GCPC Weekly News | February 25, 2021
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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Adult Education 2/21
Session 2/23
Learning Lab 2/21
Learning Lab 2/21
Reed Family Lent activity
Reed Family Lent activity
Wednesday Bible Study 2/24
Mulching the Community Garden
Staff Meeting 2/23
Worship Preview | Sunday, February 28, 2021
Second Sunday in Lent
Sermon: "Detoxing" by Richard Coble
Scripture: Mark 8:31-38


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
One Great Hour of Sharing is the single, largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world. 
February 17 - April 4, 2021

As Jesus says in Matthew 25, the Church belongs with those in need — whether it is offering relief from natural disasters or the ravages of war; access to food, water and healthcare; or coping with the pandemic. Through our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, we are there because we are the Church, together.

Join with Presbyterians worldwide in sharing God’s love with our
neighbors-in-need around the world.

Winter "Me & White Supremacy" Study @ GCPC
We still have space in the Winter Reflection Group 4 for the Me & White Supremacy Study initiative at GCPC. Dates are still TBD.
Check the website for updated registration information.

If you have questions, please email Anna Louise.


Keeping the Faith
2021 Stewardship Campaign


2021 PLEDGE CAMPAIGN PROGRESS
THE FINAL STRETCH

We've been providing weekly updates on the pledge progress since the start of the 2021 campaign on 10/11/21. It can be easy to glaze over these numbers when seeing them so often (and because let's be honest, unless you're a "numbers person," finance figures just ain't fun), but these are important metrics to watch and tell a story about GCPC's financial health and sustainability. Hitting pledge goals means that our community is working together to fund the next year of ministry and mission at GCPC... and every single pledge builds the support structure to fund the annual budget in a responsible way. 

Tuesday night, Session approved the 2021 budget as submitted by the Finance Council, but we still need $6,875.00 more in pledges to fully fund the set budget.

Last week we had 237 pledges and we are now up to 244! It's exciting to be getting new pledges and some folks have increased their pledges. Thank you for prayerfully discerning if you can help us cross the finish line.

If you haven't pledged yet or want to increase your pledge, just email me at nweaver@gcpcusa.org and I'd be happy to help!

~ Submitted by Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator
WAYS TO PLEDGE FOR 2021:
  • 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.
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(2/21-2/27): Jeff Curtis email: jandscurtis@msn.com
Next week (2/28-3/6): Martha Ensign Johnson
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)
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Truly and Eric Mount (Marcia Mount Shoop’s parents)
Phoebe Rauscher (Friend of the Bleckley and Merrill families)
Bertilda Arteta (Marta Alcala-Williams' mother)
Paul Rogers’ Mom (in Arkansas)
Leslie Maddrell (Martha Seddon’s mother)
Connie (Robin Gaiser’s friend)
Stephen (Robin and Gordon Gaiser’s friend)
Sheldon Smith (Beth Robrecht’s brother-in-law)
Addi Hopkins (friend of the Kyremes-Parks family)
The Hopkins family on the death of their daughter Stephanie (friends of the Kyremes-Parks family)
Phil and Pat Cocke (Jerry Bleckley’s friend)
Jennings Palmer and his family (friends of Kathy Jacobs)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Woody Catoe
John Mount Shoop
Maria (Mapi) Mendoza-Worley
Vann Vogel
Kathy Jacobs
Kimo Hyatt
Formation/Education
Adult Formation
Lenten Adult Education - Lent of Liberation | Sundays February 21- March 28 | 9:00 AM | via Zoom
Beginning Sunday, Feb. 21 and going through the Sundays of Lent, conveners of the Me and White Supremacy groups will be leading discussions of the daily devotional Lent of Liberation by Cheri Mills.

This Lenten devotional invites readers to understand and reflect on the ongoing legacy of slavery in America today. Each of the forty devotions includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes to challenge modern readers to the work of liberation in themselves and their communities.

Each week will be a time for us to reflect on the devotionals the week prior and go deeper into how they speak to our lives today. Copies of the devotional will be available to pick up for free at the church office. Please email Richard at rcoble@gcpcusa.org if you would like a devotional. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 917 3507 6887
Passcode: 789
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering "Zoom Trivia Night” | TONIGHT, Thursday, February 25 | 6:00 PM | Zoom
If you are in your twenties or thirties (or nearly these ages), let's test our knowledge in all things trivial Thursday 2/25. Bring a drink of your choice or some snacks, open up a computer and get ready for a whole lot of fun, fellowship, and challenges! Our great friends Alex Hollifield and Ben Kees will be hosting our event - Thank you Alex and Ben!!! We look forward to seeing you there and sharing a night together as we say goodbye to the winter of 2021! ALL ARE WELCOME!


