Now it is the beginning of a fantastic journey!!
This will (hopefully) be a complete study of two recent messages from the Bahá’í World Centre: The 2013 Ridván message from the Universal House of Justice, and “Insights from the Frontiers of Learning” from the International Teaching Centre.
Feel free to follow along! To save space, I won’t copy down entire paragraphs, just my own notes on them.
Today is “the day of union and ingathering.” This is happening through the agency of God’s Plan & has been foretold throughout the ages in all religions.
“Incline your ears, O friends of God, to the voice of Him Whom the world hath wronged, and hold fast unto whatsoever will exalt His Cause.” Listen to & heed Bahá’u'lláh’s teachings—they’re what will redeem and unify mankind. This (redeeming & unifying mankind) is an important job, so let’s focus our steadfast efforts onto whatever will make it happen—whatever will exalt the eternal Cause of God.
“With the utmost friendliness and in a spirit of perfect fellowship take ye counsel together…” Unity, friendliness and fellowship is paramount. People today find so many reasons to be against each other, be enemies, be strangers & not care. Let’s inspire hope through our example. This is a big job requiring full exercise of our spiritual capacities, but we can do it.
“…dedicate the precious days of your lives to the betterment of the world and the promotion of the Cause…” There you go. Why? Because, again, this is the work that will redeem & unify mankind and build a new world that’s honestly built on justice, oneness and unity.
Response to the Plan is appearing from everywhere. What we’re doing is effective, is bearing fruit and generating learning.
“…the power possessed by the Word of God is ascendant in the hearts of women and men, children and youth, in country after country, in cluster after cluster.” The way that people respond to the Plan and arise to serve, the way their hearts are kindled and set ablaze, the joy with which they participate, shows what happens when we do it right: the power of God is at work & aids us in our efforts, as promised.
Wow long one.
“A worldwide community is refining its ability to read its immediate reality, analyse its possibilities, and apply judiciously the methods and instruments of the Five Year Plan.” The fact that this is happening is incredible. Has this ever happened in the history of the world?
“…experience is most rapidly accumulating in clusters where the frontiers of learning are being consciously advanced.” The hard work that we’re doing is consciously advancing learning. Many of the things we’re doing in Ottawa are super intense, but we’re doing them on purpose in order to learn how the process of growth works. And the more we create that learning, the more experience we gain.
Let’s list some of the “distinctive salient features which characterize” the most advanced clusters. These are also evident in communities which are at earlier points in their development.
- A vibrant training institute (mainstay of our efforts!) in which skills & abilities learned are quickly deployed to the field. i.e. You take Book 1, you get right out there and study a prayer with someone—that’s how you learn to serve. Being and doing.
- Teaching takes place everywhere. Some people encounter receptive souls in everyday social interactions; some work within receptive villages or neighbourhoods, possibly relocating there to help them along.
- More and more people arise to shoulder responsibility, whether by acting as tutors, animators, or teachers of children; serving in the administration or coordinating; or doing other kinds of work (transportation, food, logistics, etc…)
- People are committed to learning. How do we know this is happening? When they are constant in their own endeavours, and are willing to accompany others.
- People “get” the pattern of action, and understand it from two different perspectives:
- Three-month cycles of activity; and the
- Three-stage process of education for children, junior youth, and youth/adults.
- “While understanding clearly the relationship that connects these three stages, the friends are aware that each has its own dynamics, its own requirements, and its own inherent merit.”
- People are conscious of powerful spiritual forces.
Frontiers of Learning