GCPC Weekly News | May 21, 2020
Photo by  Anders Nord  on  Unsplash
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
20s/30s Campfire
Staff Meeting
Worship Preview | Sunday, May 24, 2020
Seventh Sunday of Easter

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Sermon: "Something's Happening Here" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11

Update your Zoom!
Zoom 5.0.3 is now live and older versions of Zoom will stop working on May 30th. Please be sure to update your zoom to the latest version.
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 Sherrie, and any staff member can help you get set up for your meeting if you have questions. 

GCPC's Got Talent is getting an extreme makeover! 

That's right!
We're planning a live Cabaret performance on Zoom at 6:00 p.m., Sunday, June 14. 

Don't worry if you never got around to the talent show - now you can look forward to live on Zoom for your church family. 

Want to sing or play a solo? Want to perform a magic trick, juggle, dance, or share pet tricks?  Perform solo or with the whole family, act out a mini drama or share your gift of speaking in spoonerisms?  The possibilities are endless (as long as you keep your act to 3-5 minutes!) We will accept enough acts to fill up one hour on Zoom so don't be shy and don't delay. 

Send Jeff an email stating your desire to share a talent along with a brief description of what you'd like to do. All those participating will have a zoom rehearsal earlier in the week prior to June 14 and then we will gather with our church family online to share our talents on Sunday, June 14. 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us!
Earth Team News
What can you do for the EARTH during lock-down when you’re already ‘staying home and staying safe”?

PLANT MILKWEED  for Monarch and other butterflies!  The Earth Team will have small milkweed starts at the church at the far left door to the church by the courtyard by Monday 5/25 (Memorial Day!).  Please email or text Betsy Richards-Smith ( larkspur0318@gmail.com  or (770) 548-0862) to let us know if you would like some milkweed so that we will be sure to have enough.

More Light Presbyterians

On June 7 we will celebrate More Light Sunday! 

Registration is now open for both the More Light Sunday  Worship Service  and the   Out of Order Streaming Release Party .

The day’s events will begin at 4pm (ET) with Worship, where we will all be blessed by the preaching of Rev. Laura Cheifetz and a worship service led entirely by LGBTQIA+ people.

At 7pm (ET) we will host a Streaming Release Party for Out of Order , followed by a panel discussion with the cast and crew of this groundbreaking documentary at 8pm (ET). The Out of Order documentary follows the lives of a group of LGBTQIA+ Presbyterians called to ministry as they navigate the ordination process and the delicate work of inclusion beyond policy change. Out of Order offers audiences a glimpse into what it looks like to navigate the reality of gender transition and lived sexual identity as a person of faith. 
We're in this together...
Grace Covenant can help your stimulus check get to impacted families if you would like to share it with our larger community in that spirit. Some GCPC members have already sent theirs in and Marcia is confidentiality disbursing those to impacted families. 

Thank you for your continued generosity. If you would like to participate, please put "Pastor's Discretion" in the memo line of your check and let Marcia and Natalie know that you are sending it for that purpose. 

If you have questions, please contact Marcia .
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 (5/17 - 5/23):  Betsy Rhodes  email:   betsyrhodes@charter.net
Next week (5/24 - 5/30):  John Curry  email:  jcurryavl@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) 
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) 
Glen & Tom Kilbourne (parents of Janet Martin)
Jonathan Hettrick (friend of Mary Craig)
Mike Arim (friend of Ken and Ednamae Fisher)
Bud Darnell (Jerry Bleckley’s cousin)
The Moore Family (friends of Jim and Martha Branden)
Anne Z. (friend of Jim and Martha Branden)
Laurie Allen (Amber Cook’s cousin)
Paula Kelton (Mary Bridges’ mom)
Jeb Kramer (Nancy and John Kramer’s grandson)
Nancy Hoyt Duncan (friend of Rick and Lynne Noble)
Sharon Meares (Moderator of Presbyterian Women in PWNC)
Emma Ivory (Carolyn Tingle’s friend)
Hettie Lou Garland
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Elizabeth Fisher
Doris Prak
Roslyn Carney
Dean Presson
Bill McNeff
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
John Mount Shoop
Carol Kavalhuna
Carolyn Crew
Susan Holt

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Thanksgiving for the Life of Bob Busey will be held this Saturday, May 23 @ 10:00 am via GCPC's Youtube channel ("GCPC Video"). Click here to join the service . In these difficult times of global pandemic we are grateful for this online opportunity to celebrate Bob's life. There will be no in person gathering at the church.
Racial Justice Book Series | TONIGHT, Thursday, May 21 | 7:00 PM | via Zoom
In May, we are reading  How to be an Antiracist  by Ibram X. Kendi. Contact Richard for details on how to join the meeting.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
"Zoom Education & Formation" | Sunday, May 24 | 8:30 AM
All are invited! We will be discussing the chapters 2 & 3 of Barbara Brown Taylor's book, Holy Envy . You are encouraged to purchase the book, but Richard can also send you a pdf of the chapters if you contact him directly at rcoble@gcpcusa.org .

