The Bell Tower News

Newsletter of Grace Episcopal Church 

 Martinez, California


  August 2016 


Grace Episcopal Church | gracechurchmtz.org
In this Issue
Worship Schedule
Quick Links
SUNDAYS 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist Rite II
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II followed by Bible Study

Special Services in August 
August 6 - Helene Clayton Funeral (10am) 
August 7 - Holy Baptism (8am) 
August 14 - Holy Eucharist with
                   Healing Prayers
Upcoming Parish Events  

A Prayer for the Search Committee
Loving God, we pray for the search committee of this parish, asking you to grant them open hearts and minds, a discerning spirit, and confidence in your strength and guidance. Fill them with a vision of your reign, and our participation in its fulfillment. Remove from them any blinders or prejudice that may keep them from seeing your face in all those they encounter in their discernment, and give us grateful hearts for the good work and ministry they do. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
The Vestry meets the second Wednesday of each month, at 6:30 p.m., to conduct the business of the parish. Meetings are open to parishioners.
Susan Bremmer, Sr.Warden
Les Marks, Jr. Warden  John Heyse, Treasurer 
  Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk  Stan Applegate  Barbara Brooks 
  Dave Eary  Marj Leeds  Vacant  
FromIntRectorFrom the Interim Rector
The Rev. Jeffrey L. Frost
Dear Parish Family:

Like many of you, I have been thinking and praying a lot for our community, the nation and the world - especially about the escalating acts of violence and hatred that are being perpetrated at home and abroad. 

As I mentioned in a sermon recently, "this is our time to be faithful, as people of peace and peace bringers; as followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace."  I believe that it is through the journey inward, that we are equipped for the mission outward - as bearers of the peace, hope, justice, and love of God. Not that we can do this on our own; but always by the grace of God and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

With this journey in mind, we will be offering a liturgy of Prayers for Healing, in addition to Holy Communion, as part of our regular Sunday worship on August 14, at both our 8am and 10am services.  As a part of the service there will be a Litany for Healing, and an invitation to come forward and receive anointing with oil and the laying on of hands.

There are many forms of healing and many ways that we are often in need of God's restorative power; including physical, emotional, and spiritual care.  Even as you may not currently be in need, you are also invited to intercede for the needs of others.

Thank you for your faithfulness.  And thank you for joining us for this important time of prayer and worship on August 14.

Fr. Jeff
Interim Rector
Special Special Fundraising Appeal
It has been brought to the attention of the Vestry that the three pine trees on the South-West corner of the property are diseased/dying and need to be professionally removed as quickly as possible.  Your financial assistance is needed in this effort, which is estimated to cost $6,000.  Any donations you can make will be gratefully received.
back to top
IntMinistryandSearchFrom the Search Committee
Parish Discernment Update
Meeting July 17, 2016
The Parish Discernment Gathering opened with a prayer for the parish and the Rector search process.
Dave Eary John Lee Melissa RodrigueKennedy Ron Luttringer Sally Hanson Judi Richardson Frank Macan Les Marks

The Search Committee was introduced (left to right) Dave Eary, John Lee (Chair), Melissa Rodrigue-Kennedy (Clerk), Ron Luttringer, Sally Hanson (Co-Chaplain), Judi Richardson, Frank Macan, Les Marks (Vestry Liaison).

The Vestry has determined that we are financially able to seek a full-time Rector. The budget for 2017 will stretch us financially, but at a level which is felt to be achievable. We also have in place operating reserve funds.
Information was shared from our Vestry / Search Retreat, which was held on July 2nd.
It was a full day of prayer, reflection and sharing, which led to a written description of: Parish Purpose Statement, Core Values, 5 Year Goals, and Key Characteristics we seek in a new Rector.
The group defined our Purpose as: "We are a family, living and serving by God's Grace"
Our Core Values are:
  • Fellowship and Family
  • Inclusion and Loving Acceptance
  • Worship, Preaching and Teaching
Our 4 Goals for next 5 years are:
  • Pastor/Congregational Closeness -- seeing pastoral care as a core component of the parish, and forming a clearly organized system of care.
  • Outreach -- becoming award winning and famous in our community.
  • Financial Independence -- creating the ongoing ability for us to do the things God has called us to do as a parish.
  • Enhanced Volunteerism -- creating and supporting strong teams with well-defined roles.
The Vestry / Search Committee narrowed down our priorities in seeking a new Rector to the following characteristics:
  • Pastoral Care and Leadership
  • Worship Leader
  • Preacher
  • Stewardship Leader
  • Administrative Leader
  • Christian Education Leader
John reviewed what is next and approximate timing. Those are as follows:
  • Mid-August -- Vestry approval of search request documents to be submitted to the Diocese
  • September -- position is open for applications
  • October -- review of candidates and Search Committee visits
  • December -- present 2 - 4 candidates to the Vestry for final interviews and selection
We concluded our gathering with a reminder we are committed to sharing as much as we can about the process and where we are in the search for a new Rector. However, once we reach the point in the search process where we begin receiving names of applicants, both the Vestry and Search committee will not be able to discuss any details or specifics which might reveal the individual candidates being considered. This is considered a personnel matter and we need to respect confidentiality.
back to top
StewardshipStewardship Drive
Fall Appeal in Stewardship

At our July Vestry meeting it was decided that we would have a "cottage meeting" style program for our annual appeal in stewardship.  What this means is that we will be organizing host homes, where we can gather in a more informal and intimate setting to share the importance of the spiritual practice of living and giving with gratitude, hear from our own members about how stewardship has influenced their life of faith, and inform you about the financial needs of the parish for the coming year.

Please watch for more information that will be arriving early in September.

Our stewardship program for this year will culminate in a combined worship service on November 6 at 10:00am for our Commitment Sunday.

SundaySchoolNewsSunday School News
RallyDayRally Day! September 11 with One Service at 10am!
Invite your family, friends and the neighborhood kids to our annual kick-off of the school year with a BBQ lunch and lots of games, activities, and prizes for kids of all ages.
~ Godly Play resumes September 19 ~
OtherParishMinistriesOther Parish Ministries
ServicePersonnel Service Personnel
StChristophers St. Christopher's Guild
All women of the parish are members of St. Christopher's Guild and are invited to join us for our monthly meetings, which are held on the last Sunday of the month, between services at 9:00. Next meeting: August 28.
Click here for more information on our August 14th fundraiser - Tahoe Joe's meal deal! 
Sandy Taylor, President
MensGroup Men's Group
The next event for the Men's Group is one of our great manly potluck breakfasts at the Parish Hall at 8:30 AM on Saturday, August 27. All men and guests are welcome. You do not need to bring a dish unless you desire to do so. If you have any questions concerning the Grace Church Men's Group, please contact Dave Eary at (925) 370-6024 or send an email.      

The Grace Church Men's Group is open to all the men in Grace Church and their invited guests. We hold one event per month from January through October. Usually every other month is a potluck breakfast at the Parish Hall. If you are not already participating, you are more than welcome to join in. As a matter of information, the Grace Church Men's Group is entirely self-funded. No funds are taken from the Grace Church operating budget for any of our events.If you have any questions about the Grace Church Men's Group or any of our events, please call Dave Eary at (925) 370-6024 or send an email.  

Dave Eary, Men's Group Coordinator
Women's Group Potluck Breakfast and Bunco - Saturday, Aug. 13, 9am-12noon 
Bunco is an easy-to-learn dice game and lots of fun.  If you've never played it before, don't let that stop you from coming to this play date. You won't be alone and everything will be explained. If you can toss dice, you have the skillset for Bunco! We will start at 9:00am with a potluck breakfast. Please bring something to share, and $3 to add to the Bunco game prize pot. Coffee, tea and juice will be provided. Feel free to invite a friend along! All are welcome. To RSVP or if you have questions, please contact Mary Canale (925) 682-0660 or Jennifer Sabroe (925) 383-8386 (voice or text)

Be sure to mark your calendars for the next events coming up in September and October. They are:
  • Saturday, September 17: Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park and lunch at Assemble Restaurant
  • Saturday, October 15: Potluck meal and games (Bunco again? Details tbd)
No "meetings" are planned for November and December
Questions about the Women's Group? Please contact Jennifer Sabroe via the church's email or call the church office at (925) 228-6574.
AcolytesAcolyte Program 
Our Acolytes are on summer hiatus, enjoying a well-deserved break. Their duties will will resume on September 11, highlighted by the Procession of Acolytes at the 10:00 service. 

