Grace Covenant Weekly News | February 14, 2019
CLICK  " View entire message" at bottom of email
to see the FULL newsletter
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this,
it would change the earth.” 
~ William Faulkner

Sunday Preview

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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

Sermon: "Real Talk" by Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Scriptures: Isaiah 6:1-8; Luke 5:1-11

Attention: Looking for Pictures of GCPC's Oak Trees
An effort is underway to gather pictures of the two large oak trees (later removed due to disease) on the Gracelyn Road side of GCPC to create a photo display for an event in the spring. Long-time members of GCPC, if you have personal photos of these trees, or of church events which took place under the trees (including the 50th anniversary celebration in 2003), please contact Anne Callison Stokely at .
Marketplace Vacation Bible School!  June 24-27 (9am-12pm, daily)
For a week each summer, children can explore the time when Jesus lived by joining a tribe of Israel in a bustling Judean town. Children hear Bible stories from our storytellers, see Bible dramas come alive, study with the Rabbi, visit the shops, make crafts, play games, dance, make music and serve others. More than 100 volunteers from seven area churches come together to make this a fun, unforgettable learning opportunity for children.

Marketplace is for children ages 3 years old (by 1/1/19 and POTTY TRAINED) through rising 6th graders. GCPC needs parents, grandparents, youth and adult volunteers to make this a success! It is great fun! Contact Heather Ferguson   with questions.
Stewardship Corner

Besides asking for increases or new pledges on the Sunday “How Can We Keep from Sharing” cards, the Stew Crew also invited you to share words of gratitude about GCPC. We thought you'd like to hear what people said about our church:

  • I am humbled and encouraged by the generosity of this church.
  • Pledging today because of Grace’s love and grace.
  • Thankful for the persistent faithful work of Stew Crew and others.
  • Thanks to GCPC for being generous and providing for so many.
  • Thanks so much to this amazing Stew Crew.
  • We are thankful for all of us who share in the ministry of GCPC.
  • I can hardly wait to see the effect these pledges will have in our community.
  • We are deeply grateful to this church for continuing to probe what it means to be real.
  • Thanks be to God for this growing, loving church.
  • Thank you for an excellent campaign.
  • Thank you, Stew Crew.
  • You’ve done a good job. I also gave to pay down the HVAC debt—and aren’t we glad we have heat today!
  • Joy to amazing staff & congregants & bravery in our midst.
  • Kept the same this year—college! Thank you for supporting our family.
  • GCPC is our church home—a place where all are welcome. A place where members are involved in ministries in our community and in the world. A community of faith that continues to be a blessing to our family.
Will you be our Valentine?
AmazonSmile donates to Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.  
Community Garden
Garden Potluck | THIS Friday, February 15 | 6:30 PM | Fellowship Hall
All are invited - new gardeners, veteran gardeners, garden supporters or just folks looking for a good time.  The church kitchen is in working order, but please bring a prepared dish to share. (It is nice to identify your offering.) A good time is in the making as we sup together, celebrate the 2018 garden, then share plans for the 2019 garden season.
Come early and help set up or stay late to help clean up. We have much to share and discuss. Bring your stories, laughter, and enthusiasm for being able to grow and share food with our community.
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
From BeLoved Asheville:
ICE has been confirmed in Hendersonville on Wednesday morning. We are asking folks to stay inside and not answer the door. In response to this, we are hosting a food drive at our Grove St. location again. Many of you were present for this unfortunate event last year around this time when ICE was in town for over a week. We believe they will be in the area throughout the weekend and the community needs your help!! 

Deliver food to 39 Grove St, Asheville 28801

If you know of people who will need food or if you need food, please call 828-767-5561.

Financial donations can be made at
From CIMA, one of our Ministry Partners:

Ways to help with the current ICE raids

Please fill out this form if you can help with rides. Often times, community members need transportation to Steward Detention Center or other long distance locations (either court or detention centers). However it can be more local (Asheville, Hendersonville), or to Charlotte. 

Please fill out this form if you can help with food access either with goods or financial contributions.


For more information please be on the lookout for our trainings and in the meanwhile send an application here.

Click here for the CIMA website.
Climate Change and the Caravans
Climate change often intersects tragically with poor people around the globe. Drought in Syria was one of the factors pushing that country into civil war. Drought in Central America has contributed to the recent immigration caravans making their way toward the United States. Most caravan participants are pushed into leaving their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, etc. by a combination of physical danger and minimal chances of supporting a family. A caravan also offers protection in numbers as well as no exorbitant smuggler (coyote) fees.

