Sunday, March 30, 2008

"They communicated eloquently through the shared language of love"

The following summary of activities provides insight into the outreach underway in this new A-stage cluster in the Northwestern Region. Rich diversity was represented in the team and the neighborhoods reached.

The morning session of the first cycle of growth for the Snohomish County WA (A) cluster kicked off with a cluster reflection meeting today. The friends read a letter penned to the Area Teaching Committee from the National Spiritual Assembly and consulted on the collective teaching work laid before them. Nine teaching teams composed of 29 Baha’is from the Snohomish County, WA cluster and one visitor from Seattle were formed and preceded to the Baker Heights neighborhood in northeast Everett to find and teach receptive souls. The Baker Heights neighborhood is a diverse mixture of immigrant and multi-generational populations. Over 30 languages can be heard at the local grammar school there ranging from Russian and Ukraine to Vietnamese, Turkish, and Arabic.

The friends visited between 200-250 homes in the neighborhood and were met by a largely receptive population. Approximately half the homes housed someone who answered the doors to the teachers and around 20% or so of those who did showed some degree of receptivity to the Faith. The friends have over 20 people listed for a follow-up visits. Most of these will occur next weekend -- the final weekend of the intensive outreach campaign.

The day ended with an evening meeting in the neighborhood. One of the neighbors who were visited earlier came to listen to the music and devotions and listen to a short presentation on the Faith.

Tomorrow, the friends will teach at a second neighborhood around the area of the Baha’i Center. The two neighborhoods were chosen as it is hoped they will offer much in the way of learning about receptive populations.

The friends who participated today came from several communities in the cluster and what they may have lacked in specific experience was more than made up by the degree of consecration in their approach. The collective teaching experience opened new portals of love between the friends as they offered their services to the Blessed Beauty and the Five Year Plan. It was especially heartwarming to have several recent Baha’i immigrants participate and work shoulder to shoulder with longstanding residents. Teaching teams were made up of English and Persian and Turkish speakers and, although some team members had challenges conversing, they communicated eloquently through the shared language of love and joyful sacrifice.

During the week, in between the weekend door-to-door campaign in the two pre-selected neighborhoods, the friends will engage in an intensive home visit and fireside campaign. Over ten teams have formed thus far and have committed to intensifying their teaching efforts pledging to visit their contacts and invite them to firesides, devotional meetings and other activities.

The weather in Everett today was largely stormy and wintry. There was a brief period of a couple of hours when the sun broke through and warmed the streets. This happened to coincide with the beginning of the door-to-door teaching. The friends, who were sustained by the sweetness of the teaching experience today, are more than ready to give another effort tomorrow and to continue to expand their learnings in teaching.


No comments: