News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
August 15, 2019 
Scripture of the Week

"I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed!" How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back-- those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully."
Jeremiah 23:25-28a
"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.

This Sunday is Family Sunday!
Please join us THIS Sunday, August 18 at 10 a.m. for Family Sunday. The children are invited to remain in the sanctuary with their families for the entire service.  Our visiting priest, The Rev. Leslie Nipps, will be providing a Children's Homily and there will be more involvement from our youth and more famliiar hymns. 
Faithful Forums return THIS SUNDAY!

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). 
This week:  August 18 , "Winter Nights" Shelter program for homeless families (sponsored by Outreach)

Coming up:
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
November 17, Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home conversation with the Environmental Ministry of the Diocese of California
Rev. Deb's vacation 
Rev. Deb is on vacation through August 19. She will be back in the office on Tuesday, August 20.

The Rev. Leslie Nipps will be the Celebrant THIS SUNDAY. Leslie is delighted to return to Grace after several years since her last visit. She still lives in Oakland, where she has her own counseling and coaching practice. She has been ordained for over 20 years, and also works with parishes on growth, transition, and conflict. You see more of what she does, including her blog and nature photography, at

Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe will be on vacation from August 12-16. The Parish Office will be closed during that time. Please contact  Senior Warden Lynda Dyer if you have an immediate concerns in Rev. Deb's absence.
Rector's Discretionary Fund  

The Vestry discussed the need to have Rev. Deb's discretionary fund replenished in an intentional way each month. To this end, we have designated the third Sunday of each month for a special offering to this fund that truly helps us all lean into our mission of "Working together to welcome, support and serve all God's people." If you have any questions, please see Tina Reich. As always, thank you for your generosity!

New Vestry Member    
Vestry member Ron Luttringer recently resigned from the Vestry. He wishes to express his regret and to let everyone know that, "It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve on this and other vestries dating back more than 40 years. This has been a very difficult decision for me. God Bless you all and I pray always for all of you and Grace Church." 
Rev. Deb and the Vestry are very pleased to announce that Betty Case has agreed to step in and complete Ron's term, which ends this year in January. Betty is a faithful 8 o'clock parishioner who brings many gifts to the work of the Vestry. Please thank her for her willingness to serve.
Eulogy from Ken Roan's service 
  Several people who attended Ken Roan's Burial Service indicated that they could not hear the speakers and asked if we could print the text of the eulogy. Click here to download the eulogy given by Dick Evans
Loaves and Fishes
On the 3rd Wednesday of each month, Grace Church cooks and serves the daily meal to the clients at the Martinez facility, located on the corner of Ferry and Green Streets. There is always room for more volunteers! The time commitment is 9am-1pm. Contact Beth Ilog for more information.

The next work day for the Grace team at Loaves and Fishes is Wednesday, August 21.
Information from Rev. Walter
Following Rev. Walter's sermon about "gleaning," a practice where farmers leave a portion of their crops to be picked (gleaned) by those in need, many of you asked how to find groups that promote this practice. Rev. Walter recommends the following:
Village Harvest  - San Francisco / Bay Area, CA --
  • Vallejo, CA: Food Rescue is a community fruit tree harvesting and food rescue program operaing in the Vallejo area. Contact (707) 853-2267 or .
  • Greater San Francisco Bay Area: Village Harvest is a 16 year old nonprofit volunteer organization harvesting extra fruit from backyards and small orchards to provide food for the hungry, and providing education on fruit tree care, harvesting, and using fruit. Volunteers have picked 2.5 million pounds for local food agencies.  Headquartered in San Jose but with volunteer teams serving communities in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz Counties. , (888) FRUIT-411 (888-378-4841).
White Pony Express--3380 Vincent Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523  
Grace Book Group

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, August 21, at 6:30 p.m., at Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station shopping center, when we will discuss "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles.  For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386.
Support our military members and veterans

You are invited to take part in the Veteran Alcatraz Swim Challenge (VII) on August 24 .The event is free for Veterans, Active Duty Military, and Immediate Family members. We offer training for the one mile swim. We are also in need of folks to ride in kayaks as safety monitors.
Click here to download the flyer.  
For specific information about how you can get involved, contact   Shannon Kleinschmit.  
Scrapbooking event 
There will be a gathering of avid scrapbookers on Saturday, August 24 at 9 a.m. in the Education Building. For safety reasons, children under the age of 10 cannot be included. For more information, contact Karen Lowe (707) 373-3927.
Historic Liturgy on August 25

