1 February 2022 / 15 Sovereignty 178
To the Bahá’ís of Canada
Dear Bahá’í Friends,
With love, the National Spiritual Assembly greets you on the occasion of the Feast of Dominion, just days before the election of delegates to the National Convention. Indeed, the weekend of 12-13 February 2022 offers every believer of voting age in Canada a precious opportunity. In one of His Tablets to the friends in Persia, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote: “At whatever time all the beloved of God in each country appoint their delegates, and these in turn elect their representatives, and these representatives elect a body, that body shall be regarded as the Supreme House of Justice.” By voting in the upcoming election of delegates, and through their presence at unit conventions where it is possible to hold them, the friends participate in the process that decides the membership of the National Spiritual Assembly at Ridván 2022. That membership will be called to elect the Universal House of Justice during the period of Ridván 2023. This year, then, the simple, profound act of casting a ballot in the unit election is a direct and sacred link between the individual believer and the election of the Universal House of Justice. It is our longing to see every believer of voting age experience this grace by prayerfully availing themselves of one of the many ways that a ballot can be cast in this election, despite limitations in gathering in much of the country.[I]
For the first time this year, while the age of eligibility to be elected remains 21, those between the ages of 18 and 20 will participate in this stage of the electoral process by voting. Another thrilling development concerns the House of Justice’s approval of a two-stage electoral process in a number of communities around the world, an approach which traces its origins to instructions given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the Spiritual Assembly of Tihrán. It is with great joy that we announce: at Ridván 2022, the two communities of Ottawa and Toronto will be the first in Canada to elect their Local Spiritual Assemblies in this manner. These communities are also the first two clusters in Canada to be within clear reach of winning their goal of 1,000 core activities.
In its 4 January 2022 message to the Bahá’ís of the world, the Universal House of Justice wrote: “A confluence of circumstances in the world at large and within the faith has made this a charged moment.” What wonders we have seen in these days! Despite the constraints of the last two years, the number of those involved in core activities has risen to 29,000. An initial surge in devotional gatherings in response to the National Assembly’s call has been sustained, connecting hearts with the Word of God and generating new conversations within families and between friends, online and in spaces large and small. Building on these conversations, the friends are also learning to invite others to participate in the institute process as agents of community building, kindling the spark of faith in many a heart. The launch of the Nine Year Plan is but three months away. Still, between now and Ridván much remains to be done. Each individual and each family has a part to play in laying the foundation for the momentous venture that awaits. In over 20 clusters, Bahá’ís and their friends are increasing the intensity of their efforts with the aim of being one of the 5,000 intensive programmes of growth to be established by the Plan’s conclusion. In other communities, in both neighbourhoods and across the cluster, groups of friends are reaching out to large numbers, advancing the frontiers of learning. In still others, efforts to establish a programme of growth are gaining strength with the prospect of extending an invitation to one of the conferences that will soon “sweep across the globe, where Bahá’u’lláh’s universal summons to work for the betterment of the world will galvanize the assembled well-wishers of humanity.”[ii]
In its letter dated 30 December 2021 to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, the House of Justice describes the Plan to begin shortly as “the first major undertaking in a sacred twenty-five-year venture, generational in its scope and significance.”[iii]
It “will make demands of the individual believer, the community, and the institutions reminiscent of the demands that the Guardian made of the Bahá’í world at the outset of the Ten Year Crusade. If, by the grace of Almighty God, the friends should succeed in reaching the heights of heroism to which they are now summoned, history will assuredly pay tribute to their actions in terms no less glowing than those with which it honours the glorious deeds that decorate the annals of the first century of the Formative Age.”[iv]
The National Assembly prays at every meeting for you, that the heroism of your daily efforts may be confirmed by His grace, and for all those whose path you seek to illumine with the light of faith.
With loving Bahá’í greetings, NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF CANADA
Karen McKye, Secretary
[i] For information about the arrangements in your unit, visit https://uc-cc.bahai.ca/. [ii] 4 January 2022, The Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’ís of the world [iii] 30 December 2021, The Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors [iv] 30 December 2021, The Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors
This letter along with many other news articles can be fined on the Bahá’í Website at: https://bahaicanada.bahai.ca/