GCPC Weekly News | March 11, 2021
Click  " View entire message" at bottom of email
to see the FULL newsletter
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Family Lent Activity
Eli and the organ
Family Lent Activity
Men of GCPC 3/11
Staff Meeting 3/9
Worship Preview | Sunday, March 14, 2021
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Sermon: "Cultivating" by Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks
Scripture: John 3:14-21

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
We will continue to explore what it means to Make Room in the Wilderness as we journey through Holy Week.

  • Saturday, March 27th | Holy Week Drive-thru | Pick up items to enrich your experience of Holy Week including communion elements, palms and more.
  • Sunday, March 28th | Palm Sunday | 10:45 am worship on Youtube  
  • Thursday, April 1st | Maundy Thursday | 6:30 pm on Zoom
  • Friday, April 2nd | Good Friday Tenebrae Service | 7:00 pm on Youtube
  • Saturday, April 3rd | Holy Saturday | Resources will be available for a personal day of reflection.
  • Sunday, April 4th | Easter Sunday | 10:45 am worship on Youtube to celebrate the empty tomb and the promise of resurrection! 
Please mark your calendars now for these touch-points during Holy Week. We encourage you to share them with your community near and far.
One Great Hour of Sharing is the single, largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world. 
February 17 - April 4, 2021

As Jesus says in Matthew 25, the Church belongs with those in need — whether it is offering relief from natural disasters or the ravages of war; access to food, water and healthcare; or coping with the pandemic. Through our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, we are there because we are the Church, together.

Join with Presbyterians worldwide in sharing God’s love with our
neighbors-in-need around the world.

Keeping the Faith
2021 Stewardship Campaign

Great news!! Thanks to increases and new pledges, we now have the pledged dollars we need for the 2021 budget that Session approved. Collectively, we've raised $1,101,440.94 in pledged dollars with 249 pledges. 

Funding our 2021 budget is an important way to honor our commitment to sustainability. Your pledges give us ways to plan, to partner, and to dependably resource all the ways God is calling us to be community. Thank you! 

Together, with God's help, we can do amazing things. 

You may notice that the goal we have reached this week for our 2021 budget is not the ultimate $1.2 million goal we set in our pledge drive this year. That $1.2 million number would mean we could fully fund all of our operating expenses without any additional unpledged giving during the year and have some money to place in reserves as well. We know we will get more pledges this year and we will keep getting closer to that ultimate goal we have as a community.

THANK YOU to each and every one of you who pledged this year- you help make all that we do and are together at GCPC possible. We are so very grateful for your generosity, your engagement, and your faith! 

With gratitude, 

Joe Brumit, Treasurer
Natalie Weaver, Stewardship and Financial Coordinator
Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor/Head of Staff 
  • Sign into your Realm account online or on the Realm Connect mobile app and enter a pledge under the Giving tab. Detailed instructions with photos are here.

  • Email Natalie Weaver your total pledge amount and planned giving frequency (i.e. weekly, monthly) to have her enter it on your behalf.

  • Contact the Finance Office at 828-254-3274, ext. 202 or nweaver@gcpcusa.org to request a printed pledge card be mailed to your home address.

Click here to watch a video example of how to pledge in Realm.
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 Anna Louise, and any staff member can help you get set up for your meeting if you have questions. 
Spiritual/Pastoral Support
Deacon of the Week
In 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(3/7-3/13): Lynne Meacham email: larkm99@gmail.com
Next week (3/14-3/20): Beth Robrecht email: bethrobrecht50@gmail.com
Prayer List

