News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

September 21, 2017

Scripture of the Week 

" The  Lord  is gracious and full of compassion, 
slow to anger and of great kindness."
Psalm 145:8
All Hands on Deck!

Over the past several months, the Building and Grounds Committee has been discussing what to do about our dilapidated deck. Proposals included decks constructed from composite material, Redwood, and refurbishing what remained of the old deck. All proposals included some amount of concrete to provide ramp access to the deck from the outside. P roposals ranged in cost from $15,000 for materials, with volunteers doing the work, to $27,000 fully installed by a contractor. Many thanks to the diligent members of the Buildings and Grounds committee for their hard work developing these proposals.

The Vestry had much discussion of the pros and cons of these proposals and decided that it was not fiscally responsible to spend a great deal of money on a deck project at this time. Instead, leadership decided to  "Seal off the sliding glass doors and demo the deck. At this time do not seek funding for the deck as there are other areas of higher priority to the Vestry." 

The deck has been dismantled - many thanks to my crew, especially Dave Menconi - but there is still a great deal of clean-up work to be done. This work will take several hours (less if more people show up). In addition, we have a couple of new signs that need to go up prior to the Celebration of New Ministry. We are asking for volunteers to come to a Buildings and Grounds Work Party on Saturday, September 30 from 9:00 a.m. until completionIf you are able, please join us and bring your work gloves! 

With faith in God,
Les Marks, Junior Warden

Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Program connects, equips and inspires leaders of US dioceses in The Episcopal Church to prepare for hazards that might affect their communities, to mitigate the impact of disasters, and to help vulnerable people make a full and sustained recovery.
Episcopal Relief and Development is currently providing support to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose by partnering with Episcopal dioceses in stricken areas.  They are also working in conjunction with other on-the-ground agencies to prepare for other natural disasters.

To donate, click here: 
Blessing of the Animals
On October 1, parish pets are invited to join their humans at the 10am service. There will be a special time during the service for Blessing of the Animals.
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. 
Godly Play Sunday School            

Beginning this Sunday we move into some 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.

The panel below represents the story of Creation, with each panel displaying a gift from God to us-  light, water, dry land, day & night, creatures, human beings, and the gift of rest. As they look at the panels, the children are invited to wonder which day they like best and which day is most important and to thank God for all creation.
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). This month we co-sponsored a fantastic presentation from Holocaust survivor and author Bernie Rosner.     
Upcoming Forums
On 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
"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Your Community of Christ Needs You!
Just like the early Christians, we are a community of many different people with many talents and we need everyone to provide for the community. We have several ministries that are in need of additional volunteers, including  Lay Eucharistic Ministers who assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist; Members of the Altar Guild, who help prepare the church for worship; Sunday School and Youth Group volunteers for the crucial task of forming our youth; and Office Helpers . Please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully what you can do for the good of the church. Contact  Rev. Deb ( ) with your ideas and she will direct you to the right person!
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!
Oktoberfest 2017!    
Oktoberfest celebration design with Bavarian hat and autumn leaves.
It's time again for our ever-popular Oktoberfest Dinner! In addition to delicious food there will be a Raffle and German Karaoke and Sing-along! Dust off the Lederhosen, iron the Dirndl, and reserve your tickets now! 

Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 5:30pm Social Hour; 6:30pm Dinner
Tickets: $20 (general); $10 (12 and under)
Contact: Stan Applegate  
Phone: 925-957-0315   

  Speisekarte (Menu)
Assorted Sausages, German Potato Salad,  
Choucroute Garnie a l'Alsacienne (Sauerkraut & Pork),  
K√∂nigsberger Klopse (East Prussian Meatballs),  
Blaukraut (Seasoned Red Cabbage), Apple Strudel.  

Please join us for

  A Celebration of New Ministry

as the Rev. Dr. Deborah White

is officially installed as

Rector of Grace Episcopal Church 

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. 

 Reception to follow.


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 Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar. No meeting in September.

An invitation to
Suicide Prevention & Survivor Support Panel Discussion
Saturday,  September 23rd 1pm-3pm R eception Following
First Congregational Church of Martinez, UCC
1229 Court Street at Susana  
(street parking beside the church and in the area)
click here for flyer 
More information also on Facebook "First Congregational Church of Martinez, UCC" 
Rev. Kathryn Schreiber, Minister
First Congregational Church of Martinez, UCC
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

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.