Grace Covenant Weekly News | November 15, 2018
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it was a dream

in which my greater self
rose up before me
accusing me of my life
with her extra finger
whirling in a gyre of rage
at what my days had come to.

i pleaded with her, could i do,
oh what could i have done?
and she twisted her wild hair
and sparked her wild eyes
and screamed as long as
i could hear her
This. This. This.

~ Lucille Clifton, "it was a dream"
Sunday Preview

Sunday, November 18, 2018
Sacrament of Baptism

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

Sermon: "Birthpangs and Head Games" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scriptures: Daniel 12:1-3; Mark 13:1-8
Fall Garden Potluck | THIS Friday, November 16 | 6:30 PM | GCPC Fellowship Hall (lower level)
All gardeners and friends are invited to the end of the year pot-luck celebration! PLEASE BRING your favorite main dish, salad, or dessert, and your favorite garden memory. We will provide plates, cups, utensils, etc. Hope all of you can join us for the celebration.
Godly Play Informational Gatherings | November 18 | 12 -1 PM | Temple Room (across from the Choir Room)
Have you ever seen Godly Play, the story-based educational model at GCPC, in action? Well, here is your chance. There will be two identical opportunities for folks to experience Godly Play first hand. Knowing more about Godly Play, you will be well equipped to share with visitors, members and even folks in the community, how our children’s faith is being formed.
So, if you are a parent, a youth, a grandparent whose children live far away, if you are a partnered or single with children or without, if you are working in the home or outside the home, retired or an empty nester…this invitation is especially for you. If you feel a spiritual stirring within and long to go deeper with the stories of God and God’s people, you really should join us!
No need to RSVP. Childcare will be provided and light snacks served. Please take this time to see and hear our amazing educational model that invites all ages into God’s Story. For more information, contact Heather Ferguson (
ADVENTure! | Sunday, Nov. 25 | 9:15-10:15 AM | Fellowship Hall
A special time for getting ready… to GET READY! Christ the King Sunday (November 25) is the last Sunday of the liturgical calendar. The four Sundays that follow make up the season of Advent. Advent is the season for getting ready! A time for preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of the Christ child.

So on the morning of November 25, all ages are invited to come to the Fellowship Hall during the education hour (there will be no regular Sunday School classes this morning) for a fun time of fellowship, breakfast snacks and hand-crafting items to help us prepare for Advent. We will have tables of various crafts and activities and materials for you and/or your family to create your own unique Advent Wreath.

If you would like to help at one of the craft tables or with the morning snacks, please contact Heather Ferguson,
Stewardship Corner
"How Can We Keep From Sharing?" Update
As of 11/15/18, here's where we are on our pledging:

199 Pledges Received, 87% of 230 Goal
$ 861,313.00 Pledged, 84% of Goal

This includes 28 new pledges from families that did not pledge in 2018. 62% of pledge renewals have increased their pledge from last year. 

If you haven't already, please complete you 2019 pledge card, handwritten or online , and return to the Finance Office as soon as possible. If you have questions about your gifts or pledge, please contact Natalie Weaver, Stewardship & Financial Administrator, at 828-254-3274, ext. 202 or     
This summer, the Pew Research Center for Religion and Public Life surveyed people about why they go to church. The answers make sense:
Three-quarters of people who attend church infrequently claim they practice their faith “in other ways” or are dissatisfied with the churches they’ve visited. This means a lot of believing Christians who want to be closer to God, to raise their children in the faith, and to find comfort and Christian discipline don’t do so in traditional congregations.

Here at GCPC, we are defying this trend. At last night’s monthly fellowship dinner, folks were asked why they support GCPC. Here are some of the responses:
  • This church is my family. I believe in our desire to be a source of community and healing for all people.
  • This church does so much good in the community; I support these programs.
  • For the choir and music programs, for youth programs.
  • The financial gifts are used in a prayerful manner.
  • GCPC is a place of acceptance, challenge, hope, joy, energy, care in action and creativity. These things are important to me and I want them to continue.
  • Because Jesus asks me to.

