Grace begins new program year!

We began our new fall program year on Saturday, September 8 with fun for everyone! On Saturday we enjoyed, games, a bouncy house, karaoke, dinner together, and a barbecue under the stars.  Sunday was Family Sunday, with a Children’s Homily and joyful celebration of the Eucharist!

Vestry Minutes for July, 2018

Grace Episcopal Church

 Martinez, California

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting

July 11, 2018

 Present:       The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Stan Applegate (Sr. Warden), Les Marks (Jr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Lynda Dyer, Pat Hambly, Sally Hanson, Ron Luttringer, Josh Senn, The Rev. Walter Ramsey

Absent:        Connie Towey

Guests:        Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk), Marj Leeds, Jim Maniatis, Denise Hansen, Kris Kamerzell (Discovery Builders), Jason Tamayo (Discovery Builders)

Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 5:03 p.m. by Rev. Deb who led the opening prayer.

 Bible Study. Rev. Deb briefly explained why we have General Convention and the scriptural foundations for our form of church government.

 Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Applegate/Marks) to approve: the minutes of the June 20, 2018, Vestry meeting; Rector’s Report; Senior Warden’s Report; Junior Warden’s Report; and Treasurer’s Report.

Discovery Builders Request for Easement for Water Line.  Kris Kamerzell (Project Manager) and Jason Tamayo (Vice President of land development) from Discovery Builders, presented information on Discovery Builders’ request for the granting of an easement across church property to provide a water line for the residential subdivision going in east of church property (previously an RV storage lot).

During and following the presentation Mr. Tamayo and Mr. Kamerzell answered questions from those present.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Rev. Deb stated that in order to consider the request the church would need to have an actual proposal in writing that we could look at, including: a survey of the property line, with it staked where it comes down; a plot map; legal description for attorney to look at; and an offer of cash. Additionally, she informed Mr. Tamayo that, per our insurance company, we would also need a guarantee of access during construction, a guarantee of work hours, hold harmless from whomever is doing construction and anyone doing anything on our property, and insurance certificate(s) for whomever is doing the work.

The vestry thanked the gentlemen for their presentation, at which point Mr. Tamayo and Mr. Kamerzell left.

The Vestry and guests engaged in discussion.

It was M/S (Hambly/Dyer) to move forward with negotiation with Discovery Builders for the easement.

The motion passed by the following vote:

AYES: Applegate, Dyer, Hambly, Menconi, Senn

NOES: Hanson, Luttringer, Marks


There was consensus to form a subcommittee to work with Rev. Deb. on the negotiations with Discovery Builders. Subcommittee: Dick Evans, Ron Luttringer, Jimmy Maniatis, Josh Senn.

Old Business

Update on Music Director. Deb provided an update on the status of the music director’s position. The position has been offered to Ferris Gluck. She wants to accept the job, but is having difficulty finding a place to live here (she is relocating from So. Calif.)

Update on Ministry Teams – Service (Outreach), Education (Adult Formation); Evangelism, Parish Life, Pastoral Care.

a. Outreach met on Sunday. Will present report to Vestry at next meeting

b. Education. Nothing new to report yet.

c. Evangelism. Nothing new to report.

d. Parish Life. Nothing new to report.

e. Pastoral Care. The prayer list is getting long.

f. Stewardship. John Lee has taken the lead, formed a committee and the committee is looking at campaign ideas.

g. Worship and Liturgy. Lengthy meeting yesterday (July 10). Minutes were provided. Two highlights were noted: 1) The way the Prayers of the People are done during the service will be changed; and 2) because the Season after Pentecost is so long, there will be a change up in liturgy in middle of the season, using a new Eucharistic Prayer.

h. Buildings and Grounds. Lengthy meeting on Sunday (July 8). Minutes were provided. A few highlights were noted.

