Monday, May 12, 2014

SED: Our garden is maintained by a picnic and planting party

Our centrally located garden, created and maintained by the Baha’is of Deerfield (now in its 40th year of existence!) is a spot of beauty that draws attention and praise. 
The Local Assembly funds it and a member of the community devotes effort and love toward the maintenance of the garden and its significance.  A picnic and planting party in May 19 was a fabulous day for the community to gather there at noon for a potluck lunch and a teaching prayer.  Tim then directed the planting of the annuals to outline the circle of the garden.  Everyone did what they could, from taking pictures to separating the plants from their containers at a working table, to digging the holes and dropping in the plants, with Tim doing the finishing touches. It was mutually felt that this planting picnic and party should become an annual tradition!  We are looking forward to its repeat in another month.

SED: Multiple activities organized by junior youth groups in Charlotte NC

In the Charlotte, NC, there are currently two junior youth groups established.
During the past year, one group participated in a neighborhood clean-up, while the other group had a cake sale and donated over $100 towards a children's hospital here in Charlotte.

Other activities included, a game day in which kids from a local neighborhood were invited to participate in a variety of sporting activities and a recycle awareness day in which the youth talked to neighbors and encouraged them to recycle.

SED: 30 children plant a community garden for their neighborhood

Our cluster [in Florida] has a project for the last two years involving 30 children who attend children's classes from the wider community; one child is from a Bahai family who lives in the area.
Together, they planted a community garden as a service project for their neighborhood at the community center.



SED: From at-risk to rising college sophomores

The Jackson area cluster embraced several members of a 9th grade class at Lexington's J.J. McClain High School in 2009. The numbers dwindled from 7 or 8 to a final 5 in 2010.  These students were transported 52 miles one way to Jackson once per month for holy days, junior youth classes, and special outings. They underwent training in academic support.
They attended the Baha'i Youth Conference in Atlanta. All five entered college on three different campuses in fall 2013.  Three are now active tutors for Jackson Junior Youth classes.
The Jackson Area Cluster takes pride in having engaged, mentored and cultivated this group of at-risk 9th grade students into rising college sophomores. We trust this is economic development.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SED: 50 Examples of service projects underway across America . . .

Communities across the country share their service projects, many inspired through junior youth groups. Here are just a few . . .

o   Make a Difference Day – trash pickup in Texas

o   Food Dr. Jr youth group –canned food collection

o   Park clean up service – in California

o   Community Gardening – by junior youth

o   Lawn assistance -- in Arlington

o   Cultural/Religious Awareness Workshop with the Las Vegas Police Department

o   Anti-terrorist Community Readiness program – in Nevada

o   Interfaith Forums – in Nevada

o   Wheel chair cleaning – in Henderson

o   Apartment complex Trash clean up – in Nevada

o   Spiritual Conversations – in Springfield

o   Highway cleanup – in Wenatchee

o   Block watch newsletter – in Spokane Valley

o   Weekend student lunches – in Washington

o   Health& Spirituality workshops – in Metro Atlanta

o   Collecting shoes for charity --in Duluth

o   Making food for soup kitchen –in Roswell

o   Baha'i House vegetable garden –in Buford

o   Reading to children – in Arizona

o   Highway Cleanup – on I-17

o   Feeding Homeless – in Los Angeles

o   Beach Cleanup – in California

o   Assisting with Cancer Marathon –in Los Angeles

o   Junior youth camps – in Salt Lake City

o   River clean up – in Sacramento

o   Trash pickup – in Concord

o   Collection of Food for food bank – in California

o   Year of Service at Lou Helen Bahai School – in Davison

o   The Bendler Project - Classes for ALL neighborhood "children"—in Detroit

o   Sunday Morning Class – in Detroit

o   Highway Clean Up – in Boise

o   Greenbelt trash pickup – in Idaho

o   Backpack food for children project at Food bank – in Boise

o   Happy hands and feet - collect mittens & socks for homeless shelter – in Boise

o   Heat relief-bottled water delivery to homeless shelter—Idaho

o   Community deepening about animator program – in Lancaster

o   Race Unity Workshop – in Springfield

o   Neighborhood Children’s class –in Illinois

o   Monthly Fireside discussions –in Arizona

o   Reading with children –Literacy Program – in Flagstaff

o   Fund raiser to buy goods for homeless shelter – in Centreville

o   Tree planting – in Beaverton

o   Food bank volunteer – Oregon

o   Distribution of food & visiting kids shelters – in California

o   The Writing of a Will Workshop –in Westminster

o   Parenting book club – In Colorado

o   Neighborhood trash clean up –in Madison

o   Summer Youth Campaign – in Michigan

o   Visit to Elderly Home – in Royal Oak

o   Nonperishable Can and Food Drive – in Royal Oak


SED: 5 Examples of Sustainable Endeavors

 . . .as shared by a few . . .
·         Valley Natural Foods Co-op – in Burnsville
·         Sandy Lane Junior Youth Classes – in Norwich
·         Parent University – in Savannah
·         Interfaith Women of Peace – in Fremont
·         Upland High School youth group – in Upland

