GCPC Weekly News | October 1, 2020

Click  " View entire message" at bottom of email
to see the FULL newsletter
GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
4th/5th Grade CONNECT Class
Youth Group 9/27
Choir Chat 9/30
Worship Preview | Sunday, October 4, 2020
World Communion Sunday
Sermon: "As the World Returns" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: Matthew 21:33-46

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

3 spots left Sunday mornings @ 9 AM, Oct 4 - Nov 22
3 spots left Sunday evenings @ 7 PM, Oct 4 - Nov 22

1 spot left Couples Group, Sunday evenings @ 7 PM

*Reserve your spot by emailing
Anna Louise at almurchison@gcpcusa.org
by this Friday, October 2 at 5 PM!

Grace Covenant's Session invites you to join in a 2020 study of Lalya Saad’s, Me and White Supremacy.

"Me and White Supremacy" Study: All-Comers Reflective Zoom | THIS Sunday, October 4 | 7:00 PM
Come and explore with others who are participating in the latest phase of the GCPC's work to dismantle white supremacy culture within ourselves and in our community.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 812 3131 5211
Password: 789
Quilt Square Project

Please send your quilt squares into the church office by October 9th!
789 Merrimon Ave.
Asheville, NC 28804

Equal Exchange - No Contact Bulk Sales *ENDING SOON!*

We are accepting orders of the in-stock products and will arrange for no contact pick up/payment during the building closure. You can find the current list of available products here or by going directly to http://bit.ly/EqualExchangeGCPC. Recently expired products available at discounted rates!

If interested in purchasing, please email Natalie with the types and quantities of each from the inventory sheet that you'd like. She will respond with the total due, available pick up dates/times, and payment options. 

These orders will require a minimum of 1 case of coffee (6 bags) OR 1 case of chocolate bars (12 bars) per order. Pending availability, you can mix and match your favorites of each and add on additional items once the minimum has been reached.  
Recurring Weekly Zooms:

  • Sundays "Adult Education" @ 9:15 am
  • Sundays "Pre-K - 3rd Grade Sunday Morning Check-In" @ 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)
  • 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 (beginning 9/3) "Men of GCPC" @ 8:30 am
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. 
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 (9/27 - 10/3): Lynn Milner email: lynnmilner@charter.net
Next week (10/4 - 10/10): Jeane Smith email: jeane.smith22@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
Marcia Zuzel (friend of Kim Hottle and Melissa Shook)
Jonathan Hettrick and family (friends of Mary Craig)
Ryan Lockett (nephew of Denise Lockett)
Eveline Damiano (Daughter of Lisette deGroot)
Jennifer Martin (Yvonne Smith's daughter)
Travis Heck (Brian Cook's brother)
Marjorie Tague (Karen Punta's friend)
Marianne Nash (Dave Nash’s daughter)
David Nash, Jr. (Dave Nash’s son)
Thomas Dellinger (son of Libbie Dellinger and Sharlena Thomas)
Betty Hord (Alexandra Hollifield’s great-grandmother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Marilyn Schmidt
All those participating in the “Me & White Supremacy” study
Fall Adult Education

Drawdown: Engaging our Faith to Reverse the Climate Crisis | Sundays | 9:15-10:15 AM | September 20-October 25
“We are squarely in the middle of the greatest transition in history.”
“Distress signals are flashing throughout nature and society, from drought, sea level rise, and unrelenting increases in temperatures to expanded refugee crises, conflict, and dislocation.”
“There are reasons to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.”

These quotes come from the workbook DRAWDOWN: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.  It offers 100 solutions to understand the “substantive ways we can REVERSE global warming.”  
Drawing on the Drawdown text, as well as Scripture and our own spiritual experiences with creation, we will examine several concrete solutions to the climate crisis. During our six weeks together, we hope to foster interactive discussions with one another while also inviting community leaders and activists to share their wisdom and practical advice. Come to learn, to recharge your commitment to our good earth, and to fellowship with fellow earth lovers in our community. 
Facilitators: Susan Presson and John Curry

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 899 4201 3301
Passcode: 789
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 Graders CONNECT Class | Sundays | 5:00-5:45pm | Zoom
Each week, families will receive an email with a unique login for class. If you would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise.
Youth Group: Sharing & Caring | Sunday, Oct. 4 | 5:00 – 6:30 PM on Zoom (**Please arrive between 4:45-5:00 PM!**)
Join us this week for more fun and fellowship, a look at the next chapter in our story of God's people, and a chance to shower a little love on our recent youth group grads.

