Baha'i News -- Newsletter of the Bahá'í Community in Northern Ireland

CommuNIqué - Newsletter of the Bahá'í Community in Northern Ireland

Issue 74 - 5 Mashiyyat 159 - 1 October 2002  

FROM THE BAHÁ'Í COUNCIL

A SEA OF JOY

In the Ridván message to the Bahá'í world 2002 our beloved Universal House of Justice reminds us that our "inescapable task is to exploit the current turmoil, without fear or hesitation, for the purpose of spreading and demonstrating the transformational virtue of the one Message that can secure the peace of the world". They further remind us of the words of the Blessed Beauty when He stated. "Let not the happenings of the world sadden you". Then promises; "The sea of joy yearneth to attain your presence, for every good thing hath been created for you, and will, according to the needs of times, be revealed unto you ." [1]

With these words the Universal House of Justice calls us to direct our energies to the multiplication of children's classes, devotional meetings and study circles. Now that we are inviting the participation of all people in these activities they remind us, " These core activities, which at the outset were devised principally to benefit the believers themselves, are naturally becoming portals for entry by troops".

This does not mean, however, that we cease firesides, deepenings and other events while focusing on our internal development within clusters. These time-honoured activities will help reinforce "the work of the three constituent components of the Plan: the individual, the institutions and the community."

These core activities, along with other time-honoured ones, produce within the cluster "a model of coherence"."Worldwide application of this model," the House of Justice feels, "holds immense possibilities for the progress of the Cause in the years ahead."

At no time in history has Man needed the healing message of the Word of God more, this framework is a precious gift that should be offered to all.

With love in His Service,
The Bahá'í Council for Northern Ireland

[1] (Quote from Bahá'ú'lláh referred to by Shoghi Effendi on p.82 of Advent of Divine Justice And reproduced in the Universal House of Justice Message of Ridván 2002)


COMMUNITY NEWS


THREE BAHÁ'Í YOUTH SELECTED FOR CHILDREN'S FORUM

The Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister are in the process of establishing a Children's Forum to advise the Assembly on the impact of government policy on children and young people.The Bahá'í community was invited to submit applications and several youth and junior youth submitted applications: At first an interview process was to be conducted by the Multi-Cultural Resource Centre, but then the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister decided that they would consider all the applicants received. Three Bahá'í youth were selected.

After the interviews the Bahá'í Council received glowing tributes from the organisers expressing how impressed they were with the calibre of the Bahá'í candidates.The following day the Council received an email from one of the interview panel, who is a lecturer in Stranmillis Teacher Training College asking for more information about the way that the Bahá'í community supports young people. Well done to all concerned and best wishes to Amy, Darragh and Soha for being selected. This is an exciting prospect that some of our young Bahá'ís, along with other youth from throughout Northern Ireland, will have some influence on the future thinking of our government.


Highlights from Belfast Feast Newsletter

Congratulations to Karen Craig who has recently become a Bahá'í in Belfast. Zenia and Golshan have moved in from Cookstown and Simon and Anita Mawhinney have moved to Castlereagh. Susie, Pippa and Tony visited the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alex Maskey and presented him with 'Crown of Beauty'. He was informed about Bahá'í teachings and he asked relevant questions and seemed interested.


BELFAST BEGINS DEVOTIONALS OPEN TO ALL

In February Belfast Assembly launched a programme of monthly devotionals open to all, and in September we held the eighth one. They are called "Tranquility Evenings", borrowing elements from Tranquility Zones. They take place in candlelight and gentle, relaxing music is played at the beginning and end, and between sections of readings which are taken from all the major world religions, {and smaller ones} Poetry, and sometimes song lyrics are included relating to the theme.

The lovely atmosphere created has been thoroughly enjoyed by Bahá'ís and their friends. Quite a few people have contributed to the success of the evenings by arranging the flowers, reading, planning the programme, or the music. We would like to thank everyone who has helped from the Belfast community, as well as Castlereagh and Newtownabbey. (our fellow communities in the Charles Dunning Cluster).


Deepening on "The After Life" in Derry

The latest in the "Deepenings in Derry" series took place on Friday 30 September, attended by friends from Londonderry and Coleraine (and one enquirer).Dr Keith Munro gave an impressive and informative PowerPoint presentation and talk on "The After Life" setting out, from the Writings, Bahá'í teachings on the purpose of life in this world and the nature of life after death.


ASSOCIATION FOR BAHÁ'Í STUDIES

Association for Bahá'í Studies (English-Speaking Europe)
Conference in Ireland 2002

This year's ABS Conference will be hosted in the Drogheda Bahá'í Centre, Mary Street, Drogheda on Saturday and Sunday, November 9th and 10th, 2002. To facilitate everyone, the Conference will commence at 11.00 a.m. on Saturday and end late on Sunday afternoon. Attendance at the Conference is free. The theme of the Conference, the third to be held in the Republic of Ireland since the year 2000, is "Trends in Bahá'í Scholarship."

For those who wish to spend the overnight in Drogheda, there is bed and breakfast and hostel accommodation near to the Bahá'í Centre and it is reasonably priced. The number attending the Conference is limited to twenty, due to the size of the venue. For an enrolment form, please write to: Kevin Brogan, Roseberry, 8, Legavoureen Park, Drogheda, Co. Louth or send an email to: kpbrogan@yahoo.com before Wednesday, 6th November.


“CRACKED POTS” - A STORY...

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house"

Each of us has our own unique flaws. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.

(Anon.)


2002, CommuNique is the newsletter of the Baha'i Council for Northern Ireland ©National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom

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