GCPC Weekly News | September 3, 2020

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GCPC Alive and Well This Week!
Choir during Harry Summerlin's Service
Staff Meeting 8/25
Class from East Tennessee State University that meets periodically in the church yard.
Huge haul from the GCPC Community Garden on Wednesday -
over 523 lbs.!!!
Worship Preview | Sunday, September 6, 2020
Sermon: "Put on the Lord Jesus" by Richard Coble
Scripture: Romans 13:8-14

Live Stream Worship Service @ 10:45 AM Sunday


Pandemic Palooza is coming next weekend - Sept. 12 & 13!

Click here to see more information about Palooza in Marcia's GraceNote.
GCPC Congregational Challenge

There's a song that says "All God's Creatures Got a Place in the Choir!" Grace Covenant has a strong heritage of music and a congregation that loves to sing. Singing together has not been possible during the COVID-19 Pandemic and I know that many of you miss the feeling of lifting your voice in song as a part of the congregation.  Some of you have seen the videos we have been able to produce with our Youth and also Chancel Choir and now we are extending that opportunity to you as well.  

Each week we join together in a GCPC favorite: "Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me."  As we prepare to kick off our fall, we thought it would be great to have our entire church family join their voices with the choir and help us sing this favorite together.  There are two video links below. One is a short tutorial, the other is a link to a recording of Glory to God.  There is also a link to written instructions at the end of this article.  We will gladly add your voice to our project throughout the fall but would love to have you singing with us in worship on September 13.  Deadline to have your voice to be included in the September 13 premier is next Thursday, September 10th at noon. Send your completed video to jjones@gcpcusa.org and feel free to reach out to Jeff if you have any questions.

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 in the third round of Reflection Groups (beginning in October) available for sign-up!

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

GCPC continues to show our willingness and ability to work together to care for one another and our community.

Here's another way you can help! Purchase some Equal Exchange coffee, chocolate, and olive oil. Many of these products were ordered prior to the pandemic are near their best buy date, just sitting on shelves in an empty building. The church purchases these products up front from Equal Exchange and recuperates the money at little to no profit through sales. While our building remains closed, we want to make sure these products don't go to waste.
For a limited time while supplies last, we are accepting bulk orders of the in-stock products and will arrange for no contact pick up/payment. 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.  
New Church Directory in Progress!
As you may have heard, our online directory is now integrated with our new database software, Realm.
Our staff is working on transferring our old directory visible information and matching the privacy settings in the new software. During this transition and set up, if you haven't already self-managed your privacy settings Realm, you will receive a notification email (see below) when our staff makes the change on your behalf. 
Want to include more or less information or update your profile? 
You can easily self-manage your profile and privacy settings - see this PDF for instructions. If you would like to be added or removed from the directory or have questions, please contact Anna Louise or Natalie.
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 (8/30 - 9/5): Betsy Rhodes email: betsyrhodes@charter.net
Next week (9/6 - 9/12): Ann Brown email: hbcove@aol.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)
John Hamel (Tim Hamel’s dad)
Marjorie Tague (Karen Punta’s friend)
Pati Skinner (Marty Dean’s friend, former GCPC member)
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
Bill McNeff
Susan Smialowicz
Laura Ross
Bill Williamson
Leslie Sharpe
Queen Mother Maggie Belle Gladden
Formation/Education
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 again encourages you to listen to this Fanti Podcast. Here are some things to consider:
  • With the use of the word ally there is striking arrogance. We want to help as white people, but we are the problem.
  • White people created the problem, and then pretend not to know how to help.
  • In the podcast it was suggested that with oppression we have to examine every word.
  • Using the word ally means we will provide aid, but not do any work on our white supremacy.
  • This podcast not only rejected the word ally, but also accomplice and co-conspirator.
  • The suggested terms were race traitor and race saboteur. Ex. A person that supports policies that seem to benefit other races than their own can be called a “race traitor”.

PART will continue our work in eliminating white supremacy in ourselves and in our community.

Next meeting: Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 PM. Please join us.

~ Liz Huesemann, PART member
Enneagram Sessions for GCPC Parents

Wednesday enneagram zoom gatherings for GCPC parents resume Wednesdays: September 9th & September 16th.  

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. 
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 Tuesday 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
Help Get Out the Vote!
The election on November 3, 2020 is probably the most important in our lifetimes. Here are links to two campaigns to get out the vote and encourage participation in our democracy. Efforts include phoning, texting, and writing postcards and letters.

Reclaim Our Vote is a volunteer-driven, nonpartisan voter outreach campaign to help empower voters of color and fight voter suppression, especially in the South. Here is a link to sign up to volunteer through Reclaim Our Vote: https://nationalvotercorps.org/naacp-phonebanks/

Vote Forward sponsors letter writing to increase voter turnout. https://votefwd.org/instructions
                                                                                                      

Poll Workers Needed
Election Services in all counties are looking for workers for Early Voting and Election Day. These are paid positions. Here is important information about needs in Buncombe County as well as a link to information about other counties. 
Click here to learn more and apply for paying jobs, or call Election Services at (828) 250-4200.