The Good News of GCPC is that God is working in us and through us to live our faith ‘out loud’ in Asheville and beyond. Despite the national trends, we are thriving! The fulfillment of our 2019 Stewardship goals enables GCPC to continue to do so. If you have not yet pledged, please do so today. IF you have but continue to think about the role GCPC plays in the quality of your life and faith, consider an increase in your 2019 pledge. With all of the good we experience at GCPC, “How can we keep from Sharing?” 
Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
“A system of law generates and is a reflection of its culture…. What a particular culture defines as ‘true’ and ‘right’ in terms of legal principles and process is actually its own sociohistorical construct. … A society’s law attempts to put all of life in its proper place and organize its chaos and adjudicate its conflicts. It is, therefore, a window into that society’s soul. How the law is structured, the kinds of privileges and protections it offers, the demands and limits it imposes, and the institutions it establishes reveal that society’s system of values and priorities. It discloses what that society understands to be correct and good.”  
-- M. Daniel Carroll R. in  Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, & the Bible
~ Contributed by Tish Anderson
Power and Race Team (PART)
Southside Rising for Healing | Friday, November 16 | 6:30-8:30PM | Arthur R. Edington Center (133 Livingston St).
Hosted by Slay the Mic on 103.3 Asheville FM and Southside Rising. “It has been a difficult year in the Asheville community. When tragic events happen it is important to connect, support, and build as a community in order to heal. Join us for performances, snacks, and speakers.”
CUC Book Discussion - The Cross and the Lynching Tree | Sunday, November 18 | 2:00-3:30 PM | First Presbyterian Church
Please join us for the last CUC book discussion this Sunday.
Racial Justice Book Club | Thursday, December 13 | 6:00 PM | Jerusalem Room
The Racial Justice Book Club is reading a list of 12 books examining institutional and interpersonal racism and racial equity. All are welcome, whether you have read closely or are just interested in learning more about the subject. A copy of the book can be found in the church library . For December , we are reading the novel Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
PART Meeting | Thursday, December 13 | 7:00 PM | Jerusalem Rm
The Color of Asheville directory highlights local, black-owned businesses.
This Sunday's Education Hour (for all ages)

Adult Education - Fall Term | September 16 - November 18

Pressure Points - Connecting Mass Incarceration and Forced Deportation: A Faithful Conversation about Justice | Fellowship Hall
Members of two active groups in our congregation, PART (Power and Race Team) and CST (Creating Sanctuary Team), will co-facilitate a 10-week series to explore "Capital J" Justice. We’ll explore connections and commonalities between issues of power and race, mass incarceration, immigrant detention, and forced migration. The discussion-based class will utilize a variety of resources, including segments of two films, Healing Justice and The Genesis of Exodus . We’ll examine and reflect on how we, as followers of Jesus, can interrogate U.S. practices, laws, and systems while bringing theology into the realm of social justice.
Facilitators: PART and CST

Digging In - Women of the Old Testament | Jerusalem Room
This class will offer a fresh look at some of the women in the Old Testament who may have unfairly been the recipients of negative press. Many of these women have been portrayed as failures: evil, irrational, unfaithful. Could this be due to an effort to reaffirm the structures of patriarchy in spite of Jesus' explicit affirmation of women?  *This week we will be covering Vashti and Esther.
Facilitators:  Barbara McLean and Jamie Lloyd

The Improv - God at the Movies and Theater | Choir Room
You sit down in your favorite theater, and Jesus walks up and asks to share your popcorn. You think, ‘What is God doing here at the movies?’ In this intergenerational class, Senior high youth and adults will be exploring how movies and plays can deepen or change how we understand our lives and our faith. A list of titles can be found on our website under Adult Education. For information or to host a screening, reach out to Richard or Samantha .
* This week we will be covering Here Comes Mr. Jordan (movie, PG).
Facilitators: Richard Coble and Samantha Gonzalez-Block
CHILDREN & YOUTH EDUCATION @ 9:15 AM  [Contact  Heather or Samantha ]

