News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
January 17, 2019 
Scripture of the Week
 
" Your steadfast love, O  Lord , extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light. "
  Psalm 36:5-9
"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 is Family Sunday   
Children are invited to remain in the sanctuary with their families for the entire service.  There will be a Children's Homily and the children and youth will have larger roles in the service.
 
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.

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 in 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 are white, our crèche has disappeared until next year, and we are celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist with a different Eucharistic Prayer, Prayers of the People, and "Gloria." 
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.
Frederick Brooks Memorial  
   Saturday, February 2, 3 p.m.  
There will be a memorial service for Frederick Campbell Brooks, son of Nathan and Amelia and brother of Sondre, on Saturday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m. Nate and Amelia want to convey their tremendous gratitude to the people of Grace who have been so faithful in their prayers and support. A reception in the parish hall will follow the service.  
Men's Group Breakfast
THIS Saturday, January 19, 8:30 a.m.
 Calling all men of Grace! It's time to get our Men's Group up and running for 2019. On the agenda is breakfast and planning for get-togethers and activities for the year. Bring your ideas and if you plan to bring something for breakfast, please let Don Dyer know. Email Don Dyer
 
Trivia Night at Grace!
THIS Saturday, January 19, at 5:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.  Form a team of your own or join one with space available. Don't miss out on pizza and fun!! The theme is Movie Trivia, so start brushing up on your big screen knowledge! There is a $20 entry fee per team, and teams can have up to 5 people on them. SPECTATORS WELCOME! See you there!!
Please join us for the Annual Parish Meeting
The Episcopal Church considers all of its members to be equal partners in making decisions in our parishes. One of the primary venues for discussion and planning is The Annual Parish Meeting. We will hold our annual meeting on January 27, 2019, following the 10 a.m. service. 
 
At the gathering we will set our annual budget and elect three (3) new members to the Vestry.  Vestry members serve for three (3) year terms. We will also elect three (3) D eanery/Diocesan Convention representatives, and one (1) alternate, who attend quarterly meetings of our regional church council. To be eligible to serve on vestry you must be a baptized, pledging member of the parish. Any pledging member of the parish age 16 or over is allowed to vote
The candidates for Vestry are Betty Case, Jim Maniatis, Jane Ramsey, Christina Reich, and Stephanie Zichichi.
Betty Case

I was born in New York, November 1937. My family moved to Pennsylvania, where I grew up and attended school. Graduated at top of my class. Got married, had 2 children and moved to California. My former spouse deceased when my children were ages 3 and 6 and I raised them as a single parent. I continued my education while they were growing up and earned a BS degree in business and real estate.
 
I have been a Rossmoor Real Estate Specialist since 1983 where I hold a broker's license, am a top producer, earned several real estate designations and certifications and have been selected by Diablo Magazine as a Five Star Agent based on outstanding client service.
 
In my previous career I was a Computer Programmer Analyst. My main interests are my husband and family, ballroom dancing, physical fitness, nutrition, interior decorating & music.
 
Jack Case and I were married in 2004 by former priest, Rev. Jill Honodel at Grace church. We have been regular attendees at the 8:00 a.m. service. Along with Jack, I have been performing as Lector in recent years.
 
I would like to be considered to serve on the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church in order to be involved in discussing the church's future direction, to offer suggestions and to take part in the required team work. I am concerned about the recent outgrowth of secularism in our community and our nation and would like to help restore spiritual growth. I would like to assist in bringing about future harmonious decisions in matters of the church regarding the budget, building maintenance and landscaping.
 
I would like to continue as part of the 8 a.m. service representation on the Vestry. I believe my past career endeavors have developed my organizational and team work abilities.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Betty Case
Jim Maniatis

Jim ("Jimmy the Greek") Maniatis, and his wife Dena, have been members of Grace since 1985. Jim served on the Vestry eight years ago, and was appointed as Junior Warden during that time. An electrician by trade, Jim retired from IBEW, Local 302, Martinez, 8 years ago. Since then he has held a state general contractor's license. Jim has been serving on the Altar Guild for several years, is on the Buildings and Grounds Committee, served as apprentice cook with Dick Evans and Stan Applegate at all the major fundraisers, cook-outs and BBQs at Grace, and has continuously been involved with maintenance, renovation and newly built projects on the church campus throughout his time at Grace.
Jane Ramsey

I am honored to be considered to serve on the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church.
 
