Thursday, August 21, 2008

Learning by doing in Philadelphia

Across the country, the friends are discovering that there are a wide variety of ways and venues to directly share the message of Bahá’u’lláh with other. One particularly clear example of this comes from the recent experience of the friends in Philadelphia, PA (A). As this following report shows, they are truly “learning by doing”.

Dearly Beloved Friends,

Saturday, July 26th was a beautiful day to teach! After the devotions and consultation, a group of beloved souls embarked on an afternoon of directly sharing the message of Bahá’u’lláh. Three approaches of were explored:

(1) home visits with members of a community of interest (i.e., people who are currently participating in core activities) and extended community of interest (people who are not participating in core activities but had previously requested to learn more about the Faith),

(2) personal encounters to meet new people by walking along the river or setting up a table in a park, and

(3) visiting homes in a receptive neighborhood. . . .

Following the afternoon’s activities, the friends regrouped at the Bahá’í Center to share their experiences. A pair of believers went on a home visit planning to share Anna’s presentation with a friend. Instead, they found themselves sharing the Faith with members of the whole family. One friend lovingly expressed the joy she saw in one of the souls: “They were listening to Anna’s presentation and were really interested. One said, ‘You have opened my eyes to something new and I do believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the return of Christ.’ It was a wonderful experience for me.”

Two other friends spent a few hours in a park. With a table and books set up, they were prepared and energized to encounter new people. One member described her experience: “A woman stopped by. She was happy to listen to the whole of Anna's presentation and is interested in attending devotional meetings. We wrote down her information for future contact.”

The wonderful part is that we are exploring a number of different ways of directly sharing the Message. The more we teach, the more we develop our capacity to teach. Friends, we encourage you all to participate whether it is for an hour or a day. The area teaching committee is here to assist and answer any questions. We continue to pray for the success of our community.

We leave you with the words of our Beloved Master: “Of all the gifts of God, the greatest is the gift of Teaching.” Let us continue to share this gift with others.

With hearts full of love and excitement,

The area teaching committee of Philadelphia

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