Saturday, April 30, 2011

On a Learning Culture: LIsa has a question

During Feast Lisa had a question. Tim and Deb found a quiet corner (well, not so quiet), found some Baha'i texts to search, and got busy trying to find the answer. Thereis something lovely about this demonstration of a learning culture that is the Baha'i community today. -gw

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On Elections at Ridvan: All kinds of elections

Today I’m all about Elections. Because this spring I’m casting TWO ballots! What did you say Emad? Two ballots? How’s that? Well, you see, I’m currently residing in two electoral districts: Halifax West, and Halifax Cluster. In the Halifax West riding I’m voting for my future municipal and federal government, and in the Halifax Bahá’í Cluster I’m voting for my future Local Spiritual Assembly.  Interestingly enough, this is all happening during the Bahá’í festival of Riḍván, i.e., the Bahá’í elections are happening on the first day of Riḍván (tonight at sunset), and the Federal elections
are happening on the last day of Riḍván (May 2nd). Coincidence? Absolutely. Blog-worthy? Yeppers!
Want to read a really good post about the signficance of governance for Baha'is, and the difference between Baha'i elections and the other kind, read Emad's highly readable entry. (Thanks, Secret Contributor of the North, for this.)
We elected our Tacoma local assembly on Thursday as did Baha'i communities all over the world. At this very moment the U.S. Baha'i National Convention is underway which will involve another election, that of the national governing body of the Baha'is here.  Below Ellen mentions both that election and her own local Assembly election. -gw
Fullscreen capture 4302011 52217 PM

On Where to Find Good Tripe in Tacoma: Our community is becoming more diverse

Menudo is a wonderfully aromatic soup made of tripe, hominy and chili, and is stewed for hours with garlic and other spices. the broth is rich, red, papery, and glistens with fat. It stimulates the senses, arms the insides, and clears the head.

Menudo is served in big open bowls brought to the table steaming and fiery. It is usually eaten in the wee hours after a night out on the town and widely proclaimed to be an antidote for hangovers.

Mexicans brag about menudo's goodness, about how the hot broth with its medicinal condiments, particularly the chili, replenishes vitamins A and C, soothes the stomach, and stimulates the gastric juices to overcome any loss of appetite.

BJ likes good menudo. So does Jim. They were comparing notes at Thursday's Baha'i Feast on where to get the best tripe in town. -gw

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On Managing Depression: Maintain spiritual practices and seek professional help

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "On Managing Depression: Spiritual Solutions":

I am a Baha'i and I have experienced depression for most of my life. I am at a point in my life that I am really suffering. I try to fill my heart with God's love and fly above these feelings but sometimes I feel no connection. I love the Faith and I want to love myself as God's creation. I want to have that burning love but sometimes I don't feel like living anymore. What Baha'i literature can I read that touches on mental illness so that I can try to understand a way to be on my path and overcome this very difficult test? I need help. I need support. I live like this in a closet. I put on my happy face but I don't radiate like a spiritual being should. In such a loving community I feel so lonely. I pray that God will give me strength and answers. Does anyone have any advice?

You are not alone as a Baha'i who experiences depression. My advice is to seek the help of professionals who specialize in alleviating the symptoms of mental illness and consult with a nearby Baha'i Spiritual Assembly. The Baha'i Writings all contribute to mental fitnss. We may not always "feel it" when we pray and study, but by maintaining spiritual practices and seeking professional help, we will achieve our heart's desire. Therapy works. God really loves us. -gw


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On Taking Detours: And choosing God's way

True religion has never yet been fashionable. God grant that one day it may become so; but it is still true, as in the days of Christ, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” The gateway of spiritual birth, like the gateway of natural birth, admits men only one by one, and without encumbrances. If, in the future, more people succeed in entering that way than in the past, it will not be because of any widening of the gate, but because of a greater disposition on the part of men to make the “great surrender” which God demands; because long and bitter experience has at last brought them to see the folly of choosing their own way instead of God’s way.
The Illahee Preserve noon-time hiking crew went hiking and, because of mud and puddles, had to take a few detours. We just had to .-gw

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On the Baha'i month of Jalal (Beauty): Jamie Frank invites you to see a photo set on Flickr


Thanks, Jamie! -gw

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

On Comedians Have Credibility: Celebrity has its benefits

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary
Omid Djallili, a British-Iranian movie and TV actor-comedian, speaks
about his Baha'i Faith.

