Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chain reaction of core activities in Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ (A) hit the ground running when it launched its intensive program of growth and it just never occurred to anyone to slow down and catch their breath. A recent newsletter for the cluster had a lot of exciting news. For example, during their 6th cycle, the friends found 39 individuals who declared their belief in Bahá’u’lláh, bringing a cumulative total of 387 enrollments since their IPG began. Just as inspiring is the steady focus on multiplying core activities. For example, during the cluster planning process, the friends realized they had a far greater number of people who had completed Ruhi Book 1 than there were devotional meetings (which is the act of service connected to the completion of that course). So one of the main areas of emphasis for the 7th cycle of the IPG was to encourage more and more of the friends to start devotional meetings—an initiative that is already seeing results. Finally, the believers have gained some truly intriguing insights about how all the core activities are mutually reinforcing and create a coherent pattern of growth and the foundation for a rich and vibrant community life. From the newsletter:

We have found in Phoenix that with the decentralization of children’s classes, doors opened for home visits, which led to weaving bonds of friendship with the greater community, especially in the three focus neighborhoods. These home visits further led to devotional meetings, study circles and more opportunities to engage in direct conversations about the fundamental verities of the Faith, which in turn led to additional devotionals and study circles. This has resulted in a sense of community in these neighborhoods and to the holding of the Nineteen Day Feasts and Holy Day celebrations.

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