News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
July 3, 2019 


The Grace office will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2019, in honor of the Independence Day holiday. If you have a pastoral emergency, you may contact Rev. Deb by calling the Parish Office and listening to the message for her cell phone number. Messages on the church voicemail will be  picked up on Sunday.  May God bless this nation and all of her people.
Scripture of the Week

" Come now and see the works of God, how wonderful she is in his doing toward all people."
Psalm 66:4
"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. During the summer we continue to offer Nursery Care. School age children are invited to join their families in the Sanctuary. We provide coloring and drawing materials, books, and soft toys, as well as a children's area for children who prefer not to sit in the pews with their families.
Outreach Committee meeting THIS Sunday
There will be an Outreach Committee meeting THIS Sunday, July 7, between the 8 and 10 a.m. services (approximately 9 am) in the conference area outside of Rev. Deb's office in the Education Building. The Outreach Committee organizes efforts to help individuals in our larger community who are in need for various reasons. All are invited to come and share their ideas and participate in this important aspect of our parish life together.
How to Pray

On Tuesday, July 9, at 10 a.m. in the Parish Hall, all are welcome to a viewing of a ChurchNext online group course, How to Pray, with Christopher Martin. "... In this class Christopher will not only tell us why people who pray are happier, less anxious, and generally more content with their lives, but how we might get there." Topics covered: What is Prayer? Varieties of Prayer; What Does Prayer Do? Benefits of Prayer. Contact the Parish Office for more information.
All Parish Work Party

There will be an All Parish Work Party on Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m to 11 am. We need to move some pews in the Sanctuary and finish up our work on the playground. Youth are invited to come and complete their art work in the Education Building. Coffee and pastries will be provided. The more the merrier!! To sign up or get more information, please contact Junior Warden Jim Maniatis.
Energetic folks needed!
We continue to work on organizing our various ministries at Grace. There are several areas where we are in need of help:
We are in desperate need of a Fundraising Committee. Traditionally, the Vestry has spearheaded fundraising events like Oktoberfest,  but are now busy with administrative and liaison duties. If you have a passion for or experience with organizing events which raise funds, please consider heading up a Grace Fundraising Committee. If you are not ready to commit to an ongoing role, please consider organizing the Oktoberfest. If we do not find a chair for this event soon, we may not be able to have it. If you are interested, please contact Rev Deb.
The Hospitality Committee is off to a great start and would love more members. Specifically, we are looking for parishioners willing to serve as Mentors to new folks to help them get oriented to Grace.  If you are interested, please talk to Christina Reich
We continue to need more folks to help in liturgical roles, including Eucharistic Ministers who assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist; Eucharistic Visitors, who bring Eucharist to folks unable to attend services; members of the Altar Guild, who help prepare the church for worship; Choir members, who sing during the 10 a.m. service; and Acolytes, young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who assist with the liturgy. Please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully what you can do for the good of the church. Contact Rev. Deb ( and she will direct you to the right person!
Grace Book Group

Read any good books lately? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Come drop in on the Grace Book Club! We meet on the third Wednesday of the month. We'd love to see you! Our next get-together is Wednesday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m., at Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station shopping center, when we will discuss "The Overdue Life of Amy Byler" by Kelly Harms.  For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386.
IMPORTANT Traffic Notice

Discovery Builders will begin construction on the development that is being built on the lot above our upper lot (formerly the trailer park) on approximately July 8. Starting that date and continuing at least throughout the month of July, Muir Station Road will be closed daily in both travel directions between the hours of 9 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. If you spend time at Grace during the week, please take this into account prior to visiting. Traffic officials will allow you to pass if you tell them you are going to the church. Here is a link to the map and detour plan. Thank you for your patience.
Be part of the online directory
If you have not received an email from the Parish Office and would like to be part of the Grace online directory, please let  Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe know.
Bible Study for Everyone!

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study in our Chapel.
During the first half of the Season after Pentecost, we are using Kevin A. Wilson's book, "Conversations with Scripture: the Law." "Scripture contains many laws about which Christians are perplexed. If the Bible contains laws, shouldn't those laws be followed? What does the law that prohibits reaping a harvest to the very edges of your field mean in modern times? Kevin Wilson offers fresh insights into the meaning of the Law for today." The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and NobleHowever, as always, you do not need to purchase the book to take part.
Summer music at Grace
Our wonderful choir is on summer break.
Their absence provides a hole in our 10 a.m. worship - and an opportunity for closet musicians to make themselves known. If you sing or play an instrument and are willing to share your talents for even ONE SUNDAY during the summer months, we would be most grateful. This gives folks a chance who might be shy or think they are too busy to join the choir full-time to share their talents.  Please contact  Music Director Arthur Omura if you are interested!
When Rev. Deb arrived approximately two years ago, she created a survey about Worship and Liturgy at Grace. This updated survey contains follow-up questions about Worship and Liturgy at Grace, as well as some other topics.
Individual responses are anonymous. The aggregate responses will be viewed by the Worship and Liturgy Committee and appropriate staff members.
Please help your church leadership by answering these 10 questions. (It should only take 5 minutes). If you prefer to take a paper version of the survey, please let  Rev. Deb know. Many thanks! 
Deanery News