Audio Broadcast:  BBC Radio 3 broadcast on 4-18-2011

Bio / films:\

Why is it that comedians have so much credibility and constitute great presenters of the Faith. I'm thinking, Omid and Rainn Wilson (or is he an actor?) -- and there are others. -gw

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On Nayriz: Official site of AWAKENING: A History of the Babí and Bahá'í Faiths in Nayriz

A fascinating site. Thanks, Robert. -gw
From: Northwest BahaiLibrary

This new website was just announced:

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On a Celebration of Easter: A devotional program of Baha'i Writings

The Beaverton Baha'i website features the readings for a devotional program to honor the Christian celebration of Easter. -gw

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Friday, April 22, 2011

On Pastor's Kids and Gospel Music: Conversations at practice

Smitty is a P.K., a pastor's kid, he told me last night at the Tacoma Invaders football practice. P.K. is a new term for me.

Chris and Smitty

Chris G is a P.K., too. He heard the gospel mix playing on my iPod dock and shared that information. He also plays drums for a Baptist church.
As anybody who knows me will tell you, I like gospel. I didn't grow up with it. Unitarians don't listen to it. But I've loved gospel music since the 70's. Rev. James Cleveland singing "I Ain't Noways Tired" was one of my favorite songs. I had a Mighty Clouds of Joy album. Love their kind of music.
Smitty told me that his favorite group is the Williams Brothers. I told him I think I have them in my collection. They're not on my iPod, I know, but I think I have a CD of some of their songs somewhere. I'm going to check.
White folks can and do like black music. It stirs the soul.
I'm not Unitarian anymore. I'm not Christian, although I love Christ -- you can't be a Baha'i and not love Him. There are a lot of songs sung in the African American tradition out of the thousands of Baha'i-inspired songs available today. Many of the songs I've been playing on my iPod dock for devotions before the Invaders practices are Baha'i.
My favorite Baha'i artisit currently is Walter Heath. He has a song "Daddy Was a Preacher Man"  on his album Praise His Name, which you can hear a little bit of here. So Walter is a P.K.
My friend Jeff is a P.K.

Rocky and Robert are members of our Baha'i cluster. They were not pastor's kids -- they were pastors, ordained as ministers at one time in their lives, They served Christian communities before giving service to humanity as Baha'is. -gw

Robert & Rocky 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On Illahee Hiking: Best video

And the winner is ... this one. -gw

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On Karen Interviewed: You don't see a lot of women who run football

Karen is the go-to person for the Tacoma Invaders and the Tigers. She answers all questions. If she doesn't know, she'll find out for you. I interview her at last Sunday's practice. She talks about how the Tigers got started, about being a woman administrator, about college recruiting, and where to find a good seafood restaurant, even though she doesn't eat seafood. -gw

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On More on Baha'i Nettie J. Asberry: The first African-American in the United States to receive a doctorate degree

Northwest BahaiLibrary has sent additional information to me. Thanks, Robert.
FYI:  More writings  online about  Nettie
Chapter on Nettie J. Asberry, p. 178

Link: African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000

Also this paper is available by a great-niece of Mrs. Asberry:

Antoinette Broussard's short bio is here:

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On Why So Much Football Has Invaded Baha'i Views of Late: It's the social space I'm exploring

Yes, I, am devoting a lot of my posts to football. Why? Because it is my new neighborhood, lke the Salishan neighborhood in Tacoma, that I am getting to know and looking to serve. Baha'is live in the world and seek to have veritable friendships, inviting their friends and neighbors to join them in pursuing the betterment of the world. -gw

Martha Consoles Bonita

Yes, the Tacoma Invaders have invaded Bonita's life! But Martha consoles her with good cheer, humor...[read more]

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On Rearranging How You Look At Things: Unintended consequences

George, of the benefits of taking on a project ( like photos that connect to a concept like an attribute of G_d, a Baha'i month ) is how it can re-arrange how you look at things ..... unintended consequences, my favorite kind ..... at any rate, what do I do ? ........ J
Click on link below for slideshow.
Working with my clients to re-arrange how they look at things is one of the fundametal exercises I do as a mental health counselor. Photographer and friend Jamie's phrase in his note to me, therefore, really resonates. He's got looking at things in a different way down pat, which is why I love looking through his eyes. -gw
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On Supporting Kids in the Community: Through UTYA football

Little league football practice will be starting soon. My favorite team is the UTYA Tacoma Tigers. If the team is not already close to your heart, permit me to intoduce them to you.


