GCPC Weekly News | March 19, 2020
Photo by  Thong Vo  on  Unsplash
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Although the church building is officially closed,
Grace Covenant is connected and being church in new ways!
Staff Zoom Meeting
Garden Steering Team Meeting
Youth Group Zoom Meeting
Faith Sharing w/ Children - Live Stream
Worship Preview | Sunday, March 22, 2020
Fourth Sunday in Lent

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Homily:  "See Change" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture:  John 9: 1-41
GCPC has started a listserv to receive the Daily Devotionals via email. If you would like to be on this list, please email Anna Louise .

Other GCPC mailing lists include Youth, Children & Families, 20s/30s Group, Veterans Restoration Quarters and Community Gardeners. If you would like to be included on any of these lists, email Anna Louise and indicate your preferences.
*If you have pictures of "GCPC life" in these difficult days that you would like to share in the newsletter, please email them to Anna Louise .
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 (3/15 - 3/21):  Lynn Milner  email:   lynnmilner@charter.net
Next week (3/22 - 3/28):  Cathy Froehlich  email:  oremont2@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) 
Karen Luderman (Robin Gaiser's cousin)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Suzy Carter (David Carter's wife and Yvonne Smith's friend)
Eveline Damiano (Lisette de Groot's daughter)
Joseph Tierney (Paul Tierney's father)
Melissa Matherly Bowers (friend of Rick and Lynne Noble) 
Family of Maria Mason (Serge and Carol Kavalhuna's friend)
Howard and Julia Clark (Elaine Blake's parents)
Glen & Tom Kilbourne (parents of Janet Martin)
John Waskey (Anna Hamel's uncle)
Jonathan Hettrick (Friend of Mary Craig)
Mona Johnson (Angie Everett’s mother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence Riedesel
Elizabeth Fisher
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Sarah Frye
Dean Presson
Bill McNeff
Daniel Breen

Our sympathy and support are extended to Paige Leahy and family following the death of her stepdad, Dale Sides, on March 12th. Please keep the family in your prayers.

(All Zoom conferences will require this password to participate: 789 )
C ommunity Working Together
In the midst of a worldwide health crisis, J. Herbert Nelson and Diane Moffett write a pastoral letter to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Click here to read.
ACS Meal Help for Children
Asheville City Schools  will also be feeding kids between 11:30-1:00 at the following sites:
  • Hillcrest
  • PVA
  • Klondyke
  • Livingston 
  • And Drive-thru at Isaac Dickson
Buncombe County Schools Breakfast/Lunch
Starting March 16, Buncombe County Schools will be serving breakfast from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays to anyone 2-18 years of age at the following locations. (Weekend meals will be distributed on Fridays during lunch times at all sites.)

  • Black Mountain Primary
  • Charles D. Owen High
  • Emma Elementary
  • Haw Creek Elementary (Starting March 23)
  • Hominy Valley Elementary
  • Johnston Elementary
  • North Windy Ridge Intermediate
  • Oakley Elementary
  • Pisgah Elementary
  • W.W. Estes Elementary
  • Weaverville Elementary
  • West Buncombe Elementary
  • Woodfin Elementary

In addition to their school meal sites, Buncombe County schools are delivering meals to high population areas of our community for children 2-18 years of age. Call 828-255-5932 to let us know about the needs in your area. (Please note, you must be in an area eligible for this service.)

*No identification is necessary to receive a meal.
Here are some links to Facebook groups that have been set up for community support via local groups, or those planning grassroots mutual aid in response to COVID-19.
Here is who we know is active organizing in Buncombe County:
  • Appalachian Medical Solidarity - health care workers with experience doing on the ground disaster relief
  • Asheville Solidarity Network - activists currently advocating for policies to ease impact on low income neighbors (e.g. rent and mortgage moratoriums)
  • Asheville Survival Program - Facebook group for sharing resources and information
  • BeLoved Asheville - social justice group with deep connections to houseless community, currently collecting supplies for folks on the streets
  • Tepeyac Consulting - organizing a "Coping with Corona Collective" to create online conversations and workshops
is a special episode of the Healing Justice Podcast which offers some illuminating insights, particularly from a disability justice perspective. And as things unfold, there are many, many layers to unpeel and address when looking at this pandemic through a social justice lens.
Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States: The Imperative for Civil Rights Advocacy, Monitoring, and Enforcement
"A widely impactful public health crisis is upon us. The tentacles of its impact are many and pervasive, from social, to economic, to environmental implications. As a civil rights organization and as stewards of human rights, this outbreak calls on us to maintain vigilance and lift our voices to demand the policies and practices that will preserve the wellbeing of all." Click HERE to read the full document.
Poor People's Campaign
We know that this unfolding public health crisis results from a deeper, much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality and of a society that despises the poor and ignores the needs of 140 million poor and low-income people. 
In times such as these it is all the more important to enact the demands of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival if we want to fully address this crisis.