Toddlers (ages 2-3) | “God Loves Me” | 9:15 – 10:15 AM | Toddler Room (downstairs, Children’s Center)
Preschool/Kindergarten (ages 4-5) | Godly Play | 9:15 –10:15 AM | Preschool Sunday School Room (downstairs, Children’s Center)

Elementary (grades 1-3) | Godly Play | 9:15–10:15 AM | Temple Room (Education wing, upstairs)
Elementary (grades 4-5) | “CONNECT” | 9:15–10:15 AM | Indie Room (Education wing, upstairs)

Middle School (grades 6-8) | 9:15-10:15 AM | Middle School Classroom, (Education wing, upstairs)
Senior Highs (grades 9-12) | 9:15-10:15 AM | *Choir Room - note room change, (Education wing, upstairs)

*Nursery care is available throughout Sunday morning beginning at 8:10 am.
Calm & Bright: Intergenerational Advent Class | December 2-23 | 9:15-10:15 AM | Fellowship Hall
For the four Sundays of Advent, you are invited to join Grace Covenant folks (1st grade through adults) for an experience sure to stir your spirit through sacred music, lively exploration and mutual blessing. This year marks the 200-year anniversary of the beloved hymn, Silent Night. Come join Heather Ferguson, Lynn Bledsoe and an intergenerational music team as we celebrate this Advent season the GCPC way!
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!
News from our Ministry Partner, Working Wheels
Do you have an extra car that needs to find a new home? Imagine how difficult your life would be without a car! Working Wheels repairs and recycles donated cars, transforming them into working wheels for working families. The process is simple and the donation is tax deductible, plus your donation benefits local nonprofits whose clients need these cars. We also need volunteer drivers and mechanics. To donate or volunteer, please call (828) 633-6888 or visit .
An event with Ministry Partner, Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community | Saturday, November 17 | 7 PM | Lenoir Rhyne School for Graduate Studies
Join us for a celebration featuring readings, music, wine, and light desserts. This is a free event, though an RSVP is requested,  click here to get your ticket (and for more information) . As the invite states, "2018 has been tremendously rough for our community, and we want to get off the internet and spend some time face-to-face. There is something magical that happens when we gather and share stories." Free childcare provided (must indicate when reserving ticket).
Green Opportunities Annual Thanksgiving Community Banquet | Tuesday, November 20 | 5:30-7:30 PM | Arthur E. Edington Center ( 133 Livingston St. )
It's a time to share in the spirit of community and meet our neighbors while enjoying a home-cooked meal, without the cleanup.   This event is open to the public and is co-hosted by Dogwood Alliance, Housing Authority of Asheville and Green Opportunities. 
Asheville City Schools Foundation
Their new equity website is now live!
Each of has a role to play in advancing racial equity. We created this site as a way to keep our work accountable and transparent AND to provide resources. You can get involved as a STUDENT, EDUCATOR, PARENT/FAMILY MEMBER, or COMMUNITY MEMBER!
News from our Ministry Partner, CIMA
CIMA is excited to have a co-working space hub in Emma Community. CIMA, Poder Emma, Radio Emma, Cenzontle (languaje justice cooperative) and other neighborhood groups are using this space. Together they have made a wish list to see if there are things out there in the world that people could give to the space.

Public Wishlist
Weatherization materials
Recycling bin
Lamps (2)
Couches (2 Love Seats)
Garbage Can
Another plastic folding table
Kids play kitchen, plastic containers/tubs
Kitchen Island/ Countertop Space
Book Shelf
Cabinet for tincture apothecary
Curtain Rods (2)
Curtains (Preferably Thermal)
Books in Spanish
Blender and/or Juicer
Nice, wireless, High Quality Printer and Scanner Color
Floor vents (5)
Someone to weatherize/cover up floor grates in other room and cover up mouse holes. 
Extension cords (2-3)
Space heater (2)

