baha’i youth meeting tonight, 7:30 @ 40 landry!

look alive, it’s tonight… make your way over and join us! let’s show Counsellor Scott how ready we are to “storm the gates of heaven” and throw our lot in to the work of the Five Year Plan!

We may well emulate Bahá’í youth whose recent surge forward into the van of proclamation and teaching is one of the most encouraging and significant trends in the Faith, and who storm the gates of heaven for support in their enterprises by long-sustained, precedent and continuing prayer. We are all able to call upon Bahá’u’lláh for His Divine, all-powerful aid, and He will surely help us. For He is the Hearer of prayers, the Answerer.

(Ridván Message, 1972 / 129 B.E.,
from the Universal House of Justice)

Addendum: The meeting was powerful, inspiring and challenging… the call to arise and serve was given – and one of the most simple and practical ways we can arise is to go through the sequence of Ruhi courses, and make sure we get the practice done! Visiting people in their homes, studying prayers with them, and offering our service in the core activities (study circles, devotional meetings, children’s classes, and junior youth groups) – that’s where it’s at… One thing that really stuck out for me: we grow spiritually the more we try to change the society around us… we can’t grow spiritually by just talking or sitting at home. If we want to really fulfill our life’s purpose and become better people we have to go out into the world, serve, teach, try our best to reflect the names and attributes of God, and little by little change the way things happen around us.

Want to get involved in a study circle and take those first few steps? Get in touch with Martin, Sahba or Ayafor and they will gladly help hook one up.

youth meeting with counsellor scott on friday @ 40 landry

the crowdThe Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Ottawa is urging all youth to take advantage of the unique opportunity to meet with Counsellor Dan Scott at 40 Landry, Friday night, May 5th, starting at 7:30 PM.

OK, everybody. We all know Friday night is sacred time when we wind down from our busy week and either go out, veg out, or freak out over homework. Now imagine making that sacred time even more sacred by devoting it to God and to the service of humanity – and finding out how you can contribute to the achievement of the goals of the new Five Year Plan. Sounds good, huh?

You may not yet be convinced. That’s fine. You can argue with me, you can argue with my mom, and you can even argue with Marty. But you can’t argue with Shoghi Effendi:

It is to the youth that the Guardian is today eagerly looking, and it is upon their shoulders that he is laying all the responsibility for the promotion of the Faith. Theirs is the opportunity to arise and serve to their utmost this great Cause of God.

(June 6, 1933 – Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day)

victoriaville, day 2-3

tonight is my last night in Victoriaville; tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be catching the 5:20 bus out of here and back out to Ottawa, so that I can get back to work bright and early on Monday. I miss the Ottawa gang already, but I’m really glad I took the time to come down here and catch up with people. things have gone beautifully throughout this trip, and I’ve been able to catch up a little with lots of people – including almost the entire Bahá’í community of Victoriaville. What really amazed me is how much people opened up when I visited them, and how they were willing to share their struggles. It was a new experience for me to feel trusted like that, and it was a good feeling. I knew these people a long while back as a pioneer, but I didn’t feel that same feeling of openness back then. I wonder what the difference is now. Maybe it’s that I’m coming from the outside now, instead of being directly involved with the community. I’m no longer a pioneer to Victoriaville – the dynamic is different. I’m just a friend coming to visit, to lend an ear and some encouragement to the people I meet. Maybe people feel more comfortable speaking to someone who’s removed from the action – who’s “safe”. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ve made personal progress, too – I’m more willing to open up to others now, and I feel more confident approaching people, hence the openness from others. Anyway. Food for thought.

I feel dehydrated still, even though I’ve already gone through several glasses of water and Gatorade. Today had to be the hottest day of the year so far in Victoriaville; 30 degrees C. Plus, we happened to be refinishing Craig & Geneviève’s roof today. In the morning it wasn’t too bad, but by dinnertime, the heat was blazing and making us slowly die of heat exhaustion. it was e. to make up for it, the sunrise was beautiful, and the meals were awesome. we had homemade submarine sandwiches for lunch; I bought a poutine, and took pictures – someone on buzznet wanted pictures of poutine. We finished up eating spaghetti with homemade sauce for dinner. Anyway, it was a good workout. I’ll probably have a tan (or, at worst, a burn) when I come back tomorrow.

There’s been so much stuff happening. so many people visiting. Yesterday, Julien and Angèle drove all the way from Danville (yay!) to bring my order of bakery-fresh bread (double yay!). Today was the wedding of Jean-Rock, a Baha’i from Thetford Mines, and several of the Baha’is from Victoriaville were there. Along the way back, Joshua and Tamarih (who live in Québec) stopped over. Josh treated us to his fine kiwi sense of humor and helped us wind down the roof work for the night. so many little experiences all stuffed into this week. my brain is a bit foggy right now so I’m not sure I’ll be able to string them together properly until later. so yo. The next update is gonna be a big phat wrap-up of the whole trip. look out for it.

happy weekend after naw-ruz

AKA easter, otherwise known as ‘miscellaneous chocolate holiday‘. It’s been a nice, long, well-deserved, restful weekend, full of friends, spring cleaning, sleeping in, and goofing around. highlights? hung around with old high school friends from St. Peter’s — Matt D. lives across the street from me here, and we just watched movies, ordered pizza and shawarmas, and watched friends getting smoked at cards. It was all good. We finished the evening watching a homespun snowboarding video from the “Wildcats” team – that was interesting… some of it was a little outside my usual taste in movies, but the snowboard tricks were pretty wicked. r0xx0r.

