Grace Covenant Weekly News | January 2, 2020
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Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
                                                     ~ Isaiah 60:1

Sunday Preview

Sunday, January 5, 2020
Second Sunday of Christmas

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

Homily: "Be Radiant" by Richard Coble
Scriptures: Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12

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“Winner Winner Wednesday Dinner” | January 8 | 6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
Take a break from cooking and make some space for connecting with your church community. This meal will be catered from Moe’s Southwestern Grill. These events are intergenerational. *RSVP to Sherrie, , by 12:00 pm on Monday, January 6th so we can have an estimate.  
Haywood Street Clothing Bin Volunteers Needed

URGENT NEED FOR A JANUARY VOLUNTEER! If you can help deliver the clothes to Haywood Street during the month of January, please email ASAP.

Have you noticed the blue bin in our parking lot? Have you ever wondered about what happens to the clothes that are donated? Here is your opportunity to find the answers and volunteer in a very meaningful way.

Volunteers are needed to deliver donations to the Haywood Street Congregation once a week for one month. Please email Nancy Kramer at to claim your slot.

Stewardship Corner
2019 Year End Statements -  Coming Soon!

Your year end 2019 contribution statement will be available for pick up in the narthex in late January after the year is closed. If you have questions about your pledge balance or any gifts made in 2019 before then, please contact Natalie Weaver at  or 828-254-3274, ext. 202. She is in the office Monday - Thursday and happy to help!

If you are paying off a last year's pledge balance, please be sure to write "2019 pledge" in the memo line of your check or on the envelope of a cash donation. All undesignated gifts after January 1st are classified as 2020 General Fund donations.
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST) will NOT meet on our usual Second Sunday (January 12).

Instead of meeting, choose an option, please: 

1. read the bulletins in the newsletters 
2. read the emails on the CST mailing list (& if you want to be added to the list, please write Kathy Meacham (
3. volunteer to make food, help host at Pisgah Legal Services third Wednesday Souper lunches by contacting Nancy Gaskin (
4. get involved with the Power and Race Team (PART)-see the newsletter for info.
HELP WANTED: Individuals who appreciate the service of others, want to lift spirits, enjoy meeting people who care.  PURPOSE: To show gratitude for services to the marginalized. Your help is needed for Wednesday, January 15, to make soup; to provide bread, fruit, or treats; or to host and serve staff of Pisgah Legal Services. PLS staff labor throughout the year to support those who have no voice. To learn more about this ministry, contact Nancy Gaskin at  Nancy.gaskin@gmai l or Glenda Burgin at

Another opportunity to join the Souper Wednesday Team is available on February 19.
~ Contributed by Tish Anderson
. . . This Christmas we once again have neighbors who are fearful of not being allowed to be in their homes, especially our brothers and sisters who are being threatened and frightened by some legal officials who say they must be sent back to a place which our government calls their home, but which, in reality, might very well be their death chamber. 

Those of us living in Buncombe County are fortunate to have leaders who uphold the law while finding ways to prevent these threats from being inhumanely enforced. As a congregation we seek ways to provide protection and sanctuary for some of our sisters and brothers. Likewise, we must find ways to support our elected and appointed officials, such as our Sheriff Miller, who seek justice with compassion and faithfulness. Let us affirm and thank them - and most importantly, let us hold those who fear for the future, as well as those who seek to be fair and just in their enforcement roles, in our prayers.
              ~ Heath Rada
Power and Race Team (PART)
PART Meeting | Thursday, January 9 | 7:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
Everyone is invited to join us for the first PART (Power and Race Team) meeting of 2020. We will be learning and practicing Organizing 101 skills and tools of building a more relational culture at GCPC. This is for anyone interested in meeting with and learning more about fellow GCPC members. What keeps us up at night? How do we take our anger and use it to build power and connections in our congregation and beyond the walls of GCPC. For more information, contact  Liz Huesemann or Carol Hovis .  
Click on the links below to learn about some important projects in Asheville....

