(UK, 13 December 2011)

A categorical and purposeful message from the Baha’i Council for England to the friends in the region regarding the implementation of the provisions for the Five Year Plan (2011-2016) in the various clusters.

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Baha’i Council for England

13 December 2011

To all believers in England

Dearly loved Friends,

Your newly elected Baha’i Council for England held its first meeting on 26-27 November 2011….

The Council reviewed and consulted upon the goals of the Five Year Plan set by the National Spiritual Assembly [of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom] and commended by the Universal House of Justice. At this stage of the plan the goals for England are:

– To establish in all clusters in England a programme of growth

– To enable clusters where a programme of growth is established, to progress towards a stage whereby hundreds are facilitating the participation of thousands in this spiritual enterprise.

To achieve this we will have to make constant reference to the letters of the Universal House of Justice, in particular the 28 December 2010 and Ridvan 2010 messages, to better understand how this can be achieved. At present eleven clusters must work towards the former goal, and twenty-one towards the latter.

The Council is keen to create spaces for Area Teaching Committees, members of cluster agencies and individuals to reflect, consult, act and plan – thereby helping to foster environments where we can learn how to progress and derive inspiration and support from each other. To this end, the Council is in the process of planning various gatherings. Gatherings for Area Teaching Committees to reflect upon their role, and gatherings for the friends in clusters where programmes of growth have not yet been established to reflect upon how they can survey their possibilities and learn how to initiate the process in their own neighbourhood….

During our meeting we were able to consult with Counsellor Fozdar-Foroudi on the use of statistics at the cluster and regional levels and the ways in which the Council can help the development of capacity in this area. In light of this we are pleased to announce that we now have a regional statistics officer and that ………………….. has accepted to take on this new role. We look forward to learning with her.

Last but not least, such ambitious goals could never be achieved without the financial support of the friends and institutions alike. Over six decades ago, the beloved Guardian wrote that “Now is the time to pour out ones substance as copiously and as readily, as the Dawn breakers of the Heroic Age of the Faith have shed their life blood in the path of this most precious Cause.” If you have questions about donating to the Funds, please contact …………………….. .

Please keep the Council in your prayers, as you are all in ours. The next meeting of the Council for England is on …………………. .

With loving Baha’i greetings,
Baha’i Council for England

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Propelled by forces generated both within and outside the Baha’i community, the peoples of the earth can be seen to be moving from divergent directions, closer and closer to one another, towards what will be a world civilization so stupendous in character that it would be futile for us to attempt to imagine it today.  As this centripetal movement of populations accelerates across the globe, some elements in every culture, not in accord with the teachings of the Faith, will gradually fall away, while others will be reinforced.  By the same token, new elements of culture will evolve over time as people hailing from every human group, inspired by the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, give expression to patterns of thought and action engendered by His teachings, in part through artistic and literary works.  It is with such considerations in mind that we welcome the decision of the Ruhi Institute, in formulating its courses, to leave for the friends to address locally issues related to artistic activity.  What we ask at this stage, then, when energies are to be invested in the extension of children’s classes and junior youth groups, is that the multiplication of supplementary items for this purpose be allowed to occur naturally, as an outgrowth of the process of community building gathering momentum in villages and neighbourhoods.  We long to see, for instance, the emergence of captivating songs from every part of the world, in every language, that will impress upon the consciousness of the young the profound concepts enshrined in the Baha’i teachings.  Yet such an efflorescence of creative thought will fail to materialize, should the friends fall, however inadvertently, into patterns prevalent in the world that give licence to those with financial resources to impose their cultural perspective on others, inundating them with materials and products aggressively promoted. …

– The Universal House of Justice, 12 December 2011 message, 3rd from last §

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(Source: UK Baha’i News Email Service. Emphasis has been added.) 

(Map source: http://www.visitmap.info/britainvisitoratlas/england.asp?x=100)