News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

July 6, 2017

Scripture of the Week
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Sr. Warden Stan Applegate;
Rev. Deb White; Jr. Warden Les Marks
Update on the Senior Warden 
Our Senior Warden, Stan Applegate, is at home recovering from having fluid drained from his lung.  Rev. Deb was with him at the hospital prior to and after the procedure on Wednesday and says Stan asked her to let folks know that he is feeling "a million times better" and is most grateful for your prayers!
The Rev. Canon Stefani Schatz
An Update on Canon Stefani from Bishop Marc  

Dear Diocesan Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I let you know our beloved Canon to the Ordinary, Stefani Schatz, is moving to Santa Barbara  this Saturday to begin hospice care in her mother's home. There, she will continue to be cared for by her mother, Iva, her husband, Joe, and will have the support of her longtime friends in Santa Barbara.

As Stefani shared on her  Caring Bridge page today, she is feeling peaceful and is so very grateful for all your cards, letters, and prayers, which have sustained her over the past year. For information about how to contact Stefani, please email Stephanie Martin Taylor, DioCal's Working Group Head for Communications at

Please join me and Sheila as we continue to pray for Stefani and her family. May they find peace and comfort in God's unfailing love.


Taken from DioBytes, July 5, 2017
The Rev. Elizabeth DeRuff
A Visit from "The Bread Priest" 
This Sunday, July 9, Grace will welcome the Reverend Elizabeth DeRuff, Agricultural Chaplain and founder of HonorĂ© Farm and Mill and The Farm to Altar Table Project. In the Diocese of California, parishes are invited to participate in The Farm to Altar program by purchasing flour grown and milled by HonorĂ© Farm and Mill
to be made into communion bread. Last year, the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin purchased a full year of the grain Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), but after a trial they decided to return to wafers . St. Mary's generously donated their flour to Grace, which is why we have been using bread instead of wafers for our Eucharist since Lent. Elizabeth will be preaching at both the  8 and 10 a.m. services on  July 9 and leading a conversation about the Farm to Altar program between services.
Please join us! For more information about Elizabeth and HonorĂ©, go to
Welcome the Kleinschmit Twins! 
Nica and Shannon Kleinschmit are delighted to announce the birth of Anna and Gigi Kleinschmit on Wednesday, July 5th. Both girls are beautiful and healthy and have received their first blessing from Rev. Deb.

Blessing Anna
Blessing Gigi
THIS SATURDAY, July 8 - It's a painting and pizza party!
If you enjoy spending time at our lovely campus  on Sunday mornings, here is your chance to help maintain it. The beautiful landscaping and repair work at  Grace is largely done by committed parishioners whose ranks are dwindling and, to be honest, aging. The need for extra workers became tragically clear recently when Stan fell while working at the church. Please consider lending a hand on Saturday, July 8th, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. for a buildings and grounds work day/party.  We have a list of pressing items, mostly painting, that we are hoping to get done that day and many hands make light work!  If you are willing to follow orders and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with good hard work done in community, please join us! This is an excellent opportunity to invite friends to join us in a non-worship setting. Rev. Deb is springing for pizza for lunch!
Please bring your own work gloves and whatever tools you have for painting, scrubbing and garden work.
This Sunday, July 9: Summer BBQ
On Summer BBQ Sundays, following the  10am  service, head on over to the Parish Hall for a great meal and fellowship. Burgers (meat and veggie), hot dogs, buns and condiments are provided. Side dishes and desserts are potluck (as you are able). No charge for the meal, and all are welcome.  (We will also have barbecues on  August 13  and  September 10).
"Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come."  Mark 13:33
Next Sunday, July 16: Disaster Preparedness Presentation.
The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of California highly recommend that all parishes have a Disaster Plan.  Grace is located on a hill and near a busy transit area, so we also have the opportunity to be good stewards to our community by assisting the city in case of an emergency.  For these reasons, we will be putting together a Disaster Preparedness Team at Grace.  In order to get a sense of what we need to do and how to do it we will welcome Brian Lindblom, Martinez Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Director, to Grace on Sunday, July 16th at 12 p.m. for a presentation on Disaster Preparedness in Martinez. He will provide information that will be helpful for individuals, families and organizations like the church that could be crucial to saving lives.  Please join us!
A Torch is Passed
After more than 20 years of  ministry as our Parish Treasurer, John Heyse has decided to pass the torch.  He assures the vestry that he isn't going anywhere; he will remain a member of the vestry and an active parishioner.  Paula Menconi has graciously agreed to step into his large shoes.  They will be transitioning during the summer months, with Paula assuming full responsibility as Treasurer by September. Please take the opportunity to thank both of these generous and gifted people when you see them! 
Connie Towey
Food is Love Redux: When the Giver needs the Gift
The  Grace Church "Casserole Patrol" is one of the ministries that Senior Warden Stan Applegate has been developing at  Grace. Stan is making great progress organizing a team of folks to help provide meals to members of the parish in need of assistance during busy or stressful times (such as illness or a new baby). Many thanks to those of you who have already contributed meals and offered to deliver them, and a special thanks to Connie Towey, who will be managing this ministry until Stan is up and cooking again!

