News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

November 16, 2017

Scripture of the Week
" Lord you have been our refuge from one generation to another. Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born, from age to age you are God
Psalm 90:1-2
Supporting families in need at Christmas
Each Christmas season Grace Episcopal Church has participated in Shelter Inc.'s Adopt A Family program, in which parishioners provided gifts for families in need. Unfortunately, Shelter Inc. has eliminated this program. Many thanks to parishioner Beth Ilog who faithfully spearheaded this work on behalf of the congregation f or many years.
Fortunately, we have found a new partner so that we can continue to provide assistance to individuals needing support. The C ontra Costa Interfaith Housing Spirit of Giving program has provided us with wish lists from 11 families, and we have placed "gift tags" on the tree in the Narthex. Each tag is for one gift for a specific family member. Please consider taking a tag (or two) and doing your part to make sure these families receive something special for the holidays! Please return wrapped gifts (with the tag attached, so we can identify who the gift is for) to church by Sunday, December 3. Contact Jennifer Sabroe if you have any questions. Email or call the church office (925) 228-6574 
Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving at Grace!
Stewardship Celebration THIS Saturday!
Many thanks to all those who participated in our  annual campaign asking parishioners to pledge their time, talent, and treasure to this community of Christ.  To celebrate the end of this year's Stewardship Drive, there will be parish dinner on November 18, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Chef Stan Applegate has planned a delicious Italian Dinner menu!  No ticket purchase necessary. This is an expression of gratitude from your parish leadership. Just bring your appetite and good cheer!   
Screenagers at Grace this Sunday!
We are very excited about the next forum scheduled for  THIS SUNDAY, 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. Share this with family, friends and neighbors. For more information, click here:  Screenagers at Grace  
Meet our new Interim Music Director

We are pleased to announce that Jumi Kim will be joining us as our Interim Music Director beginning on November 26.  Jumi comes to us from southern California, where she served as the Interim Organist and Choirmaster at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in San Luis Obispo. Jumi has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music and is also an accomplished Soprano. We also want to express our tremendous gratitude to  Robert Train Adams, who has done an outstanding job as our Interim Music Director during the month of November.
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: 
Family Sunday! Please join us in the sanctuary for a children's homily and family participation in the service!
Christmas Luncheon and Boutique
St. Christopher's Guild will host its annual Christmas Luncheon on
Tuesday, December 5, at 11am. There will be a variety of brunch casseroles to enjoy for lunch, and items to purchase at the Country Kitchen and White Elephant tables, as well as handmade items, donated by our members.  
And, yes, the famous bean soup mix will be for sale!   
Tickets are $15. Proceeds benefit various local charities at the end of the year.  Please come join us for this festive event!  Tickets may be purchased at the door or call Susan Bremmer at (925) 348-6309 to reserve seats.
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. In September Rev. Deb presented "Episcopal Church 101" and last Sunday we heard an inspiring message from Diocesan Legacy Officer Amanda Martin.    
Upcoming Forums

On December 10th following the 10 a.m. service we will welcome Kathryn Barush.  Dr. Barush is an Assistant Professor of  Art History and Religion at the Graduate  Theological Union with a courtesy appointment to the Jesuit School of Theology. She received a D.Phil. and M.St. in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford  and has worked at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Yale University Center for British Art.  In the spirit of the season of Advent, Dr. Barush will be speaking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. 
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

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

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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.