Building a Community
Below are descriptions of the main activities Baha’is in Calgary are engaged in:
The value of meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practiced for thousands of years. It is no wonder then that Prayer and Meditation are often referred to as ‘food for the soul’ and ‘medicine for the mind and body’.
Devotionals, or prayer gatherings, provide an opportunity for people of all faiths and backgrounds to come together and share in the spirit of joy, love and fellowship for just that purpose. Participants are encouraged to bring their poems, prayer books or favourite passages from various Scriptures to share.
The Bahá’í teachings prescribe daily prayer and intimate communion with God as the foundation for a life devoted to spiritual advancement and service to humanity. In addition to practicing private prayer and meditation, Bahá’ís gather in their homes and communities for collective worship. Devotional gatherings are scheduled regularly to share a devotional spirit of joy, love and fellowship. Readings can be taken from the Bahá’í writings and the Scriptures of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Participants are encouraged to bring their prayer books or favorite passages from the Scriptures to share. These gatherings often offer prayers for healing or assistance to those in need. Musical selections are diverse, coming from a variety of cultures and styles. There is no established ritual and no solicitation of funds. Light refreshments are often served.
Study circles are regular gatherings of people interested in a systematic study of the Baha’i Writings with practical applications to our daily lives. The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the Holy Word, to comprehend its meanings and to find ways to apply them to our lives through spiritual transformation and service to humanity.
The frequency and duration of each study circle are set by the group, and a facilitator serves to maintain the focus and pace. Every participant in the group also makes a commitment to action or service.
Study circles are not restricted to Baha’is; anyone may attend.
Education of Children
For Bahá’ís, education focused on the development of moral capacities in the child is fundamental to human happiness and allows that capacity for genuine and authentic human relationship, cooperation and citizenship to emerge in our children.
Children are introduced to moral principles as well as the lives of humanity’s foremost spiritual teachers; Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Avoiding a rigid approach, the classes aim to awaken in children an understanding and love of those universal principles and moral teachings, drawn in large part from the Bahá’í writings, include a love of the arts, the utmost respect for science with fundamental focus on moral and spiritual education. Bahá’í children’s classes aspire to a love of humanity, in all its diversity and a love of knowledge, both material and spiritual.
Empowering Junior Youth
The Junior Youth Program brings together junior youth (age 12 to 14) from diverse backgrounds in small groups of 5 to 15 members and offers them a setting in which young people can discuss ideas and form a strong moral identity. The basic premise behind the program is the belief that junior youth are capable of thinking deeply about the world and their place within it and that they need an environment that gives them support and encouragement. The program has three interconnected components: Developing the Power of Expression, Developing Human Potential, Service to the Community.