GCPC Weekly News | October 15, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
4th/5th Grade Connect Class 10/11
PART Meeting 10/8
Garden Steering Meeting 10/11
Staff Meeting 10/13
Worship Preview | Sunday, October 18, 2020
Sermon: "As the World Discerns" by Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Scripture: Matthew 22:15-22

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Keeping the Faith | 2021 Stewardship Campaign
“To everything, turn, turn, turn,
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
And a time to every purpose
Under heaven.”

This wisdom passage from Ecclesiastes, put to music by The Byrds, has been an anthem throughout much of my life and, I suspect, in many of our lives. It has been a reminder that life does, in fact, evolve and move forward in it’s time. Still, it has been a really long 2020…

While so much change in our world has been unsettling, stress-filled and just plain tedious, I have been deeply surprised by grace (and Grace!) in many unanticipated ways. I have come to see GCPC as stronger in 2020 and more critical to my own own personal journey of faith.

How stronger, you may ask? Here are some of the ways that are playing out for me. I have been so surprised at how personal and intimate our online worship services are. I especially love the inclusion of so many congregants of various ages each week as worship leaders and the ‘chat’ opportunities that highlight the neighborhoods, counties and states chiming in weekly to worship together. It makes my heart so happy to receive each of your greetings—I take them very personally! It has also made me all the more aware of the gift of technology in including folks who, for a myriad of reasons, cannot attend services even in non-Covid times but long for connection. My work life at present limits me for Sunday morning adult ed and worship as well as most evening and all weekend opportunities. I would be lost without the ability to connect with you all via You-tube at the start of each week. God bless our staff for the continual efforts at creative, engaging worship services and to Session for the wisdom to grab Luke Johnson and not let go!

Critical to me is the commitment by staff to continually challenge the congregation to dig deeper into our individual and collective understanding of a life of faithful discipleship based on a heart for God and feet for prophetic action. We are not just biding time together, but using this time to more fully examine critical topics of white privilege, racism, and sexism within ourselves and within the systems that we are all steeped in and impacted by. We have the opportunity to do so in community, trusting the love and support of one another as we lift the veil on our own blind spots. What a gift to give each other.

We are stronger for the creative, evolving approaches to community-building throughout the week. From children, youth and adult ministry opportunities to a wild and crazy GCPC palooza and the upcoming All Saint’s Day drive-by event, to zoom bible studies, devotionals and guest wisdom leaders, we are growing and expanding the ways to be church together.

In Sunday’s homily, Richard asked: “ What do you reach for when things change and you can’t find a foothold?”  Personally, this question and prayerful reflection have led me to a deeper understanding that what binds me to GCPC is what binds the community… a collective, embodied trust in a God who loves us and every part of creation, no exceptions, and actions that reflect that trust. This awareness in such a tumultuous time has me reordering the resources I have to share with GCPC in order to make sure we continue to grow our ministries. I am more convinced than ever that collectively, my GCPC family, we’ve got this!! Blessings and Peace to you, my siblings in Christ.

GCPC it's time to commit to keeping the faith together in 2021. Pledging is easy on Realm. Any questions, please contact Natalie Weaver.

~ Nancy Gaskin, Stew Crew All-Star

Click the video to watch the first of the Stew Crew All Stars stewardship videos.
  • 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.
On October 18 at 3:00pm GCPC welcomes Michael Hayes, Alice Dixson, and Allison Sturtevant-Gilliam as they lead the Asheville/Buncombe County community in an informative and transformative program on Trauma Informed and Trauma Responsive Parenting.  

The program on YouTube will be followed by Zoom opportunities for parents to ask questions. We will have a zoom gathering for those who understand themselves as parenting in conditions and contexts of oppression and a zoom gathering for parents who understand themselves as parenting in conditions and contexts of privilege. We will provide that login information on Sunday.
(Click here to see digital flyer)
GCPC All Saints Eve Extravaganza | Saturday, October 31 | 3-4 PM 
It’s another Drive Through Extravaganza!!! Mark your calendar! 
Our new Director of Childrens and Family Ministries, Amy Kim Kryemes-Parks will be here in costume--you don’t want to miss it!!! 
So you can come in costume too! You can decorate your car, too, if that sounds like fun to you! We’ll have halloween candy!
We’ll also have Communion elements for All Saints worship, votive candles, and you can even check out a hymnal. 
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:

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 (10/11 - 10/17): Bill Ryan email: bill73ryan@gmail.com
Next week (10/18 - 10/24): Nancy Kramer email: nancykramer1981@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)
Robb Overholt (Matt Wiedle’s friend)
Shannon Johnson (Bill McNeff’s daughter, car accident) 
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
Bob Walther
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. 
The Mission Agency within the Presbyterian Church USA has identified how white supremacy and privilege show up in patterns of decision-making and discourse. with the help of a consultant. (For your information there are 6 agencies of the PCUSA. They are, Board of Pensions, Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Foundation, Presbyterian Investment and Loan Agency, Presbyterian Mission Agency, and Presbyterian Publishing Corporation.) Presbyterian Mission Agency is the national ministry arm of PCUSA, and the largest of the six agencies.