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SED: "We try and do BIG things!"

In our small community here in Hernando County we try and do BIG things!  We have two children's classes; One class is a Baha'i class and the other class is more of a Virtues class.  These two classes get together once in a while to plan and do something "important".  One thing they did was hold a bake sale where the proceeds went to the children of the Philippines who were affected by the typhoon.  The children raised about $175!!! 
In addition, the children have "adopted" hospice as their ongoing service project, making holiday cards, visiting the sick, etc.
In Loving Service,  Theresa

Monday, May 5, 2014

The nature of of Bahá’í social and economic development

In November 26, 2012 the Office of Social and Economic Development at the Bahá’í World Centre described the nature of Bahá’í social and economic development

Bahá’í activity in the field of social and economic development seeks to promote the wellbeing of people of all walks of life, whatever their beliefs or background. It represents the efforts of the Bahá’í community to effect constructive social change, as it learns to apply the teachings of the Faith, together with knowledge accumulated in different fields of human endeavour, to social reality. Its purpose is neither to proclaim the Cause nor to serve as a vehicle for conversion. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"I believe in humanity, unity, compassion . . . "

“I have been raised Christian. I have found that there are a lot of holes in the religious teachings of church. Reading about Baha'i religion resonates with me in the fact that I believe in humanity, unity, compassion, and taking responsibility to live in the moment and be the best person I can be.  I would like to know more about this religion, although honestly I admit I'm fearful that it sounds like a cult. I know that comes from ignorance, and fear.  Are there any locations in [Florida]?”

I would like to know who I can speak to about . . . [being an animator]

This youth lives in North Carolina . . .

“My name is Brad, I am a student at  . . . high school and I am looking for summer volunteer positions. I saw that you posted a position for an animator of junior youth group. I would like to know who I can speak to you about this position. I can be reached at  . . . . Thank you!” 

"I was fascinated and it made sense to me . . . "

“48 years ago I lived on a Navajo community school as a part of my senior project. My roommate and I taught in the elementary school for 3 months.  Most of the teachers there were Bahai.  We prayed and learned about Baha’u’llah. I was fascinated and it made sense to me that all the prophets were Messengers of their time. I loved that all the religions were connected. I have been interested in the Bahai faith for many years. But just this morning I found out about the school and convention center and that it was within a few miles of my cabin near [me].  I am currently a teacher . . . for high-risk students. I am teaching life skills and working with students on values and how to make decisions that will affect their lives as well as others. I can’t believe the timing. The faith in Baha’u’llah and my life’s goals are so connected. I would love to come and take classes.”

Update:  Miki is now a member in the Baha'i Faith

"We will be glad to meet u guys"

Kathy from Tennessee shares . . . .

“My boyfriend from Cameroon had been telling me about the Bahai faith. I now have this project in school in which we have to research and write about religions other than Christianity. So that brings me to wanting to pay more attention to the Bahai faith and do my project on it . . .We will be glad to meet with u guys.  Thank you.” 

"Wondering where I can learn more . . ."

"Hi. Just wondering where I can learn more about the Bahai faith in [Maryland]?" 

"I am in a class on World Religion . . . "

Gary from Vermont shares . . . 

“I am doing a project for a class on World Religions and Baha'i was not addressed during the class.  I thought it would be interesting to write about a faith we hadn't studied.” 

"Where do you gather?"

Viki from Virginia is intrigued . . .

“I am intrigued by what I've learned so far online and would like to find out more. For example, when/where do you gather locally, etc., so that I can meet people and decide if this is a fit for me and my family.”

"My name is Amelia and I am a college student . . . "

“My name is Amelia and I am a college student in [Texas] . . . I recently learned about Bahai from a video (added below) and was wondering if I could attend a meeting and talk to some people of the faith. My motivation is just to learn about this religion and share a bit of life with people who may have different perspectives or wisdoms that I can ponder in my own journey.  Peace.”   

