GCPC Weekly News | April 22, 2021
Click  " View entire message" at bottom of email
to see the FULL newsletter
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Adult Education 4/18
Staff Meeting 4/20
Worship Preview | Sunday, April 25, 2021
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Sermon: "The Bold and the Beloved" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: 1 John 3:16-24

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
We celebrate the baptism of Javier John Gonzalez-Hoffman! 

We would love for you to share a prayer or memory of his baptism by filling out this baptism form. All the responses will be shared with his family. This is a wonderful keepsake for celebrating this wonderful event!
PC(USA) Special Offerings
April 5 - May 23, 2021
The Pentecost Offering unites us in a church-wide effort to support young people and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world.

A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60% is used to support children-at-risk, youth, and young adults through ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

  • Sign into your Realm account online or on the Realm Connect mobile app and enter a pledge under the Giving tab. Detailed instructions with photos are here.

  • Email Natalie Weaver your total pledge amount and planned giving frequency (i.e. weekly, monthly) to have her enter it on your behalf.

  • Contact the Finance Office at 828-254-3274, ext. 202 or nweaver@gcpcusa.org to request a printed pledge card be mailed to your home address.

Click here to watch a video example of how to pledge in Realm.
Recurring Weekly Zooms:

  • Sundays "Adult Education" @ 9:00 am (No Adult Ed on May 2)
  • Sundays "Pre-K - 3rd Grade Sunday Morning Adventure" @ 10:15 am (email Anna Louise for zoom info)
  • Sundays "4th and 5th Grade Connect Class" @ 5:00 pm (email Anna Louise for zoom info)
  • Sundays "Youth Group" @ 5:00 pm - (email Cat Kessler for zoom info)
  • Wednesdays “Zoom Bible Study@ 3:00 pm
  • Wednesdays "Choir Chat" @ 7:30 pm
  • Every other Thursday "Men of GCPC" @ 8:30 am
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 Anna Louise, and any staff member can help you get set up for your meeting if you have questions. 
Spiritual/Pastoral Support
Deacon of the Week
In 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 (4/18-4/24): Ellen Sizemore email: ellen.sizemore@gmail.com
Next week (4/25-5/1): Amber White email: amberleigh164@gmail.com
Prayer List

Prayer requests will stay on the GCPC Prayer List for one month. Please let any staff member know if you (or your loved one) would like to remain on the list for longer.
Iglesia Jerusalem congregation
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Truly and Eric Mount (Marcia Mount Shoop’s parents)
Bertilda Arteta (Marta Alcala-Williams' mother)
Sheldon Smith (Beth Robrecht’s brother-in-law)
Family of Pat Cocke (Jerry and Susie Bleckley’s friend)
Jennings Palmer and his family (friends of Kathy Jacobs)
Midgie Swartz (Allison Blozy’s aunt)
John Nelson (friend of Steve and Florence Riedesel)
Rhett Milner (Lynn Milner’s nephew)
Adela Gaiser (Robin and Gordon Gaiser’s granddaughter)
Buster Carswell (Amanda Pressley’s brother-in-law)
Family of Patricia Ruthvin (Mary Byers’ sister)
Charles Williams (Libby Kyles' father)
Thomasine Paxton Harkins (Lynn Hollifield’s mom) 
The family of Josephine Paxton Green (Lynn Hollifield’s Mom's twin sister, who passed away March 31)
Pam Holcombe and family (upon the death of her son Ian McGrayne)
Emily Middleton (Anna Hamel’s aunt)
Leone Alexander (Beth Kissling’s friend
Family of Juaco Alcala who died on Friday of COVID and for his wife, Janeth, hospitalized for COVID (Aunt and Uncle of Marta Alcala-Williams)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
John Mount Shoop
Elizabeth Fisher
Doris Prak
Susie Wheelis
Dan Blake
Betsy Rhodes
Don Moe
Adult Formation
Spring Adult Education Series: Responding in Faith to Asheville's Racist History | Sundays | April 25 & May 9 | 9:00 AM | Zoom
Asheville's entrenchment in the legacy of slavery and white supremacy is illuminated and upheld in its names and monuments. How far and how deep do these legacies go? How are white dominant communities of faith called to listen to and support Black voices in our town that call out these legacies? This spring, we will dive deeper into this history and learn more about ongoing efforts for repair and reparation in the city of Asheville.

