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Fantastic weekend of celebrations and activities to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bicentenary Festival Finale, BelfastWhat a fantastic weekend of celebrations and activities to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh as well as the Birth of the Báb!

The festivities kicked off on Friday evening in Grosvenor House in Belfast, marking the inauguration of the Twin Holy Birthdays of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. We celebrated the life of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh as the Twin Luminaries of this age with presentations from children and junior youth of different backgrounds and traditions from across Belfast and further afield. In the weeks leading to the event, the children’s classes and junior youth in Belfast had prepared artistic presentations about Bahá’u’lláh. Beautiful maps were displayed which showed the exiles of Bahá’u’lláh and stories were told of His life by children on stage.
Choirperformance at Ulster Museum Bicentenary event
Music performance at Ulster Museum Bicentenary eventSaturday, in celebration of this momentous occasion was filled with acts of service. And in the evening, there was a beautiful event in Ulster Museum which over 130 people attended including the Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, a previous Lord mayor, and representatives of other Faiths. The programme included musical performances, narrated stories, an uplifting AV presentation about Bahá’u’lláh and the Baha’i world, along with a specially commissioned film “Growing unity at the grassroots” about the Windsor neighbourhood JY groups and children’s classes. One of the highlights was a twelve voice SATB choir ending the evening with the moving “The Power of love “(words of ‘Abdu’l- Bahá). The positive discussions and enthusiastic feedback after the presentations attested to a truly memorable experience.

Sunday saw the Bicentenary Festival Finale! In this family fun event we celebrated the birthday of Bahá’u’lláh in St. Nicholas Hall. There were around 80 people of various ages and backgrounds. Most people had been involved in the activities in Windsor area. The programme included singing and dancing and a potluck dinner followed by everyone dancing!

 

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Bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’i Faith.

In October 2017, Bahá’ís around the world, together with their families, friends, neighbours and colleagues, will celebrate the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’i Faith.

The Bicentenary celebrations will span the weekend of 21st and 22nd of October. Gatherings celebrating the life, and exploring the teachings, of Bahá’u’lláh will be held in localities everywhere. People from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, will be gathering to explore how communities can collectively work together to promote the Bahá’í principles of unity, peace and justice. All are welcome to participate.

The commemoration will also provide an opportunity to reflect on the positive impact religion can have upon society and how this potent phenomenon can shape the future.

 

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Spiritual Study Classes

Study classes are a means of exploring spiritual questions and learning how to put spiritual values into daily practice and service. Study classes include learning about the purpose of life, importance of daily prayer, life after death, raising spiritual children and sharing what we learn with our family and friends.

The frequency and duration of each study circle are set by the group, and a facilitator serves to maintain the focus and pace. Every participant in the group also makes a commitment to action or service.

Study circles are not restricted to Bahá’ís; anyone may attend.

To find a study circle near you, please fill out the Contact Us form and we will let you know when our next classes are forming.


Study Circle Courses

Currently, the Bahá’í community of Belfast is offering courses focusing on transforming the individual and strengthening his relationship with God. The courses are outlined below:

Reflections on the Life of the Spirit
This course has touched the hearts of many from the most remote villages to the most populated cities! It is designed to enhance spiritual identity, offer skills in study of Sacred Texts, enrich prayer life and offer insights on the meaning of life and death. Participants learn that true life is the life of the spirit. Skills learned include those needed to hold devotional meetings in your home and neighborhood.

Arising to Serve
This course shares principles and teachings that frame Bahá’ícommunity life. These principles include the Oneness of Humanity, the Equality of Women and Men, Universal Education and Justice. Through the example of sharing concepts with new Bahá’ís, this course helps the participant to understand the joy of sharing the Bahá’í teachings, and trains participants with practical skills to do so with interested individuals. The course also offers training in how to introduce spiritual principles into our daily conversations with others.

Teaching Children’s Classes – Grade 1
“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”

This course is of benefit to all, as we all have interactions with the children in our lives. These children are the most precious treasure a community can possess. The course offers skills in spiritual parenting, understanding the nature of children and in conducting classes for children with love, understanding and the discipline necessary to create a proper learning environment. Participants are trained to offer children’s classes in their home and neighborhood and gain some experience with Lesson Plans appropriate for five to seven-year-olds.

Twin Manifestations
This course addresses the lives of the Twin Manifestations “ the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, the Báb, and the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation, Bahá’u’lláh. Through it participants gain spiritual insights into the potency of the short and dramatic Ministry of the Báb, the magnitude and significance of the spiritual forces released by Bahá’u’lláh in this Day and the promise this new Revelation holds for humanity.

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Classes for Children and Youth

The Baha’is of Belfast are dedicated to fostering the moral and spiritual development of children and youth in Belfast through a series of regular classes held throughout the city.

“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.” – Baha’u’llah

The children’s classes encourage children to recognize their own nobility and the inherent nobility of their classmates. The children acquire knowledge and spiritual capacities which they can integrate into their everyday lives.

Youth are encouraged to develop a strong sense of purpose, empowering their own transformation and leading them to contribute to the advancement of society. Young people’s spiritual capacity, the basis for their own happiness and sense of well-being, is a powerful force for social change.

To get more information about children and youth classes, including whether one is being offered in your area, please fill out our contact form.

More on the Baha’i Perspective on Children’s Education
Children are the most precious resource a community has. Much like a young tree, children will grow and develop in whatever way they are trained and according to the influences they experience. Bahá’í children’s classes are intended to nurture spiritually vibrant and healthy young people who will grow up without prejudice and with a positive, powerful sense that they are important to God and have a role to play in serving humanity.

The Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh form the basis of these classes and introduce the Bahá’í Teachings and those of other Messenger’s of God to foster a fully united, just and peaceful world.

The Writings of the Bahá’í Faith affirm that spiritual education is at the heart of an educational process that leads to the elevation and transformation of the human spirit. It is through the conscious effort of loving families, combined with a systematic offering of classes based upon the guidance that has been given to humanity by a loving God, that the spiritual development of children can be nurtured and developed. Hundreds of communities offer children’s Bahá’í classes in the United States, and many local classes are offered weekly throughout the school year. Children’s classes are also offered at national and regional schools across the country.

If you are interested in learning more about these classes, please fill out our contact us form.

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Devotional Gatherings

The Baha’i teachings prescribe daily prayer and intimate communion with God as the foundation for a life devoted to spiritual advancement and service to humanity. Devotional gatherings take place in Belfast on a weekly basis. To find one near you place check the calendar or contact us and we can let you know the location and dates of a devotional gathering closest to you.

In addition to practicing private prayer and meditation, Baha’is gather in their homes and communities for collective worship. Devotional gatherings are scheduled regularly to share a devotional spirit of joy, love and fellowship. Readings are taken from the Baha’i writings and the scriptures of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Participants are encouraged to bring their prayer books or favorite passages from the scriptures to share. These gatherings often offer prayers for healing or assistance to those in need. Musical selections are diverse, coming from a variety of cultures and styles. There is no established ritual and no solicitation of funds. Light refreshments are often served.

“Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men.” — Baha’u’llah

If you are interested in reading some Baha’i prayers, please visit http://www.bahaiprayers.org/

If you are interested in attending a devotional gathering, please fill out our contact us form.