Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Framework “Applied Coherently in all its Dimensions”

The Universal House of Justice often mentions the “coherence” they envision for Baha’i communities. In all the work of promoting core activities, teaching projects, community events (not to mention other minor obligations such as careers, schooling, children, and family), I sometimes feel we struggle achieve or understand this coherence - we are so busy doing that it is difficult to appreciate the wider picture and understand how our many activities are harmoniously linked, related and mutually reinforcing (or at least the way they could be). That’s what I liked about this story from the Montgomery County, MD (A)cluster - the the friends seem to seamlessly integrate web proclamation, area teaching committee members, home visits, local spiritual assemblies, the Auxiliary board, direct teaching through Anna’s presentation, teaching teams, a Book 1, and a children’s class. Now that’s coherence!

he Montgomery County cluster struck gold when a Togolese- American lady contacted the Bahá’í webpage for information and follow up. The Area Teaching Committee (ATC) member dedicated to seeker response promptly reported to one of the cluster’s Spiritual Assemblies and the assistant for propagation assigned to that community where the seeker resides. Within days of the request, the seeker was contacted and offered a home visit to review her specific interest points in the Faith.

An ATC member and the assistant for propagation consulted with the cluster institute coordinators in the area for guidance on the best teaching materials to take to engage this seeker. With Anna’s themes from Ruhi Book 6 “Teaching the Cause” in hand and another pictorial teaching brochure, the two Bahá’ís prayed for success and proceeded to meet with the seeker, present the initial themes, and discover the interest level of the seeker. They succeeded in gaining the seeker’s agreement to five consecutive home visits in order to continue reviewing the themes.

At this juncture, the pair called on the newly formed Promenade Teaching Team to take over the process. The team members took ownership of the process and ultimately stepped up to tutor a Book 1 with the seeker in her home. Two of the team members had recently completed the tutor training and arose to tutor the Ruhi study circle Book 1.

Four months later, this wonderful seeker advanced to the 3rd section of Book 1 with the help of the Promenade Teaching Team and two newly trained tutors who happen to be husband and wife. As a further blessing, a children’s class continues as an adjunct to the Ruhi Book 1. The seeker’s three year old son is attended to sequentially by the six adults attending the study circle. So far he has learned a Bahá’í prayer and studied the virtue of submissiveness."

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