GCPC Weekly News | January 14, 2021
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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
We celebrate the newest addition to our GCPC family!
Rev. Samantha Gonzalez-Block and her spouse, Rev. Matthew Hoffman welcomed a baby boy, Javier John Gonzalez-Hoffman on Sunday, January 10th at 2:36am. (His name is pronounced “Hav-e-air” and his nicknames will be Javi or JJ). They are all doing well and appreciate your prayers as they adjust to being a family of three. Javier is looking forward to meeting his GCPC family soon!

If you would like to send a card or gift, you may send it to the GCPC church office, 789 Merrimon Ave., AVL, 28804.
Sunday Evening Bible Study
Garden Steering Team Mtg.
Property Council
Continuing to give God thanks for all we are at GCPC.
Worship Preview | Sunday, January 17, 2021
Second Sunday after Epiphany
Sermon: "Counting Sand" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
SAVE THE DATE!

Our livestreamed worship service on January 24, 21 will be a
creative version of our Annual Meeting.

Amy Kim's
Wednesday Devotional
An invitation to share your Holy Space with us:  We have loved the GCPC@ home photos and thought we can build on that by asking for you to photograph or video a candle lighting in your space. When we are in the sanctuary we light a candle as a symbol of inviting the light of Christ into our space. We now invite you to film a video (horizontally) of your space, with members of your household entering this space and lighting the candle OR a still photo of the candle being lit by your household. Be as creative or simple as you are inspired. We will start adding this to the beginning of our worship service each week. 
Questions/assistance? 
Please contact amykim@gcpcusa.org

Please upload your creations HERE!
Stated Clerk and Advocacy Director will discuss Capitol attack | Thursday (TODAY), January 14 | 3:30 PM | Facebook Live

The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, and Associate Director of Advocacy, the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, will hold a discussion about the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol on Facebook Live Thursday.

Subjects will include:
  • The fact that this could occur in the United States. How did we get to this point?
  • The National Council of Churches statement calling for the impeachment of the president.
  • The unwavering support given to Trump the past four years while he advanced policies such as immigration bans and reductions, the building of the border wall, and disruption of international alliances.
  • The danger of white privilege and supremacy, and racism in policing.
  • Where we go from here as a community of faith dedicated to justice and equality for all?


Keeping the Faith
2021 Stewardship Campaign


2021 PLEDGE CAMPAIGN PROGRESS

WE'RE GETTING CLOSE!
 
The Stewardship Campaign goal is set based on the expenses planned in the 2021 budget draft. This year's goal is $1,200,000 pledged; if we are able to meet this goal, we don't have to hope for unpledged gifts to maybe come in so we can probably do everything we hope in the year. Ultimately, until we have enough income to cover these costs, the budget cannot balance and we cannot approve and implement it for the new year. 

If you haven't already pledged, please do so now to help us move forward into 2021 from a responsible and sustainable financial position. 
PLEDGING ≠ GIVING
Please keep in mind, your gift is not considered a pledge unless you've let us know you'd like it to be. Pledges do not auto renew, you have to let us know annually your intentions.  

Pledging means that you let the church know your intended giving for the next year's general fund. This helps our Finance Council set a funded, responsible budget for Session to review and approve. Whether you choose to prepay your next year's pledge, give incrementally through the year, or pay in a lump sum at the end of the year, fulfilling your pledge means you are supporting the budget of GCPC, which includes business operations, SERVE grants, support for teams and councils, congregational care, property repairs and maintenance, personnel, and much more. 

Giving unpledged gifts are still appreciated and are used to support the ministry and mission at GCPC, but are not able to be considered as a part of our planning and budgeting process. These are "icing on the cake" and a nice surprise, but not a part of our budget because they're unknown. Our goal is to be able to fund our budget with pledged gifts, creating a more transparent and sustainable financial structure.
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(1/10-1/16): Gordon Gaiser email: gordongaiser@yahoo.com
Next week (1/17-1/23): Betsy Rhodes email: betsyrhodes@charter.net
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)
Jonathan Hettrick and family (friends of Sherrie Meehan)
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)
Audrey and Keith (friends of Rhonda Callison)
Jean Ross (Taryn Duncan’s mother)
Family of Elizabeth Morgan
Dorothy Zuck, Betsy and David Steve Zuck (Pat Durham’s mother, sister, and brother in law)
Kevin Miller (Glenda and Bob Burgin’s son in law)
Family of Rev. Stratton Peacock
William Johnson & Diane Eubanks (Marty Johnson’s father and sister)
Paul Rogers’ Mom (in Arkansas)
Family of Sarah Grow (Andrea Rosal’s friend)
Miriam and Bill Vigil (Samantha Gonzalez-Block’s aunt and uncle)
Betty Niedergeses (Lisa Reed's grandmother)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Bob and Eleanor Walther
Mary Berg
Woody Catoe
Ida Edge

Our sympathy and support are extended to Jonathan Tetzlaff on the death of his father, Andrew Tetzlaff, on January 7th in southern Indiana. Please keep Jonathan and his family in your prayers.

