News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California 
January 23, 2020
Scripture of the Week

" As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea - for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him ."   
Matthew 4:18-22
"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. During the summer we continue to offer Nursery Care. School age children are invited to join their families in the Sanctuary. We provide coloring and drawing materials, books, and soft toys, as well as a children's area for children who prefer not to sit in the pews with their families.
This week in Godly Play: The Parable of the Great Pearl
This week the children hear the parable of the great pearl.  They are told that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the merchant who goes to search for the great pearl.  They watch as he collects all of his belongings - his chair, the vase, the candle - and trades them for the great pearl.  The children are invited to wonder if the person was happy with the great pearl, what the merchant is going to do now, and what the great pearl could really be.
Annual Parish Meeting

We will hold our annual meeting THIS SUNDAY January 26, 2020, 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. 

You can find the presentation packet here , or on our website (, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.

The candidates for Vestry are  
Amelia Brooks, Betty Case, Jane Ramsey.
Amelia Brooks

Hello Grace Family. My name is Amelia Brooks and I have been a member of Grace for almost two years. For those who do not know me, I attend the 10 o'clock service with my family, my husband Nate and our son Sondre. I love Grace Church, it has been such a welcoming and supportive parish. At our previous church in Portland, All Saints,  I served as a vestry member. I would be honored to serve as a vestry member for Grace.
Betty Case

My husband Jack and I were married at Grace Church in 2004 where he has been an active member for approximately 40 years.  Shortly thereafter as a new member. I began serving as a lector/reader at the 8:00 a.m. Mass and have continued in this capacity ever since.

In my personal life I am a career realtor and have been employed by the same company since 1983 serving the Rossmoor community almost exclusively.  With regard to my career experience I feel qualified in assuming a position on the Vestry.  

Presently, I am completing a term for a Vestry member who recently resigned and look forward to remain as a Vestry Member for the next 3 years.  Being part of this highly dedicated staff is a great honor.  It is exciting to see and be part of our church growth as it occurs.
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.
In 2018 and 2019, I worked with Reverend Deb to write some of 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 Women's Health requires me to work with many different people of all ages and widely divergent backgrounds to help them achieve their healthy best. 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.
Appointees to the Vestry are  
Sally Hanson and David Kennedy.  
The Rector appointments fill vacancies of unexpired terms.
Sally Hanson

Sally is a longtime Grace parishioner, attending the 8 o'clock service. Some of her ministries at Grace have been youth leader, search committee, Vestry member 2016-2018, Worship and Liturgy Committee, and co-librarian of our theology library in the Education Building. Sally is excited about the opportunity to work on the Vestry again, and feels it is important to have representation from both services. 
David Kennedy

David Kennedy is a lifelong Bay Area resident and lives here in Martinez, with his wife, Melissa. When he's not crunching numbers at work, he can often be found trying to keep ahead of one or both of his kids, Aisling and Liam.

In his professional life, David's role includes elements of information management,
analysis of competing priorities, and working with leaders across the organization tobuild consensus and drive key objectives. Given the opportunity, David would like to use these skills to further the mission of Grace Church.

As time permits, David enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and learning about new and interesting things. This includes being a fan of open-source software.
The nominees for Deanery Representative/Diocesan Convention Delegate are Barbara Brooks, Mary Canale, Pat Hambly, and Jennifer Sabroe (Alternate)
Barbara Brooks

Barbara is running for a fourth term as one of Grace's Deanery and Diocesan Convention delegates.  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. 
A member of several parishes since toddlerhood, she landed gratefully at Grace about 20 years ago. She has served as a Godly Play storyteller and on Vestry, sings in the choir, is a member of the 150th anniversary committee, treasurer of the Contra Costa Deanery, and the director of the Altar Guild. She and husband Paul have two children and a cat, all of whom served as inspiration for Barbara's book, "War and Peace, or The Cat Should Sleep Where She Wants,"  plus another cat getting in the way at this very moment.
 Besides traveling, hiking, reading, watching movies, and swimming, Barbara has finally finished the first complete draft of what she calls "The Novel That Would Not Die" and hopes to publish a book of short stories in the next year or two.
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.
Prior to being elected a regular Deanery representative last year, I served as an alternate for 3 years.
Pat Hambly

Pat Hambly has served on the Vestry and has been a Deanery and Diocesan Convention Representative for approximately nine years. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister. Pat was born in South Haven, Michigan, and is a "cradle" Episcopalian.  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

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 (soon to be retired!) The work has allowed me to keep my administrative and clerical skills honed in a way that puts them to good use. I was appointed as an alternate Deanery/Diocesan delegate last year and have enjoyed the learning experience and the opportunity to be involved with the wider church community, as a representative of our vibrant community here at Grace.
A message from our Treasurer

Offering Envelopes - The offering envelopes are available in the Narthex of the Church. They are slightly different this year as they do not have dates or pledger numbers. This is because we made an executive decision not to pay $250 for 50 sets of envelopes. Hopefully this decision will not backfire. Because of this change, it is important that you put your name on the envelope if you are giving cash to the church. If you are writing a check, you do not need to fill out any information on the envelope.
End of the Year Statements - We are in the process of putting together letters for each pledging unit (parishioner/family) reflecting their giving in 2019. Please review the statements carefully and contact me at if you have any issues. (The information is input to an Excel spreadsheet manually, so it is vulnerable to human error.)
Calling Pledger #19 - I have not been able to find the list of pledger numbers that correspond to giver names. This results in an inability to provide a statement of giving to the mysterious Pledger #19. If that is your number, please let me know.   
Thank you! Marj Leeds.   
St. Patrick's Dinner?

