Parksville Bahá’í Visual Arts Bursary Winner
Amelia Bouman was the winner of the 2020 Parksville Bahá’í Visual Arts Bursary.
She submitted a pencil drawing along with a description of her art work on the theme:
"The wellbeing of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established."
This theme to me is about the fact that we would not have peace and security in our world until we have unity. People have to come together, join in their differences, in order to be united.
We may all look different but we all have at our very core similar characteristics and beliefs and a feeling of needing to belong. With what is going on in the world right now, being united looks a little different as it is being done at a distance, but belonging and being united in staying safe and keeping others safe could never be more important than it is now. The people in my drawing standing in a circle, each one different, shows unity.
There are two arms coming around the entire picture as though hugging all of mankind. These arms are a symbol of something greater, whether that be God or mother earth, or a higher power. This is different for different people. I personally believe in God, so that is what these arms mean to me. God exemplifies love for mankind, hence the act of hugging.
I also wanted to include hearts and a dove. A dove is the symbol for peace, and hearts the symbol for love. Wellbeing of mankind means to me that mankind has those attributes of feeling peace and love for each other. And it's not until we can come together, work together and see each other as equals that unity is achieved. And with unity comes peace, security and love. My ultimate goal with this picture was to achieve a sense of calm and comfort by including nature, and putting the sketch in a softer curved shape of a circle, as well as showing unity with people coming together.
October 29, 2019
Twin Holy Day Celebration
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh Holy Day Celebration
The Bahá’í Faith has the unique honor of being founded by two Messengers of God. The Báb who was born in Shíráz, Iran, in 1819 and Bahá’u’lláh’s birth took place in Tihrán in 1817. Their families were Muslim and Their birth dates occur on consecutive dates in the Islamic lunar calendar. Bahá’ís now celebrate their births on consecutive dates that move between mid-October and mid-November.
In Parksville, Bahá’ís and friends joyously celebrated the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh with a dramatic video presentation of the life of Bahá’u’lláh. We were all carried away on a journey into His life and received a glimpse of His exalted and noble character and the injustices He endured in order to draw us nearer to our loving Creator.
“My object is none other than the betterment of the world and the tranquillity of its peoples.”
October 28, 2019
Twin Holy Day Celebration
Bicentenary Birth of the Báb Holy Day Celebration
Cindy Hayden welcomed everyone and gave an inspiring address on the life of the Báb. Following this we were entertained by Sound Connections choir that tickled our ears with joy and then Tom Neville and Bev Finch delighted our hearts with their upbeat and soulful music.
Tom Neville and Bev Finch
October 5, 2019
Cluster Reflection Meeting
A number of Bahá'ís from the mid island area gathered together to consult and reflect on the spiritual and material well-being of all the residents in this cluster. The process of building a community into a vibrant, spiritually enriched environment requires a space in which residents can study together and contribute their ideas and experience. One such space offered by Bahá’ís to the residents of the mid island area is a reflection meeting.
A reflection meeting is an opportunity for a group of people in a small geographic area to discuss the progress of the community-building activities that Bahá’ís and their friends have initiated to form a united vision and to identify immediate steps forward.
This cluster encompasses communities from Bowser to Parksville, Nanaimo E, F, G, H, Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino.
September 21, 2019
UN International Day of Peace
The UN International Day of Peace was celebrated with a performance of the Vancouver Island Bahá'í choir led by Amy Stephen.
Cleanse ye your eyes, so that ye behold no man as different from yourselves. See ye no strangers; rather see all men as friends, for love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness. And in this new and wondrous age, the Holy Writings say that we must be at one with every people.... For each of the creatures is a sign of God, and it was by the grace of the Lord and His power that each did step into the world; therefore they are not strangers, but in the family; not aliens, but friends, and to be treated as such.
'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Faith
July 29, 2019
Annual Bahá'í Picnic at Rathtrevor Park
Bahá'ís and friends enjoying the day together at Rathtrevor Park.