Prayer requests will stay on the GCPC Prayer List for one month. Please let any staff member know if you (or your loved one) would like to remain on the list for longer.
Iglesia Jerusalem congregation
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Truly and Eric Mount (Marcia Mount Shoop’s parents)
Phoebe Rauscher (Friend of the Bleckley and Merrill families)
Bertilda Arteta (Marta Alcala-Williams' mother)
Paul Rogers’ Mom (in Arkansas)
Sheldon Smith (Beth Robrecht’s brother-in-law)
Addi Hopkins (friend of the Kyremes-Parks family)
The Hopkins family on the death of their daughter Stephanie (friends of the Kyremes-Parks family)
Phil and Pat Cocke (Jerry Bleckley’s friend)
Jennings Palmer and his family (friends of Kathy Jacobs)
Lynne Norris (friend of Mary Lou Nash)
John Hamel (Tim Hamel’s father)
Kit (Robin Gaiser’s friend)
David Good (Amber Cook’s dad)
Midgie Swartz (Allison Blozy’s aunt)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Woody Catoe
John Mount Shoop
Kimo Hyatt
Elizabeth Fisher
Allen Johnson
Matt Wiedle 
Adult Formation
PART Meeting | TONIGHT, Thursday, March 11 | 6:00 PM | Zoom
Tonight we will debrief and unpack the two opportunities last month with Tema Okun and continue to go deeper into the lessons and visualization exercises she shared during the learning lab. PART has also been asked about creating equity norms for council, committee, and team meetings within GCPC. We will begin that conversation and also think of ways to continue to share power and leadership within the Team itself.
All are invited!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 913 1444 5389 | Passcode: 789
The GCPC EARTH Team invites you to join "Growing Together: Restoring Faith, Creation, Justice"

Session 3- Purchasing: Living Simply & Justly | TONIGHT, Thursday, March 11 | 7:00 PM | via Zoom

Setting the Context ♻️ The environmental, ethical, and social impact of our consumer choices, and unpacking the systems that uphold them is complex. To help us engage more deeply and specifically in Growing Together Session 3, we encourage watching these videos ahead of time:

1. If you have not seen The Story of Stuff, begin here. It's a bit dated, but does a great job of outlining the true cost of our linear economy. 

2. If you have seen the Story of Stuff, watch these two short videos: Takeout creates a lot of trash. It doesn't have to. and A Brief History of Plastic

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 505 821 5627 | Passcode: 261818
Lenten Adult Education - Lent of Liberation | Sundays | February 21- March 28 | 9:00 AM | via Zoom
Beginning Sunday, Feb. 21 and going through the Sundays of Lent, conveners of the Me and White Supremacy groups will be leading discussions of the daily devotional Lent of Liberation by Cheri Mills.

This Lenten devotional invites readers to understand and reflect on the ongoing legacy of slavery in America today. Each of the forty devotions includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes to challenge modern readers to the work of liberation in themselves and their communities.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 917 3507 6887 | Passcode: 789
Sunday Evening Bible Study & Prayer Group | Sundays | 5:00 PM via Zoom
Our Bible Study and Prayer Group will be focusing on how selected passages from the Gospel of John speak to our spiritual lives and needs today. Our hope is that this group is a time of support, contemplation, and fellowship, where we can feel the movement of the Spirit and ready ourselves for another week. So please, join us as you can. Contact Richard with questions.

Our last meeting together will be Sunday, March 21st.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 914 8271 3055 | Passcode: 789

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

Circle 1: First Tuesday of each month, 10:00 a.m.

Circle 2:  First Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m.

Circle 3: *Third Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.

Circle 4:  First Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.

Circle 5:  First Monday of each month, 11:00 a.m.
Children & Youth Formation
Pre-K - 3rd Grade Sunday Morning Adventure | 10:15 am | Zoom
You'll get an email every Friday with the Zoom link for our Sunday 10:15am check in. Email Anna Louise if you did not receive the link.
4th & 5th Graders CONNECT Class | Sundays | 5:00-5:45pm | Zoom
Each week, families will receive an email with a unique login for class. If you would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise.
Youth Group | Sunday, March 14 | 5:00-6:30 PM | Zoom
Paint us a picture! The parables of Jesus are rich stories that use images of everyday, ordinary things to describe what the Kingdom of God is like. This week, we'll take a peek into the kingdom together. We'll also continue our preparations for Youth Sunday!

