Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Annual Antioch youth Free Throw Championship to be drive-thru, this year on Jan. 30 & Feb 6

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Local Knights of Columbus Council contest part of state-wide competition

All boys and girls ages 8 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for 2021 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  The local competition will be held on January 30 and February 6 at Holy Rosary School, 25 East 15th Street in Antioch from 1-4 pm.  The event will be held outdoors, one contestant at a time.  In the event of inclement weather, a rain date is set for February 13.

The Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually by the Knights of Columbus, with winners progressing through local, district, and jurisdictional competitions. International champions are announced by the Knights of Columbus international headquarters based on scores from the jurisdiction-level competitions.   All boys and girls ages 8 to 14 are eligible to participate and will compete in respective age divisions.  Participants are required to furnish proof of age and written parental consent.

For entry forms and to make an appointment contact: Wayne Steffen 925.890.0119 or Mike Hayes 925.565.4482

Due to COVID restrictions, drop-ins may not be able to compete.

Please Spread the Word!

Council #3265 in Antioch, CA is one of 17,000 Knights of Columbus councils that make up the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in 1882 to assist working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, today the approximately two million members of the Knights put their faith into action through a broad range of charitable causes locally, nationally and internationally with financial contributions and hands-on service.

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Pres. Trump issues proclamation honoring Religious Freedom Day, 2021

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

This year marks the 235th anniversary of the signing of Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom. The statute would eventually become a foundational principle in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which preserves an individual’s right to belief and to choose and exercise faith without government coercion or reprisal. Since 1993, every U.S President has issued a proclamation on January 16 to commemorate National Religious Freedom and celebrate America’s first freedom.

Proclamation on Religious Freedom Day, 2021

Issued on January 15, 2021

Faith inspires hope.  Deeply embedded in the heart and soul of our Nation, this transcendent truth has compelled men and women of uncompromising conscience to give glory to God by worshiping both openly and privately, lifting up themselves and others in prayer.  On Religious Freedom Day, we pledge to always protect and cherish this fundamental human right.

When the Pilgrims first crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 400 years ago in pursuit of religious freedom, their dedication to this first freedom shaped the character and purpose of our Nation.  Later, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, their deep desire to practice their religion unfettered from government intrusion was realized.  Since then, the United States has set an example for the world in permitting believers to live out their faith in freedom.

Over the past 4 years, my Administration has worked tirelessly to honor the vision of our Founders and defend our proud history of religious liberty.  From day one, we have taken action to restore the foundational link between faith and freedom and promote a culture of religious liberty.  My Administration has protected the rights of individual religious believers, communities of faith, and faith-based organizations.  We have defended religious liberty domestically and around the world.  For example, I signed an Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty to ensure that faith-based organizations would not be forced to compromise their religious beliefs as they serve their communities.  This includes defending the rights of religious orders to care for the infirm and elderly without being fined out of existence for refusing to facilitate access to services that violate their faith.

We have also protected healthcare providers’ rights not to be forced to perform procedures that violate their most deeply-held convictions.  Additionally, we have ended the misguided policies of denying access to educational funding to historically black colleges and universities because of their religious character and of denying loan forgiveness to those who perform public services at religious organizations.  Throughout this difficult year, we have continued these efforts, cutting red tape to ensure houses of worship and other faith-based organizations could receive Paycheck Protection Program loans on the same grounds and with the same parameters as any other entity.  We have also aggressively defended faith communities against overreach by State and local governments that have tried to shut down communal worship.  Together, we have honored the sanctity of every life, protected the rights of Americans to follow their conscience, and preserved the historical tradition of religious freedom in our country.

While Americans enjoy the blessings of religious liberty, we must never forget others around the world who are denied this unalienable right.  Sadly, millions of people across the globe are persecuted and discriminated against for their faith.  My Administration has held foreign governments accountable for trampling — in many cases, egregiously so — on religious liberty.  In 2019, to shed light on this important issue, I welcomed survivors of religious persecution from 16 countries in the Oval Office, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and made history by standing before the United Nations General Assembly and calling on all nations of the world to stop persecuting people of faith.  The United States will never waver in these efforts to expand religious liberty around the world and calls on all nations to respect the rights of its citizens to live according to their beliefs and conscience.

On Religious Freedom Day, we honor the vision of our Founding Fathers for a Nation made strong and righteous by a people free to exercise their faith and follow their conscience.  As Americans united in unparalleled freedom, we recommit to safeguarding and preserving religious freedom across our land and around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2021, as Religious Freedom Day.  I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty and that teach us how to secure this blessing both at home and around the world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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Christmas Day drive-thru gift giveaway and to go breakfast at Grace Bible Fellowship

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Register here – Giveaway | grace-bible (gbfofantioch.org)

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U.S. Supreme Court sides with California church overturns Newsom’s ban on indoor services, Bible studies

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Pastor Ché Ahn speaks at Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California in 2019 (left) and on Feb. 28, 2020. Photos: Harvest Rock Church Facebook page.

