Call from the National Spiritual Assembly for Nine Year Plan pioneers

Posted: 2022/04/18

18 April 2022 / 10 Glory 179

To the Bahá’ís of Canada

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The final hours are upon us, in a year dedicated to profound reflection on the life of ‘Abdu’l- Bahá and the Covenant of which He was the Centre. How many are the ways that He has been called to mind during this period! How many the acts of service that have carried the fragrance of His love far and wide! “Every community-building endeavour undertaken today, every educational activity and every outreach, carries with it the hope of communicating, through our own efforts, a token of the same love He showered upon every soul. Such efforts are the best tribute that can be rendered to Him, at this centenary and every day that follows.”[i]

We turn to you today, stirred by these familiar, poignant words of the Master: “O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of ‘Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá’ in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it … ”[ii]. Generations of Canadian believers have arisen to fulfil that longing, from the first travelling teachers responding to the divine mission carved in fourteen Tablets of the Divine Plan, to the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh who opened new territories to the Cause during the Ten Year Crusade, to the present-day youth who have moved to a neighbourhood to dedicate years of their lives to their younger peers and their families. Over one hundred years of this movement has carried the love of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá around the world and embedded it in countless hearts here at home.

On the threshold of a new stage of the Divine Plan, it brings us great joy to raise a new call, for the next generation of pioneers with a special mission.

In its 30 December 2021 message, the Universal House of Justice pointed out the immense value to a region, of a cluster where the third milestone has been passed:

“Once the friends in a given cluster have developed the range of capacities that such progress implies, and the means to disseminate insights and share experience about community-building endeavours are in place, then a swift acceleration of the work of expansion and consolidation in surrounding clusters becomes possible. With this in mind, it is imperative that during the Nine Year Plan the process of growth reach this level of intensity in at least one cluster in every country and every region. This constitutes one of the Plan’s chief objectives and it will call for the concentrated effort of many a consecrated soul. The International Teaching Centre is ready to work with you to implement several strategies to bring this about. Foremost among these will be the deployment of teams of international and homefront pioneers who are familiar with the framework for action and are prepared to dedicate significant amounts of time and energy to serving the Cause over a number of years. You will need to impress upon National Spiritual Assemblies and Regional Bahá’í Councils the urgency of encouraging believers who, following in the footsteps of so many heroic souls of the past, can arise to ensure that the light of the Faith shines bright in every territory. We look in particular to countries, regions, and clusters where strength and experience have accumulated to generate a flow of pioneers to places where help is needed, and also to provide support by other means. This flow of support is one more way in which the spirit of collaboration and mutual assistance, so essential for progress, manifests itself in systematic action.”

The Supreme Body has indicated that “The Plan that will shortly commence–the first major undertaking in a sacred twenty-five-year venture, generational in its scope and significance–will make demands of the individual believer, the community, and the institutions reminiscent of the demands that the Guardian made of the Bahá’í world at the outset of the Ten Year Crusade.” The International Teaching Centre has prepared a preliminary list of regions in over 75 countries, and Canada has been asked to collaborate with a number of other communities to ensure that the first wave of pioneers sets forth in the first year of the Plan. Within Canada, specific clusters have been identified to receive pioneers to help accelerate the process of growth underway, aiming to more than triple the number of clusters in Canada where the third milestone has been passed, from the current 24 to over 80 by the end of the Nine Year Plan. With the guidance of the National Assembly and in close collaboration with the Counsellors, task forces have been appointed in British Columbia and Ontario, to coordinate an orientation and training programme that will prepare both homefront and international pioneers for their service. Contact information of these task forces and the national pioneer desk are provided below. The Auxiliary Board members in every region stand ready to assist you, and all the local, regional and national institutions and agencies will support those who are moved to step into the arena. Indeed, the entire community is summoned to participate in this endeavour. Some will be able to arise to serve as pioneers, some will deputize a pioneer directly or contribute to the Deputization Fund, some will host pioneers in training in clusters chosen to serve as training grounds, and all will support through prayers and loving encouragement for those who arise.

Dear friends, we need not speak of the condition of the world, and the acceleration of the forces of disintegration. These forces must be matched by a mighty effort by those who carry the love of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá into every corner of the planet, prepared with the present-day strategies of a Plan He devised for the healing of the world. Who among you will claim this honour, in this day?

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

Karen McKye, Secretary


[i] 27 November 2021 The Universal House of Justice, Tribute to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

[ii] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan