News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

September 7, 2017

Scripture of the Week
"Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
Matthew 18:19-20
Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Program connects, equips and inspires leaders of US dioceses in The Episcopal Church to prepare for hazards that might affect their communities, to mitigate the impact of disasters, and to help vulnerable people make a full and sustained recovery.
Episcopal Relief and Development is currently providing support to victims of Hurricane Harvey by partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.  They are also working in conjunction with other on-the-ground agencies that provide relief for communities suffering as a result of severe storm damage. 

For more information on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, click here:  Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
For more information on disaster preparedness efforts, click here:  Disaster preparedness partners
To donate, click here: 

Experience Grace!
Grace Episcopal Church welcomes you and your friends and family to an afternoon of family fun! 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. This Saturday, September 9, beginning at 3:00 p.m. we will have an Opening Weekend Carnival, with games, face painting, and a bouncy house. This will be followed by a make-your-own Taco dinner and Family Movie Night. 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-In! Then on Sunday, we will have an Opening Day Barbecue. Burgers (meat and veggie), hot dogs, buns, condiments, and beverages will be provided. Side dishes and dessert are potluck, so please if you are able, bring something for the table to share. This is an excellent opportunity to bring families to Grace. If you are interested in volunteering, please let Lynda Dyer know.
At Grace, Christian education for children ( Sunday  School) is called "Godly Play" and is held during the first part of the  10 a.m.  service after which children join their families for Holy Communion. 
Godly Play begins this Sunday!         
This Sunday we will tell the story of the "Circle of the Church Year."  This lesson sets the context for the whole year.  It introduces the children to our Church seasons - Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time.  The lesson moves us through a circle of memory and expectation to open ourselves to the elusive presence of God.  The lesson also provides a foundational understanding of the wall hanging we use to track time as each Sunday a child moves the arrow on this wall hanging to track our movement through the Church Year.  The children are invited to wonder if they have seen these colors in the Church, what happens in the Church when the colors change, and who changes the colors.
Men's Group Breakfast    
The next breakfast will be on Saturday, September 16, at 8:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall.  Regardless of whether you can bring a dish to share, all men of Grace and their guests are always welcome to be part of this relaxed and informal fellowship. Contact: Don Dyer ( Email Don)
Calendar Update
The Chili Cook-Off that was on the event calendar for Saturday, September 16, is being rescheduled. Stay tuned for more information in future Grace Notes.
Faith-full Forums     
We recently added a new adult education offering at Grace, monthly speaker forums. In June we welcomed the Rev. Sidnie White Crawford, PhD, who spoke about "What the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about the Bible." July brought a visit from the chair of the Martinez Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This month we co-sponsored a fantastic presentation from Holocaust survivor and author Bernie Rosner.   
Upcoming Forums
September 17, following the 10 a.m. service, Rev. Deb will provide a speed course in Episcopal Church 101. This is a perfect opportunity to bring friends who may be curious about our denomination. 
On October 15, the Diocesan Legacy Officer will be here to share information about estate planning and memorials.
And in November (date and time tbd) be sure to plan ahead for our special presentation of Screenagers, a film presentation that explores the impact of screen time on our children, followed by a discussion about the struggle to raise children in our social media-driven era. This presentation has been screened more than two thousand times across the country to great acclaim.  Bring friends!  
"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
Your Community of Christ Needs You!
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 several ministries that are in need of additional volunteers, including  Lay Eucharistic Ministers who assist the priest during the Holy Eucharist; Members of the Altar Guild, who help prepare the church for worship; Sunday School and Youth Group volunteers for the crucial task of forming our youth; and Office Helpers . 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!
Minute for Mission
A few weeks ago we started including a "Minute for Mission" during the announcement time at Grace at both our 8 and 10 a.m. services.

We are looking for parishioners willing to step up and talk about their work at Grace.  What groups/activities are you involved in? Are you a choir member?  Altar Guild helper?  Godly Play storyteller? 

Take a minute and tell your brothers and sisters what inspired you to take on this ministry and why others might enjoy it too. 

Please let Rev. Deb ( know what you'd like to share and we will schedule you for your 1 minute of fame!
Oktoberfest 2017!    
Oktoberfest celebration design with Bavarian hat and autumn leaves.
It's time again for our ever-popular Oktoberfest Dinner! In addition to delicious food there will be a Raffle and German Karaoke and Sing-along! Dust off the Lederhosen, iron the Dirndl, and reserve your tickets now! 

Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 5:30pm Social Hour; 6:30pm Dinner
Tickets: $20 (general); $10 (12 and under)
Contact: Stan Applegate  
Phone: 925-957-0315   

  Speisekarte (Menu)
Assorted Sausages, German Potato Salad,  
Choucroute Garnie a l'Alsacienne (Sauerkraut & Pork),  
K√∂nigsberger Klopse (East Prussian Meatballs),  
Blaukraut (Seasoned Red Cabbage), Apple Strudel.  

Please join us for

  A Celebration of New Ministry

as the Rev. Dr. Deborah White

is officially installed as

Rector of Grace Episcopal Church 

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

 Reception to follow.


St. Christopher's Guild

The next meeting of St. Christopher's will be Sunday, October 29, at 9:00 a.m. (between services) for planning the Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar. No meeting in September.

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

Share the Good News

Want to let others know about the great things happening at Grace Episcopal Church? Click on the link below to forward this E-Newsletter to family and friends! 

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

Our Mission:
Working together to welcome,
support, and serve all God's people.