Grace Covenant Weekly News | May 23, 2019
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The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”
~ Mary Oliver, "When I Am Among Trees"

Sunday Preview

Sunday, May 26, 2019
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Worship services @ 8:15 & 10:45 AM

Sermon: "Do You Want to Be Well?" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures: Psalm 67; John 5:1-9
Deacon Helpers Wanted!
The deacons have a list of people in our congregation available to provide meals, rides, and other needs to those who can use them, for example, when members have surgery or suffer a loss. When we identify a need, a sign-up is sent out to our helpers, and they can choose what dates to provide a meal, etc. It would be wonderful if we could expand this list. If you are interested, please contact Richard Coble at
Children & Youth Worship Helpers Needed for June
If your child or youth has never participated in worship as an Acolyte or a Pourer at the Baptismal font, we have some wonderful opportunities coming in the month of June. Follow this link for more details, dates, and descriptions:
Many Thanks to Our Sunday Volunteers
“We are a community of faith who seeks to be a church for all people. That is something that God calls us to do and to be and that is something that the Holy Spirit empowers us to do and to be. Being a church for all is not something one person can do or a staff of nine people can do. Being a church for all means we all find ourselves called to be and to do church together. All the unique and particular gifts God has given each one of us help make this a church for all. Each one of us finding the courage to bring our authentic selves to this community is what makes this a church for all. So today we honor the great things that God is doing among us and with us and for us. And we honor the ways each of you shows up on Sundays to make GCPC come alive in Christ’s name!” --Marcia
If you are a Sunday Volunteer and missed the breakfast celebration last Sunday, please stop by and pick up a packet of NC wildflower seeds as a symbol of our appreciation.
Centering Prayer | Wednesday Nights (beginning June 5) | 6:30 - 7:00 PM | Sanctuary
Sacred and shared silence is a profound gift of many religious traditions of the world. And Christianity has a rich and ancient tradition of intentional and prayerful silence as a spiritual practice. There are many gifts in these practices that touch every part of who we are as human beings. Centering silence calms the nervous system and positively supports all body systems. It teaches the mind to quiet and to open itself up to mystery and creativity. Centering silence strengthens our connections to each other and to the world around us. Sacred silence teaches us to listen devoutly, humbly, and with trust. It helps us befriend the unknown. 

It is beautifully simple and a spiritual skill whose gifts goes deeper and gets more powerful the more one practices it. This practice is open to all and is come as you are able. Questions? Contact Marcia.
GCPC Lost & Found is getting crowded. Please come check to see if you are missing anything. It is located in a purple bin under the coat rack near the new women's restroom. (There are also several pairs of glasses in the small bin on top.)
Jewelry Lost & Found

The jewelry items are kept in Sherrie's office and you can call her during the week (Mon.-Thurs., 9-4) to arrange pick up.
Stewardship Corner
Summertime Stewardship

Are you traveling over the summer and don't want to get behind on 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

BANK BILL PAY mails checks remotely, one-time or on a recurring schedule – contact your bank to set this up

ONLINE at - just click GIVE HERE

SMART PHONE with the Give+ Mobile App or by texting 828-266-0126 the amount you’d like to contribute
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
There will NOT be a Creating Sanctuary Team meeting during the month of May. We look forward to reconvening in June.
Power and Race Team (PART)
The Racial Justice Book Series | Thursday, June 13 | 6:00 PM | Garden Room
For June , we are reading Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Eric Dyson.  “One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's  The Fire Next Time  and King's  Why We Can't Wait ." - The New York Times Book Review
Digging Deeper - Native American History | Getting to know our Cherokee Indian neighbors (These events are family-friendly)

