Ottawa Bahá'í Centre hosts
community reflection meeting
By Monica Weise
On Sunday, January 8th
approximately 50 people gathered at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre to
participate in a reflection meeting. Such periodic gatherings are held
to reflect on issues, consider adjustments, and maintain enthusiasm and
unity of thought about processes of community development underway
Those gathered reflected on activities across the city over the last
three months, sharing what they had learned in applying the Bahá'í
teachings to neighbourhood settings. A number of friends had
begun a series of home visits in which they visited new members of the
community to form bonds of friendship, to share prayers and to discuss
spiritual themes. Some spoke about their experiences in initiating
children’s classes in their neighbourhoods while others shared their
experiences with devotional gatherings.
It was interesting to hear how
individuals in one activity often moved to another, such as devotional
gathering participants or parents of children in children’s classes who
then became involved in a study circle. There was discussion
of how to collaborate with and learn from other organizations also
working with junior youth or children.
The gathering heard about a youth conference the previous day in
Toronto where the focus had been on the junior youth empowerment
program and the need and interest in this program in the broader
community. They also heard about an intensive study circle
series over the holidays in which a number of individuals gained the
skills to begin holding children’s classes, animating junior youth
groups or tutoring study circles.
Over the course of the day, participants reviewed past progress,
studied inspiring Bahá'í materials, and consulted together to set goals
for the coming three month period – building on the accomplishments and
learning of the past three months to further expand participation in
Bahá'í community life.
A children’s program ran concurrently with the meeting. Late
in the meeting, those gathered were treated to the presentation of a
mural and a little play demonstrating how consultation can be used to
arrive at a common understanding.
The afternoon wrapped up with a round of joyful song before the
participants finally broke up the meeting, almost an hour later than
planned due to all that they had to share and discuss.