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‘Abdu’l-Bahá in New Hampshire, USA – July 1912

This evening, in collaboration with neighbouring Bahá’í communities, the Bahá’í community of Maidenhead hosts a very special online gathering, a commemoration of the passing one hundred years ago of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor.

The life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), and in particular his unremitting service to humanity, has been remembered this year by Bahá’í communities around the world – from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Panama, from Alaska to Cambodia – through specially commissioned films, documentaries, exhibitions, podcasts, essays, books, songs and dramatic works.

In the Holy Land, recent special events in Haifa and ‘Akká have welcomed municipal officials, residents and faith representatives to mark the the ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at historic sites associated with Him. The funeral of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on 29 November 1921 was attended by some ten thousand mourners representing every class, religion and race, with tributes and eulogies from all quarters.

Bahá’í representatives from across the world attending a commemoration and conference in the Holy Land

In the Holy Land, Bahá’í representatives from the nations and regions of the world have gathered this week to attend a commemoration and conference.

In the United Kingdom, a parliamentary reception was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Bahá’í Faith at Portcullis House, Westminster. More than 80 guests attended including Members of Parliament, and representatives of religious communities and non-governmental organisations. Guests were welcomed by Martin Vickers, MP for Cleethorpes, followed by an address by the Minister of State for Levelling Up Communities Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden. The event was closed by Ruth Jones, MP for Newport West.

UK Parliamentary Reception

One of the many UK initiatives to mark the occasion has been a series of films with stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to the UK illustrating Bahá’í principles – told by children and junior youth and released on YouTube.

Would you like to contribute an item to any of the three programmes being organised to mark Inter Faith Week 2021 in Windsor and Maidenhead?

Click for more on Inter Faith Week 2021

The ongoing public health concerns mean that the Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum (WAMCF) will not be organising an in-person event to mark Interfaith Week 2021. Instead, the Bahá’í Community of the Royal Borough will be hosting three interfaith gatherings online.

Each gathering will have a particular theme. They will last around 25 minutes. And they will, of course, be open to all.

Suggested contributions to the programmes are very welcome. We want to create programmes which are diverse, balanced and uplifting. And we would love to include the voices of young people!

Contributions might be prayers, readings, poems, stories, songs, chanting or music – whatever might be considered sacred or beautiful or might simply touch another’s heart.

Ideally contributions should be about three minutes duration please. We will do our best to include every suggestion (but need to make sure that we can still squeeze it all within thirty minutes at most!).

Monday 15th November Morning: 7:30am Theme: Kindness
Wednesday 17th November Evening: 7:30pm Theme: Cooperation
Friday 19th November Morning: 7:30am Theme: A New Vision for Humanity

Your ideas please by 21 October! The programmes can then be finalised so that the invitations can sent out to individuals and institutions across the Royal Borough by early November.

Please email your programme suggestions to Mike Gammage, Secretary of the Bahá’í community of Maidenhead, at: bahais.maidenhead@gmail.com

The Bahá’í Community of Maidenhead will host its first ever ‘public meeting’ on Zoom on 14 October: an event to mark the 2020 Week of Prayer for World Peace (11-18 October) and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Bahá’í International Community Statement

Its founders intended that the United Nations should be the institution to end war. Its primary purpose was, and remains, to maintain world peace and security.

Our presentation will draw upon a recent statement from the Bahá’í International Community to mark the UN’s 75th anniversary. Entitled ‘A Governance Befitting’, it sets out a Bahá’í perspective on humanity’s path towards a just world order and universal peace.

Alas, no cakes, no refreshments, no chatting afterwards – but we hope that you might still want to join us online.

For more details on the event, please download the flyer:

A copy of the Bahá’í International Community’s statement ‘A Governance Befitting’ can be downloaded from the BIC website here.

Set up initially in response to the lockdown and the need for social distancing, online gatherings and classes have become a regular feature of Bahá’í community life.

A devotional gathering in London (all images pre-Covid-19)

In Maidenhead and across the Thames Valley there are now regular online fireside discussion evenings as well as online devotional gatherings for prayer, reflection and inspiration.

Members of the public – of whatever faith or none – are warmly invited to join the Maidenhead community’s Sunday morning devotional meetings, which start at 10:30am and lasts usually for around 40 minutes. There is no need to contribute in any way – it’s fine to simply listen. And it’s on Zoom, so it’s easy to connect.

If you’d like to join the mailing list for our Sunday morning devotionals, do please get in touch – email bahais.maidenhead@gmail.com – and you’ll receive a weekly email with the theme, the programme and the Zoom link to join.

A devotional gathering in Erdenbulgan, Mongolia

Want to find out more about devotional meetings? You might be interested to read the What Bahá’ís Do – Devotional Life section of the worldwide Bahá’í community’s website – here.

A devotional gathering at the Baha’i Centre in Lauro de Freitas, Brazil

Gather ye together with the utmost joy and fellowship and recite the verses revealed by the merciful Lord. By so doing the doors to true knowledge will be opened to your inner beings, and ye will then feel your souls endowed with steadfastness and your hearts filled with radiant joy.”

— Bahá’u’lláh

1879540-masterBahá’ís in Maidenhead and across the Thames Valley are joining with others around the world to celebrate the 200th anniversary next month of the birth of the Báb, the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith.

In countless settings and places throughout the world, people are marking the bicentenary of the birth of the Báb, Whose revitalizing message prepared the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Bahá’ís in this part of the Thames Valley have arranged a series of evenings – in High Wycombe, Marlow, Burnham and Maidenhead – to show a film specially commissioned for the bicentenary. Titled Dawn of the Light, the 45-minute film follows Bahá’ís from different continents as they relate their own personal journeys of search and their discovery that God has sent two Divine Manifestations in this Day.

These evenings are open to all. For further details, please refer to this invitation (pdf format): 2019-10 Bicentenary of Bab – Invitation – Final

To find out more about bicentenary events worldwide, please visit the special Bicentenary 2019 website.

Colombia

A celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh in October 2017 in the town of Tuchín, Colombia, reflects the rich artistic culture of the Córdoba region

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A group performs traditional Japanese drumming as part of a celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh in October 2017

iStock_000000929451SmallWhat are the root causes of poverty and how do we address them? How can we tackle the ways in which income and opportunity are so unevenly spread, within nations and between nations? How do we move towards an economic system that serves the interests of all peoples? And what possible role can religion have in creating such a new model of community life?

The reorganisation of human society to meet the needs of humanity is a recurrent theme in the Bahá’í Writings. There is no detailed Bahá’í economic system as such but instead the fundamentals of a true prosperity, one which is both material and spiritual and which serves all the world’s peoples.

The Maidenhead Bahá’í community warmly invites all those interested in the prosperity of humankind to join an open study group to be held on Sunday 27 January from 2:30pm to 4:30pm (with a midway break for tea and cake).

The group will read and discuss together a letter from the Universal House of Justice, the elected governing council of the worldwide Bahá’í community, on the implications of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh for economic life.

All are welcome. No previous knowledge of the Bahá’í Faith is required as an introduction will be provided. For more details, please contact Mike Gammage at bahais.maidenhead@gmail.com.

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To mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK, the Bahá’í community of Maidenhead has arranged an evening to explore what Bahá’ís understand to be a vital and universal spiritual truth: the equal status of women and men. We will look at the connections between women’s equality, peace and economic prosperity.

The evening will be enriched by stories of the lives of four extraordinary women who helped to shape the early history of the Bahá’í Faith in the UK – one of them, Honor Kempton (1892-1981), born and raised in Maidenhead.

The event will be held on the evening of 18 April at St Luke’s Community Hall. More details are in the attached flyer (below). All welcome!

2018 Spring Meetings Invitation – FINAL rsvp

2017-11-02 Bicentenary Reception - Group - captioned 2The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Councillor John Lenton, together with the Mayoress, Mrs Margaret Lenton, yesterday attended a reception to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh.

Glimpses of the many bicentenary events organised worldwide can be found on a special bicentenary website here.

Bicentenary messages from world leaders included one to the UK Bahá’í community from the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, which can be viewed here: Prime Minister to the UK Baha’i Community – 21 Oct 2017

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Bahá’í community of Maidenhead is hosting a series of gatherings to celebrate His life.

20375620_877988782365733_5265783257453081030_nThe gatherings will open with a short devotional of prayers and readings followed by the showing of a film Light to the World commissioned for the bicentenary. The film tells the story of the life of Bahá’u’lláh and the impact of His teachings in transforming the lives of individuals and communities across the planet.

These Thursday evening gatherings, which will take place in November, are open to all.  They will be hosted in a home, so places are limited. If you would like to attend, please contact Mike Gammage, Secretary, for further details: by email bahaismaidenhead@gmail.com or by phone 01628 637801.

Members of the Maidenhead’s faith communities – together with others with no religious affiliation – this week completed a series of four discussion evenings on religion and peace.

Participants have aged from 17 to 75 years – and included agnostics as well as members of Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Quaker and Bahá’í communities.

Study group participants – week 2

 

Organised by the Bahá’í community of Maidenhead, the evenings were hosted by St Mark’s Crescent Methodist Church.

Participants studied together and reflected upon a letter to the world’s religious leaders from the international governing body of the worldwide Bahá’í community. The letter, published in 2002, analyses the roots of religious prejudice and conflict, and sets out principles to enable organised religion to play its part in building a peaceful, just and prosperous world for all.

There is more on the letter and its impact here. The full text of the letter is available to download here .