Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On Baha'i Teaching: Oh, the cake, oh, the fireside

When we arrived at Chris and Shadi's, the door was open, the lights were out in the living room, and nobody was there. Our hosts showed up momentarily and the lights were turned on. Our attention immediately went to the 88-key Yamaha electric piano in the corner of the room. Myong had brought a book of sheet music. She started practising, going through song after song, becoming familiar with the piano.

There were four of us coming over from Tacoma in Bonita's car, as my van had the back seats out, as usual. Myong, Bonita, the birthday girl Judith, and I were coming in a plan hatched at study circle several weeks ago. It was Judith's birthday on Saturday, and Myong felt moved to celebrate this event with her study-circle family by bringing a cake and taking in the monthly fireside which she had attended one time before.

What a cake Myong brought! Lightly sweet and with whipped cream for frosting instead of butter cream, incredibly decorated, and in the fanciest cake-carrying box I've ever seen. She got it at a Korean bakery on South Tacoma Way. You'd never find something so fancy or elegant at Safeway.
I would have been sufficiently thrilled just to have had Myong in attendance for the evening. I already knew that our new friend Kathy couldn't come, as she had to care for grandkids. But I didn't expect Mary Ellen to walk in the door.

Judith and Shadi, November 2006 fireside - photo by Flitzy Phoebie

I had met Mary Ellen at the Ethnic Fest booth along with Kathy. I had been trying to get Mary Ellen to our devotional. But here she was with Debbie. She had been serious about getting connected with the Baha'is again. She had inadvertantly missed Deb and Tim's monthly waffle breakfast devotional this morning. I hadn't known she had planned to attend. I had no idea at all she might show up at the fireside. It was so good seeing her.

The fireside began with a song by Myong, nicely warmed up by the time she was called upon. Kay was the speaker. Kay has been supporting our Ruhi 1. In fact, our whole circle was there. With Kay came artist Jim, long-time friend of the Faith from Tacoma. Our Auxiliary Board member Shaun was there, and another radiant Gig Harbor Baha'i and her daughter, as well as our hosts.

Kay powered up a PowerPoint and we all gathered around a flat-screen TV in the family room. Her presentation was on the purpose of religion. It was succinct, interactive, and focused on the Writings, and you can't do any better than that for a fireside. Mary Ellen oohed and aahed at one quote Kay provided. Myong was nodding her head throughout. Jim posed thoughtful questions. Everybody had something to add.

After her presentation, came happy birthday and the cake. Oh, what a cake! Oh, what a night! -gw

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