Letter From the Rector
Dear ones,

I am incredibly grateful for all your prayers and support over the last several months since my medical leave in November, and felt it was time that I update you on my health. There have been several overlapping factors contributing to my need for rest and healing. Many of you know that last summer I began to experience unaccustomed back pain which stopped my triathlon training and interfered with my daily activities. I began intensive physical therapy in August and am now to the point where I can carry out my daily activities without pain. In addition, I had a cancer scare in the fall. After a negative needle biopsy my doctor recommended removing the entire lesion in November, which turned out to be completely benign. I am now fully recovered from my surgery and cancer free.

Over the course of the late summer and early fall, in the midst of dealing with this pain and uncertainty, after suddenly losing the biochemical support of all my cardio exercise, and after 18 months of the chronic stress of leading Grace through pandemic and fires, I experienced what I can best describe as a mental, emotional, and spiritual breaking point. In late November, as I shared in my sermon last Sunday, this was diagnosed as an episode of major depressive disorder. This clinical depression is different from the typical sad or low times we all go through, in that it is a slowing of the chemical and electrical signals to the brain. It is also very common, and in the form that I have it, very treatable. I am receiving excellent care from a team of professionals and am much better since December. As I recover, my sleep is vastly improved, I am able to engage more fully in life and work, my energy and focus are getting better, and the hope that held on to on the dark days even as a distant guiding star seems closer and more actionable for me. I am learning a new way of being in the world that will be life-giving and sustainable for me.

I have been on partial disability through the church’s private disability insurance since December and will continue on partial disability at least through the end of February. This allows me to work the hours I am able as I recover, and the church receives some additional income to offset supply clergy and administrative support. Bringing our administrative manager, Sarah Neidhoeffer, on full-time beginning January 1, a move we had been planning for over a year, could not have been better timed. Additionally, I am incredibly grateful for Rev. Wendy’s leadership and for all our staff and leaders who have stepped up to keep our ministry constant during my period of healing. I am well enough to “steer the ship,” and we continue in good hands under the capable leadership of our vestry and staff.

Jesus said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.” (Luke 5:31-32, The Message). This experience of brokenness and healing has caused me to depend ever more on the Great Physician. I am buoyed up by a deep faith that God is working in me through all of this to change my life, from the inside out, so that I can continue to serve God in a way that is life-giving, sustainable, and real. Please know that I still feel deeply called to ministry in general and the call that God has for us together as priest and beloved congregation of Grace Church. I am still here for you, and I know that many of you are going through similar struggles. I have faith that through all the brokenness we are individually and collectively experiencing now, God is bringing, and will bring, healing and indeed resurrection.

Resurrection is a process; Jesus’ resurrected body was a new kind of life, one that the disciples didn’t recognize at first and couldn’t control. As I go through this process, I trust that transformation, even if it feels like loss at first, is part and parcel of being a follower of Jesus. And I trust that as we continue in pandemic and heal from fires, resurrection life is happening not just in me, but in our congregation, and the church and the world at large. It may be a different kind of life, but it is God’s life in and among us, for the healing and transformation not only of ourselves but of God’s world.

