Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Three Core Activities with One Family!

This story from the Evanston, IL (B) cluster is a great example of how meeting the various needs of seekers can naturally lead to the multiplication of core activities. It also shows that a large number of participants is never needed to begin offering a core activity.

“My husband worked with a young lady, who he thought might be receptive to the Faith. He talked to her and said that he was concerned about the spiritual education of her child and invited her to share prayers with us and our young daughter. She appreciated his concern and attended a devotional meeting which both she and her child enjoyed very much. So then we thought – why not do a class for them too? So we started doing devotional meetings followed by a little class for our two children. After a while she invited us to her parents’ house – and we were very happy because we could get to know her large extended family. The spiritual connection has made us friends even though my husband has since left their shared work place.

One time, she offered to host the devotional and class at her apartment rather than at our house as usual. We were surprised to see that the child’s father was there. Apparently, he was interested in what we were teaching his son, or in what his son’s mother was telling him about the Baha’i Faith. He observed the prayers and the class and asked many questions and it became like a fireside. The next time, he came again. Then we invited both of them to study Ruhi Book One, so now we do prayers all together, then my husband does a children’s class in one room and I am doing the study circle with them in another.

I think part of our success was because we catered to this woman’s needs. We wanted to teach her and always kept her needs in the front of our minds. We originally wanted to have more people come, but when they couldn’t make it, we focused on this seeker. It’s just as well that it has stayed small. And because of that, we ended up having this three-in-one activity. It has also suited our family well, because we have a small child ourselves and didn’t think we could do anything bigger in the beginning. But we could handle just teaching her and her child. The key here was just making sure it kept happening because she was always interested, and it could have been hard to combine this seeker with anyone else. Now, we are welcoming the participation of a young Baha’i couple who are trained in the institute process, and we hope to add more pupils to the children’s class.”

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