I want to pass on a message from Coach Willie I found on his Facebook page. Help support the UTYA FOOTBALL ORGANIZATION by donating at (UTYA stands for Upper Tacoma Youth Athletics.)
I come to you in need of helping my youth organization raise funds this year. I have alot of kids wanting to play football, but their families can't afford it because of financial crunches, so I need your help by donating on the link below. THANK YOU WILLIE CEE

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

On How We're Feeling Right Now: Praise be the Lord!

Good news! Coach Charles is back from Florida.
This clip from a Baha' devotional meeting at Kim and Cornelia's home in Tacoma's Stadium District last Thursday sums up how I am feeling this morning after attending the Invaders scrimmage with another Tacoma semi-pro football team, the Cobras, yesterday and on this, the last day of the 9-day intensive campaign by Pierce County's loving and diverse Bahai community of whom I am a member. -gw

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

On a Terrific Move Forward: Home visits galore

Yet another exciting Baha'i expansion campaign report. -gw

Wonderful events in Pierce Peninsula/Gig Harbor. 
A new Assembly to be formed in Gig Harbor by Ridvan- no new believers, but a homefront pioneer, better boundary definitions and Chris G. and Chris N.accompanying the Friends of the GH Group.
Home visits galore by Shadi, Robert, Shayla, Chris G., Tahirih, Helen and others.
A two hour direct teach by Chris G. ... which ... led to an invitation for Cluster 19 involvement in the upcoming Play in Peace March with children on May 20th starting at the new play area of Wright Park (Helen, Gwen and Tahirih are accompanying).  See
Accompanyment of Albert/Negar, Rocky and early next week with Robert and Karri for expansion and outreach of four community monthly Devotionals
Home visits in Lakebay by Gwen, Fred, Martha and Norm (who's laid up now with a broken arm-prayers, please).
Direct Teaching plans for next week with Fred, Gwen and one or two Youth to start a new Jr. Youth Program in Fred's neighborhood.
Pierce Peninsula development of nine individual Teaching Plans and division of the whole Pierce Peninsula community for Home Visits through next week.
A terrific move forward : )
Chris G

On Another Message from the Teaching Front: The Jr Youth are getting the new neighborhood homework room in my house painted

Great Week--we have been deepening the ties we have already made--
The Children's class tutors have been visiting parents
Gwen has been busy with the Jr Youth getting the new neighborhood homework room in my house painted and ready to become their hangout
We are holding our 3rd WOmen's Empowerment Devotional this Friday
We plan on continuing at least one home visit a day EVERYDAY
Loving It!
 L I S A
We are reflecting on the efforts of the past week of our Intensive campaign, and feeling grateful. -gw

On Getting a Little Help: Team culture

Tanner gets a little help from Ahmad with his chin-strap. -gw

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On Rocky's Joyous Letter: Counting his blessings

Rocky declares his faith in Baha'u'llah, April 30th 2009
I don't think Rocky will mind if I share his joyous email to me today. -gw

I am pretty x cited george
Shadi, Chris , and son linden  are now with us in gig harbor community now, so happy we now have 16 members,the spirit of baha u llah is moving us!  Had a meeting with Chris G thursday nite about our devotions, so could not make it to your home, been a busy week,Tuesday nite ruhi Class with the Javids,Wednesday nite  at Robert and linda's, had to meet  rick and joseph daughter  and 1 seeker there, special meeting to do some teaching, Got to do some resting today, also shopping today to get my ingredients for my fridgerator soup for my devotion sunday at 1030, Man I am on a roll, just think the 3oth of this month I will have 2 years in the faith! Time goes by fast when u r having fun or shall I say When u R busy.Take care my friend
                                                            allahu abha
 my besr to bonita

