Friday, May 28, 2010

Studying the Writings and reflecting on the neighborhood

The Universal House of Justice has set before us in the Ridvan 2010 message the goal of creating in neighborhoods “a centre of intense activity” characterized by the core activities.  Here is a snapshot of how this new culture is taking root in the Santa Cruz, CA (A) cluster, shown through the lens of a home visit.
Inspiring and informative home visits continue at one apartment complex in the cluster.  When we discuss quotes from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh with one friends, she sees their applicability in the community.  She speaks about the possible ways in which these words might inform the health and vitality of the neighborhood and how the ideas can transform our daily lives. . . .

It has been a time of reflection on the state of the neighborhood and the challenges facing it and the hardships experienced within the community.  The home visits are also often paired with a children’s class for the children who live there.  We are always warmly greeted by the smallest child, who gathers her brother and sister, and the class begins with songs, stories and memorization of quotes.
And in another part of the cluster, an animator of a junior youth group describes the effect of this activity on the participants.
Junior youth in the Santa Cruz cluster say that initially they decided to become a part of the group because they were friends with the people who were already in the group, and they wanted to be with their friends.  However, as the group progressed, they came to see it as a dynamic force for action to make their own community a better place to live.  They do all sorts of activities together and say that the junior youth group is important for social interaction and community development.
Their favorite recent experiences in the group have been planning service projects, raising money for and learning more about charity organizations.  The junior youth describe the animators as “cool, funny and good role models.”

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