  • April 25:  We welcome Dr. Oralene Simmons of the Vance Monument Removal Task Force and Kim Roney of City Council for Adult Education this Sunday. They will talk about the process of discernment around tearing down the Vance Monument and provide an update on its removal.
Dr. Oralene Anderson Graves Simmons helped integrate Mars Hill University in 1961 when she became the first African American student to enroll. She also founded the first Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast in Asheville, nearly forty years ago. 
Councilwoman Kim Roney was elected to the Asheville City Council in 2020.
Councilwoman Roney serves on the following Council Committees:
  • Governance
  • Public Safety Committee
  • Board & Commission Committee
  • May 2: Youth Sunday / Anniversary Sunday - NO Adult Education

  • May 9: The Rev. Tami Forte Logan from Faith4Justice will lead a discussion about the ongoing efforts toward reparations for BIPOC communities following the City Council's vote to make reparation for the devastation wrought by the legacies of white supremacy, including slavery, Jim Crow, and urban renewal. The conversation will include ongoing conversation about the Haywood St. project and other initiatives and obstacles for reparations in our town.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 969 6572 5763 | Passcode: 789
EARTH Team Meeting | TONIGHT, Thursday, April 22 | 7:00 PM | via Zoom
An invitation to the EARTH Team and anyone interested in envisioning the EARTH Team's direction forward in helping GCPC to best love and care for God's creation. We will meet with Marcia via zoom tonight! Please join us!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 810 2493 4970 | Passcode: 789
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering: "Burgers & Blessings" In-Person Outdoor Gathering | NEW DATE: Next Thursday, April 29 | 6:30 PM
You are invited to a splendid evening of tasty grilling and thoughtful conversation. We will provide the dinner, so enjoy a night off from cooking! If you are able, bring an object or story that showcases tangible hope that you have found during this pandemic year.
Dress warm and please wear a mask.

Click HERE to RSVP, so we can expect you and know dietary restrictions. 

Questions? Contact Samantha sgblock@gcpcusa.org

Enneagram Gathering for GCPC Parents | Wednesday, May 12 | 6:30-8:30 PM | via Zoom
Facilitated by Carol Hovis, all parents are welcome. If you don't know your enneagram type, contact Carol. Email Carol if you would like to participate.
The Racial Justice Book Series returns!
The Racial Justice Book Series will return this summer with three books by Black female authors about the systems, consequences, and remedies of the deep entrenchment of white supremacy culture in our country and church.

We will meet on zoom during the Sunday school hour the last Sunday of each month. The first book is a great and lengthy one, so go ahead and get started!

Presbyterian Women’s Circles are Zoom meetings.
Please join us.

Circle 1: First Tuesday of each month, 10:00 a.m.

Circle 2:  First Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m.

Circle 3: *Third Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.

Circle 4:  First Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.

Circle 5:  First Monday of each month, 11:00 a.m.
Children & Youth Formation
Pre-K - 3rd Grade Sunday Morning Adventure | 10:15 am | Zoom
You'll get an email every Friday with the Zoom link for our Sunday 10:15am check in. Email Anna Louise if you did not receive the link.
4th & 5th Graders CONNECT Class | Sundays | 5:00-5:45 PM | Zoom
Each week, families will receive an email with a unique login for class. If you would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise.
Youth Group | Sunday, April 25 | 5:00-6:30 PM on Zoom
We're looking forward to seeing everyone at Youth Group this week as we set the stage for Youth Sunday worship, and then celebrate our hard work with fun group games!

