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(US – CO, 1 April)
This community has evidently found the key to creating enthusiasm for and ownership of the processes of growth which the Reflection meeting was meant to foster!
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There’s a certain point in a cluster’s history where a threshold is crossed. The hearts of the friends are touched in a new way, and they arise with love to serve the Cause with new levels of dedication. It is a point where the friends’ hearts, filled with both courage and love, arise to share the Message as part of an organized, collective, direct teaching effort. Here is a description of that joyful evening where this milestone was reached in Arapahoe-Douglas Counties, CO (B-stage), shared by a member of that cluster’s area teaching committee.
I want to recount our second Cluster Reflection Meeting since we became a “B” Cluster. It was wonderful.
The clubhouse is full in Arapahoe County. 35 Adults, 7 children and 6 Junior Youth. We had 48 red and white roses next to a large photo of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh. There was a slide on the screen of the Sea Gate in Akka. One believer told us about Bahá’u’lláh’s experience on that dark day entering the prison city while crowds threw things and called Him names. But what was happening in the spiritual realms was a different story. He heard the angels sing and was greeted by banners of light. She then sang “Soon will all that dwell on earth be enlisted under these banners.” It was beautiful. We had a prayer for the 7 friends imprisoned in Iran. . . .
Then a junior youth gave an amazing and well presented account of his teaching team experiences. He began with a prayer and guitar music. It was so wonderful. And sitting in a ring around him, very quiet and respectfully, were all the children. They really looked up to him! Next, a new believer gave a talk about her teaching team’s experience and how they now have 6 kids in their neighborhood children’s class. And how one little girl memorized a prayer of Bahá’u’lláh’s perfectly!
D was a perfect emcee. G and J gave a wonderful presentation about forming teaching teams and we broke up into discussion groups, came back together and reported our learning.
Then something wonderful happened: We formed 6 teaching teams for the cluster. Six groups of enthusiastic, excited and creative people decided their own individual paths of service and formed teaching teams! We have 6 teams and already 6 contact people. 6 different goals and focuses. And they all had children, youth or junior youth on them!
It was magic. It was wonderful and I think I actually heard the angels singing, “Soon will all that dwell on Earth be enlisted under these banners!” I am very, very happy tonight!
Something great is happening here. Something truly great. I think even when we don’t we see it, when we feel like nothing is happening, there are things occurring in the spiritual realms that are so amazing. There really are banners of light. The angels really do sing.
In His Service,
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The final place of exile of Baha’u’llah: the Mansion at Bahji, Acre, Israel
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It is natural for the heart and spirit to take pleasure and enjoyment in all things that show forth symmetry, harmony, and perfection. For instance: a beautiful house, a well designed garden, a symmetrical line, a graceful motion, a well written book, pleasing garments–in fact, all things that have in themselves grace or beauty are pleasing to the heart and spirit–therefore, it is most certain that a true voice causes deep pleasure. What is music? It is a combination of harmonious sounds. What is poetry? It is a symmetrical collection of words.
Therefore, they are pleasing through harmony and rhythm. Poetry is much more effective and complete than prose. It stirs more deeply, for it is of a finer composition.
A fine voice when joined to beautiful music causes a great effect, for both are desirable and pleasing. All these have in themselves an organization, and are constructed on natural law. Therefore, they correspond to the order of existence like something which would fit into a mold. A true voice fits into the mold of nature. When it is so, this affects the nerves, and they affect the heart and spirit.
In the world of existence physical things have a connection with spiritual realities. One of these things is the voice, which connects itself with the spirit; and the spirit can be uplifted by this means –for though it is a physical thing, it is one of the material, natural organizations– therefore, it is effective.
All forms when understood aright gladden the spirit. Melodies are like water. The voice is like a goblet. The pure water in a pure glass is pleasing. Therefore, it is acceptable…
– ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s words to Mrs. Mary L. Lucas, as quoted in “A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca” pp. 11-14 (quoted here)
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(Excerpted from the teaching blog, http://teaching.bahai.us/2009/04/something-truly-great-is-happening-here.html ) (Image reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community, view it here)