Grace Episcopal Church

Serving the community of Martinez
and Contra Costa County since 1868

First Discernment Gathering
Community Comments

We had a wonderful first gathering on April 17. Below are the discernment questions, and responses of the group.

What do we NOT want to do in the future?
  • Engage in negativity
  • Become close-minded, especially to new ideas
  • Neglect our younger members
  • Ignore people who don't seem to be like "us"
  • Lose our sense of family and (shared) community
  • Become overly programmed
  • Lose our sense of volunteerism
  • (Allow the few to become) burned-out
  • (Lose a vision for shared ministry and become) impermeable (to new volunteers)
What do we WANT to do in the future?
  • Become better known in the community - consider how to advertise
  • Continue in community outreach
  • Be good stewards of our buildings and grounds - security issues noted
  • Develop the East side of property - labyrinth walk (and parking lot)
  • Continue to welcome everyone
  • Grow our Sunday School at all age levels
  • Bring best practices to an expanded "Greeters" program
  • Continue to improve our web site
  • Continuing caring for congregation - especially long-term members
  • Continue our innovations in worship and music - exploring how to be more contemporary and attractive to new people as well as our current members
  • Continue community dinners as a form of outreach (to introduce people to Grace Church)
  • Maintain a sense of belonging
  • Develop appropriate programs (to match our needs and resources)
  • Foster stability (in the midst of this time of transition)
  • Better know who we are (with knowledge of whole church, not just parts we are active/interested/participate in)
What is God calling us to do?
  • Listen to each other - and to God
  • Pray (for one another) and (be in) Prayer (together)
  • Work together
  • (pursue an) unwavering faith/trust (in God)
  • Love one another - even when things get tough
  • Keep moving forward
  • Be shepherds and sheep (of the Good Shepherd)
  • Show up (to church events) and be present/involved
  • Be a reflection of God's love, peace, kindness, etc.
  • Be patient (with one another) in listening, working through (challenges), (staying) in the process
  • (Create a space for) younger people (to experience God as part of the congregation)
Note: words in (brackets) are an attempt to provide some context to comments.


The whole parish (including our youth) are encouraged to participate as we reflect on where we are as a congregation and where God might be calling us to go into the future. 

There will be two more Discernment Gatherings to take place on the following Sunday mornings at 9:00am:
May 1 and May 22

While not mandatory, participation in these conversations will inform the work of our Search Committee; scheduled to be appointed at our June 8 Vestry meeting. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the leadership and ministries of Grace Church.
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