 It is vital that all youth taking part in Youth Sunday be present this Sunday evening! If you have any concerns, please email Samantha this week. 

Contact Cat Kessler for zoom information or if you have questions.
IMPORTANT DATES in Preparation for Youth Sunday! 

  • Sunday, April 25 @ 5-6:30 PM
  • Saturday, May 1 @ 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM (rehearsal)
  • Sunday, May 2 @ 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM (worship!)

We would love for ALL youth to participate in Youth Sunday, even if you cannot be present on May 2nd. Find out how to record and submit a video for our virtual "choir" anthem here, and reach out to Samantha if you would like to be involved in any other way.
On Sunday, May 23rd, GCPC will be honoring our high school graduates during the 10:45 a.m. worship service.

If you will be graduating from high school, please save the date and take a moment to fill out your graduation information form here BY Friday, May 7th. 

Please contact Samantha or Cat if you have any trouble with the form. THANKS!
NEW DATE: Youth Committee Meeting | Wednesday, April 28 | 6:00-7:00 PM | Zoom

All Youth, Advisors and Parents are invited to participate in the Youth Committee meetings and lend their voice and ideas to the youth program. We'll be talking about ways to celebrate Youth Sunday and the weeks ahead, and we welcome your creative ideas!
Attention current 8th-11th graders! Because of the pandemic, we are moving Confirmation to Fall 2021, with some special programming in the late Spring and a request to participate in one of the summer conferences (info below).

Our theme for the year is "Faith Voyage." This will be a sacred and exciting time to explore your faith in community. And it is a whole lot of fun!

Register for the 2021 Confirmation class by clicking here. This class is for youth who have completed 8th-11th grade by summer 2021. More information about exact times/dates/etc. is forthcoming, but registration will help us plan accordingly and have materials ready.
Community Working Together
Spring Fling (Grand Opening & Plant Sale) | Saturday, April 24 | 10:00 AM | 47 Bryant St., AVL
Event hosted by Hood Huggers International and Peace Gardens & Market

PLANT SALE: Starts at 10am. They will have contactless payment and folks will pay using the honor system. All plants are sliding scale of $3-$5 each, with the exception of the Passion Flowers which are $10-$15 each. There's a wide variety of heirloom/open-pollinated herbs, flowers, and veggies ~ all started from seed in our little greenhouse. We'll start posting varieties this week, culminating in a full FB catalogue soon!

Click HERE for more information.
(divorcing) WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE | Thursday, May 13 | 8 PM
Over 20 years ago, Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones wrote the widely distributed article on the characteristics of White Supremacy Culture.

Now Tema, in collaboration with the help of many brilliant friends, has created a website designed to update and add to the original article.

Join Tema, SURJ and special guests from around the country to launch the website and share what we've been learning about white supremacy culture in these last two decades.

Cost is $10; everyone welcome regardless of ability to pay;larger donations welcome.

Click here for more information and to register. Click here to register directly.

This launch is a fundraiser for the Earthseed Land Collective.
adrienne maree brown’s keynote lecture
Social Justice as Science Fiction: The Queerness of Liberation” | TONIGHT, Thursday, April 22 | 7:00 - 8:00 PM | via Facebook Live
The free and virtual lecture will be hosted by UNC Asheville and will be streamed live on Facebook here. This lecture will explore organizing in the context of science fiction and radical imagination, centering the contributions of queer and trans activists, thought leaders, and artists of color as central parts of liberation movements past and present.

Radical imagination is a central component of racial justice. No registration is needed for this event; you can tune in to the Facebook link for the live stream.
Habitat for Humanity AVL presents "This Divided Land"
The home is the primary way Americans build wealth, but laws and systems have kept people of color- especially Black Americans- from accessing homeownership. 
Nationally and here in Asheville, white homeownership rates are significantly higher than people of color, and the racial wealth gap is as wide as it was in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was passed. 

