Grace Covenant Weekly News | August 1, 2019
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I just sit where I'm put, composed
of stone and wishful thinking:
that the deity who kills for pleasure
will also heal,
that in the midst of your nightmare,
the final one, a kind lion
will come with bandages in her mouth
and the soft body of a woman,
and lick you clean of fever,
and pick your soul up gently by the nape of the neck
and caress you into darkness and paradise.
~ from "Sekmet, the Lion-Headed Goddess" by Margaret Atwood      

Sunday Preview

Sunday, August 4, 2019


Worship services @ 8:15 & 10:15 AM
Courtyard Fellowship @ 11:15 AM


Homily: "No More Lies" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures: Hosea 11:1-11; Colossians 3:1-11
Summer Music Happenings

  • Summer Choir rehearses Sunday morning at 9:15am and is open to all. If you'd like to give singing a try, please join us in the sanctuary.
  • Instruments of Grace - GCPC is blessed with a number of talented members. This week we are blessed with musical leadership from Mary Johnson (8:15am service), Ednamae Fisher (10:15am service), and Josie Moe (directing Summer Choir).
Name tags on Summer Break
We are excited that the alcove in the narthex has some beautiful updates. Soon, we will have a fabulous new name tag caddy thanks to the creativity of a GCPC member. For now, we want everyone to be able to enjoy some space to sit down and visit for a while. If you can't remember somebody's name, find a fun way to ask them!
Attention All Women of Grace Covenant!

Please scroll down to the "GCPC Community" section of the newsletter to see the PW Kick-Off announcement!
Stewardship Corner

's of Automatic Giving


Here are some of the ways you can give at GCPC on a recurring schedule:
A CH – auto withdrawals from your bank account through GCPC web portal
B ill Pay – you set up with your bank and they automatically mail checks
C redit Card – charge your credit card through GCPC web portal*

*There are credit card fees incurred with each transaction, so there is an optional 2.75% additional charge to help offset processing fees.
 
If you are interested in setting up ACH or Credit Card automatic payments, please contact Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator, at nweaver@gcpcusa.org or 828-254-3274, ext. 202.

You can also register and self-manage your giving account online here or through the Give + app. 
2nd Quarter Statements Mailed

Out of the 265 contribution statements that were printed for the 2nd quarter (April - June gifts), 104 statements were not picked up and went in the mail this past Monday. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator, at  nweaver@gcpcusa.org  or 828-254-3274, ext. 202. She is in the office Tuesday - Thursday and happy to help.

Many thanks to the Deacons, volunteers, and staff members who helped spread the word about picking up statements!  
Community Garden
Community Garden Potluck | Friday, August 23 | 6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
An invitation to all the community gardeners and friends of the garden! Come enjoy a mid-Summer's garden celebration together. Please bring your favorite covered dish to share. Come early (at 5:30 pm) and help set up or stay late and help clean up. We have much to share and discuss, including solid numbers on the amount of vegetables planted, tended and harvested. It is a time to celebrate your garden work!
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
“The Immigrant's Creed" by the Reverend Jose Luis Casal, soon to retire as the Director of Presbyterian World Mission (PCUSA)  
 
I believe in Almighty God, who guided the people in exile and in exodus, the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon, the God of foreigners and immigrants.
I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean, who was born away from his people and his home, who fled his country with his parents when his life was in danger, and returning to his own country suffered the oppression of the tyrant Pontius Pilate, the servant of a foreign power, who then was persecuted, beaten, and finally tortured, accused and condemned to death unjustly. But on the third day, this scorned Jesus rose from the dead, not as a foreigner but to offer us citizenship in heaven.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal immigrant from God’s kingdom among us, who speaks all languages, lives in all countries, and reunites all races.
I believe that the church is the secure home for the foreigner and for all believers who constitute it, who speak the same language and have the same purpose. I believe that the communion of the saints begins when we accept the diversity of the saints.
I believe in the forgiveness of sin, which makes us all equal, and in reconciliation, which identifies us more than does race, language, or nationality.
I believe that in the resurrection God will unite us as one people in which all are distinct and all are alike at the same time.
Beyond this world, I believe in life eternal in which no one will be an immigrant but all will be citizens of God’s kingdom, which will never end. Amen.
Shelter office poster of migrants
Susan Murty, a resident of Highland Farms, spent two weeks in May volunteering at one of the eleven shelters operated by Annunciation House in El Paso. These “Welcome Centers” receive immigrants released by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and help them on their way to a sponsor in the United States while waiting for an appointment with ICE. For the next several weeks, we will include in the newsletter her journal entries recording her experiences. You can learn more about Annunciation House at https://annunciationhouse.org/ .
 