  • Parish Hall Slider Windows. In late June, when the back of the property was being mowed in preparation for the Bishop’s visit, a rock was spit out of the power mower and broke one of the panes of the double pane slider windows (the one closest to the kitchen, on the north end of the hall). Rev. Deb reminded that both sliders at the north and south ends of the hall have been nailed shut as a result of the lawsuit last year and subsequent removal of the old deck. Also, at that time it had been recommended that the south slider (closest to the playground) be framed out as a window, because when/if a new deck is reinstalled, it will not run the entire length of the building and therefore no need for a walk-out at the south end. However, now that the window at the north end has been damaged, Buildings and Grounds recommended framing the north slider as a window, since it needs to be repaired now anyway. There was discussion. Rev. Deb reminded the Vestry of its earlier commitment to complete the repairs following an injury claim in 2016. The sliders were nailed shut and the deck removed, eliminating the hazard, but the permanent repairs still need to be done. Following discussion, it was M/S/C (Dyer/Luttringer) to send the recommendation back to the Buildings and Grounds committee to reassess the cost of replacing the north sliding door and reframing the south sliding door to a window. AYES: Dyer, Hambly, Hanson, Luttringer, Marks, Menconi, Senn   NOES: Applegate  ABSENT: Towey
  • All Parish Work Day. Jennifer and Rev. Deb will look at the calendar and determine a day for a work party. José Dyer has offered to do mulching and fixing up of the playground area.
  • Tree Issues. Rev. Deb reported that she has met with the tree consultant, and the tree issues are in hand.

Calendar. No slow down but that’s good news! July 15 – Martinez Clippers game, July 22 – Paul, Apostle of Christ, the movie (out of Wednesday Bible Study)  August 18 – Luau.

In response to Lynda’s question about recording Bible Study for those who work during the day, Rev. Deb indicated that she’s thinking about doing podcast for Adult Formation/Education.

Yoga update. Deb will be meeting with a personal trainer, certified Yoga instructor, next week. He is interested in establishing a donation-based Yoga class (no fee, pay what you can) so we would be able to offer to people who want it. Hatha Yoga. Does not involve any of the spiritual language. Just yoga. Noah was trained by the person who leads yoga at the cathedral.

Assignment of Vestry liaisons to SWEEPS teams:

  • Stewardship: Paula Menconi
  • Worship and Liturgy: Sally Hanson
  • Education: Lynda Dyer, Josh Senn
  • Outreach: Connie Towey, Pat Hambly
  • Evangelism: TBD
  • Parish Life: Ron Luttringer
  • Pastoral Care: Stan Applegate
  • Buildings and Grounds: Les Marks, Josh Senn

New Business

Fundraising Committee. Deb explained the reasoning for a Fundraising Committee, separate from Parish Life Committee and St. Christopher’s Guild. She indicated that she has asked Marj Leeds, Fran Trant, John Heyse, Stan Applegate to start up the committee.  The reforming of the Hospitality Committee is also underway, which will be charged with overseeing Coffee Hour.  Rev. Deb asked for suggestions on someone to head-up the Greeters.

No Smoking on campus. More signage is needed. Deb will order and have them posted inside and outside the buildings.

Vacation schedules. Jennifer: 7/15-7/25. Rev. Deb: 8/9-17. It was M/S/C (Marks/Hanson) to approve the rector’s vacation days.

Eagle Court Ceremony. On Saturday, September 8, the church will host Jose Dyer’s Eagle Scout Court Ceremony, in the sanctuary, followed by a reception in the parish hall.

Rally Evening. Also, on September 8, following the Eagle Court ceremony and reception, the church will celebrate the annual Rally Evening with a movie, karaoke, bounce house, etc.

General Convention round-up. Deb reported on the highlights from General Convention:

  • Cuba readmitted to Episcopal Church;
  • House of Deputies approved a resolution for revision of the Book of Common Prayer, which the House of Bishops completely overhauled and sent back to the House of Deputies. It is expected that a BCP revision won’t be seen until 2030, if a revision resolution passes.
  • House of Bishops rejected Israel Palestine resolution sent to them from the House of Deputies, which would end church financial complicity for Israel occupation.
  • Resolutions related to marriage equality from the House of Deputies has been reworked by House of Bishops and sent back to House of Deputies.
  • Three resolutions related to immigration have been sent to House of Deputies and are pending.

