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Gentle Yoga and Devotions
every Monday evening
7:00 - 8:00 PM

March 2nd through 20th, 12:30 PM
Except Wednesdays!

Friday March 6th, 7:30 PM
This months presenter is Carol Gravelle.
This months topic is “Power of Prayer”.

“Some Answered Questions”
study group every Wednesday 12:00 noon until 2 PM

Art Workshop
Thurs, March 12 & 19,10:00 AM

Creative Writers’ Group
Thursday March 19, 7:30 PM

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Full Calendar Details!

Bahá'í Holy Days
There are eleven holy days on the Bahá'í calendar  more..

Ottawa Bahá'í Centre tab
Ottawa Bahá’í Centre
211 McArthur Ave. K1L 6P6
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TEL: 613-742-8250   Map 

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"Bahá'í Perspectives" is the Bahá'í response to the "Ask the Religion Experts" column series that formerly ran in the Sunday edition of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. Read here...

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Welcome Tab
The Bahá'ís of Ottawa come from a variety of backgrounds, brought together by a common belief in the oneness of humanity and the unity of religion. We work alongside others to become a force of positive change, applying insights from the Bahá'í teachings to bring about a more just, peaceful and unified community.

Community News Current
February 3, 2015

World Religion Day 2015
Religion as a Force for Unity and an Inspiration for Community ServiceWorld Religion Day 2015

In recent months, events across the globe and here in Ottawa, have presented us with tragically familiar acts of violence committed in the name of faith. But, once again, citizens from Ottawa’s diverse faith communities have demonstrated the power of religion to unite as they came together to celebrate World Religion Day.

Bahá'í communities and their friends from other faith communities have celebrated World Religion Day since it was instituted in 1950. For the last 15 years, the Ottawa Bahá'ís have organized and promoted a gathering of the “multifaithful” at City Hall. This year’s event in the Council Chamber, which opened with an Algonquin blessing and closed with the drums and harmonies of a Congolese Catholic choir, focussed on the theme of “Service: The Heartbeat of Community.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, along with City Councillors Shad Qadri, Michael Qaqish and Marianne Wilkinson, gave a warm welcome to all in officially proclaiming the Day. Mayor Watson noted the contrast between alarming global headlines and the quiet work done by many in Ottawa to create a better and more harmonious city. He particularly saluted the work of the Capital Region Interfaith Council, as well as the Ottawa Bahá'í community for its coordination of the January 18 event.  

Waubgeshig Rice, CBC journalist and Anishinaabe storyteller, facilitated a youth panel on service.  “It’s amazing that we’re all together like this – I’m so excited!” said Maria Fam, 23, an Egyptian Orthodox Christian who shared stories that highlighted the positive social impact of religion. Fellow University of Ottawa student Shruti Mallya spoke about her volunteer work with the homeless and her aspiration to practise medicine in far-northern communities. Her Hindu upbringing reminded her to “see the face of the Divine” in everyone. Carleton student Amin Rashidi explained that his pre-teen studies of service and self-knowledge offered by a Bahá'í community in the middle-east later motivated him to be a “big brother” to 12-15 year olds when he moved to Ottawa. Chelby Daigle, who works in diversity and community relations areas with the Ottawa police, noted how the Islamic imperatives of compassion and charity animate her own efforts to help Ottawa’s Muslims better understand their own diverse congregations, as well as forging stronger links with the wider community.

World Religion Day 2015In addition to these enthusiastic and inspiring conversations, there was a soulfully sung prayer for unity and a choral reading of passages from five of the world’s great religions which exalted the necessity and the glory of service.

More than 100 people from a variety of faith perspective joined in the formal celebration of World Religion Day 2015 and the food and drink and conversation which followed.  In both form and content, the event emphasized the power of faith to bring people together to serve their community. To quote one of the choral readings,“It is not through lip-service” that any of us attain holiness, “but by patient lives of active service.”

