News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
April 18, 2019 
Scripture of the Week
" I  received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. "
 I Corinthians 11:23-26
Our sister Michele
It is with great sadness that I share with you that Michele Lynch (Cobb) passed into the arms of God on Monday after a worsening of her brain injury. Michele's last words to me were, "I think I'm ready to rest now." Her sister, Joyce, and brother, Ted, want to convey their gratitude to the people of Grace who have been so faithful in their prayers and offers of help. There will be a memorial service for Michele in June. As always, I am immensely grateful to be part of such a loving and generous community of Christ.
With assurance of eternal life through the resurrected Christ.  - Rev. Deb 
It's Holy Week!

Here is the Holy Week schedule:
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
(Openings at 8am and 9am still available (Friday morning) - contact the Parish Office if you'd like to sign-up) 
April 19, Good Friday:
12 p.m. - Stations of the Cross
7 p.m. - Good Friday Liturgy

April 20, Holy Saturday:
11:30 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 
10 a.m. Choral Eucharist, followed by Festive Coffee Hour and Egg Hunt
Hail thee Festival Day!

Each year following the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and the 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist on Easter Day, Grace hosts festive receptions.  If you can bring finger foods for either or both of these events, please let the  Parish Office  know.

"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  
HAPPY EASTER! The children are invited to join us for the entire service.  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.
Following the 10 a.m. service there will be an Easter Egg Hunt!
Youth Group
Parents please be aware that our Youth Group will be taking the first shift of the Gethsamane Watch this evening. They will be in the Sanctuary (with adult supervision) from the end of the Maundy Thursday service until approximately 10 p.m.    
A Reminder from the Vestry

Many folks may not be aware, but our Vestry members have taken responsibility for closing the church on Sundays. They take turns serving as "Vestry Person of the Day (or VPOD)"- making sure things are shipshape and locked up after services. Although we love the fact that we are a social parish and enjoy lingering to talk to one another, we also want to make sure our Vestry members get home in a timely manner, so please try to wrap up your coffee hour conversations by around 12:30, and don't be offended if a the VPOD asks if you might continue your chat off-campus so they can lock up.  Many thanks!

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.
This fragile earth, our island home

The John Muir Earth Day Celebration is THIS 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. Deb  know.

Also 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.
Rev. Deb out of the office

Rev. Deb will be out of town from April 22 until April 30. Rev Molly will be available for urgent pastoral care needs and will be presiding at services on Sunday, April 28.
Bible Study for Everyone!

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study in our Chapel. 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.
Martha of Bethany wins the Golden Halo!

The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness congratulates Martha of Bethany for winning the 2019 Golden Halo. Martha became the 10th saint to wear the golden crown by defeating the inspiring runner up Pandita Ramabai. She joins previous Golden Halo winners George Herbert (2010), C.S. Lewis (2011), Mary Magdalene (2012), Frances Perkins (2013), Charles Wesley (2014), Francis of Assisi (2015), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2016), Florence Nightingale (2017), and Anna Alexander (2018). Click here to read more on the Lent Madness website.
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
Donations of raffle prizes are welcomed and much appreciated! Contact Connie Towey if you can donate a raffle prize.    
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!
There are a few kitchen-countertop-size compost containers available for anyone who would like one. Email the Parish Office if you would like one.   
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.