Regional Councils achieve aims of Teaching Conference
Our hearts are filled with profound gratitude to the institution of the Counsellors, the two Regional Bahá’í Councils, and the many devoted friends who contributed towards the organisation and running of “He Raranga Hou - National Bahá'í Teaching Conference ”. We are also grateful to all of the participants for helping to create a joyful and productive atmosphere in both locations over the period of the conference from 24 to 26 May.
Approximately 700 friends gathered in Auckland and 200 in Christchurch to reflect together on the purpose of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation, explore how to weave a pattern of life characterised by worship and service, and draw learning and inspiration from our spiritual whakapapa and destiny of Aotearoa as we prepare for the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb.
As initially conceived, all were welcomed as equal participants, whether young or old, new friends and veteran believers. In large gatherings, it is often the case that many youth and adults who offer sessions for children and junior youth are not themselves available to participate in other aspects of the programme. We are particularly thankful, therefore, to the several dear friends who travelled from Australia to allow the New Zealand friends to participate fully in the conference by providing the service of giving our children and junior youth a meaningful conference experience in both locations.
With many facilitators serving groups of varying size, the friends met together to consult about the realities of their local areas, the opportunities and challenges, the specific friends they could reach out to and accompany, the heights of service they could arise to, and the immediate plans they will put in place following the conference to continue their systematic action and reflection. Some friends were inspired to pioneer for a period of time; others plan to participate in upcoming campaigns; some were inspired to declare their Faith in Bahá’u’lláh. For many, teams and collaborative relationships were strengthened and new contacts were formed. For each participant, there was something learned, a capacity enhanced, and volition increased.
Now, in the days following the conference we encourage you not to lose sight of the possibilities that have been identified or created. We pray that you will remain firm in your efforts to contribute to the vision of creating spiritually vibrant neighbourhoods and towns. You are well aware of the obstacles presented by the forces of society. Of the confines of passivity, you must break free. For the duty and privilege to serve others during this bicentennial year and win the goals of the current Plan, we must all place our trust in the Blessed Beauty, cling to the Hem of His garment, and arise to serve for the betterment of our communities and ultimately for the advancement of civilisation.
To see the message delivered to the conference on behalf of the National Assembly, go to National Assembly Message to National Teaching Conference - North and South