The Episcopal Church, a descendant of the Church of England, has beautiful liturgies. Like its people and the country we live in, Episcopal liturgy has evolved over the years. Our current prayer book (1979) is the fourth formalized prayer book of the Episcopal Church. The Worship and Liturgy Committee thought it might be fun and enlightening go back to one of our older prayer books and see how things used to be done, what's changed, and what has stayed the same. On Sunday, August 25 at both our 8 and 10 a.m. services, we will be conducting a Historic Liturgy using the 1789 Prayer Book. For those of you who are accustomed to our current service, it will be a bit confusing. You will need to follow the bulletin closely! With your participation, we hope it will be interesting and entertaining.  It's also a great opportunity to wear hats!
Safe Church  
(Whole and Healthy Church) 
Sometimes it feels like summer will go on forever, but at Grace we are already gearing up for our program year, which begins in September.  In order to provide Godly Play (Sunday School), Nursery, and Youth programming for our young people, we need quite a few volunteers - and the diocese requires our volunteers to complete the Whole and Healthy Church online safety training. If you are a regular volunteer who works with or is interested in helping children or senior citizens at Grace, you must complete this program. Unfortunately, if you do not complete Safe Church training prior to the end of the summer, Rev. Deb will have to remove your name as a volunteer for these programs.  This would be a devas tating blow to our child and youth programming, so please take a couple of hours to complete the training.

In addition to Godly Play, Nursery, and Youth Group, other ministries that require certain levels of Safe Church training are: Eucharistic Visitors, Altar Guild, Vestry members, and anyone who has a key to Grace.

If you have any questions about these requirements or don't know if you need to take the training, please contact  Jennifer Sabroe in the Parish Office.  Many thanks!
How to Pray
Wednesday, August 28, at 2 p.m.  
in the Parish Hall

All are welcome to a 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.  
This is a relaxed, small group setting. We will watch four 5-minute video lectures and spend a few minutes in between in each for discussion.   
Contact the Parish Office for more information.
Fancy Ferriage Retirement
Final Square Dance
at Tom and Connie Hodgson's Hill Top Horse-ienda
Saturday, August 31  
5pm Finger Food & Happy Hour
7pm Square Dancing with instructions
RSVP (925) 228-7766 

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,

Save the Date!
Annual Bocce Tournament and BBQ
Sunday, October 6, 12-4 pm
Rodgers-Smith Park, Pleasant Hill
Stay tuned for more info.
Contact: Sandy Taylor (925) 458-5040
Save the Date! 
Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: Christ Episcopal Church, Alameda
Times: Check-in and registration begin at 8:00 am (snacks provided!)  
Workshop 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers-called Stephen Ministers-to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
The workshop is designed for churches in our general area who have shown an interest in Stephen Ministry. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for the ministry, so please consider joining the workshop. If interested, please contact Dru Grissom.
Deacon's Pantry items needed
We are running down on food and other items in our Deacon's Pantry. The Deacon's Pantry is a cabinet in the kitchen (accessible from the Parish Hall) that contains food and other practical items that are available to anyone in need of them. Please ask Rev. Walter what is needed and then drop it off in the new box in the Parish Hall labeled, "Deacon's Pantry supplies." Many thanks!
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). Continuing through August, 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. 

Here is a link to the map and detour plan. Thank you for your patience.
Backpack / School Supplies Drive
The annual Grace Church Backpacks/School Supplies Drive is underway! For many years, we have been filling backpacks with school supplies for students at Martinez Jr. High. Over the summer we collect supplies. In early September we spend a Sunday afternoon filling the backpacks. The backpacks are then delivered to the school where counselors distribute to the students most in need.
How you can help:
3) Bring your donations to church and leave in the bin in the Narthex.
4) Mark the Tracking Chart (new this year). As you bring in donations, mark the tracking chart (located in the Narthex) indicating the quantity for the item(s). By doing this, everyone can see what items (and how many) are still needed to meet our goal.  
We have 60 backpacks to fill so let the shopping begin!   
Every little bit helps, definitely makes a difference, and is greatly appreciated!
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 working on a standing Fundraising Committee. Traditionally, the Vestry has spearheaded fundraising events,  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 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!
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.
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

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