Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ongoing efforts by the Houston LSA

Below is a letter from the Houston Local Spiritual Assembly (part of the Harris County, TX (A) cluster), following up on a previous letter sent to the National Assembly and giving updates on initiatives that have since been undertaken. This letter not only shows an ongoing process of action and reflection about the aims of Five Year Plan, but the Assembly's decision to keep the National Assembly and their Regional Baha'i Council abreast of their efforts ensures that other communities can learn and benefit from their example as well.

Dearly loved friends,

Since the initial response of the Houston Assembly to the August 14th letter of the National Spiritual Assembly, the Assembly has . . . engaged in on-going consultation on the needs of the Five Year Plan in light of the August 14th letter and these meetings.

The initial response of the Assembly sent . . . to the NSA on September 5th was:

1. Members of LSA to continue taking Ruhi Books to finish the sequence, members who have finished the sequence to participate in core activities, tutor, and/or co-tutor.

2. To invite [our] ABM, to meet with the LSA on any Wednesday she is available.

3. LSA members to form three groups of three, or other format, for home visit during the upcoming IPG in September.

4. Meeting with ATC: Date and agenda will be decided later after meeting with ABM.

The first item is on-going and the 2nd and 4th were done. Not all members of the Assembly were able to do the home visits during the September intensive campaign as mentioned in the 3rd item.

Subsequent actions and/or decisions have been as follows:

1) The Assembly will add one extra meeting a month so that there is more time to focus on the needs of Five Year Plan while still addressing other business of the community.

2) Committees and neighborhood councils are being evaluated both in regard to the need for each as well as how many friends are needed for the task. To date, the Assembly has decided that the existing committees are needed but decided to reduce the number of friends serving on the neighborhood councils.

3) One need identified during the meeting with the ATC and Auxiliary Board member was that of encouraging attendance at the Reflection gathering. . . Actions taken for the recent Reflection gathering were:

· Assembly members contacted Houston council and committee members to encourage them to attend.

· A letter from the Assembly was read at the feast encouraging friends to participate in the Reflection Gathering.

· A calling post callout was made to Persian speaking friends to announce that translation would be available at the Reflection Gathering.

4) The Assembly is endeavoring to have the Five Year Plan activities the main emphasis at Feast and is exploring different ways of doing this.

5) The Assembly is considering ways to encourage individuals in both the institute process as well as the core activities.

The Assembly continues to consult regularly on what more can be done towards active involvement in and support of the Five Year Plan. The Assembly will also continue collaboration with the Area Teaching Committee, Cluster Institute Coordinators and Auxiliary Board members.

With loving greetings,

The Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the City of Houston

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