Monday, July 20, 2009

Austin just explains it clearly and with love

Boy, I THOUGHT I understood what this Five Year Plan and all these IPGs were about. But leave it to the friends in Austin, TX (A) to show me how much more I have to learn! We’re sharing here a brief article from their most recent newsletter. It gives the most elegant, the most natural, the most simple explanation I have ever seen of what we’re supposed to do during the expansion phase of an intensive program of growth.

I think the true test of how well you understand and have internalized something is reflected in how clearly you can explain it to others. And the friends here have perfectly done so—as well as being loving and encouraging and empowering. They are truly showing that everyone can find a part to play in the expansion phase and it’s not complicated or mysterious at all.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Expansion Phase

Q. What should I do during the expansion phase of this cycle?

A. As someone you know (or don’t know) if they would like to hear what the Bahá’í Faith is about.

Q. What do I say?

A. Say:

1. God is unknowable; Manifestations are like mirrors

2. Bahá’u’lláh is the most recent Manifestation

3. The purpose of the Bahá’í Faith is . . .

4. Bahá’u’lláh

5. The Báb

6. The Covenant and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

7. Spiritual laws

8. Let them know how to join our Faith

(See “Anna’s presentation” for details.)

Q. Where do I do this?

A. Anywhere—in a fireside, in a study circle, after a devotional, with a coworker, with family, with a neighbor, in a neighborhood, with a long-time friend who may know something about the Faith but has never heard an overview of the essential facts about the Faith.

A wonderful resource for teaching is [link is on blog on “Resources” section on right margin]. This has many resources in many languages.

Of course your area teaching committee will provide resources and locations for collective direct teaching on the weekends of the expansion phase, however, this is but one path for teaching during this time. Please share with us your thoughts, plans, experiences or resources that have been helpful to you.

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