16 December, 2019 / 5 Masá’il (Questions) 176 B.E.
Praise be to God for the extensive efforts you have made to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb in a befitting manner! The Council has received reports of more than 60 celebrations in the Midwest, attracting at least 1,400 participants and 650 friends of the Faith. These celebrations attest to the vibrancy, creativity and enthusiasm of the Bahá’í community that were on display to the public in these sacred commemorative activities. These activities comprised a wide array of well-conceived events that included: professional singers, original musical compositions, inspiring visual displays, tree- planting, African singing and dancing, dramatic presentations, shadow puppets, audio- visual presentations, and many public showings of “The Dawn of the Light.” These celebrations offered a small glimmering of the joy, artistic expression, and inspiring character that can be evoked in future Holy Day celebrations of all kinds.
Yet the significance of these celebrations extends far beyond the events themselves. In the words of the Universal House of Justice: “Far from being merely a memorable event, the celebration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb was the fruit of eight cycles of devoted effort, carried out in unity and with a sense of undaunted initiative.” Universal House of Justice, November 8, 2019
In this same letter, the House of Justice urges us to look forward to applying all that we have learned to the remaining cycles of this plan. “We urge everyone who worked to bring about this success to hasten now and gather again to reflect and to consult, and to determine how best to apply, in each unique setting, all that your experience has taught you…”
Upon reflection and consultation, the Council realizes that the present moment presents many opportunities to build on the momentum created by the tremendous efforts the Bahá’í community has put into these wide-ranging celebrations.
We are reminded by The International Teaching Center, in its July 2019 message, of the importance of follow-up activities. The Center suggests questions to answer regarding planning for the cycles following the Bicentenary. Based on these questions, the Council has created a survey form that will help the Council understand the breadth and scope of local and cluster follow-up activities, and to stimulate planning for additional activities in the coming five cycles until the end of the Plan.
http://www.________ [web survey form no longer active]
Please complete the survey prior to the January 17-18, 2020 Council meeting.
As you continue to labor in the field of service, please know that the Council echoes the prayers of the Universal House of Justice
“In this continuing period of special potency, at an hour when the world seems powerless in the face of overwhelming peril and souls have succumbed to dismay and despair, Bahá’u’lláh has shown us another glimpse of what the community that bears His name can accomplish through courage – even heroism – in the discharge of its God- given mission. We will pray earnestly in the Holy Shrines for His unfailing confirmations to surround every child and every youth, every woman and every man, every family and every community that treasures His love in their hearts.”
With loving regards,
Regional Bahá’í Council of the Midwestern States
Counsellors Sonlla Heern Nwandi Lawson
Auxiliary Board Members
Regional Bahá’í Council
Regional Institute Coordinators