And please  join us tonight  for a Live Conversation with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and MoveOn.org about the Moral Response to the dual crises of Pandemic and Poverty.  Click here to tune in  or see us on Facebook.
Message from Homeward Bound
My organization - Homeward Bound - is very intent on helping this population of people. And also to keep their staff and volunteers safe. So they have asked that no volunteers over the age of 60 continue for now. 

But we do need 14 volunteers each week to keep our essential services open. To provide mail, phone messages, showers, and a chance to go to their containers to switch out clothes. We have changed our schedule to 7 days a week, 8-12 noon each day. We are working in direct partnership with Haywood Street Congregation - which will provide coffee and food on at least 4 days. 

I am looking for people willing to volunteer for a 4 hour shift once a week. That means I need 14 people. Or I will make it a 2 hour shift and take 28 people. These positions are not in closest contact with our clients. But the services are essential. I only need 2 people a day.

Are you available to help - or do you know of others who might be. I do not want to put anyone in danger. But they need us. And I have chosen to be available a lot of the time. 

The new schedule begins on Wednesday. The Homeward Bound Staff is all working through this crisis. We are putting special emphasis on cleaning the building each day to make it as sanitary as possible. I will train whomever volunteers. It is a community effort.

If you can help - or know others who can - please let me know asap. I deeply appreciate your help.

Joe Hoffman
Volunteer Outreach Coordinator
Homeward Bound
BeLoved House
GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
Dear GCPC,

Martha Ensign Johnson and I are in southern France now for a long-planned vacation in a little village we have come to for twenty years now. We flew in last week to busy streets and open shops and restaurants. I was invited to preach this past Sunday at the local Methodist church with our host pastor-friend translating for me. All that changed big time here.

Village life goes on, but all shops and restaurants are closed and as of March 17, we are restricted to our homes/apartments except for shopping, medicine or necessary work. No traveling around, no wandering the streets, no visiting museums. But the mood here is encouraging. The President, the scientific community and the medical community are working together with trust in each other. We are staying with friends who care for us and watch out for us. We hope to fly home on April 7, but each day brings new changes. And while there are shortages of some things in the stores, the wine and the cheese remain abundant!

Each morning I spend time reading through the Bible. I have recently been marking every time the Bible says  do not fear . And by the end of II Chronicles, I have found this phrase on forty-ninetimes since Genesis. That has been an important component of our time away, during a pandemic in a foreign country; to not fear…but trust that God is sovereign and all will be well. 
~ Don Johnson
Don Johnson and Marca.....joined
GCPC Still Growing

Welcome to the 2020 Planting Season at GCPC’s Community Garden! We are going to plant the garden, but the way we do it will be different than before. Thank you to all the volunteers who donate their time to this life-giving work. 

Given the COVID19 global pandemic and the directives of the CDC, Buncombe County Health Department, and State and Federal officials, the Garden Steering Team has developed the following planting protocol:  

  1. Planting Teams will be no more than 5 people and work in 90 minute shifts. 
  2. Planting Teams shifts will have a 90 minute buffer period between finish and the start time of the next team. 
  3. All garden volunteers must bring their own tools and their own gardening gloves. TOOLS AND GLOVES CANNOT BE SHARED AMONG VOLUNTEERS. 
  4. All garden volunteers will practice social distancing per CDC guidelines and be at least 6 ft from each other at all times. 
  5. Anyone who is sick or who has been around someone who is sick should not volunteer in the garden. 
  6. All garden volunteers will wash their hands before and after volunteering. 

Thank you for observing these provisions to do our part to keep the world as safe and healthy as possible during the COVID19 pandemic.  PLEASE DO NOT JUST SHOW UP; wait for someone to contact you for team work . We want to keep the GCPC Community Garden thriving in these difficult days. May it be a symbol of new life and promise in these challenging times. 
Stewardship & Sustainability
It is providential that we built our 2020 budget on pledged dollars at GCPC. And we are grateful that so many of you give online. In this unprecedented and difficult time, your gifts are enabling the church to continue our important work in our community. If you have not signed up for online giving, please do so. As the COVID19 situation sets in in the USA, your gifts will help sustain all of our ministries and the mini-economies that we support without interruption. Thank you 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 www.gcpcusa.org/ways-to-give - just click GIVE HERE
  • SMARTPHONE with the Give+ Mobile App or by texting 828-266-0126 the amount you’d like to contribute
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
GCPC Out and About Online
March 2020
Enneagram Gatherings 

Monday evening & Friday morning gatherings resume tomorrow, March 20th, electronically using Zoom
Mondays, 6-8pm 
Fridays, 10am-12noon
Contact Carol for more information:    cmhovis@gmail.com
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium -
Online Version
This free 2-hour, self-guided online version of Awakening the Dreamer is available 24/7 to take when you feel so inspired. During this course you’ll explore what role you can play in bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet. 

This online course is similar to the in-person Symposium, except that it is missing the interactive exercises, which are a valuable part of the in-person event.

Access the online course through this link:  https://landing.pachamama.org/awakening-the-dreamer-2-hour-online-course
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804