Rev. Deb noted that if anything coming out of convention affects the canons, it takes another three years for final approval.

Closed Session. There was consensus/action in closed session to move forward on a personnel issue as discussed.

Closing Prayer and Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m. with dismissal by Deacon Walter.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

Minutes of June 20, 2018 Vestry Meeting

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White, Stan Applegate (Sr. Warden), Les Marks (Jr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Lynda Dyer, Pat Hambly, Sally Hanson, Ron Luttringer, Connie Towey, The Rev. Walter Ramsey

Absent:  Josh Senn

Guests:  Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk)

Call to Order and Opening Prayer.  The meeting was called to order at 5:04 p.m. by Rev. Deb who led the opening prayer.

Bible Study. Friendly Fire.

Consent Agenda Items – It was M/S/C (Marks/Applegate) to approve: the minutes of the May 9, 2018, Vestry meeting; Rector’s Report; Senior Warden’s Report; Junior Warden’s Report; and the Treasurer’s Report.

Old Business

Update on Music Director Search. Deb updated the Vestry on the search and reported that until the position is filled, Kathleen Flemming will cover as substitute organist, beginning July 8.

Update on Ministry Teams

SERVICE. Deacon Walter reported that research into Kindness Kits is still in progress. It was learned that the Coordinated Outreach Referral Engagement program (C.O.R.E.), through Contra Costa County Health Services has a distribution strategy and protocol for homeless and people in need, and does not use kits with assorted items. The Outreach Committee met on Sunday, June 10, and heard a presentation from Scott Williams, Team Leader with C.O.R.E. and Children and Young Adults Pastor at Morello Hills Christian Church in Martinez. Jennifer gave a brief summary of Scott’s presentation about Nomadic Communities.

WORSHIP AND LITURGY.  The Worship and Liturgy committee met yesterday (June 19.)  Les reported that there was discussion about changes in the liturgy for a portion of the Season after Pentecost. In response to a question from John Lee, Rev. Deb explained that the portions of the liturgy that we can change are: Credal Statement, Eucharistic Prayer, Prayers of the People, and Lord’s Prayer.  The group agreed to use a different Eucharistic Prayer for a trial period during the long Season after Pentecost.  Rev. Deb explained that one of the driving forces behind the 1979 BCP revision was to make it less clergy-centric and include more participation of the people — closer to early Christian worship. More of a “return” than an “update.” To that end, the Worship and Liturgy committee agreed to begin having members of the congregation lead the Prayers of the People from the congregation. Rev Deb indicated that there was also interest and discussion about writing our own Prayers of the People, but this would be farther down the line.

EDUCATION.  Rev. Deb reported that Amelia Brooks has agreed to head up an Education Commission. Amelia is connecting with Marj Leeds and Barbara Brooks to serve on the commission, along with Rev. Deb. Amelia will oversee all education options here at Grace.

Rev. Deb reported that the presentation on Sunday by The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers on Episcopal Liturgy was well received, and there is enthusiasm for a “Part 2.”

EVANGELISM. There was an article on the faith page of the Martinez Gazette last week that Rev. Deb submitted about Bishop Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding.

PARISH LIFE.  Stan reported that the Bocce Picnic on June 10 was a great time – with 40-50 attending at Rodgers-Smith Park in Pleasant Hill. The tournament games were close, with the men winning overall.

The Bishop will be here for his bi-annual Episcopal visit on July 1.

A reminder that because there are several events happening over the summer, the monthly BBQs won’t be happening this year.

PASTORAL CARE.  Rev. Deb provided information on pastoral care needs.

STEWARDSHIP. Rev. Deb reported that John Lee has confirmed he will chair the Stewardship Committee. He’s making contacts with individuals to sit on the committee. The campaign will have a definite start and stop date, TBD. More information will be provided as it develops.

Buildings and Grounds. Many thanks to Jack Case who has been putting in a lot of time and effort mowing the ever-thriving weeds along the driveway, parking lot, and back of the parish hall.  The goats have been scheduled to address the surrounding slopes of the property. The pepper tree has been trimmed, as well as the evergreens near the parking lot light (northside of parking lot). Grace Church Property signs have been installed at the bottom of both “driveways” to the upper lot. A Backyard Clean-up Day will be scheduled after the Bishop’s Visit.

