Wednesday, May 22, 2013

National Convention

Tomorrow morning I have the incredible bounty and honour of heading off to the Baha'i National Convention in Toronto, Canada. For some reason that I do not understand, I was elected to serve as a delegate this year. (I could make all sorts of comments,. but self-deprecation is not a good type of humour, as far as I'm concerned.)

Now, if you are not familiar with the Baha'i Administration, you may ask what that all means. Good question. (I'm glad I asked.)

Every year Baha'is all over the planet elect their national administrative bodies, and to do this, we use a secondary electoral process.

A what?

In each community we elect a delegate to represent the area at our National Convention. Those delegates, whose number is based on the proportion of the Baha'i population in the area, head off to the Convention for two different things. First, and primarily, they elect the National Assembly. Secondly, and also very important, they consult on the affairs of the Faith in their country and offer their advice to the National Assembly.

From here I could insert all sorts of incredible and inspirational quotes from Shoghi Effendi, or the Universal House of Justice, but I don't think I will. There are plenty of great web-sites that offer such guidance. Just google it, if you want.

No. Instead I want to write a bit about what is going on in my heart. After all, this is nothing official. It's only my own personal opinion, so why not get personal?

First off, what goes through my mind is a story about Hand of the Cause, Dr Muhajir. He once said to a group of Baha'is that when you go somewhere to teach, you need to go with teaching in mind. You cannot go and shop and teach. You need to teach.

Now, I'm heading off to Toronto. I could easily squeeze in a trip to China-town, and pick up some wonderful things for my wife or son. I could plan on visiting some friends I haven't seen for a long time, or even make a list of restaurants I want to hit. But instead, I am really thinking about just what it is I have been asked to do.

I have been asked to go on behalf of my community and cast my ballot for the National Assembly. That's a pretty weighty responsibility, and it is one that requires a lot of thought, as well as prayer and meditation.

I have also been asked to represent my area in the consultations at that convention. Another difficult task. It requires me to really ponder what we have done in the past year, both our successes as well as our trials. And I need to do so in the context of the current Five-Year Plan.

And I have to admit, they've really given us a lot to read this year. There is the Ridvan Message, Insights From the Frontiers of Learning, the 16 May 2013 letter addressed to delegates, the 25 March 2007 letter to the Baha’is of the world about the electoral process, and the 8 February 2013 letter to the Baha’is of the world.

It's a lot to process.

And I have to be up early in the morning, so I'm off to have a bite, read a bit, and then go to sleep.

But I just wanted to touch base with you, dear Reader, and let you know what I'm up to. And also to ask for your prayers. I am fairly certain that they are what sustain the delegates all over the world.

Oh, and just in case you think I'm a stick in the mud, I will be enjoying as much time as I can having meals with my fellow delegates. While I am not going there to eat, I will have to eat while I am there. (And if I see a book in the bookstore for my little Shoghi, I'll probably pick that up, too.)

1 comment:

  1. See you there! It should be a mind-stretching experience, trying to grasp the extent of what all is happening in Canada and world-wide!