GCPC Weekly News | August 20, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Deacon Meeting 8/16
Staff Meeting 8/18
Martha Ensign Johnson - Faith Sharing with Children 8/16/20
Worship Preview | Sunday, August 23, 2020
Sermon: "Members One of Another" by Richard Coble
Scripture: Romans 12:1-8


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday


Click for Children’s Bulletin and coloring page for this Sunday!
Presbyterian Week of Action | August 24–30
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” — Proverbs 21:3
“God sends the Church to work for justice in the world: exercising its power for the common good; dealing honestly in personal and public spheres; seeking dignity and freedom for all people…” — Book of Order, W-5.0304
 
It is abundantly clear through the gospel narrative and the greater witness of the Bible, that God has called us, as people of faith, to seek justice for those most marginalized in our world. As a Matthew 25 denomination, it is the vision of our church to eradicate white supremacy and dismantle institutionalized racism. Furthermore, in an effort to do the “hands & feet” work the Lord ordains, we must act and bear witness to the gospel in these crucial times.

The PC(USA) staff expressed a deep yearning to be more engaged in responding to the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others who died at the hands of the police and racism. From this need has come the “Bearing Witness” working group which has participation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Office of the General Assembly, Administrative Services Group and Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. From this group a number of strategies are being formulated to provide advocacy campaigns, education initiatives and opportunities to join with community efforts organized by the Movement for Black Lives, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, the Bail Project and other grassroots groups.

As a centerpiece of this movement, we will host a Presbyterian Week of Action. This endeavor is structured to provide a public witness that facilitates education, visibility, and action that reinforces our PC(USA) statements and policy around the support of eradicating racism and acknowledging that God loves all Black lives. By joining together as national staff and the greater church, we hope to provide faithful leadership in the area of justice, love, and equality within our denomination and communities.

Bearing Witness is an ongoing collaborative effort of the PC(USA) to dismantle structural racism. To stay connected to our efforts following the Week of Action, head to our Bearing Witness webpage.
New Church Directory in Progress!
As you may have heard, our online directory is now integrated with our new database software, Realm. Our staff is working on transferring our old directory visible information and matching the privacy settings in the new software. During this transition and set up, if you haven't already self-managed your privacy settings Realm, you will receive a notification email (see below) when our staff makes the change on your behalf. 
Want to include more or less information or update your profile? 
You can easily self-manage your profile and privacy settings - see this PDF for instructions. If you would like to be added or removed from the directory or have questions, please contact Anna Louise or Natalie.
Grace Covenant's Session invites you to join in a 2020 study of Lalya Saad’s, 
Me and White Supremacy.

This 28-day study supports a deep and honest examination into the ways in which we, as a white-dominant congregation, consciously and unconsciously uphold white supremacy through action and inaction.
There are still two rounds of Reflection Groups available for sign-up!

Click here to register and read about all the ways
to get involved.
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. 
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 (8/16 - 8/22): Nancy Gaskin email: nancy.gaskin@gmail.com
Next week (8/23 - 8/29): Marcy Onieal email: marcy.onieal@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
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Jonathan Hettrick and family (friends of Mary Craig)
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Eveline Damiano (Daughter of Lisette deGroot)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Harold Shook (Melissa Shook’s dad)
Fred Schroeder (Penny Ponder's brother)
Brimi Jane Moffmon (daughter of Selena Hilemon and Jill Moffitt)
Debbie Willmschen and Lisa Phillips (mother and aunt of Natalie Willmschen)
John Hamel (Tim Hamel’s dad)
Marjorie Tague (Karen Punta’s friend)
Pati Skinner (Marty Dean’s friend, former GCPC member) 
Hettie Lou Garland
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Bill McNeff
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Carol Kavalhuna
Carolyn Crew
Bob Walther
Bill Williamson
Amanda Pressley
Leslie Sharpe
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden

Prayers of joy and celebration for Mike McCauley and Louise Maret on the birth of their granddaughter, Marlowe! Welcome to the world Marlowe!

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Thanksgiving for the Life of Harry Summerlin will happen on Grace Covenant's YouTube channel ("GCPC Video") at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 29. 

