tristan schuurman junior youth teaching project video

behold. as featured in today’s Sector 9 reflection meeting, here’s the Tristan Schuurman Junior Youth Teaching Project Video, in all its downloadable glory. I’ve posted a low-res and high-res version, so you can pick whichever your internet connection can handle. Spread it around and tell your friends! Many thanks to the many youth and junior youth from the Bahá’í community of Ottawa who made this movie possible (and who graced it with their countenance), and to the organizers of this excellent, uplifting and inspiring project. May there be many more like it, each better than the next.

Update: Now featured on Youtube!

gordon naylor @ ottawa u

so the Campus Association for Bahá’í Studies at Ottawa University have invited Mr. Gordon Naylor, member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, Founder of the Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute, to come give a talk on Monday. Consider going. Mr. Naylor’s a great speaker, full of humour and very affable. His talk will be on The Prosperity of Humanity. Seeing as he has worked for years (decades!) in the fields of education and development, his talk will probably touch on those topics as well. January 31st, 7 PM sharp, at Alumni Auditorium, Ottawa U. It’s a date!

QCM. Gordon Naylor, membre de l’Assemblée spirituelle des bahá’ís du Canada, et fondateur du Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute (une école inspirée de la Foi bahá’íe), passera par l’Auditoire des Anciens à l’Université d’Ottawa, lundi le 31 janvier (c’est lundi prochain!), à 19h, pour y donner une causerie sur le sujet de la prospérité de l’humanité. C’est un très bon conférencier – pour ceux qui se rappellent, il a représenté l’ASN du Canada lors du Festival de l’Alliance à Victoriaville en 2003. Pensez-y!

Ah oui: Jos. Louis.

cbc news: rss feeds

hey cool! the CBC have finally decided offer RSS news feeds for public use. What’s an RSS news feed? It’s a file you link to with a news aggregator so that you can receive regular news headlines directly from your computer. I’ve been using one for a while now, but there hasn’t been a really good source of Canadian news in RSS format ready to use… until now. Kudos to the CBC! Welcome to the information age. There are news feeds specialized for Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, the provinces, sports, world headlines, and so on. It’s a good start! Now, if only La Presse would start offering RSS feeds, so I could get Quebec headlines in French… oh well. Patience is a virtue.

QCen passant, allez donc voir le site de samnsham… ils ont mis à jour le site des photos de la conférence des jeunes bahá’ís — cette fois avec des vidéos! vous voulez ré-entendre les tounes des Missing Spoons (le band mystérieux de James et compagnie)? Vous voulez entendre DJ Dan Jones et sa fureur fulgurante de beat-box? Allez voir… vous allez aimer!

Ah oui, et d’ailleurs, Julien et Angèle Allison de Danville m’ont donné la permission de mettre en ligne quelques photos qu’ils ont pris lors de leur récent pélérinage au centre mondial bahá’í à Haifa… surveillez donc ce site dans les temps prochains… elles sont belles les terrasses!

For those who don’t read French: Yes, that’s right, you read correctly. DJ Dan Jones. Beatbox. go see. now.

happenings and such

hey y’all – I hope all of you are doing well, are healthy, and are free from too much anxiety and strife. Lots of things have been happening in my life lately – lots of good things. I’ve been feeling the undeniable urge to blog. I guess it’s a creative streak. My energy’s been replenished to the point where I can once again expend it outside of myself without creating imbalance. I like this feeling. most of all, though, I love understanding where it’s coming from. I guess I can’t really explain it all in writing. The past seven months have been a time of unprecedented spiritual growth for me, mainly brought on by the severity of the tests and trials I was going through over the two years of my service in Québec.

The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 51)

I reflect on everything that’s happened since this summer – where I was, and where I am now – and I think, holy crap, it all put itself back into place. everything that got messed up got replaced by something that wasn’t messed up; everywhere there was a lack, that lack was filled. I’ve been striving to come to grips with the reality of this thing called divine confirmations. I’m still having trouble understanding it. It was a real eye-opener for me when I took a training session to give junior youth study circles – we used the book, “Breezes of Confirmation”, published by the William Mmutle Masetlha Foundation (in Zambia – Misagh is serving there, remember?) Here was a book which explained in simple terms, using stories and reflections, what divine confirmations are. When you take a step towards God, He carries you ten, twenty, perhaps a hundred steps further. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gives some good explanations about divine confirmations:

The confirmations of the Spirit are all those powers and gifts which some are born with (and which men sometimes call genius), but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 120)

To accept your life with radiant acquiescence, it follows that you have to know what the heck is going on in your life, right — and why it’s happening? To know yourself, perhaps? Bahá’u’lláh states:

The first Taráz and the first effulgence which hath dawned from the horizon of the Mother Book is that man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty. (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 34)

Food for thought. How well do I know myself? Maybe the better I know myself, and the many ways I have of acting, reacting, overreacting, and so on, the more space I have for receiving divine confirmations – as long as I can accept myself with all my quirks. Food for thought. Maybe the better I know myself, the better I can really know others, and the better I can accept myself, warts and all, the better I can accept others. I bet that might help improve human relations! And I bet it might reduce stress a whole lot, too, and allow a lot of people to sleep easier at night.