You Can Vote Trainings: 
Workshops about the latest rules for voting and how to register and motivate voters using online tools are sponsored regularly by the statewide organization You Can Vote https://www.youcanvote.org/ on Thursday evenings from 6-7 pm and Saturday mornings from 10-11 am. To learn more and register https://www.youcanvote.org/training

A nonpartisan voter reflection guide, Democracy, Values & the 2020 Electionhas been endorsed by faith groups and religious leaders at the national and state level including the NC Council of Churches and NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL). The guide will help faith communities consider moral issues from the climate crisis to racial justice. The guide also addresses voting rights, systemic racism in the criminal justice system, healthcare, peace, LGBTQ rights, and immigration. Click here for more information and to download the guide.

~ Submitted with support by CST and PART
GCPC Covenant Partner - YTL (Youth Transformed for Life)
YTL, Youth Transformed for Life, Training Programs is an organization dedicated to creating programming that advocates for and promotes equity for disadvantaged children and teens. Disadvantaged children and teens are those affected by economic disparities, institutionalized racism, social disparities, and life circumstances that create insurmountable obstacles for which they need assistance in order to overcome. In addition to creating programming, YTL also seeks to create community partnerships with other organizations with similar missions and goals.

YTL has been able to provide service through the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to provide a summer program for 35 children in which we offered tutoring 4 days per week, swimming, in house counseling, art, new media and we also traveled to horsesense. All of our staff and tutors were trained on the guidelines of the CDC. We followed those guidelines very carefully.

As the new school year begins, YTL will be providing online assistance and an afternoon enrichment program at Grace Covenant Presbyterian. We are so grateful to be partners with such an amazing, caring and supportive Church.

~ Parris Finley, YTL Administrative and Programming Assistant
GCPC Covenant Partner - Colaborativa La Milpa
If you want to see a group of people building the kind of beloved community that the church aspires to, check out our Covenant Partner Colaborativa La Milpa. Based in the Emma community of Buncombe County, La Milpa shares resources in ways that allow everyone to have greater impact and sustainability. By building community, being in true solidarity, and being in collaboration rather than competition, this worker-run nonprofit embodies the belief that organizations are stronger when all are thriving.

Over the past 20 years, primarily Latinx immigrant leaders in the Emma neighborhood have been organizing around mutual aid, community defense, and the uplift of their cultures. Over the years, a number of grassroots organizations emerged from these efforts, including Nuestro Centro (now Raíces), Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción (CIMA), PODER Emma, Retoño Hñähñu: Indigenous Language Revitalization Project, and Consulta Tu Compa. These organizations coalesced; Colaborativa La Milpa emerged as a collective response for building capacity around grant writing, administration, communications, nonprofit compliance, and coordinated strategic approaches. By sharing infrastructure, more energy will go directly to each organizations’ programs, and will avoid duplicating work. By coming together, La Milpa breaks patterns of isolation that exist on individual and organizational levels. 

In the coming months, GCPC will have the opportunity to learn more about La Milpa and the Emma community through an upcoming documentary, and we can support their work through invitations to write or call our public officials to advocate for various topics of justice. Stay tuned! In the meantime, you can read more about La Milpa’s member organizations here, and to support their work financially, click here

~ Keaton Hill, GCPC Serve Council
BeLoved Asheville continues to impact our community in amazing ways.

Click here to read about all the different works they are doing.
Virtual Asheville City Council Candidates Forum on Racial Equity | Wednesday, September 9 | 7:00-8:30 PM
 
Co-hosts of this forum include: Keep it Moving Coalition, YMI Cultural Center, Building Bridges, and AVL Racial Equity Collective.
 
The purpose of the forum is to go beyond sound bytes and hear from the candidates; their vision for racial equity in Asheville, how they are practicing that vision, and how prepared and committed they are to implement detailed policy and budgetary changes that, beyond rhetoric, influence the lives of Black and Brown people and the culture of the City of Asheville.
 
Questions will be submitted by the public in advance and curated by the hosting organizations. If there is time, people can submit questions in the chat, and moderators will choose questions to ask from the chat. 
 

Asheville GreenWorks "Hard 2 Recycle East" | Saturday, September 12 | 10 AM - 2 PM | 2319 US Highway 70, Swannanoa
Please wear a face covering, and maintain a 6 foot distance between yourself and others. If you are in the high-risk category, please stay home and limit your exposure to others.

Please note that volunteers will not unload vehicles at this event and are instructed to follow safety protocol. Participants will be expected to unload their own items, with staff on site to supervise and assist as needed. We will be accepting only the following items:
 
Electronics, appliances (no refrigerators), batteries
TVs - $10 fee
Scrap metal
Styrofoam - block/ packaging and food grade only
Laptop and desktop computers, phones, and their peripheries
Cardboard

Click here for more information.
"Greening Your Presbytery" Meeting | Monday, September 14 | 7:30 PM
If you would like to receive the link to the ZOOM call, email pec@presbyearthcare.org to be added to the list. 