Following a period of declining health, Ginnie Stevens, beloved friend, mom, grandma, sister and aunt, joined the Church Triumphant on January 2, 2021. Due to the pandemic, no formal services are planned at this time. To remember Ginnie and celebrate her passion for life and mission, please visit: Ginnie Stevens, (1942 - 2021) - ForeverMissed.com Online Memorials and share a favorite story and/or picture. Memorial gifts may be to one of two projects (Guatemalan Microloan Project and Malawi Medical and Education Ministry) that Ginnie had been actively involved with through the Presbytery of Western North Carolina.
Formation/Education
Adult Formation

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
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
GCPC Power and Race Team- PART invites us to keep exploring how to be anti-racist, this time with a documentary film about a white Georgia writer, Lillian Smith, an unlikely yet fervent critic of the legal segregation of the 1940s and 1950s.  In his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. commended his friend Lillian Smith as someone who had “written about our struggle in eloquent, prophetic, and understanding terms.”  Though she was writing seventy years ago, her analyses and challenges to white supremacy culture are profound challenges for today too.  Smith called out not only the violence and damage done to Blacks by the system of white privilege; she also wrote of the psychic trauma to whites.  Miss Lillian denounced the dehumanization involved in all types of oppression:  racial, gender, income, and class.  

The 2019 biographical film “Lillian Smith:  Breaking the Silence” will be available to GCPC on demand via a private link the week of January 9 – 15.  Click HERE to watch.

PART Meeting | Thursday, January 14 (TONIGHT) | 6:00-7:15 PM
We will reflect on Miss Lillian’s words and how we too must work to “break the silence.”  

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 913 1444 5389
Passcode: 789
PART, in past newsletters, mentioned a consultant report identifying how whiteness has affected the ways of doing its work in the Mission Agency of Presbyterian Church USA.

Please read the following article on the hope filled plan to move forward.
The GCPC EARTH Team invites you to join a national movement in churches in a pilot program called,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.

The program comes to us from Creation Care Collective. Each session will be focused on a particular topic featuring leading theologians, scientists, and community organizers, followed by inspiring stories, facilitated small group discussion, and tools for practical implementation. 

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: STARTING TONIGHT!

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

You just show up! 5 Sessions Pilot (2nd Thursday/each month at 7pm EST, Zoom) 
20s/30s Gathering: "Debriefing our emotions and beyond" | Thursday, January 21 | 6:00 PM | On Zoom
How are Christians to respond to the violence and insurrection on January 6? How do we make sense of the use of Christian symbols by the mob that tried to overthrow our government? How are you taking care of your own spirit through these heart-breaking weeks?

For 20s/30s this month, let's get together to (1) debrief our emotions and experiences of the events of this month, (2) look critically at the ways our faith has been used to support such violence, and (3) think about the ways we are called to respond. 

Here are two brief but helpful pieces to get our conversation started:

Questions/Zoon link info? Contact Richard.
SAVE THE DATE!

An Evening with Tema Okun & Rev. Tami Forte-Logan, Thursday February 11, 7:00pm-8:30pm (YouTube)
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.
There will be NO Sunday evening Youth Group this weekend (January 17th), due to the Youth Winter Mission Weekend.

Mission Weekend participants—please check your email for details!
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 $290 if you register HERE by January 31, 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 $490 if you register HERE by January 31, 2021 (cost goes up $10 each month). Full and partial scholarships are available. Don't miss out on the fun!
Community Working Together
Racial Equity Institute
REI registration is OPEN for Phase 1 workshop on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 - 13, 2021. Click HERE to fill out the registration form.
Webinar by Alex Vitale, “Research-based perspectives on police reform vs. defunding vs. abolition of police” | Thursday (TODAY) January 14 | 7:00 PM

You’ve heard RJC and other community calls for divesting from the police and investing in Black and Brown communities during this summer’s demonstrations against police killings. You’ve heard some parts of the community call to “defund the police.” You may agree and wonder how we could get there, you may disagree and feel concerned, or you may just wonder what it all means. Whatever your reaction, here’s a chance to find out more. Professor Vitale will explain the “defund the police” movement and its relationship to the long struggle for racial and economic justice.

