You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2011.

Measures for letting study of the letters of the House of Justice take centre stage in the deliberations at the cluster level. Also, the virtue of drawing connections between ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s lifework and the community’s present endeavors.
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Keeping Things in Perspective

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A report from an American believer of her trip to Colombia that focuses on the observation of how some cluster agencies (the institute coordinators and the Area Teaching Committee) in that country are keeping the spiritual nature of their enterprise in mind.
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The following extract demonstrates how these agencies have made it a set practice to put the guidance of the Universal House of Justice at the forefront.
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[A Cluster] Planning Meeting started with prayers and then study and reflection on the guidance of the Universal House of Justice with the Auxiliary Board member.  They focused on the recent letter from the House of Justice about Abdul-Baha’s visit to America, linking their work in the cluster to a continuation of what Abdu’l-Baha put in motion many years ago. They don’t hurry this portion but really focus to comprehend at a deep level and recharge themselves spiritually. … This focus happens with every planning meeting they have.
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The report notes that the individual members of the cluster agencies… consciously remind themselves to see beyond numbers and “be concerned with the mystical and spiritual nature of this enterprise”. This understanding helps them to “move from crisis to victories”.
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The friends understand that being systematic implies a need for coherence and that all lines of action have to be integrated. The following simple example was offered to illustrate this point.
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A nucleus of 4 workers had the job to lay pipes in an area – the first person needed to measure the land where the pipe would go – the next person dug up the dirt – the 3rd person was to lay the pipe but didn’t show up and the 4th person put back the dirt so no one would get hurt – People observed this process and said it didn’t make any sense.
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Sometimes some of our lines of action do well but others do not and we then lack cohesiveness and integration; therefore it lacks the necessary systematic character and may not make sense.
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'Abdu'l-Bahá speaking in Wilmette, IL after hosting the simple ceremony inaugurating the building of the Mother Temple of the West, on 1 May 1912. "The Temple is built", He had prophetically stated as He laid the foundation stone in place.

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This challenge [of effecting a significant advance in the process of entry by troops] can be met through persistent effort patiently pursued. Entry by troops is a possibility well within the grasp of our community. Unremitting faith, prayer, the promptings of the soul, Divine assistance — these are among the essentials of progress in any Bahá’í undertaking. But also of vital importance to bringing about entry by troops is a realistic approach, systematic action. There are no shortcuts. Systematization ensures consistency of lines of action based on well-conceived plans. In a general sense, it implies an orderliness of approach in all that pertains to Bahá’í service, whether in teaching or administration, in individual or collective endeavour. While allowing for individual initiative and spontaneity, it suggests the need to be clear-headed, methodical, efficient, constant, balanced and harmonious. Systematization is a necessary mode of functioning animated by the urgency to act.

– The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 1998 message, § 10

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(Adapted from a report on the US Teaching blog: http://teaching.bahai.us/2011/03/observations-from-colombia-part-one.html. Emphasis added.) (Photo source: http://www.bahai-biblio.org/centre-photo/gens/abdul-baha/abd-amerique/wilmette/abdawi~07m~abd-wilmette.htm)

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