Grace Covenant Weekly News | December 6, 2018
Inclement Weather this weekend
The forecast for this weekend includes ice and snow. Before you leave your house, please check the website , your email or WLOS to see if we are having services. Most importantly, stay safe and warm!
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Reprinted with permission from the Presbyterian Outlook. pres-outlook.org

And I feel above me the day-blind stars
  waiting with their light. For a time
 I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~ Wendell Berry, from The Peace of Wild Things

Sunday Preview

Sunday, December 9, 2018
Second Sunday of Advent


Worship Services @ 8:15 & 10:45 AM
Education Hour (for all ages) at 9:15 AM


Sermon: "Prep Work" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6
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
2nd Wednesday Fellowship Dinner and Biltmore Preview Concert | Wednesday, December 12 | 6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall & Sanctuary
Please bring your favorite holiday side dish (meats and beverages will be provided) for our “2nd Wednesday Dinner” followed at 7:00 pm by a festive evening of seasonal carols sung by members of our Chancel Choir as they put the final touches on their Biltmore Candlelight concert. RSVP to Sherrie by THIS Monday, Dec. 10th.
Advent Ministry Partner: Youth Transformed for Life 
The Serve Council is excited to share that Youth Transformed for Life will be this year's Advent Ministry Partner. YTL supports disenfranchised communities as they strive to succeed in an inequitable system. We hope you will designate your gift on Christmas Even to support the Teens advocacy program and after school program at YTL. You can learn more about this organization HERE.
Stewardship Corner
"How Can We Keep From Sharing?" Update
As of 12/6/18, here's where we are on our pledging:

209 Pledges Received, 91% of 230 Goal
  • Only 21 More Pledges Needed!
$ 891,848.00 Pledged, 87% of Goal
  • Only $128,152 Left to Raise!

This includes 32 new pledges from families that did not pledge in 2018. 61% of pledge renewals 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 giving@gcpcusa.org.     
Online shopping has become one of the most popular ways to purchase both gifts and household goods, and it’s no secret that Amazon is one of the major players in the industry. But did you know there is a way to make your shopping support the ministry and mission of Grace Covenant, too, at no extra cost to you?

It’s easy: click here to go to smile.amazon.com and choose Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church ASHEVILLE as your charity. Then, simply shop at smile.amazon.com instead of regular old amazon.com. Be sure to update your bookmarks and browser favorites to take you to the new site, too. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to your church from that point forward.

You can give the gift that really does keep giving with just a few simple clicks!  
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Creating Sanctuary Team Meeting | Sunday, December 9 | 11:45 AM | Garden Room
About a decade ago, writer Michel Stone of Spartanburg met an undocumented Latino working the fields in coastal South Carolina. That man’s experiences inspired Stone to weave a story about a couple seeking hope and dignity beyond poverty, sorrow, and suffering in a fictitious Central American village. She published the acclaimed  The Iguana Tree in 2012 and followed it with  Border Child in 2017. You can find the gripping stories of Hector and Lilia and their infant daughter, Alejandra, on the Creating Sanctuary shelf on the upper level of the narthex.
As Stone examines the human stories behind news headlines and disembodied statistics, we can connect our life as a congregation on Souper Wednesday to the hard-working Pisgah Legal Services staff.  On December 19, GCPC will again serve soup and sides to the PLS staff. To volunteer as a host, contact Nancy Gaskin at nancy.gaskin@gmail.com

~ Contributed by Tish Anderson
Power and Race Team (PART)
Left Behind - Reflection | Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8 | 7:30 PM | Asheville Community Theater
As Logan is trying to get her life back from her long battle with drugs, she realizes that the very thing that she has been running from has been right in front of her the whole time. Join us for a night of reflection, singing, praising and discovery. Click HERE to buy tickets.
Racial Justice Book Club | Thursday, December 13 | 6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
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 December , we are reading the novel Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
PART Meeting | Thursday, December 13 | 7:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
Snacks will be provided.
Earth Team
Great Stocking Stuffers!
The Earth Team will be following up on the success of the showing of the Straws movie selling reusable stainless steel straws in the Narthex after worship on Sunday. $2 each or three for $5. Proceeds go to support Earth team activities.
EDUCATION
This Sunday's Education Hour (for all ages)

Advent Term | December 2-23 | 9:15 AM | Fellowship Hall
Calm & Bright (Intergenerational class)
For the four Sundays of Advent, you are invited to join Grace Covenant folks (1st grade through adults) for an experience sure to stir your spirit through sacred music, lively exploration and mutual blessing. This year marks the 200-year anniversary of the beloved hymn, Silent Night. Come join Heather Ferguson, Lynn Bledsoe and an intergenerational music team as we celebrate this Advent season the GCPC way!
CHILDREN'S EDUCATION @ 9:15 AM [Contact Heather ]