Please contact Bruno (contact info below) if you are able to help with any of these needs.
Bruno Y. Hinojosa Ruiz
Pronouns (He/Him/His/El)
Compañeros de las Montañas en Acción (CIMA)
Haywood Street Congregation -
Ways to engage this holiday season:
  • Saturdays in November | Angel Tree workshop. More
  • Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday Nov. 20, "All hands on deck" Thanksgiving meal prep | All day between 9am-3pm
  • Wednesday, December 5th, 12:30pm: GCPC pastors will be leading communion at the Haywood Street worship service. All are welcome to come worship! Arrive at 12pm for lunch.
  • Saturday, December 22 | Christmas feast meal prep | All day between 9am-3pm
  • Worship every Wednesday at 12:30 pm and Sunday at 3:15 pm.
  • Regular Wed/Sun meal and worship schedule remains without changes throughout the holiday season. Check "About/Visit" on website for full details,
Sisters at the Sea Retreat 2019 | February 21-24, 2019 | Folly Beach, SC | $170 (early bird rate)
Are you a women age 25-50ish who would like a weekend of connecting and rejuvenating? Mark your calendars for our 10th annual SOS (“save our sanity”/“sisters at the sea”/”women needing to replenish and rejuvenate”) retreat! This year’s leader will be our own Heather Ferguson.
Early Bird Rate:  $170 per person ($40 non-refundable deposit by Dec. 23rd)
Cost after Dec. 23rd: $190 per person
*Full and partial scholarships available upon request. Registration ends on February 3rd.
Registration forms will be available on the wall near the Welcome Desk; or you can use the online form.
Support Group for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI Group) | Wednesday, November 21 | 12 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 are welcome at any time. Contact  Richard  with questions.
J.O.Y. Group Gathering | Thursday, November 29 | 10:00 AM | Smith-McDowell House Tour
The J.O.Y. group (anyone 55 years or older) will be visiting the Smith-McDowell House to tour its lively Christmas Decorations. We will then head over for lunch at 12 Bones on the River. The group cost for the tour is $5 per person. Please call Richard in the church office at 254-3274 to see if there are still spaces available. It will be a great day!
GCPC 20s/30s Gathering:  “Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness  Discussion"  Thursday, Nov. 29 | 7:00-8:30pm |  The Hop  (640 Merrimon Ave)
If you are in your twenties or thirties, you are invited to meet at the Hop to enjoy some ice cream (on us) and discuss racism and racial equality, using a portion of Austin Channing Brown's book  "Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness."  RSVP to Samantha . *Contact Heather  for childcare by Nov 21st.
SOS ~ Save Our Sanity | Monday, December 3 | 7:00 PM | Amy Fowler's home
A social, prayer, support group for mothers! Come with a snack, drinks will be provided; leave the kids at home. To be added to the list, email  Anna Louise . For questions about the upcoming meeting, email Amy Fowler at .
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 10:30 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:  Nancy Kramer email:
Youth News

Youth Group "Self-Care Day" | Sunday, Nov. 18 | 5-7 PM | GCPC
In this stressful world and time in our lives, it is important and holy to take care of ourselves. At this unique youthgroup, we will make care-packages, do yoga, play music, create art, relax and breathe, and much more. Dinner will be provided. Dress comfy and get ready for a great time!
It's time to register:

Richmond Youth Mission Education Trip | January 18-21 (MLK Jr. Weekend) 
Let's "be the change" together this winter! A highlight each year, we will travel to Richmond, a city with a complicated and facinating history and present. We will explore diverse neighborhoods and monuments, as well as engage in meaningful service work (and even discover hidden artifacts). Get ready to grow in faith and share in a whole lot of fun. The cost is $150 (full and partial scholarships available). Register digitally HERE by November 18th.
Sunday School Fall Information (9:15 - 10:15am, Sundays):

*Middle Schoolers (Middle School Rm).  How is this ol' Bible relevant to our lives today? What does it all mean? We will be creatively jumping into the New Testament and exploring questions that have both inspired and puzzled people of faith for centuries. See you there! 

