News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

October 19, 2017

Scripture of the Week 
"S ing to the  Lord  a new song; 
sing to the  Lord, all the whole earth.
Sing to the  Lord and bless his Name; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. "
Psalm 96:1-2
Calling all handy helpers!
If you are able, please come help us set-up
for the big Saturday event.
5 pm, Friday, Oct. 20
Celebration of New Ministry THIS Saturday!
Please come early for this special service honoring the commitment between  
Rev. Deb and the people of Grace. 
Date: October 21, 2017 
Time: 11 a.m.
Luncheon reception following.
Attention Parents: Celebration of New Ministry  
Information about the Children of Grace  
All of our children are invited to sing at the Celebration of New Ministry and they have been diligently practicing during Godly Play time.  We would be very grateful if you could bring your children to Grace by 10:30  a.m. on Saturday, October 21 so they can be ready to perform.  They are up first!

Update on the Northern California Fires and how you can help

Last Sunday at 10 a.m. we welcomed two visitors who were evacuated from Santa Rosa following the fires there.  They are staying with family in Martinez and, as regular members of Incarnation Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa, sought comfort in the familiarity of an Episcopal Church.  As always, Grace parishioners welcomed them with open arms and deep concern.  Here is some updated information for the Diocese of Northern California on how you can assist during this tragedy.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank still needs volunteers. They ask that you sign up via Redwood Empire Food Bank so that we can schedule volunteers efficiently. 
To volunteer in Sonoma County, go here

To help at the Solano Large-Animal Evacuation Center, go  here.

The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership has also been called in to help. If you wish to donate or volunteer, you can call 415.479.5710.  
Monetary donations are the very best way to support the victims of the fires:
Episcopal Relief & Development through the  U.S. Disaster Fund.  
Episcopal Diocese of Northern California bishop's discretionary fund through the  diocese's website.  Select "Bishop's Discretionary," and put "Northern California Fire Relief in the memo line.
Incarnation, Santa Rosa through its fire-relief fund.
Compassionate God... Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen
Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Church Publishing: New York), page 733.
In Memoriam
Ruth Nolte, long-time member of the parish and former Altar Guild Director, has passed away. There will be a viewing at Oakmont Memorial Park on Thursday, October 19, from 4-6:30 pm. The funeral will be at Oakmont the following day, Friday, October 20, at 1 pm. All are welcome.
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.
There is no Godly Play on Family Sundays
(Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 21)
Godly Play Sunday School            
We have moved into the 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.
This Sunday: Exodus!  
Our story begins with the People of God going to Egypt because of the famine in their land. This initially seems like a good idea, but they become trapped by Egypt's ruler, the Pharoah, and become servants of the Egyptians. We meet Moses, who is to become the patriarch of the people during their captivity and eventual escape. Following the last of the plagues visited upon Egypt by God (the death of the oldest boy in each Egyptian family), the people of God are finally allowed to leave and go off into the desert. Their troubles are not over, because they are followed by Egypt's soldiers. Ultimately, the people are trapped at the edge of the sea, but God saves them as the water (represented by two pieces of blue felt) parts and the people pass through safely.  As the felt water comes back together the People of God (our children!) dance in celebration. The children are then invited to eat matzo bread and "taste the story." Finally, we all wonder what it would be like to be trapped against the water and consider how amazed we would be as the water parted. 
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). August included a fantastic presentation from Holocaust survivor and author Bernie Rosner and in September Rev. Deb presented "Episcopal Church 101."   
Upcoming Forums
This Sunday, 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 
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 membership in the community of Grace.  What groups/activities are you involved in? What drew you to Grace? What do you love about it?

Take a minute and tell your brothers and sisters what inspires you as a member of this community of Christ and why others might be fulfilled by it too. 

Please let Rev. Deb ( know what you'd like to share and we will schedule you for your 1 minute of fame!

  Happy Halloween!

All children and the young at heart are invited to celebrate All Hallow's Eve at Grace's annual Halloween Party. Wear a costume and be prepared to play games, enjoy treats and have fun! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017, 

2-4 p.m. 

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 December 5th Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar.  All women of Grace are members of St. Christopher's Guild and are encouraged to attend the meeting. There are a variety of tasks and opportunities to help with this popular and fun event, such as, White Elephant table, Country Kitchen and Christmas Boutique, set-up, decorations, publicity, ticket sales.
Stay in touch!
We haven't gone anywhere but we have changed our address.  We are no longer receiving mail at our P.O. Box.  Please send all mail to:

Grace Episcopal Church
130 Muir Station Rd.
Martinez, CA 94553

Join us for the Episcopal Impact Fund Night of Light
Join Reverend Deb and family for this wonderful event supporting the Episcopal Impact Fund.  We would love to have Grace well-represented.  
For more information go to:  Night of Light information
Get the inside scoop!
Subscribe to the on-line diocesan newsletter, Diobytes. You will receive an email every Tuesday telling you what's going on in the Diocese of California (and sometimes Grace Church Martinez).  This is a great way to be in touch with the greater church.  To subscribe, go to Subscribe to diobytes here
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
Employment opportunity
St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Danville has an immediate opening for a Part-time Office Assistant. For more information, talk to Rev. Deb or call St. Tim's at 925-837-4993.

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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.