News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
May 9, 2019 
Scripture of the Week
" T he  Lord  is my shepherd; 
I shall not be in want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures 
and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul 
and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; 
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; 
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the  Lord for ever. . "
 Psalm 23
"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  
Grace's children's education model is Godly Play, which is a Montessori-based Christian Education curriculum for elementary-aged children. The goal of the program is to teach children the art of using religious language -- parable, sacred story, silence, and liturgical action -- to help children interpret the spiritual aspects of their daily lives. Children experience the word of God through the elements of prayer, song, The Word, and response.  
This week: The Synagogue and the Upper Room
Our story this week begins with Jesus in the synagogue in the village of Nazareth reading from a scroll of Isaiah. We then move to the upper room and a telling of the story of the Last Supper. The important moment occurs when the stories come together as the synagogue and upper room are joined to form a church building like the ones we know today, complete with the lectern and table. The liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the table are joined together. With these final movements the children are invited to wonder what this structure might be.
Godly Play takes place in the Education Building. It is the practice at Grace to have the children join their families for the Eucharist in the sanctuary. There is a children's area at the rear of the sanctuary with toys, books, and coloring materials for children who do not enjoy sitting in the pews.  There is Nursery Care for babies and young toddlers in the education building. 
Peace on earth (and in church)

In order to help us remember that the passing of the peace during our worship services is part of our liturgy (and not half-time), our Music Director, Arthur Omura, will be playing  transition music between our opportunity to briefly greet one another and the continuation of the service with the the Offertory Sentence. Keep your ears peeled for this musical cue to prepare for Holy Communion.
Youth Babysitting Fundraising

Happy Mother's Day to all parents and caregivers at Grace. THIS Sunday, May 12, from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. our wonderful Youth Group will be providing baby-sitting at the low cost of $10 per child so parents can enjoy some time off. Pizza, snacks, and a "G" rated movie will be provided for the children. For more information, call Jes Senn at (925) 765-9279.
Grace Book Group
The next meeting of the Grace Book Group will be Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 p.m. at Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center . This month the read is "free choice."   
Loaves and Fishes
The Grace volunteer team works at Loaves and Fishes , Green and Ferry Streets in Martinez, on the third Wednesday of the month, from 9am-1pm. Our next service date is May 15. Anyone who would like to serve or observe is welcome. There are positions for those who cannot stand for a long time -- serving drinks, supervising give-aways, wrapping utensils in napkins, etc.  Contact Beth Ilog for more information.
Memorial Service 
There will be a Memorial Service for Michele Lynch Cobb on Saturday, May 25 at 11 a.m. If you are willing to contribute food or labor to put together a potluck reception following the liturgy, please let Susan Bremmer know.  
A message from the Casserole Patrol  
The Casserole Patrol is one of Grace's most important pastoral ministries, as it provides meals to those who, for one reason or another, can benefit from having a meal delivered to them.  
Our supply is running low. We need your help replenishing the freezer. Casseroles should be frozen, or freezable, and preferably the size of 4-6 servings (or less.) Please label the casserole with a description, and the date it was prepared/frozen.  
If you can contribute, please email Stan Applegate.
Faithful Forums are back!

Grace offers monthly educational forums on broad-ranging topics like The Dead Sea Scrolls, Episcopal Polity, Recycling, and Emergency Preparedness for congregations. These take place in the Parish Hall following our 10 a.m. service (approximately 11:30). 
As a result of the activities surrounding Easter, we did not have a Faithful Forum in April. On May 26, we will have the opportunity to talk about our new Grace Church Online Directory. Find out about our upcoming launch and bring your questions for Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe and Rev. Deb. On June 16, we will wrap up our forum season as Rev. Deb, Rev. Molly and Rev. Walter host an Open Forum called "Ask the clergy a question." No topics are off-limits! Come with your questions about liturgy, theology, and church polity.   
Plasticware. Thank you to all who cleared out their collection of plastic forks, knives, and spoons. They have been given to Sandy Taylor for the People Feeding People program. Please continue saving them at home, as there will be another collection at church in the fall. Contact Mary Canale for more information.
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 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 Acolytes, young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who assist with the liturgy. Please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully what you can do for the good of the church. Contact Rev. Deb ( and she will direct you to the right person!
Flower and Candle Dedications

We are blessed by having fresh flowers on our altar each week. These are paid for by parishiners who wish to dedicate flowers (or candles) in thanksgiving or memory of loved ones. There are many open dates available on the flower and candle dedication calendar, located in the Narthex. When signing up for a date on the chart, please be sure to also write your name on the corresponding date in the flower dedication notebook (located on the little table below the chart). Suggested donation $35. The candle dedication notebook on the table under the bulletin board. Suggested donation $5.
Bible Study for Everyone!

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study in our Chapel. Currently, we are delving into  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's "Way of Love" initiative.  As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we follow the Way of Jesus. His way is the Way of Love, and that love has the power to change lives and change the world. Bishop Curry has described seven paths along the Way of Love:
TURN: Pause, listen, and choose to follow Jesus  
LEARN: Reflect on scripture each day, especially on Jesus' life and teachings
: Dwell intentionally with God each day
: Gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and dwell with God
: Share faith and unselfishly give and serve
: Cross boundaries, listen deeply and live like Jesus
: Receive the gift of God's grace, peace, and restoration.

