News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
May 3, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

" O sing to the  Lord  a new song,  for he has done marvelous things.  His right hand and his holy arm  have gotten him victory... Make a joyful noise to the  Lord , all the earth; b reak forth into joyous song and sing praises.  Sing praises to the  Lord  with the lyre,  with the lyre and the sound of melody.  With trumpets and the sound of the horn  make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;  the world and those who live in it.  Let the floods clap their hands;  let the hills sing together for joy a t the presence of the  Lord , for he is coming  to judge the earth. H e will judge the world with righteousness,  and the peoples with equity."
Psalm 98:1-2, 4-9
At Grace, Christian education for children ( Sunday  School) is called "Godly Play" and is held during the first part of the  10 a.m.  service after which children join their families for Holy Communion. 
 
On the 3rd Sunday of the month we have Family Sunday and the children participate in the entire 10 a.m. service.  
Godly Play Sunday School   
 
 
THIS SUNDAY, May 6: The Parable of the Great Pearl - This week the children hear the parable of the great pearl. They are told that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the merchant who goes to search for the great pearl. They watch as he collects all of his belongings - his chair, the vase, the candle - and trades them for the great pearl. The children are invited to wonder if the person was happy with the great pearl, what the merchant is going to do now, and what the great pearl could really be.
A new vision for Grace's future

On Saturday, April 28, the Vestry met for our Annual Retreat on the U.S.S. Potomac. The theme of the day was "Living our Mission; Creating our Vision." Following up on last year's work, in which we developed a Mission Statement describing who we are as a parish, this year the Vestry adopted a Vision Statement, which describes who we think we will be in the future if we follow our Mission. Mission and Vision statements are useful because they help our leadership to make decisions and inspire the people of Grace to faithfully act on our beliefs. Both statements are below. Please let vestry members know your thoughts about them.

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez Mission Statement:

Working together to welcome, support, and serve all God's people

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez Vision Statement:

Grace Church will be a God-focused community that embraces all seekers into the ways of Jesus Christ, is present, caring, and compassionate to all we encounter and has the ability to physically and spiritually minister to our fellow human beings.
A message from the Worship and Liturgy Committee
The Worship and Liturgy Committee values your feedback.  Some folks have expressed that the service music changes for Eastertide have been a bit much, so you will notice that we are singing a more familiar Gloria and have returned to using the Agnus Dei (spoken at 8) following the Breaking of the Bread.

In other liturgical news:

What's up with the Dismissal? We recently moved the Dismissal from its traditional place following the recessional to immediately after the Blessing. While this may seem "new" to us, this is now recommended by liturgists and standard practice in the Diocese of California. That's because, from a liturgical standpoint, the Dismissal actually provides permission for the people processing to move from the church, so we need to say it before we move. In order to become more comfortable with this change, we would like to invite our 8 o'clock congregation to fall in with the recessional, exiting immediately following the altar party.  At 10 a.m., the postlude will begin immediately after the recessional hymn in order to remind everyone that the service is over.  
Youth Group News

The Grace Youth are planning two upcoming events.
 
On Saturday, May 19, we will be going to The Bay Area Maker Faire. The  Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth -- a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. 
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these "makers" come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. We would like to buy advance tickets (as they are cheaper) and arrange drivers, so please RSVP to  Jessie or Josh Senn as soon as possible.
 
 

Sunday afternoon chillin'. The following day, May 20, the youth will gather at Grace for a "hang out" and planning evening. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m.
Confirmation at Grace - Classes are underway!
 
Confirmation is the sacramental rite in which individuals "express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop" (BCP, p. 860). Bishop Marc will be visiting and performing confirmations at Grace in July.

We are preparing individuals for Confirmation using the Discovery Series: A Christian Journey, which is a nine-week educational program for confirmation preparation. If you would like to be part of the class and missed the first session or would like to follow along with the confirmation group, you can access the materials on-line. If you are interested, please give  Rev. Deb your email address and she will invite you to join the on-line classroom.
Please join us for our Wednesday morning 10 a.m. Eucharist followed by Bible study. During Eastertide, owe continue to participate in  The Good Book Club , along with Episcopalians around the world. After delving deeply into Luke's Gospel during Lent, we are now studying the book of Acts (or "Luke Part 2").  This Wednesday our text is Acts 16:16-40. We will delve into the tensions and troubles that can result from being a faithful witness to the gospel.
Men's Group Breakfast!
Calling all men of Grace and their guests! There will be a manly potluck breakfast get-together on Saturday, May 19, at 8:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Email Don Dyer for more info.
"Baby Shower" on June 2!
Save the date and help spread the word for St. Christopher's Guild's Baby Shower-themed Spring Luncheon on Saturday, June 2! Proceeds will benefit the babies born at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. Guests are asked to bring something new for Mothers to take home with them from the hospital (e.g. onesies, sleepers, outfits, etc.) Rhonda Smith, Director of Volunteers for the hospital's Layette Program, will give a short presentation.  Click here to download the flyer.
Annual All-Parish Picnic!    
Parish BBQ and Bocce Tournament  
Sunday, June 10  
12noon-4pm
Rodgers-Smith Park
Grayson Rd.
Pleasant Hill  

In its seventh 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 women vs. men 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.
Faith-full Forums

Once a month since last June we have opened our doors to a variety of fascinating speakers and invited anyone who is interested to come and see. Through them, we have had the opportunity to learn about everything from the Dead Sea Scrolls to teenage cell phone use! Please come and invite friends to any and all of these presentations.
 
End of Life Planning POSTPONED. During Lent the Grace Worship and Liturgy Committee held a campaign to encourage all of Grace's parishioners to complete End of Life Planning, including advanced healthcare directives, wills or trusts, funeral arrangements, final instructions, and financial and memorial gift planning. We intend to have a speaker come and provide more information on these important topics, but we have had difficulty with scheduling. Stay tuned for more information!
 
Episcopal Liturgy with the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers on June 17.  Dr. Meyers is one of the Episcopal Church's foremost experts on Episcopal Liturgy. She will be discussing the development of Christian liturgical practice, including how the Episcopal Church creates and revises liturgy, and whether or not we can expect any upcoming changes in our liturgical traditions. Dr. Meyers  is the Haynes-Hodges Professor of Liturgics and the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP). In addition to her teaching and administrative work at CDSP, Rev. Dr. Meyers served on the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music from 2008 until 2015 and chaired the commission from 2009-2015. In 2015 she was appointed to the Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage. 
Music Director update
We are looking for the right person to serve as Grace's Music Director. We have had a good response to our advertising and the Music Director Search Committee, consisting of Barbara Brooks, Bob Burman, and Marj Leeds. We are close to selecting the final candidate. Once again this week we are lucky to welcome back  Gary Evans, who will be playing for the remainder of the search process.
Loaves and Fishes
Next Grace work day at L&F is May 16
On the 3rd Wednesday of each month, Grace Church cooks and serves the daily meal to the clients at the Martinez facility, located on the corner of Ferry and Green Streets. Beth Ilog is the Grace Church point person for this longstanding outreach ministry and oversees our team of volunteers, supplies, meal preparation, service and clean up. There is always room for more volunteers! (And, there are a couple of jobs that can be done sitting down.) The time commitment is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please talk to Beth if you're interested or would like more information.  Email Beth or call her at (925) 370-8142.
Developing Kindness Kits for our homeless neighbors
 
We will be putting together Kindness Kits for our brethren who suffer from homelessness. Recently Rev. Walter led a planning meeting with 11 in attendance, to share input on how best to stock and distribute the kits. There are still a few more steps to take and questions to answer before the project is launched. If you would like to be part of this project, the door is always open; please email Nate Brooks to get on the email list so you can stay informed. We value your input!  
Healing prayer
We offer Healing Prayer during both our 8 and 10 a.m. services. If you wish to have someone pray with you for yourself or others, you may go to the prie dieu (kneeler) at the right rear corner of the sanctuary after receiving communion. This is a ministry of the people of Grace to one another -no clergy required!  We are looking for more volunteers for this important ministry, so if you are willing to pray with others, please let Rev. Deb know. No experience is necessary; we will train you!
Grace Book Group  
Do you like to read? Need motivation to read more? Have a book recommendation? 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!
When: 
3rd Wednesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center 

Our next get-together is May 16, when we will discuss Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller    
 
If you'd like to know more about the Book Group please feel free to email the church office.

An easy way to contribute to Grace

 

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez is now on Amazon Smile. If you are shopping at Amazon, simply go to the Grace Martinez Amazon Smile link and we will receive a portion of their sale to you.  Spread the word!

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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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