Email Cat Kessler to request zoom information.
PART (Power & Race Team)
Tema Okun is an author and facilitator who has been helping organizations, communities, and individuals dismantle white supremacy culture for several decades. You can find more about her work here and a full list of her "Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture" here. PART has been engaging for some time with these characteristics and exploring how they show up at GCPC and in each of us. 
PART continued to examine the governance structure of the Presbyterian Church and the white supremacy norm of paternalism. PART would like you to consider:
  • Presbyterian polity facilitates the hearing of different viewpoints but it centers the dynamic of the debate and binary perspectives.
  • Consensus is mentioned in the PCUSA Book of Order now as an accepted way to make decisions.
  • Historic moment in our denomination with black leaders in the major decision-making bodies where GCPC is in the Presbyterian structure.Our new General Presbytery, our Synod Executives, the Stated Clerk of the denomination, and the President of the denomination’s mission agency are all Black.
  • We discussed how polity at times can be weaponized to squelch hearing voices of those pushed to the margins in white dominant institutions. Because the General Assembly was online this year due to COVID, the docket did not include attention to some of the work that would have gone to the assembly floor if it had been face to face. One was a report on the state of Black women and girls. Towards the end of the assembly a request was made that, given all that is happening in our country right now, the assembly make time on the docket to hear and receive the report. After debate in which many white-identified people shared reasons to not receive the report including being tired, the assembly voted no to hearing the report. The outcome was hurtful and harmful, and that hurt and harm was expressed by many people including BIPOC who were at the General Assembly. Polity did prioritize order, but in this case, damaged relationships and the seeking of justice and healing. The question is, where do we go from here and how do we repair these relationships?

Everyone is welcome to PART meetings. Please join us October 8th at 6pm.

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member
“Jesus Christ and the 'Dividing Wall’: Race and God’s Mission” | Webinars on October 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 7:30 PM
How does racial injustice and racism in the United States impact our engagement in God’s mission in the world?

The 2020 W. Don McClure Lectures and WMI Month of Mission Series, sponsored and hosted by the World Mission Initiative and Continuing Education at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, will grapple with this question and the consequences of racial injustice. Presentations and future workshops will focus on the theme, “Jesus Christ and the ‘Dividing Wall’: Race and God’s Mission.”

These free lectures will be held in a virtual online venue on four Wednesday evenings in October. The lectures are open to all, but registration is required. A connection link will be provided to all registrants closer to each event. Register for the McClure Lecture series here.
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: Second 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.

Community Working Together
From CST and PART

VOTE 2020
  • October 9th - Voter Registration Deadline if you plan to vote on November 3rd. However, you can same-day register during Early Voting.
  • October 15th - Early Voting sites open.
  • November 3rd - Election Day. You can ONLY vote on this day at YOUR Precinct location.

The following 4-point summary provides links to updated information about voting, candidates, and helpful nonpartisan organizations. Thanks to Carolina Jews for Justice for making this summary available.

  1. First, review your plan to vote. Here is one shared in previous editions. Updates are noted in yellow. This handout offers other important information from reputable organizations for putting together your plan. It is of utmost importance to implement your plan early
  2. Second, understand the rules so you can navigate voting this year. That same handout provides posts that offer FAQ, tips, and more.
  3. Third, if you are unsure of candidates on your ballot, find a "mentor" you trust that can help you vote for the candidates that share your values. This is especially important for candidates “down ballot” who you might not recognize. You have the opportunity to vote for every race on your ballot; make your voice and vote count! All the races are important! Connecting with people you trust who are knowledgeable and share your values can help.
  4. And fourth, share this strategy with others. You will be doing an invaluable service to keeping our democracy alive if you follow these steps for yourself and share with your friends, acquaintances, and groups to which you belong.  

