GCPC Weekly News | May 13, 2021
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For more information about GCPC worship, building status and current COVID safety, please see the latest GraceNote.
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Staff Meeting 5/11
Covenant Ringers Handbell Practice
Worship Preview | Sunday, May 16, 2021
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Ascension Sunday
PW Sunday
Sermon: "Waiting and Witnessing" by Richard Coble
Scripture: Acts 1:1-11


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Celebrate Samantha!
Drive through celebration to bless Samantha | Saturday, May 22 3:00-4:00 PM | GCPC parking lot
We are still in COVID, so this opportunity to share gratitude and best wishes will honor the protocols we continue to follow to keep our community safe.

If you would like to contribute to a love offering for Samantha and her family, go to GCPC's giving website (https://onrealm.org/gcpcusa/give/now), click the dropdown list under Fund and select Samantha Gonzalez-Block Love Offering. Checks can be made out to GCPC with "Samantha" in the memo line and mailed to the church office at 789 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804.
Pentecost
PC(USA) Special Offerings
April 5 - May 23, 2021
The Pentecost Offering unites us in a church-wide effort to support young people and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world.

A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60% is used to support children-at-risk, youth, and young adults through ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

WAYS TO PLEDGE FOR 2021:
  • 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:

  • Sundays "Pre-K - 3rd Grade Sunday Morning Adventure" @ 10:15 am (email Anna Louise for zoom info)
  • Sundays "4th and 5th Grade Connect Class" @ 5:00 pm (email Anna Louise for zoom info) (Connect class on 5/15, see email for details)
  • Sundays "Youth Group" @ 5:00 pm - (email Cat Kessler for zoom info)
  • Wednesdays “Zoom Bible Study@ 3:00 pm
  • Wednesdays "Choir Chat" @ 7:30 pm
  • Every other Thursday "Men of GCPC" @ 8:30 am (May 20, etc.)
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 (5/9-5/15): Bill McNeff email: wpmcn6@yahoo.com
Next week (5/16-5/22): Nancy Gaskin email: nancy.gaskin@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
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Truly and Eric Mount (Marcia Mount Shoop’s parents)
Bertilda Arteta (Marta Alcala-Williams' mother)
Sheldon Smith (Beth Robrecht’s brother-in-law)
Charles Williams (Libby Kyles' father)
Leone Alexander (Beth Kissling’s friend)
Family of Juaco Alcala and for his wife, Janeth (Aunt and Uncle of Marta Alcala-Williams) 
Alyse Pryzant Pribish (Ashley Cooper's mom)
Carol Lisi (Robin Gaiser’s friend)
Healing for Davion Chambers
John Maddrell (Martha Seddon’s step-father)
William Johnson (Marty Johnson’s dad)
Bob Higgins
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
John Mount Shoop
Elizabeth Fisher
Doris Prak
Susie Wheelis
Dan Blake
Betsy Rhodes
Don Moe
Ida Edge
Erin Tolar
Formation/Education
Adult Formation
PART (Power & Race Team) Meeting | TONIGHT, Thursday, May 13 |
*8:00 PM | Online
For PART this month, we will be participating in an event led by Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones on the 20th Anniversary of the White Supremacy Culture characteristics article. The cost for the event is $10 per person. Grace Covenant can cover this fee to all GCPC participants as needed. 

Registration and other information can be found at this link: https://www.dismantlingracism.org/website-launch.html 
Grace Covenant Earth Team Hike
with LES STRADLEY
Thursday, May 20 | 10:00 AM
Want to join us for a 3-4 mile hike with great views and wildflowers a’plenty?

MEET: at Graybeard Overlook trailhead on the Blue Ridge Pkwy (first overlook N. of Craggy Gardens) at 10am. We’ll hike the Mountains to Sea Trail out to Lunch Rock and back.
BRING: Lunch, water, sunscreen, hiking shoes, dog on a leash.
SIGN UP: Text Les Stradley at 828-329-3332. Limit of 10 people.
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering: 
"Farewell to Samantha &
End-of-Year Celebration!"

Thursday, May 27 | 6:30 PM | Highland Brewery (Outdoor Meadow Area) 12 Old Charlotte Hwy #200, Asheville, NC 28803

If you are in your twenties or thirties (or nearly these ages), let's give thanks for a wonderful year together by sharing in an evening of conversation, games and laughter. 

There will be a food truck, as well as drinks & beverages available for purchase. We we will meet at the meadow section (which is to the right of the indoor brewery) and will have a few tables saved for our group.

Please wear a mask when not eating/drinking and plan to be socially distanced.

