GCPC Weekly News | January 28, 2021
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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Adult Education 1/24
Bible Study 1/27
Staff Meeting 1/26
Worship Leaders on Sunday 1/24
Worship Preview | Sunday, January 31, 2021
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Ordination and Installation of Elders & Deacons
Sermon: "Love and Knowledge" by Richard Coble
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13


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 | Wednesday, 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. (More info available next week.)
  • 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
Our first two groups are full!

We are creating two more Winter Reflection Groups for the Me & White Supremacy Study initiative at GCPC that will run from early February to the middle of March. Check the website in the coming days for updated registration information.

If you have questions, please email Anna Louise.


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(1/24-1/30): Marcy Onieal email: marcy.onieal@gmail.com
Next week (1/31-2/26): Cathy Froehlich email: oremont2@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)
Jean Ross (Taryn Duncan’s mother)
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)
Rebecca and Mason Powers (Tammy Bradley’s daughter and son-in-law)
Shannon Yantis (Kelly Spradlin’s daughter) 
Lester Lowe and family (brother in law of Karen Rohls)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Woody Catoe

Our sympathy and support are extended to Eleanor Walther and family following the death of Bob Walther who passed on Monday, January 25 at home. Please keep Eleanor, Julie and Meredith in your prayers.

We will keep you informed as details of the service become available.
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
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.
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
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, Jan. 31 | 5:00-6:30 PM | on Zoom
This week we'll play plenty of fun games—we're bringing back some old favorites and trying out some new ones! We'll also wrap up our study of the Old Testament by looking at the prophets. If you've ever wondered: What ARE all those tiny books in the middle of the Bible?... then you won't want to miss this! We look forward to seeing you Sunday evening!

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 $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
Creation Care Symposium 2021 - "Sacred Lands, Sacred Bodies; Faithfully Caring for People and Place" | January 28 & 29 | Online
Designed with creation care volunteers and clergy in mind, this retreat allows you to spend time with colleagues, friends and clergy who care about people and planet. Whether you're new to creation care or a long-time advocate, you'll gain new language and tools to inspire your congregation to care for the environment, interwoven with space for rest, relationship, and prayer. 

Our time together will include science, spirituality, practical tips, prayer, ritual, stories of creation care and resilience from congregations practicing right relationship with practical steps for caring for our neighbors and the earth. We will include time for regionally based brainstorming and discussion.

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
highlights two important opportunities:
African American (AA)/Black Community COVID-19 Response Team
A team of academics, practitioners, and organizers are working together throughout North Carolina to address issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The project, commonly called the I-TEAM, stands for increasing Trustworthiness through Engaged Action and Mobilization. For more information pertaining to the project, go to https://www.ccphealth.org/i-team.

Please consider attending this upcoming webinar entitled:

Vaccines Are Here: Now What? What to expect as vaccines become widely available? | February 2 | 6:00-7:00 PM 
This webinar is part two of the Learn and Share Webinar Series led by the North Carolina Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities Research Team. This session will focus on COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and community members’ perspectives. This webinar is free for all and will be offered in both English and Spanish.

Register here: https://go.unc.edu/Gm2w9
Join This Community Round Table Forum
Join Communities in Partnership (CIP) and Episcopalians United Against Racism (EUAR) as they study the devastating legacy of lynching as a tool of White Supremacy and racial terror explored in the 10-part podcast series Unfinished: Deep South. Get details and how to register here.
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!
 
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:

News from GCPC Covenant Partner, BeLoved Asheville


News from GCPC Ministry Partner,
Green Opportunities (GO)
Green Opportunities Announces Interim Executive Director Hire

Green Opportunities (GO) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Interim Executive Director, Ben Williamson. Ben transitions to this role from the education sector, where he has served multiple schools over a 20-year career as a teacher and administrator. Ben holds a Master's in School Administration from Western Carolina University (WCU) and is currently partnering with Buncombe County Schools and Asheville-Buncombe United Way on his doctorate research project, also through WCU, which is focused on reducing dropout rates. 

Sherman Williams, GO Board Chair, said, “we have the greatest respect and high aspirations of what Ben will do for GO. We believe he will assist us to become a stronger source of viability in this community. He is a skilled educator with enthusiasm and dedication in taking on this position. Ben shows himself to be impressive, reliable, consistent, and creative. We expect Ben to put our mission into a long-term view with clear, achievable milestones, and a framework to meet our vision.” 

While helping to manage existing trainings, job placements, and partnerships with Mountain Bizworks, AB-Tech, and employers like Skyrunner, we are also adjusting to a changing world. GO will continue to support those in our community as we help train and employ members of our community who have been deeply affected by the pandemic recession.  
 
For more information about Green Opportunities, please visit www.greenopportunities.org
‘The country we’d like to see’
On the eve of last week’s inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, two institutions at Union Presbyterian Seminary hosted the webinar “From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter: Movements for Black Lives Across Generations and Genders.” Watch the 90-minute webinar here.

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. 
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
GCPC Out & About Online
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.
STAY CONNECTED
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804