News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

August 31, 2017

Scripture of the Week

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another."

Romans 12:15-16a
In Memoriam         
Our beloved sister-in-Christ, Joyce Apostolo, passed away on August 17 at the age of 74 from complications from a stroke. She is survived by her husband Jerry, her daughter Laura, grandchildren Keila and Jaret, and her sister Sally Hanson. There will be a memorial service for Joyce at Grace this Saturday, September 2, at 10:30 a.m.  The service will be followed by luncheon in the Parish Hall. Joyce's family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Grace Church, Shelter  Inc., or Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa County.
Episcopal Relief and Development President Rob Radtke writes:

"Starting  on Sunday, as the scope and devastation of  Hurricane Harvey became apparent, my email box began to fill with some version of: "What can I do to help?" I praise God for these emails.
When we see images of people suffering, we want to do something. That's understandable. As Christians, we are called to seek and serve Christ in all people and never more so than in times of crisis. "

If you would like to help our sisters and brothers suffering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, please donate to  Episcopal Relief and Development Harvey fund  or another charity of your choice.

A Blessing for the entire Grace community
This Sunday, September 3, as part of our regular 10 a.m. service, long-time parishioners John and Jo-Ann Lee will renew their marriage vows on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. The Episcopal Church encourages the scheduling of sacramental rites during regular Sunday worship so that the entire faith community can support individuals in their spiritual commitments to one another and to God. We are grateful to the Lees for sharing the blessing of their relationship with us. A festive reception will follow the service.
Sunday Bulletin Information
We are happy to report that, based on the responses to our Worship and Liturgy survey, most parishioners are happy with our new user-friendly bulletin.  Some folks expressed concern, however, with the environmental cost of having a lengthier bulletin. We wanted to let you know that prior to making the decision to try the more complete bulletin, both cost and "spiritual" comparisons were made. In terms of financial impact, although the bulletin does use more paper, our new copier (which was donated) makes the increase in cost negligible. In terms of environmental impact, it does take more paper to make the new bulletins and therefore more trees, but we do recycle all of our bulletins.
For Such a Time: A Call to Pray, Fast and Act
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry is asking Episcopalians to participate in "For Such a Time," a commitment for each of us to pray, fast, and/or act on the 21st of each month through December of 2018. This is a simple way to remember those in poverty and the challenges they face - and then to do something about it. Please consider participating. For more information go to: 
Parish Office Help Wanted
We are all grateful for the stalwart and dedicated help of Jennifer Sabroe, who serves as Grace's Volunteer Parish Administrator.  Jennifer is technically supposed to work one day per week but, as many of you know, she puts in quite a few more hours than she should! As a result, we are looking for someone to take on one of her administrative tasks. Currently, Jennifer manages all of the church rentals. This is important work as renting the Parish Hall to outside groups provides Grace with useful income.  By itself, this ministry should not take much time.  If you are interested in volunteering or finding out more, please let Jennifer know (
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. 
Godly Play set to begin September 10!    
The Godly Play program allows for choices.  For example, a  portion of a year might be spent studying the saints or the prophets.   This year we have chosen to "go back to the basics".   For the rest of the season of Pentecost, we will tell the foundational stories of the Hebrew Scriptures- Creation, the Great Flood, etc.   Advent will bring the story of Christ's birth into the children's world as we move towards Bethlehem and prepare for the Mystery of Christmas.   We will begin 2018 with stories of the Epiphany and Baptism.   The two weeks before Lent begins will include a new story - The Story of the Child's Own Life.   Lent is filled with the stories of Christ's life and ministry, ending, of course, with Palm Sunday, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.   We will finish off the year with a series of parables.   There are some remarkable stories to be told. Please join us!
Experience Grace!
Grace Episcopal Church welcomes you and your friends and family to an afternoon of family fun! This year we are beginning a new tradition at Grace: Opening Day weekend. Instead of having one Rally Day, we will be celebrating the start of Grace's fall programming with TWO days of festivities. On Saturday, September 9, beginning at 3:00 p.m. we will have an Opening Weekend Carnival, with games, face painting, and a bouncy house. This will be followed by a make-your-own Taco dinner and  Family Movie Night (transferred from August 26). The movie will be shown outdoors on our grassy quad facing the parking lot so that folks who prefer the comfort of their automobiles can watch from there, making it a Drive-In! On Sunday, we will have an Opening Day Barbecue. This is an excellent opportunity to bring families to Grace. If you are interested in volunteering, please let Lynda Dyer know!
Backpack/School Supplies Drive
Update! There are 60 backpacks on hand to be filled. Backpack stuffing will take place on Sunday, September 10, immediately following the 8 a.m. service (which is approximately 9:00 a.m.). Donations are being collected in the Narthex between now and September 10.  Suggested items: spiral bound notebooks (no 3-ring binders or loose leaf paper needed); scotch tape; yellow highlighters; pens (black, blue, red); scissors; colored pencil sets; packages of white ruled index cards; calculators;  12" rulers with inches and centimeters; boxes of #2 pencils or mechanical pencils; handheld pencil sharpeners. No donation is too small. Any amount is greatly appreciated and brings us closer to the goal of filling backpacks for our local middle school students.  Thank you for your continued generosity and enthusiasm for this longstanding local outreach ministry. Beth Ilog
Men's Group Breakfast    
There has been a change in the Men's Group Event schedule for September. The next breakfast will be on Saturday, September 16 ( NOT the 9th), at 8:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall.  Regardless of whether you can bring a dish to share, all men of Grace and their guests are always welcome to be part of this relaxed and informal fellowship. Contact: Don Dyer ( Email Don)
Faith-full Forums     
We recently added a new adult education offering at Grace, monthly speaker forums. In June we welcomed the Rev. Sidnie White Crawford, PhD, who spoke about "What the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about the Bible." July brought a visit from the chair of the Martinez Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This month we co-sponsored a fantastic presentation from Holocaust survivor and author Bernie Rosner.  
Upcoming Forums:
On September 17, following the 10 a.m. service, Rev. Deb will provide a speed course in Episcopal Church 101. This is a perfect opportunity to bring friends who may be curious about our denomination. 

In October, the Diocesan Legacy Officer will be here to share information about estate planning and memorials.

And be sure to plan ahead for our special November presentation of Screenagers, a film presentation that explores the impact of screen time on our children, followed by a discussion about the struggle to raise children in our social media-driven era. This presentation has been screened more than two thousand times across the country to great acclaim.  Bring friends!
"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Your Community of Christ Needs You!
Just like the early Christians, we are a community of many different people with many talents and we need everyone to provide for the community. We have several ministries that are in need of additional volunteers, including  Lay Eucharistic Ministers who assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist; Members of the Altar Guild, who help prepare the church for worship; Sunday School and Youth Group volunteers for the crucial task of forming our youth; and Office Helpers . Please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully what you can do for the good of the church. Contact  Rev. Deb ( ) with your ideas and she will direct you to the right person!

Please join us for

  A Celebration of New Ministry

as the Rev. Dr. Deborah White

is officially installed as

Rector of Grace Episcopal Church 

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. 

 Reception to follow.


St. Christopher's Guild

The next meeting of St. Christopher's will be Sunday, October 29, at 9:00 a.m. (between services) for planning the Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar. No meeting in September.

Educate yourself!
We have started a Grace Church Theological Library.  It is located in the corner next to the conference table in the Sunday School wing and is a treasure trove of material for you to browse or check-out. There is room for more on the shelves, so if you have books you would like to donate to this collection, please feel free to drop them off (please attach a note with your name and phone number) or contact Les Marks at

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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.