News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

October 26, 2017

Scripture of the Week

"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'" 

Matthew 22:37-40

A joyous and spirit-filled Celebration of New Ministry was held at Grace on 

Saturday, October 21, 2017.


Thank you so much to all of the many people who worked so hard to make it so wonderful!


will be celebrated on  
Sunday, November 5  
If you would like to have someone remembered during the service, please fill out a memorial slip (found on the table in the narthex) this Sunday, and place it in the offering plate, or email the name(s) to Jennifer in the church office at
Music Director Gary Evans taking medical leave
We are saddened to announce that our Music Director, Gary Evans, is having health problems and will be taking medical leave for an indefinite period of time.  Please pray for his recovery.

We are looking for an Interim Organist/Choir Director to serve while he is on medical leave. This person must be able to play the organ, conduct the choir, and work with Rev. Deb to plan music for the weekly Sunday 10 a.m. service. This is a part-time, open-ended interim position (5-10 hours per week). Salary commensurate with experience. This position is available immediately. Please email Rev. Deb if you know of anyone who might be interested.

  Happy Halloween!

All children and the young at heart are invited to celebrate All Hallow's Eve at Grace's annual Halloween Party. Wear a costume and be prepared to play games, enjoy treats and have fun! 

THIS Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, 

2-4 p.m. 


In Memorium

Frank Williams, former member of Grace, passed away on Sunday, October 22.  A Burial Service will be held at Grace on Thursday, November 2 at 11 a.m.

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.
There is no Godly Play on Family Sundays
(Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 21)
Godly Play Sunday School            
We have moved into the foundational stories of the Hebrew Scriptures. These are known as the stories of the "People of God", which is a term we often use to refer to the Jews of the Hebrew Scriptures. We will tell the stories of Creation and the Great Flood. After that the stories will be set in a box of sand known as the desert box which signifies that the People of God are wandering, nomadic, and often in a foreign land. These stories are The Great Family (beginning with Abraham and Sarah), Exodus, the Ten Best Ways (Ten Commandments), The Ark and the Tent, and the Ark and the Temple. You might ask yourself what happened to the Garden of Eden, or Moses in a reed basket, or Jonah and the whale, or a dozen other stories. The reality is that there are more stories to be told than Sundays in which to tell them. But, there is always next year.
This Sunday: The Ten Best Ways  
"The Ten Best Ways" is Godly Play language for The Ten Commandments. This phrase is meant to be more approachable for the children, but both terms are used in our story.  In it, the People of God approach Mount Sinai and the story of Moses on the mountain unfolds. In Godly Play, the commandments are presented in a heart shaped box with three themes - "Love God," "Love People," and "God Loves You."  The commandments themselves are in presented to the children in clear, simple language.  For example, "Do not covet thy neighbor's donkey" is translated to "Don't even want what others have."  The children are invited to wonder which one of The Ten Best Ways is most important and which is the best.
Faith-full Forums     
We recently added a new adult education offering at Grace, monthly speaker forums. In June we welcomed the Rev. Sidnie White Crawford,
PhD, who spoke about "What the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about the Bible." July brought a visit from the chair of the Martinez Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). August included a fantastic presentation from Holocaust survivor and author Bernie Rosner. In September Rev. Deb presented "Episcopal Church 101" and last Sunday we heard an inspiring message from Diocesan Legacy Officer Amanda Martin.    
Upcoming Forums

We are very excited about the next forum scheduled for  November 19. We will present Screenagers, a film presentation that explores the impact of screen time on our children, followed by a discussion about the struggle to raise children in our social media-driven era. Share this with family, friends and neighbors. For more information, click here:  Screenagers at Grace 
Minute for Mission
A few weeks ago we started including a "Minute for Mission" during the announcement time at Grace at both our 8 and 10 a.m. services.

We are looking for parishioners willing to step up and talk about their membership in the community of Grace.  What groups/activities are you involved in? What drew you to Grace? What do you love about it?

Take a minute and tell your brothers and sisters what inspires you as a member of this community of Christ and why others might be fulfilled by it too. 

Please let Rev. Deb ( know what you'd like to share and we will schedule you for your 1 minute of fame!
St. Christopher's Guild Meeting This Sunday
St. Christopher's will meet at 9:00 a.m., this Sunday, October 29, in the Parish Hall. On the agenda - planning for the December 5th Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar.  All women of Grace are members of St. Christopher's Guild and are encouraged to attend the meeting. There are a variety of tasks and opportunities to help with this popular and fun event, such as, White Elephant table, Country Kitchen and Christmas Boutique, set-up, decorations, publicity, ticket sales.
Stay in touch!
We haven't gone anywhere but we have changed our address.  We are no longer receiving mail at our P.O. Box.  Please send all mail to:

Grace Episcopal Church
130 Muir Station Rd.
Martinez, CA 94553

Join us for the Episcopal Impact Fund Night of Light
Join Reverend Deb and family for this wonderful event supporting the Episcopal Impact Fund.  We would love to have Grace well-represented.  
For more information go to:  Night of Light information
Get the inside scoop!
Subscribe to the on-line diocesan newsletter, Diobytes. You will receive an email every Tuesday telling you what's going on in the Diocese of California (and sometimes Grace Church Martinez).  This is a great way to be in touch with the greater church.  To subscribe, go to Subscribe to diobytes here
Educate yourself!
We have started a Grace Church Theological Library.  It is located in the corner next to the conference table in the Sunday School wing and is a treasure trove of material for you to browse or check-out. There is room for more on the shelves, so if you have books you would like to donate to this collection, please feel free to drop them off (please attach a note with your name and phone number) or contact Les Marks at

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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.