GCPC Weekly News | September 17, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Staff Meeting 9/15
Glory to God!
Deacons assembling Deacon Bags
for Pandemic Palooza
Pandemic Palooza drive-through!
Pandemic Palooza drive-through!
Pandemic Palooza drive-through!
Pandemic Palooza drive-through!
Pandemic Palooza drive-through!
Watch the Pandemic Palooza video HERE!
Worship Preview | Sunday, September 20, 2020
Sermon: "As the World Unlearns" by Marcia Mount Shoop
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday

Dear Grace Covenant Community, 

Change is the nature of life--something we experience every day in more ways than we can count. But, that does not make change easy, even when changes always bring healing opportunities. 

I want you to know about a change on our GCPC staff that will take effect in December. Sherrie Meehan, our Operations Administrator since May 2016, will be retiring at the end of 2020.  

Sherrie has been a great team member, managing our renovation project and nurturing the remarkable uptick in building use pre-COVID19. She also supported my work as Head of Staff, especially around my efforts to create responsive systems for all of our administrative tasks. I am grateful for Sherrie's dedication to the ministries of this church and all of her hard work these last four and a half years. I know she is excited for the adventure of retirement even as she will miss her work in this community. 

I want you all to have time to send Sherrie a card, give her a call in the church office, or send her an email. With COVID 19 restrictions it won't be possible to see her face to face to share your appreciation for her work. So I hope you will make time these next several weeks to give her your heart-felt thanks! 

In the coming weeks you'll be hearing about new additions to our staff. I am grateful that Sherrie is putting energy into how our staff welcomes new staff members and transitions her tasks.  

Thank you, Sherrie! We love you and are grateful for all you do for GCPC! 

Quilt Square Project
Hi GCPC Family,
Worship Council initiated a quilt square project so that when we come back together as a church family we will have a tangible reminder of the ways we found Grace during 2020. We would like to collect them by the end of this month so that our head quilt consultant (Lynne Noble) can forge ahead on designing a banner/final project using our squares. My family still has to do ours, but I have it out, with an idea, and the colors I want to use. Let's get those mailed to the church or dropped off in the mailbox. Better yet, you can drop off completed quilt squares to the church when you come through for the drive through drop off extravaganza on Saturday from 11-11:30!  If anyone still needs a square, please email me at Margaret@weavervillerealty.net or text me 828-506-2742 and we will see to it that you receive one! It's not too late to reflect your visual representation of how your family found grace in a pandemic.
~ Margaret Belk Tierney
Grace Covenant's Session invites you to join in a 2020 study of Lalya Saad’s, 
Me and White Supremacy.

This 28-day study supports a deep and honest examination into the ways in which we, as a white-dominant congregation, consciously and unconsciously uphold white supremacy through action and inaction.
There are still a few spots available for Reflection Groups on Sunday nights at 7pm from Oct. 4- Nov. 22.

Click here to register and read about all the ways
to get involved.
Equal Exchange - No Contact Bulk Sales

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. 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.  
How to Access New Church Directory!
As you may have heard, our online Directory is now integrated with our new database software, Realm. Staff has finished updating profiles for the new Directory. Below you will find instructions for how to access the Directory both on a desktop and on the mobile app.

  1. Log in to Realm on your desktop. (Please email Anna Louise if you need to reset your password.)
  2. Click on Directory at the bottom of the left hand menu.
  3. Search for a person and click on their name to access more info.

Mobile App:
  1. On the bottom menu, click on More (with the 3 dots)
  2. Choose the first option, Groups
  3. Choose Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
  4. Click on the top bar that indicates 2,000+ participants
  5. Search for a person and click their name to access more info.

*If you do not have a Realm log in, our staff can provide a PDF version of the family directory. Please keep in mind, the Realm database will be the most accurate and updated version.
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 (9/13 - 9/19): Amber White email: amberleigh164@gmail.com
Next week (9/20 - 9/26): Gordon Gaiser email: gordongaiser@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
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)
Marjorie Tague (Karen Punta’s friend)
Randy Randolph (Janet Schifflin’s friend and son-in-law of former GCPC members Pat and Evie Adams) 
Travis Heck (Brian Cook's brother)
Hettie Lou Garland
Bob Higgins
Cory Hartbarger
Florence and Steve Riedesel
Roslyn Carney
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Leslie Sharpe
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Marilyn Schmidt
All those participating in the “Me & White Supremacy” study

Prayers for the Shem family following the death of Ray's father, Raymond Shem, Sr., last week in Colorado.
Fall Adult Education
(begins on September 20)

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 Check-In | 10:15 am | Zoom
Hey GCPC Kids,
Did you see faith sharing last week--where all those animal friends showed up? Well, guess what! They will be back when you least expect it in worship. When one of our animal friends shows up in worship, it's a chance for us to pay attention in a new way. 

At our weekly check in Sunday mornings at 10:15am you'll get a clue about what animal we're looking for together and what we might see or feel or say when we see that animal friend. 

It's easy, you'll get an email every Friday with the Zoom link for our Sunday 10:15am check in. Then at the very beginning of worship there will be another chance to get a clue about our animal friends. What fun! We can't wait for this adventure together these next several weeks! Email Anna Louise if you did not receive the link.

