Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Tacoma

The Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Tacoma, Inc. is the governing body for the Bahá’í community in Tacoma. It is an agency of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. Local Spiritual Assemblies are elected annually on April 21st and serve for one year. Below are the members of the LSA of Tacoma for April 21, 2023 – April 21, 2024.

Photo by Tim Olsen

Cluster Reflection Meeting July 2023

The Bahá’í world is divided into clusters, for teaching, consolidation and expansion purposes. Often on a three-monthly basis, the Bahá’ís within the area are invited to a (Cluster) Reflection Meeting. At this meeting, the cluster reflects on its recently-completed cycle of activity, and considers plans for its next cycle. The Universal House of Justice recommends that these Reflection Meetings be more occasions of “joyous celebration” rather than unremittingly serious administrative gatherings. The “cycle” referred to consists of several stages:

  • The Expansion Phase of perhaps two weeks, in which the Bahá’ís in the cluster are concentrating on reaching out to new people, launching new activities, etc.
  • The Consolidation Phase of perhaps two months, during which the Bahá’ís are ensuring that such new people as have been reached in the Expansion Phase are now more involved – perhaps enrolled in a study circle, or children’s classes started for their offspring.
  • Reflection – of which, obviously the Reflection Meeting is a major part. The resulting planning for the next cycle could be seen as a fourth stage.

In our area, Washington Cluster 19, the Area Teaching Committee is the body responsible for ensuring that the Reflection Meeting takes place, for setting goals and so on.

Text is from bahaipedia.org, but slightly edited.

Here are some photographs from our Reflection Meeting in July 2023

Photos by George Dannells

An Expansive Prospect

We are pleased to share the film, entitled An Expansive Prospect, which looks at four places in the world, capturing the efforts of individuals, communities, and institutions as they strive to release the society-building power of the Faith in ever-greater measures. The film is available for download or online viewing at bahai.org/expansive-prospect.

The film was commissioned by the Universal House of Justice and first shown at the 13th International Convention in April 2023.

Junior Youth Camp

A well-attended Junior Youth Camp was held the weekend of November 11 – 13 in Gig Harbor, with an end-of-camp celebration in east Tacoma on Sunday evening. Here are some of the youth assembled in the front of the room Sunday evening, prior to beginning their presentation to the community.

This Fall’s camp centered on the study of “Glimmerings of Hope”, a publication that was written in response to the challenges faced by the many young people around the world living in the midst of civil strife. The book follows the story of Kibomi, a twelve-year-old boy who embarks on a journey to find his sister in another town after his parents are killed in their small village. Each lesson includes a set of questions and activities aimed at fostering the ability to understand the forces at work in society and developing coherence between belief and action. The book is designed for youth aged 11 to 14. It is available at www.bahaibookstore.com.

Some of the creative paintings and colorfully decorated jar lanterns are shown below.

The three-day camp had activities that were exciting and varied.  They included study, devotions, learning swing dance, painting, making lanterns, service, and healthy recreation. The agenda for the end-of-camp presentation to the community is shown at right.   

Here is a photo of some of those attending the presentation.

Join us for future junior youth and youth camps!

Drawing the Circle of Unity

Bahá’u’lláh has drawn the circle of unity, He has made a design for the uniting of all the peoples, and for the gathering of them all under the shelter of the tent of universal unity. This is the work of the Divine Bounty, and we must all strive with heart and soul until we have the reality of unity in our midst, and as we work, so will strength be given unto us. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The conference explored three themes: “Bahá’u’lláh’s Vision for Humanity”, “The Distance Traversed” and “Building Vibrant Communities”. Those attending were from throughout the area, including both Bahá’ís and their friends. This conference was one of many thousands held around the world during the year at the request of the Universal House of Justice. August 27, 2022 at the University of Puget Sound

The conference began with a Native American blessing prayer.

The first activity of the morning was art. Participants gathered around various tables. This was the drawing table. Each person began a drawing and gave it a name, and after four minutes handed it to the person to the left, who in turn had four minutes to add to it. This continued until the drawing was back in the hands of the originator. of the drawing. A local Buddhist monk graced the meeting with his attendance.
Art with yarn or string occurred at another table.
The children had their own class. They later moved to a table in another room.
Coloring art from he children.
Art from the drawing table.
More art from the drawing table.
More art from the drawing table.
The afternoon session began with singing.
We gathered at different tables arranged by community or topic and consulted on our next steps.
We watched the film Glimpses of a Hundred Years Endeavors, which can be seen online.
Closing prayers ended an excellent day of meeting new and old friends and consulting.

Bahá’ís Participate in The Mosaic Festival in Tacoma

The Bahá’ís of Tacoma participated with a booth at the Mosaic Festival (formally, Ethnic Fest) over the weekend of July 23 and 24. The front table of the booth was decorated with a banner with the statement of Bahá’u’lláh, “ ‘The earth is one country and mankind its citizens.’ The Bahá’í Faith”.  At a time when the world and its peoples are polarized in many different ways, this sentiment was a beacon for those seeking a more positive path forward.

The booth had a steady flow of visitors.  Some had never heard of the Bahá’í Faith before and others had previous exposure to the Faith through Firesides, visiting Bahá’í Houses of Worship in Panama, in Germany, and even a visitor, a park ranger whose partner’s family lives in Haifa, Israel, and who had been to the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa a few times.

There were visitors that stopped and had elevated conversations, the type of conversations of thoughts that resonated with the Bahá’í principles. Several of these folks wanted to stay in touch and continue with further meet-ups to discuss more of the Bahá’í beliefs.  One of these visitors, an enlightened soul, was sharing his deeply formulated beliefs about the “oneness of humankind”. We had many children and youth stop at the booth for the I am a Noble Soul crown, and the peace tattoos were a big hit.  Some children stayed and colored.