News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
October 18, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? 
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements-surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy'"?
Job 38:4-7
"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, but children and youth share in the ministry of the church year-round, serving as acolytes, readers, and oblation bearers. 
 
THIS WEEK IN GODLY PLAY: This season we are sharing stories of the people of the Hebrew Scriptures. This Sunday is Family Sunday.  Youth and children take primary roles in the service, there is a Children's Homily, familiar hymns and the children gather around the altar to assist Rev. Deb in consecrating the bread and wine.

This Sunday we will also be baptizing Anna and Gigi Kleinschmit. We have transferred Baptism from All Saints' Sunday in order to baptize our beloved twins before their dad, Shannon, deploys.

Children are always welcome to participate in all services at Grace. There is a children's area near the piano at the rear of the sanctuary with toys, books, and coloring materials for children who do not enjoy sitting in the pews.  There is Nursery Care for babies and young toddlers in the education building.
 
Faith-full Forum: Episcopal Liturgy with the Rev. Dr. Ruth Myers 

Once a month during the program year we open our doors to a variety of fascinating speakers and invite anyone who is interested to come and see. Through them, we have had the opportunity to learn about everything from the Dead Sea Scrolls to teenage cell phone use! 
 
THIS SUNDAY  we welcome the Rev. Dr. Ruth Myers, who returns to us for a much-requested encore presentation.  Dr. Meyers  is one of the Episcopal Church's foremost experts on Episcopal Liturgy. She will be discussing Episcopal Liturgy, including how the Episcopal Church creates and revises liturgy. Dr. Meyers  is the Haynes-Hodges Professor of Liturgics and the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP). In addition to her teaching and administrative work at CDSP, Rev. Dr. Meyers served on the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music from 2008 until 2015 and chaired the commission from 2009-2015. In 2015 she was appointed to the Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage. She recently received the Deputies' Award at the Episcopal General Convention. She will also Con-Celebrate at the 10 a.m. service. Please join us.
A season for thinking about how we care for God's creation and our own church 
 
No one likes to talk about money, but the truth is that we cannot provide the programs and services we enjoy here at Grace without it.  Stewardship is a season of education and conversation about what it means to share our time, talent and treasure with as a community of Christ. Last Sunday we learned about Pastoral Care, including the important work both Rev. Deb and the laity do to provided needed assistance to members of the parish and the cost of having a full-time Rector.  This Sunday, October 21, we will hear a brief presentation about Buildings and Grounds at Grace.

Although stewardship campaigns often focus on financial contributions (treasure), the willingness to donate your time and ministry gifts (talents) is equally, if not more, important. There are several ministries here at Grace that are currently in need of volunteers, including the Altar Guild, Counters, and Hospitality Committee (especially coffee hour hosts). To volunteer for the Altar Guild, please contact Elaine Quigley. To volunteer as a counter, please contact the church office. If you are interested in participating in Hospitality at Grace, please let Christina Reich know. For more information about ministries at Grace, check in with Rev. Deb.
Some important financial information
 
Two gentle reminders about our finances: You can set up your pledge to autopay from your bank account. Please contact Treasurer Paula Menconi for more information about how to do this. Also, p lease remember that we are attempting to make our budget/spending process completely transparent. In order to do that, we need your help. Please do not give the church for two purposes or accounts at once (for example, don't write one check for both your pledge and a ticket for an event). This will help us keep our finances in order. Many thanks!
A note of thanks from Contra Costa Interfaith Housing and Garden Park Apartments

Dear Reverend Deb, Denise, Don and Jos é,

Thank you so much for providing a wonderful meal to the Garden Park Apartment residents at their monthly community meeting last week! The lasagna, salad, juice/milk, fruit and cookies hit the spot and thank you for donating the remaining bags of salads to our families. Nothing ever goes to waste!

Sincerely,
Gloria Bertolozzi 
Volunteer and Outreach Manager 
Contra Costa Interfaith Housing

Hi all, 

I add my thanks to Gloria's! We truly appreciated your warmth and friendliness, coupled with a warm and comforting meal. The residents loved every bite!

Thank you,
Beth Limberg, PhD, RPT-S
Family Services Manager
Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
Garden Park Apartments

Many, many thanks to the folks who organized and contributed so that we could pull this Outreach activity together in a short period of time, especially Denise Hansen, Jo-Ann Lee, Jessie Senn, Dru Grissom, and The Dyers - Don, Lynda, Jos é!
Welcome The Rev. Molly Haws 
We are delighted to announce that the Reverend Molly Haws will be serving as an Assisting Priest at Grace.  Molly will be here most Sundays and will preach every two months. Please welcome her!
Bible Study for Everyone!
On Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. at Grace we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, followed by Bible Study. We are currently studying  the letters of Paul, which constitute about two-thirds of the New Testament. We are using Church  of England bishop and theologian N.T. Wright's series, "Paul for Everyone." On Wednesday, October 24, we will look at Galatians 5:1-6.  We will consider the questions, "Which is an easier path to salvation: faith or the law?" What does Paul mean when he says that getting circumcised obligates you to obey the whole law?" and "What does Paul mean when he says faith works through love?" All are welcome!
Join the choir!
Now that we have a fabulous new Music Director and a fancy chamber organ in the Sanctuary, it's time for anyone who has been hiding their vocal light under a bushel to step forward and sing a new song unto the Lord! Choir rehearsals at Grace are Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or even the ability to read music.  Arthur will be teaching a "Learn or Improve your music abilities" class before choir each week, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Please join this amazing ministry!
Supporting Families in need at Christmas
"Spirit of Giving" Drive starts this Sunday!
 
We have once again have partnered with the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing Spirit of Giving program to help provide Christmas gifts to 35 individuals (in 12 families) this year.  This Sunday you will notice a small tree in the Narthex, adorned with "gift tags." Each tag is for one member of a family, and will have that individual's "wish list" printed on it. We ask that people take a gift tag and arrange to purchase no more than two items from the person's "wish list." You can either purchase the two gifts yourself, or find a buddy to share the fun of giving. There will also be tags for $25 Safeway gift cards. If you'd like to participate but you aren't a "shopper" we'd be happy to take cash and make the purchases on your behalf. Please consider taking a tag or making a donation, and doing your part to make sure these families receive something special for the holidays! We will need wrapped and labeled gifts brought to church by Sunday, November 25. Contact Jennifer Sabroe or Dru Grissom if you have any questions.  
Email info@gracechurchmtz.org or call the church office (925) 228-6574, or  call Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386, or see Dru Grissom on Sundays. Thanks and blessings, from the Outreach Committee. 
                            Happy Halloween!

Calling all Youth!! Pumpkin carving time!

On Saturday, October 27, starting at 6 p.m., the Youth Group will get together to carve pumpkins to decorate for the Halloween party they are hosting the next day. Bring your creativity and design ideas! 
 
All Hallows' Eve Party!
Sunday, October 28, 2-4 p.m.    
All children and the young at heart are invited to celebrate All Hallows' Eve at Grace's annual Halloween Party. Wear a costume and be prepare d to play lots of games, enjoy treats and have fun!  Bring your friends!       
Book Group
Read any good books lately? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Like to eat out? Come drop in on the Grace Book Group! We'd love to see you! 
Our next get-together is November 28*, at 6:30 p.m. when we will discuss "Lipstick Brigade" by Cindy Gueli.  Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center.  For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386 or  Email Jennifer.
*Changed to the 4th Wednesday due to Thanksgiving 
 
Pastoral Care news
We are so grateful for seeing many new faces at Grace lately, and we want to make sure all of our parishioners are supported and taken care of.  In order to help Rev. Deb do this, we are forming a Pastoral Care Committee, which will be chaired by Leslie Kolesa.  The Pastoral Care Committee will assist with coordinating home visits, food delivery, and regular check-ins with those in need.  If you are interested in being part of this effort, please let Leslie Kolesa know.  

And speaking of casseroles: many thanks to everyone who brought casseroles to the church to restock our pantry. We like to have food on hand for those who need it.  Now that the freezer is full, we need folks willing to deliver them to those who have requested them.  If you can do this, please let the office know. Call (925) 228-6574 or Email info@gracechurchmtz.org
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 will be 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.  Invite your friends!
Caution!
Our cleaning service is here on Monday afternoons, which requires we maintain a people-free zone in all our buildings, but primarily the parish hall, kitchen, education wing, and all restrooms (including the ones off the narthex.) During the hours 12 noon-6 p.m. on Mondays we ask our visitors and volunteers to please steer clear and work around this schedule. If you need to access to any of the buildings on Monday afternoons, please check with Jennifer or Rev. Deb in advance. Thank you for understanding.

