News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
January 24, 2019 
Scripture of the Week
"Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit . "

  1 Corinthians 12:12-13
"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    
Parable of the Good Samaritan
The children are in the middle of parable stories. This week they will hear one of the classics - the parable of the Good Samaritan. The story begins with setting the stage. We see the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and hear of the dark shadows along the road that can hide scary things. But then we suddenly pause and learn that there once was someone who did wonderful things. The people asked him "what is the most important thing in life?" He told them that they must love God and love their neighbor. But they asked "Who is my neighbor?" Our parable of the Good Samaritan is his answer to this question. We then return our attention to the road to Jericho and learn of the man who was set upon by robbers. The Priest and the Levite pass the injured man by, but the Samaritan comes to his rescue. We end with the question "Now I wonder, who is the neighbor to this man?"  
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.
Please join us for the Annual Parish Meeting

The Episcopal Church considers all of its members to be equal partners in making decisions in our parishes. One of the primary venues for discussion and planning is The Annual Parish Meeting. We will hold our annual meeting this Sunday, January 27, 2019, following the 10 a.m. service. If you are interested in the future of Grace Martinez, we urge you to attend this meeting.
No hard copies of the full meeting packet will be available at the meeting. The annual reports and draft 2019 budget will be displayed a the meeting as a PowerPoint presentation and all  of the documents are available for download at The Grace Website Annual Meeting Packet. You are welcome to print this document, but please do not edit it. There will be limited hard copies of the budget (ONLY) available at the meeting.
At the gathering we will review our proposed annual budget and elect three (3) new members to the Vestry.  Vestry members serve for three (3) year terms. We will also elect three (3) D eanery/Diocesan Convention representatives, and one (1) alternate, who attend quarterly meetings of our regional church council. 

The Vestry is the governing board of the parish. They meet monthly to go over the church budget and make decisions regarding the temporal (non-spiritual) matters of the parish. Each Vestry member is also asked to serve as a liaison to one area of parish ministry and to attend the meetings of that group as well.  We also ask each Vestry member to attend an annual retreat. To be eligible to serve on vestry you must be a baptized, pledging member of the parish. Any member of the parish age 16 or over is allowed to vote at the Annual Meeting
The candidates for Vestry are Betty Case, Jim Maniatis, Jane Ramsey, Christina Reich, and Stephanie Zichichi.
Betty Case

I was born in New York, November 1937. My family moved to Pennsylvania, where I grew up and attended school. Graduated at top of my class. Got married, had 2 children and moved to California. My former spouse deceased when my children were ages 3 and 6 and I raised them as a single parent. I continued my education while they were growing up and earned a BS degree in business and real estate.
I have been a Rossmoor Real Estate Specialist since 1983 where I hold a broker's license, am a top producer, earned several real estate designations and certifications and have been selected by Diablo Magazine as a Five Star Agent based on outstanding client service.
In my previous career I was a Computer Programmer Analyst. My main interests are my husband and family, ballroom dancing, physical fitness, nutrition, interior decorating & music.
Jack Case and I were married in 2004 by former priest, Rev. Jill Honodel at Grace church. We have been regular attendees at the 8:00 a.m. service. Along with Jack, I have been performing as Lector in recent years.
I would like to be considered to serve on the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church in order to be involved in discussing the church's future direction, to offer suggestions and to take part in the required team work. I am concerned about the recent outgrowth of secularism in our community and our nation and would like to help restore spiritual growth. I would like to assist in bringing about future harmonious decisions in matters of the church regarding the budget, building maintenance and landscaping.
I would like to continue as part of the 8 a.m. service representation on the Vestry. I believe my past career endeavors have developed my organizational and team work abilities.
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Case
Jim Maniatis

Jim ("Jimmy the Greek") Maniatis, and his wife Dena, have been members of Grace since 1985. Jim served on the Vestry eight years ago, and was appointed as Junior Warden during that time. An electrician by trade, Jim retired from IBEW, Local 302, Martinez, 8 years ago. Since then he has held a state general contractor's license. Jim has been serving on the Altar Guild for several years, is on the Buildings and Grounds Committee, served as apprentice cook with Dick Evans and Stan Applegate at all the major fundraisers, cook-outs and BBQs at Grace, and has continuously been involved with maintenance, renovation and newly built projects on the church campus throughout his time at Grace.
Jane Ramsey

