Message from the National Spiritual Assembly to the Bahá’ís of Canada, 22 September 2017

Posted: 2017/10/02

To the Bahá’ís of Canada

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

“See how the community of the Greatest Name arises!” began the Ridván message this year. Over a number of Feasts, it has been with admiration and gratitude that the National Spiritual Assembly has shared news of the powerful conversations building in diverse spaces and among diverse peoples in Canada. The “single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Bahá’u’lláh”[i] is being seized with energy and joy, and the circle of friends drawing closer to Him is growing to include unprecedented numbers. In the short month remaining until the celebration of the Twin Holy Birthdays, it is clear that these conversations will deepen and extend further, bearing fruit in new and lasting friendships centred on the Word of God and the experience of shared service.

The planning of events related to the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh has reflected a remarkable consciousness of their relationship to the processes of growth. New participants are welcomed as fellow-workers, many of whom will be hosting celebrations in their own homes and inviting their friends. The actual celebrations of the Twin Holy Days are being viewed as the beginning of a new stage in this larger process, rather than the culmination.

Careful thought is being given to how all who celebrate together will deepen their relationship with the Faith in the months following the bicentenary. In one community, a simple and beautiful invitation to firesides, devotional gatherings, study circles, children’s classes and junior youth groups will be distributed, with tutors, children’s class teachers, junior youth animators, and hosts of devotional gatherings and firesides identified and ready. In another neighbourhood, the celebration itself will include participatory activities related to community-building, with an invitation to continued involvement. A group of friends in another cluster has compiled and designed a beautiful prayer book suited to the Indigenous friends with whom they will celebrate. Another group has planned several screenings of the film Light to the World as part of a neighhourhood activity in the weeks following the Holy Days. Diverse, joyful artistic expressions — plays, originally-composed music, poetry — will quicken the hearts of participants in the celebrations and are also being incorporated in follow-up plans.

A vibrant conversation among the youth, uniting the concepts of worship and service and increasingly centred on the Person of Bahá’u’lláh, is extending to their families and friends through a flourishing of home visits. Children are speaking to their classmates, junior youth to their circle of friends. Devotional gatherings are multiplying to prepare to welcome the many who may be encountering Bahá’u’lláh for the first time during the Holy Days. Practical steps, such as ensuring that institute materials are quickly available, have been taken by Assemblies who have delighted in the surge of initiative.

The next eight cycles between the bicentenaries of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh this year and that of the Báb in 2019 will see developments we can but dimly imagine. Canada is ready. The prayer that the whole of this bicentennial year will be filled with the joy “that is purest and sweetest: telling another soul of the dawning of the Day of God”[ii] has echoed in the hearts of the friends. In workplaces and school hallways, over dinner tables and in parks, a desperately-needed hope in the future is being rekindled in so many ways: the penetrating mention of His Name between two souls, the sweet first prayers of a young child learning to love ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the warm embrace of a junior youth who has been bullied in every other space, the explosion of joy in the heart of a youth who has found in service a channel for her energy, the sense of common purpose growing in a family who have begun to pray together. For your part in this, for each step you are taking in communities large and small, from coast to coast to coast, the National Assembly is offering joyful, grateful prayers.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,


[signed: Karen McKye, Secretary]


[i] Ridvan 2017 message to the Bahá’ís of the world
[ii] Ibid