Museum of the Cherokee Indian | Saturday, June 8 | | 12–7 PM | Cherokee, NC
An afternoon in the Cherokee Museum, picnic on the grounds and an evening of Cherokee storytelling around a bonfire. You can access the registration form at or there are some hard copies available at the Welcome Desk.
SAVE THESE DATES:     (Registration forms coming soon!)  
Monday, July 8 | “Unto These Hills” Outdoor Drama | 4–10 PM An afternoon picnic on the grounds before the play in Cherokee, NC.
Saturday, August 10 | Oconaluftee Indian Village | 12-7 PM An afternoon in the Oconaluftee Village, picnic on the grounds and an evening of Cherokee storytelling around a bonfire.
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.
Isaiah Rice Historical Photo Exhibition | May 24, 2019 - Aug 24 | Eagle Market Place Community Exhibition Space
The Isaiah Rice Photo Collection, which provides a window into Asheville's African American history through vivid images of life in the city's black community from the 1950s through the 1970s, will be on view May 24-Aug. 24 at the new Eagle Market Place Community Exhibition Space, 19 Eagle Street, Asheville .
An opening reception will be held at the exhibition space from 5:30-8 p.m. on Friday, May 24. The reception and exhibit are free and open to everyone.
The opening reception will be hosted by UNC Asheville’s Office of Community Engagement and its Executive Director, Darin Waters. Waters is also an associate professor of history at the university and is the grandson of photographer Isaiah Rice. 
Earth Team
Earth Team Meeting | Wednesday, May 5 | 5:30 PM | Jerusalem Rm
GCPC Library Highlight
This We Believe: Eight Truths Presbyterians Affirm by Stephen W. Plunkett

When Rev. Stephen Plunkett realized how Biblically and theologically illiterate many of his church members were, he decided to write a book that he hoped would correct the problem. This We Believe is the result. This accessible introduction to the Christian faith offers a hands-on look at the whole story of the Bible in an effort to help the person in the pew grapple with what it means to be a Christian in a world of conflicting ideologies and competing claims. The book presents eight beliefs that form the basis of the Christian faith in the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions. Easy to read and thought provoking.
Education Hour (for all ages) will resume on September 15th!
*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Summer Bible Study – The Gospel of Mark | Wednesdays in June and July | 11:00 – 11:45 AM | Garden Room
"How could such a painful story of fear, betrayal, sufferings and death also be the 'good news of Jesus Christ' (1:1)" asks one commentator of the Gospel of Mark. Come join us as we seek to answer this question through a deep reading of Mark, the oldest canonical Gospel in the New Testament. Together, we will examine what Mark believed about Jesus, how he understood this "Good News" for the world, and what this book means for our lives today. Come to every meeting or stop by when you can. Contact Richard, , for more details. 
*Our regular lectionary Bible Study will resume in the fall.
2019 Summer Women’s Book Series | Last Monday of the month | 6 PM | Garden Room
Join us for a series of book talks. Open to all women of the church. One copy of each book can be found in the church library. Please pre-read the books to ensure lively discussion.
  • June 24 | Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth | Sarah Smarsh
  • July 29 | Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire and Other Ways of Meeting God | Lauren Winner
  • August 26 | If Oceans were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran | Carla Power
Marketplace, AD - VBS: “Love Your Neighbor” | June 24-27 | First Presbyterian
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.

  • old sheets [These will be torn into strips and decorated by the children to be head wraps or prayer shawls]
  • new or barely used pillow cases [The children will stamp patterns along the edge of the opening, and these will be given to Steadfast House]
  • yarn [For belts and simple embroidery]