Senior Highs (Fellowship Hall)  Senior Highs will be participating in an intergenerational class (for SH youth and adults) called "God at the Movies & Theater," where we will be discussing movies and plays through the lens of our faith.  See complete list of titles and parent permission slip here.  
*This week's movie is the classic film "Here Comes Mr. Jordan. "   See the trailer here.  
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)
Francis Miller (Nancy Miller's son)
Nancy and Richard Schaadt (Donna Robertson's sister and brother-in-law)
Shaketia Simpson and children (Habitat Partner family)
Louise Seitz (Janet Schifflin's friend)
Lynne Norris (Mary Lou Nash's friend)
Jeffrey Ferris (Mary Lou Nash's son)
Hettie Lou Garland
Dot Holladay
Teresa Stern
Betty Smith
Margaret Rada
Marty Johnson and Gabe Boehm
Bob Higgins
Lynn Milner
Liz Rupp

We continue to hold Lindsey Williford and Richard Coble in prayer following the death of Lindsey's father, Joe Williford. Memorials for Joe can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project,

A note from the Dykes:
Dear Friends --
Our family has been overwhelmed by the prayers, positive thoughts and offers of help you have served up during my illness and treatments. To say "Thank You" falls far short of sufficient but "Thank You" from all of us. Let's continue to offer our prayers up daily to those who need them most. Sandra and I can attest to their effectiveness. Thank you!
~ Steve and Sandra Dykes
Grace Covenant Community Out and About...
Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer to Address Climate Change | Until November 21 | Vance Monument
A group of concerned citizens will be publicly fasting and praying for ten days prior to Thanksgiving to focus attention on the issue of climate change. Led by Steve Norris, PhD a former Professor of Peace and Warren Willson and long term activist. 

Fasters will be in front of the Court House on Collage Street from 7:30am to 8:30am then at the Vance Monument from 8.30am until 5:00pm each day. A daily prayer at noon will be lead by various local faith leaders, followed each day by a short talk on climate change issues. The public is invited to be with the fasters at any time for any duration. 

Hosted by Community Roots. Click HERE to learn more.
Open for Lunch Book Release, Reading & Signing by Robin Gaiser | Friday, November 16 | 6:00 PM | Malaprops Bookstore ( 55 Haywood St. )
In her new book, Open for Lunch, Robin Russell Gaiser writes of her encounters with a dozen strangers in casual lunch spots from upstate New York to Asheville, North Carolina. She began these encounters almost by chance when she invited someone in line with her at a Subway restaurant to share her table. But as she pursued such encounters over the years, she gradually became “the reporter reporting on myself. Soon the stunning stories of my lunch mates took me deeply into my own narrative.” Please join Robin for a reading, signing and celebration!
“Pairings” Organ Concert | Friday, November 16 | 7:00 PM | First Presbyterian, Sanctuary
Organist, Richard Konzen, performs a program entitled “Pairings” on the stunning 2014 Holtkamp Organ. The program will include works by Buxtehude, Bach, Howells, Harwood, Vierne, and Franck, grouped together in pairs the way one might pair beer or wine with food.

Konzen is Organist-Choirmaster at St. John’s Episcopal Church, as well as retired Professor of Music and College Organist at Grove City College. St. Johns, in Youngstown, Ohio, is well known in the region for their annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival. Dr. Konzen was also FPCA Music Director, Jeremy Roberts’ organ teacher in college!

Enneagram learning opportunities
with Carol Hovis!
Feel free to join our weekly enneagram gatherings on different topics pertaining to all 9 types. We meet Monday evenings, 6-8pm and Friday mornings, 10am-12noon in the A-Frame Room through December 14th, facilitated by Carol Hovis. For more information, including cost and content, email Carol, All are welcome. Click HERE to see flyer.

Asheville Gay Men's Chorus presents " Appalachian Spirit - Music for the Holidays " | Saturday, December 15 @ 7:30 PM and Sunday, December 16 @ 4:00 PM | GCPC Sanctuary
The Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus claims our role as the transforming and transcending choral voice for our LGBTQ and affirming community. The Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus entertains, advocates and connect community through choral excellence.

Before November 30, VIP tickets - $25 and General Admission - $20. Children under 12 years old - $10.
(Note: After November 30, VIP Tickets - $30 and General Admission - $25)
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804