I am honored to be considered to serve on the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church.
As an Episcopalian since my childhood, I have seen a lot of change, both in liturgy and doctrine, since my confirmation in 1963. Since the Church is a living organism, I believe change is something that should be expected and helps the Church and its people evolve with continuing relevance, with respect rendered toward long traditions of faith and practice. I have been working with Reverend Deb for the last few months on the articles about Grace Episcopal Church for the Martinez Gazette.
My daughter and my grandchildren are truly the lights of my life. Being a part of their busy lives gives me the opportunity to see the world in refreshingly new ways and keep my finger on the pulse of the future.
My work as a registered nurse in Labor and Delivery requires me to work with many different people of widely divergent backgrounds in what are often stressful situations. In such work, communication skills are of key importance for patients and the staff who care for them.
I thank the people of Grace for considering me.
Christina Reich

I am a cradle Episcopalian and was an acolyte at St. James in Oakland. Prior to coming to Grace a year ago, I was a member at Christ the Lord Episcopal Church in Pinole for 28 years and a member of the Bishop's Committee (several times). I came to Grace after much discernment and to better serve my community of Martinez through Christ. I had read about Rev. Deb and made an appointment to meet her and then made my move. It was a great move and I'm delighted to be among you. I am a social worker turned county Administrator and am currently a Division Manager for Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department Community Services Bureau. I would be delighted to offer the voice of a new member to the Vestry.
Stephanie Zichichi

I am a long time member of Grace Church, Martinez. My husband and I were married at this church in 1980. Our children were raised and supported by this church family --- all were married here and all 10 grandkids baptized at Grace.
I am an active participant in the St. Christopher's group and believe that I could be of further assistance to the church if elected to the vestry. Thank you.
The nominees for Deanery/Diocesan Convention Representative are Barbara Brooks, Mary Canale, Pat Hambly, and Jennifer Sabroe (Alternate)
Barbara Brooks

Barbara is running for a third term as one of Grace's Deanery and Diocesan Convention delegates. She has been a member of several parishes since toddlerhood, finally landing gratefully at Grace about 19 years ago. The majority of Barbara's time has been spent with the children at Grace in Godly Play and now in nursery care, but has had stints on Vestry, choir and Altar Guild. She and husband Paul have two children and a cat, all of whom served as inspiration for Barbara's book, published, "War and Peace, or The Cat Should Sleep Where She Wants." When not traveling, hiking, reading, watching movies, or swimming, Barbara is working on what she calls "The Novel That Would Not Die." She has volunteered as a delegate because she feels it is important to have both representation in the larger church and to participate in the dialogue and democracy that is a hallmark of the Episcopal Church.
Mary Canale

I was baptized and confirmed at Holy Trinity in Richmond CA  where I sang in the choir and served as a Junior Altar Guild member. In 1961, at the death of my father, I decided to embrace the Catholic faith. For the next 25 years I raised my 2 children, Lisa and Tom, in the Catholic church.
Christmas Eve 1986, at the 5:00 children's service, I was sitting in a pew at Grace Church.  I found Grace and Grace's clergy and membership found and embraced me. During the first year I would alternate between the 8:00 and 10:00 services so I could get to know everyone, now I mostly go to the 8:00 service. 
Since my arrival at Grace I have served on the Altar Guild, been a member of St.Christopher's, served as Vestry Clerk many years for Fr. George Ross, served on the Vestry, been Junior Warden, helped, with others, to develop the Outreach Committee, worked in the garden, helped with People Feeding People, Loaves and Fishes, the annual school backpacks project, Christmas gift giving projects for different local service agencies in our area, and Shelter Inc. cooking dinner assignments.
I have been an alternate Deanery representative for the past 2-3 years. Last year I was asked to fill in as a permanent representative. It is that position that I will be running for at the Annual Meeting.
Pat Hambly

Pat Hambly is a member of the Vestry and has been a Deanery and Diocesan Convention Representative for approximately eight years. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister. Pat was born in South Haven, Michigan, and is a "cradle" Episcopalian. She has two sons and six grandchildren who live in Chico and Marin County.
Many of us have met Pat's grandchildren, especially Haley, who is a junior at Tulane University. Pat became a member of Grace in the early 80's. Pam and Claude Nave brought her to Grace when she was looking for a church home. Pat immediately felt comfortable at Grace, because it followed the liturgical tradition she was used to, had activities for her children, and was accepting and welcoming. Pat has enjoyed being a Deanery and Diocesan Convention delegate because it provides an additional perspective on the workings of the church beyond Sunday worship. She says "Grace is a very welcoming and open Christian
community" and she is proud to represent the parish to the greater church.
Jennifer Sabroe (alternate)

