Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Good News Press – Christmas/Winter Edition

Saturday, December 25th, 2021

Download a copy of the Good News Press – Christmas/Winter Edition: Good News Press December 2021

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2021

Jesus’ Birth Foretold

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings,favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

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.

From the Bible in the Book of Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-38 NASB; and Chapter 2, verses 1-14, NIV.

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St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa announces new cycle of paid job training starting Jan. 6

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Mary Turner (left), a graduate of the WFD program at St. Vincent de Paul, hugs her mentor Gail F. (right) outside of her newly purchased home in Stockton, California. Photo: St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa

Participant re-enters workforce, becomes financially stable homeowner

The Workforce Development Program at St. Vincent de Paul is a paid job training program aimed at helping the unemployed re-enter the workforce and find stable employment. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen millions suddenly find themselves out of work. In these hard times, it is more important than ever that job applicants understand workplace expectations and have the soft skills to be a contributing employee. The 24-week program teaches participants skills and techniques to find a job and be successful in the workplace, offering training in resume development, interviewing, and organizational skills in a supportive & compassionate environment. Mandatory orientation sessions, applicants should choose either the Pleasant Hill, Brentwood, or the Pittsburg sessions.

The Pleasant Hill Sessions take place on Thursday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, from 10 AM – 1 PM at Christ The King Church at 199 Brandon Road. The Brentwood Sessions take place on Saturday, Jan. 8 and Friday, Jan. 14 from 10 AM – 1PM at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at 8890 Brentwood Blvd. The Pittsburg Sessions will take place on Monday, Jan. 17 and Friday, Jan. 21 from 2 PM – 5 PM at the St. Vincent de Paul Family Resource Center at 2210 Gladstone Drive. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

The Workforce Development Program aims to help tear down the barriers that stand in the way of employment for individuals who have struggled to obtain and maintain employment. Participants work with mentors and take weekly classes to develop workplace skills. A new class of participants is selected every three months.

Participants gain paid, part-time, (22.5 hours per week), work experience in a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store or SVdP’s transportation department. Additional training in retail operations including cash register operations, inventory display and optimization, and warehouse operations is also provided.

Success for program participant is life-changing. Mary Turner, a graduate from SVdP’s Workforce Development Program, was living in her car when she began the program. A senior citizen, Mary found herself having to return to work when her rent increased beyond the means of her fixed income. After successfully graduating from the WFD program at St. Vincent de Paul, Mary found work as a medical support assistant. In October 2021, Mary purchased her first home in Stockton, California.

“It was hard, I was living on SSI and Disability, but my rent just kept increasing until I couldn’t afford it,” Mary said. “Now, I have a good job as an Advanced Medical Support Assistant (with the Veterans Administration), and I have my daughter and grand-babies stay in my home. If you want to be a home owner, it’s possible. It’s hard, it’s a struggle, but it’s worth it and it’s possible, and the people at St. Vincent de Paul showed me that.”

St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County has provided safety-net services in the county for over 57 years, serving 100,000 people annually and distributing over $1M of direct financial assistance and over $1.7M of in-kind aid. Over 750 SVdP volunteers and a small staff lead operations in Contra Costa including the SVdP Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, 28 branches, and 3 Thrift Stores. One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 155 countries on five continents.

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Local youth competition for the Knights of Columbus Free Throw and 3-Point Championship in Antioch Jan. 14

Friday, December 17th, 2021

Three of the 2021 state Knights of Columbus Free Throw champions from East County with their local awards, (L-R) Brigida Coria, Kylie Wisely and Ryan Wisely. Photo by Wayne Steffen.

Local Knights of Columbus Council to Sponsor Youth Basketball Shooting Competitions

All boys and girls ages 8 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  Boys and girls 15-17 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the Three Point Shooting Championship.  Age eligibility is determined by the age of the contestant as of January 1, 2022.

The competitions will be held on January 14, 2022, at Giovannoni Parish Center, 21 East 15th St., Antioch, CA.

Free Throw

Ages 8-11        registration at 5:30pm competition begins at 6:00pm

Ages 12-14      registration at 6:30pm competition begins when 8-11 yr. old competitors are done

Three Point

Ages 15-17      registration at 7:00pm competition begins when free throw competition is done

The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually, 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.   In 2021, four of our local champions were California State champions.

For more information contact Wayne Steffen 925.890.0119 or Mike Hayes 925.565.4482.

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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Grace Bible Fellowship of Antioch to host first ever New Year’s Eve Carnival

Friday, December 3rd, 2021


Purchase your $15 wristband in advance on Eventbrite: . Pick up wristbands at the will call station day of the event (bring proof of purchase). Wristbands $20 at the gate (single tickets available).

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All are invited to the Grand Community Chanukah Celebration in Brentwood Sunday, Dec. 5

Friday, November 26th, 2021

Eight lights of Antioch’s Chanukah Menorah to be lit beginning Saturday night

This year, Chanukah begins on the eve of Nov. 28, which is Nov. 29 according to the Jewish calendar and runs for eight days through the eve of Dec. 6. Chanukah celebrates the cleansing of the Temple following the revolt of the Maccabees against King Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid Greek Empire of Syria, after he issued his decrees forbidding Jewish religious practice.

Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights, because it commemorates the traditional account of the miracle of finding one cruse of sacred oil—enough for one day—that lasted for eight days, the length of time it took to produce more sanctified oil for the N’er Tamid (Eternal Light) in the Temple. Chanukah is also known as the Festival of Dedication, as the Temple was sanctified again, and dedicated to true worship of the living God.

To remember that miracle, menorahs holding eight candles are lit, one per night, during the Chanukah celebration. Antioch has an eight-light Menorah, first erected in 2019, located in Waldie Plaza across W. 2nd Street from City Hall in historic, downtown Rivertown. One light will be lit each night beginning Saturday.

You’re invited to come, celebrate the Festival of Lights with Chabad of the Delta and our surrounding communities as we light the grand Menorah during the Community Celebration on Sunday December 5 at 4:30 pm at Brentwood City Park at 2nd and Oak Streets.

Our local community leaders will participate in kindling the giant “Menorah of Freedom”. There will be fun activities for everyone including:

  • Chanukah crafts, glitter art and photo ops!
  • Delicious, traditional latkes and donuts!
  • A Grand Raffle!
  • Saul Kaye Jewish Blues Musical entertainment!
  • Acrobatic performance by Red Panda Acrobats!

For many of us, Chanukah prompts warm, loving memories from our childhood. We light the Menorah every night of the 8-night holiday. These lights offer warmth, joy, strength, inspiration and renews our sense of identity.

Rabbi Peretz Goldshmid, director of the Chabad of the Delta Jewish Center, describes Chanukah as “a holiday that enriches our lives with the light of tradition. In ancient times our ancestors rededicated the Temple in Jersusalem with the Menorah. Today, we rededicate ourselves to making this world a better and brighter place.”

Menorahs placed by Chabad of the Delta (L to R, top row) in Antioch with city employees and Rabbi Goldschmid in the center, the grand Menorah in Brentwood City Park, in Discovery Bay, (bottom row) in Brentwood near Veterans Park and in Oakley. Herald file photo of Antioch Menorah, all others courtesy of Rabbi Peretz Goldschmid.

Chabad of the Delta has placed Menorahs in Oakley at City Hall on Main Street, and another one in Brentwood at Balfour Road near Veterans Park, and this year we’ve placed a new in Discovery Bay at the Holiday Square on Discovery Bay Blvd.

As we celebrate in East Contra Costa, we join millions the world over, promoting the universal message that good will prevail over evil, freedom over oppression and light over darkness.

Make sure not to miss this opportunity to celebrate with your family and friends!

For more information and free Menorah Kits, contact Chabad of the Delta at (925) 420-4999 or online @

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Beat a cyberbully – here’s how parents can help

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Victims of cyberbullying can feel helpless and may not know what to do. Free resources on help children, teens and parents successfully deal with bullying.

Antioch couple shares their approach

By Ezra Smith, Public Information Desk, Jehova’s Witnesses United States Branch

While remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic lowered reported instances of bullying, parents fear that, for some students, going back to school will mean going back to being bullied.

Adrian and his wife Nalana, who live in Antioch, understand the threat bullying may pose to their children.

“As parents, it can be a pretty big concern. It can be a big worry that if your child is on some social networking site, they can be targeted,” Nalana said.

Now 15 years after the inception of National Bullying Prevention Month in October, technology’s ever-greater presence in children’s lives has given bullying a new outlet. With just a click, cyberbullies can taunt, harass and threaten relentlessly, even reaching into the home via cellphone or computer. As a result, victims report feeling hopeless, isolated and even suicidal.

What can parents do to protect their kids? Taking an interest in their children’s online world can make a difference, says the National Parent Teacher Association.

This interest does not necessarily require parents to become tech experts. Instead, the federal site advises parents to watch for subtle clues that something is wrong, such as their child becoming withdrawn, hiding their screen when others are nearby or reacting emotionally to what is happening on their device.

For Adrian and Nalana, that means being keenly aware of what “normal” looks like for their two teenagers, ages 16 and 18.

“Watching for different body language or different characteristics in your children is important as parents,” Adrian said. “So, if we feel we see something, we’ll converse with one another. That way, we are able to head it off better if there is a problem.”

Talking with kids openly — and often — helps too. “The more you talk to your children about bullying, the more comfortable they will be telling you if they see or experience it,” UNICEF says in its online tips for parents.

As their two daughters enter their teens, Houston parents Thiago and Auboni have found that talking less and listening more works best. “We try to focus on being approachable and listening actively without reaction,” Thiago said.

Beyond talking, listening and observing their kids, parents should not be afraid to make and enforce rules for online activities, experts say.

Thiago and Auboni’s girls are allowed to play online games, but they are expected to turn off the live chat feature to limit interactions with strangers. “We reassure the girls that we trust them and respect their privacy, but they have to stay within the boundaries we’ve set,” Auboni said.

Adrian and Nalana take a similar approach. While they do have full access to their children’s devices, they do not feel the need to constantly monitor their children’s activity online. “The more trust they earn, the less reason we have to hover over them as much, because we see them living by our guidelines,” Adrian said.

Both families cited the tips and reminders they have considered together with their kids from free resources available on, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Adrian and Nalana’s 16-year-old daughter especially recommends one of the site’s short animated videos, “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists”.

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Antioch’s Iglesia Ni Christo to participate in Worldwide Aid to Humanity Saturday

Friday, October 29th, 2021

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