After discovering a racial covenant in a deed of a South Asheville property they developed for affordable housing,  Asheville Habitat decided to delve deeper and learn more about the history of discriminatory housing practices, how they shaped our city, and how practices like these contributed to current day racial disparities. 
The result is this 18 minute film, 
Kiss the Ground - Official Movie Trailer (2020)
Screen it virtually for free from April 10 through 26 by signing up below. View it with your family or Covid-pod in the safety of your home. 
Faith Climate Action Week | April 16-25, 2021 | Interfaith Power & Light
“Kiss the Ground” is a new film how about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. This film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers.

This film has been chosen as the featured film of Interfaith Power & Light’s Faith Climate Action Week, April 16-25, 2021. Our theme this year is Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections between our Food, our Faith, and the Climate. Learn more about the week here.
YWCA USA’s 15th annual Stand Against Racism campaign will take place April 22 – 25, 2021. 
We invite YWCAs and allied groups to focus their events and organizing on the myriad of racial justice issues that impact the health and safety of communities of color. Most importantly, we invite you to explore how From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis can advance the work of justice in your community and empower people of color.

Structural racism plays a large role in determining the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These factors affect people’s access to quality housing, education, food, transportation, political power, and other social determinants of health. Understanding and addressing systemic racism from this public health perspective is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities, and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities.

Our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
Decolonizing our politics -
The good medicine is there, but do we want to take it?
The “first order of business” for the church is to bring about more humane and justice-oriented politics, the Rev. Kobi Little said during the April broadcast of “Good Medicine,” hosted by the Rev. Gregory Bentley and Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart, Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020).

Little is a global citizen, strategic advisor, public policy advocate and faith leader. He is president of the Baltimore NAACP and vice president and political action chairman of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP. He is also the dean of Justice Chapel.

Little said the conversation about decolonizing politics must begin with defining white supremacist colonization, sharing four words that come to mind for him: “invasion, hegemony, hate and exploitation.”

Where do we go from here?
Stated Clerk reacts to guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin case
Christians For A United Community Online Book Club | starting Sunday April 18th | 2:00 - 3:30 PM  
Hosted by Tyrone Greenlee, Director, Christians for a United Community

The title of the book will be "The Case for Reparations" written by Ta-Nehisi Coates as a piece for the The Atlantic Monthly in 2014 -see attached.
(Please read through page 25 in preparation for the first discussion.)

Reparations is a timely and important topic-in our nation and in our community. All are welcome to be a part of this discussion.

If interested, send Tyrone Greenlee an email at cucasheville@bellsouth.net
Easter Liberation Bible Study | Tuesdays | April 6 - May 18th | 5:30-7:00 PM
Come to some or all!
How we read the Bible matters. Where we come from and our life experiences inform the way we understand what we read in the Holy Bible and shapes the way we follow the teachings of Jesus. Liberation Theology is a theology grounded in the insight that God sides with the poor and marginalized throughout scripture.
Join Rev. Milly and community leaders such as Tami Forte LoganAmy CantrellBruce Waller Jr.Nontombi TutuAmy Kim Kyremes-Parks and others as we break down the various voices of Liberation Theology during the season of Eastertide. Reading together we can discover how Liberation Theology will inform us come Pentecost and the birth of Church. Please register. The registration form can be found here.

Racial Justice Coalition News

The Racial Justice Coalition has created this 10-minute video to provide its vision for reparations in Asheville and Buncombe County. 

To support this effort and receive periodic updates, sign up here

COVID-19 Vaccinations for those who are homebound
Buncombe County Public Health, in collaboration with Buncombe County Emergency Services and Mission Health Partners’ Caramedics, is providing COVID-19 vaccinations at no charge to individuals who are homebound or have difficulty getting out of their home to access vaccine. We can also vaccinate caregivers in the home at the same time.
If individuals would like to be added to the list for homebound vaccination, they (or their caregivers) should contact the Buncombe County Ready Team at 828-419-0095 and provide their name, address, date of birth and phone number. Ready Team staff group the individuals on the list by location in the county and contact individuals by phone to schedule them for vaccination.
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden News
Last week YTL got an orientation to the garden and started getting their hands dirty, planting seeds and believe it or not - enjoying weeding!

