News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
October 25, 2018 
Scripture of the Week
 
 
"' Go,'"  said Jesus,  "'your faith has healed you."'
 
Mark 10:52a
"Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs."  Jesus


At Grace, we have Godly Play (Sunday School) during the school year, but children and youth share in the ministry of the church year-round, serving as acolytes, readers, and oblation bearers. 
 
THIS WEEK IN GODLY PLAY: This season we are sharing stories of the people of the Hebrew Scriptures. This week we will be making our first venture into the world of God's prophets with the story of the prophet Ezekiel. The children will first hear of Ezekiel's exile in Babylon and then listen as God tells Ezekiel to eat a scroll so that God's words might live in him. We will then hear of some of the other visions and prophesies of Ezekiel, including the narrative of the  "dry bones" (just in time for Halloween). Later weeks will include the prophets  Jonah and Isaiah. The children will be invited to wonder what part of the story they like best and what part was most important. This is a new story and a little bit of an experiment. We are interested to hear what amazing insights our youngest parishioners come up with.

Children are always welcome to participate in all services at Grace. There is a children's area near the piano at the rear of the sanctuary with toys, books, and coloring materials for children who do not enjoy sitting in the pews.  There is Nursery Care for babies and young toddlers in the education building.
ALL SAINTS DAY 
will be celebrated on  
Sunday, November 4   
If you would like to have someone remembered during the service, please fill out a memorial slip (found on the table in the narthex) this Sunday, and place it in the offering plate, or email the name(s) by Tuesday, October 30, to Jennifer in the church office at   info@gracechurchmtz.org.
A season for thinking about how we care for God's creation and our own church 
 
No one likes to talk about money, but the truth is that we cannot provide the programs and services we enjoy here at Grace without it.  Stewardship is a season of education and conversation about what it means to share our time, talent and treasure with as a community of Christ. Last Sunday we heard that there is some important work to be done to maintain our wonderful Buildings and Grounds at Grace and that funding these needed items is difficult as we are currently in a budget deficit.  We also learned that Grace is growing.  While this is great news, it also means that we have more expenses to pay. Parishioners were encouraged to chip in what they can.  This Sunday, October 28, we will hear a brief presentation about Worship and Liturgy at Grace.
 
Although stewardship campaigns often focus on financial contributions (treasure), the willingness to donate your time and ministry gifts (talents) is equally, if not more, important. There are several ministries here at Grace that are currently in need of volunteers, including the Altar Guild, Counters, and Hospitality Committee (especially coffee hour hosts). To volunteer for the Altar Guild, please contact Elaine Quigley. To volunteer as a counter, please contact the church office. If you are interested in participating in Hospitality at Grace, please let Christina Reich know. For more information about ministries at Grace, check in with Rev. Deb.
Some important financial information
 
Two gentle reminders about our finances: You can set up your pledge to autopay from your bank account. Please contact Treasurer Paula Menconi for more information about how to do this. Also, p lease remember that we are attempting to make our budget/spending process completely transparent. In order to do that, we need your help. Please do not give the church for two purposes or accounts at once (for example, don't write one check for both your pledge and a ticket for an event). This will help us keep our finances in order. Many thanks!
St. Christopher's Guild meeting  
this Sunday October 28, 9 a.m.  
All women of Grace are members of St. Christopher's Guild. Please come join the conversation!  
Bible Study for Everyone!
On Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. at Grace we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, followed by Bible Study. We are currently studying  the letters of Paul, which constitute about two-thirds of the New Testament. We are using Church  of England bishop and theologian N.T. Wright's series, "Paul for Everyone." On Wednesday, October 31, we will look at Galatians 5:7-12.  We will consider the questions, "Is there a difference between what is 'true' and what is 'right'?" "How do you know when one mistake can/will change everything?" and "When is it 'right' to confront false teachings?" All are welcome!
                            Happy Halloween!

Calling all Youth!! Pumpkin carving time!

THIS SATURDAY, October 27, starting at 4:30 p.m., the Youth Group will get together to carve pumpkins to decorate for the Halloween party they are hosting the next day. Bring your creativity and design ideas! 
 
All Hallows' Eve Party!
This Sunday, October 28, 2-4 p.m.    
All children and the young at heart are invited to celebrate All Hallows' Eve at Grace's annual Halloween Party. Wear a costume and be prepare d to play lots of games, enjoy treats and have fun!  Bring your friends!       
Supporting Families in need at Christmas
"Spirit of Giving" Drive is underway!
 
