Saturday, February 14, 2009

HOUSE MESSAGES to other conferences

Here are selections of House messages to other of the conferences.

“Undeflected by the turmoil and distractions of the world around you, direct your energies to the task at hand with expanded vision and renewed consecration. New achievements invariably bring new challenges. Every steadfast believer is called to a faith and determination, a commitment to unity and sacrifice that will lift the Cause to a new stage in its development. May all find a part to play. May all appreciate the contribution of others. May all pour forth time and resources to support the advancement of your clusters, to foster the capacity of your co-workers, and to quicken the spirit of love and devotion that propels you forward. As you arise to serve, be assured of our ardent prayers in the Holy Shrines that the Blessed Beauty may open every door, remove every barrier, and enable every one of you to offer your utmost to this sacred enterprise.”

(From the letter of the UHJ to the six Regional Conferences in the United States, dated December 6, 2008)

31 January 2009

To the Friends gathered at the Regional Conference in Battambang

With hearts uplifted we greet the followers of Baha'u'llah from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam--veteran and newly enrolled, young and old--who have assembled in Battambang on this historic occasion to mark the midway point of the Five Year Plan. What strides have been made in your region over these past two and a half years! The pace of work that the friends have established in Cambodia is an inspiration to the entire Baha'i world. With a force at once powerful and unassuming, you have systematically spread out over your homeland, standard-bearers of the Cause of God, bringing to your sorely tried people in increasing numbers His life-giving message. Yet the significance of your accomplishments lies not only in their scope but in their quality. In cluster after cluster, you have created a rich pattern of community life, distinguished by its promotion of education for all ages. Can there be any doubt that you have set in motion a process of collective transformation that will continue to bear fruit in the succeeding generations? Those of you from Vietnam bring to the gathering your own unique record of accomplishments. Your many years of steadfastness and patience, during which you were able to demonstrate to your fellow citizens, in both word and deed, the purity of your intentions, have been vindicated by the re-establishment of your National Spiritual Assembly, an event hailed by your government. The friends from Laos and Thailand have their own significant successes to recount. Does not your collective experience, then, bespeak the capacity of the peoples of your region--their indomitable spirit and their inexhaustible energy, their love of beauty and their sense of the sacred? Celebrate, one and all, your accomplishments to date. And look to the future of your region, as we do, with confidence and assurance.

Over these two days, the friends from Cambodia will consolidate plans for adding to the 9 intensive programmes of growth already under way in their country a further 2 by Ridvan. They will also refine their plans for meeting in the remaining years of the Plan the formidable goal they have set for themselves of establishing an additional 15 such programmes by its close. Those from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam will need to consider how they can take advantage of the next two years to apply the learning generated thus far to their own particular circumstances. There is no need to remind any of you of the magnitude of the forces of disintegration that assail society, for your peoples have already proven themselves capable of withstanding their devastating effects. You must all recognize the urgency of the hour and act with boldness and determination. But it is to the many young people among you that we make this special appeal: significant progress will not be achieved without your wholehearted support. Be assured of our prayers in the Holy Shrines for each and every one of you.

[Signed: The Universal House of Justice]

31 January 2009

To the friends gathered at the RegionalConference in Auckland

Our most loving greetings are extended to the followers of the Most Great Name who have assembled at this historic gathering marking the midpoint of the Five Year Plan, those from the farflung islands of the Pacific Ocean—the Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, Kiribati, New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu—joining with the dear friends of New Zealand. We are with you in our thoughts and prayers as you celebrate the accomplishments of the first half of the Plan, and prepare yourselves for the strenuous endeavour required in the remaining time. We have been heartened by the increasing awareness in your region of the measures necessary to respond adequately to the opportunities for the growth of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh at this time. In more and more clusters the foundation has been laid for a strong and expanding Bahá’i community: an environment conducive to communal worship is being fostered; spiritual education is being provided to children; the energies of junior youth are being channelled into productive ends; youth and adults, newly enrolled and veteran, are engaging in the study of the Creative Word through the institute process and are joining together to carry out acts of service. You have established intensive programmes of growth in 18, clusters throughout your region and the stage is set for greater progress in the immediate future.

Your goal now, to launch a further 9 intensive programmes of growth by Ridván, is well within your reach if a sustained and determined effort is made in each of the designated clusters. However, your plans must extend beyond this immediate objective and must encompass the achievement of a further 21 intensive programmes of growth before the end of the Plan. We appeal to the devoted servants of the Cause in your region to put aside all misgivings and, undeflected by distractions, to offer wholehearted support to the vital work to which you have been summoned. Sacrifice of time and resources is required for success to be achieved. Be assured of our ardent prayers in the Holy Shrines that every one of you may offer your utmost to this sacred endeavour.

The Universal House of Justice

27 December 2008

To the Friends gathered at the Regional Conference in Kuala Lumpur

It gives us great joy and happiness to greet the friends from Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore assembled at the historic conference in Kuala Lumpur at this midpoint in the Five Year Plan. You have much to celebrate as you contemplate your achievements over the past two and half years, and many challenges to consider as you prepare yourselves for the vital tasks ahead. A strong foundation for your future progress is already in place as a result of assiduous efforts to build capacity in all three participants in the Plan, whose increasingly effective endeavours are being woven together in a pattern of unified action. In particular, great strides have been made in stimulating the initiative, resourcefulness and audacity of individual believers, whether from tribal or urban areas, youth or adults, newly enrolled or more experienced. In launching 25 intensive programmes of growth you have gained valuable insights into the dynamics of sustainable growth and you are now set on a path of learning that will enable you to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in your region.

You now have before you the immediate task of launching 6 intensive programmes of growth by Ridvan 2009, a goal that is eminently attainable. As you consult together on the next steps to be taken, in an atmosphere of joyful optimism and firm determination, have no doubt of the receptivity of your fellow citizens, from every segment of society, to the Message of Baha’u'llah or of your own capacity to guide them to the refuge of His mighty Cause. Arise then, undeterred by the storms and trials through which the world is now passing, and consecrate yourselves to this spiritual enterprise, confident that the Blessed Beauty will reinforce your every effort in His Name. We shall pray fervently in the Holy Shrines that He will crown your devoted endeavours with success.

The Universal House of Justice

Photo by Marco Abrar -

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