  • adePROJECT - "Artists Designing Evolution (adé PROJECT) is a grassroots cooperative comprised of a youth leadership team, a collective of contractors, an advisory council, and community organizations/institutions that come together to work cooperatively on projects, programs, and initiatives that have the flexibility to be responsive while leveraging an impact that will be long-term, and sustainable for the communities involved."
  • Checkout the full project video/mini-doc that is a storytelling piece of the art installation "Hope Springs Forth Brightly" at THE BLOCK. Link to video Video credit: Manny Figaro,
  • Another way to stay engaged in this work in our community by getting involved in the African American Heritage Project
  • Bookmark Celebrating African-Americans through Public Art (CAAPA) page on the City of Asheville website for updates in 2020!
Hard 2 Recycle Event | Saturday, January 18 | 10 AM - 2 PM | 1298 Patton Ave
Hard 2 Recycle events are free to the public collections geared to bring awareness to alternate modes of recycling to our area. Our goal is to educate and collect and divert items that would normally end up in the Landfill i.e Styrofoam, electronics, books, batteries and much more.

Click here for  WHAT CAN I RECYCLE  page.
This Sunday's Education Hour (for all ages)
Winter Term | January 5 – February 23 
Pressure Points | The Theology and Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer | Choir Room
A German theologian who called out 'cheap grace' and dreamed of a 'religionless Christianity,' Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a vital part of the Confessing Church who stood against Adolph Hitler's Third Reich at a time when most German Christian churches acquiesced to Nazism. He was executed in 1945 by the state for his part in a plot to overthrow the fascist regime. In our class together, we will learn from his theology and discuss why his legacy is currently being fought over by Christians with divergent viewpoints today.
Facilitators: Marcia Mount Shoop & Richard Coble
The Improv | Justice, Money and God: Exploring God’s call for right relationship (justice) by considering our relationship to money | FH
A lot of the Bible talks about money. In fact, money was Jesus’ most talked about topic. Money influences and has power in many of our relationships: our faith, our culture, our church. We will explore God’s call for justice and righteousness and wrestle together with where money fits into it all. In this class we'll be deepening relationships with each other, and hopefully seeing possibilities for new ways of relating to God, to ourselves, to each other, and to money.
Facilitators : Keaton Hill, Bonnie Parker and Kate Shem
Digging In | Sexuality and the New Testament | Jerusalem Room
“If the Gospel is where we find healing from the harm done to us by the messages of the church, then it must also be where we find freedom.” - Nadia Bolz-Weber
Sexuality and the New Testament is a 7-week, discussion-based series covering a variety of topics focused on sexual ethics in the light of New Testament principles. Our goal is to create a space for learning and honest discussions about sexuality in our contemporary culture that help us wrestle with the shame and confusion many of us harbor. Join us for discussions on purity culture, sexual identity, gender identity, and more.
Facilitators : Amber White & Leah Madamba
CHILDREN & YOUTH EDUCATION [Contact Heather or Samantha ]

Toddlers (ages 2-3) | “God Loves Me” | 9:15 – 10:15 AM | Toddler Room (1 st floor)
Preschool/K (ages 4-5) | Godly Play | 9:15 –10:15 AM | Preschool Room (1 st floor)
Elementary (grades 1-3) | Godly Play | 9:15–10:15 AM | Temple Room (2 nd floor)
Elementary (grades 4-5) | “CONNECT” | 9:15–10:15 AM | Indie Room (2 nd floor)
Middle School & Senior Highs (grades 6-12) | 9:00-10:15 AM | Youth Rooms

*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Winter Weekly Bible Study | Mondays: January 27 – March 16 |
12 – 1:30 PM
We will examine Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon with a focus on learning where white supremacy has distorted our understanding of the text and kept us from messages of liberation and freedom. This will be a space to build deeper relationships with church members committed to undoing white supremacy in their faith journey. If interested, please email Kate Shem at .
Bible Study | Wednesdays | 11:00 AM | Garden Room
Join the pastoral staff to read and study our sermon texts for Sunday. No preparation needed; just come ready to open scripture and discuss!
Winter Women's Memoir Series | 4th Monday of month | 6:00 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.
  • January 27 | Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen | Facilitator: Susie Wheelis
  • February 24 | I Grew Up Little: Finding Hope in a Big God by Patsy Clairmont | Facilitator: Grace Hall
  • March 30 | Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz-Weber | Facilitator: Amber White
VRQ—BBQ Cook Team | Next cook date: Tuesday, January 7th | 4:30 or 5:30 PM
Inviting you to join the BBQ Cook Team at the VRQ on the first Tuesday of every month to help prepare, cook and serve the evening meal. ABCCM-Veteran Restoration Quarters located at 1329 Tunnel Road provides transitional housing for more than 200 US Armed Force Veterans. If this service fits your schedule come at 4:30 to help prepare and cook or 5:30 to serve the evening meal. After serving the meal we join the veterans, sharing the meal and conversation. The evening usually ends by 7. No kitchen clean-up! We would love for you to be a part of the service & camaraderie. Questions? Contact Bill Neeriemer, .
Pritchard Park News
It is with mixed emotions that the Pritchard Park breakfast project will be ending in January 2020.

