The context: Our glorious Mission

More photos of the conference

Dearest Bahá'í Brethren and Sisters who attended (or who feel somehow connected with) the recent London Regional Baha'i conference,

This blog is dedicated to you, in whom the Spirit resides, and from whom it shines, the chosen instruments for fulfilling God's Purpose in this glorious Age as you are.

You have arisen to do the bidding of God's Sign on earth, the Universal House of Justice, making your humble efforts in His glorious Path.

{josquote}You have arisen to do the bidding of God's Sign on earth, the Universal House of Justice...{/josquote}

Every step taken daily in service to mankind, guided by the perfect example of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the attentive Parentage of the Supreme Body, sustained by the Lord of the Age, Bahá'u'lláh Himself, will be blessed a thousandfold, we are assured. Let us thus walk with care, and pay due heed to the precepts given us in this Day of Days in form of spiritual admonitions and unerring Plans for the restitution of the waning fortunes of a harrassed humanity.

O people of God! Great is the Day and mighty the Call! In one of Our Tablets We have revealed these exalted words: ‘Were the world of the spirit to be wholly converted into the sense of hearing, it could then claim to be worthy to hearken unto the Voice that calleth from the Supreme Horizon; for otherwise, these ears that are defiled with lying tales have never been, nor are they now, fit to hear it.’ Well is it with them that hearken; and woe betide the wayward.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets, 64)

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An encounter with a receptive soul

This story from East San Diego County, CA (A) is about an encounter with a receptive soul. The eagerness of the seeker to learn about the Faith is itself delightful to read about. But also noteworthy is how the friends are internalizing the concepts discussed at the recent Regional Bahá’í Conferences and acting on their understanding.

We visited a new neighborhood to see if we could find anyone who would be interested in learning about the Faith. We soon encountered a very receptive soul. He invited us into his home to listen to Anna’s presentation. By his warm reception, we knew right away that he was very open, and we felt a closeness with him. . . .

{josquote}This is exactly what Counsellor Juan Mora had explained at the Regional Bahá’í Conference: a receptive soul is someone who listens and asks questions with interest.{/josquote}

He had never heard of the Bahá’í Faith before and was enthusiastic to learn more. During Anna’s presentation, he listened with intent and asked questions with interest. This is exactly what Counsellor Juan Mora had explained at the Regional Bahá’í Conference: a receptive soul is someone who listens and asks questions with interest.

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Capital Baha'is gathering

Members of the Baha'i Faith from Dumfries, Moffat and Kirkcudbright are travelling to London for the largest gathering of Baha'is in the UK for 45 years.

The conference, being held this weekend at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, brings together for the first time Bahá'ís from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Carolyn Fox from Moffat said: “This historic conference is one of 41 conferences being held around the world until March next year, which will reach up to 60,000 Bahá'ís in total.”

The weekend gatherings, convened by the international governing council of the Bahá'í Faith, began on November 1. Bahá'ís have been gathering in such diverse cities as Uvira (Congo), Chicago (USA), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Managua (Nicaragua), Auckland (New Zealand), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Padua (Italy).

{josquote}The demand for our educational programmes for all age groups is on the rise and these conferences are designed to inspire and mobilise us to respond to the needs of the time.{/josquote}

“This conference in London comes at a time in the development of the Bahá'í community worldwide when we are finding that more and more people are searching for solutions and seem receptive to the message we have to share,” added Carolyn. “Here, and all around the world, we are devoting ourselves to the building of community at the core of which are spiritual values.

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Gradually bringing whole populations towards Anna's Presentation

The Early Years of FUNDAEC: Dr. Farzam Arbab with Students

I remember, about 20 to 30 years ago, being excited by the first reports of (then) Counsellor Arbab's "institute" processes in Colombia. The concept of gradually bringing whole populations towards Baha'u'llah seemed to offer an extremely useful guiding principle — one that my own, very congregational, community seemed to have lost sight of.

I remember using the "gradually bringing whole populations towards Baha'u'llah" concept a bit over a decade ago, when I wrote to my NSA; suggesting changes in the way local assemblies made books and other resources available. The guts of my suggestion was that, where practical, resources be donated to public libraries, and that Baha'is and non-Baha'is borrow them from there. The NZ NSA was very supportive, and distributed a short paper of mine to all local assemblies. But I'm not aware of any changes being made.

Going back 12-15 years, the institutions were saying the right things. Take the Three Year Plan that started in 1993. Alison was really keen on it:

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"Oh! I can do that too!"

{josquote}Book 2 helps us acquire the habit of having meaningful conversations. (Mr. Juan Mora, ITC){/josquote}

Well, your humble teaching blog staff attended the Central Regional Bahá’í Conference held in Chicago on December 6 and 7. In a word: Wow! What an experience. Everyone who attended surely has their own inspiring stories to share. Here are some reflections from our end:

Dr. Penny Walker and Mr. Juan Francisco Mora attended the conference as representatives of the Universal House of Justice.

The conference was blessed with the presence of members of the International Teaching Center Mr. Juan Mora and Dr. Penny Walker, serving as representatives of the Universal House of Justice, as well as Counselor Alison Milston, and members of the National Spiritual Assembly Mr. Muin Afnani and Dr. Robert Henderson. Their wisdom, insights, and encouragement were a source of inspiration for everyone. . . .

Very early on, the conference’s refrain became, “Oh! I can do that too!”. In one of the opening presentations, a member of the Regional Bahá’í Council for the Central States reported on the progress and learning that has taken place in clusters in the Midwest region. She noted that as the friends learn and gain experience in teaching efforts, it gives their fellow believers confidence to also arise and try. For example, not sure if you can start a devotional meeting? Then you hear about how in one cluster some of the friends are having success by finding lots of reasons to invite their neighbors to come and pray together—“My friend’s spouse has now been deployed to Iraq; let’s come and pray for their safety.”; “My niece’s final exams are next week; let’s pray for her success.”, etc.—and you realize, “Oh! I can do that too!”

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