Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Empowering Local Spiritual Assemblies to empower their communities

What is the role of a Local Spiritual Assembly in the Five Year Plan?  This has been a key topic of learning throughout the country.  One Regional Bahá’í Council has organized a series of training workshops in which several Local Spiritual Assemblies come together to reflect on this question and learn from the experiences of other Assemblies, as well as consider certain specific steps that they can take.
A few months after the workshop the Regional Bahá’í Council followed up with the participating Local Spiritual Assemblies and asked them to share what insights they gained and how they have tried to apply this learning to their work.  What follows is a very inspiring response from one Local Assembly—you can see how their example helped encourage some of the veteran believers to participate in the institute process, which has further empowered them to serve!
Dear Friends,
First we wish to say how grateful we are that our Regional Council provided such a wonderful experience at the training workshop.  We came away with a better understanding of the role of Local Spiritual Assemblies in the Five Year Plan, along with new energy to implement the lessons learned to the working of our own Assembly. . . .

[After studying more and consulting together] we each now have a very clear understanding of the role of the Assembly in promoting and supporting cluster growth and that it is the role of the Assembly to lead by example in this area. . . . our Assembly members stand ready to assist the friends in planning devotional gatherings, accompanying them as they begin home visits, etc.  To this end we are particularly pleased to advise that during this past year approximately nine of the Persian friends in our community began the study of the Ruhi books in a combination of Farsi and English.  With the assistance of one of the Persian members of our Assembly, these friends have now completed Books 1, 2 and 3, and will soon begin Book 4.
In addition, they have also worked on sharing Anna’s conversation together so to become more comfortable sharing the Faith in English.  Two of these friends have now become teachers for the two children’s classes that have recently begun again in our community.  Their assistants are some of the younger youth who have also completed these courses.

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