GCPC Weekly News | April 16, 2020
Dear Grace Covenant Community, 

Thank you for your participation in the congregational meeting and the voting process. It is exciting to see the wonderful level of engagement from our family of faith. GCPC is going strong! 

The recommendation from the Session and Finance Council to refinance our HVAC loan passed. The final vote tally was: 186 YES, 1 NO. 

Our next step is to take this recommendation to the presbytery for their approval. Once we have their approval we will move forward with the refinance process. 

Thank you, again, for your attention to detail and your engagement. And thanks to the Session and Finance Council for their strong leadership during these times of many unknowns. 

GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Men of GCPC
Youth Group
Garden Steering Committee
Adult Education
Bible Study
Staff Meeting
Circle 3
Worship Preview | Sunday, April 26, 2020
Third Sunday of Easter

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Sermon:  "On the Road Again" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture:   Luke 24:13-35

Recurring Weekly Zooms:

If you are a part of a group, Team, or Circle at GCPC and you want to have a Zoom meeting, let staff know. We will help you get set up on our GCPC Zoom account for group gatherings and meetings. You can schedule your meeting on the calendar with Sherrie, and any staff member can help you get set up for your meeting if you have questions. 
GCPC's Got Talent!

In this time of social distancing- and now with a stay home/stay safe order in place- the staff invites you to share your hidden talents with your church family. There's a lot of talent out there -- we are sure of that! 

Perhaps you play an instrument and want to share a song. Maybe your child or your family wants to sing a hymn, perhaps your child has written a song or created a beautiful work of art while staying at home. A family dance routine, a poem, a soliloquy, a magic trick, pet tricks or sharing a secret recipe. . . the possibilities are endless. 

If you and/or your family would like to participate and share your talents then please create a short video using your phone or IPad so we can kick off our very first "GCPC's Got Talent." Please limit your video presentation to 3-4 minutes. Upload your video in an email to Jeff at jjones@gcpcusa.org  and we will post them for our church family to enjoy.  We look forward to seeing and hearing all the amazing ways that you will share your gifts during this time!
We're in this together...
Grace Covenant can help your stimulus check get to impacted families if you would like to share it with our larger community in that spirit. Some GCPC members have already sent theirs in and Marcia is confidentiality disbursing those to impacted families. 

Thank you for your continued generosity. If you would like to participate, please put "Pastor's Discretion" in the memo line of your check and let Marcia and Natalie know that you are sending it for that purpose. 

If you have questions, please contact Marcia .
Spiritual/Pastoral Support
Deacon of the Week
I n this time of physical distancing, the deacons of Grace Covenant continue to be available to talk and pray with you by phone or online and to coordinate care. If you have difficulty reaching your assigned deacon or if you do not know who your assigned deacon is, please feel free to reach out to our deacon of the week.
This week (4/19 - 4/25):  Gordon Gaiser  email:   gordongaiser@yahoo.com
Next week (4/26 - 5/2):  Bill Ryan  email:  bill73ryan@gmail.com
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.] 
Iglesia Jerusalem congregation
Pat Cocke (Les Stradley’s friend) 
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Suzy Carter (David Carter's wife and Yvonne Smith's friend)
Eveline Damiano (Lisette de Groot's daughter)
Joseph Tierney (Paul Tierney's father)
Melissa Matherly Bowers (friend of Rick and Lynne Noble) 
Glen & Tom Kilbourne (parents of Janet Martin)
Jonathan Hettrick (Friend of Mary Craig)
Don Pressley (Amanda Pressley’s brother-in-law)
Mike Arim (Friend of Ken and Ednamae Fisher)
Bud Darnell (Jerry Bleckley’s cousin)
The Moore Family (friends of Jim and Martha Branden)
Anne Z. (friend of Jim and Martha Branden)
Laurie Allen (Amber Cook’s cousin)
Paula Kelton (Mary Bridges’ mom)
Jeb Kramer (Nancy and John Kramer’s grandson)
Hettie Lou Garland
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence Riedesel
Elizabeth Fisher
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Dean Presson
Bill McNeff
Daniel Breen
Susan Smialowicz
Susie Wheelis
Laura Ross
David Johnson
Penny Ponder
Bradley Moe