~ Submitted with support of CST and PART
"Voter Registration" Event | This Saturday, October 3 | 1:00 - 3:00 PM | GCPC Courtyard
The League of Women Voters is hosting a non-partisan voter registration event this Saturday at GCPC. Spread the word!
Pisgah Legal's 10th Annual Justice Forum featuring Clint Smith, Ph.D. | TONIGHT, Thursday, October 1 | 7:00 PM
Pisgah Legal invites you to their 10th Annual Justice Forum, featuring Clint Smith, Ph.D., a writer, teacher and advocate for racial justice. Clint is staff writer at The Atlantic and an award-winning poet. His TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America, have been viewed more than seven million times. He will share his perspective on this moment in history and how we can be advocates for justice.

Would you like to be part of a team who will prepare meals for residents of the Red Roof Inn where our friends from RITI and Pritchard Park are currently housed?

If you would like to prepare 6 individually packaged chicken quarter and pasta salad meals for October 11, contact Tish Anderson at 19ppanc40@gmail.com

If you could prepare 6 similar meals for October 25, contact Beth Philipsen at onthecove@charter.net.
GCPC Covenant Partner -
Residents Council

Melissa Hicks and I recently spent part of a Friday afternoon speaking with Crystal Reid. Crystal, along with Shuvonda Harper, are the backbone of the Residents’ Council, a local non-profit that was established in 1987 and has its headquarters in the Edington Center on Livingston Avenue. It isn’t easy to succinctly describe what this non-profit does for residents of all the Asheville Housing Authority neighborhoods. They do a little bit of everything to create Beloved Community, especially during the pandemic.  

This particular Friday Crystal had been picking up and delivering trash to the landfill, trying to make the neighborhoods safer places for children to play. Children are one major focus of their work. The Residents’ Council organizes afterschool programs and summer enrichment programs like My Community Matters. These programs have been the model and foundation for the Asheville City Schools’ PODS effort to support students during remote learning. Crystal and Shuvonda, along with their board of residents, have been working hard to ensure all residents have reliable internet in their homes. Working alongside the Asheville Housing Authority and internet providers, this has been a long process. Crystal reports that it is much better than it was in the spring, but there are still limitations.  

Providing healthy food to residents is another focus of their work. The Southside Kitchen also uses the Edington Center and helps the Council get hot, fresh meals out to neighborhoods. Funds shared from GCPC allowed the Residents’ Council to create and deliver Covid Bags to residents back in the spring. With the holidays just around the corner, they are planning ways to share a Thanksgiving Feast and toys for Christmas.  

Volunteers are always needed to help make deliveries and to help residents get where they need to be, especially with efforts for early voting. Staying safe during the pandemic is a priority, and Crystal and Shuvonda can always use more drivers. If you think this is a gift you can share, please reach out to me or Melissa. We can connect you with the Residents’ Council as they continue to live into the hope and love of God’s world in Asheville.  

~ contributed by Amy Wiesner
“This Changes Everything”-Movie, Conversation and Prayer | Sundays | October 4, 11, 18 & 25 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Land of the Sky United Church of Christ and the Creation Care Alliance are collaborating to host a four-week movie virtual discussion group. We will connect with one another, via ZOOM watch portions of the film, and explore connections across economics, climate change, racism and our spiritual lives. Register HERE.
A TALK IN THE WOODS 2: “WHITHER SMOKEY THE BEAR?” | Thursday, October 8 | 7:00 PM
Massive wildfires burning out of control again this fall in several Western states have been dangerous, deadly—and sobering. Even when they are caused “naturally,” why do they seem to be more common and more destructive? How can we heed Smokey the Bear’s reminder that “Only you can prevent forest fires,” in the face of widespread drought and other changes in environmental conditions?

The Earth Care Team of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina invites you to its second Zoom gathering, where wildfires will be the topic of conversation. What stories do you have about forest fires in Western North Carolina and southern Appalachia? What do we want children and youth to learn about living in the special environment of mountains and forests? How do Christians and their congregations promote healthy and sustainable ways of life here?

