GCPC Weekly News | April 30, 2020
Photo by  Charlotte  on  Unsplash
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Staff Birthday Celebration
Sammy (the cat) at Youth Group
Worship Preview | Sunday, May 3, 2020
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
(Password is: 789)

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!
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 (4/26 - 5/2):  Bill Ryan  email:   bill73ryan@gmail.com
Next week (5/3 - 5/9):  Mary Berg  email:  marhber@hotmail.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
Bre Bolivar and family (on the death of her grandfather, Conway "Red" James Keenan)
Caroline Noor and family (on the death of her grandmother, Sarah Cobb Walker)
Racial Justice Book Series | Thursday, April 30 (TONIGHT) | 7:00 PM | Zoom (Contact Richard for password)

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 .

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 
"Zoom Education & Formation" | Sunday, May 3 | 8:30 AM
All are invited! We will be discussing the chapters 11 & 12 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, May 3 | 5:00 - 6:30 PM on Zoom
Join us as we put the finishing touches on elements for Youth Sunday virtual worship! We'll also play some fun games and brainstorm about the upcoming summer. We still have plenty of roles (speaking AND non-speaking) to fill for Youth Sunday, so please attend if you would like to be involved! Contact Samantha for details.
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents
Carol Hovis will continue facilitation of  enneagram  zoom gatherings for  GCPC parents  in  May.  We will take a break Wednesday, May 6th; and resume for  Wednesdays, May 13, 20 & 27, 6:30-8:30pm . All parents are welcome; you can participate once or every week. If you don't know your enneagram type, contact Carol. Email  Carol  if you would like to participate. 

C ommunity Working Together
VRQ Update
The VRQ is not accepting volunteer workers yet, so the GCPC VRQ cook team will NOT convene on Tuesday, May 5th.
Local Outreach for Those Affected by COVID-19

Pandemic of Love, Asheville, has been launched as an extension of a larger national/international mutual aid movement (Pandemicoflove.com) that started only a few weeks ago and has already connected well over 30,000 patrons with people in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as this virus has spread rapidly, now too have extraordinary acts of kindness and love for neighbors in need. Volunteer operated, and started by nationally recognized activist extraordinaire Shelly Tygielski, in her home state of Florida, Pandemic of Love has now established micro-communities throughout the Nation aimed at connecting those in need with those willing to help on a local level.

What is special about Pandemic of Love is the personal connection between patrons and people in need. After completing a Request for Need/Commitment to Help form online, volunteers create matches that connect people in a tangible way to give quickly, discretely and directly. In these times of isolation, the personal connection established between patrons and people in need, in our own community, is the heart of this movement. There is no catch. Kind people are introduced to kind people which results in an act of kindness and connection. General donations are also an option and very welcome.

Anyone throughout Asheville in need of essentials to help weather this crisis, or anyone able to help a local family with funds for groceries, medicine, etc, is urged to reach out. Help is available throughout the Nation for family or friends elsewhere. Those interested in volunteering for this effort or with questions, please email  PandemicofloveAVL@gmail.com .

To learn more about Shelly and this movement, or to access Get Help/Give Help forms go to Pandemicoflove.com , click on HELP, and submit under the Asheville, NC tab.

Forms are also available by following links to
Request Aid:

Commit To Help:

Email us at  PandemicofloveAVL@gmail.com  with questions.
At Stewart Detention Center near Lumpkin, GA, where 2,000 undocumented immigrants are detained, an outbreak of more than 40 COVID-19 cases among employees has been confirmed. ICE has also confirmed nine cases among detainees, but there is concern that additional cases may be undetected, most likely because testing for detainees is not as readily available as it is for employees. 
The crowded conditions at Stewart prevent social distancing within the facility; immigrants-rights advocates are urging state lawmakers to secure protection for those being held at Stewart. Advocates contend that many detainees could be released at no danger to society and actually with positive results as the individuals return to positive roles in their communities.
To join the efforts to improve conditions at Stewart and to seek release of detainees, contact the North Carolina senators and your Congressman by telephone, email, or letter at your earliest opportunity.
Sen. Richard Burr (202) 224-3154  www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email
Sen. Thom Tillis (202) 224-6342   www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
Rep. Mark Meadows (202) 225-6401   www.meadows.house.gov/contact
Rep. Patrick McHenry (202) 225-2576  www.mchenry.house.gov/

~ contributed by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
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)
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
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.

Anonymous Gift to Food Connection Will Feed Tens of Thousands of People in WNC
After seeing an inspiring story about a relief effort between Wicked Weed Brewing’s Cultura and the local community, an anonymous donor stepped up in a huge way sending local nonprofit Food Connection a $200,000 check to help purchase more food which Cultura’s staff is now turning into meals for local organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here!
Working Wheels
GCPC ministry partner Working Wheels was featured in The Laurel of Asheville. Click here to read .
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 .
GCPC Still Growing
Community Garden Update
Harvesting began on Tuesday. Members of team 3 harvested greens in 2 90-minute shifts of 5 gardeners. Gardeners wearing face masks and gloves worked while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet.  

Team 3 leader Beth Kissling reported a harvest of more than 73 pounds of kale, collards, and swiss chard. Harvested greens filled more than 70 1-gallon plastic zip-lock bags. Greens were left in a shaded location near the parking lot for pickup.

Bagged greens were picked up and distributed to families identified as food insecure by some of our ministry partners.

A second harvest of kale, collards, and swiss chard is planned for Saturday morning. Some members of team 4, who have been recruited by team 4 leader Barb Toth, will harvest and bag greens. 

Throughout harvesting, the Garden Steering Team will be working with our ministry partners to identify immediate needs in our community.

Weeding is continuing, performed by one person or one family unit at a time.  New weeders can sign up for shifts on the garden shift google doc. Ask your team leader to help you sign up.

The next planting, using 5-person teams, will likely occur sometime around May 10.

~ Betsy Wilson, Garden Steering Team member
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
May 2020
Virtual Enneagram Gatherings 

Subtype Gatherings:  Sundays, 1:30-3:30pm May 3, 17, 24, 31

Weekday Gatherings,  Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm & Fridays, 10am-12noon starting May 11th

Topic: Relationships between different types

All are welcome; you can participate once or every week. 
Basic knowledge of your enneagram type is suggested.

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