News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
July 5, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"To keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong . "
2 Corinthians 12: 7b-10
"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: Godly Play is out for the summer but young people are always welcome to join us in the sanctuary for worship. 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.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Many, many thanks to everyone who made Bishop Marc's visit this past Sunday such a joyful occasion. Everything from the bulletins, music, and reception to the blessed sounds of our children were noted and appreciated by our bishop. A special thanks to Fran Trant and the St. Christopher's Guild, Elaine Quigley and the Altar Guild, Jack Case and his trusty mower, Ferris Gluck and the enhanced Grace Choir, the vestry, and Jennifer Sabroe and the brave and flexible office staff for their tremendous work in welcoming Bishop Marc and Dr. Sheila to our home!

As Reverend Deb reminded us in a recent sermon, God gave rules and laws to human beings to help us to get closer to God and live together in harmony. Jesus taught that we should always be examining our laws and considering how they fit in with his two primary commandments: to love God and one another. Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry often says, "If it isn't about love, it isn't about God." Grace is an example of a parish that has long practiced our Mission Statement: "To welcome, support and serve all God's people," but, because we are human beings, it is good to have concrete reminders of the best practices for living together in love.  To that end, the Vestry has agreed on these three simple rules, which will  remind us of how to live in harmony as a Christian Community. Please follow them at all meetings, activities and interactions!
  1. Follow the words of Jesus: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
  2. Show RESPECT for all people; i.e., - follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done to you.
  3. Do not gossip.  If something is confidential, keep it to yourself; if something is bothering you, talk to the person/people involved.
Thank you!
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." On Wednesday we will  begin looking at Galatians 2:11-14, which introduces the topics of Christian identity and hypocrisy in the church. Please join us.
Prayers of the People by the people
The Prayers of the People are a regular part of our worship.  At Grace, these prayers have long been offered by one of our Eucharistic Ministers on behalf of the entire congregation. Recently, however, the Worship and Liturgy Committee has been in discussion about the beauty and grace of hearing prayers offered in many voices, so we are looking for volunteers to read the Prayers of the People on Sundays.  This an extension of the job of Lectors, who read the lessons. You will receive a brief training in how to hold a microphone and where to go for help with pronunciations, but no other experience is necessary.  This opportunity is open to anyone who feels moved to offer prayer on behalf of the people of Grace.  If you are interested, please let John Lee know.
Batter Up!
The Men's Group invites everyone to an outing to a Martinez Clippers baseball game on  Sunday, July 15. Gates open at 12 noon; Game starts at 1 pm
at Joe DiMaggio Fields, at Waterfront Park Martinez
Ticket Prices
Adult (13 and up) $12; Child (3-12) $5; Senior and Veteran (65 and up) $10; Infants (0-2) Free; Group Rate (10 or more) $8.  
Get tickets through the website or at the gate. All tickets are General Admission. There is free parking. (Click here for a guide to parking.) It would be nice to get a rough count on how many people will be attending, so if you plan on going, please contact Don Dyer in person, by phone (925) 957-9059 or email 
The Martinez Clippers is a new expansion team in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, and they play at the newly rebuilt Joe DiMaggio Field at Waterfront Park in Martinez.

Amazon Prime Day is on July 17th!


Grace Episcopal Church Martinez is on Amazon Smile and Amazon Prime Day is an excellent opportunity to increase your giving to Grace. 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!

Grace 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!
3rd Wednesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Smooth Season restaurant at Muir Station Shopping Center.
Our next get-together is July 18, when we will discuss Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance. For more information and to RSVP that you're coming, please email the church office. Happy reading! 
Faithful FILM Forum!
St. Paul seems to be undergoing a period of popularity right now, including being the topic of our Wednesday Bible Study at Grace. We are finding him so fascinating that we have decided to screen the recent film "Paul: Apostle of Christ" at Grace on Sunday, July 22, following the 10 a.m. service.  Everyone is welcome to come and watch the film, which is approximately two hours long.  Rev. Deb will be there to answer any questions that may come up. Please be advised that the film is unrated, but has some violent and upsetting content (much like the Bible). 
Save the date for LUAU!
Saturday, August 18
Share Aloha with this FUNdraiser dinner event, including Hawaiian music and dancers, hosted by Saint Christopher's Guild.  
Tickets go on sale July 8
$25 (General); $10 (age 6-12); Free age 5 and under)
 Tell your family and friends! 
Youth Representatives sought

Each year the Diocese of California holds its Annual Convention to address the business of the church, including election of lay and clergy officials, consideration of resolutions, and approval of the diocesan budget.  In September, the Contra Costa Deanery, of which Grace is a member, will select two youth appointees to the Convention. These individuals will be able to observe and offer feedback on the work of the Convention. We would be delighted if one of this year's CCD youth delegates came from Grace, Martinez.  If you are interested or would like to nominate one of our youth members for this role, please let  Rev. Deb know.
School Backpacks/Supplies Drive 
Ready, Set, Go! Grace's Annual School Backpack/Supplies Drive is underway! The backpacks have been ordered (60), so let the shopping begin! Click here to download a pdf of the Suggested School Supplies List (by grade level) from Martinez Junior High. Hard copies will be available in the Narthex and Parish Hall. Please leave your donations in the labeled box in the Narthex.  
Nominees for Diocesan positions sought

The Diocesan Committee on Nominations is seeking individuals interested in running for diocesan offices. There are open positions on the Standing Committee, which serves as the Bishop's Council of Advice and has broad responsibilities for oversight of diocesan affairs, and the Executive Council, which is the vestry of the diocese. Elections are held at the Annual Diocesan Convention in the fall. More information can be found at  the Diocesan website. If you are interested in seeking election, contact  Rev. Deb. 
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 or Altar Guild Director Elaine Quigley.

Interfaith Disaster Preparedness Effort looking for volunteers
The Contra Costa Interfaith Emergency Preparedness Group Meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 2, from  11:30am to 1pm  at Walnut Creek United Methodist Church. They are  aiming to have representatives from all area churches, including Grace. If you'd like to know more, please contact The Rev. Will McGarvey

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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.