GCPC Weekly News | August 27, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Some of our amazing garden volunteers!
Session Meeting 8/25
Worship Preview | Sunday, August 30, 2020
Sermon: "Living the Good Life" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: Romans 12:9-21


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
 
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.
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 a few spots in the third round of Reflection Groups (beginning in October) available for sign-up!

Click here to register and read about all the ways
to get involved.
Equal Exchange - No Contact Bulk Sales

GCPC continues to show our willingness and ability to work together to care for one another and our community.

Here's another way you can help! Purchase some Equal Exchange coffee, chocolate, and olive oil. Many of these products were ordered prior to the pandemic are near their best buy date, just sitting on shelves in an empty building. The church purchases these products up front from Equal Exchange and recuperates the money at little to no profit through sales. While our building remains closed, we want to make sure these products don't go to waste.
For a limited time while supplies last, we are accepting bulk orders of the in-stock products and will arrange for no contact pick up/payment. You can find the current list of available products here or by going directly to http://bit.ly/EqualExchangeGCPC. If interested in purchasing, please email Natalie with the types and quantities of each from the inventory sheet that you'd like. She will respond with the total due, available pick up dates/times, and payment options. 

These orders will require a minimum of 1 case of coffee (6 bags) OR 1 case of chocolate bars (12 bars) per order. Pending availability, you can mix and match your favorites of each and add on additional items once the minimum has been reached.  
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.
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 (8/23 - 8/29): Marcy Onieal email: marcy.onieal@gmail.com
Next week (8/30 - 9/5): Betsy Rhodes email: betsyrhodes@charter.net
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)
Fred Schroeder (Penny Ponder's brother)
John Hamel (Tim Hamel’s dad)
Marjorie Tague (Karen Punta’s friend)
Pati Skinner (Marty Dean’s friend, former GCPC member)
Randy Randolph (Janet Schifflin’s friend and son-in-law of former GCPC members Pat and Evie Adams) 
Hettie Lou Garland
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Bill McNeff
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Leslie Sharpe
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden

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. 
Formation/Education
GCPC Summer Speaker Series
DeWayne Barton (Hood Huggers International) | TONIGHT, 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. 

PART discussed Tema Okun’s characteristic of white supremacy, paternalism, and identified where we see it in ourselves and in our community:
  • Asheville Housing Authority continues to build large public housing instead of giving the money to each person to determine where to live.
  • Our history is filled with the government making decisions for people of color and then telling them it is in their best interest.
  • The governing structure of the Presbyterian church, particularly how decisions are made in the General Assembly, are sometimes unclear. What decisions are made by Session, Presbytery, and General Assembly?
  • Is paternalism built into the governing structures of the Presbyterian chruch at all levels?

PART recommended the following to help insure each of us know how or who makes decisions in our church:
  • Ask questions if you do not understand how decisions are made.
  • Attend a Session meeting, which are open to the public.
  • Read Session minutes. Ask questions.
  • Learn about the work of Serve and their work transitioning from a charity model to an equity based model of decision making. 
  • Read The Book of Order on our polity.
  • Answer the question,”What is your level of responsibility to the church and are you fulfilling it?"

Antidotes to paternalism in larger community:
  • Advocate for people of color to be at the table of decision-makers.
  • Reparations for the harm done to People of Color.

Next meeting: Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 PM

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents

Wednesday enneagram zoom gatherings for GCPC parents resume Wednesdays: September 9th & September 16th.  
*No gathering Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  

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.

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

Circle 3: Second Tuesday 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.




Community Working Together


VOTE 2020
The election of 2020 is probably the most important election in our lifetimes. Numerous websites offer helpful information about how to register, vote, check what is on the ballot, and volunteer. Check out:

Three ways to vote:
(1) Absentee
  • Request your ballot by Oct. 17. NOTE: Request your ballot NOW. With delays in mail service, you may not receive in time otherwise. Absentee ballots will be mailed Sept. 4. 
  • Return it to the Board of Elections or by mail, OR take the completed ballot to an Early Voting Site.  
(2) Early Voting October 15-31
  • Vote at any one of the 16 locations
  • Register and vote the same day
  • Drop off your absentee ballot
(3) Election Day November 3
  • Vote at your precinct polling site on election day.
  • Check your polling location here.


Poll Workers Needed
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. 
Click here to learn more and apply for paying jobs, or call Election Services at (828) 250-4200.


