Thursday, October 18, 2007

Apartment Complexes Fertile Field for Children’s Classes

Here at the Teaching Office, we often hear communities, especially smaller ones, often express the desire to have neighborhood children’s classes, but feel unable to do so because of a lack of Bahá’í children in the community. It seems clear that a real forward step in having a truly “outward looking orientation”, is setting our minds toward providing spiritual education for all the children in our communities, not just Bahá’í children.

One exciting approach which we often receive (usually very successful) reports of from advanced clusters is launching children’s classes in apartment complexes. We thought that this account from the Southwest Dallas County, TX (B-stage cluster) clearly shows the potential that this idea holds. (And shows the enthusiasm that kids and families have for the classes.)

“Three of us began our children’s class as a result of studying Book 6 together. In the initial stages of setting up the class we had our reservations. We asked ourselves, “Would the people at the complex be receptive? How would we get children to come to our class once we were there? Would the children be receptive to learning about spiritual qualities?” Truly all our reservations were eliminated once our Ruhi class took action. The apartment manager was very receptive and fully supported our class, parents we talked to also were receptive, thanking us for offering the service. And once we got to the apartment and put our blankets on the grass, children starting running to us, asking us who we were and wanting to talk with us. When we invited them to learn about spiritual qualities, the children were very interested and curious to learn and to explore. We hold the class once a week on Tuesday evenings. We have about 10-15 children from non- Bahá’í families who participate and we try to keep the class relatively flexible at this stage while we gain the trust of parents. This experience has truly made me a believer that once you act, Bahá’u’lláh will come to your aid, and that teaching is so much easier than we make it out to be. We only have to take a few steps and we will be guided the rest of the way.”

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