The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith trailer and movie info

There has been a lot of excitement about the release of the film The Gate: Dawn of the Baha’i Faith, so we’ve collected some links about the film to share with your friends. In the Detroit area, the film will be televised on June 24, 2018 at 2pm on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). The Baha’i Center of Washtenaw County will also be hosting a movie night featuring the film, so keep in touch for more details!

About the Film (from thegatefilm.com)

In the midst of religious intolerance and extremism, one religion—the Bahá’í Faith—offers a path toward world peace by advocating the oneness of humanity’s major religions. Now, this groundbreaking documentary tells the amazing, little-known story of the origins of the Bahá’í Faith.

The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith recounts the founding of this new world religion in Persia by a Prophet known as The Báb. In the mid-1800s, Jews, Christians and Muslims alike were awaiting the imminent arrival of a Divine Messenger. Beginning in 1844, the Báb’s message, which included then-controversial ideas like the oneness of major religions and the empowerment of women, spread like wildfire across the region amidst this religious climate.

However, His groundbreaking new message presented a threat to religious and political leaders of the time, resulting in relentless persecution of the Báb and His followers. The Báb’s message ultimately triumphed with a growing number of faithful; today, the Bahá’í religion is practiced throughout the world by over five million people.

Combining dramatic reenactments with interviews of renowned historians, religious scholars and Bahá’í Faith experts, The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith celebrates the brief, exciting life of a prophet and the indelible impact His message continues to have on the world today.

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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for April 2018

April 11, 2018

Our last meeting was a discussion of The Saddlebag, a book by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani. It is based on an anecdote about the theft of a saddlebag from the Bab, recounted in The Dawn-Breakers (pg. 103). Ms. Nakhjavani imagines the travels of the saddlebag after the theft, and how each person coming in contact with it, and the writings it contains, is affected.

Bookclub members were quick to point out the many Baha’i references contained in the story, which also has characters from most, if not all, of the current world faiths. As the setting is the area around Mecca and Medina, readers also discussed the many cultural references, some of which were understandable to western readers, and some of which were not. For example, the Bride is bringing her dowry along, marriage is arranged, and a slave is present. Superstitions play a part in the plot, but there are also occasions of apparent precognition or “sight”.

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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.

Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for March 2018

March 14, 2018

Bookclub members brought their personal choices in the area of fantasy to last month’s meeting. The initial selection was West Indian Stories, edited by Andrew Salkey. The discussion centered on a Jamaican tale of the interaction between an American white woman and a Jamaican black man. Since the narration included the characters’ thoughts and perceptions as well as the events portrayed, it led to a deeper discussion of prejudice, assumptions people make about each other, and how actions and reactions can lead people to question themselves in these areas, leading to more genuine understanding of themselves and others.

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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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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for February 2018

February 14, 2018

February’s meeting was a discussion of the book Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson. Although the group was small, the discussion was lively and engaging, with personal stories sprinkled throughout the conversation. Topics were wide-ranging, and covered many aspects of the subject matter, including history, racial identity, colonization, and how groups may be more effective in society than individuals at times. Members felt that the author’s use of the jeremiad was an effective form to convey the message and intent in the thoughts and arguments he presented. The group saw that the impact on the reader is strong, and they shared quotations and read passages from the book aloud.

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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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