Friday, April 30, 2010

On Happening Now: The U.S. Baha'i National Convention

The National Convention will continue through May 2 and is the continuation of a process that began last October when Baha’is at Unit Conventions throughout the nation elected delegates.

Related items:

It's happening right now. The article on the u.s website has an interview with Robert Wilson, delegate and father to Rainn Wilson. The friends certainly have a lot to celebrate this year with achievement of the goal of 1500 Intensive Programs of Growth around the world a full year in advance of the end of the Plan. -gw

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On in Salishan: 2 Childrens Classes,1 Jr Youth Class, a Study Circle & a Devotional

LisaMarie Chilcote Miller on Facebook: 2 Childrens Classes, 1 Jr Youth Class, a Study Circle, and a Devotional --- a beautiful way to off-set the 12 broken up fights- 3 lost kid searches- 2 school lock-downs a jumped Son and a kicked-in back Door - IT IS ONE TRIBE
Lisa and Deb shared these stories fresh from the day of 15 children gathered for the inaugeral second children's class to be launched in the Salishan neighborhood. -gw

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

On a Baha'i-inspired School Moves to Tiger Bay, Guyana: They said we would get mugged here, but we never did

the school said that in the past decade 946 students have graduated from Nations 6th Form College. They have written a total of 2,468 Cambridge University Advanced Level examinations with a pass rate of 74.8% and with 18.6% of all the examinations written were given an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade by Cambridge. Several students have gone on to universities in North America and Europe and many have now completed their Masters and PHD degrees.
The news from Tiger Bay, Guyana, the new location for a Baha'i-inspired school. -gw

O’Toole said service has been the high priority of Nations since it started, recalling that in the early years the children did service projects such as working along with senior citizens’ homes and with children who are differently-abled. He said the move to the Tiger Bay area seemed ideal because they realized the impact they could have on the children through new programmes.

O’Toole revealed that he was advised against moving to Tiger Bay because “people said it is dangerous.” Though a bit concerned he decided to make the move. According to him, some of the views on the area were based on prejudices from many years ago.

Currently, the school is targeting two groups: children under 11 years and children between the ages of 11 and 14 years. Significantly, he said the mothers from Tiger Bay have been very involved in the project, showing up regularly every week and in the case of one batch, every two weeks to follow up on the progress of their children and to discuss the critical supporting roles they play in the programme.

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On Being Interracially Married & Baha'i: But what most people really hate is that I am a mime

I am white, my husband is black and we have children so we aren't "just friends". People could still hate that, but now days they rarely stare and never spit openly. I used to be a Christian, but now I'm a Baha'i. People have warned me I will burn in Hell for this one. Even so they will still smile. They just avoid eye contact so I won't steal their souls. But what most people really hate is that I am a mime.

Sharon Nesbit-Davis is Education/Outreach Director of the Rockford Area Arts Council. -gw

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On the Feast of Ridvan: Images

A few photos from last night that show the beauty of the home where we celebrated the Baha'i Feast of Ridvan. -gw

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OnRelease of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 11th Annual Report: Baha'is in Iran endanged

This ... From: Northwest BahaiLibrary. -gw

Today saw the release of the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom’s Eleventh Annual Report on Religious Freedom in the

The report includes this chilling assessment:

"..... In early 2008, the Iranian parliament began considering a new law that would impose serious punishments, including the death penalty, on converts from Islam. In September 2008, a committee in the Majlis approved advancing the amended language on apostasy, which could be passed by the full Majlis in the near future. Although the Iranian government has in the past applied the death penalty for apostasy under Islamic law, it has not been explicitly codified. If the proposed law is passed, it would further endanger the lives of all converts from Islam, particularly members of the Baha’i faith, who are already considered apostates, even if they are fourth- or fifth-generation Baha’i adherents."

The full report is here:

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On the Ninth Day of Ridvan: A Family Reunited

Beautiful juxtaposition of song and historical event of such great spiritual significance. -gw

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary

Ninth Day of Ridvan (April 29) A Family Reunited!
Is the day when Baha’u’llah’s family joined him at the Najibiyyih
Garden, Baghdad (Garden of Ridvan).

"For twelve days Bahá'u'lláh stayed in the Garden, and would be found
each day in the utmost joy, walking majestically in the flower-lined
avenues and amongst the trees. The friends living in Baghdad would
come during the day and return home each night, whilst others would be
engaged in service to those in the Garden.

