Grace Covenant Weekly News | January 3, 2019
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"Sing of the past as you behold the dawn of hope in my eyes, for
It's magic meaning is a soft bed upon which my heart rests."
~ Kahlil Gibran, from The Beauty of Death, Part I, The Calling

Sunday Preview

Sunday, January 6, 2019
Epiphany of the Lord

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

Homily: "The Frankincense Diaries" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures: Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12
Congregational Meeting
A congregational meeting has been called for Sunday, January 6 immediately following 10:45am worship for the purpose of electing a new slate of Elders and Deacons.
Dear GCPC Community,

Happy New Year!

I am excited to share the names of the nominees for Elder and Deacon that the congregation will be voting on this Sunday. The Nominating Committee has done incredible and faithful work in presenting these slates to you. Please share your gratitude with Peggy Rada (Chair), Janice Brumit, Bill Satterfield, Matt Stradley, Barbara McLean, Bill Wolcott, and Debby Vance for their good work.

And thanks be to God for calling such an amazing group of leaders to say "yes" to these important roles at Grace Covenant.

See you Sunday!

Elder Nominees
Sheryl Aikman
Sheryl Aikman grew up in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and attended Davidson College. At GCPC, Sheryl has served on the Stewardship Committee, as a high school Sunday School teacher and can be found in the balcony with her two middle-school daughters during worship. 
Ken Fisher
Ednamae and I moved to Black Mountain after I retired from the University of Iowa Healthcare System as Associate VP and CFO. We have two daughters and three grandchildren. I have been an Elder in a PC(USA) church and a Deacon and vice chair of Administrative Deacon’s in another denomination.

Melissa Hicks
I have had the opportunity to be part of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church for over 30 years. I am excited to be nominated to serve God and my church family once again as an Elder.

Roger Meade
I have been a member of GCPC since 1990, am a member of the Chancel Choir and have previously served on Session. I am a Physical Therapist by profession, married to Susan for 47 years. 
Margaret Tierney
Margaret Belk Tierney served as an Elder about five years ago. She and her husband Paul live in Weaverville. Their 4 children participated in youth group and consider GCPC an important part of their blended family’s success. Margaret teaches part time and also enjoys tutoring at the Buncombe County Literacy Council.  

Frank Callison, Youth Elder - 1 year term
My name is Frank Benjamin Lancaster Callison and I am a junior at the Nesbit Discovery Academy. My hobbies include writing, acting, singing, and of course, playing with my dogs, Bella and Bonnie. 
Deacon Nominees
Mary Berg
Working as a psychiatrist, it is a real blessing when I have the opportunity to listen & share in my patients’ spiritual lives. In my life, I love all types of exploring.
Earl Fowler
Earl Fowler has been a member of the GCPC choir for 16 years. Prior to that he sang at First Presbyterian Church downtown where he also served as an Elder, a Stephen Minister, and a Stephen Leader.
Nancy Gaskin
A GCPC’er since April 2017, Nancy relocated to Asheville two years ago from the Midwest and is thrilled to call Asheville home. Owner of Carolina Innsitters, she also helps manage area luxury vacation home rentals. Having served as a Deacon in other PC(USA) churches, Nancy looks forward to providing congregational care, connection and support for GCPC’s southeast Asheville residents.
Ryan Madamba
Ryan Madamba, church member since 2012, father since 2007. Lifelong wonderer and community seeker. An avid outdoor athlete and travel enthusiast. Ryan will be filling a 1-year unexpired term.

Mike McCauley
My wife Louise and I joined GCPC in 1990 soon after moving to Asheville from Atlanta. I am retired, have two grown children, and one grandchild. I especially like GCPC's outreach to benefit the local community.

Lynne Meacham
I am honored to be nominated as Deacon. I hope to serve and connect with people as we continue on our faith journeys.

Louise Root
Louise has been a member of GCPC for over 20 years, having raised her son in the church and previously having served as Clerk of the Session. She and husband Al live in Weaverville.

