News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
May 24, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh- for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God . "
Romans 8:12-14
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. 
 
On the 3rd Sunday of the month we have Family Sunday and the children participate in the entire 10 a.m. service.   
Godly Play Sunday School   
 
 
This Sunday: The Parable of the Deep Well
For our final story of the Godly Play year, we hear a parable that is NOT told by Jesus. Instead, it is a story that Jesus himself might have heard from his own religious teachers. It centers around a deep well in the center of the desert that is so deep that the people can no longer reach the water to drink. A person comes across the well and ties short ropes together to make it possible to lower a bucket into the cooling water. He then leaves the rope for others to use. The children are invited to wonder where that desert might be and what the water really is.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry introduces the world to The Episcopal Church 
"We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way." So said The Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, in his sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle, now Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Bishop Curry's wedding sermon was hailed by many as "radical," but Episcopalians who are familiar with his preaching style found it completely consistent with the message Bishop Curry promotes in every venue he visits.  Love, inclusion and the need to follow Jesus's commands to love your neighbor not just in theory but also in practice are typical themes for the bishop and for the church. Curry's enthusiasm and abiding faith that the world can be renewed when all people learn to love one another as much as themselves can be found here at Grace in our Mission Statement, "Working together to welcome, support, and serve all God's people." Tell your friends!  
"Baby Shower" on June 2!
Save the date and help spread the word for St. Christopher's Guild's Baby Shower-themed Spring Luncheon on Saturday, June 2! Proceeds will benefit the babies born at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. Guests are asked to bring something new for Mothers to take home with them from the hospital (e.g. onesies, sleepers, outfits, etc.) Rhonda Smith, Director of Volunteers for the hospital's Layette Program, will give a short presentation.  Click here to download the flyer.
Funeral for Bill Wainwright 
Bill Wainwright, who was raised at Grace, passed away on May 19. There will be a Burial Service for Bill on Saturday, June 2, at 3 p.m. in the church.
Bible Study for Everyone!
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." Wright's work is accessible, interesting and thought-provoking. For this week's lesson, please read Galatians 1:10-17 and think about the following questions: How do you know if you are answering the call of God? If you believe God is calling you to do something, how do you convince others? What do you do if you can't? Please join us!
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 .
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.
Pride Day is coming
Grace has been invited by the Contra Costa Interfaith Coalition to share a booth at Concord Pride Day 2018 on June 2, from 3 to 9 pm at Todos Santos Plaza. The event is sponsored by the Rainbow Community Center, which since 1996 has been helping Contra Costa County and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) community come together and thrive. Their programs serve LGBTQ youth and their families; work to prevent bullying in schools; provide visiting and food services for people living with HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ seniors; deliver low cost mental health services; and operate two mental health training programs. If you would like to help organize Grace's participation, please let  Deacon Walter know.
Confirmation at Grace - Classes are underway!
Confirmation is the sacramental rite in which individuals "express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop" (BCP, p. 860). Bishop Marc will be visiting and performing confirmations at Grace in July.

We are preparing individuals for Confirmation using the Discovery Series: A Christian Journey, which is a nine-week educational program for confirmation preparation. If you would like to follow along with the confirmation group, you can access the materials on-line. If you are interested, please give  Rev. Deb your email address and she will invite you to join the on-line classroom.
Annual All-Parish Picnic!    
Parish BBQ and Bocce Tournament  
Sunday, June 10  
12noon-4pm
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.
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. 
Music Director update
The Music Director Search continues. In the interim, we are happy to welcome Kathleen Flemming back as our substitute organist this week.
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 revdeb@gracechurchmtz.org or Altar Guild Director Elaine Quigley.

Developing Kindness Kits for our homeless neighbors
 
We will be putting together Kindness Kits for our brethren who suffer from homelessness. Recently Rev. Walter led a planning meeting with 11 in attendance, to share input on how best to stock and distribute the kits. There are still a few more steps to take and questions to answer before the project is launched. If you would like to be part of this project, the door is always open; please email Nate Brooks to get on the email list so you can stay informed. We value your input!  
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.
Another way to help Loaves and Fishes: Attend their Annual Fundraiser!
$150 per person
Table for 10-$1,500
Attire: Country Club Casual
  
Event Info and to Purchase Tickets:
(925) 293-4792
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 gloria@ccinterfaithhousing.org for more information. Ages: 13+. Use this link to sign up to help: http://tinyurl.com/y8cdcj2l 
 
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 gloria@ccinterfaithhousing.org 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:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094dafaa2da5f94-ccih2
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.
 
 
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