[Amelia watched:  Rainn Wilson’s video on SOULPANCAKE called:   “Have a Little Faith”]

"Humanity as an interconnected whole makes complete sense to me"

Ryan from Philadelphia wrote . . .

“I have been reading information from the Bahai web-site and the philosophy seems extremely congruent with both my extremely strong faith in God and my views on the acceptance of multiple prophets (Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and Baha’u’llah) understood in the context of the natural evolution of time. Humanity as an interconnected whole makes complete sense to me and is necessary to more fully experience our love and expression of this love to God. Please help me further my studies. Thank you.”

Visit us on or

“Do you have information in spanish??”

Bita from Texas wants to know . . .
“Do you have information in spanish??”

 . . . yes we do . . .

·        Primero entre los grandes principios reveladores por Bahá'u'lláh está la investigación de la realidad. Esto significa que exhortan cada individuo poner creencias a un lado supersticiosas, las tradiciones y de imitación ciegos e investigan la realidad para sí mismo. El aviso de este principio no se encuentra en los libros sagrados uces de los del pasado.

·        Un segundo principio es la unicidad de la humanidad. Bahá'u'lláh ha dicho, "Ye es todas las hojas de un árbol." No hay diferencias o distinciones de la raza entre usted en la vista de dios. Todos son beneficiarios de las generosidades de dios. Dios es bueno con todos. Ningunas otras escrituras contienen tal anchura y universalidad de la declaración.

·        Bahá'u'lláh enseña a la unidad de la ciencia y de la religión. La ciencia sin la religión es materialismo mientras que la religión sin ciencia es superstición.
Si la creencia y la enseñanza se oponen al análisis de la razón y a los principios de ciencia, no son dignas de la aceptación. Este principio no se ha revelado en libros anteriores uces de los de la enseñanza divina.

·        La religión debe ser la fuente de beca y de unidad. Si produce odio y fanatismo, la ausencia de religión sería preferible. Éste es un nuevo principio de revelación encontrado solamente en las elocuciones de Bahá'u'lláh.

·        Todas las formas de perjuicio deben ser abandonadas. El mundo de la humanidad no y no puede lograr paz y prosperidad y calma. Este principio no se puede encontrar en cualquier otro volumen sagrado que las enseñanzas de Bahá'u'lláh.

·        La igualdad de mujeres y de hombres necesita ser reconocida. El cuyo corazón es el más puro, cuyo vida y carácter es el más alto y el más cercano al estándar divino es el más digno y excelente de la vista de Dios.

·        La necesidad de un lenguaje universal quitará malentendidos y dificultades y fue establecida por Bahá'u'lláh en el 1800's.

·        La educación universal debe ser establecida para quitar analfabetismo. Este principio no se puede encontrar en el texto de ninguna otra libros sagrada.

Other videos too . . .

"I . . . recently discovered the Baha'i faith and I would like to learn more"

“Hi I have only just recently discovered the Baha'i faith and I would like to learn more about it. I was wondering if there are any Baha'i meetings either in [my] City or around [another city] in Mississippi?   Thank You.”

"I feel lost."

A seeker from Colorado left these three simple words . . . and her phone number.

"I feel lost."


"I am interested in attending any scheduled activities"

“I am new to the [Alabama] area and would like to become involved in the community here.  Back in [California] there was a Bahai school my daughter and I would attend. . . I am interested in attending any scheduled activities.”

"I would really like to get involved . . . "

“I would really like to get involved with the Baha'i community in  . . . Alabama.”

"I wonder if there are any Baha'i churches in . . . my area"

"Hi!  I wondered if there were any Baha'i churches in or around my area. I am just discovering Baha'i and would love to connect with others in my area.  :)"

I "yearn for something that is relevant to the current world"

“I am interested in finding a faith that makes sense for myself and my family. I am Jewish and my wife is Christian.  I cannot buy into all the rhetoric and/or ritual of either faith and yearn for something that is relevant to the current world. Thank you.”

"Please give me more"

“My wife and I have been looking for a church where we could feel like we belonged. I pass your church  . . . every day on my way to work.  I am a recovering Catholic.  She is not one, but is familiar with the church.  It is a coincidence that for many years I have had the belief that all of the great teachers that have come along in history (Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, etc.) were manifestations of the same God.  Anyway, I like what little I know so far (from Wikipedia). Please give me more.”