News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

September 14, 2017

Scripture of the Week 

"The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, 
slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us, 
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, 
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, 
so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
 so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children, 
so does the Lord care for those who fear him."
Psalm 103:8-13
Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Program connects, equips and inspires leaders of US dioceses in The Episcopal Church to prepare for hazards that might affect their communities, to mitigate the impact of disasters, and to help vulnerable people make a full and sustained recovery.
Episcopal Relief and Development is currently providing support to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma by partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and Florida.  They are also working in conjunction with other on-the-ground agencies to prepare for other natural disasters.

To donate, click here: 
Happenings at Grace!
On Saturday, September 9, members and friends of Grace celebrated our Opening Weekend Carnival, with games, face painting, a bouncy house, make-your-own Taco Dinner and topped off with Family Movie Night. "Moana" was shown outdoors on our grassy quad facing the parking lot so that folks who preferred the comfort of their automobile to the grass could watch from their cars, making it a Drive-In! On Sunday, we had an Opening Day Barbecue and the Bouncy House made a repeat visit!   On Sunday, faithful parishioners packed 66 backpacks with school supplies for students who might otherwise not have had them. Many thanks to all who contributed supplies and our hard working packers for participating in this important ministry!

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. 
Family Service this Sunday at 10 a.m.!         

The children will join us for the entire service this week. There will be a children's homily and our young people will assist with the liturgy.

Beginning on September 24th we move into some 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.
Men's Group Breakfast    
The next breakfast will be this  Saturday, September 16, 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)
Calendar Update
The Chili Cook-Off that was on the event calendar for Saturday, September 16, is being rescheduled. Stay tuned for more information in future Grace Notes.
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
This Sunday, 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. 
On October 22, Amanda Martin, the Diocesan Legacy Officer will be here to share information about estate planning and memorials.
And on 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. For more information, click here:  Screenagers at Grace
"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!
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 work at Grace.  What groups/activities are you involved in? Are you a choir member?  Altar Guild helper?  Godly Play storyteller? 

Take a minute and tell your brothers and sisters what inspired you to take on this ministry and why others might enjoy it too. 

Please let Rev. Deb ( know what you'd like to share and we will schedule you for your 1 minute of fame!
Oktoberfest 2017!    
Oktoberfest celebration design with Bavarian hat and autumn leaves.
It's time again for our ever-popular Oktoberfest Dinner! In addition to delicious food there will be a Raffle and German Karaoke and Sing-along! Dust off the Lederhosen, iron the Dirndl, and reserve your tickets now! 

Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 5:30pm Social Hour; 6:30pm Dinner
Tickets: $20 (general); $10 (12 and under)
Contact: Stan Applegate  
Phone: 925-957-0315   

  Speisekarte (Menu)
Assorted Sausages, German Potato Salad,  
Choucroute Garnie a l'Alsacienne (Sauerkraut & Pork),  
K√∂nigsberger Klopse (East Prussian Meatballs),  
Blaukraut (Seasoned Red Cabbage), Apple Strudel.  

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

Share the Good News

Want to let others know about the great things happening at Grace Episcopal Church? Click on the link below to forward this E-Newsletter to family and friends! 

Serving the community of Martinez
and Contra Costa County since 1868.

Our Mission:
Working together to welcome,
support, and serve all God's people.