Summer 2016 issue of Bahá’í Canada

Posted: 2016/08/01

The Universal House of Justice, in its 10 July 2014 message in which the adoption of the Badí‘ calendar is announced, writes that Naw-Rúz of 172 B.E. (2015) marked “yet another historic step in the manifestation of the unity of the people of Bahá and the unfoldment of Bahá’u’lláh’s World Order.” [1]

“The adoption of a new calendar in each dispensation,” the House of Justice writes, “is a symbol of the power of Divine Revelation to reshape human perception of material, social and spiritual reality. Through it, sacred moments are distinguished, humanity’s place in time and space reimagined, and the rhythm of life recast.” [2]

One such sacred moment came as, for the first time, Bahá’ís and their friends the world over commemorated the Twin Birthdays of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh on two consecutive days, two days that “are accounted as one in the sight of God.” [3]

Regarding “these blessed Days” in which, “nearly two centuries ago, the whole world was illumined with the light of a new Manifestation of God,”[4] the following guidance was written on behalf of the House of Justice:

The friends should regard the Twin Festivals as a sacred moment to gather and strengthen the devotional and social life of the community and as a priceless opportunity to reach out to friends, family, and the wider society and share with them the significance of the lives and missions of these two most precious Beings.[5]

Another recent message written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice regarding the bicentenaries of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb in 2017 and 2019, respectively, bears special connection to the theme of this issue, and is included in a separate booklet with a number of other messages from the Universal House of Justice. As stated in the letter, “The House of Justice feels it would now be timely to explore further the manner in which these highly significant Festivals are to be celebrated so that preparations can begin to be made.” [6] This issue captures some elements of the first Twin Holy Day commemorations that were held across Canada, just as the friends begin to consider how to celebrate the upcoming bicentenaries in a manner that “conveys a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries rose successively above the horizon of the world.” [7] Such elements include: the spirit of love and devotion infused into the planning and the arrangement of the programs; the careful consideration given to creating a reverent and reflective atmosphere; the thoughtful invitations extended to family, friends and the wider society–all culminating in two days “to commemorate moments when a Being peerless in creation, a Manifestation of God, was born to the world.” [8]

Several other messages from the Universal House of Justice are included in this booklet, including messages related to the details of the new Five Year Plan and the centenary of the revelation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan, as well as the most recent Ridván message, and a message regarding the movement of pioneers in this Plan.

Included at the beginning of this issue is a contribution the National Spiritual Assembly made to this year’s National Convention, titled “In the Throes of Learning.” It highlights the advances made and insights gained by the Canadian Bahá’í Community over the last 20 years, since the start of this series of Plans. The Annual Report of the National Spiritual Assembly, while not included in this issue, is available here.

Also included in this issue are reflections on marriage and family life that emerged from a gathering in which a number of friends reflected together on relevant guidance and a selection of Writings in light of their own experiences. The account is a distillation of some reflections, thoughts and sentiments shared that evening.

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It is hoped that as Holy Days are commemorated across the country, the friends will feel inspired to share their accounts and reflections, particularly on the way Holy Day observances enhance the devotional character of the community, acquaint more and more hearts with Bahá’u’lláh and His Revelation and strengthen Bahá’í identity.

Summer 2016 issue

Messages from the Universal House of Justice – 29 December 2015 to 23 May 2016

 



[1]
The Universal House of Justice, 10 July 2014.

[2] The Universal House of Justice, 10 July 2014.

[3] Quoted in 10 July 2014 letter from the Universal House of Justice.

[4] A letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, 8 September 2015.

[5] A letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, 8 September 2015.

[6] A letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 18 May 2016.

[7] A letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 18 May 2016.

[8] The Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, 29 December 2015.