~ Contributed by Tish Anderson
Ride Help for Pisgah Legal Services

Mission: as part of our Creating Sanctuary effort, we have offered to find rides for Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) clients.
How it works: staff at PLS contact us and we send out an email to all volunteers on the list about the date, time and trip origin and destination. If a volunteer is able to provide the ride, they reply all so that we know it's covered and PLS knows who to contact with more detailed information.
When and Where: The rides are on weekdays and may involve early morning appointments, some at the PLS office in Asheville, also sometimes at the Immigration Court in Charlotte or the Immigration office in Greer, SC. There are usually only one or two requests per month.
Who: YOU are needed. If you are willing to volunteer one time or occasionally please send an email to Bill Neeriemer at sancttransport@gmail.com to be put on the list. You may take your name off of the list any time. You do not need to be bilingual. The clients are pleasant and appreciative. Most speak English although sometimes limited.
Power and Race Team (PART)
The Racial Justice Book Series will NOT be meeting in August.
Check back in the fall for new titles.
Recommended reading:

Interview with Paul Chaat Smith,  On The Complex Truth Of Native American History   from the August 2019 Sun Magazine.  https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/524/our-fellow-americans  
LAST CHANCE - REGISTER NOW!!
Oconaluftee Indian Village | Saturday, August 10 | 12-7 PM | Cherokee, NC
Carpool or van for an afternoon in the Oconaluftee Village, picnic on the grounds and an evening of Cherokee storytelling around a bonfire. Registration form is available at http://bit.ly/CherokeeVillage or there are also some hard copies at the Welcome Desk. Adults - $20; Children (6-12) - $12; Children 5 & under - FREE. Pre-registration is required and full payment (made to GCPC) is due to Sherrie in the office by August 4th. 
Part of what  PART  does is to inform Grace Covenant about
racial equity work going on in the larger community.
The following are some events that PART recommends.
More Light Teach-In: Racial Justice
Jessica Vazquez Torres is the Lead Trainer for the 3-part series and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion around racial justice. As the National Program Coordinator for  Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training , Jessica has years of experience training folks on how to begin the conversation about dismantling systemic racism.
Part 3 will: Distinguish between decentering whiteness and white silence; Discuss the ways white supremacy appears in spaces even when no white people are present; Offer a theological praxis for working to dismantle systems that uphold white supremacy and division. 
Earth Team
Earth Team Meeting | Wed., August 7 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Rm
Earth Team is Looking for A Few Good Recruits!
Come help us in our Efforts to Protect and Cherish God's Creation, the Earth! We meet every 1st Wednesday of the month at 5:30 in the Jerusalem Room. Looking forward to seeing you there!! Or, email us at  earthteamavl@gmail.com .
While you are at it,
Please join our GCPC Ride Share facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1999323486787065/
Climate Justice Rally | Friday, September 20 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM | Pack Square
Show your support for God's Creation, the Earth! The WNC chapter of the Climate Reality Project is hosting this rally. Pack up the kids and come out and help us support the effort. Speakers, Music, etc. For more information, click HERE .
EDUCATION
GCPC Library Highlight
Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life by Nancy J. Duff

This is a thin, but very helpful book that discusses what the title states: making decisions when death may be near. The topics discussed include: Resisting and accepting death; Christian beliefs about death; Assisted death and death with dignity laws; Physician-patient relations and advance directives; and Funerals, burial and grief.

By exploring the Christian perspective of both resisting and accepting death, Nancy Duff encourages Christians to talk about death in the context of their faith. The book helps readers make end-of-life decisions, consider where they stand on withdrawing life support and supporting death with dignity laws, and take steps in planning for their own future.

