GCPC Weekly News | June 25, 2020
Image by  Manfred Antranias Zimmer  from  Pixabay  
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Camp-in-a-Box VBS
Camp-in-a-Box VBS
Worship Preview | Sunday, June 28, 2020
PW Sunday


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Sermon: " Yesterday’s Freedom " by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: Romans 6:12-23


Click for Children’s Bulletin and coloring page for this Sunday!
Welcome to Realm!
Thanks to everyone who has begun the process of joining GCPC Realm. If you are still having difficulties, please email Anna Louise 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 in the directory.

If you do not change this information,
you will NOT 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. 
Earth Team News
What can you do for the EARTH during lock-down when you’re already ‘staying home and staying safe”?

PLANT MILKWEED  for Monarch and other butterflies!  There are still young, larger Milkweed ‘starts’ for anyone who wants to plant milkweed (which will spread) in your garden/yard to nurture Monarch and other butterflies. Contact Susan Presson via text at 828-450-4145 if you would like some milkweed starts.
PC(USA) 224th General Assembly
This week the PCUSA General Assembly, our denomination's bi-annual meeting, concludes online. The 224th General Assembly will make history because it is online. We pray that the Assembly will also be an opportunity for our denomination to strategize about how we can best be in solidarity with the movements for racial and economic justice in our country and in our world. If you would like to view the Assembly, here is a link
Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Bentley were elected Saturday to be co-moderators of the 224th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

“This is just wonderful,” Street-Stewart said. “We look forward to meeting the fabulous expectations our current co-moderators have established for us.”

“The world needs a church that has no fear over its diversity,” said Street-Stewart, a descendant of the Delaware Nanticoke tribe and the first Native American to serve as a moderator as well as a synod executive in the PC(USA).

“We believe the denomination is headed in the right direction,” especially with the  Matthew 25 invitation , Bentley said. “We want to heed Christ’s call to not be afraid … We want to run this race with perseverance, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
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 (6/21 - 6/27):   Lynne Meacham email:   larkm99@gmail.com
Next week (6/28 - 7/4):  Earl Fowler  email: earljfowler@aol.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)
Daniel Summerlin (Harry and Joyce Summerlin's son)
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
Formation/Education
GCPC Zoom Speaker Series | 7:00 PM | TONIGHT, Thursday, June 25
  • June 25 | Spotted Wolf Peace Series by Meta Commerse 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 One (June 25) focuses on violence, its escalating energy, and the systems of oppression it creates. (Note: Material is excerpted from her forthcoming book: Diamonds and Pyramids: Story Medicine for Racial Healing.) Example of how we can work with authority to transform violent energy in the moment.

*For security measures, please make sure your device is identified with your name so you can be let in from the "Waiting Room" in Zoom.

*Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 9333 7627
Password: 789

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  • July 23 - Susanne Walker Wilson and Audi
  • Aug. 27 - DeWayne Barton 
Summer Adult Education: "Beyond Belief" | June 7 - July 19 | 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.
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 the "the fear of open conflict" as one characteristic of white supremacy culture. She states, "People in power are scared of expressed conflict and try to ignore it or run. When someone raises an issue that causes discomfort, the response is to blame the person for raising the issue."

Add to that, in Asheville we live in the south, so their is an emphasis on being polite. 

PART asks you to consider the following: Name the conflict. You might say, "I feel tension right now." Take a breath, and say, "Right now what do we need to proceed in the conversation." Be open and continue. PART also asks that you take time at the end of the conversation to revisit the conflict and talk about how you were able to navigate it.

Conflict occurs and we need to look at the issue which is actually causing the problem. We are having hard conversations these days, and disagreements are going to happen. PART hopes you face it and ask for what you need in the conversation. 

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member

PART continues to address White Supremacy norms on July 9th at 6pm.
An Interview with
Robin DiAngelo

An interview with author Robin DiAngelo who wrote White Fragility, Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Race, is so pertinent to the current social justice dialogue.
This book was read and discussed in our Racial Justice Book Club.
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents

Wednesday enneagram  zoom gatherings for  GCPC parents,  concludes next  Wednesday, July 1st, 6:30-8:30pm.   Facilitated by Carol Hovis, all parents are welcome. If you don't know your enneagram type, contact Carol.  
Email  Carol  if you would like to participate. 
"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.
GCPC Family Story Time Weekly Gathering
Each week children and families of Grace Covenant have an opportunity to gather on Zoom for fun activities and stories meant to stir the imagination and open hearts to God's amazing love in our world. During our time together, caring adults including Godly Play Storytellers, Blake Martin, Lynne Noble, Pat Durham, and Nursery Staff members, Marion deLaubenfels and Pearl DeBellott, are present as a reminder that even though we are apart, we are still connected with our Grace Covenant Family.  Beginning June 29 through the end of August, we will only have Storytime on Mondays at 3:00 PM. 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
“But I Want To DO Something!!!”

Here’s something you can do about racial justice in Asheville: listen to Black voices in Asheville and take the action steps they ask you to take.  The Power and Race Team (PART) suggests these information sources.

Racial Justice Coalition  
A major effort of this coalition of 15 local organizations has been and continues to be reform of Asheville policing policies. Instead of top-down reform, RJC hopes to promote policies made with input from the communities most affected. You can sign up for a team (Advocacy, Organization, Tech/Data, Safety/Security, Communication, Fundraising, Legal). A Facebook page gives further information about events, actions to take, and racial justice:  www.facebook.com/RJC.Asheville/

Interfaith Initiative Newsletter
Social justice opportunities and information compiled by area religious communities. To get the twice monthly newsletters, subscribe to the Interfaith Initiative Newsletter here.

Meet interesting and accomplished Black Ashevillians. Read curated posts on racial justice and injustice in the U.S.
BeLoved House
Click here to read an important article about the work being done by GCPC Covenant Partner, BeLoved House. The Beloved Asheville team, which includes Rev. Amy Cantrell, Ponkho Bermejo, Carmen Ramos-Kennedy and Adrienne Sigmon, continue work on the  Beloved Asheville Village , a network of 12 micro-homes in East Asheville and an innovative solution to the housing crisis.
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:
Instagram:  
"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."
(The following is Part 2 of 2 from an article in The New York Times .)

As the attention of the American public focuses on the coronavirus and racial protests, the federal administration has quietly taken further steps to reduce immigration, particularly for asylum seekers along the southern border. Recently proposed restrictive policies permit immigration officers to judge asylum applications as frivolous, write New York Times’ reporters Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Maggie Haberman. “’Whether it’s restrictions to legal immigration or further gutting the asylum system, the goal to reduce immigration to its lowest level possible continues to be at the forefront of this administration’s decision-making,’ said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, the policy counsel to the American Immigration Council.”

~ submitted by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Habitat for Humanity News
Here at Habitat, we have continued our work these past few months, but at a slower pace without our volunteers. We are excited to announce that we have a homeowner in process for the 28th Presbyterian Methodist House that members of Grace Covenant volunteered on in the Curry Court neighborhood in Candler! Her name is Dewana Little. Dewana has started her sweat equity and is slated to purchase the 28th Presbyterian Methodist House in December of 2020.
Click here to learn more about he Dewana Little and her family.
GIVE HELP/GET HELP:
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.
Asheville GreenWorks | Hard 2 Recycle Update | THIS Saturday, June 27 | 10 AM - 2 PM | 1298 Patton Ave.
Asheville GreenWorks is happy to provide an adapted June Hard 2 Recycle event to the community. In order to keep our staff, volunteers, and community safe, we ask that you please follow  CDC North Carolina , and  Buncombe County  government guidelines when choosing to attend the event. We also ask that you wear a  face covering , and maintain a 6 foot distance between yourself and others. If you are in the  high-risk category , please stay home and limit your exposure to others. Remember, there are many other ways to recycle your items, throughout the year. 

Please note that volunteers cannot unload vehicles at this event and are instructed to follow safety protocol. Participants will be expected to unload their own items, with staff on site to supervise and assist only as needed.

Please contact info@ashevillegreenworks.org or 828-254-1776 with any recycling 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
This week garden teams weeded and planted more bean seeds where needed. Their harvest included collards, swiss chard, kale, and blueberries to be distributed by YTL/YWCA to food insecure families. Teams also harvested about 90 pounds of garlic. Two/thirds of the garlic has been hung up with string in the shed to dry.
GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
Thoughts on Teaching High School in Covid Times

The second week of March this year, I was preparing to receive 20 Danish students for our bi-annual exchange. My students were making plans to take their Danes hiking and sightseeing and shopping. The Danish students were geared up for the Friday night drum circle and a taste of KFC. My first task in Covid operations was to let the air out of that balloon.
As the weeks dragged on in online school, my mindset shifted from denial (“We’ll be back after Spring break”) to depression (“If we don’t go back after spring break, I’m gonna lose it.”) to acceptance. There was no conceivable way at that point to even visualize prom or graduation.
I tried to keep it positive with clear, simple directions and meaningful assignments. My objective was to keep kids engaged in English class – I did not have the lofty and ridiculous expectation that they would learn new material. In addition to reading and writing assignments, we “zoomed” and watched movies together. The chat line during a viewing of Hitchcock’s Vertigo with my seniors was particularly snarky and entertaining: Kim Novak was young enough to play Jimmy Stewart’s daughter; Midge was the comi-tragic heroine diminished by the bombast of over-acting.
If we teach online again next year (prayers, folks!), students in upper-level courses with lots of parent support, a private bedroom, a good internet connection, and a strong internal work ethic will be fine. They won’t learn as much as they would normally, but don’t worry, Chapel Hill is prepared for the coming freshmen classes. All the other kids, I’m not so sure about. Some of them won’t show up. Some of them will do very little, almost nothing, for a variety of reasons and circumstances too lengthy to name. 
Suffice to say, kids need teachers. They need us to meet them at the classroom door to say “Nice shirt!” or “Stop sucking face in the halls!” or “Congratulations on your win!” Without us and the routine of school, the prodding, the cajoling, the encouragement, many of them will just “Peace out.” Without them, this sometimes doesn’t seem worth it.

~ Emily Gill, GCPC community member


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! 
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  .
AmazonSmile is now available in the Amazon Shopping app
AmazonSmile customers can now support Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  1. Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device
  2. Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into 'Settings'
  3. Tap 'AmazonSmile' and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process

If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app, update your app. Click  here  for instructions.  
GCPC Out and About Online
July 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
STAY CONNECTED
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804