2019 Bahá'í Visual Art Bursary Winner
2019 Theme: "The betterment of the world can be accomplished to pure and goodly deeds." Bahá’u’lláh
June 25, 2019
Ballenas Commencement Ceremony
Congratulations to Libby Elliot who was the 2019 Bahá'í Visual Art Bursary winner. Her art will be displayed at the MacMillan Arts Center in Parksville during the month of August.
She will receive a $500 bursary upon acceptance in a post-secondary program.
I have created this art piece to represent the footprint that humans leave behind on our beautiful planet Earth. Humans are producing too much garbage. The waste we are mass producing is not organic material that can break down easily over time. Plastics, glass, styrofoams, metals are only a few of the materials that will take hundreds or millions of years to break down. This is polluting our planet by leaching into our soils, contaminating our oceans, breaking down our ozone layer and changing our climate as we know it today. The only footprint causing this change is us.
My art piece proves that humans need to make the change by reducing the tons of un-useful materials we use on a daily basis. This will improve our footprint on this Earth and help it stay healthy and livable. I collected garbage from around the Oceanside Community to use on my art piece to show others we need to make the change by reducing, recycling and reusing. Hopefully this shows that by doing little acts of goodly deeds or choosing to reduce waste throughout our lives will help the betterment of the world. I am very passionate about reducing wasteful materials. Only we can make the change for the better and our future generations. Remember there is no planet B.
Sunday April 28, 2019
9th Day of Ridván Celebration in Parksville
The souls of the Bahá'ís of Parksville and their friends were delighted with joyous and spiritually uplifting melodies during the celebration of the ninth day of Ridvan at the McMillan Arts Centre. The Vancouver Island Bahá'í choir, led by Amy Stephen, had their debut performance.
Sunday March 10, 2019
The process of building a community into a vibrant, spiritually enriched environment requires a space in which residents can study together and contribute their ideas and experience. One such space offered by Bahá’ís to the residents of the Oceanside area is a reflection meeting.
A reflection meeting is an opportunity for a group of people in a small geographic area to discuss the progress of the community-building activities that Bahá’ís and their friends have initiated, to form a united vision and to identify immediate steps forward.
Some members of the Oceanside cluster gathered together to consult on the actions they had taken in the last three months to promote the spiritual and material well-being of the community.
February 25, 2019
Charity is pleasing and praiseworthy in the sight of God and is regarded as a prince among goodly deeds.
Ayyám-i-Há is a special period of the year devoted to charity, hospitality, social events, and the giving of gifts. We enjoyed fellowship and collected donations for Manna Missions a local charity in Parksville.
Friday November 9 - Saturday November 10, 2018
Celebration of the Twin Holy Birthdays
Every Faith celebrates the birth of its founder with great joy—but the Baha’is around the world double that joy when they observe the Twin Holy Days. Baha’is celebrate the births of both the Bab and Baha’u’llah, the two prophets associated with the Baha’i revelation, in quick succession—one right after the other.
Who was the Bab? Baha’is believe that the Bab, whose title means “the gate,” opened the way for the advent of a new age of fulfillment and maturation for all humanity. The Bab’s primary mission—to herald the arrival of a divinely-inspired spiritual educator he referred to as “He Whom God shall make manifest”—would pave the way for the coming of a new messenger of God. Like John the Baptist, the Bab instructed his hopeful followers to prepare for the appearance of that new prophet. He also announced the coming of a new era in human history, one that would witness the emergence of a just, unified, peaceful world civilization. The Bab’s revelation, which lasted only six years until his execution by a fearful government, nevertheless paved the way for the coming of Baha’u’llah.
Baha’is call these Holy Days “twins” because, according to the Muslim calendar in use when the Bab and Baha’u’llah were born, their birthdays fall on successive days—the Bab’s birthday on the first day of the month of Muharram and Baha’u’llah’s birthday on the second day of that same month, respectively. These double holy days—when Baha’is gather to pray, read from the Baha’i writings, sing and dance and celebrate—hold enormous joy and meaning for Baha’is all over the world.
These Twin Holy Days signal a joyful, celebratory season in the Baha’i year, when the Baha’i community comes together to commemorate the advent of the two prophets of God, the Bab and Baha’u’llah, the twin founders of their Faith, and to hail the beginning of a new era in human unity.
