GCPC Weekly News | July 23, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Serve Council Meeting
Staff Meeting
Worship Preview | Sunday, July 26, 2020

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Sermon: " So Close, Yet So Far " by Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Scripture: Romans 8:26-39

Click for Children’s Bulletin and coloring page for this Sunday!
If you haven't already heard about the new GCPC Mission Statement unanimously approved by the Session in June 2020, click here to read the full letter from the Session. The Me and White Supremacy Study initiative at GCPC is also introduced in this letter. Check for ways to engage in this study at Grace Covenant this fall.
At GCPC our faith calls us to practice…

Theological CURIOSITY




With God’s help, we are seeking our transformation and the healing of the world.

    A More Light congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
and a Supporting Sanctuary Church in Western North Carolina

More Light Presbyterians
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.

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 Faith4Justice.
Event Registrations in Realm!
You may have noticed the Event Registrations advertised recently in Realm. Realm provides an easy way to register online (and even pay!) for upcoming events. Be on the lookout for more registration possibilities coming up!

"Giving" in Realm
 You can see your giving records and set up one-time or recurring donations under the  Giving  tab once logged in. Check out this how to, to self-manage your online giving or contact Natalie  for assistance.

*Important Note:
Realm uses your primary email address to link to your individual member profile. 
  To log in or register, visit   onrealm.org/gcpcusa .  If you have questions or need assistance, please email  Natalie this next week (Anna Louise will be on vacation) to set up an appointment time to go over Realm.

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.)

Please change your privacy settings to "Anyone"
so you will appear in the church directory.
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 Sherrie, and any staff member can help you get set up for your meeting if you have questions. 
Click HERE to read a card to the GCPC community
from Heather Ferguson!
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 (7/19 - 7/25):   Marcy Onieal email: marcy.onieal@gmail.com
Next week (7/26 - 8/1):  Marcy Onieal  email: marcy.onieal@gmail.com
Prayer List

*At the end of this month, the Prayer List will only include those who have been put on the list in the last month. If you would like someone to stay on the list for more than one month, please contact Sherrie or Anna Louise .
Iglesia Jerusalem congregation
Pat Cocke (Les Stradley’s friend) 
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Jonathan Hettrick and family (friends of Mary Craig)
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 mom)
Queen Mother Maggie Belle ( Phyllis Utley’s mother and Co -founder of 12 Baskets Cafe)
Harold Shook (Melissa Shook’s dad)
Fred Schroeder (Penny Ponder's brother)
Brimi Jane Moffmon (daughter of Selena Hilemon and Jill Moffitt)
Hettie Lou Garland
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Dean Presson
Bill McNeff
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Carol Kavalhuna
Carolyn Crew
Bob Walther
Kelley Griffith
Bill Williamson
Charlie Clogston
Amanda Pressley
Summer Adult Education: "Beyond Belief" | June 7 - July 26 | Sundays | 9:15 - 10:15 AM via Zoom
Marcus Borg was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity and internationally known in both academic and church circles. This summer, we will be delving deeply into his work and living in his questions about the possibilities of belief and action in our modern world. We will be meeting over zoom and utilizing  "Beyond Belief," a new curriculum by "Living the Questions." Facilitated by Tim Hamel.
Contact Sherrie for zoom information.
GCPC Summer Speaker Series | 7:00 PM |
4th Thursday of the month

TONIGHT, Thursday, 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. 

Join the Zoom presentation here:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84786473448

Meeting ID: 847 8647 3448
Passcode: 789

*As an extra security measure, please have your device identified by your name so you can be let in from the "waiting room" on Zoom.
Meta Commerse | Spotted Wolf Peace Series - Part 2 | Thursday, July 30 | 7:00 PM | via Zoom
The Spotted Wolf Peace Series is a two-part Story Medicine presentation, naming and describing our social climate grounded in U.S. history and in-depth research into the spiritual nature of the problem of violence. Meta’s story, scholarship, experience as a healer, black mother, elder and author all inform this piece from an  African Frame of Reference  so named by her mother, Johari Amini.
Part Two (July 30) of The Spotted Wolf lecture series, "Recognizing the System" will focus on white supremacy as it is basically structured and developed through institutions. This talk will help attendees better and more clearly recognize and "unplug" from such institutions and then begin to imagine systems designed to serve ALL life. Meta Commerse is an author, educator, healer and speaker living in Asheville since 2009. She uses the indigenous modality of Story Medicine in all of her work.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 6556 2293
Passcode: 789

*As an extra security measure, please have your device identified by your name so you can be let in from the "waiting room" on Zoom.
  • Aug. 27 - DeWayne Barton (Hood Huggers International)
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 27 | Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz-Weber | Facilitator: Amber White
  • August 30 | The Yellow House by Sarah Broom | Facilitator: Amy Pike

Join July 27th Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 828 7250 5954
Passcode: 789
Rob Thomas Presentation | Friday, July 31 | 7:00 PM | via GCPC's Youtube channel
Rob Thomas is the Community Liaison for the Racial Justice Coalition. As a community activist, a native of Asheville and an African-American man, Thomas has lived through many of the experiences that the Racial Justice Coalition is seeking to improve regarding racism in law enforcement.

