Norris, Regina Hunter & family (Habitat for Humanity partner family)
Denise, Betty and David Whitt (Mary Ellen Horne's partner and family)
Glen Russell (Robin Gaiser's brother)
Ronda Latrella (Susie Churchfield's friend)
Betty Weller (sister of Lucy Reiley and Margaret Peery)
Rindy Moore (Richard Coble's friend)
Chris Barkley (Kathy Theoharis' sister)
John Harvey (Penny Harvey's son)
Art Brown (Bob Walther’s friend)
Pat Cocke (Les and Susan Stradley’s friend)
 Virginia Bradley
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Jerry Bleckley
Teresa Stern
Cindy Egerer
Florence Riedesel
Gerry Simons
Pat Cheffins
Jana Watts
Serge Kavalhuna
Bob Busey
Youth News
There will be NO  Sunday night youth group
this weekend because of Camp Grier.
There  WILL  be Sunday School for
Middle Schoolers and Senior Highs on Sunday morning.
Middle School Retreat 2017 ~ Camp Grier | 
This Friday, Nov 10th (5:15 PM) - Sunday, 
Nov 12th (12:15 PM) | Meet/pickup at GCPC
Camp is coming up this weekend! Please keep our fifteen participating youth and adults in your prayers. If you are attending, you should have received an informational email. Please turn in all needed materials to Sherrie in the office and contact  Samantha  with questions.
Charleston Youth Mission Education Trip | January 12-15 (MLK Jr. Weekend) 
Time to register for an adventure to remember! Once a main port for slaves being brought to America, Charleston is a fascinating place that is still wrestling with its past and with current environmental and social concerns. We will engage in meaningful service and learning opportunities around the city and by the sea, as well as worship at Mother Emanual church (where tragedy struck just a few years ago). Get ready to grow in faith and share in the fun. The cost is $150 (full and partial scholarships are available).  Register digitally here by this Sunday, Nov. 12th   or pick up a hard copy in the Information Station. 
Senior High Faith and Sexuality Retreat ~ PART 1: Movie Night  | Next Friday, November 17 |    5:30 – 9:00 PM  | Different homes (for Youth AND Parents)
Youth (grades 9-12) & parents are highly encouraged to attend part one or this two part retreat focused on how we as Christians can foster healthy relationships with partners, friends, and on social media.  For Part 1,   parents, girls and guys will all go to separate homes to view and discuss the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary, “Audrie and Daisy.” Advisors and a pastor will be present at each house.The film deals with heavy, relevant high school topics. Feel free to   view the trailer here  (or pre-screen the film on Netflix). Dinner will be provided and there will be a time for prayer, self-reflection and open discussion.  For dinner and planning purposes,  RSVP HERE  for Part 1 of the retreat.
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
"Being Mortal" Film Screening & Panel Discussion | Friday, November 10 | 6 PM | Asheville Community Theatre ( 35 East Walnut St.)
Based on the bestselling book by Dr. Atul Gawande, the PBS Frontline documentary film, Being Mortal, explores what matters most to patients and families facing serious illness. Regardless of your age, you have a part in the discussion that asks: "Have you and your family had these important conversations and planned ahead?" To reserve your seat, as tickets are FREE, please call 828-254-1320 or email Callie at Click here for more information. Reserve NOW before it fills up!
How to Talk to Young Children About Race | Thursday, November 16 | 6:15-8:15 PM | Claxton Elementary School,  241 Merrimon Ave .
Navigating conversations about race with young children can be challenging, but is a necessary part of social justice and progress towards a better world for our future generations. Join us as we partner with United Way to host a thought-provoking, engaging conversation around young children and race. You will hear from panel members, each with unique backgrounds and experiences, as they answer questions and provide insight on how to engage with kids about challenging topics.
Following the panel presentation, there will be an opportunity to break out into discussion groups surrounding real-life scenarios. You will leave with the tools to feel more prepared to facilitate these kinds of conversations with the children in your lives.
Click here to register for this FREE event here  (you do not have to be an educator to attend!).
A Community Celebration of Thankfulness | Friday, November 17 | 6:30 - 9:30 PM | The Edington Center (133 Livingston St.)
Presented by Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jovenes. Come enjoy a night of good food, music and dancing! There will also be readings, performances, and artist presentations. So much to be thankful for! Click here for flyer.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804