Sunday July 29, 2018
20th Anniversary of the Bahá'í Unity Picnic
Bahá'í's and friends from Vancouver Island gathered together at Rathtrevor Park to enjoy fellowship, food, music, games and great weather. It was the largest gathering held to date. From its inception in 1998, the picnic has demonstrated the conviction that we belong to one human family. This is the heart of the Bahá’í Faith. The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which all the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve”.
Acceptance of the oneness of humanity demands that prejudice—whether racial, religious, or gender related—must be totally eliminated.
“There is perfect brotherhood underlying humanity, for all are servants of one God and belong to one family under the protection of divine providence.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Some of the attendees of the 20th Anniversary of the Bahá'í Unity Picnic Gathering
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Báb
On the morning of July 9, 1850 in Tabriz, a young Persian merchant known as the Báb, at the age of thirty, was charged with apostasy and shot by order of the Prime Minister of the Persian Empire. The events surrounding his execution have been the subject of controversy among researchers and are regarded as miraculous by Bahá'ís, who consider him to be a Manifestation of God.
The Báb and one of his companions were suspended on a wall and a large firing squad prepared to shoot. When the smoke cleared after the first firing of bullets, the Báb was missing. Reports continue by stating that the Báb was found back in his prison room finishing dictation to his secretary. Other sources, which include Persian and European reports, give a variety of accounts, some in agreement with the miracle-like Bahá'í story, and some indicating a less miraculous event. All agree that he survived the first firing squad, and was killed by the second.
For many years after his death, the remains of the Báb were secretly transferred from place to place until they were brought to their final resting place at the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa on the middle terrace of the Bahá'í Gardens.
The anniversary of this event was commemorated by local members of the Baha'i Faith at noon on July 10 (Rahmat 16 of the Baha'i Calendar). It is one of nine Holy Days when work is suspended.
Tomb where the remains of the Báb are enshrined.
Barrack square in Tabriz where the Báb was executed.
Listen to the story of the Martrdom of the Báb
Monday June 11, 2018
A “Musical Fireside” was held at the Rotary House in Qualicum Beach on Monday, June 11th at 7:30pm.
Rose-Marie Petersen presented a musical introduction of the Bahá’í Faith. Rose-Marie's melodies soothingly connected the Bahá’í Writings to the longing heart and carried our souls to a lofty abode.
Rose-Marie is a Canadian singer, pianist and composer from Ontario. She is known for her sense of joy and calm in her music. Her mystical poetry is notable for its depth of feeling, fluidity and beauty. Her calm, resonant, and soulful voice create a meditative and tranquilizing environment for meditations and devotions.
The evening was very spiritually uplifting and a sense of peace was felt by all.
Listen to clips of Rose-Marie Peterson's new album "Wave".
Sunday June 3, 2018
Post Unit Convention
The Post Unit Convention was held in Nanaimo. We had a wonderful report from our elected representatives Erfan Javahari and Elham Abay. They attended the Unit Convention on May 26, 2018 to cast their votes for the election of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada.
Convention delegates Erfan Javahari and Elham Abay
Friday May 29, 2018 3:00am
Commemoration of the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
Every year Bahá'ís gather to commemorate the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh on 13 Azamat according to the Badi (Bahá'í) calendar. Customarily (although this is not a requirement), at 3 in the morning, following an evening of prayer and reflection, Bahá'ís stand and face Qiblih as one from amongst them reads the Tablet of Visitation.
It was early in the morning of May 29, 1892 (five minutes past 3, to be precise) that Bahá'u'lláh passed away in the mansion of Bahji outside 'Akka (present-day northern Israel), after a brief illness. Following His death, a vast number of mourners from all walks of life and religions, grieved with Bahá'u'lláh ’s family and followers.
Bahá'u'lláh lived a life of hardship and persecution, bringing to the world teachings that were to usher in a new age of humanity and form the foundations of a new civilization.
"The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that ye may be exalted, and have suffered manifold afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish.
