Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

The Church @ Antioch to celebrate one year anniversary by gifting car to deserving mother on Sunday

Monday, December 28th, 2015

The One Church@Antioch

Following its distribution of over 500 Christmas Gifts to local children and youth – The Church @ Antioch continues season of sharing with car giveaway.

With a commitment to impact the city, The Church at Antioch will celebrate their first anniversary with a vehicle giveaway Sunday, January 3, 2016.

One deserving mother will be selected from a pool of nominations that began pouring in over the fall. The drawing will take place following the 10 a.m. worship service, held at the Black Diamond Middle School Theater, 4730 Sterling Hill Drive in Antioch.

“I am thoroughly convinced that we are supposed to be in Antioch and by virtue of the fact that our Church name contains the name of the city, says Rev. Christopher Williams, Pastor and Founder. We can’t be satisfied with just being a church – we are here to be the Church, and the Church should make an impact on the City. We’re grateful to work alongside others throughout the city to make lasting impact on the lives of those that call Antioch home.”

The Anniversary Celebration will also include recording artist, Leon Timbo.

Since their January 2015 ministry launch, The Church at Antioch has made community service and engagement an integral part of its purpose. With an engaging combination of ministry and technology – the rapidly expanding congregation draws the diversity of its community.

For more information about The Church At Antioch, stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at and


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Merry Christmas from the Antioch Herald

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Antioch Herald

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The true meaning of Christmas…

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

From the Bible in the book of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-14, New International Version

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Special Christmas service at Bethesda Community Church in Antioch, Sun., Dec. 20

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Bethesda Church

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Christmas musical at Golden Hills Community Church in Antioch, Sunday evening

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Golden Hills Antioch 12-15

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Christmas musical at Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood, Saturday and Christmas Eve

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Golden Hills Brentwood 12-15

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See a live, outdoor Christmas drama at Antioch Wesleyan Church’s Walk Through Bethlehem, this Sat & Sun nights

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Antioch Wesleyan Church's Walk Through Bethlehem

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Islamic Center in Antioch denounces violence, seeks ways to reduce fear, at vigil for San Bernardino victims, Sunday

Monday, December 14th, 2015
16-year-old high school student Hamza Sultan spoke to those at the Islamic Center of East Bay's open house on Sunday, Dec. 13th.

High school student Hamza Sultan spoke at the Islamic Center of East Bay’s during the open house on Sunday, Dec. 13th.

By Allen Payton

Muslims, Jews, Catholics, including three Francisco Friars in monk robes, and other Christians joined together on Sunday, December 13th, at the Islamic Center of East Bay in Antioch, at an open house meeting and vigil, and to say prayers for the victims of the massacre in San Bernardino, earlier this month.

In an email invitation to Antioch Mayor Wade Harper and Council Members, Mohammad Chaudhry, President of the Center condemned the killings.

“The Muslims associated with the Islamic Center of East Bay, Antioch, Ca are holding an Open House Meeting and Vigil in the memory of the senseless killings of 14 innocent people, and the wounding of 27 at San Bernardino, Ca.,” he wrote. ”They wholeheartedly condemn the massacre of these victims, and they share the grief and sorrow of the bereaved families. As a mark of solidarity with the departed souls, Islamic Center of East Bay, Antioch, Ca shall hold this Open House Meeting…at the Center. You are requested to join us in prayers for the deceased, and for peace in America, and everywhere.”

signs at Islamic CenterSigns across the front of the room had messages the Islamic Center members want the community to know.

“I love America as much as you do,” stated one of the signs. “Every inch a proud American,” stated another. “America stands for values not hatred and division,” stated yet another.

Several speakers shared their thoughts and perspectives on what impact the San Bernardino killings have had on Muslims in Antioch and East County, the fear it has caused and what can be done to build better understanding and relationships.

Hamza Sultan, a 16-year-old Muslim and student at Heritage High School in Brentwood, read a variety of prepared statements.

“We must empower the gun control movement in America,” he said.

