February 7, 2019
News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
Scripture of the Week

"I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; *
before the gods I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
and praise your Name, *
because of your love and faithfulness;
For you have glorified your Name *
and your word above all things.When I called, you answered me; *
you increased my strength within me.
All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord, *
when they have heard the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord, *
that great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly; *
he perceives the haughty from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; *
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies;
your right hand shall save me."

Psalm 138:1-8
 "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, but children and youth share in the ministry of the church year-round, serving as acolytes, readers, and oblation bearers.
This Sunday in Godly Play
The Parable of the Deep Well. We continue this week with our series of parables. This week we hear a parable that is not told by Jesus. It comes from the rabbinical tradition. The Parable of the Deep Well centers around a deep well in the center of the desert. The well is so deep that the people can no longer reach the water to drink. A person comes across the well and ties short ropes together to make it possible to lower a bucket into the cooling water. He then leaves the rope for others to use. The children are invited to wonder where the desert could be and what the water from the well might really be.  
Results of the Annual Meeting
Grace Church's Annual Meeting was held following the 10 a.m. service On January 27. Among the items of business completed were a review of health of the parish, a preview of the 2019 budget, the election of Vestry members and Deanery/Diocesan Convention delegates, and commendations for Stan Applegate and Les Marks for their years of distinguished service to Grace. Below are photos of the members of the 2019-2020 Vestry, Deanery Representatives/ Diocesan Convention delegates and our Annual Meeting honorees.
Senior Warden Lynda Dyer
Junior Warden Jim Maniatis
Pat Hambly
Ron Luttringer
Paula Menconi
Christina Reich
Josh Senn
Connie Towey
Stephanie Zichichi
Deanery Rep. Barbara Brooks
Deanery Rep. Mary Canale
Deanery Rep. Pat Hambly
Deanery Rep. (alternate) Jennifer Sabroe
Honoree Stan Applegate
Honoree Les Marks
Introducing the Deacon's Pantry
We are fortunate to have both a Rector and Deacon at Grace Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Church a deacon exercises "a special ministry of servanthood" directly under the deacon's bishop, serving all people and especially those in need (BCP, p. 543). For this reason, Rev. Walter has requested our support for the stocking of a "Deacon's Pantry." This kitchen space will be set aside for donations of food and other items for individuals in need. Rev. Walter will also be establishing a "Deacon's Discretionary Fund," similar to Rev. Deb's "Rector's Discretionary Fund," which provides financial relief to parishioners and friends of the parish. If you would like to contribute, please let Rev. Walter know.
Beloved Community Training Day
Put on your best cardigan and your Keds and join your diocesan brethren for a day of exploring ways that churches can meet neighbors and be neighbors themselves. Churches can ask the question “Who is my neighbor?” and then explore new ways of thinking about the neighbors around us, both far and near.

There are a variety of workshops for both lay leaders and clergy to attend. There is a track for vestry members – but this isn’t just for vestry members. This is day is great for those involved in outreach ministries, formation, communications volunteers, Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors, and anyone needing training in Whole and Healthy Church – our new safe church training. And there will be an extended presentation by CPG for anyone part of the Church Pension Group.

Our large group sessions will be a time of worship as well as drama presented by Kurt and Cathey Purucker of the  Covenant Players  to make us laugh, think and look at our church life from a different viewpoint.

The training takes place on Saturday, February 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Cost: $20 a person (to cover lunch). Partial Scholarships are available. To register, go to Beloved Community Day Registration
Help celebrate 20 years!
Fran Trant and Phil Bureau are hosting Coffee Hour this Sunday in honor of their 20th wedding anniversary. Please join us in the Parish Hall following the 10 a.m. service to help them celebrate!
A message from Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
A Volunteer Opportunity
Hello, I am Gloria Bertolozzi, the volunteer and outreach manager for Contra Costa Interfaith Housing ( www.ccinterfaithhousing.org ). We run an after-school Homework Club at Los Medanos Village Apartments on Crestview Drive in Pittsburg on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 2:45-5:30 (1 hour earlier on W) during the school year. We are always looking for volunteers to work side by side with the children we serve. We have great outcomes at this site and I hope to share more information with you. Please contact me via email at  Gloria@ccinterfaithhousing.org  to learn more about this opportunity to work with youth from poverty impacted homes in Pittsburg.
Do not be fooled by fake emails from Rev. Deb
Recently, Rev. Deb's email was "spoofed." This means someone created an email that seemed to be from her using an email address similar to hers. In it, "Rev. Deb" asked recipients to buy gift cards for a "worthy cause." THIS WAS NOT FROM REV. DEB. According to the Diocese of California, there has been a recent spate of fake emails supposedly from clergypersons. Do not be fooled! Click on the flyer to the right of this article to learn how to protect yourself from scammers.
Sharing our "Green Spirit" on John Muir / Earth Day
On Saturday, April 20th "Green Spirit" will make its second appearance at the John Muir/Earth Day Celebration at the John Muir Historic Site here in Martinez. Last year's event was a lot of fun -- folks loved hanging out with "Green Christians." This event is visited by a couple thousand neighbors -- a wonderful way to spread the message about inclusive faith and commitment to the natural world. 

Stay tuned for upcoming information on our involvement this year in coordination with other local churches.

Bible Study for Everyone
For Epiphany we have joined partners from across the Episcopal Church to participate in the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative. The Good Book Club is focusing on Paul's Letter to the Romans, with participants reading a section of scripture each day during the Season after Epiphany. We are currently looking at the 11th and 12th chapters.
The Good Book Club kicked off during Lent and Easter of 2018, with tens of thousands of Episcopalians, including members of Grace, reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Survey results from participants showed a hunger and desire to continue the initiative and provide more opportunities for people to read and discuss scripture together. Romans was the first choice of participants for the next Good Book Club. 

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry supports and encourages individuals and congregations to join the Good Book Club as a way to engage in "Learn," one of the seven Way of Love practices for a Jesus-centered life.
Casserole Patrol Update
Thanks and gratitude for the quick response to our recent plea! The freezer is now full! For the time being we have plenty of meals to provide for our "casserole patrols."

One of Grace's most important pastoral ministries is the Casserole Patrol, which provides meals to those who, for one reason or another, can benefit from having a meal delivered to them.
Ashes for Ash Wednesday
If you have palm crosses from previous Palm Sundays, please bring them to church between now and February 24 to be burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. By doing this we honor their sacred purpose. There will be a collection basket in the Narthex.
Grace Book Club
Read any good books lately? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Come drop in on the Grace Book Club! We meet on the third Wednesday of the month. We'd love to see you! 

Our next get-together is February 20, at 6:30 p.m., location TBD , when we will discuss Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny .
For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386 or send an email
Amen! Exhibit at Martinez Museum

Set aside time to head downtown to visit the Martinez Museum at Escobar and Court Streets. The Martinez Historical Society's exhibit "Amen!" focuses on the history of churches in Martinez - and, of course, Grace is one of them! There are displays of photos and artifacts, with accompanying historical information. The exhibit runs until March, 2019.
Faithful Forums
Once a month during the program year we open our doors to a variety of fascinating speakers and invite 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.
On February 17, 2019, we welcome the Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Young, dean of Grace Cathedral, to Grace to discuss Theology and Nature , specifically the influence of 19th century author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau on religious thought about the natural world.
On Sunday, March 17 , representatives from Republic Services will be the presenters at our forum on "Stewardship of Creation."
Yoga at Grace
Every Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. we welcome certified Yoga Instructor Noah Yuzna 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.
Coffee Hour
The Coffee Hour Host schedule is posted in the Parish Hall. This is a vital activity in the life of our parish, and we thank all the volunteers who have signed up. There is always room for more help, and a great way to get to know one another. If you have questions or would like to join a team or start a team, contact Coffee Hour Coordinator Christina (Tina) Reich .
Flower and Candle Sign-ups
The flower chart and candle dedication notebooks are located in the lobby (narthex) of the church. Suggested donation for flowers is $35; for candle $5.
Choir rehearsal
Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or event the ability to read music. Please join this amazing ministry!
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, etc. - please email the text of your announcement to the Parish Office by end of day on Tuesday. Thank you!
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