“Innovative methods that seek to address root issues – as opposed to criminalizing poverty – are activities that drive and inspire me. My focus and passion has been centered around local policy related to the racial disparities that plague our communities of color,” Thomas stated. “When the policies and practices around policing properly reflect a city that values racial equity, inclusion and working relationships between law enforcement and the community it serves, I will feel accomplished in my role.”

Rob is doing important work with the Racial Justice Coalition around things like policing, reparations, and addressing the root causes of racial disparities in Asheville/Buncombe County. This is a great opportunity for us, Grace Covenant, to learn and to grow in our understanding of issues that are harming people in our community.
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. 

PART asks you to consider what GCPC would look like if the white Supremacy norm of either /or thinking was eliminated.

We would...
  •   listen more to views expressed.
  •   understand the why of the issue.
  •   generate a range of outcomes.
  •   hear from everyone.
  •   get to know each other.
  •   slow down in order to do a deeper analysis.
  •   add creativity to the process.
  •   avoid making decisions under pressure. 
  •   breathe and take breaks.
  •   allow for reflection.
Check out this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kJg2LJihb64
Tema Okun answers the the following questions, and asks each of us to do the same.
  •    What have you been taught about your whiteness?
  •    What is the direct cost of this conditioning?

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member

PART continues to address White Supremacy norms on August 13th at 6pm.
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 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
Working Wheels News!
See how Working Wheels transforms donated cars into affordable, reliable vehicles for working families in Western North Carolina.

Do you know someone who could donate their car and change a life? Please share this video with them!
CJJ-West Voting, Democracy Rights, and Civic Engagement

Promote Voting in WNC
   CJJ is "fighting for a just, fair, and compassionate North Carolina." This year, the election is so important, and with your help, our organization can work with other nonpartisan groups in our region and state to put social justice on the ballot.
   To provide you with opportunities to  learn  and  take action , there will be a zoom meeting on:
Sunday afternoon, July 26th,
starting at 3 pm

   At this one-hour meeting, the focus will be on voter:
  1. Registration, both online and the possibility of in-person.
  2. Education on the process, issues, and candidates.
  3. Turnout. How can we mobilize people to vote?
  4. Advocacy. What can we do to affect positive change to make voting more accessible, fair, and safe?

   Included in the meeting will be information about what other nonpartisan organizations are doing to promote voting and how CJJ-West will work with them. The meeting will also cover some areas where CJJ-West can take the lead with your support. 

   Please RSVP  here  by next Wednesday, 7/22, and we'll send you the zoom link a few days ahead of time. Should you or others have any questions, feel free to call (828-768-4559) or  email  Ron Katz.   
HFA/YAV End of Year Storytelling Event | Tuesday, July 28 | 7:00 - 8:00 PM | via Zoom
Come hear the stories of challenge and change from our 2019-2020 volunteers and help us say goodbye as their year comes to an end! We may not be able to gather in a room and provide great snacks, but we are excited to see you virtually!
Click on the link below to RSVP and use this zoom link to join this virtual event on July 28th!

Park Superintendent launches Smokies Hikes for Healing
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash is inviting the public to participate in a new initiative he developed called Smokies Hikes for Healing. Up to 10 people can join the superintendent on eight hikes led by facilitators who will provide an opportunity for an open conversation about diversity and racism while enjoying one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The public can also participate by coordinating their own experiences using Smokies Hikes for Healing materials.

“National Parks have long provided a place of healing, and I believe the setting of this mountain sanctuary is a powerful space to bring us together to engage in crucial conversations,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “This year has brought a lot of uncertainty and fear that tends to draw people to their corners. Through this opportunity, I’m inviting everyone to step out and have real conversations about the history of racism locally and globally. In learning about our past, we open the doors to our future.”

The Park provides an ideal backdrop for sharing, understanding, and healing. The goal of this initiative is to provide a safe space for individuals of all backgrounds and ethnicities to begin difficult conversations that can lead to change. Through this initiative, Superintendent Cash extends an invitation for everyone to be a part of these important and pivotal conversations in one of America’s most special places.

