Dayton Programs in Swahili & English | A Worldwide Development Process | Consultation: the Operating Expression of Justice in Human Affairs |
Let Your Vision Be World Embracing. ~ Baha’u’llah
Drawing on the revitalizing power of the Word of God, devotionals offer an opportunity to rejuvenate one’s soul, gladden hearts, and renew one’s sense of purpose. Communal worship can magnify our experience with the Divine, awaken spiritual susceptibilities, create bonds of love and unity, and engender an atmosphere of free and open discussion on matters of import to the life of each individual. All are welcome.
1st Friday Devotional / Pot luck / Fellowship 12:00 P.M. @ a home in Kettering on Bigger Rd. Contact: 937 245-0956
2nd Saturday Devotional / Discussion – 1:00 – 2:30 – 10 Wilmington Place in Dayton – Take the elevator to the ground floor and the Patterson Room will be in front of you. You are welcome to share a poem, prayer, passage or song if you have a favorite. Contact: 937 245-095.
Sunday Devotionals – 3:00 – 4:30 Dayton Friends Meeting House at 345 Wyoming St. – for both Swahili & English speakers (click here for more details)
A study circle is meant to be a space that leads to the spiritual and moral empowerment of individuals. The materials include passages from the Bahá’í writings related to specific themes and acts of service. Together participants think about the application of these passages to their individual and collective lives. Through practical exercises participants develop knowledge, skills, and spiritual insights, empowering them to take responsibility for their own personal spiritual growth. This process of one’s individual development and fulfillment reaches its fullest transformative effect when directed towards service. Some sample study circles:
- Reflections on the Life of the Spirit: is designed to help the individual to take charge of their own spiritual growth process in their journey of their soul towards the Divine. This process includes daily habits of prayer, study of the Divine Writings, translating them into action in our lives and the life of society, bringing ourselves to account each day, and through acts of service.
- The Moral and Spiritual Education of Children: helping children learn about the qualities they inherently possess and giving them the opportunity to develop their understanding of these qualities and develop strong character. Although the lessons are based on the Bahá’í Writings, the themes are universal and apply to children of all faiths and backgrounds. Ultimately, the goal is for children to grow up increasingly free from all forms of prejudice, recognizing the unity of humanity and appreciating the innate dignity and nobility of every human being. Bahá’ís partner with their neighbors, friends and young people in particular, to ensure the spiritual education of all children.
- Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth: Between the ages of 12 – 15 fundamental concepts about individual and collective life are formulated in the mind of an adolescent struggling to leave behind the habits of childhood. Youth between the ages of 12 – 15 have much to say, and whoever treats them as children misses the opportunity to help them form a proper identity. The three units that make up this Study Circle focus on some of the concepts, skills, qualities, and attitudes that experience has shown are required by those wishing to implement a program for the spiritual empowerment of junior youth. (This program uses the Baha’i Writings for inspiration but is not a form of religious instruction. People from all religious backgrounds or no religious background are respected and welcome to serve as animators or participants.) Early Adolescence
These Study Circles are part of a Worldwide Development Process.
If you would like to join a Study Circle or Devotional or would like to talk with someone about the Bahá’í Faith contact: DaytonBahais@gmail.com / KetteringBahais@aol.com or call 937 245-0956 / Beavercreek 406-390-2846 / Springfield 937-207-2486 / Champaign County call or text 937-418-8199 See Yellow Springs Baha’is on menu link above or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-767-7079
Race Unity Gatherings – a Long Held Tradition – Miami Valley Baha’is
The Baha’is of Miami Valley have long worked for racial unity. The Baha’is sponsored Dayton’s first Racial Amity Conference in 1927 which was attended by an equal number of blacks and whites. (find “Dayton” in the link) The Dayton area Baha’is have a long tradition of hosting Race Unity Picnics on the second Sunday in June. These activities were a response to a call by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the appointed Interpreter of the Holy Writings of Baha’u’llah, with the oneness of humanity being an essential principle.
During ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s eight month journey across America in 1912 he challenged America to go beyond tolerance, to embrace diversity completely, and to demolish racial barriers in law, education and even marriage. “The time has come for humanity to hoist the standard of the oneness of the human world, so that dogmatic formulas and superstitions may end.” (quoted in NY Times 1912) In his talks ‘Abdu’l-Baha recast racial differences as a source of beauty. “The world of humanity…is like a garden, and humankind are like the many-colored flowers.” He offered an ennobling metaphor of people of African descent which He attributed to Baha’u’llah, “Thou art like unto the pupil of the eye which is dark in color, yet it is the fount of light and the revealer of the contingent world.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá demanded that segregation and any form of prejudice be abolished in the community, and an increasing number of believers took the risks involved in living their beliefs without heeding their society’s mores. ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Race Unity Work in America – 1912 (See videos below: Toward Oneness & The Roots of the Race Amity Movement below) CNN: This is Life with Lisa Ling -this couple credits their decades-long marriage to their faith. They are members of the Baha’i Faith, which focuses on unity and celebrates interracial marriage.
Also see: Over 150 years of guidance given to the Baha’is of the world – Oneness & Unity of the Human Family / Unity & Diversity / Racism & Elimination of Prejudice – The Most Vital & Challenging Issue Confronting America
A letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States – February 2017
The tensions, divisions, and injustices that currently beset America are symptoms of a longstanding illness. The nation is afflicted with a deep spiritual disorder, manifest in rampant materialism, widespread moral decay, and a deeply ingrained racial prejudice…The resolution to these challenges lies in recognizing and embracing the truth at the heart of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation―the incontrovertible truth that humanity is one. Ignorance of this truth―which embodies the very spirit of the Age―is itself a form of oppression, for without it, it is impossible to build a truly just and peaceful world.
We highly recommend viewing these beautifully filmed documentaries linked below:
Light to the World This film takes you to villages and places around the globe as the people share how their encounter with the Revelation of Baha’u’llah has transformed the life of their communities by bringing about resilience, equality and unity. Vignettes on the life of Baha’u’llah are interspersed throughout.
Dawn of the Light This film follows the personal search for truth and meaning undertaken by eight people from diverse backgrounds (South Side Chicago, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Tajikistan, Zambia, Chile, an Iraqi living in Austria, New Zealand) and their discovery of Twin Divine Luminaries, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, Whose Divine Revelations are a source of transformation and empowerment for individuals and communities throughout the world. Their journey is explored against the backdrop of the remarkable life of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
Towards Oneness (below left) – Dr. Cornel West praises the Baha’i Faith, one of the first religious groups to really hit racism and white supremacy head on, decades ago and remain consistent about it.
The Roots of the Race Amity Movement (below right) – May 1921, the nation’s capital played host to a multi-racial interfaith gathering the likes of which had rarely been seen in the segregated south. This gathering was organized by the Baha’is at the behest of ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
A Message from the Bahá’ís of the United States
Forging A Path To Racial Justice – June 2020
To create a just society begins with recognition of the fundamental truth that humanity is one. But it is not enough simply to believe this in our hearts. It creates the moral imperative to act, and to view all aspects of our personal, social, and institutional lives through the lens of justice. It implies a reordering of our society more profound than anything we have yet achieved. And it requires the participation of Americans of every race and background, for it is only through such inclusive participation that new moral and social directions can emerge.
Despite the achievements of the human race over the past century, ignorance, prejudice, oppression, and injustice continue to define humanity’s collective experience, affecting virtually every land and population on earth. Drawing on the Bahá’í teachings and the experience of the Bahá’í community, historically and today, these articles, which span nearly a century, reflect the continuity of the Bahá’í endeavor to realize justice and unity and the evolution of Bahá’í thought over the course of time.
Baha’i Elections – a unique electoral process – local, national, international – a call to humble service
- no nominations
- no campaigning
- no discussion of personalities
- no winners or losers
- no celebrations
Summons to Service (7:00) explores the sacred nature of Bahá’í elections that takes place in an atmosphere of joy and devotion without campaigning or nominations. It’s time for the world to recognize that leadership translates to service to humanity.
13th International Convention: Consultations inspire new hope for humanity’s future (3:48) consultation among delegates on the capacity-building process under way in communities around the world to contribute to the spiritual, moral, and material advancement of the societies where they reside. May 2, 2023 BWNS article