Six virtual places for Oakland residents to spiritually connect amid coronavirus lockdown

Spiritual food is just as important if not more than edible food during times like these.  Just as the body will die without water, many souls will experience a form of death without spiritual nourishment. The Bay Area and statewide shelter-in-place has forced local mosques, churches, synagogues, and other places of worship to shut down. Social distancing, though it may flatten the curve in the spread of COVID-19, has crippled the social life of our communities.  Many who find much solace in weekly spiritual meetings now find themselves locked out of their chosen places of worship.

Ahkeyah Ahmad is accustomed to attending weekly Islamic prayer services, or jummah, on Fridays in Oakland. Ahmad said, “Not being able to go to Jummah has thrown my sense of time off so much so, I’m finding I don’t even know what day of the week it is!” Ahmad expressed much gratitude for her micro-gym, beautiful view, and comfy apartment filled with books and many electronic gadgets, but said, “none of that fills the void caused by the lack of human interaction.”

Well all is not lost. Though virtual services may not fill the physical need to socialize, these services can facilitate the spiritual fulfillment many seek during these trying times. Several places of worship, in Oakland, are doing their part to provide the spiritual food there members.

Lighthouse Mosque of Oakland, is a very culturally diverse Muslim community.  Close to 300 worshippers attend Jummah at the mosque, every Friday.  During the Shelter In Place, Lighthouse Mosque will hold a virtual Islamic studies class on Wednesday evenings at 8-9p and an Islamic lecture on Fridays at 1:30-2p via Facebook live.

BETH EDEN BAPTIST CHURCH

Beth Eden Baptist Church of Oakland was founded April 20, 1890.  The current pastor is Pastor Dwight Webster.  Beth Eden Baptist Church will be live streaming Sunday services from 10:45a-12p via a Zoom webinar

MASJIDUL WARITHEEN OF OAKLAND

Masjidul Waritheen of Oakland lead by Imam Faheem Shuaibe is the former home of Sister Clara Muhammad School.  Masjidul Waritheen will hold Jummah services via Blogtalk Radio and Facebook on Fridays beginning at 1:30 pm.

HEART AND SOUL CENTER OF LIGHT

Heart and Soul Center of Light will be hosting virtual Sunday Celebrations at 10-11:30a.  This service can be accessed through Zoom via your computer and other devices.  Information about these services and other virtual events during the Shelter In Place also can be accessed through the above link.

ISLAMIC CENTER OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California located in the heart of downtown Oakland will hold a weekly virtual spiritual reflections class and discussion “Approaching Ramadan”.  This class will be held on Tuesdays from 6-7:30p through April 21, 2020 via a Zoom Meeting

Acts Full Gospel Church of Oakland was founded in 1984 with 13 members and now has over 5000 members.  Acts Full Gospel Church will host Wednesday Bible Study at 8pm and Sunday services by way of Facebook and YouTube, available through their website.

Note: Oakland Voices correspondent Amelah El-Amin is a board member of Lighthouse Mosque.

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