For a powerful Weather Channel video describing the “dry corridor” in Central America and its contribution to our current immigration crisis, visit

~ Contributed by Jim Stokely
Power and Race Team (PART)
"Two Rivers" Documentary Screening | Sunday, March 3 | 5:00 PM | GCPC Fellowship Hall
PART movie night! All are invited. Come to the viewing and discussion about this powerful movie. " Two Rivers documents the true story of a Native American Reconciliation group that began in a couple’s home in Northern Washington State. Within five years many more had joined, and together they launched social and political reconciliation initiatives that changed their community, and race relations across the Northwest. Click HERE to watch trailer.
Racial Justice Book Series | Thursday, March 14 | 12:15 PM | Jerusalem Room
The Racial Justice Book Series is reading books examining institutional and interpersonal racism and racial equity. Come and join us for all discussions or for just one or two. All are welcome, whether you have read closely or are just interested in learning more about the subject. Copies of the books can be found in the church library. For March, we are reading  White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo .

From  Amazon  Page: 
"In this 'vital, necessary, and beautiful book' (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively."
Part of what PART does is to inform Grace Covenant about
racial equity work going on in the larger community.
The following are some events that PART recommends.
"Growing Up Black in Asheville (1958 - 1962)" | Thursday, February 21 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM | Beverly Hills Baptist Church ( 777 Tunnel Rd. )
Presented by Al Whitesides, County Commissioner, District 1. ( L ong-time community activist, former banker, and the first African-American to serve as a commissioner for Buncombe County.) A presentation honoring Black History Month describing Asheville during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Hosted by the Friends of East Asheville library. Admission is free, but donations to support library programs are greatly appreciated.
Darin Waters: " Whose Story - Democratizing America's Collective Memory" | Thursday, February 28 | 6:30 PM | Lenoir Rhyne University ( 36 Montford Ave. )
Darin Waters, PhD, will examine America’s collective memory in remembering its past. As the Confederate-monument controversy swirls across the South, Waters will reflect upon the historical origins of memorializing bygone eras with images that disregard the blight of African-American enslavement and persecution. An audience Q&A will follow the presentation. Waters is an Associate Professor of History and Executive Director of Community Engagement at UNC Asheville. Free and open to the public. Click HERE for more information.
Thursday Evenings | 6-8 PM | Open to the public
(Free childcare for Claxton Families only; starting at 5:45pm)


February 21: Colorblind vs. Color Conscious: Families Talking About Race
Is your family more color blind or color conscious? Join us to explore how we talk to our kids about race--what is hard, what goes well and why it's important to step out of our comfort zones. FREE for anyone to attend with childcare provided to Claxton families only. Please RSVP to help us with numbers .
Earth Team
Earth Team Meeting | Wednesday, March 6 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Room
Next Sunday's Education Hour (for all ages)
Adult Education-Winter Term | January 6 – March 3 | 9:15AM

Pressure Points | Painting the Stars: Science, Religion, and an Evolving Faith | Jerusalem Room
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 | Fellowship Hall
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 | Choir Room
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
[Contact Heather or Samantha ]

Toddlers (ages 2-3) | "God Loves Me" | Toddler Sunday School Room (downstairs, Children's Center)
Preschool/Kindergarten (ages 4-5) | Godly Play | Preschool Sunday School Room (downstairs, Children's Center)
Elementary (grades 1-3) | Godly Play | Temple Room (upstairs, Education Wing)
Elementary (grades 4-5) | "CONNECT" | Indie Room (upstairs, Education Wing)
Middle School (grades 6-8) | "Collaborate" Curriculum | Middle School Room (upstairs, Education Wing)
Senior Highs (grades 9-12) | "Wired Word" Curriculum | A-Frame (upstairs)
Confirmation Class | Senior High Room (upstairs, Education Wing)

*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Winter Women's Memoir Series | Monday, February 25 | 6 PM | Garden 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.
  • February 25 - Becoming by Michelle Obama
Facilitator: Caroline Wyrosdick-Webb
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!
Room in the Inn DRIVERS NEEDED to Move Mattresses
We have an URGENT NEED for drivers to move mattresses each Sunday. This task takes approximately 1 ½ hours. If we cannot secure volunteer drivers, then we will have no choice but to discontinue the service. This means that we will be back in the struggle of how we move mattresses each week. PLEASE consider who in your congregations might be willing to drive. If we had six volunteers, the rotation would be much smaller and easier to handle. Our current drivers will provide training and no CDL is needed. (You do not have to load and unload mattresses.)
For more information please contact Sharon Blythe, Room in the Inn Director at
Habitat for Humanity Update
The 2018-19 Presbyterian-United Methodist Habitat house is complete. The closing was Thursday February 7 and Shaketia and her kids spent their first night there that same night. It was dedicated on Friday and Shaketia thanked all who supported her work to become a homeowner. So, for all the GCPC members, staff, and friends who helped in construction, via financial contributions, and with prayer, many heartfelt thanks! 

