GCPC Weekly News | February 4, 2021
Click  " View entire message" at bottom of email
to see the FULL newsletter
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Elder and Deacon Retreat 1/30
Elder and Deacon Retreat 1/30
Choir Chat 2/3
Staff Meeting 2/2
Sunday Night Bible Study
Worship Preview | Sunday, February 7, 2021
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Sermon: "Of Fevers, Demons, and Deserted Places"
by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: Mark 1:29-39


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
SAVE THE DATE!
Ash Wednesday | February 17
the beginning of our journey through Lent
You are invited to mark Ash Wednesday this year with two opportunities to connect to the community and the Holy: 
  • Ash Wednesday Drive-Thru | February 17 | 12:00-1:00 pm Come and get devotional materials for Lent, the imposition of ashes on your forehead or hand and a prayer. Please remember to wear your masks and to stay in your car. 
  • Ash Wednesday Online Prayer Service | February 17 | 7:00pm | on Zoom
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. 
UPLOAD YOUR PICTURE
to the Realm Directory!


For desktop:
If you are using Realm on your desktop, log into your account and then click the arrow by your name in the top right hand corner. Choose "My Profile."


Then hover your cursor over the circle by your name. It should allow you to upload a picture from your computer.
For Realm app on your phone or ipad:
If you are using the Realm app, please click "More" (with the 3 dots) in the bottom right corner. Choose "Profile", then click the circle to upload a photo from your phone.

If you need help, please email Anna Louise.
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.
Me & White Supremacy - An Invitation to Dive Deeper....
If you have gone through a Me and White Supremacy book group and now want to dig deeper into writing your personal stories to inform your anti-racism work, a new group for MWS "alums" is being formed!

Signing up for a MWS writing group will mean dedicating 3 hours minimum to writing/sharing each week. 

The group will meet Monday nights from 7-8:30 pm, February 15 - March 29 via Zoom. These meetings will include sharing and writing prompts. Participants will need to dedicate another hour and a half to writing sometime during the week. The circle way format will still be used to run the group. The group will be limited to 5 people. If you have questions please email Margaret Belk Tierney.

To register for this group, please email Anna Louise at almurchison@gcpcusa.org.


Keeping the Faith
2021 Stewardship Campaign


2021 PLEDGE CAMPAIGN PROGRESS
BALANCING THE BUDGET

As you've been hearing over the months since the Stewardship Campaign, pledges are the way our Finance Council and Session sets and funds the annual budget numbers. It's the fuel that powers everything planned in the coming year. But what does that really mean? What is the budget supporting? 

Here are some of the areas you may not realize are directly supported by our annual operating budget:

  • SERVE Grants to ministry & covenant partners
  • Team & Committee Support: Creating Sanctuary Team, Earth Team, Guatemala Committee, Power and Race Team, Room in the Inn, Veteran's Restoration Quarters
  • Congregational Care & Special Events
  • Deacon and Pastoral financial assistance 
  • Children, Youth, & Adult programming, curriculum, speakers, events
  • Music & Worship: equipment maintenance, music licensing, guest musicians, live streaming, tech support
  • Personnel: Staff pay, employer taxes, and benefits. Staff includes Clergy, Program Staff, Support Staff, Youth Advisor, Nursery Staff, Choir Section Leaders
  • Property: HVAC loan interest, insurance, janitorial & lock up services, landscaping & grounds maintenance, repair & maintenance, building supplies, utilities
  • Administration: Annual review by external auditor, office equipment & hardware, office supplies, postage, Presbytery monthly benevolence, IT support, software, internet, web services

AND MUCH MORE!! While we try to responsibly predict all of our annual expenses in the budget, we know things change. Having the support from pledged income ensures we can cover all operating expenses and still support ministry and mission. 

