want to see more photos of the House of Worship? pay a visit to the Baha’i Houses of Worship group on flickr—it also includes photos of the other Houses of Worship around the world, such as those in India, Uganda, Germany, etc…
Where was I on Canada Day…
- 2006? hanging out in downtown Ottawa with friends from Sherbrooke.
- 2005? again, hanging out in Ottawa and getting nice and stuck in the crowds on Parliament Hill.
- 2004? moving back to Ottawa from Quebec and experiencing some severe culture shock.
- 2003? delivering pizza in Drummondville.
- 2002? watching the fireworks at the Vieux-Port of Montreal, after a week in New York City that culminated in me performing at Carnegie Hall with Voices of Bahá.
On a related note, I saw the renowned Abha Voices perform on Friday, and they put on quite the show, performing several numbers from their repertoire, all based on the Baha’i Writings. It was incongruous—yet immensely refreshing!—to hear the following words sung on this otherwise nationalistic occasion: “Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.”
Update (2007-07-02): the photos from canada day 2007 are gradually going up on flickr; check ’em out and keep your eyes open for more. more photos are available on Facebook, including chronicles of the visit of a group of Baha’i Youth from Montreal’s West Island!
A little late, but here’s the Canadian Baha’i News Service reporting on the election
TORONTO, ON, 01 May 2007 (CBNS) — Over 150 delegates from across Canada gathered at the Toronto Bahá’í Centre this past weekend, 27 to 29 April 2007, to elect the national governing body of the Bahá’ís of Canada, the National Spiritual Assembly.
The elections were part of the annual National Convention during which locally elected delegates consulted with the National Spiritual Assembly about issues of importance to Bahá’ís, particularly community activities centred on the moral and spiritual development of children and youth.
Elected to the National Spiritual Assembly for a term of one year were Judy Filson, Karen McKye, Gordon Naylor, Borna Nourredin, Enayat Rawhani, Fariborz Sahba, David Smith, Susanne Tamas, and Mark Wedge.
The election, like all elections of Bahá’í institutions, was conducted by secret ballot, with no campaigning or even discussion of individual personalities. Instead, delegates based their individual choices on criteria laid out by the central figures of the Bahá’í Faith.
Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the religion from 1921 to 1957, specifically emphasized the qualities of “unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience.”
A day of preparation for the delegates took place on the Thursday prior to the Convention, in which participants explored their role as delegates and the purpose of the convention. Part of the consultation revolved around a recent letter from the international governing body of the Bahá’í community that emphasizes the spiritual nature of Bahá’í elections and recommends, in addition to the qualities cited by Shoghi Effendi, such criteria as age distribution, diversity, and gender when voting.
Read up more about Baha’i elections:
It’s fascinating to ponder the holes out there in the Baha’i community that could be filled by judiciously chosen and developed IT initiatives. Throughout the day today, we’ve been talking about the needs out there—from tools to benefit Baha’i Institutions (for example, accounting software that operates according to the 19-month Baha’i calendar, or geomatics software to aid in planning various types of community campaigns) to software to sift through the Sacred Writings of the Baha’i Faith, to collaboration software to help Baha’i institutions, communities, and individuals to work together more effectively… there are so many ways that computers and the Internet can help us do our work better, yet there’s so little time to accomplish them all. A few projects that were put forth in one of the last workshops this afternoon: a functional Baha’i events database (similar to bahailocations.com) that can be used by Baha’i communities throughout the world to track their core activities, holy days, and various gatherings; an online presentation platform (similar to webconferencing) for holding formal or informal talks and “fireside chats”; and a process for providing technical and material support for Baha’i communities throughout the world who wish to develop their first websites.
So yeah, some really intense consultation here. The workshops have been the best—that’s why I really came to this conference. This morning, I attended a workshop on blogging by the authors of bahainine.com, the growing online portal to Baha’i blogs everywhere. That was awesome, just to be there and to be able to talk shop with them about blogging software, search engine optimization, content management systems, and miscellaneous Web 2.0 hobbledyhoy. The whole project is really interesting—creating an online portal to basically aggregate all the Baha’i-related content on the Internet, giving the “Baha’i blogosphere” a friendly face. The current site just contains a map and a searchable index of Baha’i blogs, but there’s a lot more in the works—photos, videos, full tagging capability, and so on. Speaking with the team that’s working on this mammoth task is immensely uplifting and exciting, and the possibilities are endless. I’ll be sure to post more later; remember to check back—apart from photos, there’ll also be videos (and/or mashups) for your enjoyment and upliftment.