News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

September 28, 2017

Scripture of the Week 

"Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure."
Philippians 2:12-13
All Hands on Deck this Saturday!

The deck off of the Parish Hall was recently dismantled - many thanks to the Marks family and to 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!

Blessing of the Animals this Sunday at 10:00 service
On October 1, parish pets are invited to join their humans at the 10 a.m. service. There will be a special time during the service for Blessing of the Animals. Rev. Deb is also happy to bless animals at 8 a.m. and any time in between!  Bring friends!
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            

We have moved into 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: The Flood and the Ark
We now move with the people of God from the creation story last week to the re-creation through God's promise to Noah, and, by extension, to God's family and to us.  It is one of the children's favorite stories, and why shouldn't it be?  It involves a beautiful wooden ark and dozens of animals - very appropriate for the Feast of St. Francis.  But it also includes something even more special - the rainbow which is God's promise that he will never again send a flood to destroy the earth.  The children are invited to wonder what part of the story they like best and which part is most important.
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
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.

Get the inside scoop!
Subscribe to the on-line diocesan newsletter, Diobytes. You will receive an email every Tuesday telling you what's going on in the Diocese of California (and sometimes Grace Church Martinez).  This is a great way to be in touch with the greater church.  To subscribe, go to Subscribe to diobytes here
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.