You can also learn a lot about Presbytery Earth Care Teams by looking at the information on this webpage: https://presbyearthcare.org/presbytery-earth-care-program/

The Presbytery of WNC has a newly formed Earth Care Team and they will be hosting "A Talk in the Woods: Conversations about Our Place in Creation" on Thursday, September 10th, 7:00 p.m. Please register in advance at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcuytrTkvH9Ss7jW8g6G-3Jw3heeASJmj After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Urge Passage of NC House Bill 1200 to Limit Growing Housing Crisis
 
Despite the CDC’s temporary eviction moratorium, increasing numbers of North Carolina residents face a housing crisis unseen here since the Great Depression. In the NC General Assembly, a bipartisan bill providing $200 million for rental, mortgage, and utility assistance will come to the floor of the House in a few days.
 
We urge residents of WNC to call your state senator and representatives and ask for their support of this critical legislation that will provide essential financial assistance to protect thousands of WNC residents during this troublesome time. Buncombe County representatives John Ager and Brian Turner are co-sponsors of the bill.
 
NC House of Representatives
John Ager  828-628-2616
Susan Fisher - 919-715-2013
Brian Turner - 919-715-3012
  
North Carolina Senate
Terry Van Duyn (District 49) – 919-715-3001
Chuck Edwards (District 48) – 919-733-5745

Below is a sample script. You will likely leave a voicemail or speak to an aide tallying constituent calls. Your voice counts, as phone calls are the most effective way to reach legislators.

Hello, my name is ______. I am calling from (your county) to ask you to support HB 1200. This bill will provide much-needed housing assistance for people affected by COVID-19. No one should lose their home because a public health crisis leaves them without a job.   

~ submitted by the Creating Sanctuary Team (CST)
Take the census online:

How to respond by phone:
  • English (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-330-2020
  • Spanish (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-468-2020
  • Click here for more language options

To reply by mail, send your paper questionnaire to:
U.S. Census Bureau
National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132
GCPC Still Growing
GCPC Community Garden News
This week in the garden teams 2 and 3 harvested an astounding 668 lbs of green beans, okra, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, and lots and lots of tomatoes!!! Our distribution partners, YWCA and Western Carolina Rescue Mission, each received about half of this spectacular harvest. Newly planted are spinach seeds and collard and curly kale seedlings.  


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
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?
What You Don't Know (But Should) About Appalachian Slavery | Saturday, September 5 | 1:00-2:30 PM | Facebook Live
Antebellum slavery is most often associated with the Deep South: sprawling Mississippi cotton fields, Alabama sugar plantations, and Georgia estates straight from “Gone with the Wind.” But Central Appalachia had a thriving slave trade, as well. You probably don’t know (but should) that nearly every Appalachian county had a slave auction block at their local courthouse or within its market district. You probably don’t know (but should) that slavery was primarily industrial in nature, creating what are now described as “Iron Plantations.” And you probably don’t know (but should) that some of Appalachia’s first slave owners were actually Cherokee.

This is a FREE event that will take place directly on ISC's timeline: https://www.facebook.com/StorytellingCenter.

ISC will NEVER ask you for any credit card information to access a Freedom Stories event or route you to any other website. Please be aware of any third-party spammers.
"Holy Imagination + Race: How the Church Can Be a Healing Force in America’s Racial Divide" | Tuesday, September 15 | 2:00 PM
With this upcoming webinar from The Presbyterian Outlook and author Kerry Connelly, leadership and adult study groups can begin the important work of dismantling racism as a church and finding justice for our Black brothers and sisters in Christ. Participants do not need to have read Kerry’s book, Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice, to attend.

The free, 90-minute webinar on September 15 serves as an introduction to the book and a jumping-off point should groups or individuals seek to process these themes in a fall book study. If you are not able to attend the webinar live, those who register will receive a link to the recorded webinar for use at a later date.

Click here to learn more and to register.
OLLI's Inclusion Committee
Online Series on Racial Disparity
OLLI's Inclusion Committee has designed a virtual webinar series focusing on four major areas reflecting racial disparity in our community. The presentation of the series is an effort to raise awareness and to inspire personal engagement and advocacy.

  • Wednesday, September 16 | 4:00 PM | Jesse Pitts, Tsiana Tovar, and Buffy Fowler | Education Disparity: What is the Path to Achieving Educational Equity for Students of Color? 

This panel will feature professional educators and education advocates including Jesse Pitts, Counselor at Asheville Middle School, Tsiana Tovar, ESL teacher for Buncombe County Schools and Buffy Fowler, Operations Coordinator at Francine Delaney New School.
STAY CONNECTED
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 828.254.3274 
789 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804