Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"We are going very local"

The first of several stories about New York City (A), where the latest intensive program of growth has not only involved earnest and systematic outreach, it has also applied some of the latest learning.  The last paragraph is priceless and overrules any summary I could write here.
Dear friends,
As we go into the last two days of the Expansion Phase over the weekend, let us share some of the stories about the teaching work that have been happening throughout our cluster this week.  What courage and love and unity and generosity of spirit we see in the teaching teams!  Let us all pray for one another and for receptive hearts as we endeavor to make this a weekend of intense teaching! . . .

In one neighborhood, we got together on Saturday morning to eat and pray together.  We then broke off into 3 teaching teams and went to the 3 apartment buildings that we are focusing on.  We had developed plans for each of these 3 buildings earlier that week.
In one building, the believers (and one seeker too!) studied some of the messages of the Universal House of Justice.  Then they went to visit every single apartment in the building to invite everyone to a pot-luck dinner, as well as the regular devotional gathering held in that building.
In another building, in which there is a junior youth group, the team made home visits to all of the parents of the junior youth.
In the third building, the believers did some role-playing to practice how they would engage their neighbors.  They then visited every apartment and explained the process of community building, including the ongoing children’s class, junior youth group, and devotional gathering—and then invited them to be a part of it!  Later, the junior youth group at this building baked cookies and gave them to their neighbors to show loving-kindness, and thus met more neighbors in the path of service.  A new person joined the junior youth group, and a new neighbor came to the devotional and asked a bajillion questions about the Faith!
Our strategy is this:  we are going very local, reaching out to our neighbors to create community through the core activities and skills from the Ruhi sequence (yay home visits!), and developing relationships that naturally lead to direct teaching and engagement with the core activities!  We have been identifying potential human resources in the 3 buildings who we can invite to serve with us and go through some or all of the Ruhi sequence.  We have a LOT to do for the consolidation phase, and we are meeting every other Sunday to deepen on The Advent of Divine Justice, reflect and plan, and then hold our core activities!  Yay yay!  Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha!

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