Celebrating the Bicentenary in our local community

In just over a week, Bahá’ís around the world will celebrate the Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith. The Bicentenary celebrations will be held on the 21st and 22nd of October. Gatherings celebrating the life, and exploring the teachings, of Bahá’u’lláh will be held in localities everywhere. People from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, will be participating in these celebrations that represent an historic moment for Bahá’ís all over the world.

For me it is a particularly exciting time. My local Bahá’í community – Calderdale – is holding a celebration in the Halifax Town Hall on the 21st of October. The event will join together not only the local Bahá’ís, their families, friends and local government representatives but also a wider community of interested people who are already participating in some of the activities that we hold locally.

Photo: Vera from the Calderdale community, looking forward to the upcoming Bicentenary celebration in Halifax!

One of these activities, a children’s class that is held in Halifax every Saturday, is particularly dear to me. As a Bahá’í and a mother of two young children myself, this is a precious opportunity both for the children and for my own spiritual development. The class focuses on spiritual qualities, such as truthfulness, generosity and kindness, and is open to all. The children and some parents, who also participate in the class, are from a variety of backgrounds. When they attend they will undoubtedly enrich the Bicentenary celebrations in Halifax later this month!

I really feel the unifying spirit of the upcoming Halifax event, and it makes me think very much about one of my favourite sacred writings from the Bahá’í Faith, which I have copied below:

“The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world; make it not the cause of dissension and strife.”

-Bahá’u’lláh

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Hampers donation to St Augustine’s Centre

The Bahá’í community of Calderdale recently presented two hampers of toiletries and food to the St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax, West Yorkshire. This donation was one part of our Calderdale Bahá’í community’s ongoing celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary this year, 2017, of the Birth of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh.

Photo: Volunteers from St Augustine’s in Halifax (shown second from let, and far right) receiving the donated hampers from members of the Calderdale Bahá’í community, 6 June 2017. Source: Picture courtesy of Laura Hinks, used with permission.

Volunteers from St Augustine’s remarked on the appropriateness of the donation and explained how useful the items would be for users of their centre, in particular given the ongoing need for everyday toiletries.

This donation was made in the spirit of the Bahá’í community’s approach to try to offer service to people of all faiths or no faith, and to support like-minded communities and organisations that strive to help humanity. This spirit is particularly captured in one of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings that, ‘The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.

You can also read more about what the Calderdale Bahá’í community is celebrating during this special year, by visiting our new dedicated page about the Bicentenary here.