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Bahá´í conference series reaches half-way point

BIG TURNOUT FOR REGIONAL BAHA'I CONFERENCES

ZAMBIA GATHERING IS FIRST IN SERIES OF 41 CONFERENCES
 

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Ang Diyos ay Iisa Lamang
Ang Pag-ibig Ko ay Aking Kuta
Ang Pag-ibig
Awit ng mga Propeta
Bangon at Gumising
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 Mirror of Light 

Mirror of Light

Published by the Newsletter Task Force of the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of the Philippines
No. 48 | 8 JULY 2008

Translation

    Lawyer Gil Tabucanon will translate the script of “Anna’s presentation” into Cebuano, retaining the pictures of this teaching material. He has also translated the Kitab-i-Aqdas into Cebuano and is in the final stages of indexing. It will be ready for publication soon. Meanwhile, Peter Cabrales is translating the Aqdas into Waray.

Schools

    A Bahá’í-inspired kindergarten school opened in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, last July 7. Two weeks ago, a Bahá’í-inspired preschool opened in San Jose City in Nueva Ecija: one by Lydia Garcia beside her residence and another one by Annalisa Parocha. And not long ago a Mangyan tutorial school likewise opened. These gradual expansions of Bahá’í-inspired schools are fruits provided by training given by the Dawnbreakers Foundation.

Junior Youth

    As reported in previous Mirror issues, 24 prospective JYSEP Cluster Coordinators from the 14 IPG clusters, most of whom are already serving junior youth, gathered together for a 14-day training seminar held at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, from May 19 to June 1.

    Of the country’s 40 priority clusters targeted to enter IPG within the second of a series of four Five Year Plans (i.e., from 2006-11), 14 have already reached Category A as of Ridván 2008. These are San Jose City (Central Luzon), Patpat (Mindanao), Diffun-Cabarroguis (North Luzon), Sablayan (South Luzon), Metro Manila (South Luzon), Solano- Bayombong (North Luzon), San Jose (South Luzon), Cagayan de Oro City (Mindanao), Aborlan (Palawan) Gattaran-Aparri East (North Luzon), Iriga (South Luzon), Ormoc (Visayas), Sto. Tomas (Mindanao) and Central Benguet (Central Luzon).

    Also in attendance were several collaborators from upcoming A clusters of Santiago (North Luzon), Antipolo (South Luzon) and Upland Mindoro (South Luzon).

    The seminar was facilitated by resource persons for the JYSEP. Reviewed were materials pertaining to the program especially those prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development.

    Participants reflected on their own experiences in assisting animators and handling junior youth groups, formulated 4-cycle-one-year plans and set goals as a fruit of their analysis of their clusters, and conducted a study of Book 5: The Spiritual Empowerment of the Junior Youths.

    Workshops on possible complementary activities such as Music, Arts, Games, Sports, Physical Exercises and Dance were also taken up.

    Service Project, a necessary element of a JYG, was discussed in depth.

    Other activities were community visits where a primary action was a review of Alamin Natin ang Pananampalatayang Bahá’í, a necessary step to a teaching campaign. This one-day exercise, where the participants were divided into groups of eight and assigned to areas in the cluster, brought about 87 souls into the Faith, and formed new study circles, children’s classes and junior youth groups.

    The participants of the training also had first hand experience of handling junior youth groups both newly formed and those already existing. They were accompanied by local believers in the community visits, teaching and consolidation.

    Such activities have been a highlight of the whole exercise as the participants were able to put into action what they learned while in training. The looks in their faces after each day’s activity pictured that of blissful joy.

    A day’s activity would start with a physical exercise, then devotions where the Words of God would be intoned, followed by learning either theoretically or in action. Early evenings were spent for workshops and in-depth study, review and formulation of cluster plans took most of them until the wee hours of the morning. Such degree of commitment manifested their seriousness in the work they are to assume. Each night would end with prayers.

    Counsellor Foad Reyhani graced the training on May 30-31, sharing valuable insights. He was also present when the participants each bared their one-year plan for advancement of the JYSEP in their respective clusters. The training culminated with a Junior Youth Encounter held at the Provincial Capitol with almost a hundred participants.

Antipolo City

   Over two weeks ago, Antipolo welcomed fresh recruits, 37 in number, borne out of two teams in a weeklong teaching activity. They will hold their reflection meeting on July 13.

Metro Manila

   The Metro Manila Cluster held a wonderful second reflection meeting for this year last July 6 at the National Bahá’í Center. About 40 participants came to the meeting led by Counsellor Foad Reyhani. It was very heartwarming to see in the meeting the parents of
Mr. Reyhani and his sister-in-law who were visiting from Yemen and Niger, respectively. He moved the throng of believers to a higher level of consciousness in what understanding and services are in relation to promotion of growth in the cluster. Also in attendance were the members of the RBC and the CTC of Metro Manila and Auxiliary Board member Christy Villamil. The cluster’s agencies made a very informed and enthused presentation of the cycles of growth and the plan of the cycle was well received and overwhelmingly approved by the body of friends. Teaching and consolidation in this cycle will focus on three locations: Caloocan, Las Piñas and Manila. The neighboring communities will lend support and manpower to these endeavors.

    The Local Spiritual Assembly of Las Piñas has added a feature in their gatherings for the Nineteen Day Feast to enliven it with some insights. Through the LSA member facilitating the program, an elucidation of the Bahá’í calendar month is expanded. For example, the month of Light and the month of Mercy – these attributes of God are enunciated in relation to man and his life. In the coming Nineteen Day Feast, the friends look forward to Words, another attribute of God. Why is words God’s attribute? Statements from the Holy Writings as well as the Hidden Words will be gleaned and examined. One good thing is the benefit shared not just to the believers but to the friends of Bahá’ís attending the gathering.

Ormoc City

   Not so long ago in the Ormoc City Cluster, the intensive teaching campaign of two weeks commencing April 14, with a target of 50, resulted in 16 new believers. Fifteen friends composed the five teaching teams. Out of 18 expected participants for the intensive Institute campaign last May 6-11 in the house of Alejo, eight came and studied Books 1, 2, 4 and 6; five graduated, two from Book 1, two from Book 2 and one from Book 6; and one finished two books. Eight tutors facilitated, others alternating with some tutors. The three new Book 7 graduates from Bantigue have tutored Books 1, 2 and 6. Five new believers enrolled during this campaign. Total new believers = 21.


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