Calendar overview. July 1, Bishop’s Visit and Confirmations; July 15, Martinez Clippers game (invited by Men’s Group); August 18, Hawaiian-themed event (hosted by St. Christopher’s)

Bishop’s Visit on July 1, 2018. Rev. Deb met with The Rev. Canon Abbott Bailey, the new Canon to the Ordinary, for planning of the Bishop’s visit. Bishop Marc will do both services, with six Confirmations at the 10:00. Madi Taylor will be the Bishop’s Chaplain at both services. Bishop Marc will meet with confirmands at 9:00 a.m. He will meet with the Vestry after the 10:00 service (or will break out of the reception for the meeting.) There will be a reception following the 10:00 service. St. Christopher’s Guild will host. After that, the Bishop will go to lunch with the Rector and her family. Abbot will make her own visit to Grace on another date. Eric Metoyer will also come to talk later in the year.

Development on adjacent property; request from real estate agent. Rev. Deb reported that she still has heard nothing more on the request from a real estate agent.

Yoga Update. There have been no takers on coming to teach Yoga at Grace.

Closed Session for confidential personnel issues. (6:04 p.m. – 6:10) There was consensus in closed session to move forward on personnel issue as discussed.

Action item:  M/S/C (Luttringer/Dyer) A member of the congregation cannot be hired for any paid position.

New Business

Rev. Deb reported on her attendance at the College of Congregational Development weeklong conference at Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg.

Rev. Deb led a discussion on Group Norms. There was consensus to establish the following at Grace:

Grace Episcopal Church Behavioral Norms

These three simple rules will help us live in harmony as a Christian Community. Please follow them at all meetings, activities, and interactions.

Follow the words of Jesus: Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself.

Show RESPECT for all people; i.e., – follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Do not gossip. If something is confidential, keep it to yourself; if something is bothering you, talk to the person/people involved.

Closing Prayer and Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m. with dismissal by Deacon Walter.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

Minutes from Vestry Meeting May 9, 2018

Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White, Les Marks (Jr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Sally Hanson,
Connie Towey, Josh Senn
Absent: Stan Applegate, Pat Hambly, Lynda Dyer, Ron Luttringer, The Rev. Walter Ramsey
Guests: Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk)
I. Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 5:10 p.m. by Rev. Deb who led the
opening prayer.
II. Bible Study. Spiritual Calling.
III. Consent Agenda Items – It was M/S/C (Marks/Menconi) to approve: the minutes of the April 11, 2018, Vestry
meeting; minutes of the April 28, 2018, Vestry Retreat; Rector’s Report; Senior Warden’s Report; Junior
Warden’s Report; and the Treasurer’s Report.
IV. Old Business
1. Update on Music Director Search. We are hoping to wrap up the search soon.
2. Update on Ministry Teams
SERVICE. The Outreach Committee met on Sunday, and the Kindness Kits matter came up again. The
Outreach Committee would like to revisit the distribution plan, but they understand no changes can be
made to the plan at this point. Instead, the committee will gather information from community resources
that have active programs in place (Martinez Police Department and Coordinated Outreach, Referral and
Engagement (CORE)), to learn what they are doing and if they can advise or make recommendations to us
about how to serve the homeless in our community. The Outreach Committee will report back to Rev. Deb
for next steps. It is understood that no changes will be made without first holding an all-parish meeting to
communicate and discuss.
WORSHIP AND LITURGY. The W&L committee will be meeting this week. The season of Pentecost will
trigger liturgy changes.
EDUCATION. Rev. Deb reported that she will meet with Amelia Brooks, who has expressed an interest in
heading up an Education Committee. This committee would include Marj Leeds and Barbara Brooks (Godly
Play), as well as Josh and Jes Senn (Youth Group). The Wednesday morning Bible Study is going well. The
Good Book Club series on Luke and Acts concluded this week. Next week, Rev. Deb will begin a series
entitled: “Paul for Everyone.” Attendance has increased on Wednesday mornings, with 9-12 people
EVANGELISM. Deacon Walter, Mary Canale, Leslie Kolesa, and Chandra Damele represented Grace at the CC
Interfaith Council’s Green Spirit booth at Earth Day at John Muir House on April 21. Another event is coming
up in June – Gay Pride – at Todos Santos Plaza, Concord. We have been asked to share an interfaith booth
that day.
PARISH LIFE. (See calendar item)

