News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
June 7, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"[Jesus] called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, 'How can Satan cast out Satan?    If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.    And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come.   But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.  Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter;   but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.'"
Mark 3:23-29
"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.  On the 3rd Sunday of the month we have Family Sunday with a Children's Homily and simpler and more familiar hymns. Our next Family Sunday is June 17.
THIS SUNDAY: Godly Play is out for the summer but young people are always welcome to join us in the sanctuary for worship.  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.
Many thanks to everyone who made the St. Christopher's Guild "Baby Shower" a great success!

Last Saturday the St. Christopher's Guild hosted a Baby Shower-themed Spring Luncheon! They collected numerous beautiful items for the layette packages that are given to mothers at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, as well as over $300 in donations!
Grace's Youth are Proud
Many thanks to the Grace Youth Group, who supported the Contra Costa Interfaith Coalition booth at Concord Pride Day 2018 this past Saturday. Six young people representing Grace attended the event at Todos los Santos Plaza. The gathering was sponsored by the Rainbow Community Center, which helps Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) individuals by working to prevent bullying and delivering low cost mental health services.
Annual All-Parish Picnic!    
Parish BBQ and Bocce Tournament  
THIS Sunday, June 10  
Rodgers-Smith Park
Grayson Rd.
Pleasant Hill  

In its seventh year, this is a family and fellowship fun event. We hope you will be able to join us and bring your friends along. Play on a team or be a cheerleader for the women vs. men competition. Burgers (meat and veggie), hot dogs, buns and condiments are provided. Side dishes and desserts are potluck, so if you are able please bring something to share.
Outreach meeting this Sunday
There will be a meeting of the Outreach Committee between services this Sunday, June 10. There will be a special presentation by the Rev. Scott Williams, leader of the Martinez Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement (CORE) Team. 
No Holy Eucharist or Bible Study Wednesday, June 13
On Wednesday mornings at Grace at 10 a.m. we celebrate the Eucharist followed by Bible study. We are currently studying the letters of Paul, which make up about two-thirds of our New Testament. We are using Church of England bishop and theologian N.T. Wright's series, "Paul for Everyone." Rev. Deb will be away at a Continuing Education Conference next week, so there will be no Wednesday Eucharist and Bible Study. For the following week (June 20), please read Galatians 2:1-5 and think about the following questions: Where does Christianity currently stand related to Paul's insistence that we are all one family? Can we still learn Paul's lesson of unity? How will we know when/if we are one family? Please join us!
Faith-full Forums
Once a month since last June we have opened our doors to a variety of fascinating speakers and invited 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! Please come and invite friends to any and all of these presentations.
Episcopal Liturgy with the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers on June 17.  Dr. Meyers is one of the Episcopal Church's foremost experts on Episcopal Liturgy. She will be discussing the development of Christian liturgical practice, including how the Episcopal Church creates and revises liturgy, and whether or not we can expect any upcoming changes in our liturgical traditions. 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. 
Grace Book Group
Do you like to read? Need motivation to read more? Have a book recommendation? 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!
3rd Wednesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center.
Our next get-together is June 20, when we will discuss Black Hills, by Nora Roberts. 
For more info feel free to email the church office.
EM/Acolyte Training
There will be a joint training of Eucharistic Ministers and Acolytes on Sunday, June 24, at 9 a.m. If you serve at the altar, even if you are an experienced server, please plan to attend this important training. 

