Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World (from BahaiBlog.net)


This month we are featuring the article below from BahaiBlog.net about one of their special ongoing projects.


“Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World” is a Baha’i Blog initiative in honor of the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith.

In this initiative, we share portraits of Baha’is and their friends from different countries and territories all over the world, and accompanying their photographs are a few of their words about what the Baha’i Faith means to them or how it has touched their lives.

We will be publishing one “personal reflection” per day, so be sure to stay updated by following the “Personal Reflections” social media pages Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can also visit the website dedicated to this project: personalreflections.bahaiblog.net

As this year celebrates 200 years since the Birth of Baha’u’llah, we’ve decided to capture at least 200 of these portraits and reflections. Our hope is that by sharing these pictures and excerpts, we will answer the call from the Universal House of Justice to communicate “a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries [the Bab and Baha’u’llah] rose successively above the horizon of the world.” (from a letter dated 18 May 2016 to all National Spiritual Assemblies)

Here is the tenth collection of images, and we hope you find this project as inspirational as we do!

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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for November 2018

November 14, 2018

Our discussion last month was about the poetry of Robert Hayden, an American Baha’i who was the first African-American Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (a role now known as poet laureate of the United States). Mr. Hayden was a resident of Ann Arbor, a professor at the University of Michigan, and longtime Ann Arbor Baha’i whose daughter is still a member of our community.

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Twin Birthdays for Twin Manifestations

The following article is from BahaiBlog.net.

For centuries, the peoples of the world have awaited the Promised Day of God, a Day when peace and harmony would be established on earth. The dawn of this new Day witnessed the appearance of not one but two Manifestations of God, the Bab and Baha’u’llah, Whose Revelations released the spiritual forces destined to transform society.

A “Manifestation of God” is a Baha’i concept used to define an intermediary between God and humanity, or what is commonly referred to as a Messenger or Prophet. The term “Twin Manifestations” refers to the unprecedented Revelation of the Bab and Baha’u’llah in rapid succession of one another.

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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for October 2018

October 10, 2018

October’s meeting was a discussion of members’ personal choices in the area of poetry. The first selection was Jesus the Son of Man, by Khalil Gibran. This book is a series of poems and prose selections, written as if those who came in contact with Jesus had set down their impressions and understanding him and his actions. The selections take various points of view and describe different incidents in the life of Jesus, from his birth to his death and after. Some of the “authors” are familiar, such as Mary Magdalene, Matthew, Luke, John the Baptist, and Caiaphas, but others are not named but merely described, as “A Persian Philosopher in Damascus”, or “A Shepherd in South Lebanon”. Taken together, they present a new picture of the Jesus we know from Christianity. Book club members were intrigued by the structure and imagination of this book, and several were interested in pursuing reading it as well.

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Bahá’u’lláh and His Covenant

The following article is from bahai.org. Photo of Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh from Collins Gate entrance, copyright © Bahá’í International Community

“These holy Manifestations have been as the coming of springtime in the world… For each spring is the time of a new creation…”— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Bahá’í Faith began with the mission entrusted by God to two Divine Messengers—the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Today, the distinctive unity of the Faith They founded stems from explicit instructions given by Bahá’u’lláh that have assured the continuity of guidance following His passing. This line of succession, referred to as the Covenant, went from Bahá’u’lláh to His Son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and then from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to His grandson, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh. A Bahá’í accepts the divine authority of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh and of these appointed successors.

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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for September 2018

September 12, 2018

September’s meeting included an update on our service project, as well as presentation and discussion of one audio book, two books, and a letter from the Baha’i Universal House of Justice. The service project is currently on hold as we arrange a time to meet with educational staff at Perry Early Learning Center. A suggestion was made that we donate extra cards and stationary to senior citizens’ homes in the area, and an initial donation was made. An additional suggestion was made for coordinating new Healing Circles with other members of the community who are sponsoring devotionals in their homes.

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Why Educating Girls is the Key to Fixing the World

The following article is from BahaiBlog.net.

Yassin Saar, the creator and director of Starfish International, the girl’s education program in the Gambia, explains what African girls and women need most: choices.

Using her mother as a case study, African educator Yassin Saar persuasively and forcefully explains why the Baha’i teachings call for prioritizing the education of girls. Yassin’s mother, the first girl to go to school from her poor rural village in Africa, raised four children, giving all of them a way to have a significant impact on the world. With that model in mind, Yassin discusses the Baha’i model of compulsory education for all children—and the primacy of girl’s education within that framework. “What African women need are choices,” she says—and she challenges every person in the audience to provide for the education of one African girl to give her those choices.

This talk was organized by BahaiTeachings.org, and you can ‘Subscribe’ to their YouTube channel to receive notifications about their latest videos.

For more Baha’i-inspired talks, visit Baha’i Blog’s Soundcloud page. You can also listen to talks on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel.

Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for August 2018

August 14, 2018

August’s bookclub meeting continued the discussion of our service project, and we began making decisions to narrow the focus and come up with a more exact definition of what we will do and what we hope to accomplish. We have scheduled a meeting with school personnel and will ask for feedback regarding their needs, as well as ask specific questions to direct our efforts. We are anticipating learning more specifics and hope to begin working directly with them soon. More information to follow!

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The Life of the Spirit: Prayer

The following article is from bahai.org. Photo copyright © Bahá’í International Community

Just as our bodies require nourishment to develop properly, we need regular prayer for our spiritual sustenance and health. Prayer is food for the soul; it deepens the love of God in our hearts and draws us closer to Him.“There is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer…The most blessed condition is the condition of prayer and supplication.1 To live in a state of prayer entails not only uttering sacred verses in moments of devotion; it suggests, too, that throughout the day we should turn our hearts towards God.

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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for July 2018

July 11, 2018

Bookclub members took some time away from reading and discussing all kinds of books to investigate ideas for a service project in order to give back to the community. Although we are still discussing the ideas that came up, we have decided to emphasize books in whatever we do. We have several options to pursue, including a short-term project for local community development, and something longer term that would involve children and support their involvement with books in school and at home. Literacy in general and love of books are ideas we hope to foster. More details will follow as the project develops. Stay tuned!

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