As an Episcopalian since my childhood, I have seen a lot of change, both in liturgy and doctrine, since my confirmation in 1963. Since the Church is a living organism, I believe change is something that should be expected and helps the Church and its people evolve with continuing relevance, with respect rendered toward long traditions of faith and practice. I have been working with Reverend Deb for the last few months on the articles about Grace Episcopal Church for the Martinez Gazette.
 
My daughter and my grandchildren are truly the lights of my life. Being a part of their busy lives gives me the opportunity to see the world in refreshingly new ways and keep my finger on the pulse of the future.
My work as a registered nurse in Labor and Delivery requires me to work with many different people of widely divergent backgrounds in what are often stressful situations. In such work, communication skills are of key importance for patients and the staff who care for them.
 
I thank the people of Grace for considering me.
Christina Reich

I am a cradle Episcopalian and was an acolyte at St. James in Oakland. Prior to coming to Grace a year ago, I was a member at Christ the Lord Episcopal Church in Pinole for 28 years and a member of the Bishop's Committee (several times). I came to Grace after much discernment and to better serve my community of Martinez through Christ. I had read about Rev. Deb and made an appointment to meet her and then made my move. It was a great move and I'm delighted to be among you. I am a social worker turned county Administrator and am currently a Division Manager for Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department Community Services Bureau. I would be delighted to offer the voice of a new member to the Vestry.
Stephanie Zichichi

I am a long time member of Grace Church, Martinez. My husband and I were married at this church in 1980. Our children were raised and supported by this church family --- all were married here and all 10 grandkids baptized at Grace.
 
I am an active participant in the St. Christopher's group and believe that I could be of further assistance to the church if elected to the vestry. Thank you.
The nominees for Deanery/Diocesan Convention Representative are Barbara Brooks, Mary Canale, Pat Hambly, and Jennifer Sabroe (Alternate)
Barbara Brooks

Barbara is running for a third term as one of Grace's Deanery and Diocesan Convention delegates. She has been a member of several parishes since toddlerhood, finally landing gratefully at Grace about 19 years ago. The majority of Barbara's time has been spent with the children at Grace in Godly Play and now in nursery care, but has had stints on Vestry, choir and Altar Guild. She and husband Paul have two children and a cat, all of whom served as inspiration for Barbara's book, published, "War and Peace, or The Cat Should Sleep Where She Wants." When not traveling, hiking, reading, watching movies, or swimming, Barbara is working on what she calls "The Novel That Would Not Die." She has volunteered as a delegate because she feels it is important to have both representation in the larger church and to participate in the dialogue and democracy that is a hallmark of the Episcopal Church.
Mary Canale

I was baptized and confirmed at Holy Trinity in Richmond CA  where I sang in the choir and served as a Junior Altar Guild member. In 1961, at the death of my father, I decided to embrace the Catholic faith. For the next 25 years I raised my 2 children, Lisa and Tom, in the Catholic church.
 
Christmas Eve 1986, at the 5:00 children's service, I was sitting in a pew at Grace Church.  I found Grace and Grace's clergy and membership found and embraced me. During the first year I would alternate between the 8:00 and 10:00 services so I could get to know everyone, now I mostly go to the 8:00 service. 
 
Since my arrival at Grace I have served on the Altar Guild, been a member of St.Christopher's, served as Vestry Clerk many years for Fr. George Ross, served on the Vestry, been Junior Warden, helped, with others, to develop the Outreach Committee, worked in the garden, helped with People Feeding People, Loaves and Fishes, the annual school backpacks project, Christmas gift giving projects for different local service agencies in our area, and Shelter Inc. cooking dinner assignments.
 
