Thoughts along the path . . .

 

Founded in 1863, the Bahá'í Faith is among the fastest growing of all the world's religions and generally considered to be the most diverse organized body of people on the planet. We have been in North Dumfries for over 20 years. As followers of the teachings of Baha’u’llah, we follow principles and practices to help bring about the unity of all people.

 

 

John and I recently returned from a 3-month camping trip to Vancouver Island and back. Fortunate to have time for a leisurely pace, we stayed 2, 3 or even more nights in each location as we made our way westward and back. Immersed in the beauty of our country, we also experienced the graciousness of the people. We have many stories about the kindness of strangers, camaraderie among fellow travelers, and the joy of sharing arts and culture in a variety of locations.

We also visited Baha’is in large and small communities. Some of these visits were pre-planned, as we stopped to see friends from our days as volunteers at the Baha’i World Centre (in Haifa, Israel) as well as our years living in Canada. And some of these visits were unplanned, as we found ourselves invited to gatherings by friends-of-friends.

Since both the social teachings and the spiritual practices brought by Baha’u’llah are focused on creating unity, I suppose it was predictable that a special event happening next month would galvanize the attention of Baha’is across the country as well as around the world.

In every household, every community, we heard about plans for celebrating the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. If you can imagine early Christians anticipating the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Christ — well, there is a similar degree of excitement.

Just to cite a few examples: In a town with only 5 Baha’is, each has pledged to perform 200 acts of service. Several communities have invited youth to write essays about peace. Expression through the arts is especially flourishing, with exhibits, special quilts, music, film, and other media being produced and shared. A group in California is hosting a street painting day. A friend in Australia has created a web-based repository of new choral music.

Here in Ayr we are hosting a celebration at the North Dumfries Community Complex on the evening of Saturday 21 October. The program will include a brief introduction to the Faith and the significance of this event, musical presentations, a video, and refreshments. We hope one of the outcomes of this evening will be increasing our friendship with friends and neighbours in Ayr. If you would like more information about this event including how to register to attend, please visit our website http://northdumfries-bahais.org/ .

 

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Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer September 2017

© Jaellayna Palmer, 2017