Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Photo: Baha’i World Centre)
In the 2000 Ridvan Message, the House of Justice said the following of children:
Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and the guarantee of the future. Message from the Universal House of Justice (2000)
While reflecting on this quote recently, I was inspired to think of ways we could engage the children of our community more in our activities. These are some of the thoughts that came to mind. Some are from past experiences; others are from stories I’ve heard.
1. Change the time of events
Many families with young children often find it hard to attend evening programs. A simple change in the starting time of regular community events (e.g. 7 pm instead of 7:30 pm) can go a great way in encouraging participation of young families (and hence their children) in these events. I’ve seen, in a neighbouring community, how even just a 30-minute adjustment can make all the difference!
In addition to this, any Holy Days or Feasts that fall on a weekend could be held during the day where possible, perhaps with a barbeque, picnic or big spread of kid-friendly food and activities to celebrate.
Creative design has an important part to play in the Faith. There’s a small army of creative Baha’is who labour hard to communicate the message of the Faith on screen and paper. The Designing the Faithseries showcases some of their ingenious work in film, fashion, the internet, architecture and more.
In the third part of the series, we showcase the work of Baha’is who spend their days behind a lens. Armed with Japanese and Korean machinery, they capture moments of devotion, community life, and the Holy Places, letting the world catch a glimpse thereof.
Photo by Marco Abrar
Maybe it’s because I’m a web designer, but people often ask me how they can get a website up. It used to be that to do this you needed to either really enjoy tinkering with things like HTML and domain names, or you’d have to go and hire a web designer. But it’s 2011 and now there are plenty of really easy to use services that will get you up and running in no time.
Of course if you have a very specific or complex specification of how you want your site to work or look then you are probably going to end up needing a professional still. But if you just need a website to provide information or a blog then that’s a piece of cake! Continue reading
Photo by Sean M Scully
It might feel a little morbid thinking about your will but it turns out that writing one is something every Baha’i must do in their lifetime. I discovered this recently when the birth of my first son inspired me to think about the future a little more than I normally do. I discovered that writing a will is in fact a law from the Kitab-i-Aqdas.
It’s a good thing too, because apparently here in Australia if you have no will in certain circumstances everything you own will go back to the state! Yikes!
Because a will is a legal document, it’s important to remember to seek some proper legal advice before drawing one up. You can buy templated will kits, but for me it was nice to have someone qualified doing the work rather than bungling it up myself accidentally – not that I’d ever know!
Image from bahaichildrensclass.wordpress.com
At Baha’i Blog, we like our blogs. You’ve heard us wax lyrical about the importance of encouraging Baha’i blogging. A few months ago, we featured Blog The Faith, a fantastic resource for Baha’is who want to use blogs as a form of social discourse. In addition to its very helpful Baha’i Blogging 101, with tips for those new to blogging, the website also features examples of 8 great Baha’i Blogs to inspire you and get you started on your own.
Recently, I came across a fantastic blog by Leyla Neilsen from New Zealand devoted entirely to one of the core activities: children’s classes! It’s a fantastic resource – not just for lots of creative ideas for really great children’s classes, but also as a source of inspiration and motivation for everyone out there who currently runs, or is looking to start, their very own children’s class!
I think Leyla’s blog is a fantastic example of how blogging can support and enhance the service that people are doing all over the world. And so, I caught up with her to have a quick chat about her blog, her children’s classes and her thoughts on blogging the Faith!
While there are a few sites for finding Baha’i jewellery online (such as Baha’i Gems), another great way to find Baha’i craft, including jewellery is through the craft marketplace Etsy. A quick search on the word ‘bahai’ yields lots of great stuff, I’ve collected nine of my favourites to showcase here, but I highly recommend heading over and finding your own favourites.
And if handmade is your kind of thing, show your support for these talented Baha’i artisans by purchasing an item or two!
Image by jamzi (Flickr)
“Immerse yourselves”, Baha’u’llah tells us, “in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths”.
I’m not sure if you feel the same way but when I think about the numerous volumes that Baha’u’llah has revealed, I often find myself vacillating wildly between two states: firstly, awe and curiosity, having been moved by the beauty and wisdom of the Writings; and secondly, complete paralysis from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer immensity and profundity of the Writings. There’s so much to gain from studying the Writings but it’s not always easy!
The Kitáb-i-Íqán is just one of the works by Baha’u’llah that I have attempted – on numerous occasions – to read from start to finish but simply haven’t been able to. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover, just a few months ago, that there is now an online course on the Kitáb-i-Íqán!
Fazel Naghdy, the creator of this online course, has kindly prepared a selection of writings by Shoghi Effendi about the Kitáb-i-Íqán and has also provided some additional information on the course.
I’ve already signed up to do the course and am really excited! If you, like me, have been meaning to get around to really studying the Kitáb-i-Íqán, then this post, which compiles what Shoghi Effendi has to say about the importance of the Kitáb-i-Íqán – is for you. (A big thanks to Fazel for preparing this for us!)
Creative design has an important part to play in the Faith. There’s a small army of creative Baha’is who labour hard to communicate the message of the Faith on screen and paper. The Designing the Faith series showcases some of their ingenious work in film, fashion, the internet, architecture and more.
Let’s kick off this series with the moving picture. Films can tell stories; they can inspire; they can educate. So we’ll let them do the talking.
Swedish youth and Malaysian filmmakers Amy Lim and Roshan Ravi got together to bring back the light of the heart. Continue reading
As a designer, I strongly believe that visual aesthetics go a long way to creating an impression. There’s a reason companies and brands go to such lengths to control the visual elements of how they are represented, in television, advertising, products and materials. The effect can be huge.
As Baha’is wanting our Faith to have its broadest impact and reach, I think it’s important we try to make sure everything we do looks its best. While not every invitation for a devotional meeting or flyer for an event is going to warrant or afford a professional designer, it’s always worth putting some effort in to making things look attractive. And in the cases where we can get a professional in, whether paid or volunteer, it’s important to do so.
DesignTheFaith is an online showcase of great design in Baha’i projects from around the world. Featuring not just graphic design, but photography, film, fashion, web design and more, the site is a fantastic resource for inspiration.
With Apple dominating the phone market with their massively successful iPhone, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of thousands of apps. And they do just about every conceivable thing. Amongst this horde of applications there are a few Baha’i ones. For the most part these tend to be of the prayer and Baha’i writings variety. While those are certainly useful, today I’d like to show you five iPhone apps that are a little more unusual. If you’re an iPhone user, be sure to grab a copy of them and support our fledgling community of Baha’i app developers! Continue reading