February 21, 2019
News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
Scripture of the Week

"Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,
and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he shall give you your heart's desire. "

Psalm 37: 1-4
 "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
New Curriculum in Godly Play starts Sunday!

We will be launching into a new series of 7 lessons following the theme of “Knowing Jesus in a New Way”. (this is assuming that the materials we ordered do show up on time!) We will be focused on the transition between Jesus’ earthly ministry and the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is a time when the disciples and others began to know Jesus in a new way. The 7 lessons will focus on knowing Jesus in absence, in the breaking of the bread, in doubt, in the morning, making him known, in waiting, and being known by the Holy Spirit. They are stories of fearful wonderment and astonishment about how the disciples learned how to know Jesus in a new way.
Harpsichord Recital at Grace
Sunday, February 24, 2:30 p.m.
Grace Music Director Arthur Omura presents a study of the dark serenity of French harpsichord music of the 18th century, a time when French culture was supreme, and the clavecinistes set the musical taste for all of Europe. Works by D’Anglebert, Rameau, Couperin Le Grand, and Duphly, demonstrate the transition from the effortless control of the dance suite to the ecstatic freedom of the chaconne and the passacaglia. Invite friends! Free-will donation. 
Check out our web post on Faith and Fear



You can find it HERE
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 *3:30 p.m. at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. (Whole & Health Church Training goes to 3:45 p.m.)

Cost: $20 a person (to cover lunch). Partial Scholarships are available. To register, go to Beloved Community Day Registration
Youth Group Art and Pizza Night

All 8th-12th grade youth are welcome to come to Youth Group at Grace! The next gathering will be Art and Pizza Night on Sunday, February 24, 6-8pm. Bring friends!
An invitation to the 2019 Paul Wattson Lecture in San Francisco
Monday, February 25

An emerging scholar of ecumenical theology and interreligious relations and active Episcopalian, Aaron Hollander has his PhD from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a master's degree from the Irish School of Ecumenics. He has spoken internationally on matters of interreligious antagonism, dialogue, resistance, and reconciliation, and is published in the  Journal of Ecumenical Studies Teaching Theology and Religion , and  Currents in Theology and Mission , as well as in several edited volumes.

Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEIIC) is a Ministry of the Franciscan Friars of Atonement.
Bible Study for Everyone
Wednesdays - 10am Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study
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 15th 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.
Ashes for Ash Wednesday
If you have palm crosses from previous Palm Sundays, please bring them to church between this Sunday to be burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. By doing this we honor their sacred purpose. There is a collection basket in the Narthex.
Ash Wednesday - March 6
Raffle Prizes Needed!
The St. Patrick's Day Dinner is coming, and we need your help! We are looking for donations for a raffle that evening. If you have donated in the past and are willing to again, or know a business that has and would, please contact Amy Eudy at eudy.amy@gmail.com .
St. Patrick's Dinner Helpers Needed
Many hands make light work! Volunteers are needed for set-up on Friday, March 15, 6 p.m., as well as serving and clean-up on Saturday, March 16.
St. Patrick's Dinner
Saturday, March 16
Social Hour 5:30pm; Dinner 6:30pm

Get your green on! It's almost time for the ever-popular St. Patrick's Dinner at Grace. A fundraiser tradition for over 40 years, be sure to spread the word to family, neighbors and friends.

Tickets will be on sale this Sunday. $19.50 per person, $10 for youth under age 12. Reservations recommended. Reservations may be made by calling the Parish Office (925) 228-6574 or emailing info@gracechurchmtz.org
Resources for a Holy (and Fun ) Lent
 
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. There are many ways to honor the special 40 day season of preparation for Easter. Here are a few:

Episcopal Relief and Development Lenten emails : Each day during Lent you will receive a daily reflection, co-authored by a group of faith leaders from across the church. During this season of reflection on our Christian faith, their writings will enhance your spiritual journey as they both inspire and challenge you.