Please lift up a prayer for Ginnie Stevens, former long-time Associate for Mission staff member of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina. Ginnie has begun receiving hospice care. Prayers are requested for her, especially that she might know God's presence with her during this time. No phone calls please, but "Thinking of You" cards are welcome. It would be especially meaningful if you would include how Ginnie has been a blessing to your life. Her address is 1800 Clairmont Lk., Unit 113, Decatur, GA 30033.
Formation/Education
GCPC’s Covenant Partner Updates: Hood Huggers International
“Creating resilience is ‘creating a way out of no way.’” (DeWayne Barton)

Serve Council member Amy Wiesner and I spoke recently with DeWayne Barton, leader of our Covenant Partner Hood Huggers International. In past years Serve has invited GCPC people to take a Hood Huggers tour of historically Black neighborhoods in Asheville. Many of you have met DeWayne in his incarnation as the caped poet-artist with the sparkly, oversized sunglasses-crown combo. That’s just one aspect of this multi-talented community visionary. Bringing people together for projects combining the arts, environment, and social enterprise is another.
DeWayne was excited about the crowd-funded solar project completed August 10 at Burton Street Community Peace Gardens, a project that obviously helps the environment and the supports the arts. The social enterprise piece is this: eight neighborhood youth interns studied construction skills on-site and assisted the professional solar installers. DeWayne dreams of inspiring such young folks with further training in construction, business, and entrepreneurship so they can start their own companies. 

Collaborations. “I wish there were some way for these kids to get credit for building infrastructure in the neighborhoods,” said DeWayne. A teacher at Asheville High School, Amy jumped on it. “I know who to talk to; I’ll find out.” She has learned that there is a way to reward the hands-on training with academic credit and they will be working on this together. What other ways can GCPC people collaborate with Hood Huggers? “We need lawyers, business people, financial leaders, carpenters, electricians....”  Who in the GCPC community could answer the call? You? Someone you know? Contact Amy Wiesner or Lynne Meacham.

GCPC will hear from DeWayne in a Zoom conversation Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 PM. You will enjoy meeting Asheville’s poet-artist with the gift for inspiring life-affirming neighborhoods. 

~ by Lynne Meacham

“The world is a grand opportunity to create, inspire, and connect.
But we’re going to have to learn to dream together
 and reimagine what we want to see, not what we fear.”
(DeWayne Barton)
GCPC Summer Speaker Series
DeWayne Barton (Hood Huggers International) | Thursday, August 27 | 7:00 PM | via Zoom

History. Art. Poetry. Music.
Community green spaces. 
Vivid voices. Grassroots initiatives. 
The past, present, and future of African Americans in Asheville is a story of resilience. 

DeWayne Barton, founder of Hood Hugger's International, is a visionary, culture keeper, and tour guide. As part of our time together, DeWayne will share his story along with the stories of other significant African Americans and their contributions to the livelihood of Black citizens in Western North Carolina.

HHI's immediate focus is the determined re-expansion of I-26 and its continued impact on those who are already marginalized. The Community Action Plan (CAP), which DeWayne will present, is a grassroots roadmap to build and to maintain new economically just enterprises which will benefit the most affected historically African American communities. Further, CAP offers opportunities for citizens at large to participate in the healing process towards resilience and greater sustainability. Join us for the talk and in the community. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 6548 9625
Passcode: 789

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Summer Women’s Memoir Series | 6:00 – 7:00 PM via Zoom 
Join us for the last in a summer series of book talks focusing on memoirs written by people of faith. Open to all women of the church. Please pre-read the book to ensure lively discussion.

  • Monday, August 31 | The Yellow House by Sarah Broom | Facilitator: Amy Pike
PART (Power & Race Team)
Tema Okun is an author and facilitator who has been helping organizations, communities, and individuals dismantle white supremacy culture for several decades. You can find more about her work here and a full list of her "Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture" here. PART has been engaging for some time with these characteristics and exploring how they show up at GCPC and in each of us. 

At the PART meeting we reviewed the characteristic of paternalism, a white supremacy norm identified in Tema Okun’s work:
1. People in power know how decisions are made. It is unclear to people without power.
2. The people with power feel they can make decisions for everybody and do not believe they have to understand the experiences of those without power.
3. People without power may not know how decisions are made or who makes them, but they know the impact.

We then listened to the following podcast on being an ally, which is a tad irreverent and provocative. Please listen to it and identify where paternalism shows up in you and your community.

The Fanti Podcast, "Ok Allies, Now Let's Get in Formation!," we listened to section 13:55-22:00. 

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents

Wednesday enneagram zoom gatherings for GCPC parents, will continue Wednesdays: August 26th, September 9th & September 16th. 

