Thursday, August 7, 2008

New believers build community through core activities

The following accounts from two A-stage clusters in Arizona, taken from a recent issue of “Learning in Action”, a newsletter produced by the Regional Bahá’í Council of the Southwestern states, show some truly inspiring examples of new believers arising to serve. Empowered by their participation in training institute courses, their initiatives to start and carry out all the core activities are leading to a vibrant community life within their neighborhoods.

In two Arizona clusters, new believers are arising to share the message of Bahá’u’lláh with their family and friends using Anna’s presentation as a tool which is familiar to them. They are also co-tutoring study circles and teaching children’s classes.

When activities take place at a small geographic scale such as an apartment complex, it allows residents to see the Faith in action, such as Bahá’í children’s classes, junior youth groups and unity feasts. These gatherings give rise to meaningful consultation regarding the spiritual wellbeing of their neighborhood and often results in further declarations. In one neighborhood Feast, the junior youth shared their idea for a unity gathering for the neighborhood, and enlisted the help of the adults to accomplish it. In addition, three mothers who are participating in a Book 1 study circle and one youth have taken a Book 3 refresher course and arisen to teach children’s classes in the neighborhood.

A consultation at a neighborhood Feast in another cluster resulted in two neighborhood devotionals and two mothers arising to teach children’s classes. After studying Book 3, one mother has successfully taken over the class, being occasionally assisted by other friends. This has allowed other teachers to begin teaching the lessons from Book 3A to the older children. In this same neighborhood, four new believers have committed to studying Books 1, 2 and 7 and are all tutoring a study circle with accompaniment.

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