News from Grace Episcopal Church ~ Martinez, California

May 25, 2017

#pledge to pray
The Episcopal Church is participating in Thy Kingdom Come, a campaign initiated by Archbishop of Canterbury which seeks to refocus Christians around the world on the early disciples' example of praying constantly for the Holy Spirit following Jesus's death. "Thy Kingdom Come" invites individuals, families and congregations to pray between Ascension Day (May 25) and Pentecost (June 4) that their friends, families and neighbors come to know Jesus Christ. The campaign suggests that participants keep five specific people in their prayers during the 11 days. Moreover, they are invited to make their prayers known by sharing a short prayer on each of the 11 days through social media. The motto is "Pray it - Picture it - Post it."  Each day's theme comes from the catechism in the Episcopal Church's version of the Book of Common Prayer.  Go to for details and to participate!
What do the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about the Bible?

The Rev. Sidnie White Crawford, Ph.D.
Sunday, June 11, 12:30 p.m.

Many people have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but few people know what they say or why they are important. This lecture will shed light on how the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has dramatically increased our knowledge of the history and text of the Hebrew Bible.

Sidnie White Crawford is the Willa Cather Professor of Classics & Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of Dead Sea Scrolls and Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, and is the author of several books on the Dead Sea Scrolls. She also happens to be Rev. Deb's sister.

Free and open to the public, this presentation will be held in the Parish Hall, Grace Episcopal Church, 130 Muir Station Rd., Martinez.
Strengthen your servants with your Holy Spirit
Congratulations to Melissa Rodrigue-Kennedy and Nicholas White-Spenik who were confirmed and to Shannon Kleinschmit and Gary Spenik who were received into the Episcopal Church last Saturday, May 20th, at the Eco-Confirmation at the Golden Gate Overlook in San Francisco with Bishop Marc and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry!
Happy Birthday to the Church!
NEXT Sunday, June 4th, is Pentecost , the day the Holy Spirit descended  on the apostles in tongues of fire.  We honor this day by wearing the color of fire, so wear your "red best!"  If you have some ability to speak in a foreign language, share your gift as one of the readers during the service on June 4th. If you can help out, let John Lee or Rev. Deb know and they will fill you in on the particulars.
Thank you for your service!
On this Memorial Day weekend we at Grace Episcopal Church want to acknowledge the many people who have dedicated their lives to serving in our country's armed forces.  It is a day to remember all of our parishioners, family members, and the many others who have protected and inspired us.  We pray for the safety of those in danger and offer gratitude for the souls now at rest.  
Sharing the Good News
This past Sunday Rev. Deb talked about how our baptismal vows obligate us to share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ.  This past week our Evangelism Ministry Team met to talk about how to welcome people into the Grace community - and why it's okay to call that process "evangelism."  (For more on this, see Rev. Deb's sermon from last Sunday at ).  You can be part of this exciting process in several ways.  If you are interested in serving as a Greeter on Sunday  mornings, please contact Jo-Ann Lee at .  If you have ideas about how to make people in the community aware of the wonderful ministries of Grace, please contact Rev. Deb at .  If you would be willing to help by posting flyers for our upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls presentation, let Rev. Deb know and she will give you some.  And please check out our new Grace Episcopal Church pens and magnets!
It takes a village
If you enjoy spending time at our beautiful campus on Sunday mornings, please think about what you might do to help maintain it.  The beautiful landscaping and repair work at Grace is largely done by committed parishioners.  During the summer we are hoping to host a buildings and grounds work party, which will include all kinds of opportunities to contribute sweat equity to our church. We also are planning some bigger projects (new signs!  more lighting!  a new deck!) for which we will need all hands.  If you have any special carpentry, electrical, or construction skills or are simply willing to follow orders and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with good hard work done in community, please let our Junior Warden, Les Marks know.
Grace Episcopal Church Youth Make Fun
This past Sunday, four teenagers, along with the Rev. Deb and her husband Gary, attended the Maker Faire in San Mateo.  They had a lot of fun and even (accidentally) learned a few things!

St. Christopher's Guild
There will be no meeting this Sunday, May 28. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! The next meeting will be on June 25. We are happy to report that the Spring Luncheon Fashion Show took in $1,285! A big thank you to Mary Canale for coordinating the event, and all the models and helpers who contributed to make it a success!
Susan Bremmer
Food is Love
Our Senior Warden Stan Applegate is forming Grace Church's official "Casserole Patrol."  He is looking for folks who are willing to help provide meals to members of the parish in need of assistance during busy or stressful times (such as illness or a new baby).  You can help out in a variety of ways - cooking, delivering, or simply making an extra batch of something you're cooking for your family and putting it in the church freezer so that we have some meals on hand.  This is an important ministry that gives joy to both team members and recipients. Please contact Stan if you are interested
Summer BBQs  -  June 4, July 9, August 13, and September 10

Get these Sunday dates on your calendars! On Summer BBQ Sundays, following the 10:00 service, head on over to the Parish Hall for a great meal and fellowship. Burgers (meat and veggie), hot dogs, buns and condiments are provided. Side dishes and desserts are potluck (as you are able). No charge for the meal, and all are welcome! 
Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and VOICES
This coming Sunday, May 28, is our last Sunday of the calendar year with our dedicated choir.  Please thank them for their ministry and the beautiful music they provide for us throughout the year.  We would also like to invite folks who, for whatever reason, cannot make a regular commitment to our music program to share their gifts with us during the summer months.  If you sing or play an instrument and are willing to help fill the gap left by the choir's absence, please let our Music Director Gary Evans know!
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     
Counter Needed ~ Just One More! 
Thank you to several of you you who have stepped up to volunteer as Counters - it is appreciated very much. We could use one more volunteer
to make a strong team of eight (4 groups of two, that would be assigned one Sunday a month.) The task involves counting the offerings each week. If you are interested, please let either Jennifer or Rev. Deb know by contacting the Parish Office at 925-228-6574 or
Altar Guild Needs You!
As with many tasks in our church community, the larger the team, the lighter the workload. The Altar Guild team is in need of new volunteers. No experience necessary and training is provided. If you are interested in learning more, Altar Guild Director Elaine Quigley would love to hear from you! Call or email Elaine at 925-787-0080 or
Bills don't take vacations!
Summer is coming and we know that many of you will be taking some well-deserved time off. We will miss you but promise to be here when you get back.  Please remember though that while you are gone the parish still needs to pay our bills.  If you are able to catch up on your pledge before you go, we would very much appreciate it!

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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.