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

" This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;  but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin ."
1 John 1:5-7
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   
This Sunday:
The Easter Eggs - Spring Enrichment
The Easter eggs that our children see in our culture seem to have little to do with the Easter that is celebrated
in Church. This week we teach them about the eggs of Eastern Europe and all of the symbols they contain.
We introduce children to these eggs as a way to reclaim a wonderful sign of new life in Easter.
Graceful Gratitude
Many thanks to everyone who made Holy Week and Easter at Grace so beautiful and spiritually-fulfilling.  A special "thanks" to everyone who sat vigil, cooked, poured water, read, sang and prayed, especially Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe and her office angels; Elaine Quigley and the Altar Guild; Jack Case and the Buildings and Grounds committee; Stan Applegate and the kitchen crew; our faithful choir; Marj Leeds and the Godly Play family; and John Lee and the liturgy team members.  The Spirit of God is truly in this place!!

No rest for the weary - except Rev. Deb!


Rev. Deb is taking a well-deserved week of rest after Easter.  She will return on Tuesday, April 10. The Rev. Heather Erickson (at left) will be presiding at both services this Sunday, April 8th. Pastoral care needs will be covered by The Rev. Kathryn Schreiber, Pastor of the First Congregational Church here in Martinez. Please contact the Parish Office if you have a need and they will give you her number. Mahalo!

Earth Day Volunteer Opportunity

Attention all "green" parishioners. Grace Episcopal Church has been invited to participate in an  Interfaith booth at the John Muir Birthday/Earth Day Celebration here in Martinez on  April 21, 10am to 4pm. The theme is "Green Spirit Contra Costa." If you have ideas about how Grace can contribute and/or if you would like to attend, please let  Rev. Deb know!

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, currently interviewing candidates. We are fortunate to have several candidates playing during the search.  Please welcome:
Richard Thomas again this Sunday!
Confirmation at Grace - Classes begin April 22
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). Through Confirmation, those who were baptized at an early age are invited to make a mature public affirmation of their faith, recommit themselves to the responsibilities of their baptism, and receive laying on of hands by a bishop (BCP, p. 412). Individuals who were baptized into other denominations and wish to affirm their commitment to the Episcopal Church may be received by a bishop. Bishop Marc will be visiting and performing confirmations at Grace in July.

We will  be preparing individuals for Confirmation using the Discovery Series: A Christian Journey, which is a ten-week educational program for confirmation preparation. Those classes will begin on April 22. If you are interested in being confirmed, please let   Rev. Deb know.
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.
Dr. Donn Morgan will be here next Sunday April 15 to discuss his book, Fighting with the Bible: why scripture divides us and how it can bring us together.
Donn Morgan is Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Always a student and teacher of the Bible, he also held administrative positions at CDSP (academic dean, president). He has been deeply involved in theological education in The Episcopal Church and the Graduate Theological Union, as well as teaching in Asia and England. We are lucky to host him!
End of Life Planning Packets available  
The Grace Worship and Liturgy Committee would like to encourage all of Grace's parishioners to complete their advanced healthcare directive, will or trust, financial planning, funeral arrangements, final instructions and memorial gift planning. 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). To that end, we have developed resources about funerals in the Episcopal Church, advance directives, and memorial gifts to the church. These packets are available on our website. It is our hope that each parishioner will complete a planning packet and provide a copy of it to the church office. 
D uring Lent, a s part of  The Good Book Club,   o ur Wednesday Bible study, along with Episcopalians around the world, have been dedicated to delving deeply into Luke's Gospel.  This Wednesday we begin our study of the Book of Acts (or "Luke 2"). The passage for the day is Acts 6:1-7.
Serving others through Grace
Grace Episcopal Church has a long tradition of reaching out to our community and helping those in need. With our recent growth in members, we have the opportunity to do even more good work. The Outreach Committee is having conversations about what Grace is already doing to assist our neighbors and what else we might do.  Here are two ways you can help:

Kindness Kits for our homeless friends. These bags will be filled with items to assist with basic needs like food, water, hygiene products and a list of local service agencies. They will be available to parishioners who would like to have them in their cars to give to folks they encounter who are in need, as well as to volunteers who wish to distribute them at our local encampment where homeless individuals live. If you are interested in assisting with this ministry, please let  Deacon Walter know.

Loaves and Fishes. 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 have recently begun offering 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.