Our sympathy and support are extended to Angi Everett and family, following the death of her mother, Mona Johnson, on April 19th. Please keep her family in your prayers.
"Zoom Education & Formation" | Sunday, April 26 | 8:30 AM
All are invited! We will be discussing the chapters 9 & 10 of Barbara Brown Taylor's book, An Altar in the World . You are encouraged to purchase the book, but Richard can also send you a pdf of the chapters if you contact him directly at rcoble@gcpcusa.org .

 The *new* zoom link to the meeting is: https://zoom.us/j/99391251799
Virtual Youth Group | Sunday, April 26 | 5:00 - 6:30 PM on Zoom
We hope you'll join us this week for a time of gathering, games and preparation! Youth Sunday is just a few weeks away, and we really need everyone who wants to take part to be present. We have plenty of speaking AND non-speaking roles AND EVEN MUSIC roles, so please join us as we put the finishing touches on all of your awesome, creative ideas! Contact Samantha for details.
Racial Justice Book Series
With the extended stay at home order, we are hoping to get a book in for both April and May, with discussions happening over zoom. 

1) First, in extending our exploration of the subject matter of our last book,  An Indigenous People's History of the United States,  as well as our Sunday school class in the fall on "The Church and Native Americans," we will be reading the novel  There There  by Tommy Orange . That meeting will take place on  Thursday, April 30 at 7pm.

Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize .

“Powerful. . . .  There There  has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it’s a revelation.” — The New York Times 
2) In May, we will read  How to be an Antiracist  by Ibram X. Kendi . Since we are trying to cover two books, we will push back this book date to Thursday May 21 at 7:00 pm , also by zoom. 

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Note: These meetings of the Racial Justice Book Series will not take the place of the usual PART meeting. 
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents
Carol Hovis continues facilitation of enneagram zoom gatherings for GCPC parents,  Wednesday, April 29th, 6:30-8:30pm . Email  Carol  if you would like to participate. 

C ommunity Working Together
Homeward Bound
HOMEWARD BOUND……What an amazing thing that Homeward Bound and Harrah’s Cherokee Center  in Asheville (formerly known as the Civic Center or Coliseum) would come to the generous, creative agreement within 48 hours to work together to house 60 homeless people during this  STAY AT HOME/STAY SAFE  Pandemic.  How do you stay safe and protect others when your “home” is under the bridge?  Room in the Inn and others without a home are staying on mattresses in the Civic Center, where they have agreed to stay inside without leaving during this pandemic. I have volunteered a couple of times, 1-4pm just outside the building to accept donations. (see below)  They are not accepting clothes except for large men’s clothing.  Volunteers are not allowed to go inside, but rather set up at a table outside to sterilize donations.  Volunteering is quite safe and fun.  If you’d like to volunteer any day from 1-4pm, contact Joe  Hoffman, at  joeh@homewardboundwnc.org .  


Please donate supplies, either at Welcome Home or at the Civic Center.   You can drop off donated items at the Harrah's Cherokee center (former Civic Center) daily from 1pm-4pm, at the Homeward Bound van parked on the street outside the entrance. 

We are also accepting donations ANYTIME at the Welcome Home Donation Center at 205 Elk Park Drive in Woodfin. This office is closed to the public, but donation bins are located outside and items are collected and sanitized from there multiple times a day.

Food items most needed now  are individually wrapped snacks of any kind, bottled/canned/boxed drinks like juice, soda, sugar free sodas, capri suns and water. We also need items for breakfast individually wrapped, like bananas, oranges, granola bars, breakfast bars, mini boxes of cereal, muffins, and oatmeal packets.

Non-food items most needed now  are backpacks, tents, socks, underwear, toiletries, detergent, masks, earbuds, shower shoes/flipflops, towels, pillows, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and extra bedding. We are also collecting used games, puzzles, arts/crafts, journals, drawing paper, books, magazines, coloring books, etc. to help everyone cope with being quarantined. 

