News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

November 2, 2017

Scripture of the Week
"' S ee what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. 
1 John 3:1-2a
"Fall Back"
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5. 
Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night (not that there's anything wrong with coming to church early!) 
Please welcome Robert Adams to Grace as our November Interim Music Director
We are pleased to announce that Robert Train Adams, former Minister of Music at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Orinda, will be serving as our Interim Music Director during the month of November while our Music Director, Gary Evans, is on medical leave.

We are still looking for an Interim Organist/Choir Director to serve during December. This person must be able to play the organ, conduct the choir, and work with Rev. Deb to plan music for the weekly Sunday 10 a.m. service. This is a part-time, open-ended interim position (5-10 hours per week). Salary commensurate with experience. Please email Rev. Deb if you know of anyone who might be interested.
A Gift from the Diocese: our new Deacon!

We are delighted to announce that The Rev. Walter Ramsey will be serving as Grace's deacon beginning on December 3. Walter is a resident of Contra Costa County and has previously served at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in San Francisco and at St. George's Episcopal Church in Antioch. He is a father and grandfather, as well as an engineer and former member of the US military.  Please look forward to making him feel welcome!
A spirited party at Grace!


Grace children and youth (along with a few brave adults) got together for a spook-tacular Halloween party last Sunday.  There were games, costumes, and lots of treats!


Diocesan Convention news and activities on-line
If you would like to know everything that happened at the 168th Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of California, you can find them in Diobytes, our diocesan newsletter, by clicking here: DioBytes convention news. If you want to stay up-to-date on all of the diocesan news, you can subscribe to Diobytes. You will receive an e-newsletter every Tuesday. This is a great way to be in touch with the greater church. To subscribe, go to Subscribe to DioBytes here
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. 


There is no Godly Play on Family Sundays (Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 21)
Godly Play Sunday School            
We have moved into the foundational stories of the Hebrew Scriptures. These are known as the stories of the "People of God", which is a term we often use to refer to the Jews of the Hebrew Scriptures. We will tell the stories of Creation and the Great Flood. After that the stories will be set in a box of sand known as the desert box which signifies that the People of God are wandering, nomadic, and often in a foreign land. These stories are The Great Family (beginning with Abraham and Sarah), Exodus, the Ten Best Ways (Ten Commandments), The Ark and the Tent, and the Ark and the Temple. You might ask yourself what happened to the Garden of Eden, or Moses in a reed basket, or Jonah and the whale, or a dozen other stories. The reality is that there are more stories to be told than Sundays in which to tell them. But, there is always next year.
This Sunday: "The Ark and the Tent"
  This lesson, as well as next week's, "The Ark and the Temple," introduce our children to the concept of "holy space."  Our story begins with the building of the Ark of the Covenant to hold the tablets of the Ten Commandments.  After placing an incense burner and menorah next to the tablets, the People of God build a tent to set this place apart. They then take the ark and the tent with them on all their travels, demonstrating how nomadic people worshiped God "on the road."
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). August included a fantastic presentation from Holocaust survivor and author Bernie Rosner. In September Rev. Deb presented "Episcopal Church 101" and last Sunday we heard an inspiring message from Diocesan Legacy Officer Amanda Martin.    
Upcoming Forums

We are very excited about the next forum scheduled for  November 19. We will present 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. Share this with family, friends and neighbors. For more information, click here:  Screenagers at Grace 
Stewardship Ingathering and Celebration
Stewardship Drive Ending next week!
Our annual campaign asking parishioners to pledge their time, talent, and treasure to this community of Christ will end on Sunday, November 12 with a special Ingathering service.  Your support allows us to operate the church and help folks in need, so please don't miss your last opportunity to pledge prior to the formal end of the campaign (although we always accept donations)!  
Italian Dinner - Saturday, November 18   
To celebrate the end of this year's Stewardship Drive, there will be parish dinner on November 18, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Chef Stan Applegate has planned a delicious Italian Dinner menu!  No ticket purchase necessary. This is an expression of gratitude from your parish leadership. Just bring your appetite and good cheer!   
Minute for Mission
A few weeks ago we started including a "Minute for Mission" during the announcement time at Grace at both our 8 and 10 a.m. services.

We are looking for parishioners willing to step up and talk about their membership in the community of Grace.  What groups/activities are you involved in? What drew you to Grace? What do you love about it?

Take a minute and tell your brothers and sisters what inspires you as a member of this community of Christ and why others might be fulfilled by it too. 

Please let Rev. Deb ( know what you'd like to share and we will schedule you for your 1 minute of fame!
Christmas Luncheon and Boutique
St. Christopher's Guild will host its annual Christmas Luncheon on
Tuesday, December 5, at 11am. There will be a variety of brunch casseroles to enjoy for lunch, and items to purchase at the Country Kitchen and White Elephant tables, as well as handmade items, donated by our members.  
And, yes, the famous bean soup mix will be for sale!   
Tickets are $15. Proceeds benefit various local charities at the end of the year.  Please come join us for this festive event!  Tickets may be purchased at the door or call Susan Bremmer at (925) 348-6309 to reserve seats.
Stay in touch!
We haven't gone anywhere but we have changed our address.  We are no longer receiving mail at our P.O. Box.  Please send all mail to:

Grace Episcopal Church
130 Muir Station Rd.
Martinez, CA 94553

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

Share the Good News

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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.