Contact Cat Kessler if you have questions or need zoom information.
Attention current 8th-11th graders! Because of the pandemic, we are moving Confirmation to Fall 2021, with some special programming in the late Spring and a request to participate in one of the summer conferences (info below).

Our theme for the year is "Faith Voyage." This will be a sacred and exciting time to explore your faith in community. And it is a whole lot of fun!

Register for the 2021 Confirmation class by clicking here. This class is for youth who have completed 8th-11th grade by summer 2021. More information about exact times/dates/etc. is forthcoming, but registration will help us plan accordingly and have materials ready.
Middle School Massanetta Youth Conference (Week 3: July 8-11):
This is for youth who will have completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade by this summer. The theme for 2021 is "Rooted in Love." The daily schedule includes recreation, workshops, energizers, worship and many fun activities. The discounted cost is $310 if you register HERE by March 31, 2021 (cost goes up $10 each month). Full/partial scholarships are available.
Senior High Montreat Youth Conference (Week 5: July 25-31):
This is for youth who have completed 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th grade by this summer. The theme for 2021 is "Called to Connect," and we will be renting a house in Montreat together for the week. The schedule includes morning energizers, music, keynote, small groups, recreation, evening worship, and many other fun activities. The discounted cost is $510 if you register HERE by March 31, 2021 (cost goes up $10 each month). Full/partial scholarships are available.
Community Working Together

Is there a microwave – still in good condition but currently unused – languishing in your basement while it awaits a new life? We have a great match for that handy appliance – serving residents at the Red Roof Inn. As you know, a number of Asheville residents have been living at RRI since the pandemic struck last spring. These folks need means for heating meals – and your extra oven is an ideal solution.

To give an oven, please drop it off at GCPC Monday – Thursday, anytime between 9 am and 3 pm - ON A CLEAR DAY, please, as we avoid rain. Leave it at the office door where the two large black mailboxes are located. Please contact Cliff at 828-279-2573 when you arrive with your oven.

We will deliver the microwaves to RRI each week. For more information, you may contact Beth Philipsen at onthecove@charter.net or 828-230-7661 or Tish Anderson at 19ppanc40@gmail.com or 828-712-0929.

Thanks for your support of this project.

                                                 ~ Submitted by Beth Philipsen and Tish Anderson
Snack Donations Needed!
The virtual learning center at Land of the Sky could use help with snack donations. All nutritious snacks are welcome (please no applesauce). Snacks can be dropped off at 15 Overbrook Place. Questions? Please contact GCPC member, Mesheala Sundblade at 828-273-4166.
AVL Greenworks Hard 2 Recycle Event | Saturday, March 13 | 10 AM - 2 PM | 124 Town Center Dr., Mills River
Events will maintain the typical drive-through style, while being a drop-off event. There will be a limited number of staff and experienced volunteers to help supervise and manage the event, but we will not be able to unload vehicles. Please wear your mask, respect physical distance, and stay home if you do not feel safe. Click here to see accepted items.
Burton Street Community Peace Gardens EARLY SPRING PLANT SALE | Saturday, March 13 | 10 AM - 7 PM | 47 Bryant St.
Come out to the Peace Gardens to shop for over 50 varieties of cold-season veggies, herbs, and flowers. Proceeds from the sale support expanded programming for the gardens, a component of GCPC Covenant Partner "Hood Huggers International". Masks and social distancing are required. Payment is by cash, check, or CashApp. More information HERE.
Inspiring prayer from the Peace Gardens' Facebook page:   
May we all be stirred in the damp, dark soil of our souls
Breaking through our hard, protective exteriors
Allowing that vulnerable newness out
And pushing with a strength we didn’t know we had
Let our deepest selves break the surface into the light
May we unfold and unfurl the beauty that only we possess.
UNC Asheville will host the Critical Perspectives Series with three virtual events featuring First Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

The series will be three virtual author lectures throughout the spring semester. The first two public lectures, both in March, will consider the recently published novel, Even As We Breathe, with scholar Kirstin Squint and the novel’s author, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, respectively. The series will conclude with literary scholar Toril Moi. All events are free and available to stream live through Zoom

UNC Asheville hosts “Worlds ~ Words” - a multilingual indigenous speaker series
UNC Asheville will host three virtual talks with indigenous activists and writers in March as part of its “Worlds ~ Words” multilingual indigenous speaker series.