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Summertime Stewardship
Are you looking forward to time outside and away from screens, but worried about staying on top of your pledged giving? Don't worry, there are ways to give easily remotely, even automatically!
MAIL gifts to the office at 789 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 (the office remains closed but we are checking the mail)
BANK BILL PAY mails checks remotely, one-time or on a recurring schedule – contact your bank to set this up
ONLINE at https://onrealm.org/gcpcusa/give/now or through your Realm Connect smartphone app
TEXT "giveGCPC" to 73256 on your mobile device, then follow the prompts
1st Quarter Statements Emailed 4/21/21

If you gave January 1 - March 31, you should have received an email on 4/21/21 with a link to your 1st quarter giving statement. These will come through our software from notifications@onrealm.org with a blue link towards the bottom, which will open your contribution statement in a PDF. This shows the details of all donations made in the 1st quarter and your pledge summary at the bottom, if applicable. 

As a reminder, you can access your giving history and YTD gifts in real time by logging in at onrealm.org/gcpcusa and clicking the Giving tab. You can adjust the filter to show specific dates or funds. 

Questions or concerns? Contact Natalie Weaver in the Finance Office at nweaver@gcpcusa.org or leave a message at 828.254.3274 and she will return your call. 
Remote Giving

Here are a few different ways to stay up-to-date on your giving 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 https://onrealm.org/gcpcusa/give/now
  • TEXT "giveGCPC" and AMOUNT to 73256 (i.e. giveGCPC $100)
  • MOBILE through the Connect - Our Church Community app

Interested in setting up online recurring giving? Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to self-manage eGiving through Realm or return this signed authorization form to have our Finance Office set up on your behalf.

If you have any questions, please contact Natalie in our Finance office at nweaver@gcpcusa.org or by leaving a message for Natalie Weaver at 828-254-3274.
GCPC Out and About
Yearning for Home: The Cry of the Earth (Episode 2 in John Philip Newell’s Series ‘Spiritual Exile & Seeds of Promise’) | Saturday, May 8 | 1:00 PM | via Zoom | Cost: $25
In February 2021 John Philip offered a livestream presentation attended by hundreds of women and men throughout the world on the subject of spiritual exile and promise today. The response was so great that he is planning a series to explore, one at a time, the yearnings that have led countless numbers of people into an experience of exile from the religious tradition of their inheritance, whether in literally leaving church or in looking well beyond its bounds for vision and nourishment. Episode 2 will explore the longing for a spirituality that deeply reconnects us to the sacredness of the earth as home in the belief that paying faithful attention to our yearnings will lead to new beginnings.

All those who register for ‘Yearning for Home: The Cry of the Earth’ will be sent a recording of the introductory Episode 1 as well as a link to the live session for Episode 2 on May 8th 2021.

This livestream event is a collaboration of Earth & Soul (www.earthandsoul.org) with LaForet Conference and Retreat Center (Colorado Springs, CO), Shambhala Mountain Center (Red Feather Lakes, CO), and Montreat Conference Center.

Our staff are all still working remotely as the office remains closed due to the pandemic. To leave a voicemail for a staff member to return your call, follow these steps:

  1. Call the office at 828-254-3274.
  2. Listen through the office closure notice, which will then take you to a staff directory.
  3. Enter the first 3 letters of either the staff member's first or last name on your phone keypad (i.e. to reach Natalie Weaver, you'd enter 628 for NAT or 932 for WEA).
  4. You'll be directed to the staff member's individual voicemail, where you can leave a message to be returned as soon as possible.
  5. If you just want to leave a message for the general voicemail box, press 0.   

You can also reach our staff by email- please see our website for each staff member's individual email address. 
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804