I am so happy to be a Bahá’í, to have the bounty of serving humankind, and to be surrounded with others who continually encourage me to keep serving and being the best person I can be. I am so happy to have the bounty of working to make the unity of humankind a reality.

Hmmm, I sound way too happy for my own good. Maybe I’ve been drugged. I knew that chocolate milk tasted funny. Or maybe I’m just not used to being so sane. Oh well.

Peace, all. stay close in touch.

news etc. / nouvelles etc

  • Found on the international Bahá’í Youth list: Do you read spanish? Well, if you do, read this: Mel Gibson, fresh from the production of The Passion of Christ, intends to produce a film on the life of the young Baha’i martyr, Mona Mahmudnizhad. (…stunned silence…)

    Here’s an English translation via Google.

    [Ed.Note, Tues. Jan. 25: As with all rumours, this one really has yet to be confirmed… It is known that Jack Lenz, who worked with Gibson on The Passion of Christ, has submitted a script to him for his perusal… we’ll see if it actually appeals to him enough to produce the movie.]

  • QCJ’ai noté que, à part le site officiel (et, bien sûr, religare), il n’y a pas beaucoup de vraiment bonnes ressources sur la foi bahá’íe sur l’internet. Aujourd’hui j’ai trouvé quelque chose d’intéressant: le magazine Les Bahá’ís, une ressource importante pour ceux qui veulent une introduction à la foi bahá’íe. faites-en un lien!
  • There’s a FUNDAEC course happening on Friday evening, January 20th, at the University of Ottawa. What is FUNDAEC? It’s a rather fascinating human development and education program founded on spiritual principles, developed in the 1970’s in Colombia and used successfully in many areas of Latin America, allowing students “… to learn to choose and walk the paths of their own communities? development”. Go read about it, and then, go check it out!
  • There’s a Bahá’í Youth Service Orientation Meeting going on in Ottawa, February 5th, 2005. It’s in the newsletter for this month. If you’ve ever wanted to go on a year of service, or if you don’t know what the heck you want to do with your life, come check this one out. It may just turn your entire life around.

“…and yet, how long will they delay their coming?”

Quote

O phoenix of that immortal flame kindled in the sacred Tree!

Bahá’u’lláh (may my life, my soul, my spirit, be offered up as a sacrifice unto His lowly servants) hath, during His last days on earth, given the most emphatic promise that, through the outpourings of the grace of God and the aid and assistance vouchsafed from His Kingdom on high, souls will arise and holy beings appear who, as stars, would adorn the firmament of divine Guidance; illumine the dayspring of loving kindness and bounty; manifest the signs of the unity of God; shine with the light of sanctity and purity; receive their full measure of divine inspiration; raise high the sacred torch of faith; stand firm as the rock and immovable as the mountain; and grow to become luminaries in the heavens of His Revelation, mighty channels of His grace, means for the bestowals of God’s bountiful care, heralds calling forth the name of the one true God, and establishers of the world’s supreme foundation. 

These shall labor ceaselessly by day and by night, shall heed neither trial nor woe, shall suffer no respite in their efforts, shall seek no repose, shall disregard all ease and comfort and, detached and unsullied, shall consecrate every fleeting moment of their life to the diffusion of the divine fragrance and the exaltation of God’s holy Word. Their face will radiate heavenly gladness, and their hearts be filled with joy. Their souls will be inspired, and their foundation stand secure. They shall scatter in the world, and travel throughout all regions. They shall raise their voice in every assembly, and adorn and revive every gathering. They shall speak in every tongue, and interpret every hidden meaning. They shall reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom, and manifest unto every one the signs of God. They shall burn brightly even as a candle in the heart of every assembly, and beam forth as a star upon every horizon. The gentle breeze wafted from the garden of their hearts shall perfume and revive the souls of men, and the revelations of their minds, even as showers, reinvigorate the peoples and nations of the world.

I am waiting, eagerly waiting for these holy ones to appear; and yet, how long will they delay their coming? My prayer and ardent supplication, at eventide and at dawn, is that these shining stars may soon shed their radiance upon the world, that their sacred countenance may be unveiled to mortal eyes, and the billows of grace, rising from His oceans above, may flow upon all mankind. Pray ye also and supplicate unto Him that through the bountiful aid of the Ancient Beauty these souls may be unveiled to the eyes of the world.

The glory of God rest upon thee, and upon him whose face is illumined with that everlasting light that shineth from His Kingdom of Glory.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Baha,Baha’i World Faith, pp:354-356