Saturday we had Misagh (aka Mees) over for dinner, to the tune of phat chicken rotini and cheesecake. We chilled, talked about our experiences pioneering and doing periods of service for the Baha’i Faith, life in Zambia, and just simply conversed the whole evening. It’s amazing how similar are the stories of people who’ve done periods of service, whether in Africa, Nunavut, or Quebec. The time one spends in service is always a time of great tests and difficulties, of frustrations and pain, but invariably it’s also sublime, spiritual, invigorating and transformative. Perhaps these blessings are something we bring with us into worlds to come?

Anyway, apparently Vafa had some sort of bad movie marathon at his place that night, but we elected not to go (having myself developed a fatal allergy to the movie Starship Troopers long ago). I’m sure it was just fantastic.

Sunday, Aref and a few other people gathered at his place to wish Aram and Natalia a happy engagement. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, Aram and Natalia are getting married. Welcome to the 21st century.

Today, I slept in until 2 o’clock in the afternoon, because I could. It’s Easter Monday. Jesus rose from the dead so that we could stay in bed. Holla back.

Okay, I apologize if I’ve just offended the entire Internet.

This week promises to be nice and busy. Meetings basically all week, culminating in a phat day of youth activities on Saturday. I’ll post more about Saturday’s activities later on in the week, so you can know just what’s going down. Peace.

network trouble

gah! my router’s acting funny. such are computer networks – always getting messed up. all it takes is for something to happen out of sequence, and suddenly your router thinks it’s 1970. I’m running a wireless network, too – first time I’ve tried that. It’s quite convenient. We borrowed a laptop from mom and dad, and we can use it in any room of the house and still have a connection to the internet. of course we’ve had some problems getting the wireless adapter to work, and the network connection is sketchy at best. So there are advantages and disadvantages. I suppose it’s better than the alternative.

Recently, I was appointed to the Baha’i Community’s Sector Management Team for Ottawa’s Sector 9 (Vanier – Overbrook – Cyrville – Beacon Hill). We had a meeting tonight; it was similar to my experiences serving as members of Spiritual Assemblies. It’s basically a mini-Assembly (except that it has a mandate restricted mostly to logistical questions). It was a nice experience; plus, two good friends of mine are also on the team so it’s cool that I get to hang around with them. I’m not sure of much right now (since it’s my first time) but I know that if I want to keep this up I’ll have to re-evaluate some of the things I do. I was comfortable with just a children’s class every two weeks, weekly meetings, some social events, and some work during the week. but this isn’t just one new meeting to go to; it’s all the homework that you take back home. I’m wondering whether I’m able to handle all of that homework right now, and where my limits are. I know that at the beginning of this year I had taken on too much, and I suffered greatly because I was trying to live and work beyond my capacity. So I ended up getting very depressed, up til the point I realized I had to fall back and make a change. So… what I’m hoping now is that I can avoid that last part and just make wise decisions as to how many commitments I take on. Good luck so far, good luck so far. i’ll have to make more time for meditation in my life. I get the feeling I’ll need it.

I’m a month away from being 25. I think it shows… I sound old. 😉

pretty big things are happening

Among other things, I recently accepted an invitation to serve on the Comité de Coordination des Conférences des Jeunes (they coordinate Bahá’í youth conferences here in Quebec; aka the 3CJ). I’m overjoyed and ecstatic. 🙂 The 3CJ is currently planning the upcoming youth conference in Montreal.

As well, me and a bunch of youth from the area went down to Danville on Saturday (the 15th) to bake bread and study the Bahá’í Writings. It was quite fantastic. I was real tired afterwards though. I drove from Victoriaville to Trois-Rivières to Drummondville to Danville to Drummondville to Trois-Rivières to Victoriaville in one day. If that’s not a christening ceremony for my new car I don’t know what is 🙂 I brought back a bag full of bread. The proceeds are going to the Bahá’í Youth of Uashat (a First Nations reserve near Sept-Îles), so they can attend the upcoming youth conference in Montreal.

I visited Accès-Travail today (where I took part in the job search club) and got some pointers for finding a job in Drummondville. It’ll take determination and effort. no barley cross fingers! I want to do it right this time, or at least quasi-right 😉 Once I find a good job I’ll be better able to pay for my registration for the upcoming youth conference in Montreal.

Speaking of jobs, my job at the SADC is going well. I’m still giving classes every morning at the Golden Agers’ club here in Victoriaville (a ten-minute walk from my house) and working on various other projects. At the moment I’m in the public library in Norbertville, a little town on the outskirts of Victoriaville. I installed Flash on one of the computers and I’m teaching it to myself. Tomorrow evening I’ll be off to Laurierville (about 45 minutes or so away) to give part 2 of an introductory class to computers. It’s going quite well. I think I’m developing a taste for teaching, and nobody I talk to seems to be suprised. They seem to see it in my character. It’s nice work. It’s nice to be paid, too. The more I get paid, the more gas I can pay for so I can go to the upcoming youth conference in Montreal.

Do I sound like I’m selling something? Sorry.

Well, I’m not all that sorry, actually 😉