If you can contribute any of these items for the Marketplace Bible School, please leave them in the black box in the narthex (close to the Children's Library section). Email Heather Ferguson at with questions.
VRQ - BBQ Cook Team | Next date: June 4 th   | 4:45 or 5:45 PM | 1329 Tunnel Rd.
Inviting you to join the BBQ Cook Team at the VRQ on the first Tuesday to help prepare, cook and serve the evening meal! ABCCM-Veterans Restoration Quarters provides transitional housing for more than 200 US Armed Force Veterans. If this service fits your schedule come at 4:45 to help prepare and cook or 5:45 to serve the evening meal. After serving the meal we join the veterans, sharing the meal and conversation. The evening usually ends by 7. No kitchen clean-up—it is a good time and good camaraderie. Questions? Contact Bill Neeriemer, .
Calling all PRITCHARD PARK VOLUNTEERS! | Sunday, June 16
Rick Noble here. Before I go any further I want to encourage all of you to express our collective THANK YOUs to David Bailey and Cathy Byers for their dedicated service while organizing GCPC’s Pritchard Park outreach over the last several years (the founding leader was Jane Lee Vondette). They have decided to “pass the torch” and I happened to come along and pick it up.
Although the program is operating very smoothly, “new management” is interested in finding ways to further develop its impact on both GCPC volunteers and people experiencing homelessness who come to Pritchard Park on Sunday morning at 9 am. I’ll be seeking input from GCPC veteran volunteers and potential new volunteers as we plan for the next 12 months. CLICK HERE to see a brief review of the GCPC who/what/how/where/when of Pritchard Park. Thank you in advance!
Ministry Partner News and Events...
Asheville Habitat for Humanity
Did you know that Asheville Habitat has a Home Repair Program for qualifying applicants? This program enables local low-income residents to live more comfortably and more safely in their own homes. Services include heating/cooling system repair and replacement, roof repair/replacement, various interior and exterior repairs, modifications for accessibility, and more. If you have questions or need additional information about applying, please call 828-251-5702.
Hood Huggers International Fundraiser! Click here for full newsletter.
GCPC 20s/30s "Tacos and Bibles" | TONIGHT, Thursday, May 23 | 6:00-7:30 PM | White Duck Taco ( 388 Riverside Dr. )
Do you have a favorite passage? How about one that confuses you? Or one that challenges you? If you are in your twenties or thirties, bring a Bible passage to discuss and a belly ready to be filled with some delicious tacos on us!  RSVP HERE !
GCPC Softball Team -
"The Prez-Beez"
Everybody come out and have some fun supporting our WINNING church softball team! Our amazing Prez Beez play TONIGHT, May 23 at 8:00 pm.  All games are only an hour long and are played at the ball field behind the Montford Recreation Center. 

For the full Prez-Beez schedule, click HERE .
Annual Blood Drive | Sunday, June 2 | 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Desperately needed:  At least 10 additional blood donors for the Red Cross Blood Drive on Sunday, June 2. We are short of our goal this year and encourage you to support this important mission. Call Marilyn Schmidt (694-0869), register at the table in the Narthex on May 26, or check at the registration table in Fellowship Hall the day of the drive to see if there have been cancellations.
GCPC Goes to the Ballpark! | Friday, June 21 | 7 PM | Tourists’ Game
Join us for the ballgame! Grace Covenant has reserved 100 seats. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under) and seniors. Please call the church office or email Sherrie to reserve your tickets. Tickets must be purchased by Sunday, June 16 th . Make checks payable to GCPC.
New Summer Worship Times!
June 2 - September 1
Service times will be 8:15am and 10:15am.  
(No Education Hour during summer)

Summer Choir will also begin on June 2 at 9:15am!
Anyone who wants to give singing a try is encouraged to show up on Sunday mornings at 9:15am in the sanctuary.  We will spend about 40 minutes learning music for that day and then lead worship at the 10:15am service. It's fun, low-pressure and minimal commitment. . . come try it once or sing all summer!
Nursery Volunteers Needed
In the past year, for one reason or another, several of our wonderful Grace Covenant members who served as volunteers in our nurseries needed to take a break. In most cases, our substitute volunteers have helped to fill the holes. On occasion, we have needed to bring in extra members of our paid Nursery staff.

As we look toward populating the Nursery Volunteer Schedule for 2019-2020, would you consider volunteering for one of our teams? Being part of a team means that you serve alongside our Nursery Staff for 6 Sundays (out of 52 Sundays) in one of our three nursery rooms (Infants, Toddlers or Preschoolers). The time commitment is 10:15AM-12:00PM September through May and 10:00AM-11:30AM June-August.