We have once again have partnered with the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing Spirit of Giving program to help provide Christmas gifts to 35 individuals (in 12 families) this year.  This Sunday you will notice a small tree in the Narthex, adorned with "gift tags." Each tag is for one member of a family, and will have that individual's "wish list" printed on it. We ask that people take a gift tag and arrange to purchase no more than two items from the person's "wish list." You can either purchase the two gifts yourself, or find a buddy to share the fun of giving. There will also be tags for $25 Safeway gift cards. If you'd like to participate but you aren't a "shopper" we'd be happy to take cash and make the purchases on your behalf. Please consider taking a tag or making a donation, and doing your part to make sure these families receive something special for the holidays! We will need wrapped and labeled gifts brought to church by Sunday, November 25. Contact Jennifer Sabroe or Dru Grissom if you have any questions.  
Email info@gracechurchmtz.org or call the church office (925) 228-6574, or  call Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386, or see Dru Grissom on Sundays. Thanks and blessings, from the Outreach Committee. 
 
Pastoral Care news
 
We have received many inquiries about the health and well-being of parishioners who are currently on our prayer list. As a result, we have decided to offer updates on folks who have agreed to make their health status public in this section of Grace Notes. Please remember that we do not provide information unless we have direct permission to do so.

Tom and Connie Hodgson: Connie's head injury improved to the extent that she was able to have needed surgery on her arm, which went well and she is, to quote Tom, "on the mend." Now that Connie has stabilized, Tom is attending to his own injuries, including an injured ankle. They are still not able to receive visitors, but want everyone to know they are thinking of us and want us to keep up the prayers!  

Christina Reich: Tina was diagnosed with an aneurysm, but it is not life-threatening and many of her symptoms have already resolved. She hopes to be in church on Sunday!

Patrick Winters: Patrick is home after having surgery. He is improving gradually. He would enjoy hearing from folks.

Shannon Kleinschmit: Shannon leaves for military school on November 4. He will be in school in Arizona for several months prior to his deployment overseas.

James Bezoar: Please pray for our friend James who will be absent from our midst while he attends a rehabilitation program.

Amelia Brooks: is not sick - she's pregnant! 

We want to make sure all of our parishioners are supported and taken care of.  In order to help Rev. Deb do this, we now have a Pastoral Care Committee, which will be chaired by Leslie Kolesa.  The Pastoral Care Committee will assist with coordinating home visits, food delivery, and regular check-ins with those in need.  If you are interested in being part of this effort, please let Leslie Kolesa know.  
Loaves and Fishes update
 Our team from Grace will not be serving on November 21.  A corporate group has requested that day.   
An invitation from Loaves and Fishes
Volunteer Appreciation Event 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 2:30-4:30 p.m.  
Shell Martinez Clubhouse
1635 Pacheco Blvd.,Martinez, Ca.

W e want to celebrate you!  Chef Ted and the culinary students are cooking up a special feast & we need to know if you will join us.  Come for an afternoon of food, fun, and awesome door prizes to thank YOU, our wonderful volunteers!! Please let us know if you can attend!
rsvp: info@loavesfishescc.org or call 925-293-4792
 
Come and celebrate with friends, fellow volunteers.  Meet our Board of Directors & staff.  Don't miss Chef Ted and the Culinary Program's delicious appetizers, beverages.  Also, awesome doorprizes!   Hosted by Our Board of Directors . 
Book Group
Read any good books lately? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Like to eat out? Come drop in on the Grace Book Group! We'd love to see you! 
Our next get-together is November 28*, at 6:30 p.m. when we will discuss "Lipstick Brigade" by Cindy Gueli.  Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center.  For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386 or  Email Jennifer.
*Changed to the 4th Wednesday due to Thanksgiving 
 
Join the choir!
Now that we have a fabulous new Music Director and a fancy chamber organ in the Sanctuary, it's time for anyone who has been hiding their vocal light under a bushel to step forward and sing a new song unto the Lord! Choir rehearsals at Grace are Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or even the ability to read music.  Arthur will be teaching a "Learn or Improve your music abilities" class before choir each week, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Please join this amazing ministry!
Caution!
Our cleaning service is here on Monday afternoons, which requires we maintain a people-free zone in all our buildings, but primarily the parish hall, kitchen, education wing, and all restrooms (including the ones off the narthex.) During the hours 12 noon-6 p.m. on Mondays we ask our visitors and volunteers to please steer clear and work around this schedule. If you need to access to any of the buildings on Monday afternoons, please check with Jennifer or Rev. Deb in advance. Thank you for understanding.
Yoga at Grace
We welcome certified Yoga Instructor Noah Yuzna every  Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. to conduct a 60 minute yoga class.  All levels are welcome and modifications will be available for folks with limited mobility.  Classes are open to the community and there is no set cost.  Participants are invited to contribute what they can for each class.  Invite your friends!

Stations of the Cross  

 

We're reconciling the records of the donor list for the Stations of the Cross, purchased earlier this year.  If you made a cash donation for the purchase of the Stations of the Cross, please contact Lynda Dyer - phone (925) 408-3792 or email Lynda.dyer@att.net.  Thank you. 