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

Circle 1: First Tuesday of each month, 10:00 a.m.
         Carol Kavalhuna – 658-1088, carolkavalhuna@gmail.com
         Cathy Froehlich – 775-1016, oremont2@gmail.com

Circle 2:  First Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m.
         Barbara McLean - 254-1034, Barbaram_2@charter.net
         Heather Hudson – 501-442-6223, hehudson@charter.net

Circle 4:  First Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.
         Frances Johnson – 628-4742, facjohnson@gmail.com
         Connie Jones – 231-2680, Conjones@charter.net

Circle 5:  First Monday of each month, 10:00 a.m.
         Lynne Noble – 803-206-3821, lynnesnoble@gmail.com




Community Working Together
VOTE 2020
You Can Vote Trainings:
Next Training Tonight from 6-7 PM
Workshops about the latest rules for voting and how to register and motivate voters using online tools are sponsored regularly by the statewide organization You Can Vote https://www.youcanvote.org/ on Thursday evenings from 6-7 pm and Saturday mornings from 10-11 am. To learn more and register https://www.youcanvote.org/training

The next training is Thursday, August 20 from 6-7 pm, and requires a sign-up. To sign up for this training go to this link: https://secure.everyaction.com/WBwiLvMuIk-7GfhJI5DlgQ2
 

Poll Workers Needed- Especially Younger Workers
Election Services in all counties are looking for workers for Early Voting and Election Day. These are paid positions. Here is important information about needs in Buncombe County as well as a link to information about other counties.

~ Submitted with Support by CST and PART
Vote 411: The League of Women Voters National has put together this website that provides information on candidates and the process of voting. In the fall, it will be a crucial tool to get information on many of the candidates on your ballot. It also includes information on COVID-19 that may affect voting procedures.
Tuesday, August 25th | 6:00 PM - Democracy NC offers the latest about new rules for requesting a ballot and voting by mail in North Carolina, and in-person voting options and safeguards. Get details and register here
The Latinx mother held her arm tenderly around her young child as he leaned against her side. “Nobody wants to leave home. Nobody really wants to make the long journey to come here. It’s dangerous to travel across Mexico, and we love our families. When I left, I knew I would never see my parents again. It was a very sad time."
 
But there are thousands of reasons why people leave El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Looking at her son, the mother continued, “There is no hope. There is no future. I could not raise my children there. So I risked my life to come here. Even here, life is very hard. Immigrants can smile, but they also have much sorrow.”
 
Undocumented immigrants endure extraordinary suffering throughout their lives – living in impoverished oppression at home, facing life-threatening dangers in transit, and being criminalized in the United States. They are worthy of admiration and support.

~ submitted by Tish Anderson of the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
"Creating Advocates of Change: Racial Justice and Equity - Part 2" | Thursday, September 3 | 12:00 PM | Online
AARP Mountain Region NC aims to "walk the talk" on issues of racial justice; we will start through deep and active listening. Our CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins said it clearly in her statement on racial injustice and disparities “The incidents of racial violence and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color are not random, but instead are the result of inequality due to a lack of social, economic, and political opportunities. Discrimination of any kind corrodes our communities and our society from the inside out.” 
 
With the help of our friends at ABIPA, we will listen to our community leaders to become more informed and educated on issues of systemic racism in Western North Carolina. We will become advocates of change in our neighborhoods and circles of influence to reduce inequity and injustice that have negatively impacted our brothers and sisters of color. Join us to listen to our community’s leadership to realize your role in the movement for equity. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

This conversation is the second part of a two-part conversation that we first began on August 20, 2020. Click here to register and view Part One on demand. 
OLLI's Inclusion Committee
Online Series on Racial Disparity
OLLI's Inclusion Committee has designed a virtual webinar series focusing on four major areas reflecting racial disparity in our community. The presentation of the series is an effort to raise awareness and to inspire personal engagement and advocacy.

  • Thursday, August 27 | 3:00 PM | LeAnn Melton,Todd Williams, Debra Campbell, and LeAnn Melton, moderated by Curry First | Local Government Policies: Addressing Racial Inequities in the Criminal Justice System

Session three will be moderated by OLLI member Curry First and include Asheville -Buncombe County District Attorney, Todd Williams, City Manager, Debra Campbell, and Public Defender, LeAnn Melton.

  • Wednesday, September 16 | 4:00 PM | Jesse Pitts, Tsiana Tovar, and Buffy Fowler | Education Disparity: What is the Path to Achieving Educational Equity for Students of Color? 