Two different events brought Contra Costa Deanery representatives together last week. The first event was the quarterly meeting held at St. Timothy's, Danville.  A grant for $700 awarded to the Church of the Resurrection, Pleasant Hill, for a youth mission trip to New Orleans.  About twenty youth from multiple parishes around the deanery will be going.  After various business reports, including the first look at next year's diocesan budget, Kathleen Piraino, representing the Episcopal Impact Fund, discussed land use and housing, and Nancy Grove gave an update from the Commission on Creation Care, with emphasis on being a resource to parishes as they work toward sustainable practices.
On Saturday morning, deanery reps met to talk about ways to "reimagine" the deanery, one which fosters communication between parishes and becomes a spiritual as well as a governing body.  The discussions were lively and heartful.  Some ideas from the morning included having more accessible, deanery-wide information on parish activities, sponsoring a deanery event once a year, and compiling a resource list of parish directors of common groups such as outreach and youth for mutual aid and activities.  Attendees from Grace were Jennifer Sabroe, the Rev. Walter Ramsey, and Barbara Brooks, if you would like to hear more.
Ken Roan Memorial
A Burial Service will be held on Friday, August 2 at 1 p.m.  at Grace. Please save the date.
If you are willing to contribute to or help with the reception after the service, please let Susan Bremmer know. Please see the notice in regard to traffic restrictions that will be in place on that day.
Don't forget to check the Coffee Hour Sign-Up Sheet
The sign-up sheet has been filled through August. IT IS POSTED ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE PARISH HALL. Please check it to be sure you know your assigned Sunday. Questions:  Email Coffee Hour Coordinator Tina Reich or leave a note on the sign-up clipboard. Please remember that if you can't do your assigned date, you are asked to make arrangements for a substitute.   
All age Education program: Faithful Forums

Grace offers monthly educational forums on broad-ranging topics like The Dead Sea Scrolls, Episcopal Polity, Recycling, and Emergency Preparedness for congregations. These take place in the Parish Hall following our 10 a.m. service (approximately 11:30). 
There is no Faithful Forum in July. Here's a peek at coming attractions beginning in August:  
August 18, "Winter Nights" Shelter program for homeless families (sponsored by Outreach)
September 15, What is a Justice Ministry? with members of the Social Justice Committee of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco
October 20, Open Forum with The Rev. Canon Abbott Bailey, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of California
JUST ADDED: November 17, Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home conversation with the Environmental Ministry of the Diocese of California
A message from the Casserole Patrol  
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.  
Our supply is running very low and we have people in need. 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, and the date it was prepared/frozen.  
If you can contribute or are in need, please email Rev Deb.
The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry

The Way of Love is a podcast from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.  This episodic podcast offers more ways to engage with the Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life, The Episcopal Church's intentional commitment to a set of practices as a way to follow Jesus. Audiences can listen to stories of people from around the Church as they put the Way of Love practices of Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest, into action. You can find episodes  here.
Flower and Candle Dedications

We are blessed by having fresh flowers on our altar each week. These are paid for by parishiners who wish to dedicate flowers (or candles) in thanksgiving or memory of loved ones. There are many open dates available on the flower and candle dedication calendar, located in the Narthex. When signing up for a date on the chart, please be sure to also write your name on the corresponding date in the flower dedication notebook (located on the little table below the chart). Suggested donation $35. The candle dedication notebook on the table under the bulletin board. Suggested donation $5.
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.  

The Diocese of California will hold a
Beloved Community Training Day in the East Bay this fall at St. Paul's, Oakland on Saturday, September 21. 

The day will include required training sessions for Eucharistic Visitors, Eucharistic Ministers, and Whole & Healthy Church Training, along with an array of workshops for lay leaders in all areas of ministry.

Registration will open in mid-summer.

When: Saturday, September 21
Where: St. Paul's, Oakland, 114 Montecito Avenue
Contact: Amy Cook, Working Group Head for Faith Formation,

  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:
  • 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.

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.