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On It Was a 90’s Night: For building community

After devotions at Amanda’s

After prayers we all pitched in to help Drew get some pictures up on the walls. Playing in the background (by request) Nothing But the Girl. Yeah, it was a 90’s night for building community. -gw

On Another Death of a Baha’i Reported in Iran: Had been threatened by fanatical elements


Reports have been received that a well-known member of the Iranian Baha’i community, Mr. Ataollah Rezvani, has been killed in or around the port city of Bandar Abbas in Southern Iran. The event is believed to have taken place on Saturday 24 August 2013. Available information indicates that Mr. Rezvani’s life had been threatened by fanatical elements within the city’s authorities.

Another distressing report received, another indication of a worsening climate for Baha’is in particular in Iran.  -gw

On With What Should We Busy Ourselves: Toward the open world

O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns
O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behaviour. Valiant acts will ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Bahá! This, verily, is the commandment which this Wronged One hath given unto you, and the first choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.
What does it mean to be spiritual in this day. With what should we busy ourselves? A collage on what it means to be “busy” … -gw
Busy back room
Busy back room
Busy streets, Haifa
Busy streets, Haifa
Prayers in a busy household
In this Day, however, let them give up the life of seclusion and direct their steps towards the open world and busy themselves with that which will profit themselves and others.
Pretty busy bee
Pretty busy bee

On Outfoxing the Fox: Some games are innocent


Nobody wants to be eaten. Better run.-gw

Can you outfox the fox?

What Time Is It, Mrs. Fox?

… some games are innocent, and if pursued for pastime there is no harm. … [R]ecreation which may improve the bodily powers, as exercise, is desirable.

Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

On In the Midst of the Forest of Mazindaran: Their eyes instantly recognised the face which they had longed to behold


In the midst of the forest of Mázindarán, their eyes instantly recognised the face which they had longed to behold.

The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation

My photographic attempt to illustrate this moment in Nabil’s narrative. -gw 

Into the forest09-IMG_001119-IMG_002422-IMG_002721-IMG_002623-IMG_0029



On We Work Together to Transform Our Communities: We don’t distinguish between who’is a Baha’i and who isn’t


Mother and daughter


We don’t distinguish between who’is a Baha’i and who isn’t. We work together. Through all the activities we carry out, the idea is that we work together, and there aren’t any differences between us, that as a community we can work and bring forth an ever-advancing civilization.

Working together on Tacoma’s Eastside, we can transform our community and ourselves. -gw





On Professional Assistance For Personal Problems: Baha’i-inspired life coaching

Hi George, I just found your article on Bahá’í Views and wanted to say how excited I was to see someone link anxiety with sin! This is such a profound insight, which healed me from a lifetime of anxiety and PTSD! I found when it was called “anxiety”, it became medicalized; but when I thought of it as fear and sin, it was liberating and within my power to choose something different. I culled the Writings for ideas, which coalesced into a series of 20+ blog postings, starting at:

I’ve also pulled it together into an ebook, which I’d be happy to share if you would find it helpful.

Much love, Susan *

A llife coach is “a person whose job is to improve the quality of his or her client’s life, by offering advice on professional and personal matters,” according to the dictionary  Susan Grammage is a Baha’i-inspired life coach with an online practice. She has created a wealth of resource material that is just a click away, incredibly rich and well-organized. How vast is this wealth? Take a look. -gw


On Baha’i Evolution Over 40 Years: Rip Van Winkles, beware!


I remember Ruhiyyih Khanum speaking at a conference, perhaps one of the youth conferences in my day as a youth, saying something to the effect that what we have today as Baha’is is not what we will have in the future. In other words, the Faith will change over time. It evolves — like everything else in creation.

That was sure evident at the youth conference held in Tacoma this last weekend, one of the 114 being held in the world this summer called for by the Universal House of Justice. Youth raised in the Faith but who have not been participating in the core activities that characterize Baha’i life today may have had difficulty even relating to the conference had they attended. Yet non-Baha’i youth in attendance, exposed to the Baha’i-inspired community building efforts in their neighborhoods over the course of just a few weeks or months, felt right at home.

The Faith has not remained the same. It is not what it was back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, as wonderful as those days were for the growth of the Faith. The Faith entered a whole new phase after 1996, incorporating the early experiences of places like Norte de Bolivar, Columbia, featured in Frontiers of Learning, which has been at its community-building process for 20 years. -gw

Remembering the late 60’s and early 70’s…

Today in Tacoma …




On Don’t Blink (-182): It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The band’s studio autonomy, tours, managers and personal projects stalled the recording process, which lasted from shortly after the band’s February 2009 reunion to July 2011. The band developed Neighborhoods in separate studios and regrouped at various periods to record. The band’s numerous delays in the recording process resulted in the band canceling a European tour and the label setting a deadline for the album to be due. The trio wrote lyrics regarding such subjects as isolation, confusion and death. The band infused inspiration from each member’s various musical tastes to form a unique sound that recalled their separate upbringings, leading the trio to compare the album to separate neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods (Blink-182 album) — from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As this excerpt from a piece on a music abum by the pop punk band Blink 192 intimates on multiple levels, neighborhoods can be different. At one end of the scale are nieghborhoods with far too much “isolation, confusion and death.” On the other end are neighborhoods that are relatively healthy. How can we heal “sick” neighborhoods? Baha’is and their friends are engaged in an effort to do just that. -gw


There’s a reason Nwandi Lawson titled her workshop at the recent Rabbani Trust [Baha’i] Conference [on Social and Economic Development] in Orlando, Florida, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

She hopes each of us becomes the kind of neighbor the late Fred Rogers was to generations of young television viewers and their parents.

“Doesn’t he just epitomize neighborhood?” asks Lawson. “He’s really excited to be your neighbor. 

“He’s not saying I’m doing you a favor by coming to your neighborhood. No, he says, I have always wanted to live in the neighborhood with you, always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.

“To me, you can just hear in his song the importance of being neighborly. He actually begs you to be his neighbor.”

And Lawson says that spirit can infuse our own efforts to reach out to neighbors and initiate core activities aimed at making the neighborhood a better place.

No more towers: Approaching neighborhood service

On Things We Used to Do: Baha’is and their friends are living experimentally

Did people like the pimento loaf?

Did people like the pimento loaf?

Baha’is and their friends are living experimentally. Our community building projects are arenas for learning. What we’re doing today, we won’t necessarily be doing tomorrow. Take our quarterly Cluster Reflection Meetings. We used to do skits. Then it seemed like just so much entertainment, taking away from the primary purpose of reflection. Used to be we’d spend most of our time in large group. Now it’s mostly small group — teaching teams organized around working in neighborhoods. That’s how we roll now. -gw


Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 001Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 002Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 003Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 006Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 007Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 008

Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 009Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 011Did people like the pimento loaf?Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 013Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 017Assisted Living Baha'i Reflection Meeting 018

To learn about what Baha’is are up to THESE days, see:

All ages embrace learning in Phoenix neighborhood