We hope you got your "God Out of the Box" boxes this week. If you didn't get one, please contact Tish Anderson and we will be sure to get one to you. 
4th & 5th Graders CONNECT Class | Sundays | 5:00-5:45pm | Zoom
This Fall, our 4th and 5th graders will be diving into "CONNECT," a project-based curriculum that helps children connect with Bible stories in today’s time. Children will meet with teachers for virtual gatherings on Sunday evenings and complete hands-on activities. Materials and Bibles were dropped off to homes a few days ago.

Each week, families will receive an email with a unique login for class. If you did not receive the email and would like to be on the list, please email Anna Louise. If you have questions or still need materials, please contact Samantha sgblock@gcpcusa.org.

Let's get ready to creatively connect with church friends and explore God's amazing Word!
Youth Group Kick Off! | Sunday, Sept. 20 | 5:00 – 6:30 PM | Zoom
Mark your calendars for our first official Youth Group gathering of the fall as we embark on a year of New Horizons! We'll get to know one another, play games, laugh and see what God may have in store for us in the months ahead.

**NOTE: This fall, Sunday School will be incorporated into Youth Group time, so attendance will be important for our faith formation.**
September Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents

September enneagram Zoom gatherings for GCPC parents: 
 Wednesdays: September 23rd & 30th, 6:30-8:30PM 

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.
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. 

In a recent sermon Marcia shared not only Tema Okun’s list of white supremacy norms but additional ones she wanted us to consider In ourselves and in our community.
PART decided to look deeper at transactional relationships and white supremacy. These relationships...
  • Trivialize us.
  • Are about winning and what you get.
  • Are about getting the most you can in exchange for as little as possible.
  • Make you feel empty and unimportant.
  • Judge the results.
  • Are about making a deal. I will do this if you do that.
  • Create Distance.

PART invites GCPC to consider how our relationships can become less transactional and more transformational. How can we be more like Jesus in the ways he extended compassion and understanding to all people? How can we allow people to see us and tell them we see them?
What are you doing to understand people you encounter?
When and how are you being and not doing in relationships?
How are you building loving, thoughtful, and genuine relationships?
How do you build the we and not just the I?
How do we build trust with each other?

Join us on October 8th as we continue our deep caring work of dismantling white supremacy.

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member
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

VOTE 2020
Three ways to vote
(1) Absentee
  • Vote absentee for any reason.
  • You can order an absentee ballot online. Go to this link from the NC Board of Elections to fill out the request. Once completed, you will get a confirmation email.
  • If no access to computer or unable to print absentee ballot, call BOE at 828-250-4200 and they will mail you and absentee ballot.
  • Return absentee ballot by hand to the Board of Elections at 77 McDowell St., Asheville, 28801 (open M-F, 8am-5pm) through Election Day, Nov. 3. (This is the probably the most reliable return method.)
  • You can now track your absentee ballot online to make sure it was received and has been counted. Go to the Voter Lookup Tool     

(2) Early Voting Oct. 15-31. Same day registration is available at early voting locations. Dates, times, and locations Early Voting schedule

(3) Election Day Nov. 3. On this day you can only vote at your precinct location.
Candidate Information Common Cause NC and Democracy NC have produced a candidate guide for federal and statewide offices. Review the online version here

Be a Poll Monitor Poll monitors, also known as vote protectors, monitor for long lines, confusion, misinformation, etc. Democracy NC provides virtual volunteer trainings, t-shirts, and sign-ups in your region. https://democracync.org/take-action/election-protection/

Help 5-10 Friends Cast Their Ballot Visit this Democracy NC link to join their #WeVote Squad campaign to help 5-10 of your friends cast their ballot https://secure.everyaction.com/hp_WG8WJuECa35HsbbSEdA2

~ Submitted with support of CST and PART
Do you have a passion to Serve?

If you have a passion for reaching out beyond the church walls to carry out Jesus’ mission in our world, please think about how you might join in the work of the Serve Council in 2021. Serve Council is committed to walking alongside our ministry partners at home and abroad and is charged with the work of dispersing GCPC funds in an equitable way. In addition, Serve seeks to contribute to the long-term work of dismantling white supremacy by striving to more equitably share power, resources, and access with directly impacted people through authentic, mutual relationships.

The Serve Council has three working groups to allow members to use their gifts in certain areas and tasks. Suggestions from the working groups are brought back to the full Council for further discussion and decision-making. 

If you can’t commit to being on the full Council and attend monthly meetings, you could participate by serving on a working group. Working groups only convene for their specific tasks. The groups are: 1) Vision and Justice Working Group, 2) Events and Engagement Working Group, and 3) Sharing Cycle Working Group.

Contact any member of Serve to learn more about this opportunity to support relationships and justice in our city and beyond. Members are: Rick Noble, Christi Mobley, Amy Weisner, Keaton Hill, Tammy Bradley, John Huie, Lynne Meacham, and Melissa Hicks (chair) mmhicks1h@aol.com

~ contributed by Lynne Meacham
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
GCPC Community Garden News
This week team 2 harvested just over 200 pounds of green beans, okra, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, and tomatoes for distribution by YTL. They also saved the row of Mr. Stripey tomatoes that had toppled by a group effort of hauling them up and securing them with string and tent stakes.  Team 3 harvested almost 150 pounds of tomatoes and green beans for distribution by the YWCA. A small quantity of green beans was donated to staff of the Children’s Center. 

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