Living Compass, which works to outfit individuals, families, congregations, and organizations with tools and training for the journey toward wellness and wholeness is offering Lenten Booklets in English and Spanish on “Practicing Forgiveness." You can find them here .

Observe Lent as a family by trying out the “Lent in a Bag” project. You can find it here
OR
check out this free, downloadable family devotional for Lent centered around food .

This year, the Godly Play children will be collecting items for The Deacon's Pantry, a ministry of Grace. This kitchen space (in the "accordion door" pantry) has been set aside for donations of food and other items for individuals in need.

Finally, try something completely different! If you are struggling to figure out what to "give up" for Lent, take on something different instead!  "Lent Madness," the brainchild of two Episcopal priests, is a fun and informative way to make sure that you remember that we are living in the church's primary season of penitence and preparation. Lent Madness combines the excitement of a sporting event with the opportunity to connect with some of the Christian saints who came before us. Find more information on the Lent Madness website http://www.lentmadness.org/about/
 
Keep an eye out for the bracket poster that will be posted in the Parish Hall and updated once Lent Madness begins on Ash Thursday, March 7! If this sounds like something you'd like to do as a Lenten observance, pick up a Saintly Scorecard available in the Parish Hall. The Saintly Scorecard is the annual publication containing all 32 first round bios and information about how to participate in Lent Madness.

Jennifer Sabroe is a Lent Madness enthusiast and is more than happy to engage in saintly chit-chat and answer any questions you have about Lent Madness.
Martinez Community Emergency Response Team offers Spring classes

Are You Ready to Help Your Family & Neighborhood? Don't be Scared... Be Prepared! FREE CLASSES – SPRING 2019 CERT Basic Training - 20 Hour Course CERT Basic Training – Saturday Morning Series 8 AM - 1 PM on March 23, 30, April 6, 13 Martinez City Council Chambers, 525 Henrietta Street, Martinez CERT Basic Training – Tuesday Evening Series 6:00 – 9 :30 PM on March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23 IBEW Hall, 1875 Arnold Dr. A practical review for Emergency Medical, Medical Triage, Search and Rescue and Fire Suppression on Sat. April 27 from 8 am -12 noon at Martinez City Hall. This session is optional but highly recommended. CERT Basic Training – Disaster Drill Skills Exercise – Saturday May 18, 7 AM – 2 PM. Optional but will qualify you to become a volunteer city disaster service worker. Location TBD. You are an important part of the emergency response solution for our area. CERT will train you to be better prepared for emergencies and how to respond when your family, neighbors, and community need you most. 

For more information, go to The Martinez CERT webpage
Deacon's Doings
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). Please help Rev. Walter by stocking the "Deacon's Pantry" with 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.
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.

A message from Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
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.
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 March 20, at 6:30 p.m., at Smooth Season restaurant (Muir Station shopping center), when we will discuss Where the Crawdads Sing , by Delia Owens.
 
For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386 or send an email .
Amen! Exhibit at Martinez Museum

There's still time to check out the Martinez Historical Society's exhibit "Amen!" at the Martinez Museum, at Escobar and Court Streets. The exhibit runs until March and focuses on the history of churches in Martinez - and Grace is one of them! There are displays of photos and artifacts, with accompanying historical information.
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 Sunday, March 17 , representatives from Republic Services will be the presenters at our forum on "Stewardship of Creation."
Reminders
The Book Cart in the Parish Hall is a great place to find your next read. Check it out! Suggested donation is $1 for hardcover, .50 for paperback. Proceeds benefit the Books for Seminarian Fund at CDSP (Church Divinity School of the Pacific, in Berkeley).
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.

The freezer is currently full! But, please check this space for the call for more casseroles. Casseroles should be frozen or freezable and sized to serve no more than 4-6. Please be sure to mark the meal with its description and the date it was prepared/frozen, if homemade.
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. There will be no yoga on March 12.
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!
You can find previous Grace Notes , Sunday Sermons , and much more on our website .