Rector Search

Search Complete! The Rev. Dr. Deborah White to be our next Rector

We are delighted to announce that The Rev. Deborah White, Ph.D. will be the next Rector of Grace Church.  Below you will find an introduction.  As soon as possible, we will announce her official start date.  We are very excited to share this news with the congregation and look forward to our shared ministry together. The Vestry  1/12/17

Deb WhiteINTRODUCTION  The Rev. Deborah White, PhD, hails from the northeast. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Theatre and Dance from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant University.

Deb says she spent many years “trying to do an end run” around her call from God to ordained ministry, which she first experienced at the age of nine. She has worked in broadcasting, with chronically mentally ill people on the streets of Baltimore, in the California state prison system, for the Departments of Mental Health in Massachusetts and California, and as a forensic psychological expert witness.

She comes to Grace from The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco, where she has served as the Interim Co-Rector since January of 2016 and St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley, where she is the Associate Rector.

Deb is married to Gary Spenik, a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer, and has two children, Katie, 17, and Nicholas, 15, and a dog, Riptide, 7. Deb enjoys all aspects of her ministry, but feels particularly called to pastoral care, preaching, and evangelism. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Grace Church and is looking forward to growing in grace together and working to do God’s will in Martinez and beyond.  You can read Deb’s sermons at

Search Committee Submits Recommended Rector Candidates to Vestry 11-9-16

The Grace Church Search Committee completed their assigned task and submitted Candidates for the new Rector position to the Vestry at the November 11, 2016 Vestry Meeting. This completed the Search Committee’s efforts. The Vestry will be interviewing candidates during the month of December and anticipates making a selection prior to the end of the year. If you have any questions regarding the status, please contact any Vestry member. However, please remember that all information regarding the Search Committee efforts and the Vestry interviews is still confidential at his stage in the process.

The Search Committee thanks the congregation for their patience and understanding as we have worked through the process of identifying candidates for our new Rector. We also thank Denise Obando, the Diocese Transition Minister, and Rev. Jeff Frost, our Interim Minister, for their assistance during the past several months. Special thanks also to John Lee for his Search Committee leadership throughout this process.

Applications to be our next Rector Received 10-2-16

(Note: The following information was shared with both the 8:00 and 10:00 congregations on October 2, 2016)

The Grace Church Rector position was listed across the Diocese and the USA in mid-August.  On September 16th, we received many complete applications from those who were enthusiastic to be considered for the position.

The Search Committee has been reviewing the Letters of Introduction, Resumes, answers to essay questions and the Office of Transition Ministry Clergy Portfolios. That is a lot of information to consider for each candidate.

On October 1st, the search Committee met to narrow the list of candidates to those we wish to continue the dialogue for mutual discernment to be our next Rector.  That dialog will consist of an interview using SKYPE video conferencing (skype-interview-questions-web).  We hope to complete that element of the process in the next few weeks.

We will then confer as a committee to decide on those candidates which we wish to visit at their home parishes.  That personal visit will be to further understand their approach to Liturgy, Preaching and how they might be a part of our Parish Family.  The Search Committee will break into groups of three for that stage.  Scheduling can often be problematic so it is difficult to predict when that phase will be done.

But when it is complete, we will put forward anywhere from two to four candidates for the Vestry to meet with here in Martinez and make a final decision.  More to come on that in the future.  We wish to be transparent as we can and will keep you up to date on our activities.  But as a reminder, we are limited as to what we can discuss to ensure confidentiality for all of our applicants.

Thank you for keeping us in your daily prayers.  John Lee for the Search Committee

Accepting Applications 8-16-16

Grace is officially in the “accepting applications” phase of our rector search! Links to our Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) Profile and Instructions for interested Applicants are underlined below. We are accepting applications until September 16, 2016. If you, as a Parishioner have any questions, please reach out to a Search Committee member. Applicants should initially contact Denise Obando, Diocesan Transition Minister at

Profile Summary and Instructions for interested applicants

Rector Application Instructions

Office of Transition Ministry Parish Portfolio

Notes from Parish Update Meeting 7/19/16

Grace Church Budget 2016

Parish Update Meeting 7-17-16

The Search Committee reported to members of the Parish their activities thus far and a summary of the Parish Vision and Goals.  Key Attributes we seek in our new Rector were discussed as well.  We also gave an update on timing as well as confidentiality expectations.  Click on the link for notes of that meeting which were published in the Bell Tower Newsletter.

Notes from Parish Update Meeting 7/19/16

Vestry / Search Retreat 7-2-16

The entire Vestry and Search Committee met for a day of discernment in our calling a new Rector. Click on the link for notes from that meeting.

A summarized report was made to the congregation on 7-19-16.

Notes from Vestry Retreat 7/2/16

Vestry appoints Search Committee 6-8-16

Search Committee 2016

The Vestry considered applications and a Search Committee was appointed.  Click on link below for the Vestry Charge to those interested in helping in the process.

Search Process Charge

Discernment Meetings – Spring 2016

In April and May we conducted three discernment gatherings open to all members of the congregation. Click on the link below for notes from those meetings.

Discernment Gathering Notes

Call for an Interim Rector – Winter 2015

Members of the Vestry interviewed candidates and we are pleased to have The Rev. Jeffrey L. Frost joining us starting in December.