The author is a professor of Christian Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Education Hour (for all ages) will resume on September 15th!
*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Presbyterianism 101 - Brown bag lunch discussions | Sundays | August 11, 18 & 25 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM | Choir Room
Who are Presbyterians? What do we believe? How are we different from other denominations? Come with your questions as we delve into our rich, complex, and sometimes contentious tradition. Bring a brown bag lunch if you would like. Email Richard at rcoble@gcpcusa.org with questions. Facilitators : Richard Coble, Samantha Gonzalez-Block, Marcia Mount Shoop, and Heather Ferguson
2019 Summer Women’s Book Series | Last Monday of the month | 6 PM | Garden Room
Join us for a series of book talks. Open to all women of the church. One copy of each book can be found in the church library. Please pre-read the books to ensure lively discussion.

  • August 26 | If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran | Carla Power
Summer Bible Study has finished.
Please join us for our regular Wednesday lectionary Bible Study, which will resume on September 18. 
SERVE
VRQ BBQ Cook Team | Next cook date: August 6 th   | 4:45 or 5:45 PM
Come help us serve a meal to the veterans! Come at 4:45 to help cook or 5:45 to help serve. This mission service has a long history. We would love for you to be a part of the service & camaraderie. Questions? Contact Bill Neeriemer, bill.nmer@gmail.com
Serve Potluck/Educational Event for Steady Collective | Wednesday, August 14 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM | Fellowship Hall
All are invited to join the Serve Council for a potluck/educational event with GCPC ministry partner, Steady Collective. Hill Brown will update us about their work utilizing the mobile unit purchased with funds from GCPC and opioid use and needle exchange in our community. Serve Council will provide the fried chicken, and all others are encouraged to bring a dish to share.
Calling all PRITCHARD PARK VOLUNTEERS | Sunday, August 18 | Sign-ups in the courtyard/narthex on August 4 & 11
Looking for a “hands on” experience? Well, we’ve got one for you. We’re looking for volunteers to join us in providing breakfast to our fellow brothers and sisters at Pritchard Park on Sunday August 18. We do this just 6 times per year on the 3rd Sunday of the even numbered months. Won’t you join us by either providing the various foods we serve; or helping us do “prep work” on Saturday morning August 17; or serve the breakfast on Sunday morning August 18? You can do all 3 if you like!! Many thanks to all who have been regular contributors over the years to this effort. We need some of you newer folks to step up and “carry the water.” Please promise yourself to participate at least once a year in this important GCPC ministry to our community. Questions? Please contact Rick Noble at 803-422-1977 or email him at rick@noblebelfast.com
Habitat for Humanity Shifts
The 2019 Presby/UMC house is underway. As of last week, all the first floor exterior walls were up. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the construction of the house should contact Bill Ryan ( bill73ryan@gmail.com ). Minimum age to volunteer at a site is 16.

We have scheduled slots on:
  • Tuesday, August 13
  • Wednesday, August 21
  • Thursday, August 22
  • Thursday, August 29
  • Monday, September 9

We hope to schedule some September days for our Youth, GCPC Mamas and the 20s/30s group soon. If you cannot come out and build, pray for the endeavor and our partner family (yet to be named) and donate to and shop at the ReStore. Thank you for your continued support of Habitat!
Ministry Partner News and Events...
Summer Food Shortage at ABCCM North
During summer, parents are faced with additional food costs because their children are out of school for 10 weeks. Due to the increased demand, ABCCM North is in need of more food donations. Please consider donating to help alleviate food insecurity here in Buncombe County. You can leave your donations in the narthex in the basket labeled "Food Donations." For more information, please contact Cathy Byers at byersabc@gmail.com or 828-253-8022.
GCPC COMMUNITY
Presbyterian Women Fall Kick-Off! | Saturday, August 24 | 10 AM – 1 PM | Atrium & Fellowship Hall
All women of Grace Covenant are invited to the Presbyterian Women’s Fall Kick Off brunch. Come discover our 2019-2020 Horizon’s Bible Study, Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments , a study that helps us reframe the way we look and live in the world. Lynne Noble will lead us in the first lesson. This is a great opportunity to socialize with women of our church and to hear about our Circles and the times and dates they meet. Keep watch for our Mission project.  Sign up in the Church Narthex on August 4th, 11th or 18th . Any questions, please contact Cathy Froehlich at (828) 775-1016 or at oremont2@gmail.com .
SAVE THE DATES!
  • Saturday, September 7 | GCPC Palooza/Cookout & Night at the Improv! | FH & Atrium | 6:00 - 8:30 PM
  • Sunday, September 8 | GCPC Palooza/One worship service @ 10:15 am/ Lunch (provided)/Rally Day
  • Sunday, September 15 | Education Kick-Off /First Day of Classes | 9:15 am
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) Group | Wed., August 7 | 12 PM | Garden Rm 
This support group introduces techniques for daily living with such issues, led by Paul Rogers, a retired physician in our congregation. We meet the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. *New participants welcome at any time. Contact Richard, rcoble@gcpcusa.org , with questions.
Centering Prayer | Wednesday Nights | 6:30 - 7:00 PM | Sanctuary
Christianity has a rich and ancient tradition of intentional and prayerful silence as a spiritual practice. Sacred silence teaches us to listen devoutly, humbly, and with trust. It is beautifully simple and a spiritual skill whose gifts goes deeper and gets more powerful the more one practices it. This practice is open to all and is come as you are able. Questions? Contact Marcia at mmshoop@gcpcusa.org
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 10:45 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:  Earl Fowler email:   earljfowler@aol.com
Youth News
Please keep our Senior High youth and adult chaperons in your prayers next week as they attend the Montreat Youth Conference (July 28-Aug. 3).
Welcome Potluck Pool Parties for Youth, Parents & Advisors: 
August 11th & 13th!!!
Let's celebrate the start of a new youth group year! Come catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and have a whole lot of fun. Bring a bathing suit and towel (and an optional game to share). 

