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January 22, 2012

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 across Ottawa.

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.

Reflection Meeting Photo

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.

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