Update: Due to the increase in parish families in need right now, our casserole supply is running low. Please contact Connie Towey if you can help fill in the gap. Many thanks!
Backpack/School Supplies Drive
Our annual school supplies drive is open for business! Backpacks will be ordered soon and we are asking for donations to fill them.  Between now and the end of August, donations may be left in the Narthex.  Suggested items: spiral bound notebooks (no 3-ring binders or loose leaf paper needed); scotch tape; yellow highlighters; pens (black, blue, red); scissors; colored pencil sets; packages of white ruled index cards; calculators;  12" rulers with inches and centimeters; boxes of #2 pencils or mechanical pencils; handheld pencil sharpeners. No donation is too small. Any amount is greatly appreciated and brings us closer to the goal of filling backpacks for our local middle school students.  Thank you for your continued generosity and enthusiasm for this longstanding local outreach ministry. Beth Ilog
Are you called to be a Lay Eucharist Minister?
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs) assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist (communion) by leading prayers and serving the chalice (wine).  As a sacramental church, Episcopalians identify the Holy Eucharist as the spiritual center of our community, so this is a very important ministry.  You will receive training prior to being scheduled to serve. Please prayerfully consider whether you might find fulfillment in participating in this ministry.  We are currently short on LEMs and hope to add a few folks to the roster.  If you are interested, please let John Lee ( or Rev. Deb ( know.
Summer Sunday School
We need volunteers to help the children with an activity during the first part of the 10:00 service on Sundays during the summer. The goal is to keep the kids safe and give parents a break. There is a wide variety of activity supplies in the Sunday School area to use. Look for the sign-up sheet in the parish hall.
Make a joyful noise!
We would like to invite folks who, for whatever reason, cannot make a regular commitment to our music program to share their gifts with us during the summer months.  If you sing or play an instrument, particularly the piano or organ, or have a friend  or colleague who would like to play on a Sunday  morning, please let our Music Director Gary Evans ( know.
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
Altar Guild Needs You!
As with many tasks in our church community, the larger the team, the lighter the workload. The Altar Guild team is in need of new volunteers. No experience necessary and training is provided. If you are interested in learning more, Altar Guild Director Elaine Quigley would love to hear from you! Call or email Elaine at 925-787-0080 or
Service Personnel Schedule
Click here to download the July-August 2017 service personnel schedule.
Bills don't take vacations!
Summer is here and we know that many of you will be taking some well-deserved time off. We will miss you but promise to be here when you get back.  Please remember though that while you are gone the parish still needs to pay our bills.  If you are able to catch up on your pledge before you go, we would very much appreciate it!

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.