It is expected that the next P-UM house will begin construction in the summer, so stay tuned and feel free to help Habitat in any way that you are able from now until then!
Guatemalan Sister Church - Iglesia Jerusalen
The Guatemala Committee is working on bringing a delegation of members from our sister church, Iglesia Jerusalen, for a visit in September. Although this visit is not yet fully confirmed, the committee feels that it is time to begin planning for it. We are looking for volunteers to help plan a joyful, meaningful 7 -10 days with our Guatemalan siblings in Christ. If you are interested in helping please contact Paul Tierney  or (828) 506-7100.
Ministry Partner News and Events...

Asheville Poverty Initiative - 12 Baskets Cafe
A Celebration of Afro-Latinx Culture (hosted by BeLoved) | Thursday, February 21 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM | 10 N. Market St., 28801
An evening of Afro-Latinx history, culture, and art; heavy refreshments provided.
  • 5:30 pm Music spun by DJ Mallinali and media of dancers celebrating the heart of the culture.
  • 6:00 pm Ponkho Bermejo will speak about the history of Afro-Latinx people in the Americas
  • 6:15 pm Calling of the Ancestors and unveiling of a 4'x12' painting by local artist Harry Rivera, the Rise of the Ancestors, to be added to our new outdoor gallery at BeLoved Asheville's Liberation Station
  • 6:30 pm A short documentary exploring this intersection
  • 7:00 pm A panel discussion with local people sharing their stories and that of their ancestors living at this intersection.
Support Group for Cognitive Impairment (MCI Group) | Wednesday, February 20 | 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 1 st and 3 rd Wednesdays of every month. *New participants welcome at any time. Contact Richard,, with questions.
Men @ GCPC Gathering| Thursday, February 28 | 8:00 AM | HomeGrown ( 371 Merrimon Ave. )
Join us for fellowship and discussion. Please read the  New York Times  editorial "The Boys Are Not Alright" by comedian Michael Ian Black (found at this  link ) to prompt our thinking about issues of men, masculinity, and violence. If you have other topics, stories, or editorials that you would like our regular breakfast gathering to take up, please email Richard or bring them to our discussion this month. 
Fathers with Young Children Meet-up | Thursday, February 28 | 4:00 PM | Green Sage ( 633 Merrimon Ave. )
Fathers with babies and young children will be meeting for informal conversation, exploration, and support. If you find yourself in this particular stage of life, please come and have a coffee with us! Contact Richard, , with any questions.
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering: Breakout Asheville Escape Room! | Monday, March 4 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM | 60 Patton Ave.
Join us for an evening of code cracking, clue finding, and mystery solving at Breakout Asheville. Two teams will race to solve a series of problems as they move through rooms, working together to breakout! GCPC will be covering the cost. RSVP ASAP by emailing Samantha at ! *Contact Heather at by Monday, February 25th if you need childcare.
Dine with Nine
For the past 2 years, Dine with Nine has started fresh with new groups on Ash Wednesday. This year we have made the decision to change up our groups in September. When everything else is changing let’s also start with new friendship groups. This is just a heads up because you will not hear anything about sign ups until late in the summer. If you already know that you want to be included in a new group in the fall please feel free to let Nancy Kramer know now. We would like to get our groups formed and be able to actually meet each other on our kick off day in September. For now, stick with your current groups. Any questions, contact Nancy Kramer,
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:  Peter Rosal email:
Youth News
Thanks to our GCPC youth and church family for raising $639.23 to support one of our amazing ministry partners, Hood Huggers. DeWayne Barton joined the youth last Sunday, where they presented him with this gift from GCPC.
Youth Group: "Fellowship & Fun with St. Mark's Lutheran Youth" | Sunday, February 17 | 4:30 - 7:00 PM | GCPC
Get ready for an extra special youth group! We will join forces with the St. Mark's Lutheran youth and engage in fun-filled activities, challenges and our very own dinner church! We will also practice a bit for Youth Sunday, so please arrive on time. See you there!
Senior High Presbytery Mission Retreat | Friday, March 15 - Saturday, March 16 | First Presbyterian Church Newton
Register HERE by February 28th  for this rewarding weekend filled with service projects, fun, worship, music & fellowship with youth from across the presbytery. The cost is $25. Checks can be written out to GCPC and can be brought to  Sherrie  in the church office. Full & partial scholarships are available. *You do not need to register if you are part of PYC.
Summer Opportunities: 
Montreat Senior High Youth Conference Week 6: July 28 - Aug 3 
Massanetta Middle School Youth Conference Week 3: July 11-14
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)
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)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Erik Jacobs (Kathy Jacob's son)
June Collins (Carolyn Tingle’s mother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Olga Malinoski
Nancy Gettys
James Harwell
Joyce Summerlin
Joe Brumit
Marty Johnson & Gabe Boehm
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
Enneagram Gatherings
Join us for weekly two  hour enneagram gatherings 
Fridays,  10:00am & Monday s ,   6:00pm in the A-Frame @ GCPC
Contact Carol Hovis  about cost & details. All are welcome; you can come once or every week.
Click HERE to see flyer.
Enneagram Retreat: "Reclaiming our Holy Idea" | Saturday, March 9 | 10 AM - 3 PM | GCPC
The Enneagram is a powerful tool to look at 9 distinct personality strategies of how we humans cope in relationships, work & the world.
Holy Ideas are 9 essential qualities we humans lose sight of at an early age. Knowing our ennea-type offers us a way to rediscover the particular holy idea we forgot.
Cost: $60; Scholarships available. Bring a bag lunch; cost includes hearty snacks & hand-outs. RSVP by March 7th: Click HERE for flyer.
Save the Date:  
April 27th Enneagram retreat on Arrows
Stay tuned.  
"Combatants for Peace" Presentation | Thursday, February 28 | 7 - 9 PM | Congregation Beth Israel ( 229 Murdock Ave. )
Congregation Beth Israel is excited and proud to host a delegation of Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers from Combatants for Peace (CFP). In 2006, Israeli and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict, laid down their weapons and established Combatants for Peace. The egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots movement was founded on the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces. Combatants for Peace is the only organization, worldwide, in which former fighters on both sides of an active conflict have laid down their weapons, choosing to work together for peace and justice. They have been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, 2017 & 2018.

