Grace Covenant Weekly News | December 27, 2018
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The people who walked in darkness
  have seen a great light. ~ Isaiah 9:2

Sunday Preview

Sunday, December 30, 2018
Sunday after Christmas Day

Worship Services @ 8:15 & 10:45 AM
*NO Education Hour

Sermon: "Be Thankful" by Richard Coble
Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52
Care for GCPC Children and Youth
Safe care for our children and youth is of the utmost importance to Grace Covenant. Professional, paid nursery staff and trained, caring volunteers help us assure parents and guardians their children and youth are receiving the highest quality care.
All GCPC folks who volunteer with our children and/or youth as nursery volunteers, teachers, youth advisors or any other role, must attend one a Child and Youth Protection Policy (CYPP) Training session. In the new year, we will be repopulating our list of trained folks, starting fresh, and will then offer annual renewal training online.
We also encourage others (parents, non-parents, grandparents, guardians, and all officers of the church) to attend one of the CYPP training sessions so that everyone is fully informed on how we can best care for our children as well as the children in our community.
Chris Campbell, GCPC member and co-founder of Campbell-Shatley Law Firm, will be facilitating the training sessions. Chris’ area of expertise is education and legal training. We are ever-so-grateful for Chris!
Training Session Options:
  • Sunday, January 13, 2019 – 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Sunday, February 3, 2019 – 12:00-1:00 pm

*Childcare provided. Contact Heather Ferguson with questions.
Congregational Meeting
A congregational meeting has been called for Sunday, January 6 immediately following worship for the purpose of electing a new slate of Elders and Deacons.

Intergenerational 3 Kings' Day
Square Dance |
5-7 PM | GCPC Atrium
“Blessed are you… when you let down your hair and kick up your heels alongside friends of all ages.” – Jesus (according to Heather Ferguson)
Well, maybe. I’m sure the early church had something equivalent to an intergenerational Square Dance. There is almost no better way to get to know folks while having so much fun and a perfect way to start the new year. So mark your calendars, dig out your hat, and maybe ask Santa for a pair of boots.
The church office will be closed Monday, December 31st and Tuesday, January 1st. Happy Holidays!
Stewardship Corner
"How Can We Keep From Sharing?" Update
As of 12/27/18, here's where we are on our pledging:

221 Pledges Received, 96% of 230 Goal
  • Only 9 More Pledges Needed!
$944,0 56.00 Pledged, 93% of Goal
  • Only $75,944 Left to Raise!

This includes 40 new pledges from families that did not pledge in 2018. 131 families have increased their pledge from last year. 

If you haven't already, please complete you 2019 pledge card, handwritten or online , and return to the Finance Office as soon as possible. If you have questions about your gifts or pledge, please contact Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator, at 828-254-3274, ext. 202 or     
2018 Giving Cut Off Date

Please note that the office will be closed for the holidays Monday, 12/31 - Tuesday, 1/1 . If you would like to make a year-end gift to be included on your 2018 contribution statement for tax purposes, be sure to plan ahead with your gift. Here are the ways to make your year-end gift before the 12/31 cut off date:
  • Put gifts in the plate on Sunday 12/30
  • Visit the church office when it reopens Thursday, 12/27, from 9am - 4pm
  • Give online here up to 11:59pm on 12/31
  • GIVE+ Mobile App: Download the app on your smartphone to set up one- time or recurring donations
  • GIVE+ Text: Send a text message to 828-266-0126 with the amount you would like to contribute
  • Mail gifts to the church office at 789 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 *must be postmarked 12/31/18 or before* 

We wish you safe and Happy Holidays! 
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Creating Sanctuary Team Meeting | Sunday, January 13 | 11:45 AM | Garden Room
Power and Race Team (PART)
Racial Justice Book Club | Thursday, January 10 | 12:15 PM | Jerusalem Room
The Racial Justice Book Club is reading a list of 12 books examining institutional and interpersonal racism and racial equity. All are welcome, whether you have read closely or are just interested in learning more about the subject. A copy of the book can be found in the church library . For January , we are reading the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
PART Meeting | Thursday, January 10 | 7:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
We will be exploring Native American history and the realities of colonizing North America. Meeting is open to all.
Earth Team
Earth Team Meeting | Wednesday, January 2 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Room
*No Education Hour this Sunday.
*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Adult Education | Winter Term
January 6 – March 3 | Sundays @ 9:15 AM