Grace Episcopal Church, Martinez, CA Vestry Meeting Minutes
May 9, 2018

Page 2 of 2

PASTORAL CARE. Rev. Deb provided information on pastoral care needs.
STEWARDSHIP. Rev. Deb reported that John Lee will be leading the Stewardship campaign this year. She
will be meeting with him to discuss this year’s plan.
3. Buildings and Grounds. Josh installed a non-lethal squirrel trap on the upper lot. So far, there have been
none captured. The new playground fence is up. The inside of play area needs to be weeded. It was noted
that when we have the money, that new tan bark should be put down. Rev. Deb reported that the tall
weeds in back have been cut down (McNamara landscaping). Also, she met with the tree trimmer, who will
trim the trees on a regular basis, at no charge. The “Property of Grace Church” signs (3’x2’, reflective) for
the upper lot are on route. Buildings and Grounds will be meeting on Sunday.
4. Calendar overview for Spring. Rev. Deb reported that because there are already a number of events
scheduled the next several months, we will not schedule monthly parish BBQs. She also reminded everyone
that we need to coordinate with St. Christopher’s Guild when scheduling events. Plans are in the works for
an Opening Day family fun event, on Saturday, September 8. It is the same day as Jose Dyer’s Eagle Court of
Honor, which will be held in the sanctuary followed by a reception. Katie Reich has agreed to be co-chair of
Parish Life Committee (with Stan Applegate). The Bishop’s visit is scheduled July 1.
5. Vestry Retreat Feedback. Vestry members provided feedback on the April 28 retreat. There was consensus
that it was productive, and was good to spend time together, but it was a long day. Rev Deb indicated that it
will be revisited next year as possibly a 2-day retreat, so the work can be spread out, with more breaks, but
warned that this is more expensive.
6. Development on adjacent property; request from real estate agent. Rev. Deb shared a letter from a real
estate agent regarding an interest in acquiring the church’s property, and her email response.
7. Yoga Update. Rev. Deb reported that she wrote up a proposal for yoga, indicating we want something with
stretching and meditation, Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. The proposal has been posted by
the Cathedral’s Yoga Coordinator on a yoga teacher’s site and she’s waiting for responses.
8. Closed Session for confidential personnel issues. 6:04-6:08 p.m.
V. New Business
1. Vacation and Away Schedules. Dates were shared for the wardens, parish administrator, and rector’s
vacations/continuing education.
2. Discussion of committee liaisons. Rev. Deb informed the Vestry that once there is a committee in place
for each area of SWEEPS, it will be ideal to have a vestry liaison for each of the areas (e.g., Treasurer
would be the liaison to Stewardship Committee, attending Stewardship meetings and reporting back to
the Vestry.) Committees that still need to be formed are Evangelism and Stewardship. Rev. Deb also
indicated that she would like to have a Welcoming Committee, and a chair for Coffee Hour.
3. Additional Note to Jr. Warden Report. Les expressed his thanks to Jack Case for his work (done over
several days the previous week) cutting down the weeds along the northside of the driveway and
parking lot.
VI. Closing Prayer and Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m. with dismissal by Rev. Deb.
Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

End of Life Planning Project

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 now available in the Narthex and the Parish Hall. You can also find them below. It is our hope that each parishioner will complete a planning packet and provide a copy of it to the church office.

Advance-Directives Q and A Issue fnl

Family Records Organizer Review fnl

Grace Church and DioCal Planned Giving Options Issue fnl

Grace Church Funeral Service Planning Full Page (fnl)


Five Scenarios to use in Advance Directive Section 2 expansion (fnl)