This past weekend, April 30 to May 2, Baha’i delegates from across Canada met in Toronto and elected the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada, the body that serves as the national governing council of the Baha’i Community of Canada. Delegates also deliberated on the progress of a worldwide plan of action that is being pursued in more than 180 national Baha’i communities.
Elected to the National Assembly were Karen McKye of Toronto, Todd Smith of Guelph, Ontario, Deloria Bighorn of Vancouver Island, Judy Filson of Toronto, Borna Noureddin of Vancouver, Enayat Rawhani of Toronto, Elizabeth Wright of Quebec City, Gordon Naylor of Stratford, Ontario, and Susanne Tamas of Almonte, Ontario. Karen McKye will serve as the Secretary-General of the Baha’i Community of Canada for the coming year.
The convention’s agenda focused on a message just received by the Baha’i world community from its international governing council, the Universal House of Justice. The message noted the gratifying progress of a Five Year Plan of action that Baha’is around the world have been pursuing. The plan addresses some of the most fundamental challenges facing humanity at this time. Central to the plan and its current success has been an upsurge throughout the world of coordinated and coherent actions at the grass-roots level that involve “meetings that strengthen the devotional character of the community; classes that nurture the tender minds and hearts of children; groups that channel the surging energies of junior youth; circles of study, open to all, that enable people of varied backgrounds to advance on equal footing and explore the application of [Baha’i] teachings to their individual and collective lives.”
Canadian Baha’is have been among the many national Baha’i communities eagerly pursuing the plan that is conceived as a systematic effort to learn how to serve the needs of the world’s children and youth, how to advance social practices characterized by moral and spiritual principles that strengthen a collective consciousness of humanity’s oneness and unity among all the peoples of the world, and how to create the foundations of a peaceful and prosperous world civilization.
Delegates enthusiastically committed themselves to persevere in the direction the Baha’i community is taking in their efforts to enhance the vitality of spiritual and social life in their local communities, foster participation by more and more people in activities that serve to counter passivity and lethargy of social forces that are, today, especially damaging to young people. Baha’is understand their work to be their contribution to the construction of a better world through the development of a culture of service in which universal participation of all members of the human family becomes the standard of justice and social progress.
Baha’is are making efforts to learn about the process of community building, especially at the level of neighbourhoods in cities and at the level of villages in rural areas. Delegates’ contributions to the deliberations at the Baha’i National Convention reflected several of the issues identified by the Universal House of Justice in their message assessing the progress of the Baha’i plans, noting that today, more than ever, the world needs to counter the divisive social constructs that separate people, as well as overcome the passivity and lethargy that materialism and a superficial culture of entertainment has generated in society.