News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

August 3, 2017

Scripture of the Week

" For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty."   2 Peter 1:16
A Visit from the Archdeacon
The Ven. David Stickley
This  Sunday, August 6, The Venerable David Stickley, Archdeacon of the Diocese of California, will be preaching at both our  8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services, as well as providing a brief presentation about the role of deacons in the Diocese of California between services (at approximately 9 a.m.). David graduated from School for Deacons in 2008 and from Ithaca College with a degree in business management in 1985. He currently works as Administrative Coordinator for Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General and on the faculty at the School for Deacons.  He shares responsibility for the training and placement of deacons in the diocese. Please come and welcome David to Grace!
Two of our parishioners want to formally thank their brothers and sisters in the Grace Parish community for their love and support during their recent tough times.   
Michele Cobb, who is recovering from hip surgery, says that she and her husband Buck are very grateful for the prayers, meals and check-ins leading up to and since her surgery.  She is looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
Beth Ilog has officially finished cancer treatment and writes,  "I would like a thank you to the parish family, for all their prayers and support,  mentioned in the bulletin and in the weekly notes.  My encounter with the "nasty invader', was not a walk in the park but, was made easier thanks to your help!!  Thank You!  Thank You!!  Thank You!!!"
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.  
Lots happening at Grace!
Rev. Deb and Bernie Rosner
Yesterday, Grace Episcopal Church, in conjunction with the Martinez Rotary Club, welcomed Bernie Rosner, Holocaust survivor and co-author of the book, "An Uncommon Friendship."  Speaking to a crowd of approximately 100 people in the Grace sanctuary, Mr. Rosner detailed his experiences in two Nazi concentration camps, his "adoption" by an American G.I. in the aftermath of the war, and his subsequent friendship with the son of a Nazi officer.  His presentation will be up on the Grace website ( as soon as it is edited. 

In early July, a group of Grace ladies drove to Dixon to enjoy high tea at a lovely tea shop there.  
Left to Right: Beth Ilog, Pam Thomas, Chandra Damele, Sally Hanson, Rowan Brooks, Barbara Brooks, Mary Canale. Photo by Jeanne Marks 
A message from the Diocese
The Rev. Canon Stefani Schatz
We would like to notify you of the upcoming Service of Resurrection for our beloved Canon to the Ordinary,  Stefani Schatz, who died Wednesday, July 12, after a fourteen-month struggle with cancer. You can read her obituary here.
Date:  Saturday, August 12
Time:  10:00 a.m.
Location: Grace Cathedral,
1100 California Street, San Francisco

We thank you for your prayers for Canon  Stefani and the many people who loved her. Instead of flowers, contributions "In Memory of Stefani Schatz" may be made to St Margaret's Visiting Professorship of Women in Ministry at California at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.  

The address is: CDSP, 2451 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709
Attn: Advancement Department
Rev. Deb will be on vacation August 11-19
The Rev. Laurie Moyer
The Rev. Laurie Moyer will be here on Sunday, August 13 If you have a pastoral emergency, you can reach Rev. Deb by cell phone.  Junior Warden Les Marks will be point person for any non-emergency concerns.

My family and I tha
nk you for this time together!
Rev. Deb
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!
Deanery Resolution Discussion  
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.  On 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.
"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!
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
Family Sunday - August 20
Our next Family Sunday is 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 more family/child/youth participation. This family-friendly service is the perfect opportunity to invite friends to Grace!

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 


Please plan to attend! 

Social Media Update!
Some of you may have noticed our increased presence on the internet.  In addition to a redesigned website ( - thank you Katie White-Spenik - we are now on Twitter and Instagram.  Please "stop by" on the web and "like us" on Facebook and add us to your Instagram (GraceEpChurchMtz) and Twitter feeds (GraceEpChMtz).  Our Facebook page has many interesting things to look at and "like," including every sermon preached at Grace since November of 2015 - so if you miss church, you can still hear the interpreted Word in the comfort of your home (or anywhere)!
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.