Tag Archives: Baha’i

Using Preach-In as a Springboard

hbg bahai preach in 2014In 2014, the Baha’is of Harrisburg once more participated in the national IPL Preach In on Climate Change, but they decided to use the Preach-In materials as a springboard to go a little deeper this year.  They did a study series of relevant Baha’i scripture, then showed the Chasing Ice DVD twice — once in a public venue (a reservable library room they used for last year’s event) and then also convened at a member’s a home, where they could have a bit more time to both discuss what they had seen in depth. That meeting was on a weeknight at dinnertime — with Bring Your Own Pizza solving the dinnertime food challenge.*

The group reports: Together we studied the Baha’i Holy Scriptures on how to become better stewards of the earth on principles such as: origin of the universe, nature, ecological principles Continue reading

Preach-In: movie, munchies, and public health

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2013 Baha’is of Harrisburg Preach In event

Create a Preach In event for your community. There are lots of options, and lots of support.  We’ll help!

This movie-and-discussion preach-in event with the Harrisburg Baha’i community is open to anyone.  Dr. Jim Jones (Physicians for Social Responsibility, and a longtime Harrisburg  pediatrician) will be on hand for the discussion. Contact info@paipl.org and we’ll connect you with the organizer for directions and details.

Temptation

Thanks to Hope for Creation, Australia, for permission to repost.  Hope for Creation is a Christian organization, but people of all Abrahamic traditions share the scripture that is the basis of this piece.  The excellent links are also curated by HfC.

Imagine being told that you must live within limits.

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Imagine hearing God’s voice saying that you may not consume every last resource in the garden, no matter how attractive, now matter how wonderful its rewards. They are there to be enjoyed, but there are limits.

“You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.”

Imagine prizing your freedom and your capacity to scoff at limits above obedience. Continue reading

Opening Prayers 2013 Annual Conference: Peter Adriance

image14281The 2013 Annual Conference (One Creation, Many Faiths: A Call to Action on Climate Change) opened with a prayer from each of four faith traditions, selected and offered by our four keynote panelists.  This was the prayer offered by Peter Adriance of the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs. (Source links for prayer at end.)

          O Thou kind Lord!  These are Thy servants who have gathered in this meeting, have turned unto Thy kingdom and are in need of Thy bestowal and blessing.  O Thou God! Manifest and make evident the signs of Thy oneness which have been deposited in all the realities of life.  Reveal and unfold the virtues which Thou hast made latent and concealed in these human realities.

          O God! We are as plants, and Thy bounty is as the rain; refresh and cause these plants to grow through Thy bestowal.  We are Thy servants; free us from the Continue reading

Working in unison

Become a Better Steward and Trustee of the Earth
The members of the Baha’i Faith in Harrisburg, PA held a very inspiring and educational event on February 9, 2013 as part of their “Devotionals and Firesides” series. The goal of this event was to study and reflect on the Holy Scripture of the Baha’i Faith which teaches how the universe and the earth were created. The earth was formed very similarly to the human body in that every organ and segment of it has a critically important role for the life of that creation. We also have to understand the importance of the ecological balance of nature which sustains all lives that depend on it.
Also, there were displays with pictures, graphs, and statistics showing the effects of the climate change on the earth. Another display showed examples of how we all can reuse, recycle, and make useful things with those items.
We will have another gathering to see The Hungry Tide DVD sent by Interfaith Power & Light, followed by discussion and planning for future actions and programs. 
Submitted by
Behzad Zandieh

A Baha’i Perspective

Bill Sharp generously shared these words with us at the Interfaith Convocation service, teaching us first a bit about Baha’is, and then sharing exerpts from texts with his thoughts.
 
Bahá’ís are followers of the nineteenth century Persian teacher Bahá’u’lláh who spent most of his life in exile and his last days in what is now northern Israel where the Bahá’í World Center is located.  Today a terrace of gardens ascends Mount Carmel at the place he designated for the seat of a council that guides a virtual global Bahá’í congregation.
 

The Bahá’í Faith has roots in Shi’a Islam and the Sufi tradition but is an independent world religion with members in most of the world’s countries.
Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh’s spiritual role is to confirms the message found in Genesis (chp. 45) that God will never leave or forsake the human race.  We call this Progressive Revelation.  Bahá’u’lláh said that his mission was to provide teachings for the emergence and eventual spiritual transformation of the modern world.
We are here in an interfaith gathering.  Let me recite a passage from Bahá’u’lláh that speaks to the importance of such meetings: 
“… [C]onsort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship, to proclaim that which the Speaker on Sinai hath set forth, to observe fairness in all matters.
“They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consort­ing with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations.  Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred.”
There is another reason I am privileged to be here tonight.  My belief is that we are meant to live well and prosper physically and spiritually in this world, and germane to this is a statement from Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet of the World
In regards to “… that which is conducive to the advancement of mankind and to the reconstruction of the world:”

First:  “It is incumbent upon the minister of the House of Justice to promote the Lesser Peace ….  This matter is imperative and absolutely essential inasmuch as hostilities and conflict lie at the root of affliction and calamity.”

Second:  “Languages must be reduced to one common [auxiliary] language to be taught in all the schools of the world.”

Third:  “It behooveth man to adhere tenaciously unto that which will promote fellowship, kindliness and unity.”

Fourth:  “Everyone, whether man or woman, should hand over to a trusted person a portion of what he or she earneth through trade, agriculture or other occupations for training and education of children….”

Fifth:  “Special regard must be paid to agriculture.  Although it hath been mentioned in the fifth place, unquestionably it precedes the others.”
This fifth passage is relevant to me because my vocation is sustainability and because my attention increasingly turns to how we draw sustenance from God’s Good Earth. This sentiment was echoed by an American contemporary of Bahá’u’lláh’s, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said:  “Every man has an exceptional respect for tillage, and a feeling that this is the original calling of his race.”
At the heart of such passages is our respect for sustainability.  To Bahá’ís, how we live during our time on the Earth is as important to our spiritual development as the life in the womb is to our physical development.  
God created us to know and worship Him.  The Earth seems to have been created to support life as we know it for many millions of years to come.  Untold generations to be born will share our destiny of reverence to God and right living only if we fulfill our duty to God, and to them, to be good stewards. 
Emerson also wrote that fortunate is the man or woman who is awakened to worship by nature.  I believe that this worship is founded in the gratitude we each feel for God’s bounty of land and water and sun.  It is found in the work we do as well.  Bahá’u’lláh said that work performed in the spirit of service is worship.  Much of our work today, perhaps the most important work we have to do, is to preserve the bounty of the Earth.
I believe that we are meant to live well, to live in community, to live in peace and to prosper on the land, to draw from it, as Bahá’u’lláh said in a letter to physicians, not only our subsistence, but our health.  To do that we must learn to live sustainably, that is, to live within the means God has provided for our own well being and for that of all generations to come.  The future thus starts in the present moment.  It lies in our hands.