Monday, June 22, 2009

Innovative approaches to devotional meetings

Devotional gatherings are an important part of any sustained teaching effort. Around the country, the friends have learned how to organize devotional gatherings in their homes and how to invite their friends to the devotions. The believers are finding that their friends and neighbors and family members and colleagues are very interested in participating. The friends in Long Island, NY (A), have experimented with a couple of intriguing approaches to devotional gatherings, which we are happy to share here. First, is an example that involves a community’s Bahá’í Center: . . .

During the latest cycle, one of the communities embarked on a teaching effort that resulted in some wonderful opportunities. Calling it a “Friends and Family” event, the community had a gathering at the Bahá’í Center, and invited friends and family members to this social but also prayerful gathering that was designed as a way to introduce the Faith to those who knew something about it but had not yet had a “full out” introduction. 9 seekers attended. There was an excellent presentation and very good one-on-one conversations both before and after the presentation. The friends concluded that this was a very good approach.

Second, is a brief report of a “Spiritual Tea”. In this case, a Bahá’í Holy Day (Ayyam-i-Ha) provided a perfect opportunity to introduce and establish a devotional gathering.

The Bahá’ís who attended invited coworkers and friends, as well as other contacts. In all, there were 12 guests. One of the participants noted:

The Spiritual Tea was a wonderful evening. It was a real “getting to know you” evening, along with an explanation of the Faith and the Holy Day, and a sharing of prayers. Guests indicated that they would like to see the activity continue.

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