Sultan also had some tough words for those of his faith committing acts of terrorism. “Islamic extremists cherry pick from the Qur’an to justify their actions,” he stated. “If they would complete the sentence they would know the sins they have committed.”

“The killing of one human being is like the killing of all humanity,” Sultan continued. “The saving the life of one human being is the saving of all humanity. If the San Bernardino shooters would have realized the privileges they had in this country they would have lived lives of peace.”

“Using our First Amendment rights can enlighten…about the truth of Islam,” he added.
Sultan also spoke of the true definition of jihad, which means struggle, and includes on the battlefield.

He also mentioned and finished by mentioning “purifying ourselves. There’s no better place to do that than in the United States of America.”

His mother, local pediatrician, Dr. Sobia Sultan, who works for Kaiser in Antioch, shared her experience and concerns.

“I moved to this area, 10 years ago when the medical center was built, serving as a pediatrician,” she said. “This is a beautiful place. We have to do more interfaith work.”

“Due to circumstances beyond our control there is a change in the atmosphere,” Dr. Sultan shared. “A feeling of fear coming into our community.

“You don’t need to be fearful of me. I’m your friendly, neighborhood doctor,” she said to laughter from the audience.

“I have built a lot of bonds in the local community,” Dr. Sultan continued. “I have seen this beautiful community spirit here.”

“ISIS, what have you, added on by the fear mongering politicians and the media,” is causing “peace loving, good meaning people are scared of Muslims.”

“Is there anything we can do to push back against the atmosphere of fear,” she asked. “Open your homes, your hearts? Invite them in to pray.”

Dr. Sultan had shared concerns about the fear and challenges she and her family have experienced.

“We’re not afraid of buffoons like Donald Trump, but the 57% of the silent majority,” she stated. “Muslims are also fearful. Everything negative on the TV is associated with Islam. I worry about my children, our future. I want them to live in the America I came to 20 years ago. I want them to believe in E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one.  My children are being marginalized. They sometimes are called terrorists. Also when they don’t participate in things that others do.”

Dr. Sultan finished on a positive note saying, she was happy “that we’re not alone that there are others who stand with us in this subject.”

Antioch resident, Tabarak Mughal, spoke briefly.

“We are all Americans and we should all support the values of this country,” he stated.

Antioch Council Member Monica Wilson, followed him and offered her thoughts and comments to those in attendance.

“Thank you so much for this beautiful ceremony,” she stated, then quoted one of the signs on the wall behind her in agreement. “Please do not judge me without knowing me.”

“Let’s hold onto the positive spirit, the positive programs,” Wilson continued. “How do we push back this wall of hate? This is the beginning. How do we spread it to the broader community?”
“I’m really encouraged by the positive energy, today,” she added. “Let’s not make this a one-time thing.”

Finally, Chaudhry shared his closing thoughts.

He spoke of the fire that burned the Center in 2007.

“Wherever we go we go with our identity,” he said. “If we are not safe, here we are not safe anywhere. You can turn your adversity into prosperity. This is a place, a house of God. Come.”

“Unless I visit a church and hear the things they say, am I going to learn of their faith? Chaudhry asked. “We don’t have to wait for something bad to happen. We have to be the people who take the initiative.”

He then spoke of the people who were killed in San Bernardino “at no fault of their own,” then referred to the 11,000 people who have been killed in the U.S. each year, in the 14 years since 9-11. “Forty-five got killed by Muslims,” Chaudhry stated.

“True faith is what unites people,” he continued. “All people of faith, they approach God in their own way. We are all human beings. How come we divide people?”

He spoke of “the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.”

“Now I understand why they made this a secular country,” Chaudhry added. “Everyone tries to monopolize God. But he is the God of all. His ways are strange.”

He then encouraged those in attendance to do something to help foster understanding.

“This is not our cause. It’s your cause, too,” he finished.

The speeches were followed by a time of prayers in an adjacent room of the Center.

The Center is located at 314 W. 19th Street and fronts on West 18th Street. For more information call (925) 756-1652.

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