Toddlers (ages 2-3) | “God Loves Me” | 9:15 – 10:15 AM | Toddler Room (downstairs, Children’s Center)
Preschool/Kindergarten (ages 4-5) | Godly Play | 9:15 –10:15 AM | Preschool Sunday School Room (downstairs, Children’s Center)
*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
OTHER EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES...
Bible Study | Wednesdays | 11:00 AM | Garden Rm
Join the pastoral staff to read and study our sermon texts for Sunday. No preparation needed; just come ready to open scripture and discuss! * In December, Bible Study will meet on December 12 and then take a break for the holidays. Bible Study will resume on January 9.
SERVE
Reclaiming Christmas - Alternative Gift Giving Guide
Click HERE to see the online giving guide. If you need gift cards to go with your donation, you can pick them up from Anna Louise during the week or check the SERVE mailbox on Sundays (in Administrative office).
Pritchard Park Breakfast Ministry | Sunday, December 16
Many thanks to all who are donating food and those who volunteered to prepare and serve.
Haywood Street Clothing Bin
The staff of Haywood Street Congregation wants to share how delighted they are to receive so many donations from Grace Covenant. The SERVE Council wants to thank all the donors and all the volunteers who transport the donations to Haywood Street on a weekly basis. Our November delivery volunteers noted that many of the clothes are being placed in the bin unbagged. Please place your donations in garbage bags before you place them in the clothing donation box. It makes a big difference to our volunteers!
Haywood Street Congregation -
Ways to engage this holiday season:
  • Saturday, December 22 | Christmas feast meal prep | All day between 9am-3pm
  • Worship every Wednesday at 12:30 pm and Sunday at 3:15 pm.
  • Regular Wed/Sun meal and worship schedule remains without changes throughout the holiday season. Check "About/Visit" on website for full details, www.haywoodstreet.org.
GCPC COMMUNITY
Sisters at the Sea Retreat 2019 - | February 21-24, 2019 | Folly Beach, SC | $170 (early bird rate)
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."
Early Bird Rate:  $170 per person ($40 non-refundable deposit by Dec. 23rd)
Cost after Dec. 23rd: $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)
will NOT meet on Wednesday, December 19th. We will resume on Wednesday, January 2nd.
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 10:30 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:  Sally Booher phone:  828-254-6910
Youth News
Youth Group Holiday Potluck Party! | Sunday, December 9 | 5-7 PM | GCPC
Let's celebrate the holiday season together at the last youth group of 2018! Get ready for an evening of games, music, food, laughter, and fun. Feel welcome to rock your ugliest Christmas sweater! Parents, please plan to arrive by 6 PM and sign up HERE to bring a dish to share for our family potluck, which will be held in the Fellowship Hall. *Please note: we will be watching the weather closely. Samantha will be in touch via "facebook" and "remind" if church events are cancelled due to snow.
CONFIRMATION 2019! Sign up & Info Session!
8th - 12th graders,  Confirmation 2019 is coming up (this coming January – May) and it would be a joy to have you participate in the class! Our Confirmation theme this year is “Leap of Faith.” It will be a sacred and exciting time to explore your faith in community. And it is a whole lot of fun! Let's take this leap together!


Please attend our  Parent & Youth Confirmation Info Session this Sunday, Dec 9th at 4pm in the Jerusalem Room  (before youth group). Whether you are definitely signing up or have more questions, this info session will tell you more about the class. *Please note: we will be watching the weather closely. Samantha will be in touch via "facebook" and "remind" if church events are cancelled due to snow.
Looking for Youth Worship Leaders for 5pm Christmas Eve Service!
Christmas Eve is right around the corner and we need YOUth! Youth are invited to be "angel, magi and shepherd" leaders in this engaging service geared toward children of all ages! There are no speaking roles. If you can participate, please SIGN UP HERE  or contact  Samantha .
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)
Francis Miller (Nancy Miller's son)
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)
Family of Joe Williford (Lindsey Williford's father)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Teresa Stern
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...

Enneagram learning opportunities
with Carol Hovis!


Feel free to join our weekly enneagram gatherings on different topics pertaining to all 9 types. We meet Monday evenings, 6-8pm and Friday mornings, 10am-12noon in the A-Frame Room through December 14th, facilitated by Carol Hovis. For more information, including cost and content, email Carol, cmhovis@gmail.com. All are welcome. Click HERE to see flyer.
Asheville Gay Men's Chorus presents " Appalachian Spirit - Music for the Holidays " | Saturday, December 15 @ 7:30 PM and Sunday, December 16 @ 4:00 PM | GCPC Sanctuary
The Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus claims our role as the transforming and transcending choral voice for our LGBTQ and affirming community. The Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus entertains, advocates and connect community through choral excellence.

VIP Tickets - $30 and General Admission - $25. Children under 12 years old - $10.

*For tickets and more information, please visit www.avlgmc.org . Tickets may also be purchased at the door!
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