Eminent rulers, clergy and jurists would come continuously to
Bahá'u'lláh's tent with their insoluble problems, and take their leave
satisfied with their dilemmas entirely solved."


Natalie Merchant - Wonder (This Child will be Gifted)

Doctors have come
From distant cities
Just to see Me...

They say I must be one of the Wonders,
God's own creation,
And as far as they see they can offer
No explanation....

Newspapers ask
Intimate questions,
What confessions;
They reach into My head
To steal the Glory
Of My story......

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Monday, April 26, 2010

On Committing To Memory the Verses of God: Technique

I've got some studying to do.-gw

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On Abiding No Lines of Separation: Love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness

I know that religion was never meant to cause segregation. And it has, right here in this little state of Utah. There is much segregation, prejudice and dis-unity due to the Mormon church. My beliefs differ in that I believe there is One God - yet many different paths to him. I believe that we are in the New World Order and that there is a process of a new civilation being built. I believe that Science and Religion can absolutely be in harmony with another. I don't believe we need the use of priesthood or bishops anymore...I feel that served it purpose for a time, but we no longer NEED it as we did before. Humanity is ever advancing, and at times people become too attached to the customs and rituals of the past thinking it is the only way.
Katie despises religioius segregation. Separation among the members of the human family is an anathema to the Baha'is. -gw
Dear Friends: How often did the Beloved Master express the hope that the hearts of the believers would overflow with love for one another, that they would abide no lines of separation but would regard all of humanity as one family. "See ye no strangers," is His exhortation; "rather see all men as friends, for love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness."
"To the Baha'is of the World," The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 2010

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On Back to the Future: Small towns, childhood memories

It was at a Thursday devotional a couple of weeks ago that the friends got to reminiscing about the small towns where they grew up. The Baha'i community is uniquely focused on the level of the neighborhood in the cities and the village in rural areas. Small and local. Grassroots. That's where transformation occurs. Personal and collective. -gw

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On Family Fun Night at Karen and Fredric's: Be transformed

If I person were to be magically transported and dropped down into the midst of a Family Fun Night at Karen and Fredric's, that person would be transformed forever. Couldn't help not being changed by the reality of the love -- the unity and diversity -- manifestly evident in this Baha'i home. -gw

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Friday, April 23, 2010

On a Song of the Season: The Festival of Ridvan

A song of the season.-gw

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On Here Comes the Sun: Thanks, NASA

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary

NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory videos of the Sun of late:

There are so many beautiful metaphorical references to the sun in the
Baha'i Writings!


"Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh, but Mama, that's where the fun is."
-Bruce Springsteen

So many Baha'i references and so many songs. "Here Comes the Sun." -gw

The spiritual cycles of the Sun of Reality are like the cycles of the material sun: they are always revolving and being renewed. The Sun of Reality, like the material sun, has numerous rising and dawning places: one day it rises from the zodiacal sign of Cancer, another day from the sign of Libra or Aquarius; another time it is from the sign of Aries that it diffuses its rays. But the sun is one sun and one reality; the people of knowledge are lovers of the sun, and are not fascinated by the places of its rising and dawning. The people of perception are the seekers of the truth, and not of the places of its appearance, nor of its dawning points; therefore, they will adore the Sun from whatever point in the zodiac it may appear, and they will seek the Reality in every Sanctified Soul Who manifests it. Such people always attain to the truth and are not veiled from the Sun of the Divine World. So the lover of the sun and the seeker of the light will always turn toward the sun, whether it shines from the sign of Aries or gives its bounty from the sign of Cancer, or radiates from Gemini; but the ignorant and uninstructed are lovers of the signs of the zodiac, and enamored and fascinated by the rising-places, and not by the sun. When it was in the sign of Cancer, they turned toward it, though afterward the sun changed to the sign of Libra; as they were lovers of the sign, they turned toward it and attached themselves to it, and were deprived of the influences of the sun merely because it had changed its place. For example, once the Sun of Reality poured forth its rays from the sign of Abraham, and then it dawned from the sign of Moses and illuminated the horizon. Afterward it rose with the greatest power and brilliancy from the sign of Christ. Those who were the seekers of Reality worshiped that Reality wherever they saw it, but those who were attached to Abraham were deprived of its influences when it shone upon Sinai and illuminated the reality of Moses. Those who held fast to Moses, when the Sun of Reality shone from Christ with the utmost radiance and lordly splendor, were also veiled; and so forth.
Here Comes The Sun by Nina Simone
Play song from
To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story - 2008 - 3:35

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On Baha'i Homepreschooling: Montessori-leaning with a mix of Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and Froebel sprinkled in

Our family belief is that the world is but one country and mankind its citizen. We celebrate oneness of humanity as much as we appreciate the beauty of diversity. This blog is a recording of our homepreschooling the Montessori-leaning way with a mix of Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and Froebel sprinkled in as well as a sharing of interesting finds along the way plus life at home. Welcome to our blog. We treasure cross-communication and human connectivity. Please feel free to comment or say hello.

Must be a Baha'i family. -gw

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On a Tablet of the Feast of Ridvan: By Baha'u'llah

From: Northwest Bahai Library

Unofficial translation by Ali Kuli Khan and his daughter Marzieh Gail.

A tablet of great beauty. -gw

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On a Song For a Class on Vietnam: Stephie's anti-war protest song

From: Lori

Stephie said she wrote this song for her class on Vietnam.  She wanted to write an anti-war protest song as a project for her class.  I thought you'd appreciate it!

Wow! Great song from radiant Baha’i and NYU student Stephanie. -gw

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

On the Design for the Uniting of All Peoples: The Circle of Light

My assignment is to summarize the talk given by Abdu-Baha and carried in Paris Talks from which the quote "Baha'u'llah has drawn the circle of unity" is drawn.-gw
Bahá’u’lláh has drawn the circle of unity, He has made a design for the uniting of all the peoples, and for the gathering of them all under the shelter of the tent of universal unity. This is the work of the Divine Bounty, and we must all strive with heart and soul until we have the reality of unity in our midst, and as we work, so will strength be given unto us. Leave all thought of self, and strive only to be obedient and submissive to the Will of God. In this way only shall we become citizens of the Kingdom of God, and attain unto life everlasting.
Copyright 2004. Bahá’í International Community. All Rights Reserved.
Paris Talks, p. 54
Here are some "circle of unity" songs on my iPod. -gw
A Circle Of Love - 6:00 - Abbey Lincoln - Devil's Got Your Tongue
Perfect Unity - 5:22 - Maná - Arising To Serve 
Round dance - 3:31 - Black Lodge Singers - Enter the Circle
Love and Unity - 4:22 - Projekt Leuchtfeuer - Harmony   
Will The Circle Be Unbroken - 4:51 - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Jubilation!
Unity Prayer - 3:05 - Notes Of Kin - Hand In Hand   
Dance in the Circle - 4:45 - Heather Alexander - Midsummer Folk   
Unity - 1:39 - Russ Salton - Smile 
Circle Of Light - 5:37 - Walela - Walela 
Unity House - 3:47 - Jack Lenz - Encore

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On Just One Year Ago: Returning from Baha'i Pilgrimage

A year ago we were leaving Israel at the end of our Baha'i Pilgrimage. This evening in memory I looked at the 1025 photos I took. Here are a few of them. -gw

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On Reflections on the 2010 Ridvan Message of the Universal House of Justice: Engaging in collective transformation

Vannessa called me for the second time a few minutes ago. With Bricelda and Angela I had visited this mother of eight in her home last Saturday and sharing prayers with her. We discussed having regular meetings for systematic spiritual study in her home. Tuesday she called on another matter, but asked, "We're still meeting on Friday, aren't we." "I'm looking forward to it," I said.
In her call today she said she had talked to her mother about us and had done some investigation online. Her mother, who is a minister, raised some doubts, apparently, and she was calling to cancel. I said, "Baha'is aren't looking to convert people; we're looking to raise up spiritual neighborhoods." Hearing that, Vannessa said, "I think I'm going to override my mother on this one. Let's go ahead with our meeting as planned. I'll have my children and grandchildren there, too. I want them to be in on this." -gw
A few of us have read this message together now, and we are all astonished at its vision and clarity. As I mentioned yesterday, the first point that really hit me was how much more important it is that people feel welcome to join us in helping better society without feeling the pressure of becoming Baha'i.

A second point that really stands out for me is the recognition that what we are doing is helping build capacity within a given area, or amongst a given people, to more effectively engage in collective transformation.

Read more:

Last night Deb and I visited again with Jeff. We're planning on meeting in his home for study on Sunday evenings. We also talked more about children's classes for his two younger children and a junior youth program for his 12 year-old. He and his three boys are going to come to Family Fun Night at Karen and Fredrick's this Saturday night in addition.
What a blessing our last Intensive campaign has been to put us in touch with such dear souls!  -gw

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On Happy Earth Day, Fellow Earthlings: 147, 100 & 40 years ago, and today

Yesterday was a significant day for me .....100 years ago, my favorite American, Mark Twain, left the planet w/ Haley's Comet, 40 years ago I began my journey as a Baha'i and 147 years ago Mirza Husayn Ali told us everything has changed ...... bumper sticker yesterday : Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell, Spirituality is for people who have already been there. 
My favorite REAL photographer, Jamie Eugene Frank, offered these sentiments on Earth Day. Thanks also to Robert at Northwest Bahai Library for the reminder of the day. -gw

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On Tasting from the Ridván Stream: April 21st, 2010

On Tierra Conquers Phoenix: Two more golds

Just like Charles' Tacoma Invaders are my football team, Rocky's Tierra is my track star. -gw

From: CrockrellR@

as you can see George tierra did it again in Phoenix 17th & 18th  -- 2 more golds

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On the Friends Gather at Lori's: Election night, Tacoma

Tacoma elects its Baha'i assembly. -gw

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Ere the Hour of Dawn: The Garden of Ridvan

"Pile of roses" Uploaded on June 10, 2007 by totkat

In the interest of inter-religious dialogue ... -gw

Baha'u'llah spent 12 days in a garden in Baghdad visiting with His followers. His followers named the garden Ridvan, which means "Paradise" or "good pleasure" in Arabic. The exact circumstances of the Declaration are not known. According to Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Faith: “The fragmentary description left to posterity by His chronicler Nabil is one of the very few authentic records we possess of the memorable days He spent in that garden. “Every day,” Nabil has related, “ere the hour of dawn, the gardeners would pick the roses which lined the four avenues of the garden, and would pile them in the center of the floor of His blessed tent. So great would be the heap that when His companions gathered to drink their morning tea in His presence, they would be unable to see each other across it. All these roses Baha’u’llah would, with His own hands, entrust to those whom He dismissed from His presence every morning to be delivered, on His behalf, to His Arab and Persian friends in the city.” Baha'u'llah called Ridvan the Most Great Festival and the King of Festivals.
AMEIA KLArchdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs is a diocesan commission of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur
We are committed:
  1. to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Catholics, other Christians and followers of other religious traditions
  2. to encourage the study of religions
  3. to promote the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue

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On Baha'i Election Tonight: Anyone going to the pdx baha'i center who would possibly be able to bring in my ballot?

Anis Mojgani (Persian: انیس مژگانی) (born June 13, 1977) is a spoken word poet, visual artist and musician based in Portland, Oregon.[1]

Mojgani has been characterized as "geek genius" with "fiercely hopeful word arias".[2] Mojgani was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, moved to Georgia and graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Comic Book art and an Master of Fine Arts in Performing Arts.[3] Mojgani is able to earn an income as a touring poet.[4]

Help a guy out. -gw
anyone going to the pdx baha'i center for election tonight, by way of SE who would possibly be able to bring in my ballot?

mojgani - Twitter - 13 minutes ago

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On Gentle Religion & Bloody-Minded Persistence: The example of Mark Tobey

Painter Robert Genn

My wife and blogging inspiration Bonita has been receiving for several years the art-focused Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letters by e-mail. Today's letter is about Baha'i Mark Tobey. -gw

A complex character, Tobey was a member of the Baha'i faith. He claimed it filled his work with love. This gentle religion probably prevented him from becoming a complete ogre. Through the force of his personality and by his own example, Tobey taught the value of ego, effort, and bloody-minded persistence.

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On Words and Learning: They do not matter a hang unless they bring about results

John, that inveterate Baha'i essayist and blogger, is not afraid of plumbing the depths of dense text. But he maintains a standard: the words have to lead to something. -gw
I once had a Tahirih moment. I was on the bus going from the mountain to downtown Hamilton. I had been sitting alone in my seat for the whole bus trip wading through several pages of dense text from Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Suddenly I grasped what he had been saying, but at the same time I realized that what he had said in ten pages of close reasoning could have been said in a musical phrase, a stanza of poetry, or in a flash of meditative reflection. It was interesting that it is possible to express this in words, but why? Why bother with this? If the shortest distance from point A to point B is a straight line, why go through C to Z before you reach B? Is it not a waste of time? Is it not better to do what science did with alchemy, that is, leave it aside as a wrong answer? There are an infinite number of wrong answers; and in life as in mathematics, we only have time to study the right ones.

