Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Connecting an online registrant to the Local Spiritual Assembly

A growing number of individuals who investigate the Bahá’í Faith are taking the opportunity to declare their belief online. When someone makes this decision and “clicks on the button”, the friends at the national, regional and cluster levels work together to quickly respond to the new believer. Here is a story from a B-stage cluster in the South Central region where the friends at all levels did exactly that. What is also interesting is how the seeker response “regional specialist” is building the capacity of the Local Spiritual Assembly to respond to believers who declare through this channel. In this case, the regional specialist clarified what steps in the enrollment process had already occurred and which ones remained to be completed, as well as the similarities and differences with the steps for “hard copy” registrations. The Local Assembly, in turn, is eager to play its part in the process.

Dear friends,

Glad tidings that __ declared this evening!

__ showed up in my queue. I didn’t know if the local friends had already contacted her or not, and following the request of the Regional Bahá’í Council to contact seekers after 3 days in situations like this, I called the number she had provided. This evening I finally reached her. . . .

She has been moved by the imprisonment of the Bahá’ís in Iran, and is attracted to the fundamental verity of the Faith that all of humanity is one.

I asked if she had received information in the mail, knowing the National Teaching Office had mailed literature. And I asked if anyone in her town had contacted her. She said Yes for both—Terrific! She offered that this Faith is what she believes, and that she had been praying for God to open her heart.

Knowing that, I asked if she would like to hear an overview of the Faith right now? She said Yes. (She had already read quite a bit on line, but she liked the idea of hearing an overview.) We went through the main teachings, following the conversation of Anna in Book 6. When I asked if she would like to be registered as a Bahá’í, she said, "Yes I would."

How wonderful that her heart had been prepared in the last month, and perhaps her entire life!

We talked about books she could read, and I encouraged her to attend devotional gatherings and study circles in her area. I said that I would contact the Bahá’ís who had called her and inform them of her declaration.

So I next called S, and he expressed his joy that __ had declared. When I explained that I assist with seekers and online registrants in the region, and that I could complete the registration process, he said that he preferred that the Local Spiritual Assembly complete the enrollment. I made sure to clarify that a paper card is not necessary to sign, because the registration with her was done online, and my conversation with her covered the affirmation and countersigning process. I also explained that her name would show up tonight in that community’s eMembership queue, and that the Local Assembly could complete the enrollment process for her through eMembership. He said the Assembly would follow up with this.

Very sincerely,


No comments: