GCPC Weekly News | May 6, 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!
Youth Sunday 5/2
Staff Meeting 5/4
Jazz hands from the Worship Council 5/4
Men of GCPC 5/6
Worship Preview | Sunday, May 9, 2021
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sermon: "What's the Buzz?" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: John 15:9-17


Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday
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 "Adult Education" @ 9:00 am
  • 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) (No Connect on 5/9, see Connect 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 (5/2-5/8): Cathy Byers email: byersabc@gmail.com
Next week (5/9-5/15): Bill McNeff email: wpmcn6@yahoo.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)
Bo Wang (Liz Huesemann’s relative) 
Alyse Pryzant Pribish (Ashley Cooper's mom)
Carol Lisi (Robin Gaiser’s friend)
Healing for Davion Chambers
John Maddrell (Martha Seddon’s step-father)
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

Our sympathy and support are extended to Debby Wolcott and family, following the death of her mother, Doris Renn on Sunday, May 2 at the Solace Center. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Note from Sally Booher
"I really appreciate all the prayers and cards that you all sent me. It must've worked, because I am home! GCPC is filled with such thoughtful people and I am grateful. Thank you."
Formation/Education
Adult Formation
Spring Adult Education Series: Responding in Faith to Asheville's Racist History | Sunday | May 9 | 9:00 AM | Zoom
Asheville's entrenchment in the legacy of slavery and white supremacy is illuminated and upheld in its names and monuments. How far and how deep do these legacies go? How are white dominant communities of faith called to listen to and support Black voices in our town that call out these legacies? This spring, we will dive deeper into this history and learn more about ongoing efforts for repair and reparation in the city of Asheville.
  • May 9: The Rev. Tami Forte Logan from Faith4Justice will lead a discussion about the ongoing efforts toward reparations for BIPOC communities following the City Council's vote to make reparation for the devastation wrought by the legacies of white supremacy, including slavery, Jim Crow, and urban renewal. The conversation will include ongoing conversation about the Haywood St. project and other initiatives and obstacles for reparations in our town.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 969 6572 5763 | Passcode: 789
Enneagram Gathering for GCPC Parents | Wednesday, May 12 | 6:30-8:30 PM | via Zoom
Facilitated by Carol Hovis, all parents are welcome. If you don't know your enneagram type, contact Carol. Email Carol if you would like to participate.
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.
No 4th/5th Grade Connect Class this Sunday, May 9
Please see upcoming emails for details.
If you would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise.
Youth Group | Sunday, May 9 | 5:00-6:30 PM on Zoom
This week we're taking time to reflect on and celebrate everyone's hard work for Youth Sunday, plus we'll play some SUPER FUN MINUTE-TO-WIN-IT GAMES and enjoy being in fellowship with one another.

Please bring as many of the following items as you can to the Zoom:
  • marker
  • a few sheets of paper
  • pencil with eraser
  • pen
  • cookie
  • loose change
  • blindfold
  • egg (real or plastic) or ping pong ball
  • spoon
  • glass of water
  • towel
  • napkin
  • cup

Contact Cat Kessler for zoom information or if you have questions.
SENIOR HIGH GRADUATION SUNDAY!!
On Sunday, May 23rd, GCPC will be honoring our high school graduates during the 10:45 a.m. 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 Friday, May 7th. 

Please contact Samantha or Cat if you have any trouble with the form. THANKS!
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
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!

Policy Watch event with David Zucchino discussing his new book, “Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy” | TODAY, Thursday, May 6 | 3:30 PM
For many decades, what little most North Carolinians knew of the events of 1898 in the port city of Wilmington was that the town had been the site of a memorable and destructive “race riot.”
In recent years, however, this characterization has been demonstrated to have been an absurd and destructive whitewash. In fact, what took place was a brutal insurrection and a rare instance of a violent overthrow of an elected government in the U.S. It halted gains made by Blacks and restored racism as official government policy, cementing white rule for another half-century.
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.
Racial Justice Coalition Solidarity Circles

The RJC has a way to support our members’ anti-racist activism while combating fatigue and passivity: Solidarity Circles.  

What are RJC Solidarity Circles?
The purpose of a Solidarity Circle is to support RJC members in staying engaged and active in anti-racism work through small, intimate groups (generally 4 – 8 people) that support individual and collective accountability. 

How to be a part of Solidarity Circles: 
If you are interested in being part of a Solidarity Circle or would like more information, please fill out this form.
RJC Solidarity Circle Orientations
In case you might be looking to join another Circle or if you want to come and share your experience being part of a Circle.

And for those of you not on a Solidarity Circle, this will be an opportunity to learn more about how Solidarity Circles work and meet others with whom you can begin forming a Circle.

