Grace Covenant Weekly News | March 21, 2019
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didn’t the night end, wasn’t the earth
safe when it was planted
didn’t we plant the seeds,
weren’t we necessary to the earth,
the vines, were they harvested?
~ Louise Glück, “October”
Sunday Preview

Sunday, March 24, 2019
Third Sunday in Lent

Worship services @ 8:15 & 10:45 AM
Education Hour (for all ages) at 9:15 AM

Sermon: "Repentance Again?" by Richard Coble
Scriptures: Isaiah 55:1-9; Luke 13:1-9
Note from Session:
Over the last few months, Session has been discussing updating our church's mission statement. The last version, found on our website, is heartfelt and beautifully written. So much has happened in the realm of social justice in the last decade and our church continues to strive to be on the edge of integral change that Session feels the wording of our mission statement needs to reflect those profound changes. We seek to create a mission statement that better reflects where GCPC stands today facing today's issues as followers of Christ.  

In the coming weeks Session will be reaching out for your ideas, words, images about Grace Covenant to help stretch our imagination. Our plan is to have a new Mission Statement to present to the congregation by Advent 2019.
SERVE Fair this Sunday, March 24!
See full announcement under the SERVE section of newsletter.
SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, April 28th
Rev. Jimmie Ray Hawkins, who serves as the Director of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington DC, will be visiting with us at GCPC.
He will preach both services that morning with a 9:15am class in-between entitled: "Presbyterians & Advocacy: From Abolition to the Poor People's Campaign."
He will also lead a Sunday evening workshop at GCPC entitled, "Jesus Call to be a Matthew 25 Church". Matthew 25 announces a clear link between following Jesus and the work of justice, hospitality and advocacy. We will examine how Christian denominations and congregations are adopting Matthew 25 as an intimate element in their mission to proclaim the good news of the gospel. 
Click HERE for Rev. Hawkins full bio.
Pilgrimage to Montgomery 2019
SAVE THE DATE: October 17-20, 2019

Montgomery Pilgrimage to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration

Registration ends on April 8th.
Grace Covenant has 15 spaces and All Souls has 15 spaces. There will be a waiting list. Click here to view details.
Stewardship Corner
Now That the 2019 Stewardship Campaign is Done!
The GCPC community definitely stepped up to the plate this year with lots of people pledging for the first time and many people significantly increasing their giving beyond previous years’ levels. So, now that we can breathe easily knowing all our ministries for 2019 are funded, perhaps we can step back a little and think about how we all make our decisions about how much we’re going to contribute to our church. 

Some people have grown up in families where tithing is taught from birth. While the amount of the tithing can vary, a ten percent tithe is traditional. That notion comes from Old Testament language about setting aside a portion of the crop for the poor. 

Is there something magical about ten percent? Unlikely, since Jesus’s way seems to be more about the spirit in which we do things than some formula. If we give ten percent or any other amount to the church out of our abundance and maintain a selfish or stingy heart, are we really doing what God would have us do? Lent calls us each to think about how our giving reflects our faith. May we all live (and give) out of gratitude to God, a desire to serve others, and a commitment to strengthening our community.  
Guatemala Committee
Guatemala Committee Mtg. | Tuesday, April 2 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Room
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Creating Sanctuary Team Meeting | Sunday, April 14 | 11:45 AM | Indie Room
Power and Race Team (PART)
The Racial Justice Book Series | Thursday, April 11 | 6:00 PM | Garden Room
For April, we are reading Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing by Joy DeGruy.

