Grace Covenant Weekly News | January 10, 2019
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“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
~ Nelson Mandela

Sunday Preview

Sunday, January 13, 2019
Baptism of the Lord
New Member Sunday

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

Sermon: "Accompaniment" by Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Scriptures: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22; Isaiah 43:1-7

A Memorial Service for Teresa Stern will be held this Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 PM in the chapel of Blue Ridge Funeral Service in Mars Hill ( 7626 Highway 213, Mars Hill, NC 28754). Visitation with the family will take place prior to the service, beginning at 1:00 PM.
Care for GCPC Children and Youth
At GCPC, we have countless ways in which we nurture and care for our children and youth. Because we care about the well-being of all who are a part of our community, we have a comprehensive Child & Youth Protection Policy (CYPP) that is reviewed and updated annually.

If you work with children and/or youth in any capacity (Nursery Volunteer, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Advisor, Confirmation Mentor, Choir Parent Helper, etc.), you MUST participate in one of the CYPP training sessions.

Because we believe the policy contains vital information we encourage EVERY ADULT to participate in one of the CYPP training sessions. So please invite others to join us. Great for all parents, grandparents, nannies and guardians.

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!
We have scheduled two options for the Child & Youth Protection Policy training to be held in the Fellowship Hall;
  • THIS Sunday, January 13, 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Sunday, February 3, 12:00-1:00 pm

*No RSVP needed. Snacks and childcare will be provided.
Contact Heather Ferguson with questions.
GCPC Congregational Breakfast & Annual Meeting | Sunday, January 27 | 8:15 AM | Atrium & Fellowship Hall
Come and celebrate another great year at Grace Covenant! This annual gathering is an opportunity to be together and hear from your staff and other church leaders about all the exciting ministries happening every day at GCPC. There will be no 8:15am worship and no adult Sunday school that morning. Sunday school for children and youth will begin after breakfast. The Men @ GCPC will provide our scrumptious breakfast. If you would like to help with that, please contact Dean Presson at
GCPC Collections
We have several ongoing collections at GCPC:
  • Dry/canned food donations for ABCCM (shopping cart in narthex)
  • Terracycle (gray bin- Accepted items listed on top of bin)
  • Batteries (gray Terracycle bin)
  • Yarn for Prayer Shawl Ministry (green bin)
The bins for collections are now located under the coat rack near the new Women's Restroom. The Lost & Found bin (purple) is also located in this spot. Thanks for your patience as we worked to find new homes for these things!
Stewardship Corner
"How Can We Keep From Sharing?" Update
As of 1/10/19, here's where we are on our pledging:

226 Pledges Received, 98% of 230 Goal
  • Only 4 More Pledges Needed!
$948,96 6.00 Pledged, 93% of Goal
  • Only $71,034 Left to Raise!

This includes 45 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 Pledge Balances

Your statement of tax deductible gifts will be available in late January after the year is closed. If you have questions about your pledge balance or any gifts made in 2018 before then, please contact Natalie Weaver at or 828-254-3274, ext. 202. She is in the office Tues.-Thurs. and happy to help!

If you are paying towards a prior year pledge balance, please be sure to write "2018 pledge" in the memo line of your check or on the envelope of a cash donation. All undesignated gifts after 1/1 are considered 2019 General Fund.
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Creating Sanctuary Team Meeting | THIS Sunday, January 13 | 12:00 PM | *Indie Room
The regular monthly meeting of the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST) will take place this Sunday, Jan. 13 in the Indie Room at 12 noon following worship (please note this one-time change in location). Mariposa and her husband will join us as we share a salad lunch!
Power and Race Team (PART)
PART Meeting | TONIGHT, 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, February 6 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Room
This 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.
Chris Highland discusses "A Freethinkers Gospel: Essays for a Sacred Secular World" | THIS 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.
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
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 (RITI)| January 27 - February 3 | GCPC
   In two weeks, Room In The Inn returns to Grace Covenant. You may sign up either in the Narthex on Sunday or here at this link.  We still need help with overnight hosts, drivers, and some meals.  
   GCPC: Do you have any new or lightly used twin sized blankets you could donate to Room in the Inn? We could use more blankets for these cold nights.
   The ladies rarely have access to lipstick, make-up, cologne, nail polish, facial creams, manicure sets and other personal items most women use. If you would consider donating any of the above type of new products, please put them in the box marked ”RITI” located near the information station near the name tags.
Our middle school youth are helping this session by inviting and helping the ladies into our church on Sunday, Jan. 27th.  After supper the youth will work with them making valentines and a kitchen project.
Please consider helping in any of the above ways. Serving as overnight hosts, drivers, and preparing meals for these ladies who are working their way out of homelessness is an important part to meet that goal.
P.S. Thanks to all of you who have already signed up!
Hands and Feet of Asheville - Winter Friend-Raiser! | Monday, January 14 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM | Habitat Tavern & Commons
Join us for an evening of story telling and fun! Bring your family and friends and mingle with the Hands and Feet of Asheville Board of Directors, the 2018-2019 volunteers and our community partners. Snacks and good company provided!
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 16 | 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.
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:  Marcy Onieal email:
Youth News
SUNDAY SCHOOL, 9:15-10:15 every Sunday:

