Monday, September 21, 2009

Bringing everyone together and opening the circle wider

In nature there are all sorts of cycles. It’s not surprising that the growth of the Faith is the same way; it is very much an organic process. Think of the multiplication of core activities. You reach out to your neighbors and friends in order to start a new children’s class or devotional meeting. And then, over time, the core activity leads to opportunities to more closely reach out to your neighbors and friends. And it continues on and on, the first steps towards a new pattern of community life. Here is a story from the San-Francisco-San Mateo, CA (A) cluster, recounting a joyful event in this organic process. After having started a number of core activities in a receptive neighborhood, friendships have formed. So the Bahá’ís organized a barbecue (see the photos on the slideshow!) to bring together the community of interest so far. This resulted in making many new connections and, you guessed it, additional core activities. The other wonderful thing about this report is the loving and welcoming manner in which the area teaching committee encourages all the friends to contribute to the teaching work in whatever way they feel comfortable.

Dearest Friends:

Here is a short description of a wonderful teaching event that took place in our cluster last weekend.

For several months now, a group of Bahá’í teachers have been busy conducting children's classes, hosting study circles, and making home visits in the neighborhood surrounding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in San Mateo. As a result of these efforts the Faith has been shared with many, and new friendships have been formed with the children who regularly attend children's classes, their parents, junior youth, youth and adults around the neighborhood. . . .

In an effort to bring the community together, a group of teachers planned a community wide barbeque and picnic at the King Center. In the weeks prior to the picnic, the teachers and students visited friends of the children to invite them to join their classes and a planned junior youth group. At the same time, the parents of the children and other contacts in the neighborhood were invited to the picnic.

On the morning of the picnic, the teachers were not quite sure how many people would end up coming. However, by the time the event was over, more than 60 people had come to participate in the festivities. There were 20 parents, adults, and youth from the community, 20 children and junior youth, as well as 20 Bahá’ís from the surrounding communities.

During the afternoon, everyone ate great barbeque prepared by the mother and father who host the children's classes on a weekly basis. The children played games and enjoyed each others company. Newly contacted junior youth and young adults accepted invitations to be involved in junior youth activities. The Faith was shared with individuals and families throughout the day, and as a result, several people will join new or existing study circles.

All in all, the day was a wonderful success and set the stage for greater victories in the future.

If you are interested in making home visits, tutoring study circles, sharing prayers, or being involved in service in this community please contact the area teaching committee.

Also, please don't hesitate to contact the area teaching committee to discuss other ways of being involved in cluster teaching efforts. Activities such as attending firesides, study circles, devotional gatherings, working with children or junior youth, or making home visits and sharing prayers are available to all.

We look forward to seeing you soon and joining you in the field of service in whatever way is most comfortable for you.

With the utmost love and admiration,

Your area teaching committee

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