January 31, 2019
News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
Scripture of the Week
Jesus said to them, 'Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.' And he said, 'Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. ''"
Luke 4:23-24

 "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 in Godly Play
Last week the children heard a parable to answer the question “who is your neighbor"? The question this week is “What is the Kingdom of Heaven like"? The children hear that it is like a sower who scatters seed along the path. They hear the oft- told story of the fate of the various seeds. Some are eaten by birds. Others wither. Some are choked among the thorns. But some seeds push their little roots into the good earth and thrive. The children are asked to wonder if the sower has a name. And if the sower was happy when the birds came and ate the seeds. And if the birds have names. There are so many things to consider as we try to understand parables.
Results of the Annual Meeting
Last Sunday Grace Church's Annual Meeting was held following the 10 a.m. service. Among the items of business completed were a review of health of the parish, a preview of the 2019 budget, the election of Vestry members and Deanery/Diocesan Convention delegates, and commendations for Stan Applegate and Les Marks for their years of distinguished service to Grace. Below are photos of the members of the 2019-2020 Vestry, Deanery Representatives/ Diocesan Convention delegates and our Annual Meeting honorees.
Senior Warden Lynda Dyer
Junior Warden Jim Maniatis
Pat Hambly
Ron Luttringer
7-11-17
Paula Menconi
Christina Reich
Josh Senn
Connie Towey
Stephanie Zichichi
Deanery Rep. Barbara Brooks
Deanery Rep. Mary Canale
Deanery Rep. Pat Hambly
Deanery Rep. (alternate) Jennifer Sabroe
Honoree Stan Applegate
Honoree Les Marks
Frederick Brooks Memorial
There will be a memorial service for Frederick Campbell Brooks, son of Nathan and Amelia and brother of Sondre, THIS 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, coordinated by Marj Leeds, will follow the service in the Parish Hall. Donations of finger food for the reception gladly and gratefully accepted. Email Marj or call the Parish Office (925) 228-6574, if you can help.
A message from Contra Costa Interfaith Housing
A Volunteer Opportunity
Hello, I am Gloria Bertolozzi, the volunteer and outreach manager for Contra Costa Interfaith Housing ( www.ccinterfaithhousing.org ). We run an after-school Homework Club at Los Medanos Village Apartments on Crestview Drive in Pittsburg on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 2:45-5:30 (1 hour earlier on W) during the school year. We are always looking for volunteers to work side by side with the children we serve. We have great outcomes at this site and I hope to share more information with you. Please contact me via email at  Gloria@ccinterfaithhousing.org  to learn more about this opportunity to work with youth from poverty impacted homes in Pittsburg.
Do not be fooled by fake emails from Rev. Deb
Recently, Rev. Deb's email was "spoofed." This means someone created an email that seemed to be from her using an email address similar to hers. In it, "Rev. Deb" asked recipients to buy gift cards for a "worthy cause." THIS WAS NOT FROM REV. DEB. According to the Diocese of California, there has been a recent spate of fake emails supposedly from clergypersons. Do not be fooled! Click on the flyer to the right of this article to learn how to protect yourself from scammers.
Sharing our "Green Spirit" on John Muir / Earth Day
On Saturday, April 20th "Green Spirit" will make its second appearance at the John Muir/Earth Day Celebration at the John Muir Historic Site here in Martinez. Last year's event was a lot of fun -- folks loved hanging out with "Green Christians." This event is visited by a couple thousand neighbors -- a wonderful way to spread the message about inclusive faith and commitment to the natural world. 

Stay tuned for upcoming information on our involvement this year in coordination with other local churches.

Bible Study for Everyone
For Epiphany we have joined partners from across the Episcopal Church to participate in the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative. The Good Book Club is focusing on Paul's Letter to the Romans, with participants reading a section of scripture each day during the Season after Epiphany. We are currently looking at the 9th-11th chapters.
    
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.
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!  
Introducing the Deacon's Pantry
We are fortunate to have both a Rector and Deacon at Grace Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Church a deacon exercises "a special ministry of servanthood" directly under the deacon's bishop, serving all people and especially those in need (BCP, p. 543). For this reason, Rev. Walter has requested our support for the stocking of a "Deacon's Pantry." This kitchen space will be set aside for donations of food and other items for individuals in need. Rev. Walter will also be establishing a "Deacon's Discretionary Fund," similar to Rev. Deb's "Rector's Discretionary Fund," which provides financial relief to parishioners and friends of the parish. If you would like to contribute, please let Rev. Walter know.
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 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
Amen! Exhibit at Martinez Museum

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.
Faithful Forums
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.
On February 17, 2019, 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.
On Sunday, March 17 , representatives from Republic Services will be the presenters at our forum on "Stewardship of Creation."
Reminders
Outreach Committee
meeting this Sunday at 9 a.m.
St. Christopher's Guild
meeting this Sunday at 9 a.m.
Yoga at Grace
Every Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. we welcome certified Yoga Instructor Noah Yuzna 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
The Coffee Hour Host schedule is posted in the Parish Hall. This is a vital activity in the life of our parish, and we thank all the volunteers who have signed up. There is always room for more help, and a great way to get to know one another. If you have questions or would like to join a team or start a team, contact Coffee Hour Coordinator Christina (Tina) Reich .
Flower and Candle Sign-ups
The flower chart and candle dedication notebooks are located in the lobby (narthex) of the church. Suggested donation for flowers is $35; for candle $5.
Choir rehearsal
Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. You don't need experience or event the ability to read music. Please join this amazing ministry!
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, etc. - please email the text of your announcement to the Parish Office by end of day on Tuesday. Thank you!
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