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Friday, April 15, 2011

On Thanks to Kim's Mix CD: I'm young again

I gave Kim one of my Ayyam-i-Ha mix CDs. So she put together a mix CD of some of her favorite songs for me. I was not familiar with a single song or group. That's sad. But after listening to nothing but Kim's CD while riding in the car the past two weeks, I can now say these songs are mine (even though I don't always understand the lyrics). I was old, but now I'm young again. Thank you, Kim. -gw
> I guess it's 'cause, still waters run,
> Run deep in me
> Cause I got this crazy way...
> Crazy way I'm swimming in still waters.
Still Waters -  Jim White
> A moment, a love
> A dream aloud
Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
> I'm walking on a broken roof
> While I'm looking at the sky
 I'm Not Your Toy - La Roux
> I keep dancin' on my own
> (I keep dancin' on my own)
Dancing on My Own - Robyn
> Robert’s got a quick hand.
> He’ll look around the room, he won’t tell you his plan.
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People

On Participating in the Prevalent Discourses of Society: A conceptual framework

The Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity believes that the two-fold moral purpose of every human being is to develop their latent potentialities through efforts to contribute to the advancement of civilization. At this critical juncture in history, the advancement of civilization entails the construction of a global social order, based on a profound consciousness of the oneness of humanity, in which justice is the central organizing principle, and the well-being and prosperity of all peoples is pursued.
In 1969 I attended the week-long Baha'i Youth for One World Seminar in Evanston, Illinois. It was transformative.  If I were a youth today I would want to attend one of these. -gw
Undergraduate Seminars
for University Students »
“Participating in the Prevalent Discourses of Society”
  • India
    May 2011
  • Malaysia
    June 2011
    August 2011
  • Australia
    July 2011
  • Brazil
    July 2011
  • Colombia
    July 2011
  • Mexico
    July 2011
  • Uganda
    July 2011
  • Peru
    July-August 2011
  • United States
    July-August 2011
  • Canada
    August 2011
  • Ecuador
    August 2011
  • France
    August 2011
  • Spain
    August 2011
  • United Kingdom
    August 2011

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On Out of Egypt: Baha'is offer an open letter to their fellow citizens

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary

Today the Baha'is of Egypt offered an open letter to their fellow citizens.

See: Bahá'í World News Service

English edition of the letter is here with blog responses:


Thanks to Robert and Bilo. -gw

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On Alden Penner: Odes to the House

Odes to the House is Penner’s call to action. This isn’t about you. It’s about freedom and humankind. All of your fears and concerns need to be put aside. Prayer and unity will pull us through. Look, I’m not a religious man (and certainly know next to nothing about Bahá’í Faith) or political in nature, but the comfort I find in Penner’s songs – and sorry to paraphrase a great man like Gandhi here – makes me what to become the changes we all “like” when we read about them on facebook. Isn’t the desire to make things better what we are all fighting for?

another report from Canada, where we have wonderful Baha'i talent!

A tip from my faithful correspondent Up North. -gw
Alden Penner, former front man for Unicorns and Clues, doesn’t sing out of desperation. No, his heartfelt four-song EP Odes to the House, is meant to inspire and sympathize. On Penner’s four month trek from Bamako, Mali to Haifa, Israel what he saw gave birth to four acoustic numbers that he offers up to those burdened by political and civil disarray. It’s a spiritual journey, one without a final destination. The songs, constructed on nothing more than an acoustic, were written to be sung anywhere and by anyone. Huddled in the corners, holding hands with eyes closed, hoping not to be detected, but dying to be heard. These songs echo off walls, dance around corners and shake the floors and ceilings. They fill rooms and cause your heart to pound till you think it might explode.

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On Photos for the Month of Jalal: Glory, glory! Hallelujah!