  • Thursday, March 18 | 12:00 PM - Guatemalan poet Wingston González will present “No Budu Please." González was raised speaking Garífuna among his Afro/Black-indigenous community, and his poetry features Garífuna culture, musical narrative, unorthodox rhythm patterns, and theatrical delivery. In addition to poetry, he has worked in the fields of dance, visual arts, music, and artistic action.
  • Thursday, March 25 | 12:00 PM - Mexican and indigenous poet and essayist Judith Santopietro will present “Tiawanaku." Santopietro’s work has appeared in publications such as Anuario de Poesía Mexicana 2006 from Fondo de Cultura Económica, Rio Grande Review, La Jornada, and The Brooklyn Rail, and she is the author of Palabras de Agua. She received the National Poetry Award Lázara Meldiú in 2014, and was a finalist in the International Literary Award “Aura Estrada” in 2017.

For more information, click HERE.
Home sweet home: Native Americans return to their roots in Alabama - Indigenous Maskoke community reflects self-determination
Nearly two centuries after many of their ancestors were displaced from their native homelands in the southern United States, a group of Native Americans is preserving their language and traditions in a unique community in Alabama.

The Ekvn-Yefolecv Indigenous Maskoke Ecovillage was established in 2018 by Maskoke people who wanted to return to their roots and an agrarian way of life.

Click here to read more.
Disparities Experienced by Black Women and Girls Task Force holds first conversation on issues of concern -
Task force to hold series of conversations outlined in General Assembly report
In a candid and perhaps long overdue online conversation, members of the Disparities Experienced by Black Women and Girls Task Force presented “Telling Our Stories,” which provided a look at the major concerns of Black women and girls as outlined in its report to the 224th General Assembly (2020), which has been referred to the 225th General Assembly (2024).

Click here to read the full article.
Racism against Asian Americans decried -
Washington office of PC(USA) calls for an end to hateful acts
The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness issued a statement Monday decrying racism against Asian Americans and calling for acts of hate against them to stop.

The statement was prompted by an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have spiked by 150% in major U.S. cities in 2020,” according to the OPW statement written by the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Associate Director of Advocacy for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Click here to read the full article.
BeLoved Asheville,
GCPC Covenant Partner

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Brokerage Account Changes | BB&T Now Truist

As of 2/24/21, BB&T Securities brokerage accounts are now owned by Truist Investment Services. Our DTC and brokerage receiving account number have changed as a part of the transition. If you would like the updated information for stock or mutual fund donations, please contact Natalie.

Don't forget, you should always let Natalie know the quantitytype, and fund designation for donations when you request a transfer into our brokerage account- many times the donor information isn't visible on our end and we may have a hard time getting it properly applied to your account without a heads up.
Remote Giving

Here are a few different ways to stay up-to-date on your giving 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

Interested in setting up online recurring giving? 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.

If you have any questions, please contact Natalie in our Finance office at nweaver@gcpcusa.org or by leaving a message for Natalie Weaver at 828-254-3274.

Our staff are all still working remotely as the office remains closed due to the pandemic. To leave a voicemail for a staff member to return your call, follow these steps:

  1. Call the office at 828-254-3274.
  2. Listen through the office closure notice, which will then take you to a staff directory.
  3. Enter the first 3 letters of either the staff member's first or last name on your phone keypad (i.e. to reach Natalie Weaver, you'd enter 628 for NAT or 932 for WEA).
  4. You'll be directed to the staff member's individual voicemail, where you can leave a message to be returned as soon as possible.
  5. If you just want to leave a message for the general voicemail box, press 0.   

You can also reach our staff by email- please see our website for each staff member's individual email address. 
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804