News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
April 25, 2019 
Scripture of the Week
"' I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'"
 Revelation 1:8
"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  
The Faces of Easter 7. With the children we review all the faces of Jesus - his birth, discovery in the temple, baptism, temptation, healing, telling of parables and eating the last supper with his disciples.  Then we come to the difficult part of the story, his death.  The children are told that Jesus died.  Saturday was so quiet you could almost hear the earth breathing.  Then they learn that the women found the tomb empty and their Lord was risen.  The children are shown a single plaque with the crucifixion on one side and the risen Lord on the other.  We explain that the faces are 2 sides to the same story and they cannot be taken apart.  It is a lesson for all of us.
Rev. Deb out of the office

Rev. Deb is out of town until April 30. Rev Molly is available for urgent pastoral care needs and will be presiding at services on Sunday, April 28.
St. Christopher's Guild meeting this Sunday
There will be a St. Christopher's Guild meeting on Sunday, April 28 at 9 a.m. in the Parish Hall to finalize the details for our May 4th luncheon.   
A Reminder from the Vestry

Many folks may not be aware, but our Vestry members have taken responsibility for closing the church on Sundays. They take turns serving as "Vestry Person of the Day (or VPOD)" - making sure things are shipshape and locked up after services. Although we love the fact that we are a social parish and enjoy lingering to talk to one another, we also want to make sure our Vestry members get home in a timely manner, so please try to wrap up your coffee hour conversations by around 12:30, and don't be offended if a the VPOD asks if you might continue your chat off-campus so they can lock up.  Many thanks!
Bible Study for Everyone!

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study in our Chapel. Beginning April 29, we will delve 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. Over the course of eight weeks, we will learn about the seven ways:  
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 will be using the text, "Living the Way of Love," which is available  here. As always, you do not need to purchase the book to take part in the study.
Safe Church Reminder
This is a gentle reminder for those of you who have received a note or email from Jennifer indicating that you need to complete Safe Church training to please do so as soon as possible. Many thanks for your ministry!
Spring Luncheon
St. Christopher's Guild invites you to a Benefit Luncheon on Saturday, May 4, 11:30am-2pm. Adults $15, 12 and under $5. Proceeds and donations will be used to support charities in the Martinez area. There will be a short presentation about Asian history in Contra Costa County by Vivienne Wong. Tickets/Information: (925) 266-0567
Donations of raffle prizes are welcomed and much appreciated! Contact Connie Towey if you can donate a raffle prize.    
A message from Casserole Patrol
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/directions, and the date it was prepared/frozen. If you can contribute, please let Connie Towey know.
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.   
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.  
Compost Containers available!
Last call! There are a few kitchen-countertop-size compost containers still available. Email the Parish Office if you'd like to pick one up on Sunday. 
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.