The Racial Justice Book Series returns! | Sundays | May 30, June 27 & July 25 | 9:00 AM | via Zoom
The Racial Justice Book Series will return this summer with three books by Black female authors about the systems, consequences, and remedies of the deep entrenchment of white supremacy culture in our country and church.

We will meet on zoom during the Sunday school hour the last Sunday of each month. The first book is a great and lengthy one, so go ahead and get started!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 972 3906 6867
Passcode: 789

Wednesdays “Zoom Bible Study” @ 3:00pm
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 Grade Connect Class CRAFT NIGHT this Saturday, May 15 | 7:00 PM
Please see Connect class email for details.
If you would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise.
Youth Group | Sunday, May 16 | 5:00-6:30 PM on Zoom
The celebration continues this week as we share gratitude for the year we have had together! We'll be playing games and looking back on our year of "new horizons!"

Contact Cat Kessler for zoom information or if you have questions.
Graduation Sunday & Youth Group End-of-Year Celebration | Sunday, May 23 | 3:30-4:30 PM for Middle School & 5:00-6:00 PM for Senior High | Weaver Park (200 Murdock Ave)
We're gathering face-to-face (with masks, of course!) at the picnic shelter at Weaver Park to celebrate our high school graduates, our awesome leader Samantha, and everyone who has made youth group great this year!

We'll meet in two groups so that we have plenty of space for social distancing:

  • Middle Schooler will gather at 3:30-4:30 PM.
  • Senior Highs will gather at 5-6 PM.


Be sure to tune into the GCPC YouTube channel on Sunday morning as we honor our graduating seniors during worship!
SIGN UP FOR CONFIRMATION (Fall 2021):
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.
Community Working Together
Pisgah Legal ACTION ALERT
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, counties and municipalities across WNC are expected to receive an unprecedented amount of federal stimulus funding to help their communities recover from COVID-19. Buncombe County is expected to receive $50 million and the City of Asheville is expected to receive $26 million.

Now is the time to let local officials know that investment in housing and economic development is crucial for creating a just and equitable community. 
Will you join Pisgah Legal in advocating for these funding priorities? 
  • Affordable housing
  • Homelessness
  • Early childhood education
  • Financial education (tax credits)
  • Transportation
  • Workforce development

The deadline is TOMORROW, Friday, May 14.
GreenWorks Hard 2 Recycle Event | Saturday, May 15 | 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM | 1298 Patton Avenue, Asheville 28806 | (Parking lot next to Aaron's Inc)
Iglesia Jerusalem, our sister church in Guatemala
Did you know that there's a Facebook group for GCPC and Iglesia Jerusalem, our sister church in Guatemala?

This is a great way to foster communication and friendships between the two churches! We invite you to join us as we share pictures, prayers, messages -- whatever you feel called to do. Join us in our fellowship across the miles!

Racial Justice Coalition presents.... "Talks from the 'Ville"
The Racial Justice Coalition has launched a Video Series, “Talks from the ‘Ville,” lifting up Black organizers and activists in Asheville who aren’t necessarily “moving with the mainstream.” In these conversations, community members talk about the solutions they are exploring and implementing to address the challenges that impact their own communities. 

Future video series episodes will be uploaded to the RJC Asheville YouTube Channel as they are completed.
May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month
Our VOICE is hosting a series of virtual webinars on diversity within the Asian-American experience; the intersection between Anti-Asian hate and gender-based sexual violence; and tips for ethical bystander intervention. We invite you to the following event via Eventbrite:
  • The Intersection of Racism, Xenophobia and Sexual Violence: Experiences of the Asian-American Community | Wednesday, May 19th, 1-2:30 PM | TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
BeLoved Asheville ACTION ALERT:
Support a Path to Citizenship
Join us in supporting the We Are Home campaign, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational coalition calling on the Biden administration and Congress to take immediate action to protect millions of immigrants who call this country home and create a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who live and work everyday to make our country strong. The relay aims to unite communities throughout the nation through celebrating essential workers and calling for the permanent protections they deserve. 
Buncombe County to Create New Plan
Buncombe County is beginning a 2-year process to create a new Comprehensive Plan that will guide future growth in the next 20 years. A comprehensive plan is not limited to studying land use components - it can include other areas of focus such as safety, public health, affordability, multi-generational needs, equity, and more. 

Committee members will serve a three-year term beginning around August 2021 with an anticipated commitment of one meeting per month. Different phases of the planning process may require more than one meeting per month. The Steering Committee is also seeking input from one high school and one college student, in addition to the general public. The deadline to apply is May 17th!