I call this a Tahirih moment, but maybe I am being arrogant. A true Tahirih moment is the time when one decides to shut up and teach or pioneer, or to give to the fund until it hurts. Or, in the case of Tahirih and Quddus, to leave off all the garbage and palaver and start down the path to martyrdom. I call my moment that only because it helped me understand what a Tahirih moment is.

Certainly Baha'u'llah was of the opinion that words and learning do not matter a hang unless they bring about results. You should not call a skilled or learned person wise from the mere fact that they have learned a great deal. You should only call wise those who have brought their learning to a good, happy end, and who have followed the Law of God.

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On Down the Mississippi Down to New Orleans: The honey suckle is bloomin on the honeysuckle vine

Mauricio joined us before the friends had dispersed from our home late Sunday afternoon and the end of our expansion campaign. He came bearing news from Olympia which has just launched its first Intensive Program of Growth. But he was a purveyor of other news as well. New Orleans is the 1500th cluster to achieve "A" status, he said, which achieves a goal of the 5 Year Plan a year of schedule. Never has the global Baha'i community achieved its teaching goals a full year early before. I can't wait to see what the Ridvan Message says from the Universal House of Justice.
Everybody say, yeah, yeah, yeah! -gw

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Monday, April 19, 2010

On Our 19th IPG Comes to a Conclusion: This weekend's photos & last weekend's stories

Here are photos from the concluding weekend of our very memorable 19th Intensive Program of Growth; video soon to come. Below are the stories in print from our first weekend of teaching, to go with video clips already shared. -gw

One team went to an apt. complex, there were kids all over the place.  They chatted with a lady walking her dog.  She is committed to the care of her community and is open.  They gave the presentation and talked about the core activities.  The woman shared all her contact info.  They gave her website info and she would love to visit again.  They met a Vietnamese man, 88 yrs old.  He did not speak enough English for them to communicate well, but he didn’t want to let them go.  He brought out his Bible with pamphlets from many religious groups, so he understood that they wanted to share about spiritual matters.  They felt he was a seeking soul and felt sad that they were not able to communicate.  They will return with some information in Vietnamese.

A team went to a group of townhouses and met a man and started talking with him about building spiritual community.  He invited them into his home with his wife and 2 year old daughter.  Children love to congregate in this home.  They gave 2/3s of the presentation and got his contact info.  He was very enthusiastic, not attached to other faiths but in tune with the need to build spiritual community.    They met an African Am.  woman with a 23 yr old son.  They saw her rush by twice, so they spoke to her.  She said she had a church and that’s she’s very involved.  She wanted to confirm that we believe in Christ.  She invited them into her apt. and had many questions while listening to the presentation.  She was supposed to go to ministry school but was dissatisfied with the system.  One team member said that in their conversation she was like a rubber band – she would resist but then be pulled back in.  She was moved when she read about Baha’u’llah’s suffering.  They gave her lots of info including the leave behind booklet; she wants to do some research and talk more. 

Another team with a Spanish-speaking member went to an apt complex with many Mexican folks, but also SE Asians and white folks.  They came back with several interest cards for children’s classes.  One lady who listened to the presentation lives on the east side and wants to start a children’s class in her home.  They met an 13 yr old and would like to join a jr youth group.  A young woman with children wanted to know about the Faith – people do want to know the context:  what is Baha’i?  They called it a “thrilling 2 hour race.”

Three teams went to the neighborhood where a local believer is very involved in the wider community and it hosting core activities in her home.  When her name is mentioned to folks being visited, people are much more receptive and say they have heard about the children’s classes, that they know her, etc.  One team met an acquaintance of the believer and might have her children walk home with the Baha’i friend after school so her children can attend the class.

Another team, including the local believer visited friends including a Samoan family.  Since the other team member had been to Samoa, she was able to share stories with them and talk about the King of Samoa.  They were very excited to meet someone who had been to their country.  She wants to visit with them again. 