With gratitude, in the deep peace of the One who has walked this way before us,


PS My colleague Pastor Pete Shaw from Crosswalk Church in Napa shared his experience of COVID-related burnout in a sermon with his congregation entitled “Peace be with you: a cautionary tale last April. Pete’s experience is in many ways parallel to mine, and he has given me permission to share his story with you.
This Sunday at Grace
The Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany |  We hope that you will join us at one of our two services this Sunday as Rev. Amy leads us in worship and we hear a special sermon from our guest preacher Rev. Linda Powers. You can join us in person at our 8am or 10am (live streamed) services or via our weekly live stream on FacebookYoutube, or our Website.
Children and Youth | Children and youth will be both online and in person this week. In person will meet outdoors on the patio at 10:00am and will join the adults indoors at communion for this Sunday. For more information or questions please reach out to Erika at Mueller at erika@grace-episcopal.org.
Guest Preacher: Rev. Linda Powers | I always knew that my ministry would be specialized. Since being ordained in 2008 as Chaplain / Wellness Coordinator at V.O.I.C.E.S., the emancipated foster youth center in Napa, my ministry has been to serve "the least of us." Ever since I came to Napa in 1998, I have served the Homeless in Napa County in several capacities including Program Director for all the Shelter Services. In 2016, I was blessed to acquire a ministry partner, Beta. She is a trained therapy dog that serves with me every day in what the Presbytery of the Redwoods deems as a "Six-legged Ministry."
Forum: The Homeless Population of Napa Valley | Join us for a special FORUM from Rev. Linda Powers on the Homeless population in our community at 11:30am this Sunday in person or via Zoom. Click Here for Zoom link; Call in 669 900 6833 (ID: 824 6907 2229; Password: 94574)
Announcements And Community News
SAVE THE DATE: Annual Meeting is Sunday, February 13! | We will gather as a community for one worship service that will be livestreamed and in-person at 9 am in the sanctuary. The Rector's Report will serve as the sermon during this single service. After the service, all are invited to take home fresh baked cookies, lovingly made for us by Grant Showley and Naphasorn Wright (of Thai House Napa Valley), and reconvene on zoom at 11:30 am to continue our Annual Meeting. We will gather virtually as a congregation on zoom to approve new vestry leaders who will guide the mission and ministry of Grace on our vestry (board) for the next three years. We receive the treasurer’s report for the previous year and the budget the vestry has approved for this year, and we hear and receive reports from our major ministry areas. We are really looking forward to gathering together in this hybrid way as a community to plan and pray our way into 2022! Please plan to join us.
Vestry Candidates | During Annual Meeting on the 13th of this month several of our current Vestry members will complete their terms. This means that we will be electing new members to the Vestry who will help lead and guide our church in the coming year. Over the next two weeks you will get the chance to learn more about our two candidates Mark Linder and Braulio Munoz-Matheny. This week you can read more about Braulio Munoz-Matheny HERE and be sure to save the date for Annual Meeting on February 13th.
The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C. S. Lewis | We will be showing the movie The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C. S. Lewis. It seems that this story is worth revisiting in such an unpredictable, faith-shaking time of trouble, fear, doubt and instability. You can view the trailer for the movie HERE.

