The Bell Tower News

Newsletter of Grace Episcopal Church 

 Martinez, California  

  February 2017 


Grace Episcopal Church | gracechurchmtz.org
In this Issue
Parish Events

Worship Schedule
SUNDAYS 8:00 a.m.
and 10:00 a.m. 
Holy Eucharist Rite II
WEDNESDAYS 10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist Rite II followed by Bible Study
No Wed. Eucharist / Bible Study on Feb. 22

Service Notes 
       Feb. 19: Contemporary Music Service    
                           No Godly Play
March 1 at 10am and 7pm: Ash Wednesday Services
Quick Links
  Feb. 12 - Farewell and Thank-You! Coffee Hour for Fr. Jeff and Ellen
Feb. 18 - Women's Group Breakfast 
Feb. 18 -  Family Movie Night
Feb. 24 - Men's Group Pool Tournament
Pancake Breakfasts every Sunday in Lent
 March 18 - St. Patrick's Dinner
Farewell and Thank-You!

Please join us as we bid a sad farewell to Fr. Jeff and his dear wife Ellen. We are tremendously grateful for their hard work and guidance through this transition period.

Fr. Jeff's last day of service at Grace will be Wednesday, February 15. His last Sunday will be February 12 when we will host a much deserved going away thank you from all of us at Grace Church following the 10am service. Please bring something to share on the food table and we will provide the cake. 

Stan Applegate, Sr. Warden
InterimRectorFrom the Interim Rector
The Rev. Jeffrey L. Frost
Dear Parish Family:

It is with deep gratitude and great appreciation that I will complete my journey as your Interim Rector on February 15.  We have all grown in these past 15 months and I feel confident that you are going to continue with excellent leadership; both in your new and continuing Vestry, and with your new Rector, The Rev. Deborah White, PhD.

Please keep in mind the important task of developing a new pastoral relationship with Rev. Deb; as you share with her your gifts, traditions and history, and learn of her passions and stories.  This work is like that of planting vital seeds in good soil; which, as you jointly cultivate and tend the emerging plants, will lead to a rich harvest in shared ministry together.


Fr. Jeff
Interim Rector
Ash Wednesday Services and Lent
Ash Wednesday Services will be held on March 1, at 10:00am and 7:00pm; and will include Holy Communion. If you have palm crosses from last year, you are invited to bring them to church and put in the basket in the Narthex or in the offering plate. The Altar Guild will used them to make ashes for Ash Wednesday services.

We will continue our tradition of pancake breakfasts each Sunday in Lent (starting on March 5) from 8:30am to 9:30am in the Parish Hall. More than just pancakes - breakfast includes eggs, sausage, juice and coffee/tea.

The Rev. Deb White will begin her ministry with Grace Church on March 1.
Parish Highlights
The following are some highlights of our Annual Parish Meeting:

* Newly elected Vestry members (Class of 2019): Lynda Dyer, Pat Hambly, Ron Luttringer, and Sally Hanson (Class of 2018).

* Delegates: Barbara Brooks, Pat Hambly, Les Marks, and Mary Canale (alternate).

* The 2017 Operating Budget and the 2016 Year End financial reports were presented.  (Note, it will be the responsibility of the Vestry at their February meeting to adopt the 2017 budget.)

* It was announced that Stan Applegate will be the Senior Warden for 2017; and, immediately following the Annual Meeting, Les Marks was re-elected as Junior Warden.

* Dena Maniatis, outgoing Altar Guild Director, was honored for her years of ministry and leadership.
Vestry Highlights
The following are some highlights of our February 8, Vestry Meeting:

* The 2017 Operating Budget for the parish was adopted.

* The annual calendar of parish activities was reviewed and will be published shortly.

* Plans were finalized for the arrival of our new Rector, The Rev. Deb White.

* New check signers were authorized for 2017.
SundaySchoolNewsSunday School and Youth Group News
Godly Play Update

On the third Sunday of the month, we have Contemporary Music (Renew! songbook) at the 10:00 service. This is also when the children are included in the entire service, so there is no Godly Play on February 19 and March 19. 

Here are the Godly Play topics coming up!   

February 5 - Parable of the Sower

February 12 - St. Valentine

February 26 - Parable of the Mustard Seed 

March 5 - The Mystery of Easter 

Youth Group
Check out the beautiful Rainbow Cross Mural in the Sunday School wing! It was recently completed by the Youth Group. Our next gathering will be on Sunday, February 26, when we plan to spend an evening out at the movies. The exact time the group gathers will depend upon movie schedules. All youth in grades 8-12 are welcome! Future plans include a hike in nature when (if?) the weather improves, and a service project of some type.Contact Marj Leeds ( email) for more information.
 Parish Ministries
StChristophers St. Christopher's Guild
Dates are set and planning is underway for our 2017 fundraisers! Put these dates on your calendars and tell your family, friends and neighbors! 
Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show, Saturday, April 29
(featuring fashionable ensembles from Dress Barn)
Fall Tea, Saturday, September 16
(featuring a presentation by John Vander Kamp)
Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar, Tuesday, December 5
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: February 26

Susan Bremmer, 2017 President
Fran Trant, 2017 Vice President
MensGroupMen's Group
The  February get together of the Grace Church Men's Group will be a Pool Tournament on Friday, February 24, at 5pm, at Cue and Brew in Martinez.   For more information, contact Dave Eary (email). 
Women's Group
Attention Women of Grace! We'll be gathering on Saturday, February 18, at 9am for a potluck breakfast and to talk about plans for 2017 fun and fellowship activities and outings. Contact Jennifer Sabroe for information (email or call 925-383-8386)
FoodBasketFood Basket
We keep a basket in the Narthex to collect donations of non-perishable food for our local outreach programs. The food basket will be presented for blessing during the offertory as part of the presentation of gifts.

Suggested Food Items: Canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruit, boxed meals THAT REQUIRE ONLY WATER, low-sugar cereal like plain Cheerios, peanut butter, instant oatmeal, instant grits, cans of beans, pasta and pasta sauce. 
CoffeeHrCoffee Hour    
The Coffee Hour host schedule / sign-up sheet for 2017 is posted on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall.  Check it out to either sign-up to host or get a sneak peek at some of the special events coming up this year!      
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EventsFellowshipEvents and Fellowship
Family Movie Night 
Saturday, February 18 , featuring "Finding Dory." This is a free event, open for parishioners and their guests to atttend. The fun begins with cartoons at 6:00pm, with the feature presentation at 7:00pm. Refreshments of popcorn, ice cream cups and water will be provided. (We will be done by 9pm)
Other Special Mentions
Plastic Forks, Spoons & Knives and Lucky Rewards Stamps
Do you have a collection of plastic forks, spoons, and knives cluttering your kitchen drawers?  Would you like to get rid of them and do a good deed? Do you have those tiny stamps from Lucky grocery store filling your wallet? Would like to make more room for your money? Bring these things to church - you'll find a new home for them in the Parish hall right under the bulletin board.  Plasticware will be used for People Feeding People (Saturday night meals) and stamps to purchase future raffle prizes. 
Mary Canale
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 continue our search 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.
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Grace Episcopal Church | (925) 228-6574 | info@gracechurchmtz.org  www.gracechurchmtz.org/
130 Muir Station Rd.
P.O. Box 2338
Martinez, CA 94553