“This order frees up churches in all of California to have indoor services, again.” – Liberty Counsel

By Allen Payton

In the lawsuit by Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry against Governor Gavin Newsom over his ban on all worship services and Bible studies in California, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, yesterday, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in favor of the church. The decision vacates the September 2 order by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and directs that court to the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn in their lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted cert and vacated the lower court orders involving the emergency petition of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry. The Court stated in its order:

“The application for injunctive relief, presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court, is treated as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, and the petition is granted. The September 2 order of the United States District Court for the Central District of California is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with instructions to remand to the District Court for further consideration in light of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, 592 U. S. ___ (2020).”

Tuesday, Liberty Counsel filed the final reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding its request for an injunction pending appeal in the churches’ federal lawsuit against California Governor Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional worship ban and discriminatory treatment. The emergency petition also requested the extraordinary relief that the Court alternatively consider it as a petition for writ of cert before judgment. Today, the Supreme Court granted the petition, vacated the lower court orders, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of its ruling last week that granted an injunction pending appeal for churches and synagogues in New York.

According to the complaint by the church and ministry, referred to as the plaintiffs, “On July 17, 2020, Plaintiffs filed their complaint against Defendant California Governor Gavin Newsom. (“Complaint,” Dkt. No. 1.) The Complaint alleges six causes of action: (1) Violation of Free Exercise Clause of First Amendment to U.S. Constitution; (2) Violation of First Amendment Freedom of Assembly Clause; (3) Violation of Free Speech Clause of First Amendment to U.S. Constitution; (4) Violation of Establishment Clause of First Amendment to U.S. Constitution; (5) Violation of Equal Protection Clause of Fourteenth Amendment to U.S. Constitution; and (6) Violation of the Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

Then, “On July 18, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.”

According to Liberty Counsel, the firm representing the church and ministry, they then appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional orders. The governor’s orders prohibit all indoor worship, including home Bible studies and fellowship with anyone who does not live in the home. Yet, Gov. Newsom continues to encourage mass gatherings of protestors throughout the state.

Following the argument on August 12, Judge Jesus G. Bernal orally denied the request for a preliminary injunction. However, he waited until September 2 to release the written order. The appeal was filed, but it could not be effective until a written order was issued.

Once the order had been issued, the appeal was able to proceed. Liberty Counsel also filed for an injunction pending appeal. That is what the Supreme Court granted.

Background

On August 13, the Pasadena Assistant Prosecutor in the Criminal Division sent Harvest Rock Church and Pastor Che’ Ahn a letter demanding that all, indoor, in-person worship services cease. The letter threatens daily criminal charges and fines to Pastor Ahn, the church, staff, and parishioners. The letter states that each criminal charge is punishable by up to one year in prison.”

The lawsuit challenges both the total ban on indoor, in-person worship (including in private homes) in the counties on the “County Monitoring List,” and the ban on singing and chanting in the remaining counties. In addition to in-person worship at Harvest Rock Church, the church also has many “Life Groups,” which are home Bible studies and fellowship groups. These too are prohibited under Gov. Newsom’s July 6 (no singing and chanting) and July 13 (no worship) orders. Yet while he discriminates against churches, home Bible studies and fellowship meetings, the governor continues to encourage thousands of protestors to gather throughout the state. Like Gov. Newsom, Pasadena has allowed hundreds and thousands of protestors. Neither the Pasadena Public Health Department nor the Pasadena Prosecutor have attempted to stop the protests in which people are crowded together, many of them not wearing masks.

In Governor Newsom’s response to the motion for the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, he argues that churches are not “essential.” Regarding feeding, counseling and housing people in the same building where worship services occur, Newsom argues that only the worship services should be prohibited while the other non-religious services should be allowed.

Concerning home Bible studies, Newsom argues that he has authority to prohibit home fellowship groups. As to protests, Newsom publicly encourages them, saying “God bless you. Keep doing it.”

The restrictions against places of worship in California are more severe than those in New York. Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders ban all indoor, in-person worship for 99.1 percent of Californians.

Harvest Rock Church has multiple campuses in California, including in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Irvine and Corona. Harvest International Ministries (HIM) has 162 member churches throughout the state. Irreparable harm is being suffered every day as the churches remain subject to the unconstitutional restrictions, coupled with daily criminal threats, fines, and closure.

The Code Enforcement Division for the City of Pasadena and the Criminal Prosecutor have threatened criminal charges, fines, and closure for being open for worship against the governor’s orders and local health orders. The letters threaten up to one year in prison, daily criminal charges and $1,000 fines against the pastors, staff, and parishioners.

The discrimination has become more obvious and severe in Gov. Newsom’s new “Blueprint” issued on August 28, 2020, which established a system of four Tiers. The “Blueprint” discriminates against religious meetings in churches and places of worship in every Tier. The chart attached to the petition makes this discrimination very clear. For example, the consequence of the sea of purple in the “color-coded executive edict” is that indoor worship services are completely prohibited for 99.1 percent of Californians, including most of Harvest Rock and HIM churches. However, warehouses, big box centers, shopping malls, liquors stores, family entertainment and destination centers, gyms, fitness centers, and museums receive preferential treatment with either no capacity limits or no numerical limits.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court provides great relief for churches and places of worship. The handwriting is now on the wall. The final days of Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘color-coded executive edicts’ banning worship are numbered and coming to an end. It is past time to end these unconstitutional restrictions on places of worship.”