The Earth Care Team looks forward to you joining in this talk!
The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), spoke to nearly 100 socially distanced worshipers outdoors at Beulah Presbyterian Church in Louisville Sunday. Musicians sang and played, the words of the prophets Jeremiah and Micah were read, and the crowd prayed and shouted “Amen!” many times during comments by Nelson; the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency; and the Rev. Dr. Angela Johnson, Moderator of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery and pastor of Grace Hope Presbyterian Church in Louisville.
Click HERE to watch the full service.
YMCA September Updates
We are so grateful that our summer meal sites are able to continue providing meals for kids 18 and under through partnership with Asheville City Schools through December 31st (for now). You can find the schedule on Asheville City School's website for the sites below. We have also included Buncombe County School's schedule. Please share with families you work with. If you have any questions please reach out to Veronica at vodette@ymcawnc.org.

GCPC Still Growing
Congratulations GCPC Community Gardeners!
Mountain Xpress readers have chosen Grace Covenant Community Garden as a winner in the following category:

Third Place — Community Garden
— in Farm, Yard & Garden
GCPC Community Garden News

On September 26, 21 gardeners from teams 1 and 2 harvested 261 pounds of winter squash, now stored at GCPC. Two hundred and five pounds of collards, zucchini, beans, kale, green peppers, eggplant and tomatoes were harvested for distribution by YTL. Okra, bean, winter squash and zucchini plants were cleared from their beds. 

On October 3, remaining tomatoes, eggplant, and green peppers will be harvested and plants remaining in those beds will be removed. Next week cleared beds will be prepared for planting winter cover crops.

October 3 is also a time for gardeners and distribution partners to gather to celebrate the bounty of the garden. 

*Gardeners should plan to respond to a call to go to Anthony Cole’s farm to harvest potatoes next week if the weather permits.
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! 
Remote Giving & Paperless Statements 

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 https://onrealm.org/gcpcusa/give/now
  • TEXT "giveGCPC" and AMOUNT to 73256 (i.e. giveGCPC $100)
  • MOBILE through the Connect - Our Church Community app

Please note, the church office is closed and staff is not there to receive payments left on-site or in the mailbox.

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
Realm eGiving Transition | Self Set Up How To
Did you know that you can now to manage your directory profile, register for events, view contribution records in real time, and manage online giving, all in one place? Our new software, Realm, is a one stop shop!

Interested in setting up online recurring giving for the first time? 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.
GCPC Out and About Online
Autumn Lecture Series:
A Story Medicine Fundraiser
We all carry our stories within us. When we use them for stewing, ranting or giving up, we get stuck in this gooey energy and wonder why we cannot move forward. Our Indigenous ancestors knew that the stories of humanity, of the human condition, would heal the earth and the world. During these days of contagion, we have had to forego our annual Gala Fundraiser, the financial life-blood of Story Medicine Worldwide and its healing work. Instead we are offering this Lecture Series with presentations by two artists and two scientists, all Story Medicine certified facilitators. Join us in an interactive exploration of how story can guide us through the deep troubles of our times.

Each Lecture Topic will be in two parts, Monday nights, 6:30-7:30.

Click HERE for more information about each topic.

For each lecture, the suggested donation is $25 or more. No one will be turned away, any contribution is appreciated. Click HERE for flyer.
Crossroads Antiracism Training | October 23-25, 2020 | Online or in Montreat!
What’s Essential: Discerning the Church’s Work Amid the Twin Pandemics of Structural Racism & COVID-19
Our goal is to provide participants with capacity-building tools and resources to work for antiracist transformation in their churches and institutions. Participants will finish this antiracism training with concrete action steps for their congregations and local communities.

This Crossroads antiracism training will specifically address the political challenges facing the church in light of how the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the acute structural inequities of the USA and their impact on communities of color, particularly Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. Given the coronavirus pandemic and its disproportionate impact, our antiracism training will also address how the church is called to be a political actor. What and where is the Church being called to do and be?
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804