GCPC Weekly News | December 10, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
PW Christmas Event
New Members Session Meeting joy!
GCPC Parents Enneagram Class
Bible Study
Worship Preview | Sunday, December 13, 2020
Third Sunday of Advent | What are you waiting FOR?
Sermon: "What are YOU waiting for?" by Richard Coble
Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-4; 8-11

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Keeping the Faith
2021 Stewardship Campaign
It's come to our attention that some of the pledges were entered on Realm incorrectly with the total intended pledge amount entered as a monthly gift, so the overall pledge status reported in last week's newsletter was overstated. Corrections have been made to these pledges, but you'll see in the snapshot of our pledge progress that it is lower than the previous week.

To avoid this error, if you're self-entering your pledge in Realm, be sure to check the total pledge at the end of the pledge statement for accuracy before saving your pledge. The first field after "I pledge" will be used to calculate the total pledge based on the frequency you select in the "to be given" field. If you don't plan to give a regular set amount, you can always select "as can" and enter the annual total in the first field.

For example, if you want your total pledge to be $12,000 given in monthly installments of $1,000, you would enter it like this:
If you haven't renewed your pledge or pledged before, 
please do so today to help us fund the 2021 budget!  
  • 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.
GCPC Advent 2020
Devotion: Second Week of Advent 

For the Advent season, we've asked our senior high Youth Committee members to share a weekly devotion. This week, William Hamel shares a poem and some questions for reflection. Take a moment this week to read and reflect on where the light of Christ is showing up in your life.

'God's Promise'

God has not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives through;
God has not promised
Sun without rain
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.

But God has promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trails,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love!

- Mandi Wilding

Questions for Reflection:
  • Think about a time you felt like receiving God's promise?
  • How do you see God's promises in your life?
  • What is something you will do in the next week to make sure others get to experience God's promise?
Sunday, December 13 | "GCPC Cozy Christmas" | 4:30 - 6:00 PM | via Zoom
INTERGENERATIONAL EVENT!! Pour yourself some milk and grab some Christmas cookies and join us around the virtual GCPC fire. Join us as we share Christmas memories and holiday cheer! 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 843 8691 5151
Passcode: 789
Friday, December 18 | “A Very Covid Christmas Concert” | GCPC's Youtube Channel | 7:00 PM
“There’s no place like home for the holidays” has never been truer than during this year of the pandemic! Join us for this soon-to-be Christmas classic as Jeff, George, and members of our GCPC choir and GCPC family share their seasonal favorites just in time for the holidays!

Clear your calendars and gather around your computer screen on Friday, December 18th when this seasonal spectacular will be released on Youtube! You can watch it starting at 7pm and enjoy it over and over again anytime you wish throughout the season.
Saturday, December 19 | GCPC Christmas Drive Through Extravaganza! | 3:00 - 4:00 PM 
Drive through to drop off donations for some of our ministry partners and pick up your Christmas Candle, Communion Elements and glow sticks!

Sunday, December 20 | The Longest Night: A Service of Consolation | 5:00 PM | via Zoom
The Longest Night service is a time to be together for lament, for grief, and for a collective yearning for God to come closer to the world's struggles. Come and connect with your church family for a service of worship on Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 869 8465 0517
Passcode: 789
Dear GCPC Community,
We are encouraging all members of GCPC to add their voice to our worship. Will you consider the "Glory to God" Challenge?  This is fun for all ages and it's easy to do too! The instructions, video link and uploading instructions are provided below. Please let me know if you have any questions or need assistance.  I would love to add your voice to this project.

Keeping the song alive,
Click below to get the video you will use to rehearse and record with:

Once you've made your recording click the Google link below to upload your recording of Glory to God and you're done!

Thanks for being a part of our Glory to God Challenge!
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 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 (12/6 - 12/12): Martha Ensign Johnson email: marthaensignjohnson@gmail.com
Next week (12/13 - 12/19): Ann Brown email: hbcove@aol.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 Sherrie Meehan)
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Marjorie Tague (Karen Punta's friend)
Pauline Stransky (Mark Stransky’s mother)
Sally Mason (Liz Rupp's friend)
Family of Anne Marie Riether (Mother of Bryant Smith's children)
Esther Kees & family (Ben Kees’ grandmother)
Truly and Eric Mount (Marcia Mount Shoop’s parents)
Phoebe Rauscher (Friend of the Bleckley and Merrill families)
Anthony DiGiantomasso (Karen Rohl’s nephew)
Bertilda Arteta (Marta Alcala-Williams' mother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Bob Walther
Amanda Pressley
Mary Berg

Our sympathy and support are extended to the family of GCPC member, Cory Hartbarger, who passed away on December 5, 2020 at home with his son, Chris, by his side. Please keep Cory's family in your prayers.
Adult Education Class - "Reimagining Advent and Christmas in Creative Writing and Verse" | Sundays | December 6, 13, & 20 | | 9:00 - 10:00 AM | via Zoom
How do we hold together the beauty and hope of this season with the anxiety and grief of this time? How do we ready ourselves for the coming of the Christ child in the winter of 2020? Kelley Griffith, clerk of session and retired English professor, along with Amy Kim and Richard will be facilitating a class on how poetry and other forms of other creative writing can aid us in exploring the beauty and complexity of the season. Come to learn, share, write, and create together.
We would love to have some of you share a poem that you find meaningful during this season. If you have something, please email it directly to Richard (rcoble@gcpcusa.org) so that I can share it on my screen during our class.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 8627 9637
Passcode: 789
Sunday Evening Bible Study & Prayer Group will resume on January 3rd.