As of now, the 2021 budget is unable to balance because we don't have enough pledged income to cover the expected annual expenses. If you haven't already, please pledge today. If you are able and feel called to increase your already submitted pledge, the Finance Office is able to help update your pledge. 
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(1/31-2/6): Cathy Froehlich email: oremont2@gmail.com
Next week (2/7-2/13): Jeane Smith email: jeane.smith22@gmail.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)
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)
Anthony DiGiantomasso (Karen Rohl’s nephew)
Bertilda Arteta (Marta Alcala-Williams' mother)
Paul Rogers’ Mom (in Arkansas)
Betty Niedergeses (Lisa Reed's grandmother)
Welcome Baby Luna Raye, Rebecca and Mason Powers' daughter (Tammy Bradley’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandbaby)
Shannon Yantis (Kelly Spradlin’s daughter) 
Lester Lowe and family (brother-in-law of Karen Rohls)
Aliya Dawn Cutugno (Karen Rohls granddaughter)
Leslie Maddrell (Martha Seddon’s father)
Connie (Robin Gaiser’s friend)
Stephen (Robin and Gordon Gaiser’s friend)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Woody Catoe
Formation/Education
Adult Formation
Disrupting White Supremacy in Cultures and Communities: A Collaborative Conversation with Dr. Tema Okun and Rev. Tami Forte-Logan | Thursday, February 11 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM | 
Connect to GCPC’s YouTube channel Thursday 2/11 at 7pm to go deeper into the work of dismantling and disrupting white supremacy culture in ourselves and in our communities. This event is a collaboration between two change-tenders and leaders in this work. And there will be an opportunity for all to engage Dr. Okun and Rev. Forte-Logan with questions as well. The conversation will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor/Head of Staff at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Click HERE to register.
“What’s Love Got to Do with It? – White Supremacy in the Church”
Saturday, February 13 | 12:00 – 2:00 PM | via Zoom
Have you been concerned or even fearful after constantly witnessing white supremacist behaviors and ideology all around our nation? Do you wonder how Christians can live out God’s mandate to love one another through it all while we work out our soul salvation and forge mutual liberation?

Join Rev. Tami Forte-Logan and Faith 4 Justice Asheville as we explore how whiteness distorts God’s love for humankind and begin imagining what mutual liberation looks like.

This free online event will be an introduction and invitation to examine how the church can return to love, cast out white supremacy, and practice holy imagination.

Click HERE to register.
Enneagram Reunion Gathering for GCPC Parents | Wednesday, February 24 | 6:30-8:30 PM | via Zoom

Facilitated by Carol Hovis, all parents are welcome. If you don't know your enneagram type, contact Carol. Email Carol if you would like to participate.
GCPC Parents Introduction to the Enneagram System of Personality & Essence | 3 Saturdays | February 27, March 6 & March 13 | 9:00 - 11:00 AM | via Zoom
This series has been designed for Grace Covenant parents of children ages 0-5th Grade.  
Carol Hovis, certified Enneagram Teacher and Spiritual Director, will lead us in an introduction to the enneagram system of personality & essence. Parents can determine and deepen the understanding of their own type as well as the parenting gifts and challenges of all nine types. In addition, we will consider how we nurture children who lead with each of the nine distinct perspectives of being in the world.  

RSVP to Carol Hovis by February 22nd!
What is the Enneagram? 
 
The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview. Learning about these patterns fosters greater understanding through a universal language that transcends gender, religion, nationality and culture. While we are all unique, we share common experiences. (The Narrative Enneagram)
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 | January – May 2021 

  • Jan 14 - Intro: Faith, Science & Creation Care
  • Feb 11 - Eating: Theology of Food
  • Mar 11 - Purchasing: Living Simply and Justly 
  • Apr 8 - Recycling: Soil & Compost 
  • May 13 - Growing: Pulling it Together
The Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith: Examining our Beliefs and Learning from Others | Sundays | January 10 - February 14 | 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Who was the historical Jesus? Is the Bible a reliable source of information about his life? How can Christians with differing understandings of the Bible's reliability discuss these issues responsibly? This winter, we will hold a 6 week class discussing these questions, with the help of Bart Ehrman and Craig Evan's new book Can We Trust the Historical Jesusalong with contributions from liberation theologians.

Facilitators: Janice Kominski and Richard Coble

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 981 0730 3472
Passcode: 789
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. 7 | 5:00-6:00 PM on Zoom
Do you have what it takes to create a wacky, unforgettable, dare I say—*Super Bowl-worthy* advertisement? We'll find out this week! We'll also dive into our scripture for this year's Youth Sunday worship service (on May 2!) and connect with one another in fellowship.

We'll end our meeting a bit early this week for those who want to enjoy the big game (or the commercials, musical performances and poetry) with their families.

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!
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 $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
Caring for Community in a Time of Distance - a HFA Alumni Storytelling Event | Tuesday, February 9 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM | Online
On February 9th join friends and alumni of Hands and Feet of Asheville for a virtual storytelling event. Volunteers from years past will share stories of their time working with local Asheville nonprofits, building community and will reflect on how they continue to create and care for community in their lives.

While this event is free, we know these young adults provide crucial support to our local nonprofits while gaining the skills and spirit to pursue a life in service of compassionate social justice. In order to sustain the program and ensure an enriching experience for many young adults to come, please consider a gift in honor of those lifting their voices on February 9th.
Visit handsandfeetavl.org/donate to make a tax-deductible donation today!
 
News from GCPC Ministry Partner, Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound has announced its purchase of the Day’s Inn motel on Tunnel Road to serve as permanent housing for Asheville residents who have not had a place to call home for a very long time. This forward-looking step by Homeward Bound on behalf of its new residents enacts the agency’s “Housing First” philosophy, a best practice for those people who are experiencing homelessness. These new residences are important as Asheville becomes a more supportive, forward-thinking community for all who live here. 
 
