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Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a mother, a wife and a bookworm but professionally she is a museologist and a library technician. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

Universal House of Justice Announces Creation of the Baha’i International Development Organization

On the occasion of the Twin Holy Days, the Universal House of Justice has joyously announced that the Office of Social and Economic Development at the Baha’i World Centre has blossomed into a new global institution: the Baha’i International Development Organization. This organization will assist development work occurring and emerging around the planet. Continue reading

Stories of Baha’u’llah – Purity of Heart

“Stories of Baha’u’llah” is a series of short videos produced by Clark Donnelly and Mary Darling of Westwind Pictures. You may have already seen their work, such as The Baha’is, or Tablets of the Divine Plan. In each video in this sweet and sincere series, a child tells us a story about Baha’u’llah.

This particular video is called “Purity of Heart” and we hear about an early Baha’i who sent Baha’u’llah a letter that had nothing written on it.  Continue reading

Newly Translated Prayers Revealed by Baha’u’llah

If you haven’t already heard, the Baha’i Reference Library now lists 109 newly translated prayers, passages and a compilation — you can read all about it here on Baha’i Blog!

In honor of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, I thought it would be a perfect time to share and reflect on these newly translated prayers, and for ease of access, I’ve included them below. You can also find them, and others by Abdu’l-Baha, on the Baha’i Reference Library. Continue reading

Afire with the Vision: A New Book of Messages from Shoghi Effendi to Latin America

The US Baha’i Publishing Trust has just released a new volume of Shoghi Effendi’s writings. It is titled Afire with the Vision: Messages from Shoghi Effendi to Latin America and it is the last of the continental collections of letters from the Guardian’s ministry.

The US Baha’i book distribution describes the work with these words:

Its contents have been carefully gathered over the course of several decades from official Baha’i archives and the papers of individual believers throughout the hemisphere. Not only does this volume stand as a tribute to the tireless efforts of the many pioneers and first Latin American believers, it constitutes a further record of the inestimable role of Shoghi Effendi in advancing the vital interests of the Cause of God throughout the world.

I believe that so much can be learned by studying the correspondence of Shoghi Effendi. Ali Nakhjavani gave a course in Acuto, Italy in 2006, which has been transcribed into a book called Shoghi Effendi: The Range and Power of His Pen (you can download it as a free e-book here). In this course, Mr. Nakhjavani was asked how we can systematically and realistically increase our love for Shoghi Effendi. He replied:  Continue reading

“What If?” A Theatrical Presentation for the Birth of Baha’u’llah

“What If?” is a theatrical production that was staged in honour of the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. Created by the Baha’is of Hamilton (Canada), “What If?” features drama, film and entertainers like Jack Lenz and Toronto’s Countermeasure to pose the question – “What if Baha’u’llah has brought the answers the world has been seeking?” This bicentennial celebration highlights the transformative impact of Baha’u’llah’s teachings on the lives of families, neighborhoods, and communities.  Continue reading

Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World: Collection 10

“Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World” is a Baha’i Blog initiative in honor of the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith. 

In this initiative, we share portraits of Baha’is and their friends from different countries and territories all over the world, and accompanying their photographs are a few of their words about what the Baha’i Faith means to them or how it has touched their lives.  Continue reading

Dreams: The Language of the Soul – A Talk by Dr. Reza Samvat

The Gold Coast Baha’i Community in Australia hosts information evenings that seek to explore a Baha’i perspective on topics that relate to the life of society. In this talk given on September 27, 2018, Dr Reza Samvat explores the meaning of dreams and what they tell us about our souls. Dream interpretation, he offers, can be a powerful tool for self-reflection, sanctifying the heart, acquiring virtues, and minimizing prejudice.  Continue reading

Dreams: The Language of the Soul – A Talk by Dr. Reza Samvat [Audio Track]

The Gold Coast Baha’i Community in Australia hosts information evenings that seek to explore a Baha’i perspective on topics that relate to the life of society. In this talk titled “Dreams: The Language of the Soul” given on September 27, 2018, Dr Reza Samvat explores the meaning of dreams and what they tell us about our souls. Dream interpretation, he offers, can be a powerful tool for self-reflection, sanctifying the heart, acquiring virtues, and minimizing prejudice.  Continue reading

The Residue of Memory & the Clarion Call of Truth: Healing Through Reclamation and Art – A Talk by Masud Olufani

In this talk and performance arts piece, Masud Olufani explores his responsibility as an artist and as a Baha’i to bear witness to what has been erased. Masud is an multidisciplinary artist and activist, and in this video from the 2018 Association for Baha’i Studies conference that was held in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), he shares aspects of his piece, Blocked at Five Points, a site-specific installation created to memorialize the enslaved Africans bought and sold at the Crawford Frazier Auction House, which once stood on the grounds of Atlanta’s Five Points MARTA station. He then deconstructs the piece and discusses his obligations and responsibilities to remind us of the truth and to create a touchstone for reconciliation and healing.  Continue reading

Stories of Baha’u’llah – Generous Heart

“Stories of Baha’u’llah” is a series of short videos produced by Clark Donnelly and Mary Darling of Westwind Pictures. You may have already seen their work, such as The Baha’is, or Tablets of the Divine Plan. In each video in this sweet and sincere series, a child tells us a story about Baha’u’llah.

This particular video is called “Generous Heart” and we learn about how magnanimously selfless Baha’u’llah was in His generosity.  Continue reading