Letter from the delegates of the 72nd National Convention to the Universal House of Justice

Posted: 2022/05/06

Delegates Photo Of The 72nd National Convention 300x90The delegates to the 72nd National Convention of Canada, with Counsellors Borna Noureddin (left front row, third from left) and Ayafor Ayafor (left front row, fourth from left) seated with the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. Photo: Louis Brunet and Russell Kerr.

From the delegates to the 72nd National Convention to the Universal House of Justice, 3 May 2022.

To The Beloved Universal House of Justice,

We the delegates at the seventy-second Canadian National Convention bow down our heads in utter gratitude before the Supreme Body of the Faith for its ceaseless flow of guidance as we embark on the sixth epoch of the Formative Age. Blessed by the presence of Counsellors Ayafor Ayafor and Dr. Borna Noureddin as well as former member of the Universal House of Justice Dr. Javaheri and his wife, Mrs. Vida Javaheri, the delegates elected the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, the ninth pillar of the Universal House of Justice, in a rarefied atmosphere, with one hundred percent participation in ballots cast.

The insights of the delegates, drawing on their rich experiences, provided heartening evidence of the impressive leap our community has made under the guidance of the Universal House of Justice during the One Year Plan and helped to develop our understanding of the factors in play including the impact that the Major Plan of God is having on the receptivity of our population. In story after story, shared from cluster after cluster, we listened attentively to how the friends have responded to the imperatives of the Plan with creativity, resilience, and devotion, thereby weaving a rich tapestry of learning. We noted a marked capacity on the part of individuals, teams and communities to accompany enkindled souls to take charge of their own material and spiritual destiny by reading their own reality in a process that is generational in nature. Aware of the need for a more expansive view of the institute process and even what it means to be a Baha’i, we are learning about how to develop the qualities and conditions necessary to accompany souls who have embraced the vision of Baha’u’llah on their path of service and their growing recognition of the Desire of their hearts.

The delegates reflected on the heartfelt grief and concern of Canadians over the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children and the widening consciousness of systemic injustices and oppression that have impeded the material and spiritual progress of many peoples within our nation and around the world. All unitedly shared a longing desire to build greater capacity through the institute process to more fully respond to the instructions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to “attach great importance to the indigenous population of America.” We recognize that much has been learned and much still needs to be learned in this regard.

Overjoyed to learn that contributions to the lifeblood of the Cause have increased by 25% over the last two years, we marvelled at the wisdom of the Local Spiritual Assemblies and at the generosity of the communities to defray expenses at the grassroots to ensure that the National Fund has not been strained. Looking ahead to the Nine Year Plan, Counsellor Noureddin offered clarifying insights into the coming needs and focussed our attention on the preciousness of time and material means as expressions of love that rely on long-term planning not only of institutions, but of families as well. In a similar vein, the moving message from the Board of Trustees for Ḥuqúqu’lláh invited a shift in our thinking about the Right of God that goes beyond the mere calculation to its profound spiritual and societal impact. The Convention articulated the desire to adopt audacious contribution goals to adequately address the anticipated needs of the Nine Year Plan.

We enthusiastically surveyed the rise in institutional capacity, in particular on the part of Local Spiritual Assemblies, to achieve a strong sense of common purpose with cluster agencies to learn, to act and to consult – a new frontier of learning that meaningly impacts the mode of operation of the Assemblies. To elevate our thinking, Counsellor Ayafor encouraged the delegates to consider the functioning of a Local Spiritual Assembly whose members’ first initiation to the Faith has been through the institute process.

The delegates appreciated the letter from the fiftieth National Convention of Iceland honouring Canadian pioneers for establishing early communities in their land, which enabled the formation of their first National Assembly 50 years ago. This message reminded us of Canada’s long-standing legacy in the field of international pioneering and the necessity to befittingly heed the new pioneer call of the Universal House of Justice.

On behalf of the Canadian Bahá’í community, we pledge to heroically embrace the imperatives of the Nine Year Plan, while fully cognizant of the shifts in understanding and perspectives that it calls for, reminiscent of the demands made at the outset of the Ten Year Crusade. With complete assurance in the unerring guidance of the Head of the Faith, Canada is ready to sail through any storm that the Major Plan of God has in store.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Delegates at the 72 Canadian National Convention