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Emogene Hoagg: Spiritual Giant

Emogene Hoagg (September 27, 1869 - December 15, 1945). (Photo: courtesy of the Baha'is of the United States, https://www.bahai.us/)

Emogene Hoagg (September 27, 1869 - December 15, 1945). (Photo: courtesy of the Baha'is of the United States, https://www.bahai.us/)

Henrietta Emogene Martin was born in 1869 in California. When her father died early and her mother remarried, Emogene was sent to live with her uncle and aunt. Despite her family’s indifference to matters of religion, Emogene engaged actively with her local church from a young age, and she would later teach her mother, sister and brother-in-law about the Baha’i Faith.

In 1889 she married John Ketchie Hoagg. Nine years after her marriage Emogene Hoagg became the first Baha’i of California, learning of the Faith through Phoebe Hearst, Lua and Edward Getsinger. Although there is no record of his formal enrolment in the Baha’i community, it appears John was financially and morally supportive of his independent wife and her extensive travel for the sake of the Faith. Abdu’l-Baha would refer to him as His son-in-law – the husband of His ‘daughter’ Emogene.  Continue reading

Abdu’l-Baha the Exemplar – A Talk by Dr. Vahid Rafati

Abdu'l-Baha the Exemplar - Vahid Rafati Talk

In this talk, given at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference (Phoenix, USA) in December, 2012, Dr. Vahid Rafati explores the life, achievements and works of Abdu’l-Baha.

Dr. Vahid Rafati received his B.A degree in Psychology from Tehran University. He subsequently completed his PhD in Islamic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Rafati has been serving at the Research Department of the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel since 1980 and is the author of numerous articles and books in both Persian and English. Continue reading

My Experiences Teaching the Baha’i Faith to Prisoners

Todd Steinberg, a prison volunteer, and a group of Baha'is celebrated the Twin Holy Days at the Allred Unit prison in Texas, USA with pizza, wings, devotions and stories from the life of Baha'u'llah.

Todd Steinberg, a prison volunteer, and a group of Baha'is celebrated the Twin Holy Days at the Allred Unit prison in Texas, USA with pizza, wings, devotions and stories from the life of Baha'u'llah.

Sharing the Baha’i Faith with prisoners is difficult at times, and talking about it presents its own problems, but several friends asked me to write about my experiences working with inmates who found the Baha’i Faith while in prison.

When an interested soul in prison reaches out to the Baha’i community, usually in the form of a letter written to a Spiritual Assembly, that person’s correspondence is their only live contact with the Baha’i world. Continue reading

Transformation: An Illustrated Nine-Month Reflection

The day I found out you were here too. Gorgeous day. Red dress. I sat on a tree stump. Dec. 2015, ink pencil on paper.

The day I found out you were here too. Gorgeous day. Red dress. I sat on a tree stump. Dec. 2015, ink pencil on paper.

Before finding out I was pregnant, I had been speaking with friends a lot about the idea of transformation. Baha’u’llah writes:

…is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?

Pregnancy, the most literal human example of transformation I could experience, inspired a kind of search. By engaging meaningfully with the ever-changing circumstances of our lives, we give ourselves the opportunity to transform. As I clocked the seemingly endless google searches of pregnancy and thought of my own rite of passage into motherhood, I yearned to read about the spiritual dynamics of this transformation. The following drawings and musings are my reflections about my spiritual transformation.  Continue reading

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