Reflection Meeting – December 5, 2015

Saturday December 5, 2015 saw an insightful and energetic reflection meeting wherein the Baha’i community reflected on its collective activities over the last several months. We were happy to see roughly 30 people in attendance. Presentations were given by the Area Teaching Committee and each of the Institute Coordinators regarding the state of the community and some goals for the upcoming cycle (December 2015-March 2016).

After this presentation, everyone brainstormed some ideas for the expansion phase, a period of two weeks during which the members of the Baha’i community systematically expand their networks of community contacts, inviting them to participate in the core activities. We then divided into two groups to discuss some of these ideas in more detail: one discussed devotionals / firesides, while the other discussed the Institute process (books 1 and 5 and a dedicated teaching project).

Here is a summary of some community events that were decided upon:

  • Devotionals will be held each night of the planning week somewhere in London (Dec 7th to 12th).
  • A Book 3 intensive will be held on Sunday December 13th at the Glabush residence
  • A Book 5 campaign will occur from December 28th to January 2nd as part of a junior youth campaign (Mountain Unmoved)
  • A Book 1 intensive will be held on Dec 19th and 20th in preparation for the junior youth campaign
  • A dedicated teaching project will occur from December 19th to December 22nd
  • At least one Fireside will be held each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night somewhere in London during the expansion phase
  • The planning week will occur from Dec 7th to Dec 12th The expansion phase will occur for the following two weeks (Dec 13th to Dec 27th).
  • The consolidation phase will then begin on December 28th.
  • The Area Teaching Committee will soon be announcing detailed plans regarding
    locations for the upcoming devotionals and firesides.

A big thank you for all of those who attended the Reflection Meeting and offered their suggestions, critiques, and support. A final reminder that, although these are plans made for the community to participate in, individual initiatives are definitely welcome (and please let the Area Teaching Committee know about these, so that we can provide support and help integrate such initiatives with other activities. Kindly contact Rob Haworth – palacenataku@hotmail.com).

 

Bahá’í s Inaugurate New Calendar to Celebrate Founders’ Births

For Immediate Release

Bahá’í s inaugurate new calendar to celebrate Founders’ Births

Nov 9, 2015, 9:00 AM ET(Eastern Time)

London – For the first time ever, Baha’is throughout the world will be celebrating two of their most important Holy Days (the Birthday of the Báb, the Herald of their Faith, and the Birthday of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith) on two consecutive days, November 13 and 14. These are Baha’i Holy Days when work is suspended and the London Baha’i community holds commemorative events.

The Baha’is of London and neighbouring towns will commence the observance of these Holy Days with an evening of music, prayer and drama to celebrate the births of the “two most precious Beings”, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. The event will take place at the Wolf Performance Hall , 251 Dundas St., London on Friday, November 13, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited.

The central theme of Bahá’u’lláh’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. Baha’u’llah proclaimed: “He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body.”        

Up until now, Baha’is have observed certain holy days according to the solar calendar for communities in the West, and a lunar calendar for communities in the Middle East. This implied that some holy days would be celebrated on different dates, depending on where in the world a Baha’i lived. In Canada, according to the solar Gregorian calendar, the birthday of the Báb was celebrated on October 20 and the Birthday of Baha’u’llah was celebrated on November 12. The Baha’i community is now implementing its new “Badi” calendar on a world-wide basis. The Badi calendar is linked to the solar year and begins at the moment of the Spring Equinox as calculated from Tehran, Iran, which was the birthplace of Baha’u’llah.

The Bahai Faith has been active in London since the early 1900s and has a membership of over 400 believers. Its members are engaged in community-building activities with people of all backgrounds. These include devotional programs, children’s classes, spiritual empowerment programs for junior youths, and study circles for adults. To learn more about the Baha’i Faith in London and Canada, please visit: londonbahai.ca ; www.ca.bahai.org .

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For further information:
Contact Bob Andrighetti
E-mail: londonassembly@gmail.com
Tel: (519) 474-0943

The Martyrdom of the Bab

On July 9, 1850, the Bab, Forerunner of the Baha’i Faith, was martyred at noon in the public square of Tabriz, Iran. The story of the Bab’s short ministry is filled with accounts of the moving steadfastness of the Bab’s follers and their valiant heroism in the face of oppression. Within a few years of announcing His mission, some twenty thousand of the Bab’s followers were killed while thousands more were threatened, harrassed and tortured.  Every year at around July 9, Baha’is all around the world solemnly observe the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab, recalling the severity of the punishment wrought upon Him, His patience and longsuffering and the spread of the Baha’i Faith subsequent to His ascension. A special sacred tablet is recited at the time of His martyrdom.

The Baha’i Friends in London have arranged five venues for the observance of the Martyrdom of the Bab which falls on July 10th this year.  Please contact the Baha’is at londonassembly@gmail.com for further information.

Creating a New Mind – June Event

The ‘Creating a New Mind’ series of interactive talks continues on Saturday June 27, 2015 at 10:00 am in the Stevenson Hunt room at the London Public Library downtown location.  Dr. Paul Parsons will share his perspective and facilitate an interactive discussion on Science and God.  All are welcome to attend.  Admission is free.

 

Abstract:

One of the principles of the Bahá’í teachings is the harmony of science and religion. Religion must be in accord with science and reason. If it does not correspond with scientific principles and the processes of reason, it is superstition. The antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, andthe child of ignorance is superstition.God has endowed us with faculties by which we may comprehend the realities of things, contemplate reality itself. If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment.

Unquestionably there must be agreement between true religion and science. Religion must stand the analysis of reason. It must agree with scientific fact and proof so that science will sanction religion and religion fortify science. Both are indissolubly welded and joined in reality.

Paul Parsons is currently a research scientist at IBM Canada and a postdoctoral fellow at Western University. He received his Ph.D. from Western University in 2013. In August, Paul will join Purdue University as an Assistant Professor. His research focuses on design of interactive technology to support human cognition.

Creating a New Mind Flyer-June 27 2015

Reflection Gathering

flowers

Dear Friends,

Thank you to those who were part of our beautiful reflection gathering today! About 40 people participated in fruitful discussions about our current community activities and had a chance to set goals for the next 3 months. Special thanks to the different art groups who brought such beautiful art pieces for the “show+share” portion of our community! Thank you also to the children and junior youth for sharing their songs with the community :) How exciting it was to hear about all the wonderful activities happening in our community! Among a few of them were the following:

 -Hidden Gems Adult/ Youth and Children Education (weekly-Sun 10-12pm)

-Children’s classes (weekly-Wed, Sat, Sun)

-Art Devotionals (monthly)

-Persian women’s gatherings (monthly)

-Junior youth art classes (weekly-Fri)

-Creating a New Mind (monthly- last Sat)

-Exciting core activities in the White Oaks area

-Saturday Deepening classes

-Musical Firesides

-Potluck devotionals

-Children’s Summer Camp

-Rotating downtown devotional gatherings

 reflectionmeeting

 For more information or to find out how to get involved, please contact the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í’s of London Ontario londonassembly@gmail.com

 

Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems: Spiritual Education for Ourselves and our Families, Sundays 10am to Noon

Kinsmen Recreation Centre, 2nd floor, 20 Granville Street, London (west off of Wharncliffe Road between Riverside and Oxford)

Adult sessions

May 31st   – Next in the series “Getting Married, Staying Married: Mindful Matrimony” with Terry and Jules Poirier

Jun 7th   – To be announced

Jun 14th   – Annual Picnic in Arva Park 11:00 AM

 Youth Class – 13 to 18 years old

In-depth Study of the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh

 Children’s Classes – 6 to 9, 10 to 12 years old

Learning about the Bahá’í Writings and History

 Offered by the Bahá’í community of London as a service to the greater Southwestern Ontario region.

Light Refreshments. All are welcome.

 Past topics for Hidden Gems’ adult sessions have included such spiritually enriching topics for families as: Mindful Parent, Mindful Child; The Home Environment; Prayer and Meditation; Seeing the End in the Beginning; Prayer and Meditation; Discipline in Love; Being an Example; The Station of Parents; The Spiritual Reality of the Child; The Spiritual Journey of the Parent; Change; Service; Thirst for Knowledge; The Beauty of Marriage.

DRC_0863A study class in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Cluster Reflection Meeting

Please plan to attend the upcoming Cluster Reflection Meeting

Sunday, May 31st, from 2-5pm at Kinsmen Arena, 20 Granville Ave, London

It promises to be an inspiring event with lots of music, art, presentations and fruitful discussion/planning! If you are currently part of, or want to take part in, any activities, or have any ideas that would help advance our community, this is the place for you! Come and share in all the exciting things that are happening in our cluster and be a part of the action! We’ll have music, art and “show and tell” presentations from activities around the cluster as well as potluck refreshments!

What is a Reflection Meeting?

At a Reflection Meeting individuals come together to share insights and to make plans concerning the development of the Bahai’ Faith in a Cluster. The Universal House of Justice describes these gatherings:

As learning has come to distinguish the community’s mode of operation, certain aspects of decision making related to expansion and consolidation have been assigned to the body of the believers, enabling planning and implementation to become more responsive to circumstances on the ground. Specifically, a space has been created, in the agency of the reflection meeting, for those engaged in activities at the cluster level to assemble from time to time in order to reach consensus on the current status of their situation, in light of experience and guidance from the institutions, and to determine their immediate steps forward. (Ridvan Message 2010)

COL_5204A reflection meeting in Norte del Cauca, Colombia.

Baha’i Community Celebrates the Fesitval of Ridvan

Ridvan

The Baha’i Community of London celebrated the Twelfth Day of Ridvan on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 7:30pm at the Thames Valley District School Board.

The Baha’i Community of London recently celebrated the First Day of Ridvan on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The Ridvan Festival which begins on April 21 and corresponds with the declaration of Baha’u’llah as a Manifestation of God, is celebrated for a period of twelve days each year.  The ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan are also observed as Holy Days in the Baha’i Community. On the Ninth Day of Ridvan, Baha’u’llah spent time with his family preparing for His exile to Constantinople. On the Twelfth Day, Baha’u’llah set out on His exile in the company of family and companions.