Local Bahá'í News 2020
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.
Fort Wayne Hosts Memorial Service to Honor Mr. Arbab, Mrs. Haake, Mr. Douglas
O SON OF BEING!
Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home, reunion with Me. Enter therein and tarry not. This is that which hath been destined for thee in Our kingdom above and Our exalted dominion.
-Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words
On Thursday, October 1, 2020, Fort Wayne’s weekly devotional for many years called Pie and Prayers, held a memorial service in honor of three great souls who passed consecutively this week to the Abhá Kingdom, Farzam Arbab, Violette Haake, and Douglas Martin. The House of Justice asked “the believers in every land” to arrange a memorial for these three servants of Baha’u’llah. We promptly held a beautiful devotional whose theme was “Lamps” because these three helped light the world by spreading Baha’u’llah’s message.
“A small lamp may light a room, a larger would light a house, a larger still might shine through the city, but the sun is needed to light the whole world.
-‘Abdu'l-Baha, ‘Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 59
I’m sharing this story, for you all to know the beautiful, mystical events that occur in this amazing Faith of ours! Many might think it is just a coincidence, but I need to share a bit before the memorial to set the stage for the miracle that happened in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have been working for months on creating devotionals for our new website so that people can use our PowerPoint presentations for their Zoom meetings during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The latest I created was called “Lamps” and I was partial to it while creating it. At the end, the presentation took a little tour through the holy land to show the contrast between Akká as the walled prison city Baha’u’llah was exiled to in order to try to stamp out the light of the Revelation of God by the sultan of Turkey, and the magnificent one of two administrative cities of the Baha’i World Center it has become a part of, along with Haifa, in 2020. Then the Hidden Word quoted above was sung by Luke Slott in his song “Paradise” and I realized as I reviewed the entire presentation and modified it by adding the pictures of those memorialized and their loving obituaries by the Universal House of Justice, that unbeknownst to me, I had created the perfect memorial for these special souls that were “lamps” of guidance throughout their Baha’i lives of service. As I created it for the devotional, I cried, and as I added to it to customize it as a memorial for three, I cried. I felt such a connection to these giants who had passed, even though I did not know them!
When I signed into the Bahá’í Zoom Room on Thursday night, two people were already present. One, Molly Cook, a long-time member of our area Bahá’í community, and a new person I did not know named Katya Naraghi, from Canada. She told us that she was friends with Molly since 1975 when they both declared within weeks of each other in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She then learned of a conference in Mexico that needed bilingual Bahá’ís to serve and her heart told her she wanted to go, but she did not have the financial means. Her friend Molly said, don’t define your Bahá’í service by what you can do, but by what you want to do and allow Bahá’u’lláh to figure out the means. So, she went to the LSA and asked for guidance. A fund-raiser was held and enough money was raised so she could go to Mexico for two weeks. She worked so hard that she was unable to attend any of the conference sessions, but she was able to attend the closing session where they asked for pioneers to come up to the stage who would volunteer. She was nudged by the elbow of the person seated beside her and she went up to the stage volunteering to be a pioneer. She did not know what a pioneer was, but she said if she knew, she might never have volunteered! She returned home to Fort Wayne shortly to finish her studies and get her degree and then left for six months of pioneering in Mexico and South America. Here she met Dr. Farzam Arbab and taught the Ruhi Books with him. Only they weren’t books at the time, but copied stacks of sheets of paper by the lessons and they would travel large distances working with many groups of people on the Ruhi curriculum. This led to service in many more places, finally culminating at the Holy Land, where she gave many years of service and knew personally all three distinguished deceased members we were remembering today. She lived across the hall from Dr. Arbab and his wife with her husband who was of Persian descent.
I felt the miracle of her presence and her story. I felt the connection with the Concourse on High with its three new members. We could very well have been the first memorial service held! It’s as if they knew and searched the planet and a link to Fort Wayne to let us know of their love and they found Katya! Katya who declared in Fort Wayne and loved Fort Wayne so much that when asked where she was from has said, Fort Wayne, even though she was born in Cuba! Katya, who knew and worked closely with Dr. Arbab and knew the others well from her long service in Haifa. We had the blessing of Katya attending our little memorial service and sharing stories of her life and service as a Bahá’í alongside these three “Lamps” to light the world!
“Thou art but one step away from the glorious heights above and from the celestial tree of love.”
-Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words
This was not a coincidence but a small mystical miracle that occurs daily in this incredible Faith of ours,
“O thou who hast eyes to see!”
-Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 176
By Milena Stekly
Indiana Bahá’í Summer School
I am a fourth generation Bahá’í and will be 66 years old in August and I have never been to summer school! Before I retired, I had to work every Saturday so I was looking forward to retirement so I could do the things I was always unable to do. Then the Coronavirus hit and I, like everyone in the world was affected and I was quarantined at home. Luckily, due to the magic of technology, I got to go to summer school for the first time in my life! And what a wonderful summer school our committee created and our zoom masters launched and everyone had a great time from their own homes. We had plenary sessions which everyone attended. Children’s classes then went to break out rooms that our youth led. Thank you to our special youth who did a great job and are loved by all! We had amazingly spiritual and beautiful devotions and we stuck with the timing outlined in the agenda religiously. You could miss one section and return in an hour and be right back into the flow of things. Like magic, zoom masters separated us into groups, we all had a room number, and when the time came to breakout into your small discussion groups, your link appeared and one click and ZOOM, you were in your room with friends made throughout the weekend.