  C.O.R.E. Homeless Outreach donations
C.O.R.E stands for Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement. It is a program of the Housing and Homeless Services Division of Contra Costa County Health Services. Grace will be providing the C.O.R.E. team with needed items to distribute to individuals suffering from homelessness. This is an ongoing project, so we are requesting:
  • Sleeping bags
  • Blankets (moving blankets are inexpensive and durable)
  • Backpacks - ideally large capacity, durability is less important as they are frequently lost or stolen after a few weeks/months
  • Healthy food - preferable non-perishable items that don't require cooking, a can opener, or good teeth. Pull-top cans are good.
  • Bottles of water
  • Hygiene items including (but not limited to) soap, shampoo, oral care, shower wipes, shaving supplies, feminine hygiene items
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Pet food (in particular, wet food in pull-top cans). Other pet goodies would be appreciated too!
We also encourage parishioners to consider developing the habit of thinking of our homeless neighbors when shopping (i.e. picking up an extra item or two) and traveling (bringing home the hotel soaps/shampoo).

Parishioners are invited to make donations of items by leaving them in the bin in the Narthex (labeled "C.O.R.E. Outreach"). The items will be blessed by Rev. Deb, and handed off to members of the C.O.R.E. team who distribute while doing their mobile outreach work in the local community.
Night of Light
On Friday, November 2, the Episcopal Impact Fund (EIF) will host its annual "Night of Light" at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. EIF is the granting arm of the Diocese of California and is dedicated to addressing the root causes of poverty.  If you are interested in going, please let Rev Deb know. This year Grace Martinez will host TWO tables, which means we have 20 seats to fill. We have two generous donors who have agreed to cover the cost of the tables, but if you are interested in going and are able to contribute the cost of your ticket, we would be grateful as it would be nice not to have our two donors pay the entire cost.
Do nated Turkeys Needed!
Message from Loaves and Fishes
 
Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa serves two special holiday turkey meals -- the day before Thanksgiving and then Christmas Eve at all 5 dining rooms. We expect to serve more than 1,000 people. We need turkeys donated so we can provide these much appreciated meals to our clients. 
 
In partnership with Let's Feed The Kids, a multi-faith group of 6 congregations in Contra Costa County focused on alleviating childhood hunger, Loaves and Fishes is also collecting donated turkeys for their Winter Break project. This project provides food to school children and their families from 9 Richmond/San Pablo schools during their winter break. Winter break is when these families don't have access to federally-funded breakfast and lunch programs.  
 
Please deliver turkeys to Chef James at our central kitchen located at:  
510 Garcia Ave., Unit H, Pittsburg
Questions, please call: 925-293-4792 
Thanksgiving Food Drive
Message from Shelter, Inc.
 
Shelter Inc. is accepting nonperishable food items so that all families in Contra Costa can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this year.  
  • Gift Cards for turkeys - $25 to local grocery store. Please no fresh or frozen turkeys.
  • Pantry Food: chicken stock, canned corn, cranberry sauce, cream of mushroom soup, biscuit mix, stuffing mix, gravy, pasta noodles and sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Desserts: pumpkin pie mix, pudding mix, jello mix
  • Drinks: hot cocoa, coffee, sparkling cider
Please deliver donated items by 5pm on Thursday, November 15, 2018, to Shelter Inc. main office at 1333 Willow Pass Rd., Suite 206, Concord.
 
If you'd like to volunteer to assemble Thanksgiving boxes for families please contact Fransena Harmon at Fransena.Harmon@shelterinc.org 
Hurricane Relief
Message from Episcopal Relief and Development
 
Greetings, Sisters and Brothers in Christ.

Following Hurricane Michael, our 2019 hurricane response has expanded to include those along the gulf coast and in parts of Georgia, as we continue to partner with dioceses and congregations in the Carolinas following Hurricane Florence. We invite you to support our ongoing work with the impacted dioceses. We have created an updated bulletin insert so that you can share information and an opportunity for compassionate response with members of your congregation.
 
Please continue to pray for all those impacted by hurricanes in addition to our church and other partners as they reach out to their most vulnerable members and neighbors and begin the initial relief and recovery work. 
 
Contributions to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development provide critical emergency assistance to those most in need.

Wishing you peace,
 
Sean McConnell
Senior Director, Engagement
Episcopal Relief & Development
Do you have an announcement? 
If you have a parish-related announcement for the bulletin or Grace Notes - meeting reminders, upcoming events, special requests, etc. - please email the text of your announcement to the office (info@gracechurchmtz.org) by end of day on Tuesday. Thank you!  

 

 

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Serving the community of Martinez
and Contra Costa County since 1868.

 
Our Mission:
Working together to welcome,
support, and serve all God's people.
 
 
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