Sunday, May 25, 2008

A New National Spiritual Assembly

For Baha'i election lovers like me, this has been a particularly sweet year. Not only did the Baha'i world recently witness the election of the Universal House of Justice at the 10th International Convention held in the Holy Land, but the U.S. Baha'i community just elected it's national governing body this weekend. The names of the nine beautiful souls chosen to lead the Baha'is of America this year include: Jacqueline Left Hand Bull, David F. Young, Kenneth E. Bowers, Juana C. Conrad, William L.H. Roberts, Dorothy W. Nelson, Muin Afnani, Erica Toussaint and Robert C. Henderson. That the membership of this august institution reflects black and white, East and West, and is chaired by a Native American woman provides a glimpse of the future that Baha'is are working towards all around the world and the power of the teachings of this religion's Founder, Baha'u'llah. I'll close with the words of 'Abdu'l-Baha, who described the spiritual potency of these governing bodies, known today as "spiritual assemblies":

"These Spiritual Assemblies are aided by the Spirit of God. Their defender is 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Over them He spreadeth His wings. What bounty is there greater than this? These Spiritual Assemblies are shining lamps and heavenly gardens, from which the fragrances of holiness are diffused over all regions, and the lights of knowledge are shed abroad over all created things. From them the spirit of life streameth in every direction. They, indeed, are the potent sources of the progress of man, at all times and under all conditions."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 80)