News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
September 19, 2019 
Scripture of the Week

"   H allelujah!
Give praise, you servants of the  Lord;
praise the Name of the  Lord.
Let the Name of the  Lord  be blessed, 
from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down 
let the Name of the  Lord be praised.
The  Lord is high above all nations, 
and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the  Lord our God, who sits enthroned on high 
but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
He takes up the weak out of the dust 
and lifts up the poor from the ashes
He sets them with the princes, 
with the princes of his people.
He makes the woman of a childless house 
to be a joyful mother of children. "
Psalm 113:1-8
"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. During the summer we continue to offer Nursery Care. School age children are invited to join their families in the Sanctuary. We provide coloring and drawing materials, books, and soft toys, as well as a children's area for children who prefer not to sit in the pews with their families.
This Sunday in Godly Play

Godly Play takes place in the Education Building during the beginning of the 10 a.m. service.  Godly Play, which is a Montessori-based Christian Education curriculum for elementary-aged children. The goal of the program is to teach children the art of using religious language -- parable, sacred story, silence, and liturgical action -- to help children interpret the spiritual aspects of their daily lives. Children experience the word of God through the elements of prayer, song, The Word, and response. All school-age children are welcome.
Men's Group Breakfast
They're back! The Men's Group will be having their monthly manly potluck breakfast in the Parish Hall THIS Saturday, September 21, beginning at 8:30am.  Contact Don Dyer for more information.

The Diocese of California will hold a
Beloved Community Training Day in the East Bay this fall at St. Paul's, Oakland THIS Saturday, September 21. 

The day will include required training sessions for Eucharistic Visitors, Eucharistic Ministers, and Whole & Healthy Church Training, along with an array of workshops for lay leaders in all areas of ministry.


When: Saturday, September 21
Where: St. Paul's, Oakland, 114 Montecito Avenue
Cost: $10 (to cover lunch)
Contact: Amy Cook, Working Group Head for Faith Formation,

The Amazing Grace Youth Choir!

Young people ages 7-17 are invited to join in learning to read, appreciate and perform music in a low-stress environment. Rehearsals are on Sundays at noon (following our 10 a.m. service and coffee hour). To enroll, see or contact Music Director Arthur Omura.
A request from the Dyer Family
Next week parishioner José Dyer will take part in a two-day Marine Corps training exercise, which is his final test before formally becoming a Marine. His family is asking everyone to light our porch lights from September 25-27 to help guide José home and give him strength to get through "The Crucible." Many thanks for your continued support of José and the Dyer family.
Make a joyful noise! 
Be part of the joyful liturgy at Grace by lending your voice to the choir. Choir rehearsals at Grace are Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or even the ability to read music. Please join this amazing ministry!  
Choir Retreat  - Saturday, September 28, 2-4pm, Parish Hall
Open to ALL levels of singers! This is a great opportunity to check out the choir AND learn some musical tips. For more information contact Music Director Arthur Omura at, or see him after the 10am service on Sunday. 
Delivery people needed!
Our Casserole Patrol is in need of folks willing to deliver meals to those who have requested them. This involves picking up the food from the church and delivering them to recipients. If you are able to help, please contact Connie Towey.
Season 2 of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's "Way of Love" podcast online now

Join Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church as he guides us through the practices of the Way of Love: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. In season 2 of this podcast, Bishop Curry talks with our hosts, Sandy Milien and Kyle Oliver, and others about following the Way of Love - beyond the church walls. Subscribe now and listen each week wherever you get your podcasts.
St. Christopher's Guild Survey

St. Christopher's Guild is currently examining their mission. Please take a moment to answer this very brief survey about this ministry. This survey is open to EVERYONE, regardless of gender or association with the group.
Stephen Ministry Workshop 

Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: Christ Episcopal Church, Alameda
Times: Check-in and registration begin at 8:00 am (snacks provided!)  
Workshop 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers-called Stephen Ministers-to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
The workshop is designed for churches in our general area who have shown an interest in Stephen Ministry. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for the ministry, so please consider joining the workshop. If interested, please contact Dru Grissom.
Wendy Heyse memorial 

A memorial for our sister Wendy Heyse will be held on Saturday, October 5, at 2:30 pm here at Grace. All are welcome.

Blessing of the Animals, October 6 


On October 6, parish pets are invited to join their humans at both services for The Blessing of the Animals in honor of the Feast of St. Francis. All kinds of companions (including stuffed) and their humans are welcome!   
Outreach work continues
At its meeting in September, the Outreach Committee discussed several ongoing projects including  Sacred Space, an outside worship opportunity. Rev. Deb discussed possibilities for starting this ministry in Contra Costa County. Other agenda topics were the near completion of the School Backpacks' project; the ongoing work of the Deacon's Pantry and CORE; and becoming involved in the Winter Nights housing program. We also got an update on the Blessing Box that Eagle Scout candidate Steve Lowe is building for us. The next meeting is: Sunday October 6, 2019  and will take place after the 10:00 service. All are welcome!  
Our Annual Bocce Tournament and BBQ
will take place on Sunday, October 6, 12-4 pm
Rodgers-Smith Park, Pleasant Hill

For more information contact: Sandy Taylor (925) 458-5040
Wednesday Bible Study: Following the Way of Jesus, Church's Teachings for a Changing World

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study in our Chapel.
We are now studying, "Following the Way of Jesus." According to Church Publishing, " With the launch of the  Church's Teachings for a Changing World  series, visionary Episcopal thinkers and leaders have teamed up to write a new set of books, grounded and thoughtful enough for seminarians and leaders, concise and accessible enough for newcomers, with a host of discussion resources that help readers to dig deep. [Presiding Bishop]  Michael Curry leads off this volume with a clarion call for Episcopalians to join the Jesus Movement. A team of the church's brightest stars follow up with reflections on the practice of ministry in light of the movement."
The book is available on Church PublishingAmazon and Barnes and Noble However, as always, you do not need to purchase the book to take part.

