Grace Covenant Weekly News | March 28, 2019
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“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday Preview

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Youth Sunday

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

Sermon: "Be the Change"
by Paige Kemper, Emma Maney & Kaegan Parks
Scriptures: Psalm 32; LUke 15:1-3; 11b-32
Church Potluck to Welcome New Members | THIS 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 name tag so we all get to know one another)! Hosted by Presbyterian Women.
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering opportunity
OGHS is the single, largest way that Presbyterians join together to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world. This offering helps sustain the important PC(USA) programs like Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self Development of People. Fish banks will be passed out this Sunday in Sunday School for children and OGHS envelopes are available in the pews for adults (please indicate OGHS offering in memo line) . We will collect the OGHS offering on Palm Sunday (April 14). More info is available on credenzas outside sanctuary. Click HERE for more information.
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.

8:15 & 10:45 AM Worship Services: Rev. Jimmie Hawkins preaching
9:15 AM education class: "Presbyterians & Advocacy: From Abolition to the Poor People's Campaign"
5:30 PM - Simple Dinner & 6:15 PM - Workshop "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.  RSVP required to Anna Louise, , by Monday, April 22. 
 Cost: $5. Limited to 60 participants.

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

8 spots left! Registration ends on April 8th.
There will be a waiting list if spots fill up.
Click here to view details.
Stewardship Corner
Designated vs. Undesignated Giving
Did you know that our annual operating budget has been structured to include many of the ministry areas that were previously funded by special offerings? In the past, special offerings such as the Capacity Campaign funded specific projects, but as we wrapped up the renovations, the ongoing maintenance and repairs are returning to our operating budget. 

This year, our congregation responded to the call of $1.02m pledge goal and hit a new record with the highest number of pledges ever received at 239. That means the income has been pledged to cover the activities, business operations, and community outreach budgeted for 2019. 

The money that comes into the general fund, whether pledged or unpledged, helps us continue to grow and financially support the vision here at GCPC. If a gift is given with no specific restriction, it is applied to the general fund. Inevitably, there are unexpected expenses that arise during the year, and the general fund keeps those needs covered. If there is additional unrestricted income, we are able to add on extra projects, ministry funding, and build up our reserve savings. 

In addition to general fund giving, we also have donor restricted funds. When a gift is given with a donor restriction, such as a "music fund" or "community garden," that money is held indefinitely and only spendable on the designated project. The majority of our teams and councils now have expenses planned into the operating budget, so when these donor restricted funds are exhausted, the budgeted allowances kick in. 
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
“When I woke up this morning, I was so happy when I suddenly realized, ‘It’s Soup Day!’ I got out of bed with excitement!” With these words, a Pisgah Legal Services staff member greeted our GCPC hosts on Souper Wednesday last week. Each month our lunches feed both the bodies and the spirits of the steadfast, committed PLS professionals who assist and support the marginalized and the underserved of our WNC communities.
Gratitude to Allison Falk and Dave Blozy for their Greek wedding soup, to Susie Bleckley for vegetable soup, to Beth Kissling for cornbread, to Jan Brunk for brownies and cookies, to Lisette DeGroot for apples, and to hosts Susie, Beth, and Tish Anderson.

April 17 is our next Souper Wednesday. We need soup for both April and May. GCPC provides the crockpots; we ask each soup maker to make two six-quart pots of soup – either hearty or vegetarian. To volunteer to help with this always rewarding event, contact Glenda Burgin at  or Nancy Gaskin at
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
We will be going more deeply into some of the study resources Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, provides for communities just like ours.
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, April 11: Divided America: Finding Common Ground
How can we “Be the change” in our own families and communities? In this session we will recognize the divisions that exist in our country and discuss tools and skills that will help us forge a path towards resilience and peace. FREE for anyone to attend with childcare provided to Claxton families only.
Public Lecture by Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative | Thursday, April 25 | 7-9 PM | UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena
Bryan Stevenson, the attorney, activist and best-selling author who  led the team that created the first national memorial to victims of lynching,  will speak at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Seating at this  free, unticketed event is first-come, first served.  Kimmel Arena’s “Clear Bag Policy” will be in effect; please do not bring backpacks.  Parking is limited at UNC Asheville; please consider using public transportation.