This panel will feature professional educators and education advocates including Jesse Pitts, Counselor at Asheville Middle School, Tsiana Tovar, ESL teacher for Buncombe County Schools and Buffy Fowler, Operations Coordinator at Francine Delaney New School.
Cherokee Nation launches 68th Cherokee National Holiday website | September 1-6
The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839. It is an annual celebration of our shared history and heritage.The Cherokee Nation is officially kicking off the 68th Cherokee National Holiday with the launch of a redesigned Cherokee National Holiday website where the public can register to watch Holiday events online and compete for prizes.

The online portal of content for the Cherokee National Holiday is available at holiday.cherokee.org. Events that will be broadcast online include the annual Cherokee art show, a virtual tour of the tribe’s heirloom garden, cultural demonstrations, traditional food and games, live genealogy including a question-answer session, the annual Holiday quilt show, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.’s annual State of the Nation address, and much more.
Pisgah Legal Services invites you to attend the 
10th Annual Justice Forum | Thursday, October 1 | 7:00 PM | via Zoom

  • 6:00pm Virtual Reception featuring a musical performance by Kat Williams and a live poetry reading by Clint Smith.

  • 7:00pm Virtual Forum with Clint Smith

The Justice Forum is free to attend thanks to our generous sponsors.
Tickets to the pre-forum reception are $25.
Both events will be held online via Zoom and registration is required.

Questions? Call 828-210-3773.

Habitat for Humanity Update
As you may recall, Dewana Little was in process to purchase the Presbyterian Methodist House 28 in the Curry Court neighborhood. Unfortunately, she has withdrawn from the program because the sweat equity requirement was too much for her busy life right now. While this is disappointing for all involved, Habitat was quickly able to find another family for the Presbyterian Methodist House 28! 
Holly Brock was in process to purchase a home in the New Heights neighborhood, so we gave her a choice. After touring a 4 bedroom townhome and a 4 bedroom single family home, Holly and her kids loved the spaciousness of two floors in the townhome. Holly is a devoted mother to three children, and is also raising her 7 year old niece after the death of her sister last year. Holly drives an Asheville City bus and is native of Asheville. She was raised by her grandparents in West Asheville. She is such a warm and kind woman, who is close with her children and so excited to be finally owning her own home. The family of five has been living in a cramped 2 bedroom apartment in East Asheville. I was able to meet her via Zoom last week and told her about the many churches that came together to build her house. She was so moved by your hard work and hopes to meet you eventually!
Presbytery of Western North Carolina News
The Presbytery of Western North Carolina met in an unprecedented virtual assembly as the 124th Stated Meeting gathered online via Zoom to do the work of the church and elect a new General Presbyter.

Reverend Dr. Byron Wade was elected unanimously and enthusiastically following a thorough examination by Examinations Subcommittee Chair Bob Forsythe.

Dr. Wade currently pastors Davie Street Presbyterian Church in Raleigh NC, where he has served for 24 years. He and his wife Regina have one son, Andrew, who begins college this fall.

Dr. Wade is slated to begin his duties with the Presbytery October 1.

Congratulations Dr. Wade! We are excited to have you in ministry in PWNC!
GCPC Still Growing
This week, gardeners harvested 508 lbs. of produce including yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, collards, tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, okra, and apples for use by community partners ABCCM North, YTL, YMCA, and YWCA.

Shirley Lowe brought 40 beautiful masks that she had sewn for distribution by our partners at the YWCA.


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! 
Remote Giving & Paperless Statements 

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 https://onrealm.org/gcpcusa/give/now
  • TEXT "giveGCPC" and AMOUNT to 73256 (i.e. giveGCPC $100)
  • MOBILE through the Connect - Our Church Community app


Please note, the church office is closed and staff is not there to receive payments left on-site or in the mailbox.

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
Realm eGiving Transition | Self Set Up How To
Did you know that you can now to manage your directory profile, register for events, view contribution records in real time, and manage online giving, all in one place? Our new software, Realm, is a one stop shop!

Interested in setting up online recurring giving for the first time? 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.
GCPC Out and About Online
Crossroads Antiracism Training | October 23-25, 2020 | Online or in Montreat!
What’s Essential: Discerning the Church’s Work Amid the Twin Pandemics of Structural Racism & COVID-19
Our goal is to provide participants with capacity-building tools and resources to work for antiracist transformation in their churches and institutions. Participants will finish this antiracism training with concrete action steps for their congregations and local communities.

This Crossroads antiracism training will specifically address the political challenges facing the church in light of how the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the acute structural inequities of the USA and their impact on communities of color, particularly Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. Given the coronavirus pandemic and its disproportionate impact, our antiracism training will also address how the church is called to be a political actor. What and where is the Church being called to do and be?
STAY CONNECTED
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804