Amber White
Amber is a 30-year-old West Asheville resident and real estate agent. She enjoys community service, cooking, reading, and walking with her beagle, Josie.
“2nd Wednesdays” Fellowship Dinner | January 9 | 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 with delicious barbecue and sides. These events are intergenerational.
*RSVP to Sherrie by 12:00 pm on Monday, January 7th so we can have an estimate. If you forget to RSVP, we hope you'll still come!

Intergenerational 3 Kings' Day
Square Dance |
5:00 PM | GCPC Atrium
*Calling by Lee Ann Bannerman
“Blessed are you… when you let down your hair and kick up your heels alongside friends of all ages.”
Jesus (according to Heather Ferguson)
Well, maybe. I’m sure the early church had something equivalent to an intergenerational Square Dance. There is almost no better way to get to know folks while having so much fun and a perfect way to start the new year. So mark your calendars, dig out your hat, and maybe ask Santa for a pair of boots.
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;
  • 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.
Stewardship Corner
"How Can We Keep From Sharing?" Update
As of 1/3/19, here's where we are on our pledging:

222 Pledges Received, 97% of 230 Goal
  • Only 8 More Pledges Needed!
$947,1 56.00 Pledged, 93% of Goal
  • Only $72,844 Left to Raise!

This includes 41 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 Tuesday - Thursday 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)
In 2019, CST's "Extending the Table" project will move online.
Please look for further notices in the coming weeks!
Creating Sanctuary Team Meeting | Sunday, January 13 | 11:45 AM | Garden Room
Happy new year! Celebrate the start of 2019 by serving gratitude, hope, and friendship with bowls of steaming soup, slices of fragrant bread, and bites of sweet treats.

Join the January 16th Souper Wednesday Team to support the dedicated staff of Pisgah Legal Services, who gratefully and eagerly anticipate our hospitality on the third Wednesday of each month. To volunteer for January, contact co-chairs Nancy Gaskin at 828- 989-9441 or Glenda Burgin at 828-252-0945 pronto.

Special appreciation to Rebecca Falls, Debby Wolcott, and Betsy Richards, who joined Nancy and Glenda to make the December lunch a festive holiday event.
Power and Race Team (PART)
Racial Justice Book Club | Thursday, January 10 | 12:15 PM | Jerusalem Room
The Racial Justice Book Club is reading a list of 12 books examining institutional and interpersonal racism and racial equity. All are welcome, whether you have read closely or are just interested in learning more about the subject. A copy of the book can be found in the church library . For January , we are reading the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
PART Meeting | Thursday, 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.
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
2019 is here and soon Room In The Inn will be at Grace Covenant!  We hope you will start your year with helping us shelter these ladies here at church by providing breakfasts or dinners, driving the ladies to and from Grace Covenant, or spending the night as an overnight host.
Another way to help our guests for this session is to help make “Girl Bags.” These bags may be comprised of hair accessories, make up, nail polish, razors, hair brushes, combs etc. We are hoping to have twelve bags ready on January 27th. Perhaps you can find a friend or two or more to fill up a bag.  
*To sign up to help with Room In The Inn, you may use this LINK, or sign up on Sunday mornings in the Narthex. Thank you for considering to help with this important ministry.
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 2 | 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.
PW January Circle Meetings
Circle #1 | Tuesday, January 8 | 10 AM | GCPC Fellowship Hall | Study Leader: Sandra Dykes

Circle #2 | Tuesday, January 8 | 7:30 PM | Denise Snodgrass' home (40 Dover Street) | Study Leader: Barbara McLean

Circle #3 | TBA

Circle #4 | Thursday, January 3 | 7 PM | Garden Room | Study Leader: Mary Lou Nash

Circle #5 | Monday, January 7 | 10 AM | The Baptist Home | Study Leader: Susie Churchfield
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:  Sally Booher phone:  828-254-6910
Youth News
Youth Group this weekend will be the Intergenerational Three Kings Day Square Dance in the Fellowship Hall: January 6th at 5pm! See you then!
SENIOR HIGHS, it's time to register for... Midnight Manna!! | Saturday, January 26 | 9 PM - 12:15 AM | Manna Food Bank
Register by next, 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!
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 on 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 | 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
Chris Highland discusses "A Freethinkers Gospel: Essays for a Sacred Secular World" | 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.
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.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804