Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Baha’i youth, teaching from “the middle of the woods,” an answer to prayers


Seth, 17, called the Baha’i House of Worship asking how to become a Baha’i.  He shared "I truly believe Baha'i is best for me."

He said he is from a small town in Georgia “in the middle of the woods.”  He is the only Baha'i there and teaching many.  Presently he is engaged with teaching his atheist friend who asked several questions about the Faith and has taught his ROTC Sergeant who asked about his Kitab-i-Aqdas book.

A Baha’i who met him shared “He is an amazing 17 year old from Southern Georgia, about 2 hours from Atlanta,  who has studied many different religions and is attracted to the message of Baha'u'llah because of its unity of all races and people.  He also believes in Progressive Revelation and sees how all religions are connected.” 

Baha'is had been praying in that area recently and were very excited to hear of Seth's interest in the Faith, an answer to their prayers!

 

 

 

 

“Whoso openeth his lips in this Day..."


“Whoso openeth his lips in this Day and maketh mention of the name of his Lord, the hosts of Divine inspiration shall descend upon him from the heaven of My name..”  --Baha'u'llah

After a Baha'i opened his lips about the Baha'i Faith, Laura of Tacoma, WA accepted the Teachings and registered online followed by her husband 4 days later.  Laura shared a little bit about her spiritual path:

She explained she was raised Christian and believed in God and that Jesus was a “Great Messenger of God,” but never felt that was the right path for her, and had not been involved in a religious community for a few years because she could find no like-minded people. She says she always thought everybody was equal, not that men were better able. She never understood why people disliked other religions - to her "it's all the same God."

Laura said she had heard of the Baha’i Faith several years ago, but last week while walking in her neighborhood, her son ran to play with some boys, and their father, Joseph, began to talk to her about the Baha’i Faith. She then searched online, reading about the Baha’i Faith on Wikipedia, bahai.org, and bahai.us, and requested more information online. They were invited to a devotional, which they really enjoyed, and found very comfortable. Laura says she believes the teachings of Baha'u'llah are God’s teachings for today, and that the Baha’i Faith “made sense… it sparked something in me… it felt right.”

Four days later her husband also registered online after realizing that the Baha'i teachings were what he had believed for a long time. He said he was reluctant to sign up at first because he believed the religions all had the same weight and didn't want to commit, saying he was one religion.  He said he is in a rock band, just got a record deal and hopes to be able to work in what he loves. He was told about current efforts to put Baha'i Writings to music, and was very interested in getting involved in that.    

 

 

 

Seekers immediately participating in service

Abigail of Washington DC is a new Baha’i who is currently going to devotions and firesides and wants to start a study circle. 

In late January 2017, Abigail viewed the Rainn Wilson interview with Oprah. She then was so desperate to contact Baha'is she made a profile on 'Baha'i Singles' She made contact with a Baha'i named Hassan serving in South Carolina full time. Abigail made a visit to the DC Baha'i Center Sunday morning devotional program at the DC Baha'i Center where she met some other Baha'is. Abigail has a family background involving Evangelical Christianity. The Baha'i she met at the DC Center comes from the very same background and may be a strong resource for her in the future.

In the meantime, the Baha’i she met on the website, Hassan, made arrangements to travel to DC to meet Abigail.  The Area Teaching Committee Secretary put Hassan into contact with fellow ATC member doing home visits just that morning.So Abigail & Hassan did home visits together.

This is the second recent seeker that was able to meet a Baha'i and participate in a service activity the same day. This is a fascinating development within the cluster where seekers are able to participate in diverse activities during their initial meetings with Baha'is. Before it was being invited to a devotional or fireside. Now it is participating in a junior youth group activity, a children's class or, in this case, accompanying a home visit. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

SED Endeavors: More examples in the United States - 15 "fixed" and 7 "sustained"

More examples of FIXED duration projects underway across the United States in Riḍván 2016
  • Gatherings to discuss such topics as the equality of men and women, education of children, parenting, and health, in Rockville MD
  • Homework assistance in an apartment complex, in Bethlehem, PA
  • Toiletries for homeless girls and youth, a service project in Pleasanton, CA
  • A one-week service camp for children with projects for several organizations, in Corvallis OR
  • Using arts as a means of building community, a collaboration in Clarkston, GA
  • Making Collars for and Visiting Guide Dog Puppies, in Manatee County, FL (a junior youth project)
  • A food drive for local food bank, in Peachtree Corners, GA (a junior youth project)
  • An environmental trail clean-up, in Chula Vista, CA (a junior youth project)
  • A health camp for junior youth, in Boston, MA
  • A lemonade stand fundraiser for a local children’s hospital, in Arlington, MA
  • Participation in a City-wide Roadside Clean-up Day, in Marquette, MI
  • Carmel Baha'i School for Youth and Jr. Youth: Building Vibrant Communities summer camp in Fall Creek, OR
  • An Indigenous Gathering, hosted by the Continental Board of Counselors in Houck, AZ
  • Planting a garden with kids, in Edinburg, TX
  • Volunteering at a soup kitchen in Evanston, IL
More examples of some SUSTAINED ENDEAVORS reported within the United States . . .
  • The Mona Foundation, an educational program in Kirkland, WA (visit: https://www.monafoundation.org/)
  • A Bahá’í Choir for World Peace, in Baltimore, MD
  • The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace, at the University of Maryland, MD (visit: http://www.bahaichair.umd.edu/)
  • The Unity Museum, an educational endeavor, in Seattle, WA (visit: http://unitymuseum.org/)
  • A scholarship Fund to local community college, by the Local Assembly of Walla Walla, WA
  • A recording studio which promotes wholesome musical arts, spoken word, and oral history in Dallas, TX
  • Parent University in Savannah, GA (visit:  https://www.facebook.com/ParentUniversitySav/)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