You Can Vote Trainings: 
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

~ Submitted with support by CST and PART
Volunteers Needed
to provide a meal for people experiencing homelessness who are currently housed in the Red Roof Inn. These folks include the guests who come to GCPC for Room in the Inn and some whom we served at Pritchard Park.

Presbyterian Women are putting together a team or teams of people who will each prepare and individually package six meals for Red Roof Inn residents. The menu will be provided, for example, ham slices and potato salad. If you are willing to help, please email betsywilson1111@gmail.com by September 1. 
Learn more about how you can support undocumented immigrants and oppose technology tracking by ICE.

Webinar | Monday, August 31 | 7:00 PM.
Palantir, a Silicon Valley start-up creating customized data-analysis software, has filed to go public. Palantir gathers and organizes information for clients in both the private and public sectors. The company uses its information to surveil communities for ICE and the DoD.
Funded in part by In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, the company built its flagship software technology, Gotham, with an eye toward use inside the C.I.A.
Palantir can help locate undocumented immigrants, which is how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under orders from the White House, is using these technologies, according to recently released federal documents.
To learn more about this organization and oppose its work for ICE, sign up for the Palantir is Going Public: What Their Financials Mean for #NoTechForICE webinar scheduled for Monday, August 31 at 7:00 PM, sponsored by Mijente.
~ submitted by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
"Creating Advocates of Change: Racial Justice and Equity - Part 2" | Thursday, September 3 | 12:00 PM
AARP Mountain Region NC aims to "walk the talk" on issues of racial justice; we will start through deep and active listening.
 
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.

  • 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.
ABCCM Transformation Celebration Virtual Gala And Auction | Friday, August 28 | 7:00 PM

1. Registration for the Gala is free and after you register you will receive information on how to view and bid on items for the Silent Auction. Link here to register: https://www.abccm.org/gala
 
2. Bidding on items for the Silent Auction opened on August 21st and closes at the end of the Gala on August 28th.
 
3. "Attending" the Virtual Gala online this coming Friday at 7:00 pm is a good way to find out more about how ABCCM serves those in need in our community and how important volunteers like you from our churches are in that effort.
Take the census online:

How to respond by phone:
  • English (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-330-2020
  • Spanish (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-468-2020
  • Click here for more language options

To reply by mail, send your paper questionnaire to:
U.S. Census Bureau
National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden History and News
The community garden at GCPC was approved by the Session, the body of elected elders who govern the church, in January 2010. The first planting was March 8, 2010. Then and now the gardeners are organized into 4 teams each working every other week on either a Wednesday or Saturday morning. The work of the garden is currently directed by the garden steering team with expert advice provided by Anthony Cole of Jasperwood Farm.  The garden steering team interacts with several councils of Session including Serve and Property.
This week gardeners continued to harvest hundreds of pounds of produce including zucchini, eggplant, collards, tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, and okra for use by Southside Kitchen.
 
Plants in our garden continue to be healthy thanks to a pesticide spraying program. Look for new signs appearing soon to let people know when to avoid harvesting. 
GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
What has this new normal meant for me? Being in quarantine and having to wear masks pretty much everywhere I go (along with everyone else) and not being able to go to most places, except the grocery store. I can't go to the library at the moment. I have not been able to be with my church family in months. Yes, we probably have issues with each other, just like any family. But I miss them a lot because the church is part of my community and fellowship. I try to stay connected online and on the phone to others but I miss being in touch in person.

It reminds me of when I was teaching English as a Second Language to children in South Korea from December 2005 to November 2009. The culture was completely foreign to me, especially the food and very few people spoke even basic English. But people are people and even there having personal contact allowed me to slowly make friends over there, some of whom are still friends to this day. But for me, I think the hard part is the great absence of human contact in my life, even though I am somewhat of a loner. While I am probably better adapted to being cooped up and alone than most people, even I am starting to feel like I am in a capsule on the way to Mars! 

For instance, for the last several months I have had to do my therapy sessions with my therapist either on Zoom or by phone and I wasn't used to either one and it is not the same. I have had a few medical appointments on Zoom and also a few by phone. I have only gone to the ER once since all this started and I thought the whole time I would be getting sick but I didn't. I think about things like my dogs, Jack and Bella that I had to give up 3 years ago to move into my apartment. I still miss them; they used to help me when I was sad and lonely in the past. I do hope whoever reads this will pray for me. I will try to pray for you.

~ Daniel Breen, GCPC 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! 
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