News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
April 11, 2019 
Scripture of the Week

" Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!"

 Luke 19:38
"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  
This Sunday is PALM SUNDAY. The children are invited to join us for the entire service. We depend on them to be there for the beginning of the service (outside the Parish Hall) to enthusiastically wave their palms and then we invite them to take part in the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, by reading the parts of the "People" along with the rest of the congregation.
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.
Easter Lily Dedications

Every Easter at Grace, the altar is adorned with beautiful lily plants. If you would like to dedicate an Easter lily, please email or call the church office (925-228-6574), indicating: "In loving memory of ___; In thanksgiving for ___; or, In celebration of ___." Suggested donation $10.  Or you may fill out a slip (located on the table in the Narthex) and put it in the offering plate on Sunday. Dedications need to be received by this Sunday, April 14, in order to make it into the bulletin.   
Youth Group
Youth Group will meet THIS Sunday, April 14, at 6:00 p.m. for pizza, painting and filling plastic eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt! Wear something you don't mind getting dirty!
Lenten Pancake Breakfast and Corned Beef Hash!

Each Sunday during Lent we have been holding Pancake Breakfasts between our 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services. This Sunday - the final Sunday in Lent - breakfast will include corned beef hash, along with the pancakes and eggs. Please join us and enjoy the opportunity to meet and chat with one another. A donation of $3 is suggested.  

Have you noticed something missing? (Hint: it's food)!

The Holy Eucharist - sharing Christ's body and blood - is the core of our worship. In many denominations, including the Episcopal Church, it is traditional to consecrate (bless) bread and wine to symbolize and remember Jesus's sacrificial death on our behalf. For the past couple of years, Grace has offered a choice of fresh-baked wheat bread or manufactured wafers at the communion rail. During Lent, however, we have only been offering wafers. If you have missed the bread, please let  Rev Deb or one of the members of the Worship and Liturgy Committee know. We will be setting up a bread-baking guild. Each baker would be responsible for baking one recipe of bread, probably no more than monthly (and maybe less).  We will provide the recipe. If you are interested in this ministry, please let Rev. Deb know.
Holy Week starts on Sunday, with our Palm Sunday/Passion Liturgy

Here is the Holy Week schedule:
April 14, Palm Sunday
8 a.m. Holy Eucharist II
9 a.m. Corned Beef Hash Breakfast
10 a.m. Choral Eucharist

April 18, Maundy Thursday, 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall, Soup supper, Foot Washing, followed by Stripping of the Altar;
Overnight Vigil in the Sanctuary following the service (hourly shifts by sign-up- some spots left; see article below)

April 19, Good Friday:
12 p.m. - Stations of the Cross
7 p.m. - Good Friday Liturgy

April 20, Holy Saturday:
11 a.m. Holy Saturday Liturgy in the Atrium
8:30 p.m. Easter Vigil with the Exsultet, The Lighting of the Paschal Candle and Holy Baptism. BRING YOUR BELLS!! We will be making a joyful noise to the Lord as we welcome Easter.

April 21, Happy Easter!
8 a.m. Holy Eucharist II 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist and Egg Hunt
Gethsemane Watch

Jesus spent the last night of his life with his friends, eating and drinking together in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked them to stay awake with him, but one by one they all fell asleep, leaving him alone and despairing. In an attempt to do better, and in some small way to make up what was lacking in the first disciples, we choose as a community to stay awake with Jesus in the hours between Maundy Thursday (following the stripping of the altar) and the first service of Good Friday. T he goal is to have someone  present in our sanctuary at all times. Unlike the first disciples, you do not need to stay awake all night. Many people tell us that they enjoy spending time alone (or nearly alone) in the sanctuary. You can use the time to journal, pray, sing, or meditate. If you would like to participate, simply sign up for one (or more) hour(s) of watch. The youth will be taking the first two-hour shift. The sign-up sheet is on the table in the entry to the Parish Hall (near the Lent Madness bracket poster). 
This fragile earth, our island home

Lent is a good time to consider our treatment of God's creation. To help us to remember that human beings are only a small part of the earth's resources, our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, has asked all Episcopalians to consider taking the following  Creation Care pledge:

"As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we long to grow loving, liberating, life-giving relationship with the whole of God's Creation. Together, we pledge to protect and renew the Earth and all who call it home. Together, we are living the Way of Love and make this commitment to specific actions."

Go to  Take the pledge to find out more and sign the pledge.

Another way to demonstrate your concern for the environment is to take part in  The John Muir Earth Day Celebration, Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you are willing to plan for, set-up, help staff, and/or clean-up the Interfaith Green Spirit Contra Costa booth, please let Rev. Walter know.
A reminder from Rev. Deb (and her family)

Rev. Deb publishes her cell phone number for use in case of emergencies. If you have an urgent need for clergy, you can find it at the end of the answering message at the church. Rev. Deb is available at the church telephone number Tuesday- Thursday and Sundays. If you do have an emergency and need Rev. Deb after hours, please do not text her. She does not hear the text message notification after she (and her family) have gone to bed. Her cell phone is paired with her home phone, so if you call, she will answer. Please be judicious in your use of Rev. Deb's cell phone. If you have a question or concern that can wait until the next day, please do so. If it is a business day, please try the office phone first. Many thanks!
Book Group

The next meeting of the Grace Book Group is Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m. at Smooth Season restaurant (Muir Station Shopping Center), when we will discuss "The Little Paris Bookshop" by Nina George.
Bible Study for Everyone!

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study in our Chapel. We are currently engaged in a study called "Practicing Forgiveness, which will conclude on April 17. All are welcome! Each week in Lent we have been focusing on a different aspect of forgiveness in relationship to our weekly scriptures. Beginning on 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.
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 April 17. 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.
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-2:00 pm. 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    
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!
Marie Knutson from Republic Services who presented the Faithful Forum last month, has provided kitchen-countertop-size compost containers for distribution to anyone who would like to have one. To get in on the action, please add your name to the sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall, OR notify the Parish Office by email, OR call the Parish Office (925) 228-6574 and leave a message. 
Coffee Hour News!
Thank you to everyone who has "opted in" as a Coffee Hour Host/Team. This is a vital activity in the life of our parish. There is always room for more help, so if you have questions or would like to join a team or start a team, contact Coffee Hour Coordinator Christina ("Tina") Reich. Many thanks. (Hosts, please remember that if you cannot serve on a particular Sunday, kindly secure a substitute and let Tina know.) 
  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 (UPDATE: the first two bulleted items are especially needed at this time):
  • 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.