"While African Americans managed to emerge from chattel slavery and the oppressive decades that followed with great strength and resiliency, they did not emerge unscathed. Slavery produced centuries of physical, psychological and spiritual injury. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained to heal." (Amazon)
PART Meeting | Thursday, April 11 | 7:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
Part of what PART does is to inform Grace Covenant about
racial equity work going on in the larger community.
The following are some events that PART recommends.
Thursday Evenings | 6-8 PM | Open to the public
(Free childcare for Claxton Families only; starting at 5:45pm)


Thursday, March 21 | Asheville's Hidden Racial History
Some of Asheville's racial history is hidden away, and some of it is hidden in plain sight. Who were the people behind names like Vance, Merrimon, Patton and Dickson? What people and places have been mostly forgotten? Learn about the research Claxton students have done, and join us in a discussion about how we as a community are affected by who and what we choose to remember.
Earth Team
GCPC Bird Walk | Saturday, April 13th| 8:00 AM | Beaver Lake Sanctuary
Depending on how active the birds are the trip will last around 2 to 3 hours. Walking is fairly easy around the lake and boardwalk. Bring binoculars if you have them. Questions? Email Rick Pyeritz at or call at 828-273-5954.
Straws Sales Return!!
Fill your Easter baskets with colorful washable, reusable straws!
Paper Straws (red)
4 - $1
24 - $5

Plastic Reusable Straws
1 - $2
6 - $10

Metal Straws
1 - $2
3 - $5

We will be in the narthex after church taking orders. Or you can email Betsy Richards at

All income from the sale of these straws goes to GCPC’s solar panel fund. We hope they also encourage all of you to care for God’s creation and to eliminate single use plastics from our lives. 
This Sunday's Education Hour (for all ages)
Adult Education Lenten Term | March 10 – April 14 | 9:15AM

Pressure Points | God of the Oppressed: The Black Liberation Theology of James Cone | Choir Room
"It is my contention that Christianity is essentially a religion of liberation. The function of theology is that of analyzing the meaning of that liberation for the oppressed so they can know that their struggle for political, social, and economic justice is consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any message that is not related to the message of liberation of the poor in a society is not Christ's message. Any theology that is indifferent to the theme of liberation is not Christian theology." James Cone (1936-2018) was a pioneer and a leading voice for Black Liberation Theology. 
*This week we will be covering Chapter 6 , (click for link) A Black Theology of Liberation.  Click here for the "Common Patterns of Whites" worksheet.
Facilitators: Marcia Mount Shoop and Richard Coble

The Improv | I Am What is Right with the World and What is Wrong with the World: A Mindfulness Based Approach | Fellowship Hall
What is wrong with the world? What can I do about it? Our study group will discuss current issues causing fear, anger, and anxiety in today's society. The documentary "I AM" which explores conflict, greed, violence, racial inequality and environmental concerns through interviews with religious leaders, scientists, environmentalists, and philosophers will serve as the foundation for our study and discussion. These authors, poets, and teachers hypothesize that the solution to the world’s problems are right in front of us. A key message from the February 10 th sermon "Leave and Follow" was that "We can transform our world by imagining it differently, dreaming it passionately via all our senses, and willing it into creation." Other resources for the group will include The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Facilitators: Paul Rogers and Christi Mobley

Digging In | Subversive Scripture: From Study to Practice | Jerusalem Room
While the intellectual study of the Bible can produce valuable information and knowledge, there are other ways to engage Scripture that transform us and our actions. Through a variety of learning practices and exercises, we will cultivate a deeper understanding of both our sacred texts as living words (Hebrew 4:12, 1 Peter 1:23), and ourselves as the living words of God (2 Co. 3:2-3). We will subvert overly-intellectualized readings of Scripture, for "It is not enough to learn Torah — one must be Torah by living in such a way that others can learn from your example" (Dr. David Ariel). By experiencing our sacred texts, ourselves, and each other in embodied ways, practicing Scripture can become both delightful and liberating.
Facilitator: Keaton Hill
[Contact Heather or Samantha ]

Toddlers (ages 2-3) | "God Loves Me" | Toddler Sunday School Room (downstairs, Children's Center)
Preschool/Kindergarten (ages 4-5) | Godly Play | Preschool Sunday School Room (downstairs, Children's Center)
Elementary (grades 1-3) | Godly Play | Temple Room (upstairs, Education Wing)
Elementary (grades 4-5) | "CONNECT" | Indie Room (upstairs, Education Wing)
Middle School (grades 6-8) | "Collaborate" Curriculum | Middle School Room (upstairs, Education Wing)
Senior Highs (grades 9-12) | "Wired Word" Curriculum | A-Frame (upstairs)
Confirmation Class | Senior High Room (upstairs, Education Wing)

*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Winter Women's Memoir Series | 4th Monday of the month | 6 PM | Garden Room
Join us for a series of book talks focusing on memoirs written by people of faith. Open to all women of the church. One copy of each book can be found in the church library. Please pre-read the book to ensure lively discussion. *Childcare provided.
March 25Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage and Fighting Back by Jackie Speier
Facilitator: Mary Lou Nash
Forgetting the Former Things Book Talk by Tamara Puffer & Joyce Hollyday | Sunday, April 7 | 5 - 6 PM | Fellowship Hall
In August 1996 Tamara Puffer was a young, newly married violinist-turned-pastor serving a large suburban church. Her growing work with people living on Atlanta’s streets was beginning to reshape her theology and her calling, but a serious car accident derailed her carefully planned career path. Forgetting the Former Things is a rare tapestry of first-person faith journey woven with gritty theological reflection and persistent hope. She finds solace in the stories of biblical women as she also wrestles with negative images of disability in scripture. She embraces her self-described role as a “minister of vulnerability” in this troubling national moment—as jobs, healthcare, and affordable housing are evaporating for so many, as countless people feel terrorized by discrimination or the threat of deportation—boldly casting her lot with others whose marginalization cuts deeper.

Joyce Hollyday is the author of several books, including Clothed with the Sun: Biblical Women, Social Justice, and Us, and is a pastor serving immigrant women in Madison County.
*Books will be available for purchase.
Bible Study | Wednesdays | 11:00 AM | Garden Rm
Join the pastoral staff to read and study our sermon texts for Sunday. No preparation needed; just come ready to open scripture and discuss!
SERVE Fair | THIS Sunday, March 24 |
11:45 AM | Fellowship Hall & Atrium
All year, GCPC funds --  your funds --  help the greater Asheville community, from schoolchildren to neglected and disadvantaged adults. Come meet representatives from our ministry partners after 10:45 worship on March 24. They look forward to speaking with you in the Fellowship Hall and Atrium! 

The McDonalds lot is reserved for Ministry Partner parking this Sunday as we welcome them to our GCPC SERVE Fair.
VRQ—BBQ Cook Team | Next cook date: Tuesday, April 2nd | 4:45 or 5:45 PM | Veterans Restoration Quarters
On the First Tuesday of each month, a team of folks gather at the Veterans Restoration Quarters, 1329 Tunnel Road, to grill hamburgers and prepare supper for more than 200 US Armed Forces Veterans living in transitional housing at the VRQ— an ABCCM Ministry. Team volunteers begin to gather at 4:45 to prepare the meal and fire up the grills; to help serve the meal come at 5:45. The evening meal is served at 6 and the team joins with the veterans at their table for supper. Commitments can be for one Tuesday or more.

Harry Summerlin serves as the meal shopper earlier in the day. When the volunteers arrive they begin grilling, chopping onions, cooking beans, preparing cole slaw, and assembling hamburgers or working on the serving line. Those who arrive early can self-select their favorite work. Our GCPC team is joined by Black Mountain First Baptist Church folks each month. To be added to this list, please email Anna Louise.
Ministry Partner News and Events...
News from Asheville Poverty Initiative with the 12 Baskets Café: (Kairos West Community Center, 610 Haywood Rd , West Asheville ~ Entrance off of State St.)
  • Saturday, March 23rd | 10 AM - 12 PM | Join us for an informal deescalation/trauma informed workshop. We'll meet at the Cafe and spend time on how to best accompany those with whom we share the space during lunch!

  • Breaking Bread | Sundays | Dinner: 5:30-6pm, Clean-up: 6-6:30pm, and Worship: 6:30pm | The new Sunday night simple meal and worship. It's a much smaller gathering so if you're looking for a way to dip your toe in or can't find time during the weekdays - come on over. Good food, great fellowship, awesome time!

