Reflections on growth in Regina, Saskatchewan

Posted: 2014/06/13

A group of youth in Regina, Sask.

 The Universal House of Justice wrote in the recent Ridván message that in the last two years of the Five Year Plan, the friends of God have two critical tasks: strengthening existing programmes of growth and beginning new ones. In Canada we have the goal of initiating 109 programmes of growth and so far there are 87 clusters where the capacities needed are present. Here is an account that describes the process of starting a programme of growth in Regina, Sask. and how the friendships built among the friends contributed to this aim:

 For the past few months I have been able to periodically visit with friends in Regina, Sask. In this cluster, they have reached the “first of several milestones in a process to sustainable growth,” which is to say that there are friends from the wider community who are inviting others into the institute process.[1] Since last spring, two dedicated and pure-hearted friends have served the process of growth in a focused and patient manner. These two youth have lived in Regina for years, and, after looking at their personal circumstances and seeing the needs and opportunities in their cluster, they were both moved to offer a year of service at home. It is clear to see, looking at the past year, that their efforts brought continuous confirmations and blessings that have opened possibilities that have helped the cluster advance significantly beyond the first milestone.

For the sake of brevity, I won’t elaborate on the joy, love, gratitude, and spiritual growth of this service. What I will offer are a couple examples of the signs of the first milestone of growth that I observed over the past many months, in the hope that it can contribute to our vision and discussion of milestone one as we continue to make efforts to see it in more and more clusters in the remaining years of this Plan.

In Insights from the Frontiers of Learning it states that a program of growth begins as two nascent capacities develop. These capacities are: First, one or more friends are able to help individuals study the institute’s sequence of courses and accompany them as they begin core activities; and second: Those studying attract others to participate in core activities. For example, in Regina, these two year-of-service youth invited a friend to help them with their junior youth group and begin the animator training by joining a study of Ruhi Book 1: Reflections on the Life of the Spirit. This friend encouraged her younger brother to participate in the junior youth group and he became a regular participant. A second example is of a young youth who joined a study of Ruhi Book 1 and invited her friend to attend. Now, both are moving through the sequence of courses. The capacity of the friends in the cluster to attract and invite, and to accompany others in service, is rapidly continuing to develop, ensuring progress beyond this first milestone.

These friends have seen clearly the words of our beloved Universal House of Justice stated last summer at the inception of the series of youth conferences worldwide, that it is the time for youth to “reflect, to commit, to steel themselves for a life of service from which blessing will flow in abundance.” Blessings have truly flowed in abundance, and we are eagerly looking ahead to  sustained momentum building in the cluster, the region, the country, and the globe.

–Lydia Filson

[1] Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010