Assembly works to remove barriers to understanding

Kit Bigelow speaks at the National Convention. Photo by David Smith

The Spiritual Assembly of Arlington County, Virginia, is aiding “understanding and, therefore, participation” by making a concerted effort to explain to community members each new letter of guidance from the senior institutions of the Faith.

During consultation at the 108th U.S. Bahá’í National Convention, delegate Kit Bigelow raised a concern that the language of guidance can create “a barrier” for many people and pointed to Arlington County’s experience in meeting that challenge.

“We use the Feast primarily to share the messages of the House of Justice and the National Spiritual Assembly, but then to discuss what the language of the letters is saying, what the activities are, what they mean, what they are intended to result in and how they are connected,” Bigelow explained when contacted after Convention.

One community member, she said, related after such an explanation that never before had she understood the institute process and what the activities were intended to do.
That individual subsequently “became an active and regular participant in community life and even in a few of the institute process activities,” she said. “Others have offered their thanks for this ongoing effort as well.”

In explaining the guidance, Assembly members “stress that through the specific core activities of the Plan, we are sharing the Word of God, praying together and offering spiritual education to our children, young people and youth,” said Bigelow.

Where there is interest, she said, “We can go into more detail and show the further descriptions and wording of the House of Justice.”

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