He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they that have joined partners with God have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities!" Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh
Saturday May 26, 2108
Election of the National Spiritual Assembly
Dear Bahá’í Friends,
We are happy to share with you the results of the election of the National Spiritual Assembly on Saturday, 26 May 2018. The following individuals were elected by the delegates at the National Convention to serve as members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the coming year: Deloria Bighorn, Karen McKye, Mehran Anvari, Ciprian Jauca, Élizabeth Wright, Gerald Filson, Hoda Farahmandpour, Judy Filson and Enayat Rawhani.
In addition, the National Assembly is pleased to convey the results of the election of its officers: Chairman — Deloria Bighorn; Vice-chairman — Ciprian Jauca; Treasurer — Mehran Anvari; Secretary — Karen McKye.
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF CANADA
Karen McKye, Secretary
Thursday May 24, 2018
Bahá'ís celebrate the Declaration of the Báb
On May 24th, Baha’i communities in Canada and around the world celebrate a holy day commemorating the very beginning of the Baha’i Faith, a day known to Baha’is as the Declaration of the Báb. The Bahá’í Faith began with the mission of two divine messengers, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. The Báb was the Herald who prepared the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh.
The Bahá’í era dates from May 23, 1844 when, in the Iranian City of Shiraz, the Báb declared His mission. On that occasion He spoke these words to Mulla Husayn, the first person to recognize that mission: "Verily I say, I am the Báb, the Gate of God.... This night, this very hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals."
Bahá’u’lláh refers to the Báb as ‘My former manifestation’. Following his declaration, the Báb sent Mulla Husayn to Teheran to seek out Baha’u’llah, who instantly accepted the Bab’s message, and summoned all those around him to do the same. Thus from the earliest days of the Baha’i Faith the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh were united in spirit.
We can better understand the meaning of this Baha’i holy day, characterized as this ‘greatest and most significant of all festivals’ if we reflect on how, since that period, the world has utterly changed. Baha’is believe that the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh released a creative energy that is transforming everything about human life.
The Báb wrote, “"I am a letter out of that most mighty book and a dewdrop from that limitless ocean, and, when He shall appear, My true nature, My mysteries, riddles, and intimations will become evident, and the embryo of this religion shall develop through the grades of its being and ascent, attain to the station of 'the most comely of forms,' and become adorned with the robe of 'blessed be God, the Best of Creators.'”
Bahá’u’lláh wrote. “A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth; and yet none hath discovered its cause or perceived its motive. This new life is apparent in such things as the explosion of human knowledge, in steps that reflect a growing consciousness of the oneness of the human family, the establishment of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, world-wide undertakings to improve agriculture and hygiene, and medical care, efforts to elevate international standards and laws, and a recognition of the need to advance the status of women and girls.
Beginnings are always special – a wedding, the birth of a baby, the appearance of some wonderful new invention or process. How much more special, then, is the anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb, which was the moment of birth for a new religious community. Now a community of approximately 5 million established throughout the world, Baha’is work hand in hand with other communities, well-wishers, partners and collaborators to fulfill the promises of the Bab and Baha’u’llah that will see humanity living together in peace and prosperity.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Election of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Parksville
Annual election of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of Parksville took place on April 21, 2018.
The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Parksville is the governing body of the Baha’i community of Parksville. This institution is responsible for guiding the spiritual and administrative affairs of the Parksville Bahá'í community.
The current members and officers of the Local Assembly are: Cecilia Leggett(Chairperson), Rosemary Graham(Vice-Chairperson), Laura Rowe(Secretary), Nahid Eshraghi(Treasurer), Darcee Brown, Lisa Kerwin, Glen Hughes, Genna Hughes, and Navid Eshraghi.
Front lt to rt: Rosemary Graham, Cecilia Leggett, Darcee Brown. Back lt to rt: Laura Rowe, Nahid Eshraghi, Lisa Kerwin. Absent: Glen Hughes, Genna Hughes, Navid Eshraghi
Uniqueness of Local Bahá’í Elections
There are no nominations or electioneering
They encourage universal participation
Every adult Bahá’í is eligible for election to local administrative bodies responsible for decisions in the conduct of Bahá’í affairs.
In the event of a tie vote, the person of minority is selected
After prayer and reflection, each individual casts their vote for who they think will have the best qualities to serve as an Assembly member.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Parksville Ridvan Celebrations
Bahá'í's from the Oceanside area celebrating Ridvan.