We studied the topic of Race Amity, "Walking the Path Towards Race Unity and Oneness, Part II". We read Universal House of Justice guidance and the Junior Youth empowerment program, Walking the Path of Unity. We had amazing consultation and all gained new insights on the topic of race unity, elimination of all prejudices and what changes can materialize in society to move the principles Baha’u’llah has given us to transform society to the forefront. The garden of humanity was present and many cultures celebrated. People came from many states and even other countries! Tennessee sent representatives to study what we did in our virtual summer school so they could copy what worked. We had a smores night in several locations, complete with masks and social distancing. It was noted how difficult it was to blow out a burning marshmallow with a mask on, but everyone adapted and had a great time. We also had a celebration of the arts, a sort of talent show that ended the weekend. We made many new friends, reunited with old friends, and a great time was had by all!
You can find more information Indiana Baha'i Summer School Website: http://inbahaisummerschool.org
Devotions Points of Light
Devotional meetings are occasions where any soul may enter, inhale the heavenly fragrances, experience the sweetness of prayer, meditate upon the Creative Word, be transported on the wings of the spirit, and commune with the one Beloved. Feelings of fellowship and common cause are generated, particularly in the spiritually heightened conversations that naturally occur at such times and through which the “city of the human heart” may be opened. By convening a gathering for worship at which adults and children of any background are welcome, the spirit of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is evoked in any locality. -- Universal House of Justice
The Council now asks that all Bahá’ís in the region support the National Spiritual Assembly’s goal by establishing regular household devotionals. These simple acts of worship will serve to illumine the region spiritually. To track the region’s progress in contributing to this national goal, the Council has placed a regional devotional map on the regional website. To register your household devotional meeting go to: Devotions-Points-of-Light. Each household that registers its devotional meeting on the website will be represented by a point of light on the map. More important, these points of light help remind us to rely on the confirmations of the Holy Spirit for the success of all endeavors.
Martyrdom of the Báb
Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad was known as the Bab, meaning “the Gate” in Arabic. The Bab was a Messenger of God Who, in 1844 in Iran, announced that He was the gateway to a new era for humankind. It was the Bab’s mission to prepare the people for the coming of another, greater Messenger Who would share divine teachings that would allow humanity to come together to create justice and usher in the long foretold era of universal peace.
The Bab was an advocate of the poor. He supported the advancement of women, universal education, and the study of science—radical ideas in that time and place.
Over the course of six years, the Bab attracted many thousands of followers. The enthusiasm with which they accepted His teachings alarmed the clergy and government officials of the day. They imprisoned and tortured the Bab and hundreds of His followers, called Babis. Despite these persecutions, the movement spread like wildfire.
Post date: March 5, 2020
This “New Day” marks the end of the fasting period and the renewal of spring.
Friday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
Come celebrate the first day of the Baha’i year.
At this moment the sun appears at the meridian and the day and night are equal. Until today the North Pole has been in darkness. This sacred day when the sun illumines equally the whole earth is called the equinox and the equinox is the symbol of the divine messenger. The sun of truth rises on the horizon of divine mercy and sends forth its rays on all. This is the beginning of the spring. When the sun appears at the equinox it causes a movement in all living things. The mineral world is set in motion, plants begin to sprout, the desert is changed into a prairie, trees bud and every living thing responds, including the bodies of animals and men. -‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Ayyám-í-Há means “Days of Há”. Bahá’ís celebrate the oneness of God during Ayyám-í-Há through acts of love, fellowship, unity, charity and goodwill. The intercalary days of Ayyám-í-Há:
“stand apart from the ordinary cycle of weeks and months and the human measure of time, thus Ayyám-í-Há can be thought of as days outside of time, days that symbolize eternity, infinity and the mystery of God Himself.”
Full Schedule ....
TUESDAY, Feb. 25th @ 6:00 PM – Game Night
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26th @ 12:00 PM - Community Lunch
Taj Mahal Indian lunch buffet.
6410 W Jefferson Blvd #9b, Fort Wayne, IN
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26th @ 6:00 PM – Bowling at Crazy Pinz
1414 Northland Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN
THURSDAY, Feb. 27th @ 6:00 PM – Movie Night
15016 Indian Creek Rd., Fort Wayne, IN
FRIDAY, Feb 28th @ 6:00 PM - Community Party
Games and Karaoke. Please bring a dish to this potluck event.
5310 Old Mill Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46807
SATURDAY, Feb 29th @ 2:00 PM – Children’s Party
Pizza, Ice cream, Games and crafts.
5310 Old Mill Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46807