 The *new* zoom link to the meeting is: https://zoom.us/j/99391251799
(Contact Richard for password)
Virtual Youth Group | Sunday, May 24 | 5:00 - 6:30 PM on Zoom
We'll play some games together, check in with one another and work on some cool ways to honor the end of the school year. Join us for fun and fellowship!
Contact Samantha for details.
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents
Carol Hovis continues facilitation of  enneagram  zoom gatherings for  GCPC parents  next  Wednesday, May 27, 6:30-8:30pm . All parents are welcome. If you don't know your enneagram type, contact Carol.   Email  Carol  if you would like to participate. 
GCPC Zoom Speaker Series | 7:00 PM | Every 4th Thursday |
  • May 28 - "Hope Springs Forth Brightly!" with Phyllis Utley - In November 2019, the City’s Public Art & Cultural Commission completed a two-year project resulting in Asheville’s latest public art piece, entitled Hope Springs Forth Brightly by Art Ecologie and local artists Joseph Pearson and Phyllis Utley. The two installations serve as a gateway to the historic Block area of downtown and pay homage to the many Black businesses and residences lost during urban renewal in the 1970s. In addition, the work envisions an equitable future for Asheville. Lessons from the Ancestors can help us recreate a brighter future for all as we re-emerge from our current economic downturn. Let's explore the possibilities together.
  • June 25 - Meta Commerse
  • July 23 - Susanne Walker Wilson and Audi
  • Aug. 27 - DeWayne Barton 
Summer Adult Education: "Beyond Belief" | June 7 - July 19 | Sundays | 9:15 - 10:15 AM via Zoom
Marcus Borg was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity and internationally known in both academic and church circles. This summer, we will be delving deeply into his work and living in his questions about the possibilities of belief and action in our modern world. We will be meeting over zoom and utilizing  "Beyond Belief," a new curriculum by "Living the Questions." Facilitated by Tim Hamel.

C ommunity Working Together
Haywood Street Clothing Bin Update
Due to Coronavirus, Haywood Street Congregation has temporarily closed the clothing closet and are unable to accept and process donations at this time. The blue bin will be removed from the church parking lot until further notice.
North Carolina Justice Center presents "Mountains of Hope"
Join us Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. online via Zoom for a special virtual conversation about Western North Carolina.

Despite COVID-19's burden on our state, our mountain communities continue to be resilient and hopeful, and we at the NC Justice Center remain committed to our mission of  reducing poverty and building an economy where all families and communities can thrive. 

We've teamed up with  BeLoved Asheville  and  WNC Workers' Center  for a special virtual conversation, and you're invited! You will not want to miss this unique online event. It promises to be a wonderful occasion, with like-minded folks sharing real stories of hope: neighbors and strangers supporting each other and finding solutions together.

Our conversation will share on-the-ground experiences, advocacy work, and uplift grassroots efforts across Western North Carolina. We will also include an update on the incredible work The NC Justice Center is doing on behalf of all North Carolinians.

Let us inspire you to join our cause and advocate for all North Carolinians!

The steering committee for this virtual conversation is:
Patsy Davis, Frank Goldsmith, Rev. Milly Morrow, and The Honorable Ray Rapp
When:  Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 5:00 PM
Where:  Online; pre-register from the comfort of your home!
Cost:  Free!
Questions?  Contact Kim-Marie McLellan at 919-856-3185 or  kim_marie@ncjustice.org
Pisgah Legal Center
Support Funding for Rental Assistance
Half of Asheville households are renters. Amidst massive layoffs and economic insecurity, many people don’t know how they are going to make their rent. 
The City of Asheville has an opportunity to alleviate some of the strain for local renters. Through the CARES Act, the city will receive  $615,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds,  known as CDBG. These block grants are used to “strengthen communities by providing funds to improve housing, living environments, and economic opportunities, principally for persons with low and moderate incomes.” 

City staff has indicated that that  food security, homelessness, and rental assistance  are their priority issues.  Currently CDBG is the only governmental funding source that can be used for rental assistance of up to 3 months.  

