Monday, July 14, 2008

"A love for the new people they met"

When is training a joy? When it is a teacher training in Rochester, NY (A). At a recent training event here, the friends gained confidence, in presenting the message of Bahá’u’lláh. It is inspiring to see how the participants put their direct teaching skills into practice in a variety of venues. Above all, you can see from their experience that teaching is a spiritual process, done out of love for humanity.

Dear Friends in the Rochester Cluster,

What a weekend we had! We learned so much in the field of action.

Saturday morning there was training on direct teaching using a visual aide to give Anna's presentation. Teams were formed of the diverse friends (different races, sexes, and ages). These teams practiced with each other. Then after prayers and calling on souls of the Concourse on High, we headed out to a neighborhood in Rochester. There were 7 teams of 2 or 3 who went to specific streets to learn to talk about the Faith to people they didn't know. Each team met people who were interested to listen to presentation. 2 people declared. Many wanted someone to visit them again.

5 other teams had set up appointments with friends and neighbors. All shared the complete presentation and found a very favorable response.

Saturday evening all the teams gathered together to share their experiences of the day. There was no talk of numbers. There was only talk about learning and the beautiful souls they met. Each team learned many things about presenting the Faith and praying for the partner who was presenting. But what each team shared over and over again was a love for the new people they met. Each new person touched their heart, and the friends wanted to tell everyone about these wonderful souls they had met. They were souls who had touched the friends who had the bounty of presenting the Faith to them.

The participants of the training weekend would like to give a huge thank you to all of the Local Spiritual Assemblies for providing food for the weekend. It was such a gift.

The participants would also like to thank everyone for their prayers. What we were learning and sharing was spiritual. Everyone's prayers before the weekend and during the weekend (especially Saturday afternoon) helped to unlock the keys of heaven in these new souls’ hearts and our own.

Dear friends, the last 3 cycles our cluster has had 2 declarations each cycle. This cycle we have had 18 so far! Our community is growing. Our learning in action is just beginning.

Please continue your prayers. Continue your teaching.

"The more we do. The more we learn."

With warmest Baha'i love,

The Rochester Cluster Agencies

One of the co-facilitators of the seminar shared the following thoughts:

This weekend was a true spiritual highlight for me in this Plan! The spirit of these friends and the joy of the work were extraordinary. We had members of core teams from Rochester, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and one person from the Finger Lakes area for a total of about 18 participants. Each session was remarkable for both the learning that seemed to be taking place and the charged spirit of excitement and enthusiasm that seemed to permeate everything. Wow. In addition to the 2 declarations, teams met at least 6 other people who recognized Bahá’u’lláh as the Manifestation of God for this day but wanted a follow up visit to learn a bit more. There was a great representation by the youth and this really made things fun. It seemed to me that we had a major advance in the understanding of the Plan overall and the planning of collective teaching projects in particular. There is of course much work that needs to be done but the friends in these clusters are so wonderful and ready to serve. We are truly blessed to be able to participate in this Plan at this time.

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