Wednesday, March 05, 2008

On Direct Teaching in the 'Hood: It's both nervousing and exciting

Tuesday night the Friends in our community gathered to organize our neighborhood teaching campaign. We stood on the shoulders of giants. We had Baha'is there with experience in recent neighborhood teaching in Everett, Seattle, and Toppenish. It was so exciting. -gw

Gesso! Baha'i always stay out late no matter what.

This Sunday we're going door to door to see if anyone is interested in learning about the Baha'i faith. It's both nervousing and exciting. Also theres Ruhi. And the Flower show is this week. I really wanna go. but I don't know if I'll have the time.


Barmak Kusha said...

You know, I'm not surprised at the stream of letters from the NSA, and from the House of Justice and the ITC about direct teaching, and what it is and is not; and what "dignified" teaching is and is not, and what proselytizing is and is not, etc... There is a certain (I don't know how big) portion of the Baha'i community - at least in the US, that is VERY afraid, and passionately thinks that it is WRONG to be doing what we are doing. They are afraid of "the mistakes" of the '70s. I know this since I received an email from a long-time Baha'i recently, after I had posted the PUBLIC story from the US Baha'i website about how US Baha'is are going in neighborhoods teaching door to door. This sister was so vehement and anxious, it had turned into frank anger, bordering on an email flame.. It made me very sad and upset.. But then all I could do was to respond kindly, forward to her the Feb 20 letter from the NSA, and let her know that I understand her anxiety is heartfelt and sincere... :-\

Nonetheless, we must have an attitude of learning, of engagement, of encouragement, and not of judgementalism - on all sides..

George Wesley Dannells said...

Yes, we can always be be empathetic to the fears and concerns of the friends. But the guidance we are getting for both the National Assembly and the Counselors are the same: Go forward. I thought the NSA's letter covered all aspects of the issue very thoroughly.

These are dramatic times for the Friends. There is that touch of anxiety as we determine exactly what neighborhood we want to focus on, what blocks. Feelings of safety are an issue for some of the Friends, but the hesitancy falls away as the Friends go out, face their fears, and discover the ripe fruits that are out there for gathering.