This order frees up churches in all of California to have indoor services, again.

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Antioch Chamber honors Fellowship Church as 2019 Non-Profit of the Year

Saturday, November 14th, 2020

Photos: left & right from Overaa.com, center from tfcpeople.com.

This is part of a continued series on the Annual Awards by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday night, Sept. 24 the Antioch Chamber of Commerce held its Gala Dinner, this year virtually, and honored the city’s most outstanding residents and organizations with their annual awards.

Hope & Healing – these are the two words that Fellowship Church feels God has given to them as a church. Hope for tomorrow and healing from yesterday. Pastors Shaun and Dianna Nepstad started Fellowship Church in 2002 with 22 people and today the weekly attendance has grown to over 5,000 people in two campuses. They believe that Jesus is the answer for humanity and their goal is to use the platform God has given them to express, in practical ways, the love and the life-giving message of Jesus to the world. Through the preaching of the Bible, worship, and great relationships, their hope is to engage a culture far from God to bring them into a relationship with Jesus.

2019 was an incredible year at Fellowship Church! They served 3,000 people a Thanksgiving dinner, and provided 679 children Christmas presents and a Bible. Fellowship Church reached many people in our city, through outreaches, both big and small. Internationally, they spread the gospel to 80,000 people on their trip to Peru.

Fellowship is believing God for more, asking Him to expand their reach, and show them, in 2020, how to pray, love, give, and serve like never before. For more information about the church visit www.tfcpeople.com.

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Drive-Thru Trick or Treat at Golden Hills Community Church Brentwood campus Saturday evening

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

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Contra Costa advances in COVID-19 Reopening Plan – churches, indoor dining now at 50% capacity

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Indoor swimming pools can reopen; bars can reopen outdoors; live entertainment for up to 50 people (requires pre-approval), more

By Contra Costa Health Services

More businesses and community activities can reopen beginning today in Contra Costa after the county’s data indicators for COVID-19 transmission showed improvement in October.

California today reassigned Contra Costa to the less-restrictive orange tier of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, allowing for larger local gatherings for indoor worship services and dining, and the reopening of indoor pools, bars and bowling alleys.

But health officials caution that it is now more important than ever to follow the state health guidance for physical distancing and use of face coverings, to keep everyone safe and healthy during the holiday season and to avoid a return to the red tier.

Contra Costa’s adjusted per-capita case rate – the average daily number of new COVID-19 cases identified in the county per 100,000 population – stood at 3.7 on Tuesday, just qualifying the county to move into the orange tier.

The average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in the county is 1.9%, with 4.9% or lower qualifying for the orange tier. That number for census tracts identified by the state’s health equity metric was 3.9% today, with 5.2% required for the orange tier.

Counties in the orange tier can allow:

  • Worship services and other cultural activities indoors at 50% occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Indoor dining at 50% occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Indoor swimming pools;
  • Bars and other businesses that sell alcohol without meals to open for outdoor operation;
  • Family entertainment centers to open indoors for “naturally distanced” activities, such as bowling alleys, escape rooms and climbing-wall gyms, at 25% occupancy;
  • Cardrooms to open indoors at 25% occupancy;
  • Small amusement parks to open at 25% of occupancy or 500 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Professional sports venues to open at 20% occupancy;
  • Live entertainment to open with no more than 50 people, if approved by the Health Officer.

The county will remain in the orange tier for at least two weeks. The state could move Contra Costa into the less-restrictive yellow tier, or the more restrictive red tier, if its metrics qualify for one of those tiers for two consecutive weeks. The state updates the official numbers every Tuesday.

To reduce the spread of the virus in Contra Costa County, and to continue its progress toward reopening, county leaders urge the public to get tested for COVID-19 regularly, including people who have no symptoms of illness.

Contra Costa would not have qualified for the orange tier this week had it not tested more residents than the state average. California adjusts the case rates of high-testing counties downward to reflect their work controlling the virus. Without that adjustment, Contra Costa’s per-capita case rate this week would have been 4.1, which would not qualify for the orange tier.

Following the heath guidance for physical distancing and face coverings, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when you feel sick are also key to continuing Contra Costa’s progress against the pandemic.

About 3,500 people get tested every day for COVID-19 in Contra Costa. By ramping up to test at least 4,500 daily, the county can more quickly notify those infected – particularly people with the virus who do not have symptoms – to prevent outbreaks and better protect community members at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 because of their age or health.

Contra Costa recommends that workers in jobs that bring them in frequent contact with the public, including all essential workers, consider a COVID-19 test every 30 days. Anyone who has symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing should also consider a test.

Call 1-844-421-0804 to schedule a fast, free COVID-19 test in Contra Costa, or visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to schedule online.

 

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Free Holy Eve Community Drive-Through Festival in Antioch Saturday Oct. 31

Monday, October 26th, 2020

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