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 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 will not meet this Sunday, December 13th.
Join us for Cozy Christmas at 4:30 pm instead! Details below.
Youth Group "GCPC Cozy Christmas" Intergenerational Event | Sunday, December 13 | 4:30-6:00 PM on Zoom *NOTE DIFFERENT TIME*

Pour yourself some milk and grab some Christmas cookies and join us around the virtual GCPC fire. Join the whole GCPC family as we share Christmas memories and holiday cheer! This will be our youth group gathering for this week—we hope to see you there!

Join the Zoom meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84386915151
Meeting ID: 843 8691 5151
Passcode: 789

If you need to call in to connect to audio, dial 929-205-6099 and then input the meeting ID and passcode when prompted.
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.

Attending these conferences is a great way to build friendships with youth from around the country and explore how God is working in our lives.

Please note: Event organizers are planning for these conferences to take place in person but are continuing to monitor the pandemic. We will keep you informed of any changes to the location, format and/or dates of these events.
Middle School Massanetta Youth Conference (Week 3: July 8-11):
This is for youth who will have completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade by this summer.

The theme for 2021 is "Rooted in Love." The daily schedule includes recreation, workshops, energizers, worship and many fun activities.

The discounted cost is $290 if you register HERE by January 31, 2021 (cost goes up $10 each month). Full and partial scholarships are available. It's going to be an adventure to remember!
Senior High Montreat Youth Conference (Week 5: July 25-31):
This is for youth who have completed 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th grade by this summer.

The theme for 2021 is "Called to Connect," and we will be renting a house in Montreat together for the week. The schedule includes morning energizers, music, keynote, small groups, recreation, evening worship, and many other fun activities.

The discounted cost is $490 if you register HERE by January 31, 2021 (cost goes up $10 each month). Full and partial scholarships are available. Don't miss out on the fun!
Community Working Together
Join a team to feed the residents of Red Roof Inn!
The GCPC community is putting together two teams of volunteers to provide meals for the folks who are experiencing homelessness and staying at RRI during the pandemic and now during the cold weather. Volunteers will serve a main course, bread, fruit, and dessert once each month on alternate months. Team A will handle January, March, and May, while Team B will cover February, April, and June.
Thanks to the generous spirits and willing hands of our GCPC community, volunteers have served dinners five times to the long-term residents of Red Roof Inn this fall. To protect our neighbors without homes during the pandemic and now during the cold, Homeward Bound, the City of Asheville, and FEMA have collaborated to provide safe housing for these particularly vulnerable folks. GCPC has worked with Shannon Spencer of Asheville Poverty Initiative to organize the dinners. Our knitters are creating warm scarves and hats as Christmas gifts. Two teams of volunteers will continue to serve meals once each month through June 2021. We thank each of the many contributors to these projects for sharing their time and talents with love.
~ submitted by the RITI Team
Mike McCammon and Cathy and Jim Froehlich deliver bountiful meals and clothing to residents of Red Roof Inn. 
Christmas trees have become so much a part of year-end celebrations that it is hard to imagine a Christmas celebration without one. We might be reluctant to admit that Jesus did not have a Christmas tree when he was born!
What makes the tree at Christmas important—for you, for those whom you know, for so many societies around the world? What are the economic and environmental effects of the practices around Christmas trees? How does living in Western North Carolina influence the way that we think about the use of trees?

You are invited to join in a conversation about Christmas trees, sharing your thoughts and ideas, and listening to others talk about them, too. Please register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The next Talk in the Woods will be January 14 and the topic will be keeping warm.

A Talk in the Woods is sponsored by the Earth Care Team of the Presbytery of WNC. For more information about A Talk in the Woods, or the Presbytery’s Earth Care Team, contact Jane at janelaping@sbcglobal.net.
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
On Being with Krista Tippett | Bryan Stevenson: Love is the Motive
How to embrace what’s right and corrective, redemptive and restorative — and an insistence that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve done — these are gifts Bryan Stevenson offers with his life. He’s brought the language of mercy and redemption into American culture in recent years, growing out of his work as a lawyer to people unfairly on death row, people who are mentally ill and incarcerated, and children tried as adults. Krista draws out his spirit and his moral imagination. Click HERE to read or listen.
Online resource explains racism to white audiences
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Theology Professor Shannon Craigo-Snell recently joined a group of academics in religious studies, history, and ethics to develop Breakdown Whiteness, an online resource designed to explain structural racism to white audiences.

The site, breakdownwhiteness.org, serves as a clearinghouse of existing resources designed to dismantle white supremacy in America. Resources are categorized by age and subject. The site also includes a glossary of terms and actions that can be taken to stop the policies and practices, which enable systemic and structural racism.

Breakdown Whiteness was instigated by the Rev. Nikia Smith Robert, founder of Reverend Daughter Ministries, which provides communities, organizations, and faith leaders with serviceable models of faith and justice through radical preaching, scholarship, and activism. In June 2020, Robert took to Twitter to express her fatigue with explaining anti-Black racism to white people and her hope for a resource to share instead. She asked white scholars, as a practice of allyship and solidarity, to create a resource for other white people, so she could point them to that resource.
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden News

Four members of team 2 were in the garden on Saturday and harvested 75 pounds of cabbages and 15 pounds of collards for YTL. 

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE

Year-end giving statements showing all 2020 contributions will be issued mid-January 2021 for tax purposes. Since the building remains closed, these statements will be e-mailed to your primary email address as listed in Realm. 

If you would prefer your statement be printed and mailed to you, please send a request to Natalie or leave a message on Natalie Weaver's voicemail at 828-254-3274. Unless requested otherwise, all year-end contribution statements will be e-mailed.
Thank you for your generous giving! Your gifts are enabling the church to continue our important work in our community. We appreciate your faithful support!

Remote Giving & Paperless Statements 

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.

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
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804