Bahai News - Spirit Runners Carry Sacred Message and Spirit of
Unity Across U.S. & Canada
Spirit Runners Carry Sacred Message and Spirit of Unity
Across U.S. & Canada
United States, Seattle – At dawn on May 29, nine ethnically diverse
young runners left Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Seattle to
begin their journey on foot – raising the cry for the unity of
humanity across the continent. This is Spirit Run.
What began as the vision of a single young man has blossomed into a
summer's journey across the United States & Canada for nine youth from
many parts of the country.
Inspired by his Native American heritage (Choctaw) and by the
principles of the Bahá'í Faith, Arthur Fernandez-Scarberry
envisioned a journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans. He
envisioned carrying a bundle containing a sacred message to the world
and especially to the people of the First Nations, who, as foretold in
the Bahá'í writings have the potential to become "so enlightened
that the whole earth will be illumined."
It is a vision shared by the Spirit Runners and their support team,
who – though drawn from different places, backgrounds, races and
ethnic heritages – are linked by their love for the Bahá'í
Faith and its core principle of unity.
"We're no longer living in a time when words are enough. We must
take action, for it is our actions that bring to life our words and
beliefs." explained Spirit Runner Fernandez-Scarberry.
"Spirit Run is the Bahá'í principle of human unity in action
and in motion. It makes this statement not for just one day, but over
the course of many weeks. In addition, Spirit Run will carry a sacred
message to the people of the First Nations and to the world."
On May 28, a day-long spiritual gathering was held at Daybreak Star
Indian Cultural Center in Seattle to honor the dedicated young runners,
and initiate the three month journey. Guests attended from Native
American communities throughout Western Washington in addition to many
supporters of Spirit Run. The all-day gathering included dancing,
drumming, introductions of the runners, and prayer. In a special
dedication, the runners presented, for the first of many times, the
message they carry in a sacred bundle.
The Spirit Run journey began the following morning.
Joined along the 3,000-mile route by a river of participants from
all ethnic, socioeconomic and religious groups, the nine Spirit
Runners-Choctaw, Navajo, African American, Latino, Pacific Islander,
Asian and European – are watching the vision of harmony become a
reality as the miles pass beneath their feet.
The Spirit Run route passes through towns in Washington, Idaho,
Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois Ohio and Michigan to
Canada and across Niagara Falls, concluding at the Shinnecock Reserve
outside New York City in August. It crosses reservations across the
continent: Flathead, Blackfeet, Crow, Pineridge, Rosebud, Lower Brule,
Six Nations, Tuscarora, Tonawanda, Seneca, Onondoga, Oneida and
Shinnecock, as well as Traditional lands of many more.
For more than a century, Bahá'í communities around the globe
have been working to break down barriers of prejudice between peoples
and have collaborated with other like-minded groups to promote the model
of a global society. At the heart of their belief is the conviction that
humanity is a single people with a common destiny, living in many
different cultures. In the words of Bahá'u'lláh [meaning "Glory of
God"], Prophet Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, "The earth is but one
country, and mankind its citizens.”
Information on the progress of the Spirit Run may be obtained at
the Spirit Run Web Site at http://www.spiritrun.org/. Stories,
happenings and updates will be posted there, together with a map showing
the current position of the runners as they traverse the country.
©Copyright 2000, SpritRun.org
Page last updated/revised 062500
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