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Baha’i community marks milestone anniversary with celebration

October 11, 2017   ·   0 Comments

2017-10-12-04

By Brock Weir

Aurora’s Baha’i community will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder this month with a series of commemorative events to highlight the faith’s “transformative impact on the lives of families, neighbourhoods, and communities around the country and around the world.”
The events – including an open house at the Aurora Public Library this Saturday, October 14 and a larger celebration the following Saturday evening at the Aurora Cultural Centre – are part of a wider range of programs that have been going on throughout the year to mark the bicentennial of the faith’s founder Baha’ u’llah.
This past summer, the Baha’i community held a 3K walk to bring Aurorans together in what they describe as a “walk of unity.”
Everyone in Aurora and surrounding municipalities were invited to take part.
“As one of the main principles of the Baha’i faith is the oneness of humanity and the unity of all religions and the walk served to unify the community and create bonds of friendships,” said organizers.
The upcoming events will serve as a way to reach even more members of the community on the tenets of the faith.
“All around the world, wherever Baha’i reside, celebrations are being planned [for the actual day] on October 21 and we are celebrating not only Baha’ u’llah’s birth, but that the teachings he has provided are, to this day and age, still being disseminated,” says Kamran Nejati of the Aurora community. “He talked about the progress of revelation, which is the belief that God will never leave us without guidance and will send us teachers and messengers and prophets to bring us new teaching for a period of time. He says this dispensation will last for about 1,000 or so years and God will send us another messenger. This continuation of teachings from God is going to be there forever. In this day and age, he brings teachings that are very relevant to our period of time.
“Our pivot al teaching is the oneness of mankind. We believe strongly in that and the unity, as well as other teachings such as the oneness of religions, equality of men and women, education for all and a number of other teachings that he has brought that are very relevant to our age today.”
These cornerstones of the Baha’i are manifested in several ways through the work they do in the community, says Mr. Nejati, including classes for kids – and indeed everyone as a whole – which focus on moral ethics and how to be a part of society together. There are also youth programs emphasizing community service and giving back.
“With this type of thinking, it takes away the thinking that ‘everything is for me’ and replaces it with ‘what can I do to better the environment, better society and help others’ so our service can be of some meaning to the community,’” he says. “Our main aim is unity of mankind and service to the community, not just Aurora but anywhere Baha’i reside.
“We want the Baha’i faith and Baha’ u’llah’s name to be known to people, so everybody comes to learn about Baha’ u’llah and what message he has brought to the world. It is for the whole world because we believe when God sends a message the world will change accordingly because that is God’s plan to bring those teachings and messages to people. If they join the faith or don’t, it doesn’t matter; it is how we align with those teachings from God. One of the things this type of activity will do is, perhaps, introduce or make Baha’ u’llah more well-known to the community at large, along with what he stands for.”

The Baha’i Community of Aurora will hold their open house this Saturday, October 14, from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Aurora Public Library. The celebration marking the Bicentennial of the Birth of Baha’ u’llah will take place Saturday, October 21, starting at 6.30 p.m. at the Aurora Cultural Centre. All are welcome and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit www.bahaisofaurora.org.

         

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