Feature News

Video: U.S. Bahá'í National Archives Campaign: Preserving Our Spiritual Heritage

The Office of the Treasurer would like to share the following video about the archives campaign, "Preserving Our Spiritual Heritage." Click below to play the video, which features items from the U.S. Bahá'í Archives, interviews with the archivists, and why this campaign is timely:

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Full link to video: https://vimeo.com/723216949/2089eeef16


Fund Goal Reached!

The Office of the Treasurer is excited to announce that the 2021/22 Fund Goal of $40M as of late March has been achieved! This is an encouraging start to the 9 Year Plan, thanks to your great sacrifices and generosity. 

"The universal participation of the believers in every aspect of the Faith -- in contributing to the Fund, in teaching, deepening, living the Bahá'í life, administering the affairs of the community, and, above all, in the life of prayer and devotion to God -- will endow the Bahá'í community with such strength that it can overcome the forces of spiritual disintegration which are engulfing the non-Bahá'í world, and can become an ocean of oneness that will cover the face of the planet." -