Baha’i Faith community in Southwick prepares for centenary gathering

The Baha’i community in Southwick is preparing to mark the centenary of the passing of Abdu’l-Baha, a former head of the faith.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 8:17 am

Friends and neighbours will gather for the commemoration on Saturday, November 27, at the home of Mark and Jessica Habibi.

Mark said there will be prayers and music, plus the showing of a specially-commissioned film, Exemplar, a portrait of the Abdu’l-Baha, the eldest son of Baha’u’llah and head of the Baha’i Faith from 1892 to 1921.

He added: “This centenary year is an opportunity to reflect on Abdu’l-Baha’s life and contributions to the cause of world unity and to the Baha’i Faith.

Abdu’l-Baha's first visit to England in September 1911 included a weekend stay in Bristol, where he met Baha'is and their friends

“This event is part of an ongoing process of local community building using a moral and spiritual framework, and it has been wonderful to remember the life and teaching of Abdu’l-Baha as a beacon of hope with our friends and neighbours in an increasingly chaotic world.”

In Southwick, the Baha’is host devotional meetings of a meditative nature, with conversations about the spiritual dimension of human existence.

There are also study circles, which meet at least once or twice a week for a few hours, online or in a member’s home, for a sequence of courses designed to empower participants with skills of service.

Mark said: “Some of these skills might include teaching the establishment and running of classes for children where they learn about the importance of prayer, truthfulness and kindness to people of all races and religions.”

Southwick Baha'is and friends on Southwick Green

Anyone aged 15 or older is welcome to take part in study circles. Group members are seen as active agents of their own learning and the tutors strive to encourage individuals to assume ownership for the educational process in which they are engaged.

Children’s classes, study circles, junior youth groups and devotional meetings are also open to all as an act of service by the Baha’i community and are free of charge to participants.

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