Nominees for Diocesan positions sought

The Diocesan Committee on Nominations is seeking individuals interested in running for diocesan offices. There are open positions on the Standing Committee, which  serves as the Bishop's Council of Advice and has broad responsibilities for oversight of diocesan affairs, and the Executive Council, which is the vestry of the diocese. Elections are held at the Annual Diocesan Convention in the fall. More information can be found at the Diocesan website. If you are interested in seeking election, contact Rev. Deb.
Casseroles Needed!
One of Grace's most important pastoral ministries is the Casserole Patrol, which provides meals to those who, for one reason or another, can benefit from having a meal delivered to them. Currently, our supply is running short. If you can contribute a freezable casserole, please let  Connie Towey know.
Grace financial update
At January's Annual Parish Meeting, some of our parishioners asked for a routine update on church finances. The most recent summary of our financial situation is that income and expenses in 2018 are as expected. We have a current shortfall of about $8500 year to date which, although common at this time of year, is not good news. Your leadership would be most grateful if you could check the status of your pledge payment and, if possible, bring it up to date.  You will find more detailed information on finances here. We have put together summaries and graphs for you in an attempt to make our financial picture understandable to everyone (even those without experience in finances and budgeting). If you would like to see more details or have other questions about our financial situation, please feel free to contact Paula Menconi  or Marj Leeds .
Make a Joyful Noise: Singers needed!

While our Music Director Search continues, we are enjoying a wonderful group of substitute organists. This week we welcome Gary Evans back to the organ console. On Sunday, July 1, Bishop Marc Andrus will be at Grace for his bi-annual Episcopal visit.  We would like to serenade him with beautiful music while he is here, so we are calling all choir members - past, present and future -who would like to be an important part of that special event to come to a rehearsal on Thursday, June 28 at 7 p.m. Many thanks!
Your Community of Christ Needs You!
"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
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. The Altar Guild ministry is currently in need of additional volunteers. Members of the Altar Guild work in teams and help prepare the church for worship . Please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully if this is a ministry that you could do for the good of the church. Contact  Rev. Deb or Altar Guild Director Elaine Quigley.

Grace Team at Loaves and Fishes gets a break in June and July
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. Beth Ilog is the Grace Church point person for this longstanding outreach ministry and oversees our team of volunteers, supplies, meal preparation, service and clean up. There is always room for more volunteers! The time commitment is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Our next work date will be August 15.

The reason? During the summer, many youth groups are given the opportunity to participate, so for the months of June and July, the Grace Team will get a break.  Please talk to Beth if you're interested or would like more information.  Email Beth or call her at (925) 370-8142.
A Message from Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
Summer Camp Support Needed
: We are currently putting together summer programming for kids (toddler through middle school), and we need your help.  Many of these kids are formerly homeless or very low-income.  In the past, volunteers (teens and adults) have organized small groups to host different "camps".  These activities take place at our housing sites (Pittsburg & Concord) for a couple hours/day for 4-5 days during the week.  Each week has a theme and FUN is always on the agenda. Feel free to call and discuss ideas or just offer general help to an already formed camp week.  All camps are supervised by on-site CCIH staff. Email for more information. Ages: 13+. Use this link to sign up to help: 
Spanish Translator: We are looking for a fluent, Spanish-speaking volunteer to assist a CCIH Housing Navigator at Monument Crisis Center in Concord. The Center offers drop-in services (including Housing Navigation services) weekday mornings between 9am and noon, and we are hoping for a volunteer to make a regular commitment at least one morning per week - preferably Wednesday morning, but Monday through Thursday mornings would be possibilities depending on the volunteer's needs and schedule. Email for more information.

Gloria Bertolozzi 
Volunteer and Outreach Manager
Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
399 Taylor Blvd, Ste 115
Pleasant Hill,  CA 94523
Direct Line:  925-448-2004
Fax: 925.944.2248

CCIH Opportunities for Involvement 2018
On Going Furnishing Needs:
Interfaith Disaster Preparedness Effort looking for volunteers
The Contra Costa Interfaith Emergency Preparedness Group Meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 2, from  11:30am to 1pm  at Walnut Creek United Methodist Church. They are  aiming to have representatives from all area churches, including Grace. If you'd like to know more, please contact The Rev. Will McGarvey
Healing prayer
We offer Healing Prayer during both our 8 and 10 a.m. services. If you wish to have someone pray with you for yourself or others, you may go to the prie dieu (kneeler) at the right rear corner of the sanctuary after receiving communion. This is a ministry of the people of Grace to one another -no clergy required!  We are looking for more volunteers for this important ministry, so if you are willing to pray with others, please let Rev. Deb know. No experience is necessary; we will train you!

An easy way to contribute to Grace


Grace Episcopal Church Martinez is now 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!

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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.