Pressure Points - Painting the Stars: Science, Religion, and an Evolving Faith
Celebrating the connection of science and faith, Painting the Stars explores the promise of Christian spirituality. Featuring over a dozen leading evolutionary theologians and progressive thinkers, the program includes weekly dvd segments and lively discussion questions. Bruce Sanquin, one of the dvd speakers says, “the goal of this curriculum is to create some space for us to inhabit mystery more deeply, and explore the relationship between science, particularly evolution, and religion. Perhaps most importantly, the hope is that each participant will feel from the inside what it is like to be the presence of all this creativity showing up after 13.7 billion years as him or her. Without this felt sense of being one with the creative process that is ceaselessly animating life, the conversation will remain objective and academic."
Facilitators: Denise Snodgrass and Tim Hamel

The Improv - Religious Wounds and Healing
The class will discuss how religion or communities of faith can do harm and the ways we find healing and resilience after such experiences. We will be engaging panels of people from the Grace Covenant community willing to share their experiences, as well as a few outside voices who have found healing elsewhere. Please come, bring your questions and your experiences, as we think about how we as Christians are called to be agents of healing and care in a wounded world.
Facilitators: Richard Coble and guests

Digging In - Singing Faith: Exploring the Bible through Hymns
The class will examine our biblical heritage of song as a way of understanding the historic development of hymns and the music of the church. We will seek to understand biblical foundations for singing while giving consideration to the theological, musical, literary, and cultural components of the faith we sing. Bring your questions and your voice (Bibles and Hymnals will be provided!)
Facilitator: Jeff Jones
Winter Women's Memoir Series | Last Monday of the month | 6 PM | Jerusalem Room
Join us for a series of book talks focusing on memoirs written by people of faith. Open to all women of the church. One copy of each book can be found in the church library. Please pre-read the book to ensure lively discussion.  *Childcare provided.
  • January 28 - Pure: inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free by Linda Kay Klein
Facilitator: Amber White
  • February 25 - Becoming by Michelle Obama
Facilitator: Caroline Wyrosdick-Webb
  • March 25 - Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage and Fighting Back by Jackie Speier
Facilitator: Mary Lou Nash
Bible Study | Wednesdays | 11:00 AM | Garden Rm
*Bible Study will resume on January 9th.
VRQ—BBQ Cook Team | Next cook date: NEW YEAR'S DAY - Tuesday, January 1st | 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, .
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering: “Epiphany Party with St. Marks Lutheran Church’s 20s/30s group” | Saturday, January 5 | 4-7 PM | Deacon Katie’s home ( 454 Creekside Drive , Weaverville)
If you are over 18 or in your twenties or thirties, come and celebrate the season with our Lutheran neighbors! Get ready for an evening of food, fun and fellowship. Bring a dish to share. Let’s make new friends and visit with old ones. If possible, email Samantha if you plan to attend. All are welcome! 
Sisters at the Sea Retreat 2019 - | February 21-24, 2019 | Folly Beach, SC | $190
Are you a woman age 25ish-50ish who would like a weekend of connecting and rejuvenating? Mark your calendars for our 10th annual SOS (“save our sanity”/“sisters at the sea”/”women needing to replenish and rejuvenate”) retreat! This year’s leader will be our own Heather Ferguson. We will dig into some unique ways to tap into Celtic spirituality, a very earthy spirituality that is rooted in the natural elements. The beach will be a perfect place to explore "Fire, Earth, Wind and Water: Praying with the Elements of Creation."
Cost: $190 per person
*Full and partial scholarships available upon request. Registration ends on February 3rd. Registration forms will be available on the wall near the Welcome Desk; or you can use the online form.
Support Group for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI Group) | Wednesday, January 2 | 12 PM | Garden Room
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. Contact Richard with questions. *New participants welcome at any time.
PW January Circle Meetings
Circle #1 | Tuesday, January 8 | 10 AM | GCPC Fellowship Hall | Study Leader: Sandra Dykes

