The Local Spiritual Assembly

The following article is from a series on the Bahá’í Administrative Order at bahai.org. Photo above: Collonade of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice © 2018 Bahá’í International Community

At the local level, the affairs of the Bahá’í community are administered by the Local Spiritual Assembly. Each Local Assembly consists of nine members who are chosen in annual elections. As with all other elected Bahá’í institutions, the Assembly functions as a body and makes decisions through consultation.

The responsibilities of the Local Spiritual Assembly include promoting the spiritual education of children and young people, strengthening the spiritual and social fabric of Bahá’í community life, assessing and utilizing the community’s resources, and ensuring that the energies and talents of community members contribute towards progress. It is also responsible for organizing the Nineteen Day Feast, which is the cornerstone of Bahá’í community life. During the Nineteen Day Feast the friends living in a particular locality gather to pray and consult together, give suggestions to the Local Spiritual Assembly, and receive information from it.

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The Caring Group

Do you know someone in the community who is having health issues? Someone who is facing some other sort of difficulty and would appreciate hearing from the Baha’i community in the form of a card or a call? We now have a process in place to provide contact with those of us who might welcome a caring gesture from the community as a whole. A Caring Group has been established to provide this service. Although there is often general information available in the community, we are encouraging those who know of Baha’is who would be pleased to receive a caring gesture from the group to please share this knowledge with their Local Spiritual Assembly or with an established contact from their group, who will pass it on to the Caring Group. As this is a new process, we are hoping to expand it gradually, and to do our best to insure no one is omitted. Thank you for participating in what we hope will be another way to add unity to our community. If you have questions or concerns, please contact bcwccaringgroup@gmail.com.

How to Eat During the Baha’i Fast

The following article is from susangammage.com.



The Bahá’í month of fasting is an excellent opportunity to assess our behavior and habits and to adjust to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Through fasting, we learn how to control our manners and our eating habits. It is also a good chance for the stomach to have a break and allow the body to eliminate accumulated toxins.

Many of us wonder what is best to eat during the Fast and how to stay healthy and get the maximum benefit from the fasting process. A quick review of the physiological changes that occur during fasting will help us determine what should be consumed before dawn and after sunset.

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Unity Dinner Report: February 2018

On Saturday, Feb 17, the Baha’i Center of Washtenaw County held its monthly unity dinner. The sponsoring hosts were Mr. and Mrs. Nelson and Jean Freeman of Pittsfield Township. Baha’i Center Committee members and friends had decorated the foyer and lower level dining area with colorful Chinese artifacts, décor for Chinese New Year, and various ceramic dogs, as 2018 is the year of the earth dog.

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Featured Book: Happy Fasting – A Healthy Approach to the Baha’i Fast

Happy Fasting
A Healthy Approach to the Baha’i Fast

By Saeid Mirafzali, M.D.

This book is a quick read, but is full of useful information and ideas for preparation and observation of the Baha’i 19-Day Fast. It is well-organized and clear, and addresses both the physical and spiritual aspects of the Fast. The information provided is reassuring in the area of health, emphasizing the balance and moderation in the Baha’i approach, and specifying that the physical aspect is secondary to the spiritual.

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Two Wings of a Bird

The following article is from bahai.org.



Despite the widespread acceptance of gender equality in principle—and the advancement of political and civil rights for women in many countries—full equality has not yet been achieved. In this statement issued in 1997, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States emphasizes the full and equal participation of women in all spheres of life.

The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes is essential to human progress and the transformation of society. Inequality retards not only the advancement of women but the progress of civilization itself. The persistent denial of equality to one-half of the world’s population is an affront to human dignity. It promotes destructive attitudes and habits in men and women that pass from the family to the work place, to political life, and ultimately to international relations. On no grounds, moral, biological, or traditional can inequality be justified. The moral and psychological climate necessary to enable our nation to establish social justice and to contribute to global peace will be created only when women attain full partnership with men in all fields of endeavor.

The systematic oppression of women is a conspicuous and tragic fact of history. Restricted to narrow spheres of activity in the life of society, denied educational opportunities and basic human rights, subjected to violence, and frequently treated as less than human, women have been prevented from realizing their true potential. Age-old patterns of subordination, reflected in popular culture, literature and art, law, and even religious scriptures, continue to pervade every aspect of life. Despite the advancement of political and civil rights for women in America and the widespread acceptance of equality in principle, full equality has not been achieved.

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Featured book: Diamonds in the Rough by Jenina S. Lepard

This book presents a fictional account of a weekly youth gathering through the eyes of a young Baha’i who has initiated it. He enlists the aid of his parents in arranging the comfort of his guests with refreshments and an inviting space, and two older Baha’i youth who agree to act as facilitators. As the story develops, the young man and his friends explore the stories of several early Baha’is, in the context of an overall discussion of virtues and how to practice them in daily life. Each week, two members who have researched an individual historical Baha’i present the story of that person’s life, and the group decides which virtue that person exemplifies. The early heroes and heroines they learn about are William Sears, Dorothy Baker, Martha Root, Louis Gregory, Fred Mortensen, Florence Mayberry, Músá Banání, May Maxwell, and Rúhú’lláh Varqá. Their presentations include both basic information about their subject, as well as lesser known anecdotes that provide additional interest.

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Truthfulness, Trustworthiness and Justice

The following article is from bahai.org.



Truthfulness and trustworthiness involve much more than not telling lies; they embody the overarching capacity to discern, value, and uphold truth itself. Without these spiritual qualities, neither individual nor social progress is possible. Justice is vital to the establishment of unity and harmony at all levels of society, as it provides the standard by which individual conduct and collective effort are judged. A requirement for living a life of service to humanity, then, is constant effort to develop truthfulness, trustworthiness, and justice, ensuring that they are ever-present in thought and action.

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The Significance of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The following article is from bahai.org. Photo above: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá walking outside 7 Haparsim Street in Haifa, c. 1919, © 2017 Bahá’í International Community



“SELDOM HAVE I SEEN one whose appearance impressed me more,” said Professor Edward G. Browne of Cambridge University after meeting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “About the greatness of this man and his power no one who had seen him could entertain a doubt.”

Yet, however magnetic ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s personality or however penetrating His insights, such tributes cannot adequately capture such a unique character in religious history. The Bahá’í Writings affirm that “in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.”

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The Equality of Women and Men: The Experience of the Bahá’í Community of Canada

By Deborah K. van den Hoonaard and Will C. van den Hoonard

This book presents a sociological study undertaken by the Baha’is of Canada to examine implementation of the Baha’i tenet of equality between the sexes. It is a very detailed report that looks closely at a variety of communities and their experiences as they attempt to develop and implement a concept central to the Faith, but often not present in the external society. The authors, a married couple, are both sociologists and appear to have followed a rigorous scientific approach, with adherence to sociological and statistical norms typical in a scholarly examination. With a sample group of 119 Baha’is in twelve focus groups, the authors followed discussions over the course of a year.

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