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 823 6853 2474
Passcode: 789
The GCPC EARTH Team invites you to join "Growing Together: Restoring Faith, Creation, Justice"

It only takes one hour on each 2nd Thursday of January thru May. Jim Branden and Susan Presson will be facilitating the sessions. "Growing Together" is a national pilot program for people of faith in recognizing our call to work for God's Creation. It is a small commitment of time as we work to reinvigorate the GCPC EARTH Team. With this study we will see what 'next steps' we at Grace Covenant can take to heal Creation.

GROWING TOGETHER connects the dots between faith, science, and creation care. See dates and topics for each session below. You can also learn more about the Growing Together program and can register HERE, noting GCPC as your church. 

Program details:
Growing Together: Restoring Faith, Justice, Creation | 7:00 PM 

  • Mar 11 - Purchasing: Living Simply and Justly 
  • Apr 8 - Recycling: Soil & Compost 
  • May 13 - Growing: Pulling it Together
Sunday Evening Bible Study & Prayer Group | Sundays | 5:00 PM via Zoom
Our Bible Study and Prayer Group will be focusing on how selected passages from the Gospel of John speak to our spiritual lives and needs today. Our hope is that this group is a time of support, contemplation, and fellowship, where we can feel the movement of the Spirit and ready ourselves for another week. So please, join us as you can. Contact Richard with questions.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 914 8271 3055
Passcode: 789

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 | Sundays | 5:00-5:45pm | Zoom
Each week, families will receive an email with a unique login for class. If you would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise.
Youth Group | Sunday, Feb. 28 | 5:00-6:30 PM on Zoom
It's a miracle! This week we'll continue our Lenten journey together as we look at the ministry and miracles of Jesus, from healing the sick to feeding the hungry and more. We'll also brainstorm more ideas for Youth Sunday and enjoy fun and fellowship as a group.

Contact Cat Kessler if you have questions or need zoom information.
SIGN UP FOR CONFIRMATION (Fall 2021):
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.
SIGN UP FOR SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES!
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 $300 if you register HERE by February 28, 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 $500 if you register HERE by February 28, 2021 (cost goes up $10 each month). Full and partial scholarships are available. Don't miss out on the fun!
Community Working Together
MICROWAVES NEEDED!!

Is there a microwave – still in good condition but currently unused – languishing in your basement while it awaits a new life? We have a great match for that handy appliance – serving residents at the Red Roof Inn. As you know, a number of Asheville residents have been living at RRI since the pandemic struck last spring. These folks need means for heating meals – and your extra oven is an ideal solution.

To give an oven, please drop it off at GCPC Monday – Thursday, anytime between 9 am and 3 pm - ON A CLEAR DAY, please, as we avoid rain. Leave it at the office door where the two large black mailboxes are located. Please contact Cliff at 828-279-2573 when you arrive with your oven.

We will deliver the microwaves to RRI each week. For more information, you may contact Beth Philipsen at onthecove@charter.net or 828-230-7661 or Tish Anderson at 19ppanc40@gmail.com or 828-712-0929.

Thanks for your support of this project.

                                                 ~ Submitted by Beth Philipsen and Tish Anderson
“We have several families in North Carolina in serious financial distress. In some cases, their husband/dad is at Stewart Detention Center, and in other cases, their husband/dad has been deported. Food Lion is their preferred grocery store and we really need Food Lion gift cards to send in care packages,” the directors of El Refugio in Decatur, GA, have written.
 
To support El Refugio’s work with these families in need, you may donate a cash gift or a Food Lion gift card available at www.foodlion.com/departments/gift-center. At this time, donations should be made by check payable to El Refugio. You can send your contribution to El Refugio, P.O. Box 3996, Decatur, GA 30031. Please note on the envelope ATTN: Patti Ghezzi.
                                  
~ Submitted by Tish Anderson, CST Member
Snack Donations Needed!
The virtual learning center at Land of the Sky could use help with snack donations. All nutritious snacks are welcome (please no applesauce). Snacks can be dropped off at 15 Overbrook Place. Questions? Please contact GCPC member, Mesheala Sundblade at 828-273-4166.
Participate in the Community Equity Fund
Just Economics is a partner in the Community Equity Fund, a new initiative that serves to support black owned businesses in a unique and meaningful way. There is a unique opportunity for faith communities to invest in the community equity fund but Stephanie Swepson Twitty from Eagle Market Street Development Corporation, and Kevin Jones are much better at explaining it all.


