News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

August 17, 2017

Scripture of the Week
"Thus says the Lord: 'Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. And the foreigners who join themselves to the  Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,  and to be his servants,  all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,  and hold fast my covenant-  these I will bring to my holy mountain,   and make them joyful in my house of prayer;  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices  will be accepted on my altar;  for my house shall be called a house of prayer  for  all
 peoples.'"  Isaiah 56:1,6-8 
Family Service this Sunday! 
This Sunday, August 20 at the 10 a.m. service, Rev. Deb will be back with a Children's Homily and we will have familiar hymns and full participation by the children and youth of the parish, who will be in church for the entire liturgy.

This family-friendly service is the perfect opportunity to invite friends to Grace!  
Deanery Resolution Discussion this Sunday
The Episcopal Church is structured very much like our government with elected and appointed local, regional, and national legislative bodies. Every parish is part of a regional body composed of representatives from certain geographic areas.  These are called "Deaneries."  Grace is part of the Contra Costa Deanery.  Our Deanery representatives are Barbara Brooks, Pat Hambly, and Les Marks, with Mary Canale serving as an alternate.  Recently, the Deanery was presented with a resolution to make the Diocese of California a "sanctuary" diocese - similar to a "sanctuary city" - for refugees.  If passed by the Deanery, the resolution would be presented at Diocesan Convention in October.  This Sunday, August 20, between the 8 and 10 a.m. services (at approximately 9 a.m.), we will have a conversation at Grace about this proposal so that our representatives can provide the Deanery with our feedback at our September meeting.  Information about the proposal can be found here (under the heading "Deanery Reminder"). Please plan to attend this important conversation.
The Colors of Tea
A fundraiser hosted by St. Christopher's Guild. Saturday, August 26, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Adults $20; 12 and under $10. For tickets: Contact Pam Saw by email ( or phone (925.228-6574). There will be an informative presentation by local tea expert John Vander Kamp. Click here to download the flyer.  
Parish Office Help Wanted
We are all grateful for the stalwart and dedicated help of Jennifer Sabroe, who serves as Grace's Volunteer Parish Administrator.  Jennifer is technically supposed to work one day per week but, as many of you know, she puts in quite a few more hours than she should! As a result, we are looking for someone to take on one of her administrative tasks. Currently, Jennifer manages all of the church rentals. This is important work as renting the Parish Hall to outside groups provides Grace with useful income.  By itself, this ministry should not take much time.  If you are interested in volunteering or finding out more, please let Jennifer know (
Opening Day: Baseball's got nothing on Grace!
This year we are beginning a new tradition at Grace: Opening Day weekend. Instead of having one Rally Day, we will be celebrating the start of Grace's fall programming with TWO days of festivities. On Saturday, September 9, we will have an Opening Weekend Carnival, with games, face painting, and a bouncy house. This will be followed by a karaoke contest and topped off with Family Movie Night (transferred from August 26). The movie will be shown outdoors on our grassy quad facing the parking lot so that folks who prefer the comfort of their automobiles can watch from there, making it a Drive-Thru! On Sunday, we will have an Opening Day Barbecue. This is an excellent opportunity to bring families to Grace. If you are interested in volunteering, please let Rev. Deb know!
We want to hear from you!
The core of our community is our belief in and worship of God and his son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Rev. Deb and the Worship and Liturgy Ministry Team value your opinions about what you love about liturgy at Grace and what might be done better.  Rev. Deb has created a short survey seeking input about several aspects of our worship.  It will only take  approximately five minutes and your responses are anonymous.  We would be very grateful if you will take part.  The survey has been emailed to those of you on our Constant Contact list and can also be found on our website, and Facebook page.  A printed version will be available in the Narthex for the next several Sundays. Thanks for your participation.
Here's the survey link:

Feed the Hungry: Start at Home
The Grace Church "Casserole Patrol" is running low on meals!  This ministry provides food to parishioners in times of need and right now we have several parishioners experiencing major life events (illness, new babies, for example).  Please consider making a double batch of whatever you're making for dinner and dropping off the second at the church. We will keep it in our freezer at the church and one of our delivery volunteers will make sure it gets delivered.  Please contact Connie Towey if you can help ( 
Fall is coming and so is Sunday School!    
At Grace, Christian education for children (Sunday School) is held during the first part of the 10 a.m. service after which children join their families for Holy Communion. Grace's children's education model is Godly Play, which is a Montessori-based Christian Education curriculum for elementary-aged children. The program uses hands-on materials (toy people and animals) to encourage children to physically interact with sacred story, giving them tools to interpret the spiritual aspects of their daily lives. Preparations for this year's Godly Play sessions are underway; the storytellers have met and agreed on stories to tell the children during this school year and are now working on making sure they have all the physical pieces needed for each story.  Every year, however, a few alligators, elephants or wild-eyed prophets wander off (or into other stories) (for instance, why Moses has King David's harp while King David is in possession of a burning bush is something we can all wonder about!), so if you run across some random biblical figure, please let one of the storytellers know (Barbara Brooks, Chandra Damele, or Marj Leeds).  Many thanks and stay tuned for more Godly Play news!
Backpack/School Supplies Drive
Update! There are 60 backpacks on hand to be filled. Backpack stuffing will take place on Sunday, September 10, immediately following the 8 a.m. service (which is approximately 9:00 a.m.). Donations are being collected in the Narthex between now and September 10.  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
"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
What is your calling?
Summer is a good time to think about the specific ministry that God has equipped you to do in the church.  Just like the early Christians, we are a community of many different people with many talents and we need everyone to provide for the community. We have recently asked whether you might be called to be a Lay Eucharistic Minister and assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist, or if you would like to help preparing the church for worship as a member of the Altar Guild . We are also looking for folks to help with childcare  during the first part of the 10 a.m. service on Sundays during the summer, and for parishioners and friends with musical talent to  share it during the summer months (and beyond). We also need folks to help with our Buildings and Grounds work and  forming a Christian Education Ministry Team. Not to forget, w e also need help in our office and help with  publicizing our events . There is a lot of wonderful stuff going on at Grace! Please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully what you can do for the good of the church. Contact  Rev. Deb ( ) with your ideas and she will direct you to the right person!

Save the Date!


The Bishop's office has confirmed that Rev. Deb will officially become

our new rector in a 

Celebration of New Ministry 

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. 


Please plan to attend! 

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
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!

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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.