Australian Baha'i Sites

Sharing glimpses into the growth process unfolding across Australia 

In its 28 November message, the Universal House of Justice identifies, as one primary area of focus, “the multiplication and intensification of programmes of growth”, where communities grow in vibrancy and prosper through the unfoldment of spiritual educational processes. 

At this year’s National Baha’i Convention, delegates from across Australia shared the various approaches being implementing in their home communities to advance the progress of growth in their neighbourhoods in order that 63 of the country’s 68 clusters reach the third milestone of growth by the end of the Nine Year Plan.  

Third milestone clusters are characterised by the rising spirit of universal participation in the work of community building. In its 29 December 2015 message, the Universal House of Justice states: 

For the movement of a population to have come this far demonstrates that the process which brought it about is strong enough to achieve and sustain a high degree of participation in all aspects of the capacity-building endeavour and manage the complexity entailed. This is another milestone for the friends to pass, the third in succession since the process of growth in a cluster was begun. It denotes the appearance of a system for extending, in centre after centre, a dynamic pattern of community life that can engage a people—men and women, youth and adults—in the work of their own spiritual and social transformation.

In Victoria’s Monash community, groups of families have been working in neighbourhood houses, connecting with various populations through the establishment of English courses, cooking demonstrations, art classes, spirituality workshops and health and well-being seminars. The delegate shared that engaging with community houses has enabled the cluster to engage with more friends in the neighbourhood and accelerate its growth process. 

A delegate from regional Western Australia shared that harnessing the power of storytelling was a key element to the growth process, particularly when working with Aboriginal communities. 

In Blacktown, New South Wales, it was shared that groups of families are aligning themselves with three-month cycles of activity. Over the past several months, the friends have been learning how to have conversations with their own neighbours, embracing more individuals into the community-building process, while also joining forces with the Local Spiritual Assembly and Auxiliary Board members, and allowing for shared processes of study, action and reflection. 

A delegate from Alexandrina remarked that community-building processes took time, and it was important to recognise it was a “slow and steady process”, while another delegate shared that as the youth in his community worked to advance the process of growth, they remained mindful of their intentions, focusing on the “joy in being able to play a role developing capacity”. 

He emphasised the need to perfect the science of sociability, to purify one’s deeds and motives, and sweeten our speech as we shared Baha’u’llah’s message of unity. 

There are currently 21 clusters in Australia that have traversed the third milestone of growth. 

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Dellaram Vreeland

Dellaram Vreeland

Dellaram Vreeland is the editor of Australian Baha’i Horizons. Living in Ballarat, on Wadawurrung Country, she has been working as a journalist for more than 14 years. She has a particular interest in unearthing the stories within regional Australia, and showcasing those who are driving change in their communities.

Published in April, 2024, in Individual Initiatives > Reflections

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/individual-initiatives/sharing-glimpses-into-the-growth-process-unfolding-across-australia/

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