What is the Episcopal Church?
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ. The mission of the church, as stated in the Book of Common Prayer’s catechism (p. 855), is "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ." As part of that mission, we’re following Jesus into loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, with each other, and with the Earth as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.
Where is Grace Episcopal Church Martinez?
We’re at 130 Muir Station Road in Martinez. We are about a half-mile off the Pine/Center exit of Route 4 down the street from the Muir Station Shopping Center.
When do we gather for worship?
There are many opportunities to worship with Grace. Our primary service is hybrid in-person/online Holy Eucharist 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings. To read more about this service, you can view a service bulletin by clicking here. We simulcast on our Facebook page. During the week we worship together on Zoom and in person. We have an Evening Prayer service on zoom at 6:30 p.m. and a hybrid Morning Prayer service at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays on zoom and in our chapel. We hold a zoom Morning Prayer service on Fridays at 10 and a Compline service at 7 pm on zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please email our Parish Administrator, Sarah for the zoom links for any of these services.
Who can come to church?
Everyone is welcome! We try to make everyone comfortable. We have hearing assistance devices and accessible seating for folks with wheelchairs. Children are welcome and can either sit with their parents, on our “Play Rug,” where there are soft toys, coloring books, and crayons, or attend Godly Play (Sunday school), which runs in our Education Building at the same time as our 9 a.m. service. We have Family Sunday every third Sunday. On that day all ages worship together for the entire service and there is a Children’s Homily.
What's church like?
Our Sunday service focuses on Holy Communion (or Eucharist). The first part of the service focuses on Bible readings (the Word) and a message (sermon) about how we can put the Word into action in our lives. We then start to do just that by praying for our needs and those of others. This is about 30 minutes.
The second half of the service is called the service of the Table, during which we tell the story of Jesus’s sacrifice on behalf of humanity and share blessed bread and wine in order to remember him and share in his eternal life with God. We call this Eucharist, which means “Thanksgiving” in Greek, because by doing what Jesus asked us to do – remember him and share bread and wine with one another – we give thanks for him. The second half of the service is also around 30 minutes.
Everyone is welcome to receive the bread and wine (communion) in the Episcopal Diocese of California. You are invited to come to the communion rail and stand or kneel. To receive bread, cup your hands and extend them. To receive wine, help guide the cup to you. If you prefer a blessing, come to the altar and cross your arms over your chest. Gluten free bread is available. If you prefer not to receive the wine, simply leave the rail after receiving the bread. We believe that receiving one element of the sacraments is full communion.
Our liturgy comes from The Book of Common Prayer and other liturgical resources of the Episcopal Church, like the Enriching Our Worship series.
Do I need to dress up for church?
Come as you are! Some people still like to put on their dress shoes and matching finery while others wear jeans and sneakers.
Do I have to officially join or sign something to participate?
Certainly not! We are just happy to have you visit. Faith is a journey and we try to provide you with resources to determine the best way to get to know God and our community of Christ better. There are various ways to commit to the church depending on where you are in your journey and Rev. Deb is happy to talk with you about them. We consider any person who shows up regularly at the church and who contributes some of their time or money or both to be a member.
What is coffee hour?
"Coffee hour" is a time after our principal Sunday service when we gather to chat and share snacks and beverages. Our children are particularly fond of the opportunity to enjoy time together on our playground.
How do I find out more?
Feel free to browse our website and check out our links. We have opportunities to sing, play, pray, study, and worship together. If you’d like to meet with Rev. Deb to talk more, you can email her at email@example.com. To find out about specific ministries, contact the individuals listed in our information sections about Serving Others (including Social Justice, Community Involvement, and Opportunities for Caregiving), Worshipping Together, Learning for Everyone, Fellowship and Fun. We look forward to finding out where you will fit in to our family!
How Can I Get Involved?
We believe that whenever two or three are gathered in God's name, God is in the midst of them - and we also believe the more the merrier! There are many opportunities for you to help out at Grace by contributing your gifts. From singing and speaking to cleaning and stitching it is our volunteers that give Grace a sense of community.
If you are interested in a particular ministry, please go to that website page and check out the contact name for that group and send that person an email.
Here are several worship ministries that you might consider joining at Grace. Check in with Reverend Deb:
Acolytes light the altar candles, carry the torches, and assist the priest or deacon in “setting the table” for Holy Eucharist. Training is provided for youth, age 12 and older, who are interested in serving as an acolyte. Contact Reverend Deb if your child is interested.
Audio/Visual Crew We livestream our services through the efforts of a dedicated volunteer tech crew. If you are interested in learning how to run our board, please contact Gary Spenik.
Altar Guild cares for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens of the parish. Altar Guild members prepare the sanctuary for services, and clean up afterwards. Contact Barbara Brooks if you are interested in joining.
Adult Choir - Currently our adult choir is singing individually and being pre-recorded for our choral service on Sundays (9 a.m.) We hope to eventually return to in-person rehearsals on Thursday evenings and singing in-person on Sundays.
Angels of Grace is our children’s choir. Currently on hiatus until we can return to full in-person activities.
Contact Arthur Omura if you are interested in our choirs.
Counters work as a team of two, to collect and count the blessed offerings following the service. Contact Rev. Deb if you are interested.
Greeters and Ushers. Greeters welcome people and hand out church bulletins when people step into the Narthex each Sunday for church services. It is the goal of the greeters to make everyone who comes to Grace Church feel welcome and to help them navigate the Episcopal service, if needed, and to invite newcomers to coffee hour. Greeters also fill the role of ushers during the Holy Eucharist, guiding congregants to the altar rail to receive communion. Contact Susan Bremmer if you would like to be a Greeter.
Healing Ministers are positioned at a prayer station at the rear of the Sanctuary during the Eucharist so that individuals can share petitionary prayer. Please talk to Leslie Kolesa if you are interested in this ministry.
Eucharistic Ministers are lay persons who assist at the altar and distribute the wine during Holy Communion. Contact Reverend Deb if you are interested in being trained to do this.
Readers (Lectors) (aka Lay Readers) read the Hebrew Scripture and New Testament lessons, and lead the Psalm. Litanists lead the Prayers of the People. At Grace we have 35 people involved in this ministry. Lectors may also lead the Daily Office of the church (for example, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer). We are happy to help individuals who are intimidated by public speaking to become more comfortable with it. Contact Sarah Williams if you are interested in becoming a reader.
Worship and Liturgy Committee. The purpose of the Worship and Liturgy Committee is to provide counsel to the rector related to worship at Grace. Committee members offer perspectives, feedback, and representation from various ministries. Let Reverend Deb know if you are interested in this committee.