GCPC Weekly News | July 2, 2020

GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
20s/30s Trivia Night
Deacon Mtg.
Covenant Ringers practice "from a distance"
Covenant Ringers practice "from a distance"
Dear Grace Covenant Community,

I welcome Rev. Tami Forte-Logan to the online pulpit this coming Sunday morning. Rev. Forte-Logan is known and loved by many at GCPC because of her work with our congregation through Faith 4 Justice these last four years. She is a gift to our community and I am grateful that she will proclaim Christ’s good news to us this Sunday. 

Welcome to GCPC’s pandemic pulpit, Rev. Tami Forte- Logan! 

Rev. Tami Forte Logan, M.Div . is an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the proud pastor of Pharr Chapel AME Zion Church, Old Fort, N.C.

Tami earned a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She graduated magna cum laude , from Ashford University with a B.A. in Education and Public Policy, and summa cum laude from Hood Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity.

Tami is married to John Howard Logan. Between them they have eight grown children, sixteen grandchildren, eight chickens and enjoy being empty nesters.

Tami is a womanist, preacher, Christian educator, popular educator, community organizer, cultural organizer, the business owner of Inside & Out Consulting, and a long-term racial equity facilitator and practitioner. As Lead Organizer and Missioner of Faith 4 Justice Asheville, Tami “provokes justice for and with black and brown bodied people through faith and racial equity work.” She works alongside black and brown bodied leaders committed to liberation throughout Asheville, while she ministers to and mobilizes faith leaders from twelve churches, seven church denominations, two synagogues, the Interfaith Initiative, Carolina Jews for Justice, Transform Network, Movement in Faith, Creation Care Alliance and other organizations across Western North Carolina and the South. More importantly, Tami has been born-again, was called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is grateful to serve in the Kingdom of God!
Worship Preview | Sunday, July 5, 2020

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Sermon: " Laying Our Burdens Down " by Rev. Tami Forte-Logan
Scripture: Matthew 11:25-30

Click for Children’s Bulletin and coloring page for this Sunday!
Continual Hope and Praise
2020 Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering
Thank you for your generosity! We celebrate the service of Presbyterian Women all over the world with our offering of Continual Hope and Praise.
Originally begun in 1922, the Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering is an annual tradition that has celebrated our denomination’s commitment to mission through the funding of more than 200 projects that touch the lives of women and children, both in the US and abroad. We ask that you give as you have been blessed, generously and as led by the Holy Spirit. See more about this year’s recipients here .

We are collecting the 2020 PW Birthday offering now through the end of July. Please send your check to the church office, or give on-line through the church website at www.gcpcusa.org or through the new REALM mobile database platform. Click on the drop-down menu to select the fund: Presbyterian Women Birthday/Thank Offering.

Click on this video link to see how the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering has impacted our community through a recent grant to WNC Faith 4 Justice.
Dear Families, 

Maybe some of you have already met GCPC's newest friend, George. He helped introduce you to Realm and he was a wonderful host at our Zoom Cabaret! I am excited to invite your kids (from three year olds to rising fifth graders) to some Monday morning fun for the next six Mondays (July 6-August 10) with George.

"Growing with George" is a thirty minute Zoom gathering in which your children and George can together grow in their faith during these intense times. The dynamic team of Cat Kessler (Assistant Youth Coordinator), and GCPC members, Mesheala Sundblade and Matthew Weidle, have created a fun, interactive, and faith-filled way for us to all keep growing.

We hope you'll join us Mondays for "Growing with George" at 10am. Each Monday morning at 8am the Zoom link will go out in an email to all parents. If you are not on our distribution list, please contact Cat Kessler or Anna Louise Murchison.  

I look forward to us growing together with George! 

GCPC 'Netta @ Home | July 13-15 (for Middle School-completed  *5 -8th grade) 
* Now accepting incoming 6th graders! 
SIGN UP THIS WEEK!   We're bringing Massanetta to you this summer with a virtual middle school event full of games, songs, energizers, challenges and group discussion around our theme: "In the Potter's Hands." We'll meet five times on Zoom beginning Monday evening (July 13) and wrapping up Wednesday evening (July 15). Join us bright and early for "Wake Up with Colt!" on Tuesday and Wednesday.  This year, incoming 6th graders are invited to participate and get an early start on youth group!!! 
GCPC Montreat @ Home! | July 27-31
(for Senior High-completed 9-12th grade)
We may not be able to meet around Lake Susan this summer, but that won't stop us from bringing your favorite Montreat traditions right to your home! Montreat has put together a great collection of keynotes, games and creative activities around the theme "We Are," and we will have plenty of time to talk, laugh and bond as a group. We will meet eight times on Zoom beginning Monday evening (July 27) and wrapping up Friday evening (July 31).  
Recurring Weekly Zooms:

  • NO Adult Education this Sunday, July 5. We resume next week.
  • Mondays "Growing with George @ 10:00 am (Contact Cat Kessler for more info)
  • Mondays "Storytime" @ 3:00 pm (See calendar for details)
  • Wednesdays “Zoom Bible Study@ 3:00 pm
  • Wednesdays "Choir Chat" @ 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 9th "Men of GCPC" @ 8:00 am
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 Sherrie, and any staff member can help you get set up for your meeting if you have questions. 
Welcome to Realm!
Thanks to everyone who has begun the process of joining GCPC Realm.
Anna Louise will be on vacation next week but if you are still having difficulties, please email Natalie Weaver to set up an appointment time to go over Realm.
"Giving" in Realm
Please watch this short video that describes how to give online in Realm.
*Important Note
After you have created your login, please go to the drop-down menu in the right-hand corner next to your name and choose "Manage Privacy." On the next screen, click "Custom Privacy" to manage what information you want in the directory. (You can also manage your "Notification Settings" in that drop-down menu.)

If you do not change this information,
you will NOT appear in the church directory.
Spiritual/Pastoral Support
Deacon of the Week
I n 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 (6/28 - 7/4):   Earl Fowler email:   earljfowler@aol.com
Next week (7/5 - 7/11):  Beth Robrecht  email: bethrobrecht50@gmail.com
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) 
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Eveline Damiano (Lisette de Groot's daughter)
Melissa Matherly Bowers (friend of Rick and Lynne Noble) 
Jonathan Hettrick and family (friends of Mary Craig)
Nancy Hoyt Duncan (friend of Rick and Lynne Noble)
Sharon Meares (Moderator of Presbyterian Women in PWNC)
Deerfield Retirement Community
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Family of Larry and Trudy Forward (daughter, Jenny, and grandsons, Ben & Matt)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Becky Hamilton (friend of Pam McGill & Pamela Culp)
Vicki Meiser (Matt Wiedle's mother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Dean Presson
Bill McNeff
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
John Mount Shoop
Carol Kavalhuna
Carolyn Crew
Susan Holt
Bob Walther
Kelley Griffith
Bill Williamson

Our sympathy and support are extended to Harry and Joyce Summerlin following the death of their son, Daniel on June 27th. A service will be held on Friday morning, July 3 at 10:30 am at Claxton Farm in Weaverville, NC. Please keep the entire family in your prayers.

Long-time GCPC member, Betty Smith, passed away on Friday, June 26 at WNC Baptist Home. Please keep her family in your prayers.
GCPC Zoom Speaker Series | 7:00 PM | 4th Thursday of the month
July 23 | Susanne Walker Wilson and Audi
Join us for a virtual evening of conversation about one woman's immigrant experience here in Buncombe County, the biblical imperative to love our newcomer neighbors, and thoughts on how to become a friend and ally across borders, language, and unjust systems. 

Originally from rural Guatemala, Audilia "Audi" has lived in WNC for 15 years now. She is the mother of two amazing sons, has her own house cleaning business, teaches Circle of Security Parenting in Spanish to other immigrant parents, studies English year round and teaches Spanish as well. Grace Covenant has provided space (in pre-Covid times) as an in-kind partnership with Audi's Spanish class (composed of retirees many of whom are active GCPC members). In these days, the class continues their language learning and friendship building via zoom each week. Susanne Walker Wilson is a local bilingual social worker, parenting educator, and justice seeker. Both people of faith, Audi and Susanne initially met through their sons' soccer experiences and forged a deep friendship that's spanned 9 years and many different contexts. Through story sharing, photos, scripture, and a few pertinent facts on immigration, these two friends will invite you into a celebration of hope and pondering small tangible ways that you might take further steps to welcome immigrant neighbors and their abundant gifts into your lives and hearts while working for justice and systems change alongside them. Kids/grandkids as young as 10 or 12 may find this evening offering of interest--welcome them to join you as we learn together. 
  • Aug. 27 - DeWayne Barton (Hood Huggers International)
PART (Power & Race Team)
Tema Okun is an author and facilitator who has been helping organizations, communities, and individuals dismantle white supremacy culture for several decades. You can find more about her work here and a full list of her "Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture" here . PART has been engaging for some time with these characteristics and exploring how they show up at GCPC and in each of us. 