There is an outreach meeting for faith communities to learn more and to ask questions of Stephanie and Kevin. The first Faith Community Outreach session is next Monday, March 1st at 1pm over zoom. If you or someone from your congregation would be interested in attending, please register here.
E.W. Pearson Project presents a "Racial Equity and Healing Event" | Thursday, February 25 | 5:30 PM | Online
On Thursday, Feb. 25, the E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative will host its first Racial Equity and Healing event to discuss meaningful solutions for historic racial inequities. It’s the first event planned by the E.W. Pearson Project Collaborative, the formalized coalition of the Burton Street, East End/Valley Street and Shiloh Community neighborhood associations and the nonprofit Project Lighten Up. The free virtual program will share strategies for working with elected leaders to create and implement sustainable policy changes; a panel discussion will focus on effective ways to address inequity in public policy, education and the justice system. 
Panelists include Seth L. Bellamy, the student body president at the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville and a youth activist; Rima Vesely-Flad, a Warren Wilson College professor who studies Black liberation in the context of the justice system; and Richard White III, Asheville’s assistant city manager and interim director of the city’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. 

Click here to register.
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Calvary Presbyterian Church
Asheville, NC
Calvary Presbyterian Church, one of the eight African American Presbyterian Churches in the Presbytery of Western North Carolina, has a wonderful history. The church was founded in 1891 by Dr. Charles Bradford Dusenbury, a great man, pastor and leader in the life and history of Asheville. In addition to serving as the first pastor, he was also an educator and was one of the founders of the Young Men’s Institute (YMI), which was one of the nation’s oldest historic African American institutions which existed for over 120 years. In addition, the Dusenbury School taught African American children and adults for over 30 years. Calvary has a history of serving East End, the oldest African American community in Asheville. Over the years, the Church established the Tiny Tot Nursery; helped to raise funds with five other churches to build Mountainside Apartments, a 100-unit affordable housing complex; and the church shared its space with Hospitality House, an intentional shelter for men and women experiencing homelessness. Under the current leadership of the Rev. Pat Bacon, Calvary continues to serve the community by feeding the homeless with a meal once a month, provide a clothing and food bank, and hosts a group in which women from the church and community gather to share stories of women in the Bible. In October of 2020, Calvary was honored with the installation of a historical marker from the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association highlighting the rich history of the church.
 
Let us give thanks and praise to God for Calvary Presbyterian Church during Black History Month and going forward!
 
(Excerpts from Calvary Presbyterian Church’s history were used in composing this article)
The YWCA is relaunching the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge with new content and continue to engage our community on issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership in 2021. Sign up to receive daily emails with the option to read an article, listen to a podcast or reflect on a personal experience on different social justice topics. Based on the premise that it takes 21 days to build a habit, the 21-Day Challenge aims to continue heightening our community’s wisdom on the numerous racial and social injustices still present today, and, most importantly, how to end them—until justice, just is. 

Our all-new Challenge continues the conversation and dives into subjects including Reparations, Sports, Gender-Based Violence, and Environmental Racism starts March 1, 2021. Join us and register today!

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Remote Giving

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.

If you have any questions, please contact Natalie in our Finance office at nweaver@gcpcusa.org or by leaving a message for Natalie Weaver at 828-254-3274.
GCPC Out & About Online
PWNC Annual Spirituality Retreat | "Celtic Spirituality II" | March 12-13 | via Zoom | Deadline: March 5
Experience the prayer, poetry, folklore, and spirituality of the Celtic Christians of old — and how their lyrical, down-to-earth, and hope-filled wisdom still speaks to us today. If you attended our retreat in 2019, you can expect to build on what you learned then. More time will be devoted to putting these spiritual disciplines into practice. The 2019 event is in no way a pre-requisite for this year’s retreat. First time attendees are more than welcome! For all who attend, our time 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. Carl McColman will be the retreat leader.
STAY CONNECTED
HOW TO CONTACT STAFF DURING OFFICE CLOSURE:

Our staff are all still working remotely as the office remains closed due to the pandemic. To leave a voicemail for a staff member to return your call, follow these steps:

  1. Call the office at 828-254-3274.
  2. Listen through the office closure notice, which will then take you to a staff directory.
  3. Enter the first 3 letters of either the staff member's first or last name on your phone keypad (i.e. to reach Natalie Weaver, you'd enter 628 for NAT or 932 for WEA).
  4. You'll be directed to the staff member's individual voicemail, where you can leave a message to be returned as soon as possible.
  5. If you just want to leave a message for the general voicemail box, press 0.   

You can also reach our staff by email- please see our website for each staff member's individual email address. 
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804