News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
May 10, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"[ J esus prayed for his disciples...] 'Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.' "
John 17:17-19
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, May 13: The Parable of the Sower - 
Last week the children heard a parable that answered the question "What is the kingdom of heaven like?". Last week's answer: a great pearl! This week they hear that heaven is like a sower who scatters seed along a path, followed by what happens to the seeds he sows. Some are eaten by birds. Others wither. Some are choked among the thorns. But some seeds push their little roots into the good earth and thrive. The children are asked to wonder if the sower has a name and if the sower was happy when the birds came and ate the seeds - and if the birds had names. There are so many things to consider as we try to understand parables!
A new vision for Grace's future

At the Annual Vestry Retreat on the U.S.S. Potomac, the Vestry adopted a Vision Statement, which describes who we think we will be in the future if we follow our Mission. Mission and Vision statements are useful because they help our leadership to make decisions and inspire the people of Grace to faithfully act on our beliefs. Both statements are below. Please let vestry members know your thoughts about them.

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez Mission Statement:

Working together to welcome, support, and serve all God's people

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez Vision Statement:

Grace Church will be a God-focused community that embraces all seekers into the ways of Jesus Christ, is present, caring, and compassionate to all we encounter and has the ability to physically and spiritually minister to our fellow human beings.
Grace financial update
At January's Annual Parish Meeting, some of our parishioners asked for a routine update on church finances. The most recent summary of our financial situation is that income and expenses in 2018 are as expected. We have a current shortfall of about $8500 year to date which, although common at this time of year, is not good news. Your leadership would be most grateful if you could check the status of your pledge payment and, if possible, bring it up to date.  You will find more detailed information on finances here. We have put together summaries and graphs for you in an attempt to make our financial picture understandable to everyone (even those without experience in finances and budgeting). If you would like to see more details or have other questions about our financial situation, please feel free to contact Paula Menconi  or Marj Leeds .
Casseroles Needed!
One of Grace's most important pastoral ministries is the Casserole Patrol, which provides meals to those who, for one reason or another, can benefit from having a meal delivered to them. Currently, our supply is running short. If you can contribute a freezable casserole, please let  Connie Towey know.
Invitation to speak in tongues

Next Sunday, May 20, is the Feast of Pentecost. Please wear red in honor of the arrival of the Holy Spirit and support our two baptismal candidates and their families. In the past, we have read the lesson about the arrival of the Holy Spirit from Acts in many languages, imitating the way the first apostles experienced this momentous event. In order to continue this tradition, we are looking for folks who can translate and read this scripture in languages other than English. If you can help out, please let   John Lee know. 
Bible Study for Everyone!
On Wednesday mornings at Grace at 10 a.m. we celebrate the Eucharist followed by Bible study. This week we will begin learning about St. Paul, the chief evangelist of early Christianity.  We will be using bishop and theologian N.T. Wright's series, "Paul for Everyone." Wright's work is accessible, interesting and thought-provoking. Please come!
Youth Group News

The Grace Youth are planning two upcoming events.
On Saturday, May 19, we will be going to The Bay Area Maker Faire. The  Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth -- a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. 
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these "makers" come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. We would like to buy advance tickets (as they are cheaper) and arrange drivers, so please RSVP to  Jessie or Josh Senn as soon as possible.

Sunday afternoon chillin'. The following day, May 20, the youth will gather at Grace for a "hang out" and planning evening. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m.
Men's Group Breakfast!
Calling all men of Grace and their guests! There will be a manly potluck breakfast get-together on Saturday, May 19, at 8:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Email Don Dyer for more info.
"Baby Shower" on June 2!
Save the date and help spread the word for St. Christopher's Guild's Baby Shower-themed Spring Luncheon on Saturday, June 2! Proceeds will benefit the babies born at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. Guests are asked to bring something new for Mothers to take home with them from the hospital (e.g. onesies, sleepers, outfits, etc.) Rhonda Smith, Director of Volunteers for the hospital's Layette Program, will give a short presentation.  Click here to download the flyer.
Pride Day is coming
Grace has been invited by the Contra Costa Interfaith Coalition to share a booth at Concord Pride Day 2018 on June 2, from 3 to 9 pm at Todos Santos Plaza. The event is sponsored by the Rainbow Community Center, which since 1996 has been helping Contra Costa County and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) community come together and thrive. Their programs serve LGBTQ youth and their families; work to prevent bullying in schools; provide visiting and food services for people living with HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ seniors; deliver low cost mental health services; and operate two mental health training programs. If you would like to help organize Grace's participation, please let  Deacon Walter know.
Confirmation at Grace - Classes are underway!
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). Bishop Marc will be visiting and performing confirmations at Grace in July.

We are preparing individuals for Confirmation using the Discovery Series: A Christian Journey, which is a nine-week educational program for confirmation preparation. If you would like to follow along with the confirmation group, you can access the materials on-line. If you are interested, please give  Rev. Deb your email address and she will invite you to join the on-line classroom.
Annual All-Parish Picnic!    
Parish BBQ and Bocce Tournament  
Sunday, June 10  
Rodgers-Smith Park
Grayson Rd.
Pleasant Hill  

In its seventh year, this is a family and fellowship fun event. We hope you will be able to join us and bring your friends along. Play on a team or be a cheerleader for the women vs. men competition. Burgers (meat and veggie), hot dogs, buns and condiments are provided. Side dishes and desserts are potluck, so if you are able please bring something to share.
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.
Episcopal Liturgy with the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers on June 17.  Dr. Meyers is one of the Episcopal Church's foremost experts on Episcopal Liturgy. She will be discussing the development of Christian liturgical practice, including how the Episcopal Church creates and revises liturgy, and whether or not we can expect any upcoming changes in our liturgical traditions. Dr. Meyers  is the Haynes-Hodges Professor of Liturgics and the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP). In addition to her teaching and administrative work at CDSP, Rev. Dr. Meyers served on the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music from 2008 until 2015 and chaired the commission from 2009-2015. In 2015 she was appointed to the Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage. 
Music Director update
The Music Director Search Committee, consisting of Barbara Brooks, Bob Burman, and Marj Leeds, is close to hiring a new Music Director. In the interim, we are happy to welcome back  Gary Evans as our substitute organist this week.
Loaves and Fishes
Next Grace work day at L&F is this Wednesday, May 16
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! 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.
Developing Kindness Kits for our homeless neighbors
We will be putting together Kindness Kits for our brethren who suffer from homelessness. Recently Rev. Walter led a planning meeting with 11 in attendance, to share input on how best to stock and distribute the kits. There are still a few more steps to take and questions to answer before the project is launched. If you would like to be part of this project, the door is always open; please email Nate Brooks to get on the email list so you can stay informed. We value your input!  
Healing prayer
We offer 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!
Grace Book Group  
Do you like to read? Need motivation to read more? Have a book recommendation? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Like to eat out? Come drop in on the Grace Book Group! We'd love to see you!
3rd Wednesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center 

Our next get-together is May 16, when we will discuss Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller    
If you'd like to know more about the Book Group please feel free to email the church office.

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!

Share the Good News

Want to let others know about the great things happening at Grace Episcopal Church? Click on the link below to forward this E-Newsletter to family and friends! 

Serving the community of Martinez
and Contra Costa County since 1868.

Our Mission:
Working together to welcome,
support, and serve all God's people.