We are using the text, "Living the Way of Love," which is available  here. It's also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. However, as always, you do not need to purchase the book to take part.
Godly Play and Youth Group recognition
We will hold our annual Recognition Sunday on June 2, 2019. Children and adults who have participated in Godly Play or Youth Group will be honored at the 10 a.m. service. We will also say "thank you" and "good luck" to our three high school graduates. There will be a barbecue following the 10 a.m.  
Parish BBQ and Ice Cream Social!
Sunday, June 2 
Come enjoy a barbecue lunch and ice cream social following the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, June 2! Hamburgers and hot dogs, buns, condiments, beverages, and ice cream! will be provided. Side dishes are "potluck." If you are able, please bring a salad or side dish to share. Please join us!
Bring a friend to church day!
Sunday, June 16 
Why is it that we are all so willing to share the latest and best restaurant, diet, or internet bargain with our acquaintances, but feel strange talking about the most important thing in our lives - our faith in God? In order to encourage one another to demonstrate our commitment to the importance of Christian community and the necessity for all of us to help for it to grow, Grace is hosting "Bring a friend to church day" on Sunday, June 16. If there is someone that you have been thinking about inviting to church but haven't had the nerve, now is the time. The service will be followed by our Faithful Forum "Ask the clergy a question," so the timing is perfect! 
Outreach Committee
Traditionally called "Outreach," or "Service" ministries, the people of Grace seek simply to help others by attending to their needs and sharing our time, treasure and talent. The Outreach Committee meets on the first Sunday of the month between services.  
The minutes of the last meeting on May 5, are posted on the Outreach bulletin board in the Parish Hall.  
A Blast from the Past
Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe recently stumbled on this email that our former Rector, George Ross, shared with the Vestry back in 1998.  We thought it was still relevant!
There are ten primary differences between a Lively Church and a Dead Church.
First of all, a Lively Church reaches out to anyone who is in need. A Dead Church waits for their own minister to take care of their own needs.
Second, a Lively Church has parking problems. A Dead Church doesn't.
Third, a Lively Church has lots of noisy children and youth. A Dead Church is pretty quiet.
Fourth, a Lively Church changes the way things are done in order to grow. A Dead Church doesn't have to change anything.
Fifth, a Lively Church often asks its members for increased program and mission money. A Dead Church has enough money because it doesn't do anything.
Sixth, a Lively Church challenges members to be ministers, engaged in hand-on involvement to make a difference in the word. A Dead Church only worships together.
Seventh, a Lively Church uses its traditions and facilities to nurture and equip people. A Dead Church uses people to preserve its traditions and facilities just the way they are.
Eighth, a Lively Church is filled with enthusiastic and committed givers. A Dead Church struggles to survive on token gifts from grudging givers who think all God deserves is a 'tip.'
Ninth, a Lively Church sees all sorts of challenges and opportunities. A Dead Church sees only dangers, threats, risks, and problems.
Tenth, a Lively Church dares to dream great dreams for building up God's kingdom. A Dead Church only has nightmares.
Attributed to Heather Harrington, Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Yoga at Grace!
We welcome certified Yoga Instructor Noah Yuzna every  Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. 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.  
Coffee Hour News!
Coffee Hour Hosts needed for May-August!
The sign-up sheet is in the Parish Hall. If you'd like to help but have never done Coffee Hour before, we can partner you with a "veteran."    
 Email Coffee Hour Coordinator Christina ("Tina") Reich or leave a note on the sign-up clipboard.    
Thank you to those who have already signed up. Please remember that if you can't do your assigned date, you are asked to make arrangements for a substitute.  
  C.O.R.E. Homeless Outreach donations
C.O.R.E stands for Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement. It is a program of the Housing and Homeless Services Division of Contra Costa County Health Services. Grace will be providing the C.O.R.E. team with needed items to distribute to individuals suffering from homelessness. This is an ongoing project, so we are requesting:
  • Hygiene items including (but not limited to) soap, shampoo, oral care, shower wipes, shaving supplies, feminine hygiene items
  • Incontinence products (e.g. "Depend") (men's and women's) all sizes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Blankets (moving blankets are inexpensive and durable)
  • Backpacks - ideally large capacity, durability is less important as they are frequently lost or stolen after a few weeks/months
  • Healthy food - preferable non-perishable items that don't require cooking, a can opener, or good teeth. Pull-top cans are good.
  • Bottles of water
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Pet food (in particular, wet food in pull-top cans). Other pet goodies would be appreciated too!
We also encourage parishioners to consider developing the habit of thinking of our homeless neighbors when shopping (i.e. picking up an extra item or two) and traveling (bringing home the hotel soaps/shampoo). Please leave donations in the Narthex.
Join the choir!
Be part of the joyful liturgy at Grace by lending your voice to the choir. Choir rehearsals at Grace are Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or even 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, special requests, etc. - please email the text of your announcement to the Parish Office by end of day on Tuesday. Thank you! 

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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.