*Parents, you may drop off your youth, but we highly encourage you to stay and mingle with the other adults. Siblings are also welcome!

  • Welcome "Senior High" (incoming 9-12th grade) Potluck Pool Party | Sunday, August 11th | 5:30 - 7:30PM |Anna-Olivia Ungert's family home
 
  • Welcome "Middle School" (incoming 6-8th grade) Potluck Pool Party | Tuesday, August 13th | 5:30 - 7:30PM |Lucas Rogers' family home
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) 
Deborah Strong (Robin Gaiser's cousin)
Nancy and Richard Schaadt (Donna Robertson's sister and brother-in-law)
Louise Seitz (Janet Schifflin's friend)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Robin Smith (Beth Robrecht's sister)
Rebecca Wells' brother, Jamey
Natalie C.
Jennifer Moore (Amanda Pressley's daughter)
Dorothy Zuck (Pat Durham's mother)
Jeff Combs (Bill McNeff's friend)
Jennifer Vaughn (Mary Berg's friend)
Louise Hill (Geneva Neeriemer's mother)
West Asheville Presbyterian Church
Nicholas Kmecza (Carolyn Haag’s husband)
Hettie Lou Garland
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
James Harwell
Joyce Summerlin
Cory Hartbarger
Mary Ellen Horne
Penny & Ray Ponder
Doris Prak
Jack Smith
Steve and Florence Riedesel
Walt Justice
Jim McLean
Nell Payne
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
 August Enneagram Gatherings 
at GCPC with Carol Hovis

Email Carol to RSVP or with any questions:  cmhovis@gmail.com      

  • Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm: August 5 & 12  
  • Fridays, 10am-12noon:  August 2, 9, & 16
Enneagram Retreat: 
Saturday, August 31st,
10am-4pm @ GCPC 
CoInspire - Liberating Imagination, Eviscerating Racism | October 7-10, 2019 | Montreat Conference Center
Montreat Conference Center will host CoInspire, the second in a series of conferences addressing systemic racism in the church. Their first conference, DisGrace, lived in lament for the ways in which the sins of racism thwart individual people and institutions, infecting congregations and denominations with death-dealing dehumanization.
 
In response to the racism and violence in our world, this event seeks to bring together people of faith in order to disarm prejudices that divide us and equip each other for practicing resurrection as new creations in Christ. We will delve into the questions around the toxicities we are currently breathing into our bodies and exhaling into the shared air. CoInspire will examine ways that we, as members of Christ’s body, might co-inspire one another to liberate imagination for new ways of being, and examine ways we can conspire to eviscerate the racism within our church. We will seek to identify those things we want to breathe in to precipitate a pathway to eviscerating the racism in our country and our world.
 
Traci Blackmon, executive minister of justice & local church ministries for The United Church of Christ and senior pastor of The Kind United Church of Christ, will be the conference’s preacher.
 
Learn more HERE.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804