Grace Covenant Weekly News | January 31, 2019
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Going down stone by stone,
the song of the water changes,
changing the way I walk
which changes my thought as I go.
~Wendell Berry,  The Leavings

Sunday Preview

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper

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

Homily: "Tension Tamer" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Luke 4:21-30

An Itty Bitty GraceNote
Dear Grace Covenant Community,
Thank you, Kern Parker, for your faithful, diligent, and stellar service as Clerk of Session at GCPC. Kern has done good work as Clerk and we bless his new found freedom--especially on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:15pm. I am personally deeply grateful for Kern's integrity, attention to detail, and honest conversations. I will forever be grateful for the ways Kern stepped up and stretched at such an important time in GCPC's life. 
Welcome, Kelley Griffith, to this coveted position ! I am excited to have Kelley step into this important role in our congregation. Kelley served as Clerk of Session at his church in Greensboro. He is also a wood worker, a retired professor of English Literature from UNC Greensboro, and a grandfather. Kelley is learning Spanish and just traveled to Guatemala to visit our Sister Church, Eglesia Jerusalen. He is also on the Serve Council and Memorial Garden Committee. If all that wasn't enough, Kelley just crafted the beautiful screen in the new meditation area. Thank you, Kelley, for saying yes to being Clerk and for all the ways you share your gifts with this community of faith. 
And in other news....
As our building settles from all the renovations and repairs, we can better embrace the gifts of our space. One of the things I noticed when I arrived at Grace Covenant was that this building does not have a lot of spaces where we can practice sacred quiet. The area overlooking the Memorial Garden is such a beautiful spot, and it seemed perfect for a meditation space. I shared this vision with staff, Property Council, Session, and others in the congregation and a wonderful holy space has emerged.

Thanks to Jaan Ferree who designed the space and Kelley Griffith who crafted the beautiful screen. And profound thanksgiving for a person who made a generous gift to the church to fund this project. Their generosity has provided us all with a space to be still in God's presence while we enjoy a view of the beautiful serenity of the Memorial Garden. Another gift has followed to fund any further needs that might emerge to finish this space and the Memorial Garden's new fountain and plantings. Such beautiful acts of sharing of gifts and resources! I hope you'll visit the space and give yourself the gift of prayerful quiet. 

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.
We have one option left for the Child & Youth Protection Policy:
  • Sunday, February 3, 12:00-1:00 pm

*No RSVP needed. Snacks and childcare will be provided.
Contact Heather Ferguson with questions.
Stewardship Corner
Inches Away!
If you’ve been watching the Stewardship thermometer in the narthex, we’ve been getting closer and closer to the finish line of our 2019 Stewardship Goal of $1,020,000. Over the past 2 Sundays alone, 8 individuals or families have sent in new pledges and many others have increased their pledges, resulting in an additional $65,370 pledged in this short amount of time! So here’s how close we are:
  • 235 Pledging units (the most in recent years and tied for the most pledging units ever!)
  • $1,014,636 raised so far (the most ever raised in a GCPC stewardship campaign!)
  • $5,364 left to reach our goal in 2019
Who will help us cross the finish line? We can do this!
If you haven’t pledged or are able to increase your pledge, please email our financial administrator, Natalie Weaver at . You can also fill out a pledge card online here .

We’re so close we can reach out and touch the finish line tape!!!
2018 Contribution Statements Available Now

Your 2018 statement of tax deductible gifts are available now on the Welcome Desk in the narthex. *Please pick up your statement by Sunday, 2/10/19, to help save on postage. 

Please review your statement closely and notify Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator, as soon as possible with questions or corrections needed. She is in the office Tuesday - Thursday to assist and can be reached at 828-254-3274, ext. 202 or
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Creating Sanctuary Team Meeting | Sunday, February 10 | 11:45 AM | Garden Room
Power and Race Team (PART)
Racial Justice Book Series | *Wednesday, February 13 | 7:00 PM | Garden Room
The Racial Justice Book Series is reading books examining institutional and interpersonal racism and racial equity. Come and join us for all discussions or for just one or two. All are welcome, whether you have read closely or are just interested in learning more about the subject. Copies of the books can be found in the church library. For February, we are reading  An American Marriage  by Tayari Jones.

From  Amazon  Page: 
"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together."
Part of what PART does is to inform Grace Covenant about
racial equity work going on in the larger community.
The following are some events that PART recommends.
"Growing Up Black in Asheville (1958 - 1962)" | Thursday, February 21 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM | Beverly Hills Baptist Church ( 777 Tunnel Rd. )
Presented by Al Whitesides, County Commissioner, District 1. ( L ong-time community activist, former banker, and the first African-American to serve as a commissioner for Buncombe County.) A presentation honoring Black History Month describing Asheville during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Hosted by the Friends of East Asheville library. Admission is free, but donations to support library programs are greatly appreciated.
Darin Waters: " Whose Story - Democratizing America's Collective Memory" | Thursday, February 28 | 6:30 PM | Lenoir Rhyne University ( 36 Montford Ave. )
Darin Waters, PhD, will examine America’s collective memory in remembering its past. As the Confederate-monument controversy swirls across the South, Waters will reflect upon the historical origins of memorializing bygone eras with images that disregard the blight of African-American enslavement and persecution. An audience Q&A will follow the presentation. Waters is an Associate Professor of History and Executive Director of Community Engagement at UNC Asheville. Free and open to the public. Click HERE for more information.
Thursday Evenings | 6-8 PM | Open to the public
(Free childcare for Claxton Families only; starting at 5:45pm)