Please consider this opportunity to serve Grace Covenant by helping to grow our children. If you have questions, contact Heather Ferguson, .
GCPC Hosts the Presbytery Meeting!
GCPC will be hosting our bi-annual Presbytery of Western North Carolina meeting on October 26, 2019.  We are expecting between 180-220 people in attendance. If you would be willing to help, please click the link below and tell us how you would like to be involved.  RSVP to Volunteer  Thanks!
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:  Lynn Milner email:
Youth News
Thank you for a wonderful Youth Group and Sunday School year!
On Sunday, June 23rd, GCPC will be honoring our high school graduates during the 10:45 worship service.  If you will be graduating from high school, please save the date and take a moment to  fill out your graduation information form here BY Sunday, May 26th .   THANKS!
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) 
Deborah Strong (Robin Gaiser's cousin)
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)
James Martin (Stacy Shelley's dad)
Rebecca Wells' brother, Jamey
Natalie C.
Sandra Rummel & Family (friends of the Kavalhunas)
Jennifer Moore (Amanda Pressley's daughter)
Dorothy Zuck (Pat Durham's mother)
Richard Stump (Marcia Mount Shoop's friend)
Michelle Elhert (Bill McNeff's friend)
Jennifer Vaughn (Mary Berg's friend)
West Asheville Presbyterian Church
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Bob Higgins
James Harwell
Joyce Summerlin
Cory Hartbarger
Mary Ellen Horne
Sherrie McCleary-Small
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
American Friends of Combatants for Peace present:
Programming from the Heart of Israeli & Palestinian Peacemakers
(Click HERE for flyer)

Two Sided Story (film and discussion) | Thursday, May 30 | 7-9:30 pm
Congregation Beth HaTephila, 43 N. Liberty St., Asheville
Co-sponsored by Congregations Beth HaTephila and Beth Israel

These films and events document heroic Israeli and Palestinian activists who cross political and personal boundaries in order to transform violence and hatred into peace, justice, and equality. Free and open to the public. 
"Milestones and Living Stones - An Evening with Archbishop Emeritus Elias Chacour" | Wednesday, May 29 | 7:00 PM | Upper Anderson, Montreat
An invitation from former PCUSA Moderator Heath Rada and the Pilgrims of Ibillin.
A three-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Chacour was born to a Palestinian Christian family in the village of Biram in Upper Galilee, and, along with his whole village, experienced the tragedy of eviction by Israeli authorities in 1948. He was ordained and appointed as priest of St. George Melkite Catholic Church in Ibillin, and fulfilled his vision of bringing children, youth and adults of different faith traditions to live and work together in peace.
He is the author of Blood Brothers and We Belong to the Land , both making the bestseller lists around the world. Learn more about Elias Chacour HERE .
In order to be assured of seating, you are asked to make a reservation. You may sign up online by following the prompts at this link: (you will receive an e-ticket upon making your reservation) or contact Lynn Jostes at 202.445.9975. The event is free and open to the public, so please invite a friend!  
Intersectional and Intergenerational Organizing Skills & Strategy | Thursday, May 30th | 6:30 - 8:00 PM | Firestorm Books ( 610 Haywood Rd. )
Two renowned radical justice organizers discuss learnings and challenges for successful movement-building in an era of ascendant white supremacy.
Click HERE for more information.
The Opioid Crisis: The Faith Community Responds Clergy Breakfast | Thursday, June 27 | 9:30 - 11:30 AM | First Congregational Church (20 Oak St.)
Are you interested in learning more about the state of our state when it comes to opioids? Are you interested in learning more about ways your congregation can get involved with the Opioid Crisis?

If so please join the NC Council of Churches at one of their Clergy Breakfasts for the Opioid Crisis the Faith Community Responds. At these breakfasts, you will learn about the state of our state, what is harm reduction? what congregations can do to get involved? and what resources are available in your community.

If you have any questions feel free to email
Spiritual LGBT: An Interfaith Panel | Thursday, June 27 | 6:00 - 7:30 PM | AB Tech Auditorium
Join us for a discussion of the intersection of spiritual and LGBTQIA+ identities. Presented by Youth OUTright WNC and sponsored by PFLAG, Asheville Jewish Community Center and Open Hearts.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804