An elder C.S. Lewis looks back on his remarkable journey from hard-boiled atheist to the most renowned Christian writer of the past century. The film features award-winning actor Max McLean as the older Lewis and Nicholas Ralph – breakout star of PBS Masterpiece’s All Creatures Great and Small – as young Lewis. Beautifully filmed in and around Oxford, this engaging biopic follows the creator of The Chronicles of Narnia from the tragic death of his mother when he was just nine years old, through his strained relationship with his father, to the nightmare of the trenches of World War I to Oxford University, where friends like J.R.R. Tolkien challenge his unbelief. Written for the screen and directed by two-time Emmy and BAFTA winner Norman Stone (BBC’s Shadowlands), The Most Reluctant Convert brings to life the spiritual evolution of one the 20th century’s sharpest minds and keenest wits. Come and join us for this 70 minute film and a 30-40 minute discussion to follow: ONLINE Wednesday, Feb 16 at 7 pm on Zoom. IN PERSON Saturday, Feb 19 at 7 pm in the church Sanctuary.
Stewardship | Moving our annual stewardship campaign from fall to winter allows us the opportunity to approach our finances a bit differently. In the past a budget has been built around the projected income, including from pledges for the new year made in the fall. This year our church has placed our faith in God’s grace and provision for our needs, building a budget faithful to our calling and mission, and trusting that God will provide through our church community. You can read the full Stewardship announcement HERE and can find out how to submit your pledge information or make a one time gift HERE.
Freedom Challenge | Calling on all women and young ladies ages 13+ - to “Do Good, Do More and Do It Together” by joining with others for the Oat Hill Mine Trail Hike Challenge. The goal is to prevent (break the cycles of poverty, exploitation and oppression), rescue (through coordinated rescue efforts of those enslaved to a safe place for long-term care), restore (provide extensive spiritual, physical, spiritual, trauma counseling and life skill training), develop (empower women to overcome poverty through voca onal training and micro-saving programs). The Freedom Challenge supports these programs around the world through Freedom Challenge events in the USA and major challenges abroad. You can find out more information HERE and register for the event HERE.
Agreements for Communication in Community | In 2018 in times of relative peace, health, and prosperity (though we didn’t know it at the time!) Grace’s vestry approved what we call our Agreements for Communication in Community. These are concrete ways that we can bring non-violent love into our interactions with one another, making room for the Spirit to do the work of transformation among us. There happen to be 11 of them, and we began as a congregation in 2020 to examine, study, and try to put into practice one of them each month. You can read more about them HERE.
Conscious Parenting Class (UPDATED Dates & Times) | How do emotional bonds affect brain development in young children? How can I better connect with my child and support self-regulation? In this class, you will learn how the developing brain makes sense of the parent/child bond as well as how to repair ruptures, understand tantrums, develop resiliency, and keep your own emotions in check. Led by esteemed therapist and child development educator Nola Casserly, LMFT, nurture yourself and your ability to create a faith based family culture that supports your parenting in powerful new ways this year! We welcome parents and grandparents with children from birth to 10 years. The class is 5 sessions and will meet from 11:30-12:30 on Sundays February 20 through March 20. Offered in a hybrid setting with option for childcare in-person. To sign up or if you have any questions, please contact erika@grace-episcopal.org
Celebrating the Baptism of Dahlia Salgado
Dahlia Salgado was baptized by her grandmother, the Rev. Constance Hammond, at the monthly Spanish service shared between Grace and St. Mary’s on Sunday. Dahlia’s mother Iris was born and raised until age 12 in Suchitoto, El Salvador, the town where most of Rev. Amy’s congregation in El Salvador were originally from. Iris came to Grace for her daughter’s baptism because, she said, “I heard it was a good place,” then got really excited when she learned of the connections with El Salvador. The joyful congregation of 30 welcomed Dahlia to the household of God, and many more watched online, including our usual international worshippers from Spain and Colombia! You can share in this celebration by watching the service HERE.
Staff Introductions!
Ted von Pohle | Music Director
Marshall Cox | Book Keeper
Over the last couple of years Grace has experienced several staff changes and we wanted to take time over the next few weeks to help you get to know our wonderful staff members. Each week there will be two short video introductions where each staff member will answer the following questions:

• Intro: name, title/role on staff
• How long have you been here? (in applicable, personally AND professionally)
• What were you doing before you were on staff?
• What are you doing now, as a staff member here?
• What are you most looking forward to/excited about?
• What is a "fun fact" about you that you want to share?
The Grace Center: A Sacred Space for Hope and Healing
The Grace Center exists as a support system for members of our church to provide a listening, compassionate ear for those who need someone to talk too. It doesn't have to be a crisis. You may simply need to talk through your fears, angers, sorrows or whatever else is on your mind. To speak with one of our Listeners please call: 707-968-7175. Messages will be checked daily Monday through Saturday and a listener will call you back within 24 hours if not immediately available to answer the phone
Recent Videos
Sermon for Grace January 30 | Rev. Amy Denney Zuniga
St. Luke's Calistoga Service January 30,
Stewardship Message
Explore our Video Collections
Did you miss a sermon? Click below to watch recent sermons and worship services from Grace on our Vimeo page!

Do you have an announcement for the Grace Church community & the wider Napa region? Please email communications@grace-episcopal.org to have it included in an upcoming E-News! You can view our weekly public events calendar by clicking HERE. iCal users can added the calendar to their iCal by clicking HERE.