The St. Patrick's Dinner has been a popular, annual fundraising event at Grace for many years. In order to make it work this year, however, we need a chairperson as soon as possible. If anyone is interested in taking the lead, please let Rev. Deb know.
Thank you!

This past week we received lovely thank you cards from the recipients of the Christmas Spirit of Giving Drive. Check them out on the Outreach bulletin board in the Parish Hall!
Faithful Forums 2020
Grace offers monthly educational forums on broad-ranging topics like The Dead Sea Scrolls, Episcopal Polity, Recycling, and Emergency Preparedness for congregations. These take place in the Parish Hall following our 10 a.m. service (approximately 11:30 a.m.) 

Future dates and topics include:

February 16: The Reverend Susan Reeve will discuss Kairos Prison Ministry.
March 15: The Very Rev. Donald Brown will present on the theories and meaning of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
April 19: The Rev. Will McGarvey will introduce the work of The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County.
May 17:  John Cumming, President of the Board of the San Francisco Night Ministry will talk about this important ministry to people who live on the streets in San Francisco. 
Get ready to party like it's 1870!

Did you know that our church is the second oldest in the county, and that it turns 150 years old this July?  To celebrate this momentous occasion our Planning Committee needs your suggestions. Please let us know your ideas via email at, or speak with co-chairs John Vander Kamp or Melissa Rodrigue-Kennedy.
 Epiphany Bible Study: The Gospel of John
On Wednesday mornings at Grace we have a 10 a.m. service of Holy Eucharist followed by Bible Study.

We are currently studying  The Gospel of John with the Good Book Club Each day through Shrove Tuesday, February 25, we'll read a passage from this compelling gospel, inspired by "the disciple whom Jesus loved."

We'll encounter the favorite verse of football fans and inspirational sign makers with John 3:16, and we'll also hear stories only heard in John: Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding of Cana, encounters the woman at the well, and raises Lazarus from the dead.

The spiritual Gospel of John uses beautiful poetry: Jesus as the bread of life and as the vine. And it's in John that we hear the great I AM statements.

The text for the course is  A Journey with John:  This book explores the Gospel of John with fifty days of scripture, meditations, and prayers written by dynamic spiritual leaders from across the United States and around the world. It is available as an e-book from most digital platforms.  For information, go to The Good Book Club webpage.
Grace Book Club 
Read any good books lately? Want to participate in a book discussion group? Come drop in on the Grace Book Club! We meet on the third Wednesday of the month. We'd love to see you!  
Our next get-together is February 19, at 6:30 p.m., at Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station shopping center, when we will discuss The Dragon of God, by Earl Thor.  
For more information call/text Jennifer Sabroe at (925) 383-8386
The Amazing Grace Youth Choir!
Young people ages 7-17 are invited to join in learning to read, appreciate and perform music in a low-stress environment.
Rehearsals are on Sundays at noon (following our 10 a.m. service and coffee hour). To enroll, contact Music Director Arthur Omura by calling the parish office (925) 228-6574, after the greeting, select Option 4.   
Make a joyful noise! 
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! 
For more information contact Music Director Arthur Omura by calling the parish office (925) 228-6574, after the greeting, select Option 4.   
Online Directory 
E arlier this year Grace moved to a new church recordkeeping solution called RealmĀ® Inform to  serve the administrative needs of our church. The online directory feature is 
an important part of the way we connect with each other.  We know that it is an adjustment to go from a paper to online directory, but it is now the primary way the church office can reach you, so please enter your information in it.  The information below will help you do that.  Remember, regardless of whether you opt-in to the directory, by keeping your information current, you are helping Rev. Deb and church staff.

Church members get a unique Profile that contains information that you want people in our church to know about you. When you're logged in to your Profile you can update your contact information, change family details, display your photo, and view the online directory. You can customize your privacy settings to select as much or as little contact information to display in the directory. 
If you are a church member and fit any of the scenarios below, please contact Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe,
-         You want access to the online directory (aka Realm) but haven't gotten around to creating a login,
-         You want your contact information available to fellow parishioners in the online directory (aka Realm) but don't want to do the login thing, or don't have a computer,
-         You don't want to be in the directory, but want to confirm or update your contact information for the church office.
  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 provides 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
  • Hygiene items including (but not limited to) soap, shampoo, oral care, shower wipes, shaving supplies, feminine hygiene items
  • Incontinence products (e.g. "Depend") (men's and women's) all sizes
  • 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
  • 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.
Flower and Candle Dedications
We are blessed by having fresh flowers on our altar each week. These are paid for by parishioners who wish to dedicate flowers (or candles) in thanksgiving or memory of loved ones. There are open dates available on the flower and candle dedication calendar, located in the Narthex. 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.
Yoga at Grace

Please join Certified Yoga Instructor Noah Yuzna on Tuesdays at 6:15 for a class which is suitable for all ages and ability levels. The class is free with all proceeds divided between Noah and the Church. 
Coffee Hour
The Coffee Hour schedule is posted in the Parish Hall. Thank you to all those who signed up to host and for your generosity in making coffee hour welcoming to newcomers and enjoyable for us all. If you are new to Grace and have questions about coffee hour, give Tina a call at 925-266-0567 or email her at
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.