Local Bahá'í News 2017

Welcome to the website of the Bahá'ís of Fort Wayne, Indiana! On this page you can find local news and information for local events.

Celebration of the Birth of the Bahá’u’lláh

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On the Sunday afternoon of October 22, 2017, the Baha’is of Fort Wayne celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith.

The celebration was held at the IPFW Alumni Center from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. More than sixty people; including Bahá’í community members, relatives of Bahá’ís, friends, and neighbors enjoyed the delicious buffet and decorated birthday cake!

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The weather cooperated offering sunshine and moderate temperatures the afternoon of Sunday, October 22, 2017. It was yet another blessing for the celebration our community had been planning for more than a year!

Leading up to the October event monthly Lights of Unity talks and presentations offered opportunities to learn and share principles of our Faith with each other as well as with true seekers and curious friends. The Lights of Unity meetings, hosted by the Rahimi family were like the marks you make on the wall to record the progress of a growing child. Every month’s event meant we were that much closer to the once-in-a-lifetime event of Bahá’u’lláh’s Bicentenary.

In September the Fort Wayne community created another milestone by planting a Bald Cypress tree in Bloomingdale Park. Another identical tree will be planted there in two years to honor the Báb. For generations, people walking the St. Mary’s Path will witness the fact there were people here in 2017 who loved Bahá’u’lláh. Details of the tree planting appeared in two newspapers and Mayor Tom Henry issued a historic proclamation.

Then, the day we had all planned and waited for arrived!

On the Sunday afternoon of October 22, 2017, the Baha’is of Fort Wayne celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith.

The celebration was held at the IPFW Alumni Center from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. More than sixty people; including Bahá’í community members, relatives of Bahá’ís, friends, and neighbors enjoyed the delicious buffet and decorated birthday cake! A true birthday celebration for Bahá’u’lláh! We all contributed our talents to creating a beautiful space for the celebration; individual’s creative, technical, artistic, and speaking skills were put to good use! Misha Rahimi, one of our Baha’i youth, was master of ceremonies and warmly welcomed everyone to the special event. While people enjoyed delicious refreshments, Victor Chaney provided classical guitar music for everyone’s enjoyment. Misha and Neda Rahimi then provided arts performances including storytelling about the life of Baha’u’llah, and Maile Smits performed an interpretive dance. The children present enjoyed the youth’s performances immensely and had a front row seat! The adults were also entertained and enjoyed all the activities from the comfortable leather couches encircling the outer room of the venue. Everyone had a wonderful time and had a chance to get to know the many guests in attendance. We then shared dessert by cutting the Bicentennial cake that the youth served to everyone.

At 5:00, the group began moving into the auditorium of the venue to watch the formal program. We entered to a beautiful musical piece specially written for the occasion by performing artist, Lucy Shropshire. Misha Rahimi and Dean Hill welcomed everyone to the historic celebration! The program began with a lovely prayer sung by Maile Smits, followed by the prayer, Blessed is the Spot, read in four languages. Our Master of Ceremonies introduced Milena Stekly, who read the mayoral proclamation specially written for this historic day celebrated around the world. Billy Howell-Sinnard, dressed as an Oxford University professor in his study, performed a dramatic reading of the Pen Portrait of Bahá’u’lláh written by Edward Granville Brown, the only European to have met Baha’u’llah.

Finally, Carol Butler introduced the greatest gift given to the Baha’is by the Universal House of Justice for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh celebration, Light to the World, the feature film that lasted 51 minutes and brought many to tears as a moving tribute to the life of Bahá’u’lláh and His effect on the world over the past 200 years. It was a story beautifully told through images, stories, and music. It was a wonderful and moving tribute to the Blessed Beauty and a celebration to be remembered for many years to come!

Overall, the celebration was a well-attended, impressive event!

Post date: September 21, 2017

Báha’is Celebrate Twin Holy Days With Tree Planting

“The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Daystar of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” – Baha’u’llah

On the morning of Tuesday, September 19, 2017 and during a break in the heavy rain, members of the Bahá’í community of Fort Wayne gathered to plant a Bald Cypress tree in Bloomingdale Park. The tree is planted along the path of the Rivergreenway (St. Mary’s Pathway) just as it leads to an open bank of the St. Mary’s River.

The tree is meant to be a commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. This year, Bahá’í s, who number more than 5 million believers globally and is considered to the second most wide-spread religion in the world, are celebrating the Twin Holy Days of both Baha’u’llah and the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of the Báb, or “The Gate” in 2019. The Bahá’í s will donate another Bald Cypress tree right next to this tree in 2019 to honor the Báb.

The Bahá’í Faith was first established here in Fort Wayne more than 70 years ago. During the tree ceremony which included prayers and readings from the Bahá’í Writings, Marsha Smiley, a member of one of the oldest Fort Wayne Bahá’í families ended the ceremony by reading a quote of Bahá’ulláh’s on unity:

Celebration of the Birth of the Bab

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Ridvan Celebration

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Naw-Ruz Celebration

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Ayyam-i-Ha Celebration

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Lights of Unity

One of the wonderful properties of light is how it reflects off surfaces, illuminating different facets of an object. We can view spiritual principles in a similar way: they shine upon everyone equally, reflecting the highest ideals of humanity. In 2017 we’re starting a series called “Lights of Unity” to reflect upon spiritual principles.

Why are we exploring these themes? Because this year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith. To commemorate this special occasion we’d like to look at principles which are central to the Baha’i Faith. Please join us in exploring these topics through sincerity, humor, and everything in between.

Each month we will focus on one principle and through artistic expression try to reflect on it. The first week’s challenge will be to find a favorite quote (from your favorite author, poet, philosopher, etc.) that reflects the principle; the second week’s challenge will be to find a picture, photo or drawing; the third week, a story or poem; the fourth week, a video or musical selection.The simple rules are: No politics; be respectful; do not offend, don't get offended; love and have fun; participate as much or as little as you’d like; cat videos are allowed as long as they reflect the principle.

We are meeting on the last Friday of the month.

For more information visit our website www.lightsofunity.com or on Facebook