We particularly appreciate the leadership of GCPC’s Vann Vogel, who currently serves as chair of Homeward Bound’s Board of Directors. “Homeward Bound of WNC believes that housing is a right, and not a privilege, and is working tirelessly to house the chronically homeless in our community,” Vann says. 
 
We are grateful that GCPC has been a key player in caring for these neighbors through the RITI program and more recently at the Red Roof Inn in West Asheville, especially now during the pandemic and in these cold months. We celebrate the generosity of all contributors.

 ~ Contributed by Beth Philipsen and Tish Anderson
Homeward Bound Virtual Event

Open Your Heart for Women and Homelessness | Friday, February 12 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Sexual or domestic violence is cited by nearly 60% of women as the direct cause of their homelessness. Your support for Homeward Bound helps put these women in permanent homes and on the road to a brighter future. 

Join at noon on February 12th to learn more about the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness, including the incremental impact of COVID-19.

REGISTER BY JANUARY 31ST!

Click below for:
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project

News from GCPC Covenant Partner, BeLoved Asheville


A personal and universal discussion on white supremacy, gender inequality - PC(USA) leaders who are women of color share personal experiences in webinar.
This was the second episode of the webinar series “Where Do We Go from Here?” presented by the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness/Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. This episode of the series looking at the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump featured three leaders in the PC(USA) who are women discussing the intersection of white supremacy and gender inequality: Cintrón-Olivieri; the Rev. Denise Anderson, co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and coordinator of the PC(USA) Office of Racial and Intercultural Justice, who is Black; and Sue Rheem, Presbyterian Representative to the United Nations, who is Asian American.
White House Decision to Phase Out Use of For Profit Prisons Wins Support From Stated Clerk
J. Herbert Nelson says people are paying a personal price for the sake of profit. The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) says he was glad to hear last week that President Joe Biden had signed an executive order to begin phasing out the Department of Justice’s use of private prisons. The department is now being directed to decline the renewals of contracts with privately operated for-profit prisons.
Click HERE to read the full article.

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
2020 GIVING STATEMENTS | Emailed 1/21

Year-end giving statements showing all 2020 contributions for tax purposes were emailed on 1/21/21. Since the building remains closed, these statements were 
e-mailed to your primary email address as listed in Realm. These will come through our software from notifications@onrealm.org with a link to open your contribution statement in a PDF. This shows the details of all donations made in the year and 2020 pledge summary at the bottom, if applicable. 

WHAT IF I HAVE A 2020 PLEDGE BALANCE?

Pledge fulfillment is an important part of supporting our budget that we count on to fund the year's expenses. If you are able, please fulfill any pledge balances by making donations with "2020 General Fund" specified online or in the check memo. We understand that the last year has been difficultso if your plans have changed and you will be unable to fulfill the pledge, please let us know so we can cancel it out.

If you have questions or would like to request a printed version be mailed to you, please contact to Natalie or leave a message on Natalie Weaver's voicemail at 828-254-3274. 
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
Culinary Arts! with Dr. Jeff Jones & Jason N. Brown | Tuesday, February 9 | 6:00 PM | https://www.youtube.com/user/fpcrichmond
Our very own Jeff Jones Is the featured chef and will join Jason Brown, Music Director of first Presbyterian Church Richmond Virginia online for cooking and conversation. Join us as we talk about music making and living in a pandemic while we cook.  This event will be interactive and you can ask questions on the YouTube channel chat while we cook. 

Feel free to get the ingredients for dinner in advance and cook along with us.

Chicken Picasso  (Like if Chicken Piccata was a work of art!)

Thin sliced chicken breasts
Flour for dredging
2-3 lemons
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Butter
Chicken Broth
White Wine (optional)
Capers
Fresh Parsley
Pasta of your choice (angel hair or spaghetti)

Optional additions:
Serve with a fresh steamed vegetable and a roasted plum when in season.
Montreat Conference Center presents A Livestream Teaching & Meditation with John Phillip Newell | Saturday, February 13 | 1:00 PM | Cost $25
Celebrated Celtic teacher, John Philip Newell, will tell the story of his own spiritual exile as a way of addressing the much bigger story of spiritual exile in the Western world today and the search for new beginnings spiritually, politically, and ecologically. The presentation by John Philip will be followed by a shared online meditation as well as the opportunity to submit questions and comments to the moderator of our livestream gathering, some of which John Philip will be able to respond to during the one-hour session. Click here to register.
PWNC Annual Spirituality Retreat | "Celtic Spirituality II" | March 12-13 | via Zoom
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
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804