“Anna’s presentation” is found in Ruhi Book 6, Teaching the Cause, and consists of a comprehensive hypothetical narrative of how a Bahá’í named Anna explains the fundamental verities of the Faith to her friend Emilia.

How people are applying it:

People are using Anna’s presentation as a good option to support direct person-to-person teaching of the Bahá’í Faith in many settings: for example, firesides, individual encounters or “coffee shop” meetings, collective teaching campaigns, home visits or Holy Day events.

Many have memorized the presentation. Others use an outline and make the presentation conversationally. Still others use flip books with pictures to help give the presentation structure.

If presented in one session it can last 30-45 minutes. Depending on the responsiveness of the listener and time available, though, people also present one or two sections at a time over several sessions.

Concepts conveyed:

* God, our relationship with Him and His Manifestations; Bahá’u’lláh as the Promised One of all ages

* Unity as the primary aim of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings; the essential oneness of humanity and need to eliminate prejudice

* Story of Bahá’u’lláh; His suffering and endurance in the face of persecution; His Revelation and its influence on people’s hearts and minds

* Story of the Báb; His station as the “Gate” leading to the Promised Day of God; establishment of the spiritual and administrative World Center

* Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh; life and station of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; station of the Guardian; establishment of the Universal House of Justice

* Laws and commandments as a sign of God’s love; a few examples of spiritual and social laws (emphasis in Ruhi Book 6 is on obligatory prayer, prohibitions against backbiting and intoxicants, and importance of education)

* Religion building a World Order: roles and benefits for the individual believer; roles and benefits for the community; roles of the institutions and benefits for society

Practices and attitudes:

* Frequent quotation from writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

* Respect for the hearer’s faith background

* Logical progression of the above concepts with few details conveyed immediately, to avoid overwhelming the seeker or inviting argument on specific points before the seeker understands the “big picture”; the underlying expectation is that the hearer will follow up afterward if interested

* Asking the hearer what he or she feels at certain intervals, and asking permission to continue

* Listening and being sensitive to the hearer’s state of receptivity

* Expressing the hope that the hearer will join the Bahá’í community

* Inviting the hearer at appropriate points to participate in core activities

* Finishing the presentation with a shared prayer and a gift of a small prayer book

Anna’s presentation in various formats:

Microsoft PowerPoint: ̀(with text and photos)
http://teachingandprojects.com/meansandmaterials1/navigation_bars/BahaiFaithAPENGLISH.ppt

Microsoft Word: (text-only, no photos)
http://bahai.org.uk/england/tife/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/annas-presentation.doc

PDF-format (text and photos):

Anna’s presentation flipbook double (divide sheets in half, makes two copies)

Anna’s presentation flipbook single

Other versions:
http://www.slideshare.net/mrmeek/slideshows

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In 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spent from April to December touring North America. He is shown here (at center) with Bahá’�s at Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1912.

* * * * * *

‘Abdu’l-Bahá turned to the Blessed Beauty and prayed: ‘O Blessed Beauty, confirm me!’

“…in the city of Baghdad, I talked with a learned man, Mulla Hassan, some of whose relatives were believers. No matter how hard they tried to give him the Message, he would not accept it. Once, they brought him to my house when I was just getting up from my sleep and combing my hair. They said, ‘We have brought so-and-so here and we beg you to come and speak with him; perhaps, he will become a believer.’ I said, ‘Very well,’ and then I turned to the Blessed Beauty and prayed: ‘O Blessed Beauty, confirm me!’ Afterwards, I talked to him, and in the same hour he became a believer. He became exceedingly good and was so enkindled that, although he was of high rank, he used to go into the kitchen and cook things with his own hand to entertain the friends.”

(Talk by Abdu’l-Bahá in the Holy Land, translated by Dr. Zia Baghdadi: Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 3, p. 36) (Found in Lights of Guidance, second part, ch. 4, no. 1981)

* * * * * *

(Excerpted and adapted from an article in The American Bahá’í online, 20 April 2008 ) (Image reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community)

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