The longtime organizers/schedulers (and coffee and grits providers) of the over 12 participating churches, John and Virginia Himmelheber, have determined that all good things must come to an end. Below is the message they sent announcing the decision.
GCPC has been a longtime supporter of the Pritchard Park efforts providing food and services 6 times per year for the past 15 + years. I’m sure that everyone involved is thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to serve and we, on behalf of all who have helped organize the project, very much appreciate GCPC’s response to this call.
Lynne and Rick Noble
Dear fantastic Pritchard Park participants,

We wanted to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to shut down the Pritchard Park breakfast after we complete the January schedule. We feel that most of our guests are now served by the breakfast program at Haywood Church and that we no longer have the critical mass necessary to continue the program.

We thank you all for the many years of service you have offered to this ministry.

With gratitude,
John and Virginia Himmelheber
Ministry Partner News and Events...
YAV - Hands & Feet of Asheville: Winter Friend-Raising Event | Monday, January 13 | 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM | THE BLOCK off Biltmore ( 39 S. Market St. )
Have you met our 2019-2020 volunteers? Come out for a night of storytelling and hear more about moments of challenge and change thus far in their year of service here in Asheville! You will also meet our 2019-2020 community partners and a few new board members. Bring your friends and family, snacks a good company is provided!  Register Now!
Read To Succeed Asheville/Buncombe Needs Volunteers!

Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is a local dynamic non-profit and our mission is " to inspire and teach children to read." Children “learn to read” in K-3 rd  and after 3 rd , they are “reading to learn.” Students’ who have not achieved grade level reading by third grade are 4X more likely to drop out of school. We need supportive individuals who are interested in tutoring an elementary school student, K-3, 1 hour, 1-2 days a week, during the school year. Training and ongoing support are provided. 

Our organization and tutors share a passion for reading, strong belief in education, and desire to support the children in our community. What a wonderful gift to give our next generations; supporting them in learning to read.

Visit their website for more information and to access the volunteer application and/or  contact the Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, julie.claywell@r2sasheville/org or 828-767-0943.
Sisters at the Sea Retreat 2020 | February 6-9, 2020 | Folly Beach, SC | $240

“Cultivating an Inner Life of Grace & Clarity: Spiritual Practices for Everyday”
With guest retreat facilitator, Rev. Carol Hovis

Do you identify as a woman age 25ish-50ish who would like a weekend of connecting and rejuvenating in a beautiful natural setting? Mark your calendars for our lucky number 11th   annual SOS (“Save our Sanity”/“Sisters at the Sea”) retreat! This year’s guest facilitator, Rev. Carol Hovis, will help us explore approaches to spiritual contemplation that we can practice in even the smallest moments of our day-to-day rush, to develop and deepen throughout our lifetimes. Register today to ensure this special time of building friendships and centering your faith in the new year!

  • $50 non-refundable deposit due at registration. Checks should be made to GCPC with “2020 Sisters at the Sea” in the memo line. Full and partial scholarships available (complete registration form to apply).
  • TO REGISTER TODAY: Visit to register online, or pick up a registration form at the GCPC Welcome Desk.
  • *Registration ends on Jan. 15.*
Centering Prayer | Wednesday Nights | 6:30 - 7:00 PM | Sanctuary
Christianity has a rich and ancient tradition of intentional and prayerful silence as a spiritual practice. Sacred silence teaches us to listen devoutly, humbly, and with trust. It is beautifully simple and a spiritual skill whose gifts goes deeper and gets more powerful the more one practices it. This practice is open to all and is come as you are able. Questions? Contact Marcia at 
PW January Circle Meetings
#1 | Tuesday, January 7 | 10:00 AM | Fellowship Hall | Study Leader: Sally Booher
#2 | Tuesday, January 7 | 6:00 PM Potluck | Melissa Hicks & Ann Brown | 14 Springdale Rd., 28803 | Study Leader: Barbara McLean
#4 | Thursday, January 9 | 7:00 PM | Jane Sutton | 6 Holmwood Rd., 28801 | Study Leader: Mary Lou Nash
#5 | Monday, January 6 | 10:00 AM | WNC Baptist Home | Study Leader: Susie Churchfield
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:  Lynne Meacham email:
Youth News
Cat will be joining our incredible group of Youth Group Advisors beginning on Sunday, January 5th.