Tema Okun names "individualism" as one characteristic of white supremacy culture. She states, "people in organizations believe they are responsible for solving problems alone, have little comfort working as a team, desire individual recognition, values competition over cooperation, creates a lack of accountability, and leads to isolation." 

In your community work PART asks you to consider the following questions:
1. Do we have shared goals?
2. How do we engender a sense of community?
3. How are we sharing power?
4. How are we sharing, listening, and breaking down barriers?
5. Are we giving credit to all participants?
6. Are we bringing issues/problems to the entire group?
7. How are we making the group accountable?
8. How do you see cooperation at work?

PART hopes by asking these questions of ourselves and our community we will create trusting lasting relationships that accomplish a shared vision.

With July 4th approaching, PART asks each of you to listen to "1619" New York Times podcast . "In 1776 the nation was founded on the ideal of democracy. 
In 1619 when enslaved africans first arrived on what would become the United States, black people began the fight to make the ideal a reality." PART asks: What are Black and Brown bodied people saying about this reality today?

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member

PART continues to address White Supremacy norms on July 9th at 6pm.
"Pandemics and Prejudice: How Can Democracy Survive in a Hotter Time?" a presentation by
Dr. David Orr | Friday, July 10 | 7:00 PM |

Dr. David Orr, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College, will be presenting via  GCPC's Youtube Channel  ("GCPC Video") on  Friday 7/10/2020 at 7pm  a lecture about the   moral imperative to restore our democracy as well as the urgency of environmental stewardship, regardless of any particular religious persuasion. 

Dr. Orr writes: "The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing crisis of race in America are both an indictment and a preview of what's coming in a hotter, more divided world with vast economic inequities. Both are symptoms of the tragic failure of democratic institutions. Dr. Orr's democracy initiative ( stateofamericandemocracy.org ) is working toward  the repair and strengthening of democratic institutions beginning with restoring a moral vision of democracy."
SAVE THE DATE for this timely presentation and interaction with Dr. Orr.  
It is sponsored by the EARTH Team at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and Creation Care Alliance. There will be a question and answer period after his presentation.  
Dr. Orr is a Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies & Politics, Emeritus. He also served as “Counselor to the President” of Oberlin College for ten years. He is the author of eight books, including Dangerous Years: Climate Change and the Long Emergency (Yale, 2016) and Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (Oxford, 2009) and co-editor of four others including Democracy Unchained (2020). He has authored over 220 articles, reviews, book chapters, and professional publications.
Summer Women’s Memoir Series | 6:00 – 7:00 PM via Zoom 
Join us for a series of book talks focusing on memoirs written by people of faith. Open to all women of the church. Please pre-read the book to ensure lively discussion.
  • July 27Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz-Weber | Facilitator: Amber White
  • August 30The Yellow House by Sarah Broom | Facilitator: Amy Pike
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents:  
We are taking a break until late July.  Facilitated by Carol Hovis, all parents are welcome. We meet virtually on  Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm .  Email  Carol  if you would like to participate.  
GCPC Family Story Time Weekly Gathering | July - August | Mondays | 3:00 PM
Each week children and families of Grace Covenant can join our Storytime zoom. Caring adults including Godly Play Storytellers, Blake Martin, Lynne Noble, Pat Durham, and Nursery Staff member, Marion deLaubenfels, are present as a reminder that even though we are apart, we are still connected with our Grace Covenant Family.  If you and your child would like to join one of the gatherings, you can find the link on the Church calendar .

Presbyterian Women’s Circles are Zoom meetings.  Please join us.

Circle 1:  First Tuesday of each month, 10:00 a.m.
         Carol Kavalhuna – 658-1088,  carolkavalhuna@gmail.com
         Cathy Froehlich – 775-1016,  oremont2@gmail.com

Circle 2:   First Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m.
         Barbara McLean - 254-1034,  Barbaram_2@charter.net
         Heather Hudson – 501-442-6223,  hehudson@charter.net

Circle 3:   June 11, 7:00 p.m.
         Grace Hall – 665-4849,  gracehall2@gmail.com

Circle 4:   First Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.
         Frances Johnson – 628-4742,  facjohnson@gmail.com
         Connie Jones – 231-2680,  Conjones@charter.net

