28 February 2019
3 Ayyám-i-Há 175
To all believers in Aotearoa
Dearly loved Friends
The National Spiritual Assembly and the Regional Bahá’í Councils send loving greetings to you all during the season of Ayyám-i-Há. This festive period feels particularly blessed this year because of the heightened devotional character of the community of the Most Great Name in Aotearoa. The summer prayer campaign, the effects of which have been unmistakable, has given a significant impetus to the work of the Cause. The institutions of the Faith serving this country wish to express loving appreciation to all the dear friends who have offered prayers for the work of the Cause, and to share with you that your prayers have made a big difference. There has been a new energy, more movement, an overall feeling of inspiration, vibrant gatherings filled with joy and love, pioneers who have arisen and settled in some of the goal clusters, activity in support of the Five Year Plan by many more believers than previously, devoted service given by so many wonderful youth, cohorts of friends consulting together in harmony and achieving unity of thought and vision, consecrated study of guidance that has enriched and inspired. While there is no concrete evidence that these are direct outcomes from the prayers offered by all of you in support of the work of the Faith, it is abundantly clear that something has recently changed in the “atmosphere” of the community.
It is because of the great outcomes arising that the National Assembly and Regional Councils have decided to extend the summer prayer campaign to Ridván, and we eagerly seek your continued offerings of prayer for meeting the goals of the Plan. Summarised briefly, the objective of the Five Year Plan is that every cluster is progressing along a continuum of development, and that our remaining 13 clusters (out of 26) pass the second milestone in their development, which is when a steady stream of friends is proceeding through the courses of the training institute and engaging in the corresponding activities, which serves, in turn, to increase the number of fresh recruits into the Faith.
In addition, the National Teaching Conference to be held in two locations, one in the North Island and one in the South Island, on 24-26 May is aimed at boosting the progress of the Plan, so your prayers for the process leading up to and following the conference, as well as for the conference itself, will be most welcome.
We urge each of you, whether able to fast or not, to use the spiritually potent period of the Fast to foster love and companionship, and as a time for enrichment through your prayer and reflection. For those who are very frail or have chronic illnesses which are debilitating and prevent you from activity, please know that your prayers are a great service to the Cause, and are valued and appreciated. We send our special love and thoughts at this time.
“The House of Justice elucidates the theme of the power of prayer, explaining that the Twin Luminaries have taught us that prayer is ‘essential spiritual conversation of the soul with its Maker, direct and without intermediation’, ‘the morning’s dew’ that ‘brings freshness to the heart and cleanses it’, and ‘a fire that burns away the veils and a light that leads to the ocean of reunion with the Almighty’.”*
With much love,
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of New Zealand
*The Institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, A Statement and Compilation Prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, September 2017, page 4.
Source of featured photo: Bahá’í World News Service (copyright © Bahá’í International Community)