SED Endeavors in the USA - 30 examples of FIXED duration projects & 5 examples of SUSTAINED endeavors

A collection of just some of the Social and Economic (SED) endeavors that took place over the past year, represent examples of fixed duration activities. Many of them are the result of junior youth group (JYG) activities.
  • Assembled "survival kits" for homeless youth shelter clients, in Seattle, WA (a JYG project)
  • Assisting with Soup Kitchen at a homeless shelter, in Denver CO (a JYG project)
  • Adopt-a-mile road clean up, in Alpharetta GA (a JYG project)
  • Produced a video about the environment and recycling by an elementary school, in Chicago, IL
  • Tai Kwan Do classes for children & junior youth, in Conway, SC
  • A science & religion workshop hosted at Louis Gregory Bahá’í Institute, in Hemingway, SC
  • Forest stewardship, in Northbrook, IL
  • Tree planting, wall painting, volunteering at breast cancer walk, volunteering at an animal shelter, in Fresno, CA (JYG projects)
  • Made bird feeders for nursing home and school, in Lewisville, TX (a JYG project)
  • Homework Assistance Thursday at the San Diego CA Bahá’í Center
  • Manicures at a nursing home, in Nashville, TN (a JYG project)
  • Beach clean-up, in Richmond, CA (a JYG project)
  • Mistletoe Sale to benefit homeless shelter, in Cottage Grove, OR (a JYG project)
  • Food for Lane County food bank, an agricultural-community garden project, in Eugene, OR
  • Syrian Refugee project, in Phoenix, AZ
  • Blankets for seniors in assisted living centers, in Grand Rapids, MI (a youth and young adults project)
  • Education is not a crime campaign, in Rancho Mirage, CA
  • Slave Cemetery Clean-up, in Hendersonville, TN
  • Made blankets, took them to homeless shelter serving families, in Des Moines, IA (a JYG project)
  • Car wash fundraiser for trip to the UN to benefit refugees, in Hopewell, NJ (a JYG project)
  • Participation in city-wide planning to identify issues and create solutions, in Rockford, IL
  • Disaster prep workshop, for health & safety, in Vancouver, WA
  • Teach knitting and crocheting to students in after school program, in Florence, OR
  • Seminar on “What is Our Path of Service for the Betterment of the World?” in Adamstown, MD
  • Ayyam-i-Ha Pet drive, collected supplies for humane society shelter, in Casa Grande, AZ
  • Participation in a peace event organized by Interfaith Council, in La Mesa, CA
  • Organized children’s activities during school breaks at the Maplewood Library, in Rochester, NY
  • Panel discussion on World Religions, at Ball State University in Muncie, IN
  • Painted outdoor furniture and cleaned up retreat center, in Dallas, TX
  • Stuffed “Blessing Bags” with basic needs to handout to homeless, in Everett, WA (a JYG project)
  • Carmel Baha'i School for Youth and Jr. Youth: Building Vibrant Communities summer camp in Fall Creek, OR

Some examples of sustained endeavors reported this year.
  • WLGI, radio Bahá’í (http://wlgi.org/) in Hemingway, SC
  • Tahirih justice Center (http://www.tahirih.org/), for protection of immigrant women & girls, in Falls Church, VA
  • Multicultural Health education for minorities, in Sarasota, FL
  • Health for Humanity (http://www.healthforhumanity.us/), bringing together people and resources to solve problems, in New York, NY
  • The Children’s Theater Company (www.facebook.com/CTCNYC),  bring out the voices of children and youth for positive change, in New York, NY

Monday, April 25, 2016

Examples of SED Endeavors across the USA

Some examples of social and economic development endeavors underway across the country . . .

o   Planting a garden in a neighborhood in Naples FL with another organization

o   Offering seminars and scholarships through the Esperanza Foundation in Portola CA

o   Church-sponsored talks, potluck and speakers on MLK Day in Scottsville VA

o   “To Light a Candle” documentary on religious and educational freedom, across the USA

o   Roadside cleanup in Grand Rapids MN

o   “Education is not a Crime” seminar and consultations, across the USA

o   Pet rescue volunteer service in Trophy Club TX

o   Clothing drive in Camas WA

o   Student Virtues Aware program to high school students in La Crescenta CA

o   Tutoring program in Bethlehem PA

o   Earth Day Fair on climate change in Milford MI

o   Race Equality Discourse in Rocklin CA

o   Brilliant Stars Park cleanup in Fontana CA

o   Trash Bash neighborhood cleanup in Richardson TX

Friday, October 23, 2015

"I am 19 years old and . . . I am so happy"

Ken contacted the Bahá’ís and shared this about his discovery of the teachings of the Faith. He is now engaged with other youth within his university.
I am 19 years old and for years [I] have researched endlessly [about] religions and their beliefs. I have read many scriptures and have even taken courses in order to provide an idea of what faith I truly believe in my heart. I had not found it until last night when I had a revelation after reading an article about unity of faith. And that was by a Christian! All of my stress and internal turmoil was immediately alleviated. I am so happy. Soul filled with true joy, and I have been led to this faith :)