Stations of the Cross  

 

We're reconciling the records of the donor list for the Stations of the Cross, purchased earlier this year.  If you made a cash donation for the purchase of the Stations of the Cross, please contact Lynda Dyer - phone (925) 408-3792 or email Lynda.dyer@att.net.  Thank you. 

  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 will be providing 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:
  • 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
  • Hygiene items including (but not limited to) soap, shampoo, oral care, shower wipes, shaving supplies, feminine hygiene items
  • 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).

Parishioners are invited to make donations of items by leaving them in the bin in the Narthex (labeled "C.O.R.E. Outreach"). The items will be blessed by Rev. Deb, and handed off to members of the C.O.R.E. team who distribute while doing their mobile outreach work in the local community.
Night of Light
On Friday, November 2, the Episcopal Impact Fund (EIF) will host its annual "Night of Light" at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. EIF is the granting arm of the Diocese of California and is dedicated to addressing the root causes of poverty.  If you are interested in going, please let Rev Deb know. This year Grace Martinez will host TWO tables, which means we have 20 seats to fill. We have two generous donors who have agreed to cover the cost of the tables, but if you are interested in going and are able to contribute the cost of your ticket, we would be grateful as it would be nice not to have our two donors pay the entire cost.
Do nated Turkeys Needed!
Message from Loaves and Fishes
 
Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa serves two special holiday turkey meals -- the day before Thanksgiving and then Christmas Eve at all 5 dining rooms. We expect to serve more than 1,000 people. We need turkeys donated so we can provide these much appreciated meals to our clients. 
 
In partnership with Let's Feed The Kids, a multi-faith group of 6 congregations in Contra Costa County focused on alleviating childhood hunger, Loaves and Fishes is also collecting donated turkeys for their Winter Break project. This project provides food to school children and their families from 9 Richmond/San Pablo schools during their winter break. Winter break is when these families don't have access to federally-funded breakfast and lunch programs.  
 
Please deliver turkeys to Chef James at our central kitchen located at:  
510 Garcia Ave., Unit H, Pittsburg
Questions, please call: 925-293-4792 
Thanksgiving Food Drive
Message from Shelter, Inc.
 
Shelter Inc. is accepting nonperishable food items so that all families in Contra Costa can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this year.  
  • Gift Cards for turkeys - $25 to local grocery store. Please no fresh or frozen turkeys.
  • Pantry Food: chicken stock, canned corn, cranberry sauce, cream of mushroom soup, biscuit mix, stuffing mix, gravy, pasta noodles and sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Desserts: pumpkin pie mix, pudding mix, jello mix
  • Drinks: hot cocoa, coffee, sparkling cider
Please deliver donated items by 5pm on Thursday, November 15, 2018, to Shelter Inc. main office at 1333 Willow Pass Rd., Suite 206, Concord.
 
If you'd like to volunteer to assemble Thanksgiving boxes for families please contact Fransena Harmon at Fransena.Harmon@shelterinc.org 
Hurricane Relief
Message from Episcopal Relief and Development
 
Greetings, Sisters and Brothers in Christ.

Following Hurricane Michael, our 2019 hurricane response has expanded to include those along the gulf coast and in parts of Georgia, as we continue to partner with dioceses and congregations in the Carolinas following Hurricane Florence. We invite you to support our ongoing work with the impacted dioceses. We have created an updated bulletin insert so that you can share information and an opportunity for compassionate response with members of your congregation.
 
Please continue to pray for all those impacted by hurricanes in addition to our church and other partners as they reach out to their most vulnerable members and neighbors and begin the initial relief and recovery work. 
 
Contributions to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development provide critical emergency assistance to those most in need.

Wishing you peace,
 
Sean McConnell
Senior Director, Engagement
Episcopal Relief & Development

 

 

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Serving the community of Martinez
and Contra Costa County since 1868.

 
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