Circle #2 | Tuesday, January 8 | 7:30 PM | Charlotte Simons' home (2400 Timber Place) | Study Leader: Barbara McLean

Circle #3 | TBA

Circle #4 | Thursday, January 3 | 7 PM | Jane Suttton's home (6 Holmwood Road) | Study Leader: Mary Lou Nash

Circle #5 | Monday, January 7 | 10 AM | The Baptist Home | Study Leader: Susie Churchfield
The 2019 Flower Chart is on the bulletin board next to the elevator. Please consider signing up to give flowers one Sunday. The cost is $45, payable to GCPC. Please send your dedication to Anna Louise
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:  Ann Brown email:
Youth News
No youth group this weekend.
We will resume youth group with the Intergenerational Three King's Square Dance on Sunday, January 6th!
Senior Highs: LAST CALL!!
Are you interested in Triennium this summer?
Triennium is a summer conference every three years for Senior High Presbyterians from around the country (July 16-20) at Purdue University. Transportation is free and partial financial assistance is available upon request.  See conference info & application here  and contact  Beth Gunn  or  Samantha  with specific questions. Applications due back by Jan 1st.
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
Sherry Harcke (Les Stradley's friend)
Pat Cocke (Les Stradley’s friend)
Glenn Russell (Robin Gaiser's brother)
Nancy and Richard Schaadt (Donna Robertson's sister and brother-in-law)
Shaketia Simpson and children (Habitat Partner family)
Louise Seitz (Janet Schifflin's friend)
Ana Garcia, (our Padrino Partner) her husband, Francisco, and their sons Jose and Adrian Garcia
Sondra Dorn (Jonathan Tetzlaff's partner)
Lynne Norris (Mary Lou Nash's friend)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Erik Jacobs (Kathy Jacob's son)
Jack Waskey (Anna Hamel's father)
June Collins (Carolyn Tingle’s mother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Larry Stern and family
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
Enneagram Retreat | Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 10 AM - 4 PM | GCPC
*Facilitated by Rev. Carol Hovis

See attached flyer with details.  
This retreat will have a different feel from past workshops; all are welcome. Whether you are new to the enneagram system of personality or have lots of experience, this day will provide opportunities for learning and deepening self-awareness. With a focus on subtypes, we use the narrative tradition where each person's unique perspective of type enriches our collective understanding and personal growth. For more information, contact Carol at
Chris Highland discusses "A Freethinkers Gospel: Essays for a Sacred Secular World" | Sunday, January 13 | 5:00-6:00 PM | GCPC Sanctuary
Chris Highland joins us to discuss the new collection of his weekly “Highland Views” columns in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Over 52 essays with WNC photographs by the author. Signed copies available to purchase at a special discount for $15.

“[This book] seeks to bridge the gaps between people divided by beliefs.”

Click HERE to see flyer.
January Series  of Calvin College | January 3-23 (each weekday) | 12:30-1:30 PM | First Presbyterian Church, Room 112
First Presbyterian Church will broadcast o ne of the nation’s leading lecture and cultural arts series, fifteen lectures shown through live feed from Calvin College with topics ranging from millennials and faith, restorative justice, confident pluralism, radical generosity, and so much more by top experts in their fields. Bring a sack lunch, we’ll supply beverages. Attend one or all. Click HERE for more information.
Presbytery of WNC Delegation to Malawi
Two Possible Dates:
May 17-31, 2019 or June 14-28, 2019
A typical trip is a two-week service opportunity as we work alongside our friends at Nkhoma Hospital, Ebenezer School, and the Nkhoma Synod. While we do engage in service projects, our main focus is forming and maintaining relationships with our partners in Malawi. The cost will be $3,000, excluding personal preparation expenses (passport, immunizations, medicines, etc.). Click HERE for more information and/or to apply. Deadline to apply: December 31, 2018.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804