I have been an alternate Deanery representative for the past 2-3 years. Last year I was asked to fill in as a permanent representative. It is that position that I will be running for at the Annual Meeting.
Pat Hambly

Pat Hambly is a member of the Vestry and has been a Deanery and Diocesan Convention Representative for approximately eight years. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister. Pat was born in South Haven, Michigan, and is a "cradle" Episcopalian. She has two sons and six grandchildren who live in Chico and Marin County.
Many of us have met Pat's grandchildren, especially Haley, who is a junior at Tulane University. Pat became a member of Grace in the early 80's. Pam and Claude Nave brought her to Grace when she was looking for a church home. Pat immediately felt comfortable at Grace, because it followed the liturgical tradition she was used to, had activities for her children, and was accepting and welcoming. Pat has enjoyed being a Deanery and Diocesan Convention delegate because it provides an additional perspective on the workings of the church beyond
Sunday worship. She says "Grace is a very welcoming and open Christian
community" and she is proud to represent the parish to the greater church.
Jennifer Sabroe (alternate)

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been a member of Grace since 2007. A "cradle Episcopalian," my family attended St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley, until my teen years. My husband, Ron, and I have been married 45 years, and are retired from the Lafayette School District. I have served on the Vestry, sing in the choir, participate in the Book Group and Wednesday Bible Study, but my primary ministry is as part-time Volunteer Parish Administrator. The work allows me to keep my administrative and clerical skills honed in a way that puts them to good use. I am excited about the opportunity to be involved with the wider church community of our deanery and diocese, as a representative of our vibrant community here at Grace.
Youth Group
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!  
Volunteer opportunity - Homeless Point-in-Time Count
Every January, Contra Costa County performs a Point-in-Time Count in order to understand the homeless situation in our county. They are
still recruiting for volunteers for the Homeless Point in Time count later this month.  
If you are interested, you need to submit the volunteer form by 
Friday, January 18th, 2019. 
 Below is an excerpt from the volunteer form that gives more detail. 
 
Excerpt from CCC PIT volunteer form ...
 
Your time and energy are greatly appreciated in our efforts to ensure that all homeless persons in Contra Costa County are counted.

We are seeking volunteers to be trained to administer a short survey with people about their housing status. Volunteers will be stationed at specific community sites with other volunteers to conduct the surveys at the site with people who are passing by. This survey provides valuable information on the scope of homelessness, particularly around the number of unsheltered people on the streets and helps determine funding for homeless services at the federal, state and local level.

We will need volunteers to help conduct surveys between Tuesday January 29th and Saturday, February 2nd. Times and locations for survey sites are still being confirmed so the time ranges given in the availability questions below are somewhat vague. You will be contacted closer to the actual count with specific time information for potential shifts.
 
Volunteers who want to participate will need to attend a training before being able to administer the survey, even if they've volunteered with the Point In Time count before.
 
Unfortunately we cannot accept minors (under age 18) as volunteers for the Point In Time count.
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.  
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.  
 
We have been able to provide casseroles to many grateful people. At this time, our stock is in need of constant replenishment, so we ask those who are able to continue to help keep our freezer full.
 
Casseroles should be frozen, or freezable, and preferably the size of 4-6 servings. When labeling the casserole, please be sure to include the date the casserole was made/frozen (if homemade). If you can contribute, please email Connie Towey or leave a note in her box by the church office.  Many thanks!   

We have a glass casserole dish, now empty, wanting to go to home to its owner. Please call/email/or see Connie Towey after church (925) 957-6096.  

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.   
Amen!
Set aside time to head downtown to visit the Martinez Museum at Escobar and Court Streets. The Martinez Historical Society's exhibit "Amen!"  focuses on the history of churches in Martinez - and, of course, Grace is one of them! There are displays of photos and artifacts, with accompanying historical information. The exhibit runs until March, 2019.
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.
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.  
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.) 
  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.
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!
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 meet on the third Wednesday of the month. We'd love to see you! 
Our next get-together is February 20, at 6:30 p.m., location TBD, when we will discuss Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny.
 
For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386 or send an email.  
Flower Chart for 2019
The flower chart for 2019, is posted in the Narthex by the stairwell. When signing up for a date on the chart, please be sure to also write your name in the flower dedication notebook, on the corresponding date. The notebook is on the little table below the flower chart. Include your dedication message in the notebook (for example, in loving memory of ...; in celebration of ...; in thanksgiving for...). Suggested donation $35. There is also a sign-up notebook for candle dedications in the Narthex on the table under the bulletin board. Suggested donation $5. 
Help us solve 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, most of the pieces lovingly tucked in protective plastic sleeves appeared about a year ago, with no note attached. 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!  

 


Grace Episcopal Church Martinez is 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!

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! 

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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.
 
 
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