For 12 days at the end of April and beginning of May, Bahá'í communities around the world celebrate their most holy festival: Ridvan.
This annual festival marks the anniversary of the days Bahá’u’lláh spent along the River Tigris in Baghdad.
In 1863, Bahá’u’lláh stayed in a garden on the banks of the Tigris River for 12 days, during which His many admirers in the city came to bid Him farewell. Bahá’u’lláh announced to the friends gathered with Him during those days that He was God's Messenger for a new age, foretold in the world's scriptures. He called the garden they were gathered in "Ridvan," meaning "paradise."
The Ridvan period was also a time when Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed the foundational spiritual principles that lie at the heart of His teachings—signaling the arrival of a new stage in the evolution of the life of humanity, characterized by peace and an end to violence.
Every year, Bahá'í's the world over gather in their local communities on the first day of Ridvan to elect the nine members of their Local Spiritual Assembly. Every adult Bahá'í at the age of 21 is eligible to be voted for, and they have the responsibility to participate and vote for these nine members of the community who will volunteer their time to run the administrative affairs and assist in the spiritual well-being of their respective local communities for the year ahead.
Donation to Manna Homeless Society
Manna Homeless Society supports individuals, couples and families suffering from poverty by offering tangible help such as food, transportation (bikes), laundry vouchers, hygienic supplies, clothing, rain gear and outdoor survival equipment.
Their mission is to provide the homeless and the impoverished with the basic provisions needed for survival.
Cecilia, Robin and Mavis
Saturday, Feb. 24th, 2018
Coldest Night of the Year walk for the Hungry, Hurting and Homeless
The Coldest Night of the Year is a super-fun, family-friendly fundraiser that raises money and awareness every year for local charities serving hungry, homeless and hurting families and youth in communities across Canada. All the money stays in the locality it was raised in.
Oceanside Bahá'í's raised over $1500 in pledges and donations for the homeless in Parksville. Participants walked up to 10km to raise funds for the homeless.
Knox United Church Interfaith Harmony Week, Feb. 4-11th, 2018
Theme "Let There Be Understanding"
Panel: Philip Be'er - Jewish(Unorthodox), Rev. Dianne Burrough - Spiritualist, Arch Priestess Michele Favarger - Wiccan, Amir Haghighli - Bahá'í Faith.
Hosted by Rev. Jennifer Ferguson.
On February 10, 2018 in celebration of Interfaith Harmony Week, Jennifer Ferguson invited speakers to answer questions about their faith. Amir Haghighli opened the program with a prayer accompanied by drumming. There were three questions posed to each member of the panel to comment on the tenets of their belief and their personal journey of faith. Amir closed the program with another prayer.
Philip Be'er - Jewish (Unorthodox), Rev. Dianne Burrough - Spiritualist, Arch Priestess Michele Favarger - Wiccan, Amir Haghighli - Bahá'í, Rev. Jennifer Ferguson.
Rev. Dianne Burrough - Spiritualist, Philip Be'er - Jewish (Unorthodox), Rev. Jennifer Ferguson, Amir Haghighi, - Bahá'í, Arch Priestess Michele Favarger - Wiccan.
Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2017
A celebration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh was held at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville. The celebration included an art display by students from Kwalikum and Ballenas secondary schools, dance performances by Innovate Dance Arts in Parksville and Qualicum Beach School of Dance, music by Baha’i members and a discussion about the basics of Bahá'í faith and its founder, Baha’u’llah.
2017 Bahá'í Bicentennial Bursary Art Award Winners
Congratulations to Julie Bachmann and Madison Poole who were the 2017 Bahá'í Bicentennial Bursary Art Award winners. Their art was displayed at the Bicentennial Celebration at the MacMillan Arts Center in Parksville on Oct. 21 and 22. Each student will receive a $500 bursary upon acceptance into a post-secondary program.
Julie Bachmann was the Kwalikum Secondary School winner of the 2017 Bahá'í Bicentennial Bursary Art Award.
Madison Poole was the Ballenas Secondary School winner of the 2017 Baha’i Bicentennial Bursary Art Award.