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Notes from the Baha'i Institutional Meeting in Pensacola

posted Mar 1, 2016, 7:24 AM by Charles Thilking
Regional Bahá'í Council of the Atlantic States
Notes from the Baha'i Institutional Meeting in Pensacola

A representative of the Office of Social and Economic Development explained where we are in development of the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program. Currently the U.S. has 5,000 junior youth in Junior Youth Groups. By the end of the next Five Year Plan in 2021, the expectation is that there will be 70,000.

To have experienced tutors, a large number of people need to start the sequence of course, as a percentage of those who begin ultimately go through the entire sequence. Many ideas were share about how to rapidly move people into the sequence and learn how to invite and encourage their continuation.

Two attendees from Charleston, SC told about how their cluster has moved forward with the Junior Youth Program and brought a large number of youth to be animators and junior youth group participants. As they said, these youth asked to continue on from Book 1 and 5 into Book 2, because they want to know about the Faith. Six of them have declared their belief. Now the challenge is to ensure that they are regularly deepened while continuing to animate their groups and their schooling.

Today, we consulted on releasing the potential of the youth, focusing particularly on who is following this line of action. Two particularly important quotations from the House of Justice message of 29 December 2015.
"...the friends must guard against a narrow outlook on what development to maturity entails."
"The significant decisions they make about the direction of their adult lives will determine whether service to the Cause of God was only a brief and memorable chapter of their younger years, or a fixed centre of their earthly existence, a lens through which all actions come into focus."

Institutions and agencies yesterday consulted on strengthening the pattern of action by looking at the concept of groups of adjoining clusters where more advanced clusters become a reservoir of assistance to the other clusters in the grouping.

"We anticipate that progress will be more swiftly achieved in regions where one or more intensive programs of growth have been sustained for some time, as these offer a valuable source of knowledge and experience and represent a reservoir of human resources as efforts are made to strengthen surrounding areas. Pursuit of this goal will also result in the emergence of new programs of growth, often in unopened clusters that neighbor those where a significant advance has occurred. Such a flow of assistance finds its origin in the imperatives laid out in the Tablets of the Divine Plan." - Message of the Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Counselors, Dec. 29, 2015, paragraph 21.

Regional institutions and agencies are at the Baha'i Institutional Meeting in Pensacola. Intense and urgent consultation is taking place on how to be on the move quickly in the new plan to assist 105 Atlantic Clusters become intensive programs of growth with expanding activities and growing communities.

Charles Thilking,
Mar 1, 2016, 7:24 AM