Bahá’ís see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment. In a world where the joy and innocence of childhood can be so easily overwhelmed by the aggressive pursuit of materialistic ends, the moral and spiritual education of children assumes vital importance.
Baha’i children’s classes aim to nurture the hearts and minds of children. The emphasis of these classes is on helping children to learn to reflect on and apply spiritual principles, such as love, unity and justice, to their own lives and to the lives of those around them. Based on the teachings of Baha’u’llah, the classes seek to inspire in children a love of God and His Messengers, and of humanity in all its diversity. The classes include short lessons, activities to build friendship, games, stories, art and music. They take place in different locations around the city, often in people’s homes, and all are welcome to participate.
Contact us to start a children’s class in your home, with your children and their friends.
Often also referred as the junior youth empowerment program or simply junior youth groups, this educational program typically engages older youth as animators of younger peers aged 11 to 15 to help them develop their powers of expression, capacities for moral reasoning, and an ethic of service to others. The program combines study, mentorship and social action and take place in homes and in community centres around the city. All are welcome to participate.
Contact us to find a junior youth group in your area, or to start one with our help.
Baha’is host regular gatherings of people from all faiths and backgrounds who come together in a locality to share prayers and worship, known as Devotional Gatherings. Often held in homes or neighbourhood or community centres, devotional gatherings are considered an essential practice of the spiritual wellbeing of a community, and follow no set form or rituals. They usually take place in people’s homes, though occasionally in other locations as well. New devotional gatherings are starting all the time, and everyone is welcome to participate.
Contact us to find a Devotional Gathering in your area, or to start one in your home.
A Study Circle is a decentralized and participatory approach to learning where groups of friends and neighbours engage in study of the Baha’i writings and develop their capacity to serve their community. Its purpose is to assist individuals Study circles are facilitated by a trained tutor who learns with the participants.
A study circle is a small group that meets at least once or twice a week for a few hours, usually in the home of one of its members, to deepen their understanding of the Bahá’í teachings, and to gain the spiritual insights and practical skills they need to carry out the work of the community.
Anyone aged fifteen or older, whether a Bahá’í or not, is welcome to take part. The group is brought together by a tutor. Tutors do not hold any special status. They are simply those who are further along in their study of the materials. All those participating are seen as active agents of their own learning, and tutors strive to create an atmosphere that encourages individuals to assume ownership for the educational process in which they are engaged.T
he materials include passages from the Bahá’í writings related to specific themes and acts of service. Together participants think about the application of these passages to their individual and collectives lives. Among the questions they explore are how to create environments that put people in contact with the spiritual forces released through prayer and devotion; how to strengthen bonds of friendship and establish meaningful patterns of communication among people of various backgrounds; how to make the education of children an integral part of their community life; how to maintain an environment that helps young people develop their intellectual and spiritual capacities; how to generate dynamics within the family unit that give rise to material and spiritual prosperity.
In response to the materials they study and with support from their institutions, participants arise to carry out specific acts of service. Men and women, young and old alike, come to recognize that they have the power in their hands to re-create the world around them. As more and more people become committed to the vision of individual and collective transformation fostered by the institute courses, capacity is gradually built in the community to reflect a pattern of life that places at its heart service and worship.