For those interested in participating, here is the application in English, and here is a Spanish language version.
Safety Justice Challenge Workgroup Seeks Community Members
In February 2021, Buncombe County received an additional $1.75 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant is to continue building on efforts in collaboration with local leaders and the community to rethink the local criminal justice system, safely reduce Buncombe County’s jail population, and eliminate racial inequities. Community engagement is an essential component of justice system reform, and the Safety Justice Challenge (SJC) is seeking 10 community members to serve on a workgroup.

This is a paid opportunity. Get details and how to apply here for English speakers; here is a Spanish language version. Deadline to apply is May 28th!
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
Click to read the May, 2021 Issue
Working Wheels Repair Program Expands in 2021
Working Wheels took advantage of the opportunity last year to pilot our Repair Program. While their regular Vehicle Program serves participants without cars, their Repair Program enables them to support participants who currently own a car but aren't able to afford necessary repairs. 
"Seeing The Racial Water" With Dr. Robin DiAngelo | Saturday, May 22 | 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Dr. DiAngelo takes participants through topics including white socialization, systemic racism and the specific ways racism manifests for white progressives. This will be a combination of lecture, structured reflection, and small group discussion designed to provide a comprehensive system analysis and identify personal complicity. It is an excellent and powerful foundational training that presents an undeniable perspective on the systemic nature of Racism and the need for a systemic remedy.

FACING THE TOXIC TRENDS OF WHITENESS | May 21- 24th
A 4-Day Communal Anti-racist intensive for white people with Carlin Quinn, featuring a half-day workshop with Dr. Robin DiAngelo
This 4-day intensive will provide participants with a deeper understanding of white supremacy and the toxic trends of whiteness it produces. We will unearth and investigate our own whiteness, and examine how it expresses itself in our relationships, communities, organizations and culture.

FOUNDATIONS IN SOMATIC ABOLITIONISM
with Resmaa Menakem, Co- Facilitated by Carlin Quinn
Somatic Abolitionism is an embodied anti-racist practice and process of culture building. This event offers a foundational base for developing the skills to cultivate somatic abolitionism personally and communally.. This course is available to the general public, and to organizations entering a year of learning with Resmaa Menakem.
 
Somatic Abolitionism is an emergent process, and a form of maturation into a more integrated human experience. It is an embodied anti-racist practice of cultural building. It is a way of being in the world. It is a return to the age-old wisdom of human bodies respecting, honoring, and resonating with other human bodies. 
 
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden News
Teams have begun their regular Wednesday and Saturday morning rotations although rain has caused at least one cancellation. Team 4 harvested 41 lb of greens last Saturday gratefully received by the WNC Rescue Mission, and there should be that much or more to be harvested again this Saturday.

Summer plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra) are busy establishing their roots at First Step Farm. We are expecting those may need to go in the ground near the end of the month.

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Summertime Stewardship 
Are you looking forward to time outside and away from screens, but worried about staying on top of your pledged giving? Don't worry, there are ways to give easily remotely, even automatically!
 
MAIL gifts to the office at 789 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 (the office remains closed but we are checking the mail)
 
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 or through your Realm Connect smartphone app
 
TEXT "giveGCPC" to 73256 on your mobile device, then follow the prompts
1st Quarter Statements Emailed 4/21/21

If you gave January 1 - March 31, you should have received an email on 4/21/21 with a link to your 1st quarter giving statement. These will come through our software from notifications@onrealm.org with a blue link towards the bottom, which will open your contribution statement in a PDF. This shows the details of all donations made in the 1st quarter and your pledge summary at the bottom, if applicable. 

As a reminder, you can access your giving history and YTD gifts in real time by logging in at onrealm.org/gcpcusa and clicking the Giving tab. You can adjust the filter to show specific dates or funds. 

Questions or concerns? Contact Natalie Weaver in the Finance Office at nweaver@gcpcusa.org or leave a message at 828.254.3274 and she will return your call. 
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.
Of Interest....
Do not give in, do not give out, do not give up -
Co-Moderator Bentley examines the rupture between the gospel and social justice
Although there are times when injustice in the world seems unbearable or unchangeable, the Rev. Gregory Bentley says there is “a way out and a way forward” despite formidable barriers that have “ruptured” the relationship between the gospel and social justice.

From The Presbyterian Outlook...



"The inherent problem of whiteness
in our polity"
by Jill Duffield



From Emergence Magazine...


"Finding the Mother Tree"
An Interview with Suzanne Simard

In this in-depth interview, Dr. Suzanne Simard—the renowned scientist who discovered the “wood-wide web”—speaks about mother trees, kin recognition, and how to heal our separation from the living world.

STAY CONNECTED
HOW TO CONTACT STAFF DURING BUILDING CLOSURE:

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