“In some cases, present conditions have created unexpected opportunities for widening community participation in devotional meetings and study circles, conducted with safety in mind.” Universal House of Justice, May 9, 2020,
Strategy calls for the mobilization of the entire company of North American believers
Letter to the Midwestern Region
28 May 2020 / 13 ‘Azamát (Grandeur) B.E. 177
To the followers of the Blessed Beauty in the Midwestern Region
One month into the final year of the Five-Year Plan, on the occasion of the passing of the Blessed Beauty, the Council extends it gratitude to Bahá’ís throughout the region for the tremendous efforts offered thus far to achieve the goals of the Plan.
During the past cycle, more than 600 souls came together in loving fellowship in the first region-wide virtual devotional gathering. Of greater importance, during the recent cycle, overshadowed by the unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bahá’ís arose to participate in core activities in greater numbers than ever before. The number of these essential community-building activities increased by 20% to 558 during the cycle that ended April 30. This astonishing increase may well be the greatest ever in the history of this region. This surge of activity puts our region solidly on the path towards its goal of doubling the number of core activities, by reaching at least 1,000 by the end of the year. These achievements also demonstrate the resilience noted by the Universal House of Justice in its Ridván Message. Through the Grace of God, they set the stage for even greater accomplishments in the final months of the Plan.
As we embark on the final year of the Plan, let us call to mind the words of the Universal House of Justice as it reminds us of the importance of devotional gatherings as a fundamental aspect of community life.
Devotional meetings are occasions where any soul may enter, inhale the heavenly fragrances, experience the sweetness of prayer, meditate upon the Creative Word, be transported on the wings of the spirit, and commune with the one Beloved. Feelings of fellowship and common cause are generated, particularly in the spiritually heightened conversations that naturally occur at such times and through which the “city of the human heart” may be opened. By convening a gathering for worship at which adults and children of any background are welcome, the spirit of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is evoked in any locality.
Building on this profound concept, our National Spiritual Assembly set the following goal in its special Ridván 2020 message: “in this final year of the Plan, we ask that every Bahá’í household in the nation undertake the hosting of a regular devotional meeting.”
The Council now asks that all Bahá’ís in the region support the National Spiritual Assembly’s goal by establishing regular household devotionals. These simple acts of worship will serve to illumine the region spiritually. To track the region’s progress in contributing to this national goal, the Council has placed a regional devotional map on the regional website. To register your household devotional meeting go to: Devotions-Points-of-Light. Each household that registers its devotional meeting on the website will be represented by a point of light on the map. More important, these points of light help remind us to rely on the confirmations of the Holy Spirit for the success of all endeavors.
Just as important, these points of light representing household devotional meetings, serve as the seeds of other community-building activities. They are directly related to the North American strategy referred to in the Council’s February 13 letter, which informed you of the five sub-regional teaching conferences now being used to develop the capacity of groups of friends everywhere in our region.
The overarching goal set by the Universal House of Justice is to reach the level of 5,000 intensive programs of growth by Ridván 2021. The Council has determined that our region’s share of that goal requires us to increase the number of intensive programs of growth by 31, so that we have a total of 42 such programs by the end of the Plan. As pointed out in previous communications, our region’s collective capacity to move populations closer to Bahá’u’lláh’s vision has never been greater. Your collective devotional meetings will help our region build on the momentum it has already established, further propelling it towards its intended aim of creating spiritually vibrant communities throughout the Midwest.
The Council continues to pray for universal participation in the grand spiritual enterprise that will conclude the final months of the Plan.
With loving regards,
Regional Bahá’í Council of the Midwestern States