Highlights from a few Conferences
On the weekend of April 29 – May 1, nine of the 34 scheduled conferences took place. For a full list, see the end of this article. Here are highlights from three of them: Davison, MI; Fort Wayne, IN; and Columbus, OH.
Liz Herth reports from Louhelen Bahá’í School where the Flint-Davison area conference was held. Below is her text message.
Day 1 of the MI-08, MI-06, MI-07 [Flint, Saginaw, and thumb areas] Worldwide Conference kicked off Friday, hosted @ the LouHelen venue.
After a nice dinner, the friends explored the purpose of humanity using a quote from
Bahá’u’lláh, from the 30 Dec 2021 message from the [Universal] House of Justice. This theme was facilitated by Reverend Laurie DelPino. As she read the quote to the friends and probed for the deeper meaning among the participants, 5 volunteer artists (2 pictured here) illustrated the quote from what was shared. ☀️
2/3 of the 50 participants were from the wider community. (10 Baha’is & friends of the Faith participated by Zoom.)
After a joyful evening (5:30-8PM), we concluded with a tree planting outside of Unity Hall, to commemorate the the first day of the World wide Conference, National Arbor Day, and the 9th Day of Ridvan! Children from Early Start Children’s Class served ice cream, offered comments/input into the plenary discussion, shared their art, and helped plant the “unity” tree 🌲
Day 2 begins today @ 12 noon.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette covered the conference’s first day. They wrote:
All well-wishers of humanity were welcome Saturday at The Landmark Centre in southwest Fort Wayne for a day of food, music, art and discussion about how to strive for a better world.
For the full article, click the link above or the image below.
April 30-May 1
Day 1 of the Central Ohio ‘Building Vibrant Communities” Conference kicked off Saturday morning at the lovely Fawcett Center in Columbus, with close to 100 participants of all ages. How could time be more ripe for each one of us to examine the need for world-wide healing. Moral laxity, racism, declining social fabric causes many to retreat to our self-imposed fortresses. By doing so we convince ourselves that we can mute the voice of the world’s ills. Our youth see our response to the turmoil in the world. They are confused as they continue to wait for us to do something. They see racial injustice, pressure to fit in, intolerance and war. But these youth are aware of the long thorny road and have dreams, hopes and aspirations. Here to share his dreams is Micah a junior youth age young man singing, “It is possible”. After each theme was studied participants consulted at the round tables for a few minutes, then moved to breakout rooms to consult more about the quotes of each theme.
There was a delightful break out group of 12 college age youth who were joined by 2 youth aged 15. A rich discussion was had in this group with universal participation to the conversation.
The video Glimpses of 100 Years of Endeavor was shown.
Day 2 of the conference started with an interfaith feel with prayers and music videos including Dash Crofts singing the Lord’s Prayer. Videos were shared — Exemplar and A Rich Tapestry. Themes 4 & 5 [Educational Endeavors & Social Transformation] were shared on Sunday with breakout groups studying the quotes for the themes in small groups in breakout rooms. The children prepared and performed a very active song for the entire conference under the guidance of Linden and Roi Qualls.
Schedule of conferences across the Midwest Region
- March 25-27 (2)
- Michigan: Flint Youth
- Indiana: Bloomington
- April 10 (1)
- Ohio: Summit County
- April 15-17 (2)
- Ohio: All Youth, Franklin Park Youth
- April 22-24 (6)
- Ohio: Shaker Heights, Tipp City, North Central Ohio (Zoom)
- Michigan: Traverse City, Marquette (1st of 2)
- Indiana: West Lafayette
- April 29 – May 1 (9)
- Ohio: Columbus Area, Franklin Park, Cleveland (Marafiki), Cincinnati
- Michigan: Flint/Davison, Lansing, Ypsilanti
- Indiana: South Bend, Fort Wayne
- May 6-8 (4)
- Michigan: Adrian, Marquette (2nd of 2), Tricounty South Asian, Washtenaw County
- May 13-15 (4)
- Ohio: Yellow Springs
- Michigan: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Kalamazoo
- May 21-22 (4)
- Ohio: Toledo
- Michigan: Grand Rapids, Tricounty
- Indiana: Indianapolis
- June 11 (1)
- Ohio: Westerville
For details, see the map of conferences across the region.