Glory, glory! Hallelujah! -gw

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Holding Regular Devotions Before Football Practice: Support from a Tacoma Tiger

Daily prayer and intimate communion with God is the foundation for a life devoted to spiritual advancement and service to humanity.
Thanks to the Pierce County Baha'i friends for all of the support they have provided in getting regular devotions going before the Tacoma Invaders football practice. Thanks to the Salishan children, including one Tacoma Tiger, whose presence was especially meaningful.  -gw

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On We Could Have Gone Shopping: Alternatives to a materialistic existence

On the evening we finished Ruhi Book 1 Tom and Renee shared how the Baha'i Faith came up in their lives. -gw
This video is not HD.

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On Spring Trying to Disguise Herself: Like this robin

Spring has tried to disguise itself this year. Like this robin in the KMHS parking lot. Nevertheless the flowering trees of springtime are ... flowering, as in this shot taken at the "entrance" to Bremerton by the naval shipyard.
Spring is like this robin, like it or not, consider it here.
KMHS employees head to Illahee for a Tuesday noontime hike. -gw

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Monday, April 11, 2011

On Ten Months in Prison for Having a Facebook Page: Arrested for being a Baha'i

On the Intensive Baha'i Expansion Campaign Is Supposed To Be Intense: Goal achieved

It's Day 3 of our 9-day intensive expansion campaign. We consulted on our goals and how we intended to achieve them at the Baha'i Cluster Reflection Meeting that preceeded by a week the beginning of our teaching effort. I'm feeling a little tired already, but this brief period is supposed to be intense. Goal achieved.

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On Passing Yarns: The white man who can dance is black

Race is complicated. So is football. Take passing.
The Mexican-American coach attempting to both complement and motivate his football team, the majority of whom are African-American, noted a great play just executed in practice by two players. It was a comment along the lines of "see, white men can dance." The black players laughed, because one of the "white guys" whose football prowess he was extolling was a very light-skinned black man.
"Ah, race in America!" I said under my breath. "I love this team and football, America's game." -gw

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On Racial Amity: An inspiring photo

Amity -- what an lovely word. To speak of racial amity is to convey a different nuance than racial unity. Here is a photo of a racial amity gathering from many decades past that has long hung on the wall at Tim and Deb's, a photo that has overlooked many Baha'i activities intended to foster racial amity that have taken place in their home. -gw

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On National Race Amity Conference in June 2011: Baha'i-inspired

Background of the National Race Amity Conference
The National Race Amity Conference is inspired by the United States’
first race amity conference held in Washington, D.C. in 1921.  The
principal organizers of the original conference were Washington
socialite Agnes Parsons, whose great grandfather was Secretary of the
Navy under George Washington, and Louis Gregory, a Treasury Department
lawyer, whose father served in the first black Civil War regiment, the
South Carolina First Volunteer Colored Regiment.  The two, though from
very different backgrounds, worked together as co-religionists of the
Baha’i Faith and were advised and supported by Nebraska Senator Moses
Clapp.  They gathered others, mostly courageous women, to assist with
the conference preparations. On May 19, 1921, the National Race Amity
Convention assembled in Washington, D.C. at the First Congregational
Church, which was known for its opposition to racial prejudice. Over
1,500 diverse participants gathered for the opening day, a marked
contrast for the city in the wake of widespread racist rioting and
lynching in the Red Summer of 1919. The mission of the conference
adorned the front page of the event program:

The great work we have to do and for which this conference is called
is the establishment of amity between the white and colored people of
our land.  When we have put our own house in order, then we may be
trusted to carry the message of universal peace to all mankind.

Great find by Robert of the Northwest Bahai Library. An event uniting past, present, and future, initiated by historical Baha'i figures of renown. -gw 

National Race Amity Conference
Description: This national conference is organized around ten amity sectors, featuring key note speakers and breakout sessions.
Time: Opening Reception 7 PM, June 9 – Conference ends on June 12
Location: Wheelock College, Boston, MA

National Race Amity Day
This uplifting and unifying experience includes invited guests Vice President Joseph Biden*, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Paul Simon*, Imani Winds, Matt Damon, Tierney Sutton, and local talent.
Time: 1 PM
Location: Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA

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On Bending Natural Laws to His Will: Man flies through the air and floats on the sea

The power of the Holy Spirit, enlightening man’s intelligence, has enabled him to discover means of bending many natural laws to his will. He flies through the air, floats on the sea, and even moves under the waters.
I live in the town where Joint Base Lewis McCord is based and see aircraft fly overhead frequently, and I work in a town where the Navy has a major West Coast shipyard and I see aircraft carriers on a daily basis.
Friday I saw this on the water as I rode into Bremerton to work.

