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This story from Chantelle’s blog demonstrates the effectiveness of a discerning use of arts and media as a means for attracting hearts when presenting the sacred Message of Bahá’u’lláh.
– “Are you a Baha’i?”
– “No, my daughter is, she just got back from Israel, she can tell you all about it.”
So we organised this event, with her in mind, going through ‘Anna’s presentation’ with songs dispersed throughout and two videos, and slide show with quotes on….
It was AMAZING, we had three interested people come, and [after the presentation] we all naturally paired off and went through in more detail what we had covered using the flipcharts….for about 45 minutes we did that one-on-one type deepening and the room was alive… [My mother] handed out dessert and we continued, then the lady [my father had] brought came to me and said “I just told [your mother] and I would like to tell you that I would like to formally become a Baha’i” – Stunned look on Chantelle’s face….
“Wow…yes oh my gosh…thats great”
Of course we have no declaration cards…but yeah…she just instantly recognised Baha’u’llah in those two hours…
She is from India, had been living in NZ for two years, and told me, at the age of 13 she [had encountered a man in New Dehli who informed her about] the building of the ‘new Baha’i Temple’. From that moment on she was intrigued by this Faith…and then as a 32 year old living in NZ….she finally finds out more deeply about it and declares…
What a gift.
I sat and talked with her at her place quite a few times…, it was like meeting my sister in a way…we just got each other!!
Chantelle adds in an email to me about what they did after the media presentation, studying together one-on-one:
Thank you, Miss Brader!
Ringstone symbol on the Shrine of the Báb
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Down the millennia, the lives of those who responded to intimations of the Divine have inspired breathtaking achievements in music, architecture, and the other arts, endlessly replicating the soul’s experience for millions of their fellow believers. No other force in existence has been able to elicit from people comparable qualities of heroism, self-sacrifice and self-discipline.
The Universal House of Justice, One Common Faith, p. 14
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…the couple looked to relocate…
Appropriately, they sought guidance from the Regional Bahá’í Council…
The Council’s homefront pioneering office sent them a list of priority clusters, and armed with that they set about listening to clusters’ needs and trying to “decide who we could be the most help to,” recalls Margie.
When the dust settled, Margie and Fariborz and two children still in high school found themselves in New Berlin in the B-stage Waukesha County cluster.
As for their own service, Margie and Fariborz, after much prayer, decided to start a musical fireside.
“The idea was the local Bahá’ís could show off their musical talent and invite their friends,” explained Margie. “Musical talent, however, is not a requirement, as many come just to enjoy the music.”
Each fireside begins with a potluck dinner and social hour. Then the musical portion starts with a prayer and the reading of Bahá’í writings on music.
“At the last fireside, there were three members of the community of interest who were very inspired, and at their follow-ups requested more information about the Bahá’í Faith and promised to be back,” reports Margie.
(“Homefront pioneers help ignite two clusters“, The American Bahá’í – Published: 4/4/2008 http://www.usbnc.org/tab/news/templates/layout1.aspx?articleid=2947&zoneid=3)