Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Building friendship and unity with Carne Asada

This story from the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, CA (A) is not about a core activity or teaching project or consolidation effort. No, this is about something greater, the ultimate purpose of all these endeavors: Unity. A simple picnic was the means to strengthen ties of friendship and love and build a united community. True joy! And lots of carne asada. Oh, and though it quietly slipped in there, you can also again see the power of accompaniment and the important role of the tutor.

It was on a beautiful Sunday in November when some friends were gathered at City Heights to have some awesome Carne Asada and a great time! The picnic was in the courtyard of two of the new believers, and was held to celebrate our friendship and cement bonds of love. One of their beautiful neighbors from upstairs joined us and one of the friends immediately engaged her in Anna’s presentation. Talk about teaching opportunities. . . .

It was very festive with laughter, music, great food and great people—young and old. We were grilling and having fun together! You could see boundaries disappearing and strong bonds of friendship forming. We wrapped up the beautiful day with a round of devotionals; prayers were recited in Spanish, English and Persian. It was truly wonderful. We can’t wait to plan more of these fiestas.

The two hosts have both completed Book 1 and are on the way with the next book in the sequence of courses. They have had a couple of devotional gatherings at their home with their families and friends and are working with their tutor to make it a regular event.

As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says: “When love is realized and the ideal spiritual bonds unite the hearts of men, the whole human race will be uplifted, the world will continually grow more spiritual and radiant and the happiness and tranquility of mankind be immeasurably increased.”

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