They will be telling their personal stories of transformation from violence to nonviolence, and sharing the work that they are doing to end the occupation and bring peace to their homeland. We will have two speakers: one Israeli and one Palestinian, and also be screening a short clip of their award winning, documentary: Disturbing the Peace. Click HERE for more information.
PWNC Annual Spirituality Retreat - " Praying with the Celtic Saints" | March 8-9 | Bonclarken Conference Center ( 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731 )
Our weekend together will explore ways for us to celebrate Celtic wisdom and weave it into our lives here in the 21st century. We will pray together, enjoy the poetry and stories of the Celtic saints, and seek the still, small voice of God in the natural beauty of Bonclarken. Retreat begins Friday, March 8, 3:00 p.m., and ends Saturday, March 9, 4:00 p.m. A Saturday only option is also available. Presenters are: Carl McColman and Linda Abel. Click HERE for the full flyer.
2019 Come to the Table Conference | March 12-13, 2019 | Friendship Missionary Baptist Church | Charlotte, NC
"Called to Action: Uprooting Hunger and Cultivating Justice"
We invite faith leaders and laypeople, hunger relief advocates, farmers, farm workers, community organizers, community gardeners, food council members, extension agents, and others to join us next March to examine the root causes of hunger and collaborate to build a more just food system. At the 2019 Come to the Table Conference, we hope to energize attendees to go back to their communities with the knowledge to challenge the systemic nature of hunger and the skills and connections to grow structures that are based in justice. The 2019 Conference will:
  • Share resources, tools & knowledge to support attendees in being effective community organizers for a more just food system
  • Provide space for the knowledge and wisdom in the room to be shared and for us all to learn together
  • Provide space for people to connect with each other and build relationships that will sustain and support their work

Keynote Speakers:
Executive Director of  Food First
For more information, including keynote biographies, workshop selection, conference schedules, and other logistics, click here.
Symposium on Reformed Christianity and Social Ethics | March 13-14 | Davidson College
As a liberal arts college founded by Presbyterians, the Reformed Tradition of the Christian faith has been integral to Davidson College. Please join us for a series of events engaging Davidson students, alumni and community members in conversation about the ethical commitments, theological spirit and moral character of the Reformed Tradition and how Reformed theology ethics shape our larger society. 

Taylor Branch, Presbyterian elder and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of America in the King Years, a narrative history of the civil rights era, will deliver the symposium's keynote lecture on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 8 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall.
Click here for more information.
John Pavlovitz Live in Black Mountain, NC
PC(USA) Advocacy Training Weekend
  • Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day | April 5 | 8 AM - 4:30 PM | New York Ave. Presbyterian Church | Washington, DC
Gather with your fellow Presbyterians as we look at how our church and our partners are working to organize for change. In plenaries and work shops we will look at the Church as movement and as well as ways to build movements for change. We will hear from inspiring leaders and learn about past present and future efforts to bring about a more just society and world. We will offer concrete tools and strategies for members and their congregations to organize and advocate in their churches and local communities.
  • Ecumenical Advocacy Days | April 5-8 | Washington DC
The 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference will draw on #GoodTrouble pioneers from the Civil Rights era as well as inspiration from young leaders to learn from the past, share best practices, and encourage one another for the work ahead. Through worship, educational and training workshops, and advocacy, we will beckon the Spirit to “Trouble the Waters” as depicted in John 5:1-9, calling on God to bring healing to our nation and world. Join us as we envision and train for new ways to stir up #GoodTrouble for the healing of all God’s children.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804