Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Teaching Team Teaching Tons

Simplicity and action. Isn’t that the core of what the Universal House of Justice has been telling us are keys to successful teaching efforts? This story from the youth-based “tl peace” teaching team from the San Francisco, CA (A) cluster demonstrates this boots-on-the-ground mentality to a T. The team’s first “planning” meeting was a bit of prayers, a bit of practice, and then calling up a seeker and gettin’ to it. Pay particular attention to the way they have quotes from the holy writings (and from Book 1) ready at their fingertips, and the effect it has on the seeker. Also great is the way they weave together elements of fireside, devotional meeting, Scrabble game, study circle, and snack time into a coherent whole.

team tl peace’s first planning meeting was a teaching event. we said prayers, practiced anna’s presentation and then called up my neighbor, a girl i met during the last expansion phase when i knocked on everyone’s door in my apartment complex. she didn’t come to my last devotional but when i last ran into her she was on steps meeting a new neighbor and she said, “hey this is G he’s new. i was just telling him how you have these really cool prayer meetings at your place!” so i got the feeling she was very receptive!

i called her up and said, “hey do you want to come over and meet my Baha’i friends? we’re just over here, hanging out eating cookies.”

she said sure! she had never come over before. she brought tea and scrabble. over the game of scrabble she told us how she found God and became a Christian. she said she was into Christian socialism and couldn’t find the words to explain what that meant to her, so i said, “you mean you’re socially liberal and morally conservative?” and she applauded and gave us all high fives cause that was the coolest phrase to her.

another team member said, “when i took book 1, i was amazed that the very first quote it teaches is ‘the betterment of the world can be accomplished by pure and goodly deeds, by commendable and seemly conduct.’ that’s like liberal socialism, doing good deeds, but morally conservative by maintaining pure and seemly conduct! b/c that’s what it’s about. doing good things to make this world better and ourselves better for the next world!”

our new friend applauded again and gave us all high fives again. she asked to see what ruhi book looked like. i gave her book 1. she said, “wow! have i been following the wrong religion all this time?”

we said no, that all religions are true and God is One. she said, “that’s what i always thought. my family said i couldn’t believe in both Jesus and Buddha, so i thought i must have made up my own religion!”

a team member said, “that’s what i used to think too! i used to think i was the only one who believed that all the religions came from one God and then i met the Baha’is!”

we ended the evening w/ prayers and songs and gave our new friend some prayer booklets. we hope to see her at prayer-forms soon! she is looking forward to starting book 1 as soon as possible!

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