Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Renee, a new believer, jumpted in to be a tutor in her community


This is a story about Renee who wanted to not only learn more about the Baha'i Faith, but wanted to help build a more vibrant community. 

This story is shared by those who met her . . .  

I called Renee and she said she came across the name Baha'i through Facebook under a Baha'i in Washington DC named Kathy.  Renee did not know Kathy, but she was intrigued about the Baha'i Faith and decided to go online to www.bahai.us and investigate it.  The more she read the more she liked.  She said she registered her declaration online and a local Baha'i near her contacted her and together they went to an introductory talk about the Baha'i Faith.  Renee mentioned that her mother heard about the Faith in the 1960s, but never pursued it; she is looking into the Baha'i Faith for herself now too.  She is now an enrolled member of the Baha'i community.

A recent update shares how Renee is now involved with her community. 

Wow!  Renee just finished taking the study book #7 which taught her how to facilitate a study group with another tutor.  She even went back to re-study “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” so that she could be an even better tutor!   She has not stopped reading other books including some of the Holy Writings, and she attends prayer groups in her community once a month.  She’s made several friends.
 
 

 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

She made her declaration by his bedside


Song and friendship brought Carry and Guy together!  

This is an amazing story of friendship, love, and how songs during childhood can bring friends together.  The story is told through the experience of a Baha'i who traveled to her home and who visited with Carry on several occasions. 

When Carry  was a young child, her mother (not a Baha'i) played children's songs written and sung by Red Grammer.  As she got older, she came to understand more about the messages in the songs which included lyrics on unity, oneness, respect, love and more.  And though she agreed with the messages, she did not have a source to learn more about the origins of the principles.   

Carry later became an ICU nurse.  She met Guy who was also a nurse who worked the same late-night shift with her.  One evening, Guy began singing one of Red Grammer’s songs, and spontaneously, Carry  began to sing along too. They turned to each other and asked (almost in unison) "How'd you know that song!"  They laughed and continued to sing other songs together too.  Guy shared that he had learned the songs as a Baha'i.  Over time, their friendship grew, and the songs remained a part of their relationship; they became very good friends, and gradually, Carry  learned more about the Faith from Guy.  

Later in life, Guy became very ill and Carry became his caregiver; she was always by his side.  As Guy became more ill, he moved to the coast to be closer to his family (some of whom are Baha'i too).  As Carry  learned of Guy's failing health, she arranged to visit him at his new home.  She decided, however, before arriving that she wanted to surprise him and make her Baha'i declaration by his side.  Fortunately, she had told me in advance, so I brought along a declaration card with me when I drove to see them both.  I gave it to her, and as she said, she filled it out and signed it while she was by his side.  

It was amazing, totally absolutely amazing!  Guy was also "very moved by it" and felt very good about how Carry 's learning of the Faith had evolved over time.  Glen shared with me that he didn't push his faith; he simply answered her questions and remained a good friend. 

Today, Carry, age 30,  is involved with the Baha'i community, she attends prayer devotionals and plans to connect with the Baha'is when she returns to her home state.
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 25, 2014

"I was in the mall . . . "


How did Andy first hear about the Baha'i Faith? 

I was in the mall buying something and someone told me about it.” 

Andy became a member of the Baha'i Faith in his early 50s.
 
 

Nancy became curious about a Bahai post on her friend's Facebook page - now she and her daughter are members


Nancy who is in her mid 30s and lives in Oklahoma, reconnected with a friend from high school on Facebook, having seen a post made by that friend on her wall. Curious, Nancy messaged her friend and asked her if she was Baha'i, and the friend responded yes. Later they connected to discuss Nancy’s questions. 

This is what Nancy shared about wanting to become a Baha'i, when she filled out the declaration registration form at www.bahai.us.  

I have already been contacted by a member of the Baha'i faith and after discussion my decision is clear that I belong in the Baha'i faith community as well as wish to raise my child under this faiths moral grounding. 

Nancy and her daughter are now members of the Baha'i community.
 
