Spring 2018 Issue of Bahá’í Canada

Posted: 2018/02/13

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In a message in late November, the National Spiritual Assembly wrote, “What marvels you have accomplished in honour of this powerful moment in history!”[1] It has been invigorating to receive reports from across the country describing celebrations of the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the “One Whose teachings will usher in that long-promised time when all humanity will live side by side in peace and unity.”[2] This issue of Bahá’í Canada provides a window into some of these celebrations, from which it is hoped an evolution in how the Bahá’ís of Canada commemorate Holy Days can be discerned.

Communities across the country harnessed the impetus of the bicentenary to reach new heights – numerically, as some localities’ celebrations constituted the largest gatherings held in recent memory, involving the largest number of those from the wider community, and also qualitatively, as these celebrations strengthened their ability to collaborate, learn and coordinate their efforts.

It is difficult to recall a time when we were able to share, within a single issue, an item from every province and territory in Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon. Our feature article is a compilation of such stories. Despite this, what follows is, of course, only a glimpse into bicentenary celebrations across the country, as countless more occurred. Again, to quote the National Spiritual Assembly, “To hold a worthy mirror to your joyful, creative efforts is impossible.”[3] Of particular note was the response of the wider community to joining Bahá’ís in marking the bicentenary, from children and youth in neighbourhoods to prominent dignitaries. These friends not only attended celebrations, but were active agents in planning them and inviting others. As the National Spiritual Assembly wrote: “Seeing in each soul who accompanied you a potential protagonist in the community-building process, you are also seeing the next simple steps that will connect them more deeply to the transformative power of the Revelation.”[4] We look forward to following your progress in accompanying these friends as we approach another significant juncture – the bicentenary of the Birth of Báb – in October 2019.

Other content in this issue provides a closer look at several stories from across Canada within the context of the bicentenary: An individual in Montreal, Que., overcomes her doubts regarding holding a neighbourhood celebration; friends of the Piikani Nation, Alta., are reminded of Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyíh Khánum’s visits in past decades; a play performed in Victoria, B.C., conveys Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings to a large number of people; a junior youth group in Toronto, Ont., undergoes a test of unity; a service project in Iqaluit, Nunavut, brings joy to local taxi drivers; a group in Ottawa, Ont., dedicate a combined 400 hours to creating a quilt; and an individual from Charlottetown, P.E.I., reflects on the capacities her community strengthened during this potent period.  We are also happy to include several artistic works, including poetry, in honour of the Twin Manifestations. Each piece sought “to convey a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries rose successively above the horizon of the world.”[5] We hope that we can incorporate the arts in ways that speak to the themes of future issues, and invite friends who are thus inclined to consider contributing. For submissions and inquiries, we can be reached at bcanada@cdnbnc.org. We hope that you enjoy this issue and look forward to continuing our collaboration.

Spring 2018 issue

[1] From the National Spiritual Assembly to the Bahá’ís of Canada, 20 November 2017

[2] From the Universal House of Justice to all who celebrate the Glory of God, October 2017

[3] From the National Spiritual Assembly to the Bahá’ís of Canada, 20 November 2017

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.