Food Connection presents "Chefs In Action" | Thursday, April 4 | 6 - 9 PM | Celine & Company "On Broadway" ( 49 Broadway )
No fresh food should ever end up in the trash while people go hungry. So far, Food Connection has rescued and delivered over 100,000 fresh meals! Come to Chefs In Action to see what goes into making a real food connection. Guests will enjoy a night of fun, food, drinks, music and fundraising. Tickets available at
*More reason to celebrate: The Charlotte chapter of Food Connection has just launched!
Pisgah Legal presents "Jazz for Justice" | Thursday, April 11 | 5:30 - 8:30 PM | Renaissance Asheville Hotel ( 31 Woodfin St. )
You are invited to attend Pisgah Legal’s Annual Jazz for Justice Celebration!
Join us for a fun and meaningful evening that will include: a cocktail hour, live music, stories highlighting the power of justice, and award presentations to local leaders, friends, supporters and volunteers. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
Community Response to Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose | Tuesday, April 23 | 11 AM - 1:30 PM | Trinity United Methodist Church ( 587 Haywood Rd. )
Buncombe County Health and Human Services CARE Team presents an interfaith seminar on this rising concern in our community, in partnership with Trinity United Methodist Church. Two of our Ministry Partners, Steady Collective and BeLoved, helped in organizing this event. Click HERE to register.
J.O.Y. (Just Older Youth) Group Gathering | Wednesday, March 27 | 11:30 AM - 2 PM | Fellowship Hall
The next J.O.Y. activity is Bingo and pizza in the Fellowship Hall! We'll need a head count by Tuesday, March 26th so please email Linda Pyeritz at  or respond on the J.O.Y. group FaceBook page.
Men @ GCPC | Thursday, March 28 | 8:00 AM | HomeGrown ( 371 Merrimon Ave. )
Join us for fellowship and discussion. For our next meeting, we will be focusing on the Weave project. You can find out about it in this David Brooks column and in his " Manifesto." Contact Richard with questions.
Church Potluck to Welcome New Members | Sunday, March 31 | 12:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
Everyone is invited to a potluck to celebrate our new church members that have joined since June 2018! Please bring a heavy appetizer or a dessert to share. Let's welcome our new members in true GCPC style (and remember to wear your nametag so we all get to know one another)!
Mild Cognitive Impairment Support Group (MCI Group) | Wed., April 3 | 12:00 PM | Garden Room
This support group introduces techniques for daily living with such issues, led by Paul Rogers, a retired physician in our congregation. We meet the 1 st and 3 rd Wednesdays of every month. *New participants welcome at any time. Contact Richard, , with questions.
The 2019 Flower Chart is on the bulletin board next to the elevator. There are just a few Sundays left! Please consider signing up to give flowers one week. The cost is $45, payable to GCPC. Please send your dedication to Anna Louise
Deacon of the Week
Each Sunday morning there will be a deacon available for everything from praying with you to giving you a tour of the building. This deacon will be wearing a purple sash and stationed in the narthex before 10:45 worship and in the front of the sanctuary after worship. He or she is also available during the week if you or someone you love needs assistance from our board of deacons.
This week:  Peter Rosal email:
Youth News
Youth Sunday Musicians & Soloists Important Rehearsal | This Sunday, March 24 | Before Youth Group | Sanctuary
Attention youth who are playing an instrument for Youth Sunday OR who are one of the soloists/main singers for "Man in the Mirror," please arrive early to Youth Group for a special practice before other youth arrive.  
3:45pm arrival:  Man in the Mirror Musicians/Soloists (with Katie)
4:15pm arrival:  Musicians for Youth Sunday (with Jeff).
***Contact  Katie  or  Jeff   with questions.
YOUTH SUNDAY Final Prep Day! | This Sunday, March 24 | 5 - 7 PM   | GCPC
We hope that all of our youth will participate in Youth Sunday AND we need all of our youth to attend this important prep day. We will be giving out speaking/sound/ushering roles, rehearsing music, preparing materials, and Rev. Marcia will be joining us to work on public speaking. Dinner will be provided.  See early arrival for Musician/Soloist rehearsal above . Contact  Samantha   with questions.

*  YOUTH SUNDAY Final Rehearsal! | Saturday, March 30 | 9:00am - 12:30pm  

* YOUTH SUNDAY!!!! | Sunday, March 31  | 9:00am - 12:30pm
Summer Opportunities: 
Montreat Senior High Youth Conference Week 6: July 28 - Aug 3 
Massanetta Middle School Youth Conference Week 3: July 11-14
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
Sherry Harcke (Les Stradley's friend)
Pat Cocke (Les Stradley’s friend) 
Glenn Russell (Robin Gaiser's brother)
Nancy and Richard Schaadt (Donna Robertson's sister and brother-in-law)
Louise Seitz (Janet Schifflin's friend)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
June Collins (Carolyn Tingle’s mother)
Robin Smith (Beth Robrecht's sister)
Adehgua staff & El Progreso Microloan Group (Guatemala)
The Adehgua community and their churches (Guatemala)
The Families of Felipa and Rosa (Guatemala)
Reyna Martinez, President of El Progreso Microloan Group (Guatemala)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Olga Malinoski
James Harwell
Joyce Summerlin
Marty Johnson & Gabe Boehm
Cory Hartbarger
Robin Gaiser
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
Enneagram Gatherings
Join us for weekly two  hour enneagram gatherings 
Fridays,  10:00am & Monday s ,   6:00pm in the A-Frame @ GCPC
Contact Carol Hovis  about cost & details. All are welcome; you can come once or every week.
Click HERE to see flyer.
Enneagram Retreat | Saturday, April 27th 
Experiencing the Arrows of our Type
Mental Health Conference | Saturday, March 30 | 9 AM - 2 PM | Bethesda UMC ( 516 Piedmont Rd, Easley, SC 29642 )
The mental health conference aims to accomplish three major objectives: To raise awareness of the role of the church in addressing various forms of mental illness and mental health; to decrease the stigma of mental illness; and to identify community resources for churches, those dealing with mental illness and their caregivers. Cost is $7 and includes lunch. Click here for brochure.
* To register for conference CLICK HERE .
"Angst: Raising Awareness About Anxiety" Documentary Screening & Discussion | Sunday, March 31 | 5-7 PM | Black Mountain Presbyterian | RSVP required
People of all ages struggle with anxiety, but our youth feel it especially acutely these days. We encourage our GCPC youth, parents and entire community to attend this relevant film and panel discussion.  More information here .
The Asheville Symphony Guild presents Musical Feast: The Legacy of Wilma Dykeman | Sunday, April 7 | 3:00 PM | Beaverdam Run Condominium Clubhouse
You are invited to a gathering highlighting Asheville's Wilma Dykeman. A true Renaissance woman, she was an author, historian, educator, journalist, and environmental advocate. She championed causes that remain relevant today: water pollution, the rights of women, and the preservation of the culture of Appalachia.
Jim Stokely , Wilma's son, will discuss his late mother's memoir, "Family of Earth."
Robin Gaiser will entertain on the Appalachian dulcimer.
Book your tickets online at
CoInspire Conference | October 7-10, 2019 | Montreat Conference Center
Montreat Conference Center will host CoInspire, the second in a series of conferences addressing systemic racism in the church. In response to the racism and violence in our world, this event seeks to bring together people of faith 
in order to disarm prejudices that divide us and equip each other for practicing resurrection as new creations in Christ. We will delve into the questions around the toxicities we are currently breathing into our bodies and exhaling into the shared air. CoInspire will examine ways that we, as members of Christ’s body, might co-inspire one another to liberate imagination for new ways of being, and examine ways we can conspire to eviscerate the racism within our church. We will seek to identify those things we want to breathe in to precipitate a pathway to eviscerating the racism in our country and our world.
Traci Blackmon, executive minister of justice & local church ministries for The United Church of Christ and senior pastor of The Kind United Church of Christ, will be the conference’s preacher. Click HERE for full press release.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804