Thursday, November 8, 2007

Confirmations Abound in Establishing a Neighborhood Children’s Class

“Yesterday was the first time, after about 6 years as a Baha’i and serving on every type of committee from the National Summer School, to the Center Board, Teaching Committees, LSAs, etc., that I really felt like I was doing something that was going to make a difference in the world and not just talking about how to do it, what needed to be done, who was going to do it.”

Is there any better feeling than direct action? Many of us can probably relate to the sentiments expressed by this tutor from the Cincinnati, OH (*C) cluster who spearheaded an invitation campaign to start a neighborhood children’s class. The story below gives some background on how this project developed, and describes the many confirmations that these friends witnessed when they took the move to ACTION.

How did it all get started? Recently, in Norwood, Ohio, in OH-05, a group of friends interested in the spiritual development of children gathered to plan and practice effective children’s classes in which the mention of God is made and His praise glorified, using the Words of Baha’u'llah. Several weeks later, at a Tutor Gathering, perspective children’s class teachers came together in Cincinnati, also in OH-05, to pray, practice inviting neighbors to bring their children to classes offered by the Baha’is for character development and reading and to go out to invite.

The teachers decided that Saturday mornings (10:30 to 11:30 am) would be a good time to offer their class as a service to the neighborhood families. To start, the teachers decided to invite children from 1st through 3rd grade.

A week before the invitations, to test the receptivity of the neighborhood, a tutor stopped her car a block from her home to talk to several women watching their children play on the front lawn of an apartment complex. The women all agreed to send their children to the Bahá’í class and gave the tutor their phone numbers. Later in the week, after many prayers, a community center run by the City of Cincinnati was approached for space. The director offered the space, free of charge, and further offered to schedule staff to open up on Saturdays, even though the center had previously been closed on Saturdays.

On a brisk Saturday afternoon over 70 people were given Baha’i prayers for children and invitations to a Baha’i children’s class by 5 people in two teaching teams. There were no rejections, and people made every effort to assist the Baha’is in their project. The parents of 15 children offered their names and phone numbers and expect to bring their children. All the Baha’i participants noticed that by actually initiating a Core Activity, they discovered that the receptivity of people around them was much greater than they had imagined. They affirmed that they felt assured and confirmed throughout the process.

There happened to be a Diversity Fair scheduled on the same day the teachers chose to invite the neighbors. On the way to the Fair, a member of a local church took the prayers for children and the invitation and asked if he could copy them to share with all the members of his congregation. Three Head Start teachers asked if they could promote the class at their fair booth. A member of a civic organization recognized one of the Bahá’ís, asked for the Baha’i’s contact information and said genuinely that he would do everything it takes to promote a class for children for reading and character development put on by the Bahá’ís. An aunt plans to attend along with here nieces and nephews. Parents and family members were encouraged to attend with their children.

1 comment:

Teaching blog said...

Nov 15, 11:45 AM

Very good! for the Bahai’s of Ohio

Donald Horton |