PART is interested in how white supremacy and privilege show up at GCPC, but also the larger church. The consultant found ableism, conversations about antiracism fell on the shoulders of BIPOC board members and staff, white attendees checked out, questions that are emotional went to woman and procedural ones went to men, white people standing on the perimeter giving the impression that they guarding the space, using the phrase "my staff" instead of "team", liberal white women inserting themselves in the consultant's space, people of Asian descent rendered invisible, and staff was only able to talk when the board deemed appropriate, to name some of the findings.

PART discussed how we need to listen to each other even when it is uncomfortable at all levels of the PCUSA.  We need to feel what is uncomfortable and explore it in a non-defensive manner. We need to recognize how deeply entrenched we are in white supremacy traditions. And breath when I say this truth, our history is tied to slavery. Let us listen compassionately and deeply to BIPOC, and begin the transformative process.

All our welcome at our next meeting on November 12th, 6pm.

~ submitted by Liz Huesemann PART Member
Sunday Evening Bible Study & Prayer Group | Sundays (beginning October 11) | 5:00 PM via Zoom
Our new Bible Study and Prayer Group will begin this Sunday. We will be focusing on how selected passages from the Gospel of John speak to our spiritual lives and needs today. With a contentious election looming, the pandemic entering a new phase, and the cold weather approaching, the coming months will be difficult. Our hope is that this group is a time of support, contemplation, and fellowship, where we can feel the movement of the Spirit and ready ourselves for another week. So please, join us as you can. Contact Richard with questions.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 834 6929 0018
Passcode: 789
Fall Adult Education

Drawdown: Engaging our Faith to Reverse the Climate Crisis | Sundays | *9:00 - 10:15 AM | September 20-October 25
Drawing on the workbook DRAWDOWN: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warmingas 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 | Sunday, Oct. 18 | 5:00 – 6:30 PM on Zoom (**Please arrive between 4:45-5:00 PM!**)
This week we'll look at a familiar story in new ways, seeing how it shows up in today's conversations of racial justice and liberation. And of course there will be games and fellowship, too—can't wait to see you there! Email Cat Kessler to request zoom information.
Camp Grier Virtual Summer Saving Events
Do you want to earn a discount on summer camp tuition? Join us for a Virtual Summer Savings Event where you can learn about the people, places, and programs that turn a summer at Camp Grier into a lifetime of memories. This is a great opportunity for returning families as well as folks that are new to Camp Grier. You will receive $50 off tuition for each child that you register for camp by attending and can learn how to earn even more savings by helping us host a future event. Events will last between 30 to 45 minutes. Invite friends and join us in helping others to know the great summer opportunities available to kids at Camp Grier! Click here to see how it works!
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
Participation in the electoral process is a part of our responsibility as people of faith. We are called to vote our faith convictions at the polls.

Throughout the month of October, the PCUSA is sponsoring a campaign, PCUSA Votes, in order “…to engage, educate, and motivate people to exercise their right to vote, especially those who are a part of marginalized communities.” Visit http://pcusa.org/vote
#PCUSAvotes2020 to learn more about the schedule of events and to access resources, including videos and short articles by leaders of color throughout the denomination.

  • October 15th - Early Voting sites open.      
  • November 3rd - Election Day. You can ONLY vote on this day at YOUR Precinct location.

Three ways to vote
  1. Absentee. You may vote absentee for any reason. However, time is short at this date to order and return an absentee ballot.
  2. Early Voting Oct. 15-31. Same day registration is available at early voting locations. For early voting sites and times in Buncombe County, go to https://www.buncombecounty.org/common/election/early-voting-schedule.pdf
  3. Election Day Nov. 3. On this day you can only vote at your precinct location.

To promote voting in the coming days, go here. Opportunities include
  1. Texting
  2. Phone Banking
  3. Writing postcards (this is winding down)
  4. Becoming a poll worker
  5. Becoming a vote protector or Truth Team member

Candidate Information and Sample Ballots
  • The League of Women Voters nationally has created Vote411, a resource for getting information on the candidates on your ballot.
  • Common Cause NC and Democracy NC have come out with their 28-page candidate guide for statewide and federal offices. Get your copy here. Paper copies are available at the Democracy NC office at the United Way building, 50 S. French Broad Avenue, 2nd floor or check this link for times to get materials. 
  • The NC Board of Elections offers this link for getting your sample ballot and finding your polling place on Election Day.
  • The NC Council of Churches has created a reflection guide for voting this fall. Here is a link where you can get permission to access a free copy. This nonpartisan guide offers sections that address urgent moral issues at stake in this election and beyond. 

~ Submitted with support of CST and PART
GCPC Covenant Partner - La Milpa
As our Covenant partner La Milpa offers opportunities to and supports members of the Buncombe County Latinx community, El Centro in Henderson County advocates for Latinx neighbors there. Grace Covenant’s Sergio Fernandez is executive director of programs that include education, mental health, and advocacy. In recent months, El Centro has sponsored meetings with political candidates and raised awareness of voting procedures; further, it provides financial help as clients impacted by COVID seek assistance with rent, medicine, and food. El Centro creates online classes and buys computers for clients. As El Centro supports non-English-speaking parents trying to help their children with online classes and assignments, the organization is seeking bi-lingual volunteer tutors five hours each day. To learn more about El Centro, visit elcentrolac.org or contact Sergio at elcentro.lac@gmail.com

~ submitted by Tish Anderson
Support Voting with Our LatinX Neighbors
     El Centro of Henderson County will be having "safe sites events" at Henderson County Early Voting sites. Their goal is for everyone to feel welcome and safe while they are in line to vote. 
   El Centro will have coffee and doughnuts for the morning, and in the afternoon, they are having Latin food to give away. They are seeking volunteers for the following dates: 
  • Oct. 15th at Board of Elections Office
  • Oct. 16th at Flat Rock Village 
  • Oct. 21st at Etowah Library
  • Oct. 29th at Fletcher Town Hall
  • Oct. 30 at Board of Elections Office
  • Nov. 3rd (depending on where they see more Latinos voting) which they think will be the Board of Elections Office but will check after the early voting dates.  
     El Centro will be there from 7:30 am till 7:30 pm. They understand that volunteers might not be able to stay there all day with them, and they have worked out the following schedule of 3 hour shifts. 
  • 8:00 am - 11:00 am
  • 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
   They are very excited about these events. Everyone needs to feel safe and welcome to vote! Whoever is interested in volunteering with El Centro should contact Gabby Mendez at gabby@elcentrolac.org or call 828-290-7134, ext. 9.
Vote to Make the Beloved Community: Souls to the Polls | Sunday, October 18 | 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM | Arthur Edington Education and Career Center, 133 Livingston Street
A nonpartisan event to get out the vote. With music by Picante and others. And the vision of creating in Asheville what Dr King called the Beloved community. Come and hang out, enjoy the music, and share stories with us. Or come and simply vote. Everyone must wear masks and practice social distancing. Sponsored by The NC Poor People Campaign and the Elder Vigil Group in Support of Black Lives Matter.
Celebrating a 25-year partnership with Iglesia Jerusalem, our sister church in Guatemala
Grace Covenant is thankful for our 25 year relationship with Iglesia Jerusalem (IJ) located in Coatepeque, Guatemala. GCPC has welcomed several delegations of IJ members to visit and taken them to see and work with our ministry partners. Also, they have hosted several delegations of GCPC members, where we have worked together to complete projects on the ground in Guatemala. GCPC annually provides several educational scholarships which are administered through our partnership with IJ. Interested in hearing more? Join the Guatemala Committee on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm and engage more fully in our covenant relationship with IJ. For more information, email Debby Vance (momiam@gmail.com). We look forward to welcoming you!
2020 African Americans in WNC and Southern Appalachia Conference | Friday, October 16 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
UNC Asheville’s seventh annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference will take place online this year. The conference is free and open to everyone with pre-registration required; the conference schedule and Zoom access information will be posted here closer to the conference date.
Continuing last year’s theme, Existence as Resistance: Expressions of Resilience, this year’s conference will include time for Q&A and discussion. Conference founder and director, UNC Asheville Associate Professor of History Darin J. Waters, who also is the University’s executive director of community engagement, and producer of BPR’s The Waters and Harvey Show, will provide a welcoming talk at 10 a.m. Click HERE for more information.
Robert P. Jones’ ‘White Too Long’ draws praise and spirited discussion from faith leaders
For Robert P. Jones, Tuesday’s webinar was a chance to discuss his significant book, “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.” And for the faith leaders who appeared with Jones during the event put on by Simmons College of Kentucky and Empower West Louisville, it was a chance to enter into remarkable conversation about the future of an inclusive church — if only it will proclaim the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.

View the Facebook Live webinar here.
YMCA Food Distribution
An additional place to get FREE FOOD this upcoming Monday, October, 19th, thanks to the Asheville Dream Center.
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden News

On October 8, Wade plowed and tilled the empty beds. Rick fertilized beds 2, 6, 11, and 12. Cliff removed 3 truckloads of discarded tomato and pepper plants. Judy, Barb T, and Rick planted turnips and wheat as winter cover crops. Cabbage, collards, spinach, and kale are still growing in the garden. 

On October 10 Pam, Liz and Betsy harvested 2 pounds of spinach and 39 pounds of collards. These greens and about 70 pounds of winter squash were picked up by YTL.

Garden teams will no longer harvest on the regular schedule though organized harvesting of greens in the garden is expected to continue once a week for the next month or so.

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