All monetary donations can be sent to our administrative office at: Homeward Bound, 37 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801. 

~ Susan Presson
Financial Help for Immigrant Workers Affected by Pandemic
Please consider supporting one of our Ministry Partners, WNC Workers Center, with a Rapid Response Fund for Workers. Many immigrant workers won’t be able to access the stimulus bill funds. A rapid response fund has been set up to support immigrant workers whose hours have been reduced or have lost their jobs and can’t get unemployment benefits. Information can be found here:  https://wncworkerscenter.org/rapid-response-fund-for-immigrant-workers-in-wnc/
~ contributed by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
YMCA Community Health Updates
We have had to change our schedule just a bit for meals, but we are still offering FREE meals for kids 18 and under at a variety of sites throughout Buncombe, McDowell and Henderson counties. Please review the attached document titled "Free Meals for Kids" for locations and times. Kids do not not have to be present to get the meals. Please share with all of your families!
We are still continuing our mobile markets, but as mentioned before, instead of client choice we are pre-packing food boxes for our neighbors to just come and pick up. We are discouraging drive-through pick-up, as this is putting our team more at risk. Folks can come up to the back of the truck to grab a bag.  If you serve the Candler area, please make note of the new time for that market. We will still be in the same parking lot as the Mission My Care Plus clinic, but the time will be from 4:30-5:30. We adjusted the time to be more accessible to working families. It will still be on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays. Once we get through this outbreak, we plan to set-up inside the Enka-Candler Library.

Pisgah Legal - ACTION ALERT!

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Pisgah Legal Services strongly advocated for Medicaid expansion. 1-in-10 adults, and growing numbers of children in North Carolina, have no health coverage. Right now, many of NC’s uninsured are working on the front lines of lines of the pandemic – in places like child care, food service and nursing homes. Expanding Medicaid would unlock billions in federal funding to support our struggling health care systems and cut the number of uninsured in our state in half. All North Carolinians are protected when more people are insured and able to access care and treatment. 

Please join your voice with our’s as we advocate for this essential change.

Actions You Can Take to Support Medicaid Expansion

  • Join us on Friday, April 24th for a Day of Action for Pisgah Legal Services. Call Senator Berger and Speaker Moore at 1-855-408-2357 and urge them to expand Medicaid for your loved ones, our neighbors and our health. You will likely either speak to an intern or leave a voicemail. Concentrating our calls on one day will have a strong impact.

NOTE:   You will have to call this number twice to make both phone calls .

Sample Phone Script for Speaker Moore/ Senator Berger:  My name is _____ and I am calling you to please support expanding Medicaid. We are all at risk when any of our neighbors, family members or friends can’t get the care they need. We need Medicaid expansion to survive this crisis and beyond. 

Prefer email?  Click here  for sample language and email addresses.

  • Join a Facebook LIVE on Friday, May 1st at 12PM with NC Senator Terry Van Duyn and Pisgah Legal Chief Operations Officer, Jackie Kiger as they discuss why Medicaid expansion is vital for North Carolina’s health and economy. 
  • Submit a public comment to the House Select Committee on Covid-19. Make a short statement on how Medicaid expansion will bring jobs and federal dollars to our local economies, support low-income employees who have lost their jobs and provide a safety-net health care program for low income people.

GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
Since the end of August, I have been serving as a YAV in Tucson, Arizona. My work placement is a shelter for families seeing Asylum in the United States. During the second week of March, we made the decision to close the shelter as I.C.E. and Border Patrol were not allowing many families to enter, most of our volunteers were not able to volunteer due to concerns about the virus. There is still another shelter in Tucson and they have been able to remain open with limited volunteers/staff to welcome the very few families that are being released. The week after that decision was made, the Tucson Borderlands YAV board asked that the YAVs shelter in place and only leave the house for essential things such as food, and therapy/doctor appointments. During this time, I was feeling pulled between my YAV community in Tucson and my family in Asheville--and Thailand, as my mom was trying to get back to the U.S. quickly. 