February 21: Colorblind vs. Color Conscious: Families Talking About Race
Is your family more color blind or color conscious? Join us to explore how we talk to our kids about race--what is hard, what goes well and why it's important to step out of our comfort zones. FREE for anyone to attend with childcare provided to Claxton families only. Please RSVP to help us with numbers .
Earth Team
Earth Team Meeting | Wednesday, February 6 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Room
Next 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 | 4th 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.
  • 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!
VRQ-BBQ Cook Team | Next cook date: February 5th | 4:45 or 5:45 PM | Veterans Restoration Quarters ( 1329 Tunnel Road )
On the First Tuesday of each month, a team of folks gather at the Veterans Restoration Quarters to grill hamburgers and prepare supper for more than 200 US Armed Forces Veterans living in transitional housing at the VRQ — an ABCCM Ministry. Team volunteers begin to gather at 4:45 to prepare the meal and fire up the grills; to help serve the meal come at 5:45. The evening meal is served at 6 and the team joins with the veterans at their table for supper. Commitments can be for one Tuesday or more. Email Bill Neeriemer with questions.

Harry Summerlin serves as the meal shopper earlier in the day. When the volunteers arrive they begin grilling, chopping onions, cooking beans, preparing cole slaw, and assembling hamburgers or working on the serving line. Those who arrive early can self-select their favorite work. Our GCPC team is joined by Black Mountain First Baptist Church folks each month. 
To be added to this list, please email Anna Louise at
Time for PRITCHARD PARK | Sunday, February 17
To sign up to help with this important breakfast ministry please look for Cathy Byers in the narthex on Sundays, February 3 & 10. Food donations and volunteers are needed. Questions? Contact David Bailey at 777-3990 or email him at
RITI (Room In The Inn) thanks...
Through the bitter cold of this past week, GCPC braved the winds and precipitation to provide our guests in the "Room In The Inn" program a warm stay here at Grace Covenant. The Middle School Youth Group helped our guests move in last Sunday evening. Our drivers welcomed the ladies each morning and evening; the meal preparers fixed awesome meals; the beauty items and clothing you sent were wonderful; our overnight hosts stayed awake through their shift to keep the ladies safe through the night. A very heart-felt thanks to each of you who contributed to this successful session of Room In The Inn.  
Ministry Partner Events...
YTL's "Sweethearts Supper" | Saturday, February 9 | 7-10 PM | Arthur R. Edington Center ( 133 Livingston St. )
On Saturday, February 9 Youth Transformed for Life (YTL) Training Programs will hold our Fourth Annual Sweethearts Supper, Songs, & Silent Auction fundraiser at the Arthur R. Edington Center. The event will feature a four course meal prepared by Chef Clarence Robinson of Cooking with Comedy Catering and Chef Quita Johnson of Ms. Quita’s Kitchen. The host will be ZaKiya Bell-Rogers and music will be provided by Free Flow. Tickets are $50 for individuals and $90 for couples. You can also buy “gift” tickets for community members, which we will distribute.
Click HERE to purchase tickets.
Pisgah Legal "Love & Justice Benefit" | Tuesday, February 12 | 5:00 - 7:00 PM | Ginger's Revenge ( 829 Riverside Dr. )
Show your love for Pisgah Legal by joining us for a benefit event featuring multiple pairings of refreshing ginger beer from  Ginger’s Revenge  with small bites from  Gan Shan Station   and tasty treats from French Broad Chocolates .
Tickets: $30/individual or $50/couple. Click HERE for tickets.
All proceeds benefit Pisgah Legal Services.
Homeward Bound "Lunch & Learn" | Thursday, February 14 | 12:00 - 1:30 PM | Trinity Episcopal ( 60 Church St. )
Open your hearts for women and homelessness. 25% of the homeless population in Asheville and Buncombe County are female. We will present a short video depicting one woman's journey from homelessness to housing followed by a panel discussion on Women and Homelessness. Program is free, however, a suggested donation will assist with covering luncheon costs. For more information or to RSVP, contact Eleanor Ashton at 828-793-0072 or email her at:
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering: “Bowling Night & Pizza Dinner" | Thursday, Jan. 31 | 6:30-8:30 PM | AMF Star Lanes ( 491 Kenilworth Rd )
If you are age 19-39, you are invited to a fun night of bowling, pizza & beverages and fellowship. GCPC will cover the cost, RSVP soon to Samantha . *Contact Heather for childcare by January 27th.
Sisters at the Sea Retreat 2019 - | February 21-24, 2019 | Folly Beach, SC | $190
Registration ends this Sunday, February 3rd!!!
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 forms will be available on the wall near the Welcome Desk; or you can use the online form.
“Winner Winner Wednesday Dinner” | February 13 | 6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
You'll note our cool new name for 2nd Wednesday Dinners! Thanks to the competitors in our Minute-To-Win-It Contest at the Annual Meeting. This month will be a Valentine's Potluck! Please bring a dish you love to share and make some space for connecting with your church community. The church will provide a main dish and beverages. The J.O.Y. Group will be providing desserts this month! These events are intergenerational. *RSVP to Sherrie, , by 12:00 pm on Monday, February 11 so we can have an estimate.
PW February Circle Meetings
Circle #1 | Tuesday, February 5 | 10:00 AM | GCPC Fellowship Hall | Hosts: Sally Booher and Sandra Dykes | Study Leader: Sarah Van Gunten