Click here to register:
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 events via Eventbrite:
  • The Significance of the Shootings at Asian Spas: Debunking Myths About Sexual Violence and the Asian/Asian-American Experience | Wednesday, May 12th, 1-2:30 PM | TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
  • The Intersection of Racism, Xenophobia and Sexual Violence: Experiences of the Asian-American Community | Wednesday, May 19th, 1-2:30 PM | TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF A WEBSITE...
(divorcing) WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE | Thursday, May 13 | 8 PM
Over 20 years ago, Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones wrote the widely distributed article on the characteristics of White Supremacy Culture.

Now Tema, in collaboration with the help of many brilliant friends, has created a website designed to update and add to the original article.

Join Tema, SURJ and special guests from around the country to launch the website and share what we've been learning about white supremacy culture in these last two decades.

Cost is $10; everyone welcome regardless of ability to pay; larger donations welcome.

Click here for more information and to register. Click here to register directly.

This launch is a fundraiser for the Earthseed Land Collective.
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. 
Food Connection, GCPC Ministry Partner, Announces New Executive Director
Marisha MacMorran has accepted the role of Executive Director of Food Connection.

After six years of commitment, passion and a lot of hard work, Founder and current Executive Director, Flori Pate made the decision to step down to spend more time with family. Flori will remain with Food Connection as the Community Engagement Leader.

Marisha has been engaged in Food Connection for six years, donating and delivering food, volunteering, and helping plan the annual Chefs In Action fundraisers. For the last year and half she has served as a Food Connection Board Member, Board Secretary and Fundraising Chair. Her passion for feeding those in need and her strategic planning and leadership skills are stellar.

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
Click to read the May, 2021 Issue
PC(USA)’s Washington office signs letter backing reparations legislation
Office of Public Witness among nearly 200 supporters calling for passage of H.R. 40
The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness is among nearly 200 faith-based organizations, faith leaders, and advocates that have signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to support legislation to study reparations for African Americans.
The legislation, H.R. 40, would establish a commission to examine the history of enslavement and discrimination in the United States, from 1619 to the present, and recommend appropriate remedies, according to the sign-on letter endorsed by OPW.

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. 

Pilot Repair Program participants were referred to Working Wheels by three of their partner agencies: HelpmateOpen Doors of Asheville, and the Re-Entry Council of Buncombe County. In 2020, they were able to serve 18 repair program participants with deeply discounted repairs to keep their vehicles safe and reliable.

In 2021, they have opened up repair program slots to eight of their partner agencies, and they are excited to be able to serve even more participants this year. 
Easter Liberation Bible Study | Tuesdays | April 6 - May 18th | 5:30-7:00 PM
Come to some or all!
How we read the Bible matters. Where we come from and our life experiences inform the way we understand what we read in the Holy Bible and shapes the way we follow the teachings of Jesus. Liberation Theology is a theology grounded in the insight that God sides with the poor and marginalized throughout scripture.
 
Join Rev. Milly and community leaders such as Tami Forte LoganAmy CantrellBruce Waller Jr.Nontombi TutuAmy Kim Kyremes-Parks and others as we break down the various voices of Liberation Theology during the season of Eastertide. Reading together we can discover how Liberation Theology will inform us come Pentecost and the birth of Church. Please register. The registration form can be found here.
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden News


Community Garden Teams are at Work in the GCPC Garden
 
On Saturday team 2 gardeners Pam, Win, Meg, Susan R., Evelyn, Nancy, Liz, Betsy, Rick, Jason, and Judy cleared areas at ends of irrigation lines of weeds and grass growth, weeded several beds, and fixed leaks in irrigation lines. 
 
On Wednesday team 2 gardeners Paul, Beth, Shirley, Louise, Betsy, and Rick weeded several beds, removed mulch from the garlic bed, and harvested a small quantity of kale and collards. 

Stewardship & Sustainability GIVE HERE
Make a difference this Mother's Day.
Shop for gifts at smile.amazon.com/ch/56-0588479 to generate donations for Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and check out our AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate items we need most.
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.
GCPC Out and About
Yearning for Home: The Cry of the Earth (Episode 2 in John Philip Newell’s Series ‘Spiritual Exile & Seeds of Promise’) | Saturday, May 8 | 1:00 PM | via Zoom | Cost: $25
In February 2021 John Philip offered a livestream presentation attended by hundreds of women and men throughout the world on the subject of spiritual exile and promise today. The response was so great that he is planning a series to explore, one at a time, the yearnings that have led countless numbers of people into an experience of exile from the religious tradition of their inheritance, whether in literally leaving church or in looking well beyond its bounds for vision and nourishment. Episode 2 will explore the longing for a spirituality that deeply reconnects us to the sacredness of the earth as home in the belief that paying faithful attention to our yearnings will lead to new beginnings.

All those who register for ‘Yearning for Home: The Cry of the Earth’ will be sent a recording of the introductory Episode 1 as well as a link to the live session for Episode 2 on May 8th 2021.

This livestream event is a collaboration of Earth & Soul (www.earthandsoul.org) with LaForet Conference and Retreat Center (Colorado Springs, CO), Shambhala Mountain Center (Red Feather Lakes, CO), and Montreat Conference Center.
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