*Senior Highs "CURRENT EVENTS & OUR FAITH" (A-frame room - across from 2nd floor bathrooms near Education wing). What's going on in the news today and how can we respond as Christians? Let's look at current events each week and discuss them through the lens of people of faith. You wont want to miss the great conversations with your peers. Breakfast snacks provided.

*Middle Schoolers "THE BIBLE SPEAKING TODAY" (Middle School Room). How is this ol' Bible relevant to our lives today? What does it all mean? We will be creatively jumping into the Bible and exploring questions that have both inspired and puzzled people of faith for centuries. Breakfast snacks provided. 

*Confirmation 2019! "LEAP OF FAITH (Senior High Room). Every two years, 8th-12th graders (who are registered for this class) have the chance to leap into their faith and explore all sorts of topics related to the Church and Christian life in the 21st century. This is a sacred time of asking questions in community and growing in faith side-by-side.
SENIOR HIGHS, it's time to register for... Midnight Manna!! | Saturday, January 26 | 9 PM - 12:15 AM | Manna Food Bank
Register by TODAY, Thursday, January 10th for this super fun service party (sponsored by AYM & Manna Food Bank). SIGN UP HERE !!! GCPC will cover the cost of all youth and adults/chaperones who sign up. Don't miss out on this wild experience!
YOUTH GROUP "HOP ON BOARD!" | This Sunday, January 13 | 5-7 PM | GCPC
Be prepared for an evening of non-stop fun! Youth group is moving into high gear as we invent road trip games, plan our "Be the Change" challenge, learn about the adventures to come, and more! We hope to see everyone there and youth going on the Richmond trip should definitely plan to attend. Dinner will be provided for the youth. Parents are encouraged to join us at 6:40pm, to learn about the Spring calendar. 
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)
Lynne Norris (Mary Lou Nash's friend)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Erik Jacobs (Kathy Jacob's son)
June Collins (Carolyn Tingle’s mother)
Family of Vera Shealy (Nancy Gaskin’s aunt)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins

A Memorial Service for Teresa Stern will be held this Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 PM in the chapel of Blue Ridge Funeral Service in Mars Hill ( 7626 Highway 213, Mars Hill, NC 28754). Visitation with the family will take place prior to the service, beginning at 1:00 PM.
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
Enneagram Retreat | THIS 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
MLK, Jr. Day of Service 2019 | Monday, January 21 | 12 – 4 PM | Burton Street Community Peace Gardens ( 47 Bryant St, 28806 )
Join us around noon for a pot of stew and the kick off to our annual day of service! We'll work until 4-ish in the afternoon. As always, a family-friendly event...all ages welcome. Please, no dogs/pets!
We'll be spreading mulch, installing water catchment systems, cleaning portraits/art throughout the garden, flipping compost, and more! Let us know if you have a talent you'd like to share or if you'd like to lead any activities...
Mountains to Move: Black Asheville's Call to Action | Monday, January 21 | 5:30 – 8 PM | Kenilworth Presbyterian Church ( 123 Kenilworth Rd. )
Join us for the 9th Annual Kenilworth Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! Community potluck from 5:30-6:30pm in Kenilworth Center,4 Chiles Ave. (directly behind church) followed by the program which will begin at 6:30pm in the Church Sanctuary.
This year, the evening’s topic is: "Mountains to Move: Black Asheville’s Call to Action". We are honored to host a panel of outstanding Asheville visionaries. Panelists include DeWayne Barton, Councilwoman Sheneika Smith, Dr. Marcus Harvey and Sheriff Quentin Miller. The evening will be hosted by Marvin Chambers a founding member of A.S.C.O.R.E. (Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality) and an icon of the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina. The panel discussion will be moderated by Ami Worthen, writer and collaborator for justice and liberation. For more information, click here.
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.
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.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804