News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

July 27, 2017

Photo by Rev. Deb
Scripture of the Week
 "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
A Note from the Senior Warden
Stan Applegate
As many of you know, Stan injured himself falling off a ladder while trimming a tree at Grace.  He suffered numberous broken bones, but is on the mend.

People have commented that they feel I have dropped off the face of the Earth. I have to correct them by saying I fell "on" the face of the Earth. After all, I am the guy who put the "fell" in fellowship! Okay, so my sense of humor is healing faster than my poor body. On  June 13th I fell off a ladder and broke 17 bones in my back and badly injured my hand. In all honesty it's the worst thing that has ever happened to me and the last six weeks have been more than challenging. They say to truly understand someone you must walk a mile in their shoes. I have a much better understanding of Evel Knievel now that I've walked in his rhinestone-studded boots. (Sorry kids; I'm dating myself. He's a stunt daredevil known for breaking 433 bones in his career). I first concluded he was a complete nut to keep getting back on his motorcycle but I actually understand. It won't be long before you see me climbing ladders around the church again. (Editor's note from Rev. Deb: "Only with proper safety protocols in place!")

The fact is we should refuse to live our lives in fear of what could happen. God gave us this gift of life and the ability to feel both good and bad experiences. I learned a powerful lesson the hard way but I did learn and can move forward. Through the tough times I found light in your cards, phone calls and casseroles. I'm so grateful to be a part of our community at Grace Episcopal Church. I thank you deeply for your love, prayers and support. Reverend Deb has been amazing and checks on me almost daily. I hope to be back at church soon, but I am continually reminded not to rush things. I miss everyone terribly and appreciate the people who have covered my duties while I'm down.

Until I see you, my prayers and good wishes are always with you!

Peace and Love,

A unique opportunity to learn about hope and healing in the midst of hatred.
Bernie Rosner
On Wednesday, August 2, beginning at 12:15 p.m., Grace Epsicopal Church, in conjunction with the Martinez Rotary Club, will welcome Bernie Rosner, Holocaust survivor and author of the book, "An Uncommon Friendship." Mr. Rosner's talk is free and open to the public.   Mr. Rosner was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family and is a survivor of both the Auschwitz and Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. The only member of his family to live through World War II, he travelled to the United States in 1948 and became a U.S. citizen in 1953. While living in California, Mr. Rosner became friends with Frederic C. Tubach, the son of a Nazi military officer. In 2001 they co-authored the book, "An Uncommon Friendship."  Mr. Rosner will talk about his experiences during the war and his path to healing afterward. Please join us for this rare opportunity.  The Rotary Club will begin their meeting with lunch at 12 p.m.  If you would like to purchase lunch and join them, please RSVP to Janet Kennedy, President of the Martinez Rotary at
A message from the Diocese
The Rev. Canon Stefani Schatz
We would like to notify you of the upcoming Service of Resurrection for our beloved Canon to the Ordinary,  Stefani Schatz, who died Wednesday, July 12, after a fourteen-month struggle with cancer. You can read her obituary here.
Date:  Saturday, August 12
Time:  10:00 a.m.
Location: Grace Cathedral,
1100 California Street, San Francisco

We thank you for your prayers for Canon  Stefani and the many people who loved her. Instead of flowers, contributions "In Memory of Stefani Schatz" may be made to St Margaret's Visiting Professorship of Women in Ministry at California at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.  

The address is: CDSP, 2451 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709
Attn: Advancement Department
Volunteers needed for our new Disaster Preparedness Ministry Team.
July 16, 2017
Two Sundays ago we received a visit from the Martinez City Emergency Response Team (CERT) and learned some important things about how to deal with a significant emergency.  As a follow-up, we are looking for some folks to be part of Grace's own Disaster Preparedness Ministry Team.  The purpose of this group is to develop a disaster preparedness plan for our congregation.  If you are interested in participating, please let Rev. Deb know (   
We want to hear from you!
The core of our community is our belief in and worship of God and his son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Rev. Deb and the Worship and Liturgy Ministry Team value your opinions about what you love about liturgy at Grace and what might be done better.  Rev. Deb has created a short survey seeking input about several aspects of our worship.  It will only take  approximately five minutes and your responses are anonymous.  We would be very grateful if you will take part.  The survey has been emailed to those of you on our Constant Contact list and can also be found on our website, and Facebook page.  A printed version will be available in the Narthex for the next several Sundays. Thanks for your participation.
Here's the survey link:

Feed the Hungry: Start at Home
The Grace Church "Casserole Patrol" is running low on meals!  This ministry provides food to parishioners in times of need and right now we have several parishioners experiencing major life events (illness, new babies, for example).  Please consider making a double batch of whatever you're making for dinner and dropping off the second at the church. We will keep it in our freezer at the church and one of our delivery volunteers will make sure it gets delivered.  Please contact Connie Towey if you can help ( 
St. Christopher's Guild  
The next meeting of St. Christopher's Guild is this Sunday, July 30, between services, at 9:00 a.m. The primary topic of discussion will be finalizing plans for the Colors of Tea fundraiser on August 26 (see link to flyer below). There are plenty of ways to help and support this popular and highly anticipated event (set-up, clean-up, serving, publicity). If you're unable to attend the meeting, but would like to pitch in, please contact Pam Saw or Susan Bremmer (925.348.6309)

"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
What is your calling?
Summer is a good time to think about the specific ministry that God has equipped you to do in the church.  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 recently asked whether you might be called to be a Lay Eucharistic Minister and assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist, or if you would like to help preparing the church for worship as a member of the Altar Guild . We are also looking for folks to help with childcare  during the first part of the 10 a.m. service on Sundays during the summer, and for parishioners and friends with musical talent to  share it during the summer months (and beyond). We also need folks to help with our Buildings and Grounds work and  forming a Christian Education Ministry Team. Not to forget, w e also need help in our office and help with  publicizing our events . There is a lot of wonderful stuff going on at Grace! 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!
Backpack/School Supplies Drive
Our annual school supplies drive is open for business! Backpacks will be ordered soon and we are asking for donations to fill them.  Between now and the end of August, donations may be left in the Narthex.  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
The Venerable David Stickley
A Visit from the Archdeacon
On Sunday, August 6, The Venerable David Stickley, Archdeacon of the Diocese of California, will be preaching at both our 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services. David graduated from School for Deacons in 2008 and from Ithaca College with a degree in business management in 1985. He currently works as Administrative Coordinator for Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General and on the faculty at the School for Deacons.  He shares responsibility for the training and placement of deacons in the diocese. 
Please come and welcome David to Grace!

Save the Date!


The Bishop's office has confirmed that Rev. Deb will officially become

our new rector in a 

Celebration of New Ministry 

Saturday, October 21, 2017 


Please plan to attend! 

Social Media Update!
Some of you may have noticed our increased presence on the internet.  In addition to a redesigned website ( - thank you Katie White-Spenik - we are now on Twitter and Instagram.  Please "stop by" on the web and "like us" on Facebook and add us to your Instagram (GraceEpChurchMtz) and Twitter feeds (GraceEpChMtz).  Our Facebook page has many interesting things to look at and "like," including every sermon preached at Grace since November of 2015 - so if you miss church, you can still hear the interpreted Word in the comfort of your home (or anywhere)!

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
Bills don't take vacations!
Summer is here and we know that many of you will be taking some well-deserved time off. We will miss you but promise to be here when you get back.  Please remember though that while you are gone the parish still needs to pay our bills.  If you are able to catch up on your pledge before you go, we would very much appreciate it!

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.