The teacher of the children’s class and her teammate visited families involved in the children’s class.  At one woman’s home they asked what she needed today and she wanted to share some things that were going on in her life.  They shared prayers together and the woman shared a poem she had written, and then accompanied the team to the next house.  They visited a 17 yrs old young lady and her aunt.  The girl’s grandmother had passed away last week and they had offered prayers with their children’s class for her.  The aunt (daughter of the deceased) is visiting from S Carolina.  She wanted to know more about the Faith and was “right there” with everything that was shared.  They will revisit on Sunday.   They went to visit two more families whose children are in the class.  There is a feeling that trust is building and that people are open.

The next day teams went out again.  One team went back to the apt they had visited the day before.  They met four  African Am. Christian moms outside who were somewhat aggressive in their response.  One team member said they were not there to argue and one of the women seemed interested in what they had to say.   They met a Vietnamese woman who wasn’t able to communicate with them, but they were able to visit with her radiant 20 yr old son.  He said that they were Buddhist but did not attend a temple and that he thought she would welcome visits from someone who could speak Vietnamese.  He directed them to visit their Vietnamese friends who lived in the same apt complex.  They met a mom and her 4 yr old son; she was very warm and radiant.  She was just starting to play a game with her son, asked them to come back some morning when he is in preschool.  She gave them her name and phone number.  They had a nice conversation with young single mom with a 4 yr old son.  She and one team member made a connection; she has an open heart and is interested in children’s classes.  She may want to start a book 1, so they will revisit on Monday.  This is not a large complex but it has lots of potential.  A learning for this team is that it works well to make the visits more conversational and natural by letting both teachers join in the conversation (as opposed to one talking while one prays).   Also, if the team is feeling uneasy, it is good to stop and say some prayers.

One team member had seen an apt the day before that looked promising, so they went there first.  The first door they knocked on was opened by a very friendly lady.  She was getting ready to go out to sing (which she does professionally), but was very open right away, said she had known Baha’is, gave her phone numbers, and invited them in to share some prayers.  They all sat together holding hands and sharing prayers for several minutes and the lady said she was really feeling them spiritually.  Many feelings of affection were shared, and several times she expressed that it was not an accident that they visited and found her home.  She also sent a blessing for their teaching that day and praised them for their courage to go and knock on doors.  The lady shared about her singing, and sang The Lord’s Prayer with her amazing Gospel voice.  When the teacher agreed with her that we are all going to the same place (next world), she said this was the first time anyone had agreed with her about that.  They tried to leave several times, but that was followed several times with hugs, more conversation and more hugs.  The team felt that this was probably the best visit either had ever experienced.  The local teacher and the lady will get together soon so she can hear the presentation as she wants to learn more.

Another team visited a woman who invited them in and showed them every room in her home where she had lived for years and raised her children.   She knows all the neighbors.  She is interested in Reike healing and practices this in her home.  This lady and one of the teachers connected around their similar upbringing (without spiritual education) and the Baha’i shared how she has come to see the need for religion and a religious community.  They gave her some prayer cards for her meditation bowl. 

While driving around in the neighborhood a team encountered a group of young men and boys whose car had broken down, so one team member jumped out to help push it to the side of the road.  He engaged in friendly conversation and shared in a very warm and inviting way why they were in the neighborhood.  There are three boys at the house who would like to begin children’s classes (one was carried out by his older brother to meet the teachers).

A team had left but went back to get some Vietnamese language materials.  When they returned to the house, they saw another believer who had been knocking at the door.  This believer had been praying about her involvement in the expansion phase as she wasn’t comfortable with door-to-door teaching.  She had wished in her heart that it she could go out with a particular friend to teach, because he enjoys it so much.  When she got to the house and everyone was gone, she was planning to stay and pray.  But when this friend appeared, she knew she had to join his team!  The three-member team went out together.  They met a young man who was very open and helpful with information.  They met a 17 yr old, very sweet girl who babysits her sister’s children.  She suggested they could have children’s classes there.  The extended family lives in the same apt building or just blocks away.  The new teacher wanted to see the other neighborhood where teams were teaching.  The experience teacher wanted to try the apts nearby.  It is a very large, mostly Spanish-speaking complex.  They met a young man from El Salvador.  There was a language barrier, but they shared pamphlets in Spanish while reading from the same one in English.  They were wishing that their Spanish-speaking friend was there to help.  They went into the other neighborhood and who should they see but their Spanish-speaking friend, so they took him back to the home and he was able to visit the young Spanish-speaker.  This seemed like a very receptive area for children’s classes.

