Got religion?

{josquote}Can I stay a Baha'i and also be a member of the Nazarenes? What if my Baha'i friend finds out? She'll stop visiting me.{/josquote}

I'm having my friendly visit with Linda, the older woman who is disabled and lives alone. We have just settled into the "comfortable chairs"--two big, green, puffy chairs that you sink into when you sit down. We're talking about religion. I had discovered several visits ago that I could talk religion with Linda and not worry about offending her. I'm agnostic, and though she believes in God, she hasn't found a religion that's stuck.

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On a Baha'i Chalk Talk: The curve of growth

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Here's the curve of growth in Baha'i Intensive Programs of Growth from 1996 to the present. I note that at the time of the 41 conferences back in late 2008-early 2009 called for by the Universal House of Justice, we were at about 1000 IPGs. By Ridvan 2010 we were at 1500. Now that's expansion.

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Bahai Views On Baha’i Acronyms Galore: Here today, but maybe something else tomorrow

Note the acronyms up on the white board at the Baha'i core teams meeting in Bellevue.

The slide presentation below is a couple of years old. Maybe there are some new acronyms that have emerged that are not included, or maybe some of the acronyms described here have been retired. It wouldn't surprise me either way. The evolution of the Baha'i Cause is moving at an increasingly rapid pace. What is current today may be obsolescent and all but forgotten tomorrow, given our culture of learning.

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Study Guides

A few friends have recently approached me regarding the studies I've done with the Ridvan message. They all asked the same question. "Did you use the study guide?"

{josquote}But now, for some reason, this facile style of questioning has been associated with the far more advanced, and far more effective, methodology used to develop the Ruhi curriculum.{/josquote}

Now maybe it is just me, but I find this an interesting question. Last time I checked, there was no study guide that came with the message. I only mention this because in all cases they used the word "the" instead of "a", and from their body language and tone of voice it seemed they believed that there was a single study guide which we are all supposed to use. To date I have seen half a dozen or so study guides, none of which I found particularly useful. In some cases, they actually seemed to me to distract from the point, but that is probably just me. Oh, and if you wrote one, I'm sure it is much better and that it just hasn't crossed my path yet.

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Ridvan Message 2010 - My S2

Finally I can take some time to share my thoughts on the second paragraph. Sorry for having you wait.

The 2nd paragraph:

We feel moved, as we take pause on this festive occasion, to make clear that what evokes such a deep sense of pride and gratitude in our hearts is not so much the numerical feat you have achieved, remarkable as it is, but a combination of developments at the more profound level of culture, to which this accomplishment attests. Chief among them is the rise we have observed in the capacity of the friends to converse with others on spiritual matters and to speak with ease about the Person of Baha’u'llah and His Revelation. They have understood well that teaching is a basic requirement of a life of generous giving.

The whole paragraph consists of only 3 sentences and to summarize it: It is not the goal of 1,500 IPG's that is impressive, but what this number stands for.

A Bahá'í-friend from Poland was in the Holy Land on Pilgrimage over Ridvan. During the evening talks one member of the Universal House of Justice referred to this paragraph when jokingly saying, that some of the pilgrims probably come from areas with IPG's and know the reality and are probably thinking "yeah right".

{josquote}The IPG's I know from personal experience are just so far from my limited understanding of what they are supposed to be like.{/josquote}

I must admit, that was me when reading the message. The IPG's I know from personal experience are just so far from my limited understanding of what they are supposed to be like. And they are also very far from the IPG's I see in other parts of the world.

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