All Grace children are eligible to begin serving as an Acolyte at age 9. If you're interested in learning more about the Acolyte Program, please contact Dave Eary, Acolyte Coordinator, (925) 370-6024
AltarGuild Altar Guild
If you are interested in joining the Altar Guild or would like more information about this important ministry, please contact the church office (phone 925-228-6574 or email) and we will put you in contact with Dena Maniatis, our Altar Guild Director.
Flower and Candle Dedications
The sign-up books for flower and candle dedications are located in the Narthex. Suggested donations are $35 (flowers) and $5 (candle). 
The choir is taking a break June-August. Weekly rehearsals will resume on Thursday, September 8, with the choir back in service on September 11.  Under the direction of our talented organist and music director, Gary Evans, the choir is always looking for more voices! If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact Gary Evans ( email).
Backpack/School Supplies Drive is Underway!
Our annual school supplies drive is open for business! Backpacks have been ordered and we are asking for donations to fill them.  Between now and the end of August, donations may be left in the Narthex. When shopping for supplies, remember that spiral notebooks are preferred over 3-ring binders.  The date for stuffing the backpacks is tentatively set for September 11.
Coffee Hour Hosts Needed  
There are openings on the Coffee Hour host schedule. Please consider hosting or enlist a friend to co-host with you!  The sign-up sheet is in the parish hall. Can you help fill the following dates? August 14, August 28, September 4, September 18 
Thank you!
back to top
EventsFellowshipEvents and Fellowship
FuneralMemorial Funeral Service for Helene Clayton
The parish is invited to join with the family and friends of Helene Clayton for a service of the celebration of her life, with Holy Communion, on Saturday, August 6, at 10am.  Volunteers are still needed for the reception to follow in the Parish Hall.  Please contact, John Vander Kamp if you can help with set-up, clean-up, or a food item. He can be reached at 229-0479. 
TJFundraiserTahoe Joe's - Sunday, August 14 - St. Christopher's Guild Fundraiser
Tickets on sale now!  A $20 ticket can be exchanged for one of three complete meals: 6 oz. Joe's Steak, or Wood Grilled Chicken, or Sierra Mountain Ribs. All meals are served with Mountain Mashers and Blue Lake Green Beans and include your choice of soup or salad. Available for dine-in or takeout.  Valid at the Tahoe Joe's restaurant located at 999 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill, on Sunday, August 14, only.  Tickets are available following both services on August 7, or you can  email the church office, or call Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386. 
BBQSummer BBQs -- August 21 and September 11
Two more opportunities for a delicious barbecue lunch this summer!  Meat burgers, Veggie burgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and beverages are provided. Side dishes and desserts are potluck, so if you are able, bring something to share. Bring a friend!
Equipping the Beloved Community - August 27 at St. Stephen's Orinda
The Contra Costa Deanery is hosting the next Equipping the Beloved Community event on Saturday, August 27, at St. Stephen's in Orinda. Workshops will feature training to support ministries with young people, stewardship, lay pastoral care, congregational leadership, and Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors. The keynote speaker will be Ed Bacon, recently retired rector of All Saints, Pasadena.

For workshop descriptions and registration information, use this link.
OtherOther Special Mentions
Weekday Service Cancelled for One Week
Due to summer vacation the Wednesday, August 3, 10am service and Bible Study has been cancelled. Services will resume on August 10.
In an effort to keep our church property safe and secure, we need your help.  If you are among the last to leave whether it be Sunday services or during the week, it would be much appreciated if you would take a few minutes to double check doors and windows to be sure they are securely closed and locked. Many thanks. 
Photos for the Website
We're looking for digital photos of church events, that we can post on the church website. If you have recent photos or take pictures at any of the upcoming events, please consider sharing them with us. Photos may be emailed to the church office along with information about the content of the picture, e.g. date taken, event name, names of people in the picture, location, etc.
back to top
Grace Episcopal Church | (925) 228-6574 | info@gracechurchmtz.org  www.gracechurchmtz.org/
130 Muir Station Rd.
P.O. Box 2338
Martinez, CA 94553