Space is limited to up to ten participants for each hike. Groups will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing of facial coverings when the appropriate distance cannot be maintained. Interested individuals can find more information on how to apply for the hikes by visiting  smokieshikesforhealing.org
Prompt financial and legislative action can alleviate the extremely serious economic hardships facing individuals and families as consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Important opportunities are available in WNC to reduce foreclosures and evictions, homelessness, and other monetary distress.
  • Donors may contribute to One Buncombe, which provides assistance to individuals struggling to make ends meet. Click here to make a donation.
  • Pisgah Legal Services will use donations to help those facing eviction; in addition, the agency offers legal support, intervention and encouragement. Undocumented immigrants will find help there.

Concerned citizens should call state and federal representatives to support quick release of adequate funds in order to end the unnecessary suffering.
  • In the NC House, HB 1200 will be re-introduced in September; representatives from Buncombe County should be contacted to encourage passage of the bill.
  1. Rep. John Ager: 919-733-5746
  2. Rep. Susan Fisher: 919-715-2013
  3. Rep. Brian Turner: 919-715-3012

  • At the federal level, members of Congress may be contacted to support further relief legislation, with additional emphasis on monies for housing and utilities.
  1. Senator Richard Burr – 202-224-3154
  2. Senator Thom Tillis – 202-224-6342
  3. Rep. Patrick McHenry – 202-225-2576

~ submitted by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
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.
GCPC Still Growing
On Thursday and Friday, Judy, Barb T, and Mary planted collard and curly kale seeds in flats prepared by Anthony.  

Saturday gardeners weeded, irrigated, planted winter squash and zucchini, and harvested 97 pounds of green peppers, collards, swiss chard, kale, and summer squash. The harvest was picked up by YTL partners.

On Monday Rick P. and Paul sprayed insecticide. More volunteers are needed for the pesticide team.

Wednesday gardeners weeded, placed stakes for climbing green beans, tied up drooping tomato plants, and harvested 94 pounds of kale, swiss chard, collards, yellow squash, beans, onions, and 1 eggplant. The harvest was delivered to our partners at the YWCA.
GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
Being the beginning of a new decade, 2020 began with a bit of additional excitement and anticipation that accompanies the beginning of a new year. However, what unfolded was a little more excitement than we imagined. By early February news reports of a mysterious virus spreading around the world became common, and shelter in place orders beginning to go into effect in March in the U.S. dramatically changed our day to day routine. Brian and I moved from Asheville about 5 years ago because of our jobs and ended up back in my hometown of Atlanta where he and I had lived previously. There were many things we missed about living in Asheville, but most of all we missed the community and fellowship of GCPC. Every church we visited in an effort to get plugged in to a new church home paled in comparison to GCPC.

While the coronavirus pandemic did throw an unexpected disruption into our daily lives, one benefit for us was that it allowed us to get plugged back into GCPC; even if virtually. We have enjoyed seeing familiar and new faces on the Zoom worship services. The sermons have enlightened and challenged us. Youth Sunday was amazing. The creative use of technology and media in worship for music, prayers, passing of the peace and other enhancements to the online service have made us almost feel as if we are sitting in the pew with our former pew-mates: Nancy and Robert, Buzz and Pat, Lloyd (Carolyn in the choir), Mary, Jan, Cathy and Jim, and so many more. We have even been able to participate in the service again by doing the Prayer of Confession on Zoom. That would not have occurred under non-pandemic conditions.

Life in Atlanta has been very different for us for the last several months as it has for everyone around the world. Fortunately, we are still working. We have gained weight from home cooked, carb loaded meals. Our dog is loving the new normal of constant face time and lots of walks. We have missed get-togethers with friends and family. Despite all the changes to our normal routine, being able to reconnect to our GCPC family has been a silver lining throughout this time.  

~ Brad Addicks and Brian Buchanan, GCPC Members

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! 
2nd Quarter Statements EMailed 7/16

If you gave  January - June,  you should have received an email on 7/16 from   notifications@onrealm.org   with a link to your contribution statement. This shows the details of your donations and pledge balance, if applicable. 

Please note, this only includes gifts made through  June 30th.  To see all your giving records to date and manage online giving, log in at  onrealm.org/gcpcusa  and click  Giving,  or contact Natalie in the Finance Office at  nweaver@gcpcusa.org
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 Connect - Our Church Community 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  .
Realm eGiving Transition | Self Set Up How To

If you had recurring online giving set up on our old website, Natalie has been working hard to manually transfer over transactions into our new software, Realm.  You will be able to manage your directory profile, register for events, view contribution records in real time, and manage online giving all in one place. If you self-set up on the old site, however, your account information may have been masked,  which requires action from you to finalize the transfer.  Please check your email for the next steps and let  Natalie know if you have any questions. 

Interested in setting up online recurring giving for the first time?  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.
GCPC Out and About Online
July & August 2020
Virtual Enneagram Weekday Gatherings  

Fridays , 10:00am-12noon

Topic: Relationships between different types

Click here for flyer

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