Preaching Politics

Rev. Deb was recently asked by a parishioner to clarify governmental and church policies on church involvement in politics. In response, she wrote an informative article for the Martinez Gazette.  You can find it at  Martinez Gazette Preaching Politics article 

A message from parishioner Nate Brooks

Parishioner Nate Brooks is a member of the Physicians and Dentists Organization of Contra Costa (PDOCC). This group represents physicians and dentists who work for Contra Costa Health Services, providing healthcare for low-income people in our county. He has provided us with information about the protracted contract negotiations with the county, which could influence the availability of health care for patients in our area.  For more information, please go to  Information about Physicians.
29th Annual Oktoberfest
at Grace Church!

Saturday, October 19, 2019
5pm Social Hour ~ 6pm Dinner
$25 (general); $6 (ages 10 and under)

German food, music, entertainment, and raffle.  
Contact Stephanie Zichichi for tickets, or if you would like to help.  
Born to be kind

White Pony Express, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger, has teamed with Lady Gaga's Born this Way foundation for their #bekind21 ch allenge that started on September 1. (It's okay to join a little late and continue on past the September 21 end date). The goal is "to bring more love and kindness into the world. #bekind21 is an opportunity for individuals and communities to build and practice habits of kindness - towards themselves and to each other - while fostering the mental and emotional wellness that is critical to a healthy, thriving life.  Based on the concept that doing something for 21 consecutive days helps turn it into a habit, participants are asked to practice an act of kindness - for themselves and others - every day for 21 days." To sign up, go to Born this way be kind 21 .  
Hurricane Relief
Episcopal Relief & Development is working closely with dioceses in the path of Hurricane Dorian. You can help provide affected communities with immediate and long-term support. Please contribute to our Hurricane Relief Fund at click here to download the pdf of the donation form.  
Faithful Forums 

Grace offers monthly educational forums on broad-ranging topics like The Dead Sea Scrolls, Episcopal Polity, Recycling, and Emergency Preparedness for congregations. These take place in the Parish Hall following our 10 a.m. service (approximately 11:30). 
Future dates and topics include:
October 20, Open Forum with The Rev. Canon Abbott Bailey, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of California
November 17, Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home conversation with the Environmental Ministry of the Diocese of California
December 15, SWEEPS Ministry Fair 
Save the date and tell your friends!
Kids' All Hallow's Eve Party  
Saturday, October 27
2 - 3:30 p.m.

The Second Annual Grace Martinez Thanksgiving Dinner
Last year Rev. Deb and her family decided they would like to have Thanksgiving Dinner at Grace. By the grace of God and lots of volunteers, we were able to share dinner with about 40 people! This year we'd like to do a bit more advanced planning and are looking for folks to help with this.  If you are interested, please let  Rev. Deb know. Thanks in advance!
IMPORTANT Traffic Notice

Discovery Builders has begun construction on the development that is being built on the lot above our upper lot (formerly the trailer park). Continuing into September, Muir Station Road will be closed daily in both travel directions between the hours of 9 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. If you spend time at Grace during the week, please take this into account prior to visiting. 

Here is a link to the map and detour plan. Thank you for your patience.
Be part of the online directory
If you have not received an email from the Parish Office and would like to be part of the Grace online directory, please let  Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe know.
Coffee Hour
An updated Coffee Hour schedule is now posted for the months of September through December on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall. Please be sure to take a look at it for your assigned Sunday. There are still two open dates (December 8 and December 29) to be filled. This is a great opportunity to team up with someone and host during this fellowship time following the 10:00 service! Questions:  Email Coffee Hour Coordinator Tina Reich or leave a note in her box if you have any questions. Please remember that if you can't do your assigned date, you are asked to make arrangements for a substitute.     
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 are 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.  
Flower and Candle Dedications

We are blessed by having fresh flowers on our altar each week. These are paid for by parishioners who wish to dedicate flowers (or candles) in thanksgiving or memory of loved ones. There are many open dates available on the flower and candle dedication calendar, located in the Narthex. When signing up for a date on the chart, please be sure to also write your name on the corresponding date in the flower dedication notebook (located on the little table below the chart). Suggested donation $35. The candle dedication notebook on the table under the bulletin board. Suggested donation $5.
  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 provides 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:
  • Hygiene items including (but not limited to) soap, shampoo, oral care, shower wipes, shaving supplies, feminine hygiene items
  • Incontinence products (e.g. "Depend") (men's and women's) all sizes
  • 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
  • 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). Please leave donations in the Narthex.

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez is 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!

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 Parish Office by end of day on Tuesday. Thank you! 

Share the Good News

Want to let others know about the great things happening at Grace Episcopal Church? Click on the link below to forward this E-Newsletter to family and friends! 

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

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