 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Angie's journey in becoming a Bahá'í


When Angie was in her late 20's, some 10 years ago when she was working as a receptionist, she met an older gentleman who came into the office.  He saw that she was frustrated and gave her a book of Bahá'í prayers.  Angie put the little book aside and did not read it. 
About 3 years ago, Angie began to search more directly for "something different."  She investigated a number of faiths, including Christianity and Buddhism, and even studied Islam, but none of them felt quite right for her.  Angie's cousin was also searching and knew about the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, IL.  They decided to visit this place of worship together.
Angie explained how she felt when she first entered the gardens of the Bahá’í House of Worship.
"Immediately I knew that I belonged. I felt comfortable!"

Angie regularly attends devotional gatherings at the Bahá’í House of Worship and brings her 13-year-old son.
"We just like it there,” she explained.

One Sunday, by coincidence, she met the older gentleman who had given her the Bahá'í prayer book some ten years ago.  Angie shared that while cleaning one day, she found the little book he had given her.  She was surprised that she still had it and hadn't been tossed it out during the many moves her family made over the years. 

Recently during a return visit to the House of Worship, Angie asked how to learn more about the Bahá'í Faith and she was given information.  She soon after was connected to the local Bahá’í community and invited to an "Hour of Prayer" and from this gathering Angie began to study with others the book “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” and later also “Arising to Serve.” Her son has been invited to join the junior youth spiritual empowerment group in his neighborhood.  Angie has since registered her declaration to become a Bahá’í and is now an enrolled member.
 

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"He was ready to declare when he attended our devotional"


Conner, who lives in a small town in North Carolina, inquired about the Baha'i Faith simply by calling 800-22UNITE and saying “Hi there, my name is Conner and I was looking for a local Baha’i community near me.” 

Conner decided to register his belief in Baha'u'llah having researched Baha'i Faith online after learning of it while in high school.  He was raised Catholic, and is excited to learn more.  He plans to attend Community College next year, so he will be moving soon. 

Here is one story about what made this declaration special, as told by the host of a recent prayer gathering. 

“He was ready to declare when he attended our devotional gathering and the Fireside that followed.  He simply asked something like, "What is the process for initiation into the Faith?"  After answering his question, a declaration card was given to him and explained.   He signed it right away, and stated a desire to engage in further study of the Faith when it can be arranged.  We had 16 people in our living room with no seat or room to spare.  We were Baha'i, Christian, Muslim; all together sharing in devotional prayer and discussion, and a meal afterwards. These devotional gatherings are truly wonderful and we are blessed to have such a heartwarming experience.”

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"I feel a spiritual pull to being a Bahá'í"--her pastor was supportive!


Sheila, from the Midwest, contacted the Bahá'ís to learn more about the Faith.  Here is her story, as shared by the Bahá'í who spoke with her. 

Sheila and I talked for an hour.  She is almost 17, a high school sophomore, and is very interested in the life of the spirit.  Through incidents in her life, Sheila has realized that she is here for a purpose.  Although her family did not practice any particular religion, they felt connected to their Creator.  Most significantly, her mother passed away last year, and before passing, she told Sheila that she would be praying for her in the next world.  She has always felt that there is one God and that He is just called by different names.   

Sheila shares how she first heard about the Bahá'í Faith, through the words of a local Bahá'í. 

Sheila first heard about the Baha'i Faith from a friend at school who is Baha’i.  The name “Bahá'í” stuck with her and she later went online to find out more.  The more she read, the more she felt the Faith is who she is.  She loves the concept of the unity and also mentioned the unity of science and religion. Sheila then registered her declaration to become a member of the Bahá'í Faith, and I called her to talk with her about her decision.   At first, Sheila was reconsidering joining.   I encouraged her to pray about her decision, and encouraged her to call me if she wanted to talk further or text me with questions.  I sent her the book Hidden Words and I told her that whenever she feels ready, we would welcome her. 

Over the next several weeks, Sheila prayed and read the emails that I sent her; she watched all the video links and even asked her pastor about her decision.  He was supportive!   

In a recent email, Sheila wrote the following. 

"Everything about the Bahá'í faith is so appealing to me and I feel a spiritual pull to being a Bahá'í. I have downloaded books on my phone to read and I’ve watched all the videos. I would like to continue through with my conversion on the faith."  

The Bahá'í called her back and they continued their conversation about the fundamental verities of the Faith.  During the conversation, it was learned that Sheila wants to become involved in the community.  She is now an enrolled member of the Bahá'í Faith.  The community has embraced her and has invited her to participate in some upcoming youth events planned for the community at large.