Community and administration

Entries about Baha'i community life, about Baha'i administration, and about how the two intersect.

The Problem With Being 'Spiritual but Not Religious'

Do you like feeling good without having to act on your feeling? Boosting your self-esteem no matter your competence or behavior? Then I’ve got the religious program for you.

According to the latest Pew report, almost 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” In other words, they have some feeling, some intuition of something greater, but feel allergic to institutions. Yet as we approach Passover and Easter, it’s important to remember that it is institutions and not abstract feelings that tie a community together and lead to meaningful change.

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Zero Hour at the Vatican: A Bitter Struggle for Control of the Catholic Church

Part 3: The Need for a New Beginning

{josquote}He believes that the assumption that only one monolithic church is a strong church is fundamentally incorrect.{/josquote}

Thomas von Mitschke-Collande, the former advisor to the German Bishops' Conference, deplores the pope's need for harmony. "Being Catholic also means unity in diversity. Bishops and the pope must come to terms with this tense relationship. The universal church now needs a pope who is willing to relinquish more of his power." There is no alternative, says Mitschke-Collande, in light of globalization, the diversity of regions and the differences in the nature of Catholics worldwide. He believes that the assumption that only one monolithic church is a strong church is fundamentally incorrect. "Using this approach, no corporation today would be able to market its products worldwide anymore," says Mitschke-Collande, who made his career as a consultant at McKinsey.

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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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95 Youth Conferences Around the World!

{josquote}Many of you may remember that the Universal House of Justice announced in a letter dated October 20th, 2008, a series of 41 regional conferences...{/josquote}

I’m sure many of you have heard the recent and exciting news announced in a letter dated February 8th, 2013, by The Universal House of Justice of “the convocation of 95 youth conferences, between July and October, planned for locations that span the globe”.

Details about the conferences are still unfolding, as the letter was released just a week ago, but the international Bahá’í community is already buzzing about the upcoming events!

Below are a few questions and answers that I have gleaned thus far about the conferences, and I thought you may find them useful.

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Farzam Arbab and Kiser Barnes to retire

Farzam Arbab and Kiser Barnes, April 2008

November 6.

In a letter dated November 5, 2012, the Universal House of Justice has announced the resignations of two of its members, Dr. Farzam Arbab and Mr. Kiser Barnes, with effect from the completion of the election of the Universal House of Justice at Ridvan 2013. Dr. Arbab was first elected to the Body in 1993 and Mr. Barnes in 2000.

The letters is available as a PDF document in my documents archive.

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