Haifa Life

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Continental Counsellors Deliberate

O “lions that crouch in the thickets”, and “whales that plunge in the vasty deep”,

With heart full of expectation and high hopes I wish to share with you all the tale of the Continental Counsellors. Arriving in December of 2005, and further enkindling the vibrant light of the Faith that embraces all and leaves nothing unsaid, the Counsellors representing a cross-section of the diverse peoples and kindreds of the world, approached the Bahá’í World Center with humbled feet and eager hearts. They had arrived at the urgent summons of the Universal House of Justice to discuss the approaching 5 Year Plan that would further extend and exploit the advancement of the process of entry by troops. Over a period of a few weeks these devoted souls, many of which has just been appointed to this particular role of service to the Cause, began deliberations in the International Teaching Center Building. As described by the Universal House of Justice, “The Hand of the Cause of God, ‘Ali-Muhammad Varqá, opened the conference with a stirring appeal for resolute action, infusing the proceedings with the spirit of unwavering determination” and opening the following days for a vibrant stir in the everyday lives of the staff. We had the blessing and learning experience to share lunches, dinners, and passing conversations with these consecrated souls. The lunch room was popping with excitement; for almost every day for the next two weeks were arrayed the mighty forces of the Faith before us in the souls of the Institution members; the last remaining Hand of the Cause, the members of the Universal House of Justice, and the members of the International Teaching Center. Together we shared in the exhilaration and intense joy and love that would mark one of the most important meeting periods that the world has ever seen.

One evening we were blessed to participate in a dinner with most of the Continental Counsellors for the Americas, both new and old. The picture attached captures Eugene Andrews, Stephen Birkland, Ann Boyles, Daniel Scott, and Rodrigo Tomás. My God how they shared, especially interesting were the stories of the few who had previously served here. They passed along many beautiful advices which I will share now with the warning not to take them as authoritative statements from any institution. One was not to compartmentalize your life into divisions of work, family, faith, etc, but rather to make one’s life into a life of service wherein each component was important and played its part. Another that Dr. Varqa had asked to Counsellors to share with the youth was that we have two very important services that we can provide; the first being to teach as many people as possible the Faith, and the second to get married and raise wonderful Bahá’í children who will in turn arise to teach and serve the Faith. This advice from Dr. Varqa can be confirmed in a letter of the House that suggests that the youth have three major areas of service open to them which include teaching the Faith, which is strengthened by the second of studying the Writings, and the third to prepare ourselves for our future life. This dinner left the heart full of love, wonderment pervaded your being, and it felt as if Baha’u’llah sat in that room of happy souls towards the end of their words of guidance.

Many of the Counsellors have now left to return home to consult with their respective National Spiritual Assemblies and Regional Councils. They left with determined purpose to continue advancing the process of entry by troops that will continue until at least to 2021.

There are three letters that have recently been sent out by the Universal House of Justice that we should all read and study. The first message was dated 31st Dec. and addressed to the Counsellors, the second dated 27th Dec. to the National Spiritual Assemblies, and the third dated 31st Dec. to the Bahá’ís of the world. You can find the first two on the national website… www.usbnc.org and the third perhaps you have already received. These are must read words my loved ones, for contained within is the Guidance of the Beloved House of Justice and the simple means for us to spread the Faith of God. I commend them all to your thoughtful study.