Take Action
Can you take 5 minutes to send an email to City Council urging them to use CDBG funds for rental assistance? Click below for a sample email. 

Once your email is ready, you may send it to all Council members at  AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov
The Hypocrisy of “Illegal” and “Essential”
Failing to put quotation marks around the words “illegal” and “essential” in the title of last week’s CST insert was a missed opportunity to underscore its core message: the hypocrisy inherent in the American attitude toward undocumented workers during this pandemic. “America still wants it both ways. It wants to be fed. And it wants to demonize the undocumented immigrants who make that happen,” says Alfredo Corchado, correspondent for the  New York Times

Vulnerable immigrant workers are central not only to American agriculture, but also to the dairy and poultry industries, healthcare, meatpacking plants, hotels, and restaurants. In the healthcare industry alone, there are 30,000 DACA recipients (i.e. “Dreamers”). 

While they feed the nation and struggle to feed their families, they face the daily threat of deportation. Right now, they are also doing it at great risk to their own health and the health of their families. They are doing so without hazard pay, a stimulus check, or even free COVID-19 testing. 

~ contributed by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
GCPC Still Growing
Community Garden Update
On Saturday team 4 harvested 56.5 lbs of kale, collards, and chard for Southside Kitchen.  

Garden rows 1, 2, 4, and 11 have been tilled and prepared for planting.  

Teams (working when the weather allows this week) are harvesting greens and planting tomatoes, squash, and eggplant.
If you’re interested in additional garden work opportunities , volunteer to be on the substitute list (to be contacted for garden activities other than your team work days), the pesticide spray training list, and/or the lawn mowing (between planting beds) list by sending an email to betsywilson1111@gmail.com ."
GCPC Diaspora
Dispatches from GCPC scattered around the globe
My life has totally changed in the last few months. I never thought I would need to drive to Michigan to shelter in place and leave Ashville behind. The first two weeks home I was just mad, angry, tired and upset that this pandemic was going on. I was having a hard time moving forward to create my new normal. Change is not something I take on well when it happens. My safe happy place and where I thrive the most has always been my routines and sticking to a strict schedule. Now that they were gone, I had to start over and make my new routine here in Taylor, Michigan. It took some time but now I have my entire week planned in advance with meetings, grocery shopping, staying connected to friends and family and of course seeing my housemates several times a week that helps keep me grounded.   
Technology has been an added part in staying connected to everyone and to be able to participate in virtual meetings with my housemates and be able to attend church services and 20/30s activities. Zoom has become my best friend over the last three months. 

Since going into quarantine, I have noticed the power of touch and how important and powerful it is. The ability to not be able to give hugs to anyone, see anyone from my church family and friends is very hard. I look forward to the day when I can run and play with my two year old niece and be able to see my church family again in the flesh instead of little tiny boxes on a screen.   

    I will leave this writing with my favorite scripture. I think it is very fitting for the times we live in now. This verse holds a special meaning as it is the verse I received when I become an official member of the church through confirmation. Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV) – For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

~ Deanna McDonnell, YAV and GCPC community member

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Thank you for your generous giving! Your gifts are enabling the church to continue our important work in our community. If you have not signed up for online giving, you can do that  here . You can also mail your checks to the church. Without you, the church could not continue its ministries in these difficult times. Thank you, again, for your generosity and your faithfulness! 
IRA, Financial Advisor, & Charitable Distributions

If you're giving through a third party and having a check sent directly to the church, please be sure to ask your adviser to include your name and fund designation on the distribution so we can properly apply it on your contribution statement.
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
"Little Women" : Live Virtual Production | Saturday, May 30th | 7:30pm EST | Asheville Community Theater (ACT) | Free
Rev. Samantha Gonzalez-Block will be performing as Marmee in this now live virtual production of Little Women at ACT. She is thrilled to invite her GCPC family to attend from the comfort of your homes. Little Women is a classic story, with themes that still speak into today. The show will be live-streamed through Zoom. It will not be recorded, so you will need to see it in real time. This event is FREE and all are welcome!   Reserve your tickets here .
May 2020
Virtual Enneagram Gatherings 

Subtype Gatherings:  Sundays, 1:30-3:30pm May 24, 31

Weekday Gatherings,  Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm & Fridays, 10am-12noon

Topic: Relationships between different types

All are welcome; you can participate once or every week. 
Basic knowledge of your enneagram type is suggested.

Contact Carol for more information:    cmhovis@gmail.com
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804