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August 9, 2011

By Nousha Ram

Once a month, about 30 adults and children gather together in Kanata Lakes for “Soul Food Sunday”.  The gathering combines readings from the world’s great faiths with reflections from leading philosophers, authors, and thinkers, interspersed with live and recorded music. Participants often bring and share readings and music that inspire them.

Following the devotional program participants stay for the BBQ dinner allowing for informal conversation, getting to know their neighbours better, and nurturing new friendships.

Inspiration, rejuvenation, motivation, purpose, meaning—all are essential elements of a balanced and spiritual life. Yet, during our daily routines, we are sometimes hard-pressed to find these elements. The Word of God, says the Bahá'í writings, provides inspiration, rejuvenates souls, gladdens hearts, and renews one’s sense of purpose. Therefore, Bahá’ís host devotional gatherings to take advantage of such benefits through prayer, the reading together of scriptures, and to create an environment of unity and harmony.

Prayer is a central element in all religious traditions and gatherings such as Soul Food stress its universal nature. Soul Food provides an opportunity for people in the community, regardless of their religious background, to come together and seek opportunities to explore their spiritual development, unite in a tranquil environment, and reflect on inspiring themes and common threads that tie us all together.

For those who came together on June 26th the event became a refreshing respite from the tasks of everyday life. Participants were able to meditate on spiritual principles and gain some perspective on how these principles can be applied to their day-to-day affairs, and inspire them to transform their lives, their neighborhoods and communities, with actions that promote the unity and betterment of society.
Devotional Gathering Kanata

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© The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ottawa, Canada 2011