From the Universal House of Justice
To all National Spiritual Assemblies
Dear Bahá’í Friends,
The Universal House of Justice has asked us to send to you the enclosed copy of its message of today’s date to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors. This message, which defines features of the upcoming Nine Year Plan as well as of the current series of Plans, will form the basis of the consultation of the Counsellors over the next several days.
At the institutional meetings that will be held around the world in the coming weeks and months, the Counsellors will no doubt share with you and other friends the insights that arise from their deliberations. You are requested to distribute the message among the friends in your communities without delay and to take all necessary measures to ensure, in consultation with the Counsellors, that the implementation of the new Plan begins promptly at Riḍván 2022.
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat
WRITTEN IN 1991 (HOW FAR HAVE WE COME IN 30 YEARS?)
Today, humanity is bowed down with trouble, sorrow and grief, no one escapes; the world is wet with tears; but, thank God, the remedy is at our doors. Let us turn our hearts away from the world of matter and live in the spiritual world! It alone can give us freedom! If we are hemmed in by difficulties we have only to call upon God, and by His great Mercy we shall be helped.
If sorrow and adversity visit us, let us turn our faces to the Kingdom and heavenly consolation will be outpoured.
If we are sick and in distress let us implore God's healing, and He will answer our prayer.
When our thoughts are filled with the bitterness of this world, let us turn our eyes to the sweetness of God's compassion and He will send us heavenly calm! If we are imprisoned in the material world, our spirit can soar into the Heavens and we shall be free indeed!
When our days are drawing to a close let us think of the eternal worlds, and we shall be full of joy!
You see all round you proofs of the inadequacy of material things -- how joy, comfort, peace and consolation are not to be found in the transitory things of the world. Is it not then foolishness to refuse to seek these treasures where they may be found? The doors of the spiritual Kingdom are open to all, and without is absolute darkness.
Thank God that you in this assembly have this knowledge, for in all the sorrows of life you can obtain supreme consolation. If your days on earth are numbered, you know that everlasting life awaits you. If material anxiety envelops you in a dark cloud, spiritual radiance lightens your path. Verily, those whose minds are illumined by the Spirit of the Most High have supreme consolation.
I myself was in prison forty years -- one year alone would have been impossible to bear -- nobody survived that imprisonment more than a year! But, thank God, during all those forty years I was supremely happy! 112 Every day, on waking, it was like hearing good tidings, and every night infinite joy was mine. Spirituality was my comfort, and turning to God was my greatest joy. If this had not been so, do you think it possible that I could have lived through those forty years in prison?
Thus, spirituality is the greatest of God's gifts, and "Life Everlasting" means "Turning to God." May you, one and all, increase daily in spirituality, may you be strengthened in all goodness, may you be helped more and more by the Divine consolation, be made free by the Holy Spirit of God, and may the power of the Heavenly Kingdom live and work among you.
This is my earnest desire, and I pray to God to grant you this favour.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 111)
FRIDAY FACILITATOR TEAM:
(CAROL MANSOUR, BARBARA TALLEY, AND MARTINE HUBBARD)
MARTINE HUBBARD- 7/16/2021
CAROL MANSOUR- 7/23/2021
MARTINE HUBBARD- 7/30/2021
MARTINE HUBBARD - 8/6/2021
CAROL MANSOUR - 8/13/2021
BARBARA TALLEY - 8/30/2021
GUIDANCE RELEVENT TO TEACHING AFRICAN AMERICANS
"… One of the best ways to teach is what the Americans call a 'fireside', in other words a little group of your friends in your own home, to whom you can introduce a few believers whom you feel would be congenial and help confirm them. When you have made them true Bahá’ís, then take them to the community and let them be accepted. In this way they are protected from tests until their faith is really strong."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 18, 1950)
"...As your own analysis shows, there are advantages to sometimes working in multiracial spaces and at other times to spaces for African Americans alone.
In pursuing a two-pronged approach to community building within a cluster, some gatherings will take place in neighborhoods and some in a locality or at the cluster level. These can be organized in different ways to meet different needs.
Even with neighborhoods, some will involve an interracial population and others will not. But you should not underestimate the value of contributing to spiritual empowerment and community building in an African American neighborhood where the work of a few dedicated friends can lead to the participation of scores of families—an experience that can itself radically alter and revive a local Bahá’í community that showed no previous capacity to deal with matters of race." (Universal House of Justice to the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly, March 24, 2019)
"… Let him remember the example set by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and His constant admonition to
(Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 52)