Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Bahá’í Canada

Posted: 2021/01/14

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The title of this issue draws inspiration from this year’s Ridván message from the Universal House of Justice, in which that beloved institution wrote to the Bahá’ís of the world, “However long and arduous the road that must be travelled, we are supremely confident in your fortitude and determination to see the journey through.”

As Canadians have, by and large, adjusted to the rhythm of life necessitated by the current global health crisis, there is a growing awareness that a return to the normalcy of yesteryear may be longer delayed than once imagined. Indeed, in another message from the House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the world on the occasion of the Day of the Covenant, we read that “the decades ahead are set to bring with them challenges among the most daunting that the human family has ever had to face.”

With this in mind, it is inspiring to witness how the Canadian Bahá’í community has carried on with the work of the Plan — of which less than two full cycles remain — seemingly undeterred, demonstrating a great willingness to be flexible in its efforts to “examine, promote, and cultivate those spiritual qualities which are most needed at this time.” We have sought in this issue to share stories that demonstrate not only the resilience of the community, but also the spirit of hopefulness and undiminished vitality that remains ever present in the face of ongoing challenges.

In this light, the feature article “Carrying out activities in the pandemic” explores how those involved in the activities of the Plan across the country have adapted their efforts in the new reality. It is hoped that these examples serve as inspiration to those still contemplating how to continue with their own endeavours. While, of course, safety guidelines differ from time to time and region to region, these stories demonstrate how guidelines can be adhered to without diminishing the momentum generated prior to the pandemic.

Likewise, the article “University students engage in conversations on social change” explores how the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity seminars, which were adapted to an online setting, play a vital role in accompanying youth throughout their university studies, providing an invaluable space to connect with one another and examine their circumstances through discussions about the processes of integration and disintegration visible in society.

Additionally, two of the articles in this issue focus on recent exciting developments in the Ruhi institute courses, an updated issue of Book 1, and the introduction of two units of Book 11, all of which have contributed to revitalizing the intensity with which friends across the country are engaging in the main sequence of courses.

The article “Fulfilling a long-pursued goal: the Bethany Bahá’í Centre of Learning” describes the efforts of friends to make ready a large, multi-purpose facility for the learning site in Toronto. While this facility’s use may be limited in the coming months, it has tremendous potential to support the activities of growth in Toronto and surrounding clusters.

In December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a virtual meeting with representatives of several religious groups to discuss the role of faith in the context of a pandemic. In this issue, we share a report of this meeting, including the contributions made by the representatives of the Bahá’í community who were present.

Finally, it is hoped that the cover of this this magazine, a recent photograph of the progress being made in the construction of the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will fill your hearts with joy and appreciation for the bounty of this historic moment in time.

Fall/Winter 2020 issue