Pioneering orientations continue in Ontario

Posted: 2022/09/30

The orientations, organized by the Ontario Pioneering Task Force, support friends interested in contributing to the pioneering needs of the Nine Year Plan.

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In its 24 May 2022 message to the Bahá’ís of the World, the Universal House of Justice wrote:

“Confident of the community’s appreciation of the significance of this historical juncture and in its capacity to respond to the demands of the hour, we now call on the friends to consider how they can contribute to the pioneering imperatives of the Nine Year Plan—both on the home front and in the international field. In preparing to enter this vital arena, they will find the counsels of the institutions indispensable.”

The pioneering task force aims to support friends from Ontario as they arise to respond to the call of the Universal House of Justice. To this end, the task force is offering sessions for friends who are interested in contributing to the pioneering needs of the current Plan.

In light of the large number of pioneers required over the Nine Year Plan to ensure that at least one cluster in every country and every region has passed the third milestone, it is anticipated that pioneers will be deployed in waves.[i] To meet this demand, the task force is providing periodic orientation sessions for those stirred by the call to arise.

The orientation program, held initially in the advanced clusters of Ottawa and Toronto, strives to imbue pioneers with a profound appreciation of the spiritual nature of the enterprise. During the orientation, participants study major messages of the House of Justice, reflect on the processes of community building and human resource development, and consult about how these processes effect a transformation in individuals, families and communities. They also look at the role of a pioneer, and the spiritual dynamics of pioneering.

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Participants engage in a collective art activity inspired by stories of the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh.

Beyond these conceptual components, the program also has practical elements, which focus on strengthening the ability of potential pioneers to hold meaningful and uplifting conversations. These conversations are practiced in the context of home visits, with a focus on visits to youth and their families. During these home visits, participants speak with families about the educational process and connect them with local community-building activities.

Ontario’s first pioneer orientation session was held July 2-5 at both the Bethany Bahá’í Centre for Learning and in the Upper Don Mills neighbourhood in Toronto. The 14 participants studied messages from the House of Justice, engaged in activities of artistic expression, prayed together, visited teams and friends in advanced neighbourhoods and hosted a gathering for the purpose of sharing the spirit of pioneering with the community.

The second orientation session took place September 10-17 in Ottawa, with a similar program. Future orientations will be announced in due course, with the third orientation expected this winter. It is envisioned that subsequent orientation sessions will occur several times per year for the foreseeable future. As such, it is hoped that wave after wave of pioneers will soon be carried by the winds and tides of the love of Bahá’u’lláh to their posts abroad and on the home front over the coming months and years.

Friends who wish to attend an orientation session in Ontario are encouraged to apply by filling out the Google form at the following link: Ontario Pioneer Orientation Application Form

– Contributed by the Ontario Pioneering Task Force

 

[i] The House of Justice has described the characteristics of a cluster that has reached the third milestone in its development in paragraphs 22-33 of its  29 December 2015 and paragraph 11 of its 30 December 2021 messages to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors.