welcome to the brand spanking new “world citizen” version of doberman pizza. the site’s new, long awaited design is partly an homage to my recent pilgrimage. if you were wondering why there were so few signs of life during the past week, this is why. I’ve been working on putting together the new design, now running on wordpress. it’s my little way of saying happy ayyam-i-há 2007! here’s hoping all of you have an excellent week and a great lead-up to the Fast—don’t forget that we change our clocks during the Fast this year.
by the way, you may find that certain links are no longer working or that they get displayed using the old design and interface. there are so many links in my blog that it’s going to take me a little while to do sanity checks on them all, so please bear with me—and feel free to report any such broken/crazy links as comments to this post. and above all, do keep checking back in the weeks to come; I’ll be adding new parts of the site as I get the hang of wordpress plugins and get them working right.
I know it’s a little bit early to be thinking about the Baha’i Fast, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind you all of important changes to Daylight Savings Time that will affect all fasting Baha’is in North America. As you probably heard, a congressional act was passed into law in the United States that changes the official beginning and ending dates for Daylight Savings Time. According to Canada’s National Research Council, the Canadian provinces and territories have agreed to follow this new standard as well. Beginning in 2007, Americans and Canadians (unless stated otherwise, e.g. Arizona or Saskatchewan) will begin observing DST on the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.
For American and Canadian Baha’is, this will introduce a new level of difficulty in observing the Baha’i Fast: setting clocks ahead one hour in the middle of the Fast. Daylight Savings Time will come into effect in the wee hours of March 11, 2007, or the ninth day of the Baha’i Fast.
I’ve compiled a list of links to fasting calendars for major Canadian cities, along with the 2007 fasting times for Ottawa. You’ll note that all of these include the changeover to DST on March 11; sunrise and sunset will appear to jump ahead one hour.
Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good-pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.
Happy Ayyam-i-Ha to all you lovely people out there!!!
Been to several Ayyam-i-Ha parties so far. Tonight’s party was in Sector 1 (East-end Ottawa) and included truckloads of yummy food like zereshk polo and kookoo sabzi. OMG I love kookoo sabzi. um anyway. lots of hanging around and chillin and being all friendly and together and having fun and eating. On Saturday night I had the pleasure of hanging around at Julie and Fanfan’s place after our weekly children’s class, after which they invited family and friends for an evening of togetherness and amity and eating lots of Haitian food. You know—plantain, grilled salmon, and a delicious dish made with beans and rice. We played Jenga until we went nuts. Fanfan was crowned Jenga King, with Paul coming in a close second.
Wednesday night is the Feast of Alá, and after that, the Fast starts. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to print out your very own list of sunrise and sunset times, and check out some fasting tips to help you get the most out of the Fast this year. Got some tips you’d like to share? Post a comment!
It’s been a busy, busy week, between work and meetings and various opportunities for service. Martin reports excitedly that the Teaching Committee’s recent meeting with the Counsellors (including a visiting Counsellor from the International Teaching Centre) was drop-dead amazing, and that big things are in the works for Ottawa’s intensive program of growth. No details yet, but look forward to some exciting news (and maybe some big changes?) after this weekend’s inter-institutional meeting.
Wednesday I had the privilege of acting as a substitute tutor for a study circle of Book 3 of the Ruhi Institute – a training book for teachers of children’s classes. It was an uncomplicated session – we simply studied a couple of lessons and collaborated in presenting them to each other – and it was great fun. We studied part of the 27 December 2005 message from the Universal House of Justice, sang songs, played guitar, and moved around a whole lot. One of the participants joined us via speaker-phone from Val-des-Monts, in Québec – cool, no? I was pleased to be able to serve as a tutor once again. For the time being, I’d like to focus on the training of children’s class teachers – since I’ve been heavily involved in teaching myself, and since there seems to be a need to help individuals rise up and teach.
What’s coming up next? Well, Ayyam-i-Há (Intercalary Days) are coming soon. Bahá’u’lláh said of Ayyam-i-Há: “It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name.” Good cheer… hmmm… sounds like a great time to invite people over to celebrate, do some early spring cleaning, and bring some items (food, clothing, etc) over to a place like the Shepherds of Good Hope.
After Ayyam-i-Há, the 19-day Fast begins. During the Fast, Bahá’ís refrain from eating or drinking from sunup until sundown. It’s a powerful spiritual experience to be able to rise before dawn, eat breakfast and say prayers as the first rays of sunlight are creeping over the horizon. I recommend it to everyone. In that light, don’t forget to print out your very own list of sunrise and sunset times, and check out some fasting tips to help you get the most out of the Fast this year.
That’s it for now, pilgrims. If you haven’t yet, take a moment to fill out my Johari window (yes, I’m going to keep bugging you until you do it), and I’ll catch you later.