Circle # 2 | Tuesday, February 5 | 7:30 PM | Host: Heather Hudson, 4 Northvalley Drive, Weaverville | Study Leader: Hettie Lou Garland

Circle #3 - TBA

Circle #4 | Thursday, February 7 | 7:00 PM | GCPC, Indie Room | Host: Cathy Clevenger | Study Leader: Marcy Onieal

Circle #5 | Monday, February 4 | 10:00 AM | 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:  Betsy Rhodes email:
Youth News
We have two exciting youth group events happening this weekend. Youth, please plan to attend both.
Youth Group Part 1: "Asheville Jewish Temple Visit "  | Friday, February 1 | 5:45 PM sharp - 8:00 PM | Temple Beth HaTephila ( 43 N Liberty St.)
As we seek to "be the change" and bring healing to our world, we highly encourage all GCPC youth to visit our Jewish neighbors this weekend and experience worship at a  local synagogue . Light refreshments will be served afterwards (so eat dinner beforehand) and there will be time to ask questions before the service begins.  We will meet/pick up there (if you need a ride, let  Samantha  know).  Parents/families welcome!  SIGN UP HERE, SO WE CAN KNOW WHO IS COMING.
As we prepare for our synagogue visit , please watch this quick informational video made by Rabbi Ari Saks (Samantha's friend) just for YOU:  SEE VIDEO HERE .
Youth Group Part 2: "Be the Change Project & Music with Jeff" | Sunday, February 3 | 9:15 AM - 12:30 PM |  GCPC
Thanks to our youth, this coming Sunday we will be asking our congregation to donate "change" to support one of our great ministry partners,  Hood Huggers . Come to Sunday School and we will take time to prepare to participate in worship that same day. After church, youth will be invited to gather with Jeff to explore music for Youth Sunday and the chance to have our very own Youth Choir! We need all hands on deck!  No youth group Sunday evening.
Summer Opportunities: 
Montreat Senior High Youth Conference Week 6: July 28 - Aug 3 
Massanetta Middle School Youth Conference Week 3: July 11-14
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)
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)
Linda Parker (Anna Jarvis’ sister-in-law)
Family of Lloyd “Hatman” Haag (Carolyn Haag’s father)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Olga Malinoski
Nancy Gettys
James Harwell
Joyce Summerlin
Joe Brumit
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
Enneagram Gatherings
Join us for weekly two  hour enneagram gatherings  Fridays,  10:00am & Monday s ,   6:00pm in the
A-Frame @ GCPC. Contact Carol Hovis  about cost & details. All are welcome; you can come once or every week.
Click HERE to see flyer.
PWNC Annual Spirituality Retreat - " Praying with the Celtic Saints" | March 8-9 | Bonclarken Conference Center ( 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731 )
Our weekend together will explore ways for us to celebrate Celtic wisdom and weave it into our lives here in the 21st century. We will pray together, enjoy the poetry and stories of the Celtic saints, and seek the still, small voice of God in the natural beauty of Bonclarken. Retreat begins Friday, March 8, 3:00 p.m., and ends Saturday, March 9, 4:00 p.m. A Saturday only option is also available. Presenters are: Carl McColman and Linda Abel. Click HERE for the full flyer.
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.
John Pavlovitz Live in Black Mountain, NC
PC(USA) Advocacy Training Weekend
  • Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day | April 5 | 8 AM - 4:30 PM | New York Ave. Presbyterian Church | Washington, DC
Gather with your fellow Presbyterians as we look at how our church and our partners are working to organize for change. In plenaries and work shops we will look at the Church as movement and as well as ways to build movements for change. We will hear from inspiring leaders and learn about past present and future efforts to bring about a more just society and world. We will offer concrete tools and strategies for members and their congregations to organize and advocate in their churches and local communities.
  • Ecumenical Advocacy Days | April 5-8 | Washington DC
The 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference will draw on #GoodTrouble pioneers from the Civil Rights era as well as inspiration from young leaders to learn from the past, share best practices, and encourage one another for the work ahead. Through worship, educational and training workshops, and advocacy, we will beckon the Spirit to “Trouble the Waters” as depicted in John 5:1-9, calling on God to bring healing to our nation and world. Join us as we envision and train for new ways to stir up #GoodTrouble for the healing of all God’s children.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804