on spiritual strengthening and preparation


Helping out at the shelter…we are delighted that so many of you are already engaged in service by conducting community-building activities, as well as by organizing, coordinating, or otherwise administering the efforts of others; in all of these endeavours you are taking an increasing level of responsibility upon your shoulders. Not surprisingly, it is your age group that is gaining the most experience at aiding junior youth, and children too, with their moral and spiritual development, fostering in them capacity for collective service and true friendship. After all, aware of the world which these young souls will need to navigate, with its pitfalls and also its opportunities, you readily appreciate the importance of spiritual strengthening and preparation. Conscious, as you are, that Bahá’u’lláh came to transform both the inner life and external conditions of humanity, you are assisting those younger than yourselves to refine their characters and prepare to assume responsibility for the well-being of their communities. As they enter adolescence, you are helping them to enhance their power of expression, as well as enabling a strong moral sensibility to take root within them. In so doing, your own sense of purpose is becoming more clearly defined as you heed Bahá’u’lláh’s injunction: “Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.”

The Universal House of Justice, 1 July 2013
to the participants in the 114 youth conferences worldwide

Photo: Helping out at the shelter, by DFID – UK Department for International Development (CC BY-NC-ND)

baha’i children’s class symposium

Today, baha’i children’s class ideas is live-blogging and tweeting the Baha’i Children’s Class Symposium, organized by the Baha’i Community of Ottawa, Canada. Although the Symposium is now over, you can participate in future live discussions by following us on twitter at @childrensclass!

5:02 PM, Dec 5th:
Baha’i Children’s Class Symposium closes with a presentation from the children. So wonderful! #bahai #education

5:00 PM, Dec 5th:
FYI, today is @UN’s International Volunteer Day—what better way 2 celebrate than 2 reflect on service as a children’s class teacher? #Bahai

4:58 PM, Dec 5th:
Many concerns aired about keeping an up-to-date list of children’s classes in the city: Assembly rep says this is an ongoing issue. #bahai

4:47 PM, Dec 5th:
Returning from groups, great reflection on Ridván 2010 message & further guidance, discussing local children’s classes. #bahai #education

4:15 PM, Dec 5th:
Discussing duality btwn “Baha’i schools” & “neighbourhood classes”: regularity vs. inclusivity. #Bahai #education

4:06 PM, Dec 5th:
Breaking up into groups now, for further reflection.

4:05 PM, Dec 5th:
“[We] cannot ignore children and junior youth, if the victories won in one generation are not to be lost with the passage of time.” #bahai

4:01 PM, Dec 5th:
Local Assembly rep. now addressing the >30-strong crowd, composed of parents, teachers, community members.

3:47 PM, Dec 5th:
Break ends with an extremely well-executed #Bahai joke. And now we’re onto a clip of anecdotes from the Arising to Serve video.

3:33 PM, Dec 5th:
Break time. Lots of encouraging stories abt engaging w/ parents, reaching out to new families.

3:26 PM, Dec 5th:
Parents know that the development of good character is important, so they sign up. Learning about the Faith itself happens over time.

3:24 PM, Dec 5th:
Another parent: “I have no concerns w/ my daughter attending, b/c she always comes home happy and talkative—I know it’s something good.”

3:22 PM, Dec 5th:
One parent: “Even tho I hv a prejudice against [Baha’is], I don’t want my daughter 2 grow up with the same prejudice, so I let her attend.”

3:20 PM, Dec 5th:
@DASLucas speaks abt his experience with expanding children’s classes: When ppl feel Baha’u’llah’s msg can make a difference, they’ll join.

3:13 PM, Dec 5th:
Floor open to feedback. Comments about the need 2 multiply children’s classes 2 gain experience on how 2 make them better. #bahai #education

3:07 PM, Dec 5th:
Discussion of current revisions of Ruhi Book 3, 3A, 3B. These books will make up a “branch” that provides an updated CC curriculum. #bahai

3:01 PM, Dec 5th:
Q&A: All of the classes we’re having in #Ottawa are held in ppl’s homes. Heavy neighbourhood focus.

3:01 PM, Dec 5th:
Wide variety of curriculum used, supplement each other: Ruhi Bks 3, 3A; Dr. Furutan’s books; Core Curriculum; Historical narratives. #bahai

2:58 PM, Dec 5th:
Age breakdown: 11 classes for 5-7 yr-olds, 7 for 7-9 yr-olds, 5 for 9+ yr-olds. Mostly younger kids, but often w/ major age gaps in classes.

2:57 PM, Dec 5th:
Local coordinator: #Ottawa’s #Bahai community is cur’ly organizing 23 children’s classes, w/ 123 children, 77 from Baha’i families.

2:54 PM, Dec 5th:
“#Justice demands universal participation.” —Universal House of Justice, Ridván 2010 #bahai #education #unity

2:50 PM, Dec 5th:
#Education is not just abt academic knowledge, but acquiring good character & becoming ready & able to serve humanity. #bahai

2:49 PM, Dec 5th:
Ms. Scoffield reads a disabled child’s poem abt bullying, asking “What is the remedy to bullying?” Answer: #Education. #bahai

2:42 PM, Dec 5th:
Opening: Aux. Board Member Rhona Scoffield speaks, explaining importance of the core activities (incl. children’s classes) #bahai #education

2:07 PM, Dec 5th:
The #Bahai Centre is steadily filling up, as we see highlights from the “Arising to Serve” video (http://www.bahai.org/arising/).

an engaged crowd at the children's class symposium