Saturday I saw this in the air at the Tacoma Invaders practice.

First visit to the Invaders prractice, IPG weekend 165
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

On What Happens At Football Practice Doesn't Stay At Football Practice: We learn of another Baha'i in our cluster

It was a distinguished, if humble, contingent of the friends who gathered before the Tacoma Invaders practice on Sunday for devotions. Some came from as far away as Arizona and Mukilteo. Now those are devoted fans!
Everybody had a chance to meet A.J. As we learned, his sister-in-law, who is Baha'i, doesn't live back in American Samoa. She lives right here in Spanaway of Cluster 19 WA. We're going to do a home visit and meet our Baha'i family member. She's been asking A.J., where do the Baha'is meet. She's looking to connect. And we are so thrilled to find another Baha'i in our area.

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

On Sun on Sunday: Prayers at 1:30 Practice at 2

Sunday we will finally have some sun. Fifty-two degrees isn't especially warm, but it isn't 42 degrees. Sunday should be a great day for football. Fans, players and coaches, join Gwen, Joe, Therese, little Jaylen and me for informal devotions at the Invaders Fan Canopy at 1:30. Practice at 2.
"Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds. In these words the mysteries of Divine Wisdom have been treasured...."

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On Hello to the Na Na Philosophy: Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye

From my erudite son Taraz. He's got a Mac back. Watch out! His video pursuits will have increasing relevance.

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On Eat Ye, O People, of the Good Things Which God Hath Allowed You: Wondrous bounties

Eat ye, O people, of the good things which God hath allowed you, and deprive not yourselves from His wondrous bounties. Render thanks and praise unto Him, and be of them that are truly thankful. -- Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah
Bonita's food photos on our Flickr site continue to amaze me with their beauty .. and scrumptiousness. Follow her food pursuits on her blog Flitzy Phoebie.

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On Martha Root: Rare audio clip aired on Radio Prague

Martha_Root_interview with_President_Masaryk_Baha'i_World_Vol-IV_1930-1932.pdf Download this file

Another extraordinary contribution from Robert at NWBL. -gw

From: Northwest BahaiLibrary


Here is a link to the audio recording of Martha
Root which was aired last week on a Radio Prague (English) broadcast.


Title of radio program: "The women who stepped out of the shadow of Czechoslovakia’s first
president" - with a rare audio clip of Martha Root

Description of program:

"At the beginning of this series we heard the voice of the first
Czechoslovak President, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The Masaryk family
included several remarkable women, who were also to play their part in
20th century Czech history. Tomáš’s wife Charlotte was American, born
in New York in 1850. When the couple married in Brooklyn in 1878, he
took on her surname Garrigue as part of his own name, as a gesture of
respect. Charlotte went on to devote her life to all things Czech, and
she was every bit as energetic in her defense of women’s rights,
winning her husband over to the cause. She died in 1923 just five
years after the republic was founded. In this archive recording from
November 1932 she is remembered by an American friend, the feminist
and peace advocate, Martha Root."

I also attach Martha Root's noteworthy interview with President
Masaryk in the early 1930s which was published in the Baha'i World,
Vol. IV, 1930-1932. The PDF is text searchable.


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On the the Hundreds Who Gathered at the Funeral of Ashraf Khanjani: 18 photos

Readers may have already seen these posts on the funeral of Mrs. Ashraf Khanjani in Iran on BWNS here:, and on Iran Press Watch here:, and on YouTube:.
Thanks to Robert at Northwest Baha'i Library, attached are 18 photos from the funeral at which some many hundreds gathered at some peril. Robert writes: "It should be noted that right after that funeral, the sentence of the Seven [imprisioned Baha'i leaders, of whom Mrs. Khnjani's husband was one] was announced by the Iranian court to be raised back to 20 years." Eighteen photos, 18 testimonies to courage. -gw

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