Common Threads: A Theory and Practice of Community Development

In 1992, in response to the call for the development of human resources, we designed a program to teach practical skills of love, support and belonging. We were inspired by the following statement by the Guardian on the integration of science and religion.

"It is hoped that all Bahá'í students will.. Be led to investigate and analyze the principles of the Faith and to correlate them with the modern aspects of philosophy and science. Every intelligent and thoughtful young Bahá'í should always approach the Cause in this way, for there in lies the very essence of the principle of independent investigation of the Truth."
       Aug. 6, 1933 Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer.

We were further encouraged by the May 19, 1994, letter from the Universal House of Justice and its encouragement to pursue individual initiatives. We, therefore, continued to develop both a theory and a practice of community growth and development.

Utilizing the principle of the harmony of science and religion, this program employs the empirically validated findings from the behavioral and social sciences and correlates them with the spiritual principles of the Bahá'í Faith. We found supplementing spiritual principles with scientific findings generates practical interventions crucial to uniting the hearts of a humanity gripped by the developmental crisis of adolescence: Intimacy vs. Isolation.

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