Bahá'ís of Greater Binghamton and around the world, people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds are engaged in a process of community building based on the unifying teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Through a process of prayerful study, consultation, action, and reflection, children, youth, and adults engage in their own spiritual development. They explore spiritual concepts together and apply them in their own communities. Capacities for service are developed and increasingly complex collective action becomes possible. Transformation of self and society go hand in hand.
"The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds and through commendable and seemly conduct."
~ Bahá’u’lláh ~
A devotional gathering in London, United Kingdom
It is a common practice for Bahá’ís to gather with their friends and neighbors to offer prayers. Devotional gatherings are held in community centers or in one another’s homes and consist largely of reading prayers and passages from holy scriptures in an informal, yet respectful, atmosphere. Uplifting music and song are often included. There are no rituals; no individual has a special role. These simple gatherings bring people of all backgrounds and beliefs together in prayer and generate a unifying spirit that begins to permeate the community.
A study circle in Austin, United States
A study circle is a small group that meets perhaps once a week for a few hours, usually in the home of one of its members, to study the course materials. The materials include passages from the Bahá’í writings related to specific themes and acts of service. Among the questions participants 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 community life; how to help young people develop their intellectual and spiritual capacities; and how to generate dynamics within the family unit that give rise to material and spiritual prosperity.
A junior youth group in Salvador, Brazil
Junior Youth Groups
The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment
Program is a global movement that motivates young people aged 12 to 15 to work together with parents and community members to contribute to the well-being of their neighborhoods and the world at large. The program is founded on the idea that, to help young people achieve their highest potential, education needs to address both their intellectual and spiritual development. While inspired by the Bahá’í Faith, the program does not approach education in the mode of religious instruction. It affirms that young people have a vital role to play in helping communities grow.
A children’s class in Austin, United States
The moral and spiritual education of children assumes vital importance in a world where the joy and innocence of childhood can so easily be overwhelmed by materialism. Ultimately, the aim is for children to increasingly grow up free from all forms of prejudice, recognizing the oneness of humanity and appreciating the innate dignity and nobility of every human being. Bahá’u’lláh called on us to regard one
another as “the fruits of one tree and the
leaves of one branch.” Inspired by this vision, Bahá’ís partner with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues to create programs for the spiritual education of children.