Summer 2019 issue of Bahá’í Canada

Posted: 2019/07/31

Among the friends to take flight to the “world of mysteries” this year was Mr. Donald Rogers. In 2017, Mr. Rogers wrote to Bahá’í Canada identifying four paintings that he felt best reflected his inspiration from the spirit of the Faith and offered them for publication. Our cover image, titled The Creative Word – An Ocean of Movement, is one of these. This issue of Bahá’í Canada takes inspiration from the concept of movement; both the literal movement of pioneers and pilgrims, and that of populations as they move towards Bahá’u’lláh’s vision for a new society.

Pioneers illumine our history as a country. The story “Canada’s Knights of Bahá’u’lláh,” contributed by Anne Boyles, recalls the friends living in Canada who responded to the Guardian’s call during the Ten-Year Crusade to open new territories to the Faith. She connects their stories to our task today. Their sacrificial efforts and steadfastness in the face of hardship still shapes our identity as a community.

This identity was evident at this year’s National Convention. Galvanized by a presentation from friends who had recently visited Sydney, Australia, to learn about embracing large numbers, the delegates expressed confidence in our community’s ability to respond to the pressing needs of the current Plan. As we realized how rich the learning was from the group’s visit to Australia, this issue’s feature article, “Stories from Sydney,” emerged, which aims to amplify this stirring vision across Canada.

Much is being learned about the movement of youth through the sequence of Ruhi Institute courses, especially as they arise to serve, often as junior youth animators or children’s class teachers. In the article “Systematic striving: raising up neighbourhood youth,” Melanie Vafaie shares the experience of friends in Brampton, Ont., who implemented a regular rhythm of institute campaigns, through which 139 young people have entered the study of Ruhi Institute Book 1: Reflections on the Life of the Spirit since 2012. Through this process, the nucleus of friends acting and reflecting in their neighbourhood has been expanding.

In recent years, the Universal House of Justice has deepened our understanding of the concept of an expanding nucleus of friends, “who are working and consulting together and arranging activities.”[1] For the article “The role of the nucleus in community development,” we interviewed friends from three clusters, of varying sizes and stages of development – Peterborough, Ont., Saanich, B.C and Montreal, Q.C. – about their experiences serving, shoulder to shoulder, as part of a nucleus of friends.

In its 24 June 2019 message, the National Spiritual Assembly wrote: “Between now and the Twin Holy Days on 29 and 30 October, we urge each of you to re-examine the calls in the National Assembly’s 6 April 2018 letter and think of how your own efforts to build the world anew can achieve new levels of focus and intensity, whatever your circumstances.”[2] We look forward to reporting on the efforts of the friends in Canada in our forthcoming issue, as the Bahá’í community seizes the “marvellous opportunities for awakening those around them to the great Day of God.”[3]

[1] From the Universal House of Justice to the Continental Boards of Counsellors, 29 December 2015.
[2] From the National Spiritual Assembly to the Bahá’ís of Canada.
[3] From the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the World, Ridván 2019.

Summer 2019 issue