Friday, January 9, 2009

Working together to respond to the search

This story of a declaration in a *C-stage cluster in the Southwestern region is interesting for a number of reasons. It shows that many people are searching and want to learn more about the Faith. It also shows how the friends and different institutions—in this particular case, the seeker response system regional specialist, cluster institute coordinator, Local Spiritual Assembly—all worked together to respond to the seeker’s interest. And so it was easy to instantly and naturally set in place follow-up activities such as a study circle after the seeker declared.

____ recently declared her belief in Bahá’u’lláh. She contacted the national Web site and expressed interest in learning more about the Faith. The cluster institute coordinator shares the rest of the story: . . .

E and I met with __ briefly a couple of times over the past 18 months. We again met at a social gathering a few weeks ago. She expressed that the corruption in the world today is a spiritual problem which must be addressed. I then told her that we are Bahá’ís, and that the teachings of our Faith tell us that the economic problems of today must be solved with spiritual solutions. She then exclaimed: “You are Bahá’ís! My son was a Baha’i and studied the faith diligently. I now want to know more about this Faith.” We discussed some of the teachings and I told her I would call her and invite her to a fireside at our home Friday or Saturday evening.

On Wednesday, I received a call from one of the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly who explained that she had received an email from our cluster institute coordinator that a seeker had contacted the National Center for information about the Faith. She asked me to follow up with this since she was leaving town the next day. We later learned that this seeker was the same person we had spoken to at the gathering!

We held a fireside for her on Friday evening and invited two Bahá’í friends to attend. That evening, __ declared her belief in Baha’u’llah as the Manifestation of God for today after hearing Anna's presentation. S and I agreed to co-tutor a Ruhi course for her beginning next week, which she agreed to attend, and E and I would take her to the next Feast.

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