Devotional meetings spring up naturally in a community where a conversation about the spiritual dimension of human existence is growing. In diverse settings, Bahá’ís and their friends and families unite with one another in prayer. There are no rituals; no one individual has any special role. Meetings consist largely of reading prayers and passages from the Bahá’í sacred texts in an informal yet respectful atmosphere. A spirit of communal worship is generated by these simple gatherings, and this spirit begins to permeate the community’s collective endeavors.
A study circle is a small group that meets at least once or twice a week for a few hours, usually in the home of one of its members, to study the course materials. Anyone aged fifteen or older, whether a Bahá’í or not, is welcome to take part. The group is brought together by a tutor associated with the training institute. Tutors do not hold any special status. They are simply those who are further along in their study of the materials. Everyone can potentially serve as a tutor on some occasions. All those participating are seen as active agents of their own learning, and tutors strive to create an atmosphere that encourages individuals to assume ownership for the educational process in which they are engaged.
The program for 12 to 15-year-olds adopts a participatory mode of learning where the facilitator and participants learn from each other. This helps them form a strong moral identity and empowers the group to contribute to the well-being of their communities and the world at large.
By developing their spiritual qualities, their intellectual capabilities and their capacities for service to society, the participants come to see that they can become agents of positive change in the world.
Bahá’ís see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realized, children need to receive spiritual nourishment. In a world where the joy and innocence of childhood can be so easily overwhelmed by the aggressive pursuit of materialistic ends, the moral and spiritual education of children assumes vital importance.
Since its inception the Baháʼí Faith has had involvement in socioeconomic development beginning by giving greater freedom to women, promulgating the promotion of female education as a priority concern, and that involvement was given practical expression by creating schools, agricultural coops, and clinics. Current development activities worldwide are related to areas such as education, health, agriculture, arts and media, the local economy and the advancement of women.
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