Circle 5:   First Monday of each month, 10:00 a.m.
         Lynne Noble – 803-206-3821,  lynnesnoble@gmail.com

Community Working Together
Important Announcement regarding Serve Funding

"During this time of pandemic, the GCPC Serve Council continues to be committed to being led by the Spirit to build mutually enriching relationships with Ministry Partners, as well as justly disperse funds shared by our congregation to impact our community and world. . . "

Serve Council Retreat, January 2020
Facilitated by GCPC Ministry Partners,
Phyllis Utley and Tami Forte Logan
Volunteers Needed!!! Manna FoodBank Latinx Community Emergency Food Distribution - Emma Community | Tuesday, July 7 | 7:45 AM - 12 PM | 175 Bingham Rd  (South Entrance to Buncombe County Schools Central Office @ school bus parking lot)

Manna Food Bank will be delivering food to over 200 family units and requests your help. Beginning at 8:00am on July 7th, a truck will deliver approximately 14,000 pounds of food to the  Nesbitt building at Buncombe County Schools (“BCS”) Central Offices  in Emma. We will need to prepare boxes there and then load them onto volunteer vehicles. CIMA and BCS will be coordinating getting the food to Latinx families.  Masks will be worn at all locations and social distancing will be observed.   If you are able and interested in getting involved (or know of families who would like food delivered) contact Gerald Kirksey  gkirksey@kirkcron.com  or 615 330 4801.

Manna is looking for:
  • Volunteers to help prepare boxes at 8:00 a.m. at the BCS hub.
  • Volunteers to help load vehicles and some to help with distribution.
  • One or two “easy-up” popup tents for use at the distribution sites.
  • Large vans to help transport the food to the distribution sites.
On June 26, 2020, Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California ruled that children held in ICE detention centers must be released because of the threat of infection from COVID-19.

The order focuses specifically on children held longer than 20 days; as of the first week of June, 124 children were being held, in defiance of Judge Gee’s 2018 ruling upholding the 1997 Flores agreement, which limits the detention of children for more than 20 days. 

Judge Gee set a deadline of July 17 for the release of the minors.

~ submitted by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Pisgah Legal Services | Save the Date for 10th Annual Justice Forum | Clint Smith | Thursday, October 1, 2020
The Forum will be held online for the first time. Details to come. F ree and open to the public.  Advance registration is required. Registration opens in mid-August.
Watch his TED Talks   The Danger of Silence   and  How to Raise a Black Son in America  and listen to his recent interview on  NPR: Clint Smith Reflects on this Moment .

Follow him online:
"A Conversation about Racial Justice:
Pisgah Legal hosts the Justice Forum each year to call for justice and to generate honest conversation about pressing local and national issues. Back in February, when we asked Clint Smith to be the keynote speaker for our 10 th  Annual Justice Forum, we did not foresee how our communities and world would be transformed.

We are humbled to bring Clint’s voice, knowledge and perspective to Asheville and Western North Carolina as we seek to better understand the historical, political and sociological factors that have brought us to this moment of change for our country and our mountain communities. Clint uses his experience as an award-winning teacher and poet to share personal stories of racial justice, community, and education. He illuminates how we can all find the courage to create change, overcome challenges, and unite ourselves through the power of the collective voice."
Local Outreach for Those Affected by COVID-19

We have a specific need for donors currently!

Commit To Help:

Pandemic of Love, Asheville, has been launched as an extension of a larger national/international mutual aid movement (Pandemicoflove.com). Just as this virus has spread rapidly, now too have extraordinary acts of kindness and love for neighbors in need.

Anyone throughout Asheville in need of essentials to help weather this crisis, or anyone able to help a local family with funds for groceries, medicine, etc, is urged to reach out. Help is available throughout the Nation for family or friends elsewhere. Those interested in volunteering for this effort or with questions, please email  PandemicofloveAVL@gmail.com .

To learn more about Shelly and this movement, or to access Get Help/Give Help forms go to  Pandemicoflove.com , click on HELP, and submit under the Asheville, NC tab.

Email us at  PandemicofloveAVL@gmail.com  with questions.
YMCA Community Health Summer Updates
Free Meals for Kids  - For the summer we are offering FREE meals for kids 18 and under at a variety of sites throughout the summer in Buncombe, McDowell and Henderson counties. Please review the schedule for locations and times. Kids do not not have to be present to get the meals. Please share with all of your families!

