Sometimes when people reach out the Bahá’í community, they are eager to become involved in local activities right away. Other times, well, it takes just a little bit longer. But as this story shows, prayer and persistence eventually bring everyone together. The regional seeker response specialist writes the local friends in a small community where a declaration has just occurred. She also offers a variety of suggestions for welcoming this new believer and connecting her to the patterns of community life.
It was very nice speaking with you today. As I mentioned, yesterday I had the privilege of meeting __ over the phone and sharing Anna's Presentation. She had originally contacted the Bahá’í community over a year and a half ago. Even though she never returned emails or calls, your prayers and good intentions, and those of the Local Spiritual Assembly, had an effect. A quotation from beloved Universal House of Justice comes to mind: . . .
The divinely ordained institution of the Local Spiritual Assembly operates at the first levels of human society and is the basic administrative unit of Bahá’u’lláh’s World Order. It is concerned with individuals and families whom it must constantly encourage to unite in a distinctive Bahá’í society . . . it acts as the loving shepherd of the Bahá’í flock.
(Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated Naw-Rúz 1974, to the Bahá’ís of the World)
__ has been learning about the Faith from a believer in a nearby town for several years, and has several Bahá’í books. I asked how she decided to declare now, and she just said that she decided it was time. She also said, “I want to be a better person. I want to do what I am meant to do.”
She is now affirmed and her information has been forwarded to the National Teaching Office to process the final part of her enrollment. Thank you for allowing me to assist with the computer processing part.
When __ and I spoke, she mentioned that she would like to participate in a very large community. She is thinking of visiting the Bahá’í Center in __ and attending some activities there. I encouraged her to also participate in the activities in her “hometown” Bahá’í community because they are smaller and will appreciate someone who has recently recognized the Promised One. I suggested she start by looking for at least one way to be of service.
For now, __ will likely continue to focus her time with her Bahá’í friend, but perhaps you can invite her for coffee, and offer to begin a Book 1 study circle, even if it is 1 on 1. What a Gift she has received, and what a gift she is!
Congratulations on this wonderful addition to the community of the Greatest Name!