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been a member of Grace since 2007. A "cradle Episcopalian," my family attended St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley, until my teen years. My husband, Ron, and I have been married 45 years, and are retired from the Lafayette School District. I have served on the Vestry, sing in the choir, participate in the Book Group and Wednesday Bible Study, but my primary ministry is as part-time Volunteer Parish Administrator. The work allows me to keep my administrative and clerical skills honed in a way that puts them to good use. I am excited about the opportunity to be involved with the wider church community of our deanery and diocese, as a representative of our vibrant community here at Grace.
Youth Group
Game Night this Sunday at 6pm 
All 8th-12th grade youth are welcome to come to Youth Group at Grace! The next gathering will be Game Night on Sunday, January 27, 6-8pm. Bring friends!  
Frederick Brooks Memorial
  Saturday, February 2, 3 p.m.  
There will be a memorial service for Frederick Campbell  Brooks, son of  Nathan and Amelia and brother of Sondre, on Saturday, February 2 at 3:00  p.m. Nate and  Amelia want to convey their tremendous gratitude to the  people of Grace  who have been so faithful in their prayers and support.  
A reception, coordinated by Marj Leeds, will follow the service in the Parish Hall. Donations of finger food for the reception gladly and gratefully accepted. Email Marj or call the Parish Office (925) 228-6574, if you can help. 
St. Christopher's Guild
The next meeting of St. Christopher's Guild will be on Sunday, February 3, at 9 am. On the agenda will be discussion of the two fundraisers in 2019.   
Coast Guard Assistance
Rev. Deb has received several inquiries about how to support Coast Guard families during the government shut-down.  Coast Guard members are the only members of the U.S. military going unpaid as the shutdown stretches into its fourth week. Though military agencies such as the Army and Navy are housed under the Defense Department, the Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security and charged with keeping our borders safe.  The vast majority of Coast Guard members, including many in the Bay Area, are working without pay. Donations to Coast Guard families can be made through the Coast Guard Mutual Aid Association.
Bible Study for Everyone!

On Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. at Grace we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, followed by Bible Study.   

For Epiphany 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 Epiphany season. We are currently looking at the eighth chapter.
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.  
A request from the Casserole Patrol
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.
We have been able to provide casseroles to many grateful people. At this time, our stock is in need of constant replenishment, so we ask those who are able to continue to help keep our freezer full. Casseroles should be frozen, or freezable, and preferably the size of 4-6 servings. When labeling the casserole, please be sure to include the date the casserole was made/frozen (if homemade). If you can contribute, please email Connie Towey or leave a note in her box by the church office.  Many thanks!   
A request from
Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
Hello, I am the volunteer and outreach manager for Contra Costa Interfaith Housing ( ). 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  to learn more about this opportunity to work with youth from poverty impacted homes in Pittsburg.
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.
Upcoming Faithful Forums at Grace

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.
February 17, 2019 will bring 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.

The Forum on "Stewardship of Creation" originally scheduled for January 13, 2019, has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 17. Representatives from Republic Services will be the presenters.
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.  
Coffee Hour News!
Thank you to everyone who has "opted in" as a Coffee Hour Host/Team. This is a vital activity in the life of our parish. There is always room for more help, so if you have questions or would like to join a team or start a team, contact Coffee Hour Coordinator Christina ("Tina") Reich. Many thanks. (Hosts, please remember that if you cannot serve on a particular Sunday, kindly secure a substitute and let Tina know.) 
  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). Please leave donations in the Narthex.
Men's Group Breakfast
The Men's Group calendar for monthly potluck breakfast is set for the year! The breakfast schedule is generally the third Saturday of the month, with exceptions in March (3/23) and April (4/27). The next Men's Group Breakfast is Saturday, February 16, 8:30 a.m., in the Parish Hall. All men of Grace and their guests are invited. If you can bring something, great! If not, come anyway and know you are welcome at this fellowship gathering, where the agenda is to enjoy breakfast! For more information, contact Don Dyer. (email Don)
Join the choir!
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!
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 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.  
Flower Chart for 2019
The flower chart for 2019, is posted in the Narthex by the stairwell. When signing up for a date on the chart, please be sure to also write your name in the flower dedication notebook, on the corresponding date. The notebook is on the little table below the flower chart. Include your dedication message in the notebook (for example, in loving memory of ...; in celebration of ...; in thanksgiving for...). Suggested donation $35. There is also a sign-up notebook for candle dedications in the Narthex on the table under the bulletin board. Suggested donation $5. 


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! 

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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.