Stevenson is the  founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) . Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Stevenson recently won a historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. He also is the  author of award-winning New York Times best-selling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption .
Earth Team
Earth Team Meeting | Wednesday, April 3 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Rm
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 1, (click for link) The Cross and the Lynching Tree. 
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.
Marketplace, AD - VBS: “Love Your Neighbor” | June 24-27 | First Presbyterian - AVL
Marketplace is for children ages 3 years old (by January 1, 2019 AND fully potty trained) through children who will be completing 5th grade. All forms and payment are online this year at: .
Youth and adult volunteers are also needed. Email Heather Ferguson for more information.
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!
The SERVE Fair was a great success! Many thanks to all of our Ministry Partners who came out to participate and share about their important work in our community and world. Thank you also to SERVE Council and everyone who helped make this event possible.
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. To be added to this list, please email Anna Louise.
Ministry Partner News and Events...
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!
Green Opportunities (GO) "Showcase Dinner" | Friday, April 5 | Two Seatings: 5:30 & 7:00 PM | Southside Kitchen ( 133 Livingston Street)
Kitchen Ready students will design and execute the dinner menu for the evening. The event is open to the community but seating is limited. The culinary team requests a minimum $10 donation the day of the event to help off-set the cost of preparation. Dress is casual and a RSVP is required. 
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.
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.
“Winner Winner Wednesday Dinner” | April 10 | 6:00 PM | Fellowship Hall
Take a break from cooking and make some space for connecting with your church community. This meal will be catered from Moe’s with delicious barbecue and sides. These events are intergenerational. *RSVP to Sherrie by 12:00 pm on Monday, April 8th so we can have an estimate. If you forget to RSVP, we hope you'll still come!
PW April Circle Meetings

#1 | Tuesday, April 2 | 10:00 AM | Sarah van Gunten & Marlene Walshin | GCPC Fellowship Hall | Study Leader: Peggy Rada

#2 | Tuesday, April 12 | 7:30 PM | Heather Hudson | 4 North Valley Dr., Weaverville | Study Leader: Denise Snodgrass

#3 | Thursday, April 11 | 7:00 Pm | Debby Vance | Vermont Ave. | Study Leader: Grace Hall

#4 | Thursday, April 4 | 7:00 PM | Frances Johnson | 23 The Old Run, Fairview | Study Leader: Mary Lou Nash

#5 | Monday, April 1 | 10:00 AM | Baptist Home | Study Leader: Susie Churchfield
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:  Caroline Wyrosdick-Webb email:
Youth News
YOUTH SUNDAY Final Rehearsal! | Saturday, March 30 | 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM   | Sanctuary
Please arrive on time to this mandatory and exciting final practice. We will run through our "Be the Change" worship service. Donuts and breakfast snacks will be provided. * Please let Samantha know ASAP if you still would like to participate, but could not attend last Sunday. We would love to have you! 
YOUTH SUNDAY!!!! | Sunday, March 31 | 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM   | Sanctuary
It's finally here! We will be putting our finishing touches on our service and preparing to lead a great worship service together. Be sure to wear your Youth Sunday attire (purple "Be the Change Shirt, black pants and clean shoes). *Breakfast snacks will be provided, along with cupcakes afterwards.  No Youth Group this evening .
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)
Thomas Pack III (Mesheala Sundblade's boyfriend)
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.
Enneagram Retreat | Saturday, April 27, 10 AM -3:30 PM
Experiencing the Arrows of our Type
Each ennea-type has 2 resource points called Arrows. We will sit in circle according to our type and have opportunity to move to our Arrows in the circle, exploring how these resources show up for us. This retreat is open to everyone; those brand new to the enneagram system and those who already know their type. Contact Carol Hovis for more information: .  
"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 .
Etude 22: Meditation on the Aleph-Bet | April 6 @ 7:30 PM and April 7 @ 4 PM | St. George's Episcopal Church ( 1 School Rd. )
ETUDE 22 is back after 4 sold-out performances in November, 2018. All 10 dancers, narrator and musicians return for two performances at the Center for Art and Spirit in Asheville! 

As clearly as the breath meets mouth and tongue to form speech, so the limbs ride on the breath to create dance. Join us for an intimate evening of dance and music inspired by the soulful mystical stories of the ancient Hebrew Aleph Bet and their pathways to self, community, love and reverence. 
For tickets ($20) visit Etude22.BPT.ME.
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
Faith and Conscience Convocation: A Call for Accountability for Torture | Sunday, April 28 | 2 - 5 PM | UNCA's High Smith Student Union - The Blue Ridge Room South (Room 203)
The NC Council of Churches, Carolina Jews for Justice, and the ACLU of North Carolina will convene people of faith and conscience in Asheville to explore the findings of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture's September 2018 report and to address the responsibilities of public officials and the citizens of NC to repair the damage done to those who were rendered to CIA torture sites on flights based out of NC public airports. Please see the attached flyer for details.
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