News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
April 26, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also."
1 John 4:16b-21
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.  
Godly Play Sunday School   

April 29: The Parable of the Good Shepherd:  This Sunday the children will hear one of the most famous of the parables, that of the Good Shepherd. The children will learn of the shepherd who leaves "the 99" sheep in order to search for "the one" who is lost. The children are then invited to wonder if the sheep are happy inside the sheepfold and where this place could really be. We ask them if they have ever been lost and/or found. Finally, we wonder with them if the Good Shepherd has ever called them by their names.
A message from the Worship and Liturgy Committee
The Worship and Liturgy Committee values your feedback.  Some folks have expressed that the service music changes for Eastertide have been a bit much, so you will notice that we are singing a more familiar Gloria and have returned to using the Agnus Dei (spoken at 8) following the Breaking of the Bread.

In other liturgical news:

What's up with the Dismissal? We recently moved the Dismissal from its traditional place following the recessional to immediately after the Blessing. While this may seem "new" to us, this is now recommended by liturgists and standard practice in the Diocese of California. That's because, from a liturgical standpoint, the Dismissal actually provides permission for the people processing to move from the church, so we need to say it before we move. In order to become more comfortable with this change, we would like to invite our 8 o'clock congregation to fall in with the recessional, exiting immediately following the altar party.  At 10 a.m., the postlude will begin immediately after the recessional hymn in order to remind everyone that the service is over.  
Music Director update
We are looking for the right person to serve as Grace's Music Director. We have had a good response to our advertising and the Music Director Search Committee, consisting of Barbara Brooks, Bob Burman, and Marj Leeds. We are close to selecting the final candidate. Once again this week we are lucky to welcome back  Gary Evans, who will be playing for the remainder of the search process.
Confirmation at Grace - Classes are underway!
Confirmation is the sacramental rite in which individuals "express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop" (BCP, p. 860). Bishop Marc will be visiting and performing confirmations at Grace in July.

We are preparing individuals for Confirmation using the Discovery Series: A Christian Journey, which is a nine-week educational program for confirmation preparation. If you would like to be part of the class and missed the first session or would like to follow along with the confirmation group, you can access the materials on-line. If you are interested, please give  Rev. Deb your email address and she will invite you to join the on-line classroom.
During Eastertide, o ur Wednesday Bible study continues to participate in 
The Good Book Club, along with Episcopalians around the world. After delving deeply into Luke's Gospel during Lent, we are now studying the book of Acts (or "Luke Part 2").  This Wednesday we will discuss compromise and conflict in the early church. The text is Acts 15:1-31. You are most welcome to join us! In the Chapel on Wednesdays at 10am, Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study. 
Faith-full Forums

Once a month since last June we have opened our doors to a variety of fascinating speakers and invited 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.
May 6: Death and dying can be difficult issues to discuss, but it is a great blessing to our loved ones when we plan ahead for our own eventual death. This is especially true for families whose members are of different faiths (or no faith). During Lent the Grace Worship and Liturgy Committee held a campaign to encourage all of Grace's parishioners to complete End of Life Planning, including advanced healthcare directives, wills or trusts, funeral arrangements, final instructions, and financial and memorial gift planning. On Sunday, May 6, we will welcome a guest presenter, who will provide information and answer questions related to End of Life Planning.
June 17: Dr. Meyers earned her undergraduate degree in special education at Syracuse University and taught at the elementary school level for five years. She earned her M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and her MA and Ph.D. in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame. She began teaching liturgy at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in 2009 after 14 years on the faculty at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. In 2012 CDSP appointed her Dean of Academic Affairs. In addition to her teaching and administrative work at CDSP, Rev. Dr. Meyers served on the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music from 2008 until 2015 and chaired the commission from 2009-2015. In 2015 she was appointed to the Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage. She is one of the foremost experts on Episcopal Liturgy. Please don't miss this opportunity to learn about the liturgy of the Episcopal Church.
Developing Kindness Kits for our homeless neighbors
We will be putting together Kindness Kits for our brethren who suffer from homelessness. Last Sunday, Rev. Walter led a planning meeting with 11 in attendance, to share input on how best to stock and distribute the kits. There are still a few more steps to take and questions to answer before the project is launched. If you would like to be part of this project, the door is always open; please email Nate Brooks to get on the email list so you can stay informed. We value your input!  
St. Christopher's Guild News
Meeting this Sunday at 9 a.m. 

St. Christopher's Guild welcomes all women to join us the last Sunday of the month between services at 9 a.m. for fellowship and event planning meetings in the Parish Hall. Our events foster community building and the funds we raise are distributed throughout the community to groups serving those less fortunate than ourselves. We look forward to seeing you in Church and at our meetings. Please contact me by calling my cell phone 925-586-6062  or by emailing me at  Kind regards, Fran Trant.
"Baby Shower" on June 2!
Save the date and help spread the word for our Baby Shower-themed Spring Luncheon on Saturday, June 2! Proceeds will benefit the babies born at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. Guests are asked to bring something new for Mothers to take home with them from the hospital (e.g. onesies, sleepers, outfits, etc.) Rhonda Peterson, Director of Volunteers for the hospital's Layette Program, will give a short presentation.  Click here to download the flyer.
Grace Book Group  
Do you like to read? Need motivation to read more? Have a book recommendation? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Like to eat out? Come drop in on the Grace Book Group! We'd love to see you!
3rd Wednesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center 

Our next get-together is May 16, when we will discuss Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller    
If you'd like to know more about the Book Group please feel free to email the church office.
Loaves and Fishes
Next Grace work day at L&F is May 16
On the 3rd Wednesday of each month, Grace Church cooks and serves the daily meal to the clients at the Martinez facility, located on the corner of Ferry and Green Streets. Beth Ilog is the Grace Church point person for this longstanding outreach ministry and oversees our team of volunteers, supplies, meal preparation, service and clean up. There is always room for more volunteers! (And, there are a couple of jobs that can be done sitting down.) The time commitment is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please talk to Beth if you're interested or would like more information.  Email Beth or call her at (925) 370-8142.
Healing prayer
We offer Healing Prayer during both our 8 and 10 a.m. services. If you wish to have someone pray with you for yourself or others, you may go to the prie dieu (kneeler) at the right rear corner of the sanctuary after receiving communion. This is a ministry of the people of Grace to one another -no clergy required!  We are looking for more volunteers for this important ministry, so if you are willing to pray with others, please let Rev. Deb know. No experience is necessary; we will train you!

An easy way to contribute to Grace


Grace Episcopal Church Martinez is now 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!

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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.