Community News Current
January 11, 2015

Rights and Dignity in an Interdependent World
Leading legal scholar provides hopeful insights on the state of international human rights

Dr. Payam AkhavanOn November 13, Dr. Payam Akhavan of McGill University, shared his expertise in the field of international human rights in a public lecture at the University of Ottawa entitled “Human Rights in Decline? Redefining Dignity in a World of Extremes.” The event was jointly hosted by the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies, the Philippe Kirsh Institute and the Ottawa Bahá’í Community. The large crowd was engaged by Akhavan’s ability to provide fresh perspectives on the questions of human rights, illustrated with historical examples and his extensive personal experience in precedent-setting international human rights tribunals. Many left with a sense that indeed there was cause for hope and encouragement in the global progress of human rights.

Throughout his talk, Akhavan emphasized the fact that we are all increasingly aware of the interdependent nature of our world. Globalization has its dark sides, but it also provides evidence of an emerging interdependent global culture, which includes a gradually expanding expectations of human rights. He quoted the Persian poet Saadi, who said that all humans are “the limbs of a single body” each feeling the pain of the whole, noting that the great poets and philosophers have always known this, but that with technology and social media, it becomes apparent to all of us in a very immediate and tangible way. As the world’s interdependence becomes more and more obvious, Akhavan asserted that the promotion of human rights is not idealism, it is realism.

Those who continue to violate human rights and who try to exercise power through hate are unrealistic, said Akhavan, because they fail to understand the interdependent nature of the modern, globally connected world. The “pyromaniacs” and “ethnic entrepreneurs” as he called them, who resist a world of rights, have to go to great efforts to try and resurrect “old hatreds,” “instrumentally evoking tradition from an imagined past to serve their present day purposes.” 

He challenged those in the West to recall Europe’s long, slow and troubled path to its current understanding of human rights. It took 400 years of bloody strife for modern Europe to build up functioning democracies, the rule of law and respect for human rights. It was simply not realistic, he said for those in the West to expect other countries to develop fully functional democratic legal systems within a single generation, let alone a few years. Nonetheless, he told the audience that he was inspired by his recent visits to Afghanistan, where he observed remarkable progress being advanced by a new generation. He gave many other examples from his international experience that provided evidence of a gradually expanding, if still uneven, system of law and international human rights. Continue...

Community News Current
November 27, 2014

Joyce Frances Devlin: An artist’s Professional and Spiritual Journey

Joyce Frances DevlinOn Saturday evening, September 20,  2014, a crowd of about 40 friends from Ottawa and West Quebec gathered at the Baha'i Centre to hear the next installment in the Spiritual Autobiography Series. The featured speaker was the colourful, original and passionate artist Joyce Frances Devlin who lives and works out her studio-home in Burritt’s Rapids.

Devlin discovered in her early childhood that she had been gifted with an exceptional artistic ability. She studied at the Vancouver School of Art between 1950 and 1954 amongst leading figures in the modernist art scene, graduating with honours. She was the recipient of the Emily Carr scholarship and completed post-graduate studies in London, Florence and Rome. Today her works appear in many prestigious private collections, including the Firestone collection which writes that she has developed ”an interest in portraiture, landscape, and symbolic imagery. Devlin created what she called “interior landscapes”: spiritually metaphorical images of  birds and flowers as well as the juxtaposition of abstract collage with landscape imagery.” Her works are also found in many public and corporate collections and she has had selected commission works by the University of Ottawa, McMaster University, The Senate of Canada and the Federal Court Commission. 

The audience listened intently as Devlin recounted how she had been prepared for the acceptance of the Baha'i Faith from her early childhood onward, when she intuitively recognized, through her own understanding, dreams and visions, that all the prophets and all the great religions were one in their essence.  Her preparation for acceptance of the Baha'i Faith was partly due to the influence of her liberal-minded father, who could not tolerate the teachings of the church that all non-Christians would be sent to hell.

In the mid 1950’s, she had the honour of meeting the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, Shoghi Effendi, during her pilgrimage to the Baha’i shrines in Haifa. Joyce was impressed by the beauty of Shoghi Effendi’s character--by his humility, his refinement and his great vision and insight. Those gathered were treated to a memorable evening as Joyce recounted, with her usual unabashed frankness, verve and engaging humour, the highlights of her rich professional and spiritual life in British Columbia, Quebec City, England and in the Ottawa Valley.

Heron Rookery 1 Red Maples High Summer

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