This webinar, which will be moderated by the RJC’s Community Liaison Rob Thomas, is an opportunity to understand what “defund the police” means as well as the starting point for envisioning a world where we care for each other to meet public health and safety needs. Want to join the RJC and the Elder Vigil Group in learning more together? Sign up HERE to get on the list to attend the webinar January 14th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
News about AVL Greenworks MLK Day of Service
Due to the cancellation of all GreenWorks public projects this month, we will not be hosting our annual MLK Day of Service project in the East End/ Valley Street neighborhood. We encourage you to research other ways to care for your city that day:
 
1. Find remote volunteer opportunities, like those with Hands-On Asheville-Buncombe.
2. Organize food and clothing collections and donate them to local nonprofit organizations like our friends at BeLoved Asheville.
4. Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in virtual events put on by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County.
5. And as always, our cleanup supply stations are stocked and ready for you to get your quarantine pod together for a litter cleanup in your neighborhood.
40th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
ONLINE CELEBRATION: JANUARY 15–22, 2021
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County, Inc. is currently planning for our annual MLK, Jr. Celebration events. The format for the 2021 Celebration will be different this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As we commemorate forty years of service and celebrations, we will move most of our programming to online platforms utilizing YouTube and Zoom.

The 2021 programming will be expanded to a week-long list of events, and the speaker for the Prayer Breakfast will be Dr. Oralene Simmons, President, MLK Association. She will be sharing some of the forty-year struggles of not only the Association, but the 400 years of struggles of the Black race in the United States.

Kenilworth Presbyterian will be hosting an online celebration of
Dr. King and Black History Month
Obviously this year will be a little different, but will no doubt be fun. For 2 weeks, Kenilworth will be curating interesting content about artists, film, history, etc. and posting it on the Facebook Event Page for people to explore. We look forward to your participation! Click HERE to see the flyer!
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
Asheville GreenWorks - Hard 2 Recycle West | Saturday, January 23 | 10 AM - 2PM | 1569 Sand Hill Rd, Candler (AB Tech Enka Campus)
Due to the rise in COVID cases in Buncombe County, this drive-through event will be self-serve and drop-off only. So, put on your mask and come prepared to unload items from your car yourself. Our sponsors will be accepting televisions, electronics, computers, batteries, scrap metals, appliances, cardboard, books, styrofoam and Terracycle items.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Habitat Restore and Asheville Humane Society will not be at this event. GreenWorks will not be accepting items for these partners at this event. 
 
The collection will be held rain/snow or shine. Should the event need to be cancelled for any reason, we will post notifications on our website and social media pages.


News from our Ministry Partners,
Mark Hare and Jenny Bent


YMCA of Western North Carolina



Hood Huggers International

GCPC's Guatemala Partnership Committee Meets with Our Sister Church, Iglesia Jerusalem on Zoom!

The members of the Guatemala Partnership Committee have been brainstorming ways to deepen the relationship with our sister church, Iglesia Jerusalem, for a long time. Before the pandemic, several members of the committee were planning a trip in the spring and a delegation of youth were planning to visit during the summer. Sadly, these trips were cancelled. The virus that cancelled these trips also taught us all about new ways to connect with one another: ZOOM! 

On Sunday, December 13th, our committee met with the pastor and members of the partnership committee of Iglesia Jerusalem over Zoom. We were able to see each other’s faces and hear one another’s voice. 
We discussed how COVID had impacted each of our congregations and communities. They shared that for several months they were unable to have worship services at all. They are now meeting in person but having 2 worship services with 10 families attending each service, while also respecting safety precautions. Iglesia Jersalem was able to help families in need during this time by providing groceries. The Community of Love, which is the after-school program at the church, is another outreach program that they are able to continue during this time. 

Our sister church expressed gratitude for the scholarships GCPC provides to many children in their community. We discussed creative ways we can stay connected in the months to come, and hope to meet periodically via Zoom. 
Finally, we prayed for one another and our churches. It was a very meaningful meeting for all involved to share the peace and love of Christ with our brothers and sisters in Guatemala. 

Muchas gracias to Lynne Meacham and Jamie Beasley for translating.

~ submitted by Anna Hamel

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
PAPERLESS 2020 CONTRIBUTION STATEMENTS

Year-end giving statements showing all 2020 contributions will be issued mid-January 2021 for tax purposes. Since the building remains closed, these statements will be e-mailed to your primary email address as listed in Realm. 

If you would prefer your statement be printed and mailed to you, please send a request to Natalie or leave a message on Natalie Weaver's voicemail at 828-254-3274. Unless requested otherwise, all year-end contribution statements will be e-mailed.
Thank you for your generous giving! Your gifts are enabling the church to continue our important work in our community. We appreciate your faithful support!

Remote Giving & Paperless Statements 

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.

To sign up for paperless statements or if you have any questions, please contact Natalie in our Finance Office at 828-254-3274, ext 202 or nweaver@gcpcusa.org
STAY CONNECTED
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804