News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
January 10, 2019 
Scripture of the Week
"As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

  Luke 3:15-17
"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 Sunday in Godly Play: The Parable of the Good Shepherd
This Sunday  we tell one of the great parables, the parable of the good shepherd.  The children learn of the shepherd who searches for his one lost sheep and the leaves the ninety-nine sheep to do so.  The children are invited to wonder if the sheep are happy inside the sheepfold and where this place could really be.  And we ask them to wonder if they have ever been lost and ever been found.  And finally to wonder if the Good Shepherd has ever called them by their name.   

Welcome to Epiphany, a new liturgical season
The church calendar is composed of liturgical seasons, each represented by a color. Now that we have fully celebrated Christ's nativity with 12 days of Christmas, we are entering a new season, heralded by the arrival of the eastern sages (popularly known as "the three kings"). Just as we welcome the seasons outside of church, at Grace we reflect the change in our liturgical season by making slight alterations in what we see, hear, and do in our worship. Thus, for the season of Epiphany, our vestments and altar hangings will be white, our crèche will disappear until next year, and we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist with a different Eucharistic Prayer, Prayers of the People, and "Gloria." Welcome to the season of light!
Reverend Deb out of town 
  Reverend Deb is out of town from January 12-January 21. During her absence The Rev. Molly Haws is covering services and pastoral care. You can reach Rev. Molly through the church office and by email at Rev. Molly.
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.  
A request from the Casserole Patrol
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 low. Casseroles should be frozen, or freezable, and preferably the size of 4-6 servings (or less.) If you can contribute, please let Connie Towey know.  
Annual Parish Meeting
We will hold our annual meeting on January 27, 2019, following the 10 a.m. service.  At this gathering we will set our annual budget and elect new members to the Vestry and Deanery/Diocesan Convention Representatives. Any pledging member of the parish age 16 or over is allowed to vote.
Important note: We will not be printing hard copies of the agenda or reports for the meeting. The information will be displayed during the meeting in a PowerPoint presentation. Prior to the 27th, the entire meeting packet (agenda and reports) will be available for download via a link on the Grace website.
Youth Group Game Night Jan. 27!
All 8th-12th grade youth are welcome to come to Youth Group at Grace! The next gathering will be Game Night on Sunday, January 27, 6-8pm. Bring friends!   

St. Christopher's Guild
The next meeting of St. Christopher's Guild will be on Sunday, February 3, at 9am. On the agenda will be discussion of the two fundraisers in 2019.  
Here's an idea for a New Year's resolution: Join the choir!
Be part of the joyful liturgy at Grace by lending your voice to the choir. Choir rehearsals at Grace are Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or even the ability to read music. Please join this amazing ministry!
Coffee Hour News!
Thank you to everyone who has "opted in" as a Coffee Hour Host/Team. This is a vital activity in the life of our parish. There is always room for more help, so if you have questions or would like to join a team or start a team, contact Coffee Hour Coordinator Christina ("Tina") Reich. Many thanks.
(Hosts, please remember that if you cannot serve on a particular Sunday, kindly secure a substitute and let Tina know.) 
Bible Study for Everyone!

On Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. at Grace we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, followed by Bible Study.   

For Epiphany we will join  partners from across the Episcopal Church, to participate in the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative. The Good Book Club will focus on Paul's Letter to the Romans, with participants reading a section of scripture each day during the Epiphany season.

The Good Book Club kicked off during Lent and Easter of 2018, with tens of thousands of Episcopalians, including members of Grace, reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Survey results from participants showed a hunger and desire to continue the initiative and provide more opportunities for people to read and discuss scripture together. Romans was the first choice of participants for the next Good Book Club.
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry supports and encourages individuals and congregations to join the Good Book Club as a way to engage in "Learn," one of the seven Way of Love practices for a Jesus-centered life.  
Upcoming Faithful Forums at Grace

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! Please come and invite friends to any and all of these presentations.
February 17, 2019 will bring The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Young, Dean of Grace Cathedral, to Grace to discuss Theology and Nature, specifically the influence of 19th century author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau on religious thought about the natural world.

The Forum on "Stewardship of Creation" originally scheduled for January 13, 2019, has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 17. Representatives from Republic Services will be the presenters.
This coming Sunday, January 13, set aside time in the afternoon to head downtown to visit the Martinez Museum at Escobar and Court Streets. We have been invited to the opening of the Martinez Historical Society's exhibit "Amen!"  which will focus on the history of churches in Martinez - and, of course, Grace is one of them! There will be displays of artifacts and photos, with accompanying historical information. The Open House is from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. The exhibit will until March, 2019.
Trivia Night at Grace!
Trivia Night at Grace! Saturday, January 19th at 5:30pm, we will be holding our first ever Trivia Night! Form a team of your own (up to 5 people), or join one with space available by Wednesday, the 16th. (Walk-ins the night of are welcome, and will be randomly assigned to a team with space.) The sign-up sheet is available in the parish hall. Don't miss out on pizza, fellowship, and FUN! The theme is Movie Trivia, so start brushing up on your big screen knowledge. There is a $20 entry fee per team, payable on the 19th. SPECTATORS WELCOME!! See you there!
Youth MLK Day of Service event

This year diocesan youth will gather at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco at 5 pm Sunday, January 20. We will attend the 6 pm eucharist, have dinner, games, discussion, and more before we sleep in the Cathedral. On  Monday, January 21 we will have breakfast, a project to help the kids connect the past with the future and prepare them for the MLK March.  We will head down the hill to participate in the march. Return to Grace for lunch. Then head home tired and happy!
This is an excellent event that teaches our youth that we all must do our part to promote peace and justice for all people. The event is open to grades 7 - 12 and costs $10 a person (scholarships available). All youth must be accompanied by a designated adult leader.

Youth Registration
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 next Wednesday, January 16, at 6:30 p.m. when we will share what each of us has read the past month during our "free choice" period. We will meet at Smooth Season restaurant for dinner, at Muir Station Shopping Center. For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386 or email
Flowers and Candle Dedications
The Altar Guild has posted a new flower chart for 2019, in the Narthex by the stairwell. 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. 
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! 
  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). Please leave donations in the Narthex.
Help us solve the mysteries ...
Occasionally folks with the best intentions leave items for the church. While we appreciate the thoughtfulness, it causes confusion when there is neither a note attached (from "Anonymous" would be okay) nor who the intended recipients should be.    
A box full of sheet music, each lovingly tucked in protective plastic sleeves, appeared in the parish hall about a year ago. We would like to know if the music belongs to someone, or if it was left as a donation. Any information would be greatly appreciated.  
Thanks for your help!  


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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.