Pittsburg, CA – June 3, 2019– The three newly-installed large crosses at 200 Leland Road will be dedicated on Pentecost Sunday, June 9. The celebration of the Holy Spirit will begin with worship in the sanctuary and then process outside where the crowd will gather for the dedication.
The three crosses stood for many years in front of the First Congregational Church of Antioch when it was located at 620 E. Tregallas Road in Antioch. The crosses welcomed folks as they drove into the church parking lot, and became the church’s unofficial logo. A line drawing of the crosses was used on the church letterhead and in church publicity.
The Antioch church building and grounds were sold to the Salvation Army in 2010 when the decision was made to move to Pittsburg and share ministry with Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg. At the time of the sale, many things were brought from the Antioch church. The crosses were the largest, the church bell was the heaviest, the stained glass rose window the most beautiful, the baptismal font and communion table the most recognized. The altar candles, cross, and the Bible were the most easily carried. Some of these items have journeyed twice. Once from the church when it was located on Sixth Street in Antioch to the Tregallas church location and then again from Tregallas to Pittsburg.
On the first Sunday of shared services in Pittsburg, a procession carried the Bible, candles and cross down the center aisle of the sanctuary. The communion table and baptismal font quickly found new homes in Pittsburg. The table is used every Sunday for worship. The baptismal font lives in the narthex and on occasion holds the door open. The candles and cross live in the back of the sanctuary. The Bible found a home in Rev. Ramage’s office. The Rose Window was framed, backlights were installed it and it now graces the rear of the sanctuary above the doors. The church bell was adopted by the Antioch Historical Society.
The crosses lived in an Antioch backyard for a number of years and then were transported to Pittsburg and spent time in the Camp Stoneman Room. The crosses had been cut off even with the ground when they were removed from Antioch and in order to restore their original height they had to be extended. Eventually, the crosses were installed on the side of the church facing Leland Road. Thanks to Chris Persing and Jim Hodges who shepherded this project along, and all those who pitched in.
“To all who drive by on Leland Road, the crosses announce the presence of a church that is often hidden. May we embrace that visibility,” commented Rev. Christy Ramage, pastor of First Congregational Church and co-pastor of East County Shared Ministry. “May the crosses reflect the presence of God in the world, and send a message that faith is inclusive, grace-filled and committed to justice and peace.”
About East County Shared Ministry
East County Shared Ministry consists of Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg and First Congregational Church of Antioch. ECSM recognizes, celebrates and gives thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. All are invited to participate in their community and worship life including, but not limited to, believers, seekers, agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions, those of all races and cultures, those of all classes and abilities, those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope.
Services are every Sunday at 10 a.m. Visit www.eastcountysharedministry.orgor call925.439.9161 for further information.