News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
July 11, 2019 
Scripture of the Week

 
"A lawyer stood up to test Jesus. Teacher, he said, what must I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What do you read there?' He answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.' And he said to him, 'You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.' "
Luke 10:25-28
"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.
In Memoriam ~ Wendy Heyse 
 
It is with great sadness that we share with you that our sister Wendy Heyse passed into the arms of God suddenly while traveling. We ask your prayers and support for her husband John; daughter Jessie and son-in-law Josh Senn; and her granddaughter Emma. There will be a memorial at Grace on a future date.  
All Parish Work Party

There will be an All Parish Work Party THIS 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.
Young Family Gathering
Saturday, July 20 

All families who consider themselves not yet middle-aged: on July 20th, bring yourselves to Paul and Barbara Brooks's house for late afternoon relaxation and splashing.  Tea, coffee, juice and appetizer-type fare will be provided, and you can bring other beverages of choice as well.  The not-so-proper tea begins at 3 pm, and we'll just play it by ear about when it ends.  Call Barbara at (925) 228-2155 or e-mail at brooksfolly@aol.com to RSVP. Let the sitting and sipping begin! 
Survey News

Many thanks to everyone who completed the Grace Parishioner survey. We have left it open in case there are still folks who would like to participate. Please follow the link to 
these 10 questions.
 
We have begun looking at the data in aggregate, which gives us a good sense of what the majority of parishioners feel about different worship options, music, and communications at Grace. There are several strong trends present and many helpful comments, which we are reviewing individually. 

Rev. Deb has, however, noticed a few responses that reflect more personal concerns and ask significant questions about the theology of Rev. Deb and the Episcopal Church. Unfortunately, the survey format does not allow her to answer your questions directly. This concerns Rev. Deb, as a couple of these questions appear to reveal feelings of anger and frustration. She would like to invite anyone who responded to the survey with specific personal complaints to work through them with her. In Matthew 18:15, Jesus provides us with a way to deal with issues with one another, and the first step  is to talk to the person you differ with face-to-face. If this is not possible or doesn't work, we are asked to engage a small group of others to assist us (in this case, the Vestry is appropriate). If you have significant issues that you would like to discuss, please let 
Rev. Deb  or a Vestry member know.   
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.
Update from the Outreach Committee 
 
The Outreach Committee met on 7/7/19. Here are the highlights from that meeting:
  • CORE picked up items from the narthex this week. Many thanks to all who contributed! We continue to accept donations on an ongoing basis.
  • Loaves and Fishes is on hiatus for July and will resume in August.
  • Backpack ministry is returning soon! Beth Ilog has ordered 60 backpacks for Martinez Jr. High students. As soon as she obtains a list of school supplies from the teachers, we will begin making requests for donations. We plan to have a chart in the narthex which will help everyone to know which supplies are still needed.
  • Sacred Space - several committee members attended Sacred Space in Oakland two  weeks ago. Rev Deb is planning to talk to Canon Abbott this week to discuss further ideas about us starting a similar program in Contra Costa County.
  • Warm Winter Nights will be the focus of our next Faithful Forum, on August 18th. 
  • Starting in August, we will move the monthly meetings to immediately after the 10am service - they will remain on 1st Sundays. All members of Grace are invited and encouraged to attend!
  • Denise Hansen is stepping down after a year as committee chairperson. Many thanks to her for her service and commitment!  There will be a call for new leadership in the fall and anyone with a passion for service is encouraged to find out more about getting involved.
IMPORTANT Traffic Notice

Discovery Builders has begun construction on the development that is being built on the lot above our upper lot (formerly the trailer park). For at least the remainder of 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.
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 (revdeb@gracechurchmtz.org) and she will direct you to the right person!
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.
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.
How to Pray (reprise)

pray_lettering.jpg
On Tuesday, August 27, at 10 a.m. in the Parish Hall, all are welcome to a second showing 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. Allow an hour for the viewing of the four 5-minute video lectures and the conversation we will have between each one. Contact the Parish Office for more information.
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!
29th Annual Oktoberfest
at Grace Church!

Save the Date
Saturday, October 19, 2019
5pm Social Hour ~ 6pm Dinner

WORKERS NEEDED TO HELP WITH COOKING, SET-UP, and CLEAN-UP!

German food, music, entertainment, and raffle. Contact Stephanie Zichichi if you would like to help. More information to follow!!
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.
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
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.   
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 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.
SAVE THE DATE!

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, amyc@diocal.org

  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.
 
 
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