Mobile Markets - we provide free, fresh, and nutritious foods to anyone in the community, no questions asked. Here is our  July Mobile Market calendar . You can refer anyone to these markets, we do not need any information or have any restrictions as to who is able to access this program. The colored circles on the calendar refer to the bus line that will either take to directly to, or near, that market.

Diabetes Prevention Program  - We are continuing to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program VIRTUALLY to anyone in North Carolina for FREE. Please see the attached document for more information on how people can register.
GCPC Still Growing
People, especially young people and families,
to become GCPC Community Gardeners.
Interested people, who are willing
to work in the garden
– while wearing a mask, gloves, and physically distancing –
for 2 hours every 2 weeks,
will get fresh produce for helping
and will have a chance to contribute to easing food insecurity
while having fun. 
Please contact Pam Baker pam.dunkin56@gmail.com if
GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
Lament Songs

This season has certainly been a difficult one for us all - and we have been lamenting many things. A few weeks ago, I shared a  Wednesday Devotional where I invited our GCPC family to write our own Lament songs . I was grateful that some of you shared your heartfelt Laments with me. With Carolyn Horton's permission, I asked if I might share hers with you all. ~ Rev. Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Carolyn's Lament
June, 2020

O wondrous Presence,
I know you are with me.
I sense you everywhere and in every thing;
I see you in the cardinals, the titmice, the chickadees, the goldfinch,
And the adorable hummers that come to our feeders;
I see you in the stunning new green of the leaves
That return every year, and
In the jack-in-the-pulpit and the azaleas that bloom in our yard.
I feel you with me as I walk on a shady pathway.

Yet I feel rudderless, purposeless, leaderless.
I am angry and afraid.
Covid 19 is ravaging a disproportionate number of our essential workers,
And our revered elderly in nursing homes.
Health care providers and teachers are exhausted.
I long to hug my grandchildren and my dear family and friends.
Any stranger can be a carrier so we all wear masks – or should;
Yet mask-wearing takes away the smile we might share with one of them.

On top of that, demonstrators are marching in the streets
Proclaiming the truths that I have known all my life:
That I am a part of society that has established inequities for people of color;
That has ignored the cries of the poor and the disenfranchised;
That has made it impossible for many to earn a decent wage,
Or get good health care.
Our government has turned its back on these desperate cries.

The same issues face us now that faced us
When we marched in the 60's and 70's.
Exactly the same.
Must we do it all over again?
The answer is yes, and more.
But what can I do?

And here's a scary question:
Will these demonstrations turn violent with counter-protests?

Show me the way, Precious Presence.
Let me hear your call.
Give me strength to face the truths of my whiteness,
And overcome my anger and fears.

I trust that there is a way through all this.
I know that I am your child.
I have faith in your abiding Love and Care and Strength.
I have hope for the future.

~ Carolyn Horton

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Thank you for your generous giving! Your gifts are enabling the church to continue our important work in our community. If you have not signed up for online giving, you can do that   here . You can also mail your checks to the church. Without you, the church could not continue its ministries in these difficult times. Thank you, again, for your generosity and your faithfulness! 
Recurring Giving Moving to Realm

In the coming month, recurring giving will be transitioning from the previous Vanco website to Realm, our new all-in-one software. Our Finance Office will be manually transitioning these gifts over -  no action is needed from you  unless you want changes made or need to update your authorization form. Once in Realm, the automatic gifts can be easily self-managed and will post to your confidential giving records in Realm in real-time, both online or on the app. 
Remote Giving & Paperless Statements  

Did you know that you can make donations and receive statements online? Here are a few different ways to stay up-to-date on your pledge 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 Realm Connect smartphone app

*Please note, the church office is closed and staff is not there to receive payments left on-site or in the mailbox.

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
We're in this together...
Grace Covenant can help your stimulus check get to impacted families if you would like to share it with our larger community in that spirit. Some GCPC members have already sent theirs in and Marcia is confidentiality disbursing those to impacted families. 

Thank you for your continued generosity. If you would like to participate, please put "Pastor's Discretion" in the memo line of your check and let  Marcia  and  Natalie  know that you are sending it for that purpose. 

If you have questions, please contact  Marcia  .
GCPC Out and About Online
July & August 2020
Virtual Enneagram Weekday Gatherings
resume  Friday, July 10.  

Mondays , 6:30-8:30pm
Fridays , 10:00am-12noon

Topic: Relationships between different types

All are welcome; you can participate once or every week. 
Basic knowledge of your enneagram type is suggested.

Contact Carol for more information:    cmhovis@gmail.com
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804