Facilitators preparing for the National Bahá’í Teaching Conference
He Raranga Hou - National Bahá’í Teaching Conference , scheduled for 24-26 May 2019 in two locations - Auckland and Christchurch - is fast approaching. The Regional Bahá’í Councils, in collaboration with other regional institutions, are meeting with conference facilitators to prepare for the conference and the period before and after this gathering.
In its 29 December 2015 message, the Universal House of Justice called upon the Bahá’ís of the world to bring into being 5000 clusters in which an intensive programme of growth is established before the close of the current Plan. Referring to this imperative, the Universal House of Justice stated:
“We set this objective before the Bahá’í world conscious that it is truly formidable; that a herculean labour will be required; that many sacrifices will have to be made. But faced with the plight of a world that suffers more each day bereft of Bahá’u’lláh’s elixir, we cannot, in conscience, ask anything less of His devoted followers. God willing, their exertions will prove worthy to crown a hundred years of toil and set the stage for exploits as yet unimagined that must adorn the second century of the Formative Age.”
The National Spiritual Assembly has been greatly encouraged by the response of the friends in New Zealand to the call of the Universal House of Justice and feels great confidence in the community’s ability to offer its full contribution of second and third milestone clusters to the overall global goal. However, at this point in time there remains in our national Bahá’í community potentialities which are as yet untapped. An analysis of the current circumstances facing our community and the opportunities before it bring to mind the following passages selected from recent messages of the Universal House of Justice.
“Our fervent desire, bolstered by witnessing your consecrated efforts during the past year, is that you will intensify your sure-footed application of the knowledge you are acquiring through experience. Now is not the time to hold back; too many remain unaware of the new dawn. Who but you can convey the divine message? “By God,” Bahá’u’lláh, referring to the Cause, affirms, “this is the arena of insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment, where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all attachment to the world of being.” (Ridván 2012)
“O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá” in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it.” (29 August 2010)
“Nearly a century has passed since these words were recorded. Stage after stage of the Divine Plan has been successfully prosecuted. The Faith has been established in all corners of the world. We are present in those places that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá yearned to visit. Individuals, communities, and institutions are now endowed with the capacity necessary for systematic, sustained, and coherent action. During this precious period of remembrance, then, let each and every one of His faithful lovers arise and act in His Name. Let them offer their share, no matter how humble, to the progress of the Plan He authored - that priceless and everlasting bequest.” (29 August 2010)
To lend further impetus to the teaching work already gaining momentum in our island nation, the National Spiritual Assembly has called a conference to assist the entire body of Bahá’ís - along with many of their like-minded friends - to reflect deeply on the needs of the current Plan and the contributions they are making at this decisive point in human history. The conference is not going to be an isolated event, but rather a pivotal occasion to provide a tremendous impetus to the various processes of the Divine Plan.