The Bell Tower News

Newsletter of Grace Episcopal Church 

 Martinez, California


 April 2017


Grace Episcopal Church | gracechurchmtz.org
In this Issue
Quick LInks
Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services
Worship Schedule
April 9, 8am & 10am - Palm Sunday
April 13, 6pm - Maundy Thursday
April 14, 12noon - Stations of the Cross
April 14, 7pm - Good Friday Liturgy
April 15, 12pm - Holy Saturday
April 15, 7pm - The Great Vigil
April 16, 8am & 10am - Easter Day 
SUNDAYS 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist Rite II
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II

No Holy Eucharist & Bible Study on Wednesday, April 19.
We will resume on April 26.
                                                   Scripture of the Week
FromRectorFrom the Rector, The Rev. Dr. Deborah White
Beloved in Christ,
This past weekend marked my one-month anniversary as Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Martinez, and what a month it has been!  My family and I have been warmly welcomed into this generous and loving community in so many ways.  It has been my joy to learn about all of the wonderful programs and projects at Grace and to worship regularly with you.  
Now, following five weeks of preparation we are approaching the most important day on the church calendar: our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.  When asked about my favorite holiday, I have always identified Easter for its sweetness, fellowship, and the outburst of JOY that I feel when singing, praying, and celebrating in Christian community the astonishing free blessing of salvation given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
For many of us, Easter is a time of welcome, when family members who do not see each other often have the opportunity to renew relationships and new friends get to know one another better.  It is also a time to consider what it means to each of us to identify ourselves as "Christian," and to think about how what we believe translates into how we act in the world.  In the words of Presiding Bishop The Most Reverend Michael Curry:
"Jesus ... [came] to show us, that God has another way. That violence
is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality
are not the way. Jesus came to show us there is another way.
The way of unselfish, sacrificial love."
Grace Episcopal Church is a community based in our gratitude for that tremendous love and a mutual desire to share it with others.  I would like to invite you to journey with me toward our Easter celebration of that sacrificial love by participating in all of our Holy Week services as we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter, and to please consider making a deeper connection to the parish through a donation of time, talent, and/or treasure. I hope to see you often during and beyond the season of Easter.
Faithfully yours,
Rev. Deb
EWordDon't Fear the "E" Word
Rev. Deb is still looking for folks to join the Evangelism Ministry Team (and if that word gives you the shivers, then joining it is the best way to get the name changed)!  This group is not for planning mission trips or door-to-door conversions, but rather for figuring out new and fun ways to invite people from the community to join the wonderful people of Grace in our fellowship and ministry.  If you are interested, please email Rev. Deb at revdeb@gracechurchmtz.org.
DioBytesFind Out What's Going On In The Diocese
DioBytes is the weekly e-newsletter published by DioCal. It contains great information on trainings, events, and activities throughout the diocese. It's a great (and easy) way to get to know what our sisters and brothers are up to and to get involved. Right now, the Diocesan Communications Working Group is currently campaigning to get more subscribers to help better connect congregant across the diocese to local news and events, and with both the bishop and other ministries and congregations. Simultaineoulsy, new subscribers will help raise funds for the DioCal camps because The Diocese of California is currently pledging $1 to their camp properties at The Bishop's Ranch and St. Dorothy's Rest each time they get a new signup for their weekly newsletter, DioBytes. They will keep giving until they reach their goal of 500 new subscribers by June 7. If you're already a subscriber, please share this with a friend or anyone you think would enjoy reading the latest news and events from the Diocese of California! Only one sign-up per person allowed. Sign up at: http://eepurl.com/b_L8ZX
CountCalling All Sesame Street Graduates!
If you enjoyed spending time with The Count on Sesame Street, then we have an excellent opportunity for you. Grace needs parishioners to assist with the job of counting our offerings each week. This is a necessary and important job because the national church requires all parishes to have the offerings counted by two people. The only requirement is the ability to count and a little bit of patience to learn the process. If you are interested, please let either Jennifer or Rev. Deb know by calling or emailing the Parish Office at 925-228-6574 or info@gracechurchmtz.org. Many thanks in advance for your willingness to help!
PictureA Picture's Worth A Thousand Words
We have so many wonderful events at Grace but you wouldn't know it from our online presence. One of the best ways to demonstrate how many ways we love and care for each other here is to share photographs of our gatherings. If you have photos of any recent events at Grace that you are willing to share, please email or share them to info@gracechurchmtz.org. Thanks so much.
Events and Fellowship
HashCorned Beef Hash Breakfast: A Palm Sunday Tradition at Grace.  The grand finale of our Lenten Breakfasts is this Sunday (Palm Sunday), between services (8:30-9:30am) Corned Beef Hash, Eggs, Pancakes, juice and coffee/tea. $3 per person. What a delicious deal!
BasketsBlessing of the Easter Baskets (Saturday evening) and Easter Egg Hunt (Easter Sunday).  Another fun Grace tradition! Following the 10:00 service on Easter Sunday, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt.  And for that extra special touch, Rev. Deb will be doing a blessing of the Easter Baskets the evening before - on Saturday - as part of the Easter Vigil service.
SaladSalad Luncheon and Fashion Show (a St. Christopher's Guild fundraiser)
When : Saturday, April 29, 11:30am-2:00pm
Where : Grace Church, 130 Muir Station Rd., Martinez
Cost : $15 per person
Reservations/RSVP: Mary Canale 925-682-0660
The ladies of Grace have planned a delightful Saturday afternoon. Lunch will include assorted salads, roll, dessert, and coffee/tea. The Fashion Show will feature ensembles from dressbarnĀ®. There will be a variety of items and theme baskets for the Raffle drawings. A beautiful, vintage table linen set will be on display for sale.
Bocce6th Annual Men v Women Bocce Ball Tournament and Parish BBQ
When : Sunday, May 7, 12noon-4pm
Where : Rodgers-Smith Park, Grayson Rd., Pleasant Hill
Cost : free
In its sixth year, this is a family and fellowship fun event. We hope you will be able to join us and bring your friends along. Play on a team or be a cheerleader for the competition.  Burgers (meat and veggie), hot dogs, buns and condiments are provided. Side dishes and desserts are potluck, so if you are able, please bring something to share.  
Grace Episcopal Church | (925) 228-6574 | info@gracechurchmtz.org  www.gracechurchmtz.org/
130 Muir Station Rd.
P.O. Box 2338
Martinez, CA 94553