There were so many days in mid-march that I just felt so overwhelmed by anything I saw or heard. It was hard to make basic decisions, even something as simple as what to have for breakfast most days, so making a hard decision like whether or not to go home for the time being seemed nearly impossible. I worried that if I left, I would be upsetting my YAVmates, quitting, or finding an easy way out. After talking to my site-coordinator, I was able to really process through things aloud with her, including all of my concerns about actually leaving. The next day I did officially make the decision to go home for right now while still participating virtually in program events. Two days later, I boarded a flight heading home to Asheville, deciding to stay at my mom and stepmom’s house. After a lot of travel complications/changes, my mom arrived a few days later. We social distanced from each other and quarantined in our house for 14 days. It was really hard to not hug my mom after not seeing her since July. 

There are still days that nearly everything seems “too much." Somedays I feel like I don’t do nearly enough, and others I feel like I did way too much. It has been so easy to feel disconnected recently and some days it is hard to even respond to a text from a friend but I have really been appreciating all those connections that keep me going. Over the past 8 months, I have been realizing how important community really is. I have started seeing God show up in different communities. God is there reminding me that I am not alone. There aren’t a lot of things that seem to appear “normal” right now, but the support and love I receive from communities around me is still here. God is still here.

~ Emma Maney, GCPC Member and Young Adult Volunteer
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden plants thrive under care
of gardeners working one at a time!
Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Thank you for your generous giving! Your gifts are enabling the church to continue our important work in our community. If you have not signed up for online giving, you can do that  here . You can also mail your checks to the church. Without you, the church could not continue its ministries in these difficult times. Thank you, again, for your generosity and your faithfulness! 
Emailing 1st Quarter Statements

1st Quarter Contribution Statements  were emailed to anyone with gifts and an email address in our system on Monday, April 20. These come from email address  notifications@onrealemail.org  and include a blue hyperlink to view the PDF of your statement- see the screenshot below:
As a reminder, this statement only includes gifts made  January 1 - March 31  in the detailed gift listing. Any prior period gifts are reflected in the overall pledge balance at the bottom, but will not be shown in the detailed line items. Gifts made after April 1 will be on the 2nd Quarter Contribution Statement issued in July.
IRA, Financial Advisor, & Charitable Distributions

If you're giving through a third party and having a check sent directly to the church, please be sure to ask your adviser to include your name and fund designation on the distribution so we can properly apply it on your contribution statement.
Remote Giving & Paperless Statements

Did you know that you can make donations and receive statements online? Here are a few different ways to stay up-to-date on your pledge remotely:
  • MAIL gifts to the office at 789 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
  • BANK BILL PAY mails checks remotely, one-time or on a recurring schedule - contact your bank to set this up
  • ONLINE at www.gcpcusa.org/ways-to-give - just click GIVE HERE
  • SMARTPHONE with the Give+ Mobile App or by texting 828-266-0126 the amount you’d like to contribute
To sign up for  paperless statements  or if you have any questions, please contact Natalie in our Finance Office at 828-254-3274, ext 202 or  nweaver@gcpcusa.org
GCPC Out and About Online
April  2020
Virtual Enneagram Gatherings 

conclude Friday, April 24th, 10am  &  
Monday, April 27th, 6:30pm

We take a break & resume the week of May 11th. 
Stay tuned for details.  

Contact Carol for more information:    cmhovis@gmail.com
Presbyterian Association of Musicians presents . . .
"Worship and Music Now"
As we manage in a time of uncertainty for church programs, we at PAM thought it might be a good idea to experience a bit of our Worship and Music Conference community now, so we asked members of our 2020 conference leadership if they could help us deliver some "Worship and Music Now."

Every Thursday at 7:30 pm eastern, we will bring you another Worship and Music Now episode with a Conference faculty member. Click here to watch.

Remember, you won't be able to watch each new episode until 7:30 pm eastern.

Thursday April 9th - Eric Wall and Jessica Tate

Thursday April 16th - David Eicher

Thursday April 23rd - Byron Wade

Thursday April 30 - Ann Laird Jones

Thursday May 7th - TBA
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804