Thursday, September 24, 2009

Inviting both strangers and friends to core activities

Here is the second installment of wonderful stories from the recent collective, direct neighborhood teaching effort in Sequim, WA (B). The teaching teams connected with their existing community of interest, invited people they met to join new core activities, shared prayers, and encountered a number of people who plan on investigating the Faith online.

By the way, this is the 500th story to be posted to the teaching blog! A warm, enthusiastic and huge THANK YOU to all of our readers and contributors whose participation is vital to the blog’s success!


Focus: Coffee shop and one apartment unit, member of community of interest attending G’s study circle.

Results: One solid contact, one person will investigate on internet.

Core Activities: Opening to begin a Book 2 study circle. . . .

The team first visited an apartment complex. At one home a young man opened the door. As introductions were being made the team immediately noticed a lady reclining inside the apartment on a couch and they offered to say a healing prayer for her. After entering the apartment, the woman remarked that one of the Baha’is looked very familiar. Suddenly, she realized that she had known him from earlier in her life! This led to a presentation about the core activities and how they are used to help make a better society. She loved the healing prayer. Since she told them that she was an “internet person”, she was left a card with the websites listed on it and she seemed anxious to do some independent investigating.

This team next went to a local coffee shop for a prearranged visit with a contact who has been attending a Book 1 study circle. She is a colleague from one of the team member’s work place. She shared the verses from Book 1 that she loved the most. During this visit the subject shared was the Covenant. During the discussion the contact used many of her favorite quotes from Book 1. Later, she asked what comes after Book 1. She was told . . . Book 2! Both team members concurred that she truly seemed hooked on the Faith.

REFLECTION of team members: On the way to the apartments, the team discussed how hard they found door-to-door teaching to be. However, when they remembered the moving story of the martyr, Sulayman Khan, that was shared at the gathering that morning, it removed all of their trepidation. The feeling was that if Sulayman could go through everything that he did, door-to-door teaching was nothing in comparison!


Focus: Visiting houses in a neighborhood

Summary: One complete presentation, One healing prayer

Core Activities: Opening for a Book 1 study circle; possibilities for a junior youth program

PRELUDE: This team initially they headed for an apartment complex, but found signs that said “No Soliciting”. After consultation and prayers, they unanimously agreed to teach in another neighborhood.

The team met a woman who was obviously very sick and pale. She said that she had just gotten out of the hospital and was still fighting off the last bout of an illness. The team gave introductions and asked if she would like them to come back later when she was feeling better. She said, “Oh, yes—please!” One team member offered to say a healing prayer. The team then left after relaying that they hoped she would get better soon.

Another woman shared about her own personal spiritual path. The teaching team explained that Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings outline both a very personal spiritual path and provide an outward-oriented message to unite us all and bring peace to the world. She took some materials and expressed interest in going online to investigate more.

On another street a large number of junior youth had gathered. They were into listening to music on headphones and skateboarding; but they initiated an approach to the teaching team and seemed genuine and very interested and well-mannered. A mother of one of the youths took some information and invited the team to come back another time.

The team then went across the street where they were immediately invited to come in and give the presentation to a man who had recently lost his wife. About midway through the presentation he started asking many questions about life after death. Book 1 was mentioned as a way to find out about the life of the spirit, how to pray, and more about Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings about life after death. Before leaving the team offered to say a prayer for the departed; he read it himself out of the Bahá’í prayer book which was left behind with him.

REFLECTIONS: It is very important to get over your fear of going door-to-door.

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