Cat Kessler has been a big fan of youth ministry ever since her own time as a youth, involved in her home church's youth group and choir in Charlotte. As an adult, Cat has served as a youth advisor, class facilitator and deacon at First Presbyterian Church Asheville, where she is an active member with her husband, Scott, and almost-four-year-old son, Rainan. By day, Cat is launching her own small businesses in marketing consulting and spiritual self-care coaching. On nights and weekends, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially if it involves board games, dance parties, movies or cooking new foods. Cat and her family live in Weaverville with their hound dog, Charlie.
Youth Sunday School:  Youth Choir, Drama & Fun   (6th - 12th graders) | Every Sunday | 9:00-10:15 AM | Youth Rooms
This Spring we will continue to fearlessly dive into our faith in creative ways. We begin at 9:00am sharp with breakfast, followed by Youth Choir, Energizers, Games and an on-your-feet Bible Study. Let's continue having a blast sharing our voices and ideas with one another, as well as supporting each other as we prepare to share things in worship as well!  Questions? Contact Samantha at * Note: we need to prepare to sing next Sunday, January 12th, so please be sure to attend on January 5th.
Youth Commissioning for Mission Education Trip | Sunday, January 5 |10:45 (during worship)
This Sunday, during the 10:45am worship, our church family will be commissioning all youth and adults attending the mission trip. If you are attending the trip, please plan to be in worship and we will be called forward as a group. Our church family is looking forward to blessing and preparing us for our journey ahead.
Youth Group "Back on Track!!" | Sunday, January 5 | 5-7 PM | GCPC
Let's kick off our "fearless faith" 2020 year with fun, fellowship, food and more! All youth are encouraged to come!  Remember this is also a mandatory event for youth attending the Raleigh mission trip.  Dinner will be provided by the Pate, Cook and Kinnaird families. See you there!
It's time to bring in your remaining balance for the GCPC Mission trip to Raleigh. The total cost is $200 a person. Contact  Sherrie  for questions about your balance.

Also, save the following Sundays for required youth group attendance if you are going on the Mission Trip:
January 5th, 5-7pm; January 12th, 2-5pm; January 26th, 5-7pm.
Youth Committee Meeting | Thursday, January 9 | 6:00 - 7:00 PM | Garden Room
All Youth, Advisors and Parents are invited to participate in the Youth Committee meetings and lend their voice and ideas to the youth program. If you cannot attend, feel free to jump in another month.
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
Pat Cocke (Les Stradley’s friend) 
Deborah Strong (Robin Gaiser's cousin)
Nancy and Richard Schaadt (Donna Robertson's sister and brother-in-law)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Rebecca Wells' brother, Jamey
Jeff Combs (Bill McNeff's friend)
West Asheville Presbyterian Church
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Virginia Bibee (Jamie Bibee Lloyd's mother)
Suzy Carter (David Carter's wife and Yvonne Smith's friend)
Arlene Hill (Jay Hill's aunt)
John Kominski (Russell Kominski's dad)
Family of Frank Palmeri (father-in-law of Laura Palmeri who is Jim and Martha Branden's daughter)
Hettie Lou Garland
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
James Harwell
Joyce Summerlin
Cory Hartbarger
Penny Ponder
Florence Riedesel
Elizabeth Fisher
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Nell Payne
Amanda Pressley

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Thanksgiving for the Life of Alice Schmitz will be held at GCPC at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 5 th . All are welcome.
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
January 2020 Enneagram Retreats @ GCPC
Flyers attached  
Contact Carol for more information:

Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804