Another team visited a family, the daughter and her husband came out to talk.  There are difficulties in the family.  They had tried the Mormon faith but it didn’t meet their needs.  A team member engaged in a discussion about relationships and said she would come back to help shed some light on how they can find some peace.  The team returned to visit to the single mom whose daughter is in the children’s class.  She really opened up to them about her struggles with her autistic son.  The son was very attracted to one team member and wanted to be very close to her and she prayed with him.  This was very unusual behavior for him and they were all amazed.  Trust is building.  They walked by a group of Samoan guys.  One team member knew a few Samoan words, as she had been there and is familiar with the religious practices there.  This group of guys is visiting in the neighborhood until the end of May.  They are active in their church, but it was a very friendly encounter and the team met the uncle who lives there. 

Another team met a man whose wife is in the hospital.  They have three children ages 5-9.  They gave a brief intro, he seemed open but distracted, and very friendly.  They said the healing prayer for his wife.  They met another woman outside her sister’s house.  She seemed aloof until they mentioned the Baha’i who lives in the neighborhood and then she warmed up.  She also works at the school and lives nearby, so she will ask her Baha’i friend about the classes.   


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On Baha'i PowerPoints: Six by Rod Clarken

Baha'i Related PowerPoint Presentations by Rodney Clarken

Baha'i Teachings and Holidays

Presented at NMU University Center, Blast From the Past Holidays Around the World program, December 6, 2004. Briefly describes Baha'i holy days and teachings to a university audience. Includes many pictures and several links.(27 Slides)

Knowing your True Self: A Baha'i perspective

A presentation using Baha'i writings to describe the importance and methods of knowing your true self.(26 Slides)

Legacies from the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

All statements in this presentation are taken directly or indirectly from Century of Light (2001) which reviews the profound and little understood changes of the 20th century from the Baha'i perspective.(26 Slides)

Six Essential Requisites for Spiritual Growth

Presented at the Green Lake Conference Green Lake, WI August 29, 2009. The Universal House of Justice identified six essential requisites for spiritual growth in a September 1, 1983 message. This presentation takes excerpts from that message and discusses the what, why and how of these requisites to assist us in applying them to our lives.(38 Slides)

Unfoldment of World Civilization

A summary of Shoghi Effendi’s masterful explication on the evolution of civilization written in 1936 to the Bahá'ís in America.(126 Slides)

Adaptation of paragraphs 1-29 from One Common Faith, a statement commissioned by the Universal House of Justice, 2005. The original material has been simplified or shortened with some parts quoted verbatim, with the purpose of presenting the main ideas more succinctly without changing the meaning.(30 Slides)


I love a PowerPoint. Succint. To the point. -gw

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On a Children's Class Celebration: The temple is built

Over the weekend Angela and Bricelda worked out arrangements for the start of children's classes on Tuesday among interested Spanish-speaking families at an apartment complex at which we focused our Baha'i teaching efforts over the past two weekends. Perhaps in time we may be sharing pictures like the ones above. -gw

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On More Teaching Stories from Salishan: Bubbling joy and laughter

The laughter kept bubbling up as the Baha'i friends shared their stories from teaching in Salishan during the first weekend of door-to-door teaching. -gw

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Google: The Garden of Search

MajidiBros  April 18, 2010The Baha'is of the world focus on four core activities to bring spirituality to this materialistic world. 
Know thou of a truth that the seeker must, at the beginning of his quest for God, enter the Garden of Search
I've been searching...-gw

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On Baha'i Houses of Worship: I'm a sucker for repeated pattern on things

I'm a sucker for repeated pattern on things so I had a field day with the camera...
If you love patterns, you'll love religious history. -gw

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On Meeting Live Over the Web: This mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart

Zabine is on the cutting edge of Baha'i teaching via the Internet. -gw
From: zabine Van Ness

here are some photos of today's Heart to Heart session in Sylvania, Ohio...we sure had fun talking about teaching and finding new seekers.

Zabine Van Ness

Baha'i teachers website plus purchase store of Heart to Heart CD

Global Baha'i WebCafe:

7 minute video using Heart to Heart with a live seeker:

How does Connect Now work video:

...this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.
Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 30

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In the Presence of a Spiritual Center: To which all can turn

Baha'i study and reflection.-gw

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