News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California
April 12, 2018 
Scripture of the Week

"Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me. Tremble, then, and do not sin; speak to your heart in silence upon your bed. Offer the appointed sacrifices 
and put your trust in the  Lord.
Many are saying, 'Oh, that we might see better times!' Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O  LordYou have put gladness in my heart, more than when grain and wine and oil increase.  I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; for only you,  Lord , make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:3-8
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.

This Sunday is a Family Sunday! 
Godly Play Sunday School   
This Sunday:

Family Service at 10 a.m. All children are invited to join their families for a Children's Homily and to help Rev. Deb bless the bread and wine!
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.
 
Dr. Donn Morgan will be here THIS Sunday, April 15, to discuss his book, Fighting with the Bible: why scripture divides us and how it can bring us together.
Donn Morgan is Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Always a student and teacher of the Bible, he also held administrative positions at CDSP (academic dean, president). He has been deeply involved in theological education in The Episcopal Church and the Graduate Theological Union, as well as teaching in Asia and England. We are lucky to host him!
Earth Day Volunteer Opportunity

Attention all "green" parishioners. Grace Episcopal Church has been invited to participate in an  Interfaith booth at the John Muir Birthday/Earth Day Celebration here in Martinez on  April 21, 10am to 4pm. The theme is "Green Spirit Contra Costa." If you have ideas about how Grace can contribute and/or if you would like to attend, please let  Deacon Walter know!

Music Director update
 
We are looking for the right person to serve as Grace's Music Director. We have had a good response to our advertising and the Music Director Search Committee, consisting of Barbara Brooks, Bob Burman, and Marj Leeds, currently interviewing candidates. We are fortunate to have several candidates playing during the search.  This Sunday, please welcome 
Ferris Gluck to the organ console!
D uring Lent, a s part of  The Good Book Club,   o ur Wednesday Bible study, along with Episcopalians around the world, have been dedicated to delving deeply into Luke's Gospel.  This Wednesday we will be introduced to the apostle Paul, who is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity as the star of several new books and a movie! The text is Acts 9:1-22. Come get to know this fascinating man!
Confirmation at Grace - Classes begin April 22
 
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). Through Confirmation, those who were baptized at an early age are invited to make a mature public affirmation of their faith, recommit themselves to the responsibilities of their baptism, and receive laying on of hands by a bishop (BCP, p. 412). Individuals who were baptized into other denominations and wish to affirm their commitment to the Episcopal Church may be received by a bishop. Bishop Marc will be visiting and performing confirmations at Grace in July.

We will  be preparing individuals for Confirmation using the Discovery Series: A Christian Journey, which is a ten-week educational program for confirmation preparation. Those classes will begin a week from Sunday on April 22. If you are interested in being confirmed, please email  Rev. Deb to reserve your spot!
Developing Kindness Kits for our homeless neighbors
 
We will be putting together Kindness Kits for our brethren who suffer from homelessness. We are currently deciding what should go in them, when we can put them together, and how to distribute them.  If you would like to be part of this project, please come to a planning meeting on Sunday, April 22, at 9 a.m. (between services) in the Education Building. We value your input!
Loaves and Fishes
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! (And, there are a couple of jobs that can be done sitting down.) The time commitment is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please talk to Beth if you're interested or would like more information. Email Beth or call her at (925) 370-8142.
End of Life Planning Packets available  
The Grace Worship and Liturgy Committee would like to encourage all of Grace's parishioners to complete their advanced healthcare directive, will or trust, financial planning, funeral arrangements, final instructions and memorial gift planning. Death and dying can be difficult issues to discuss, but it is a great blessing to our loved ones when we plan ahead for our own eventual death. This is especially true for families whose members are of different faiths (or no faith). To that end, we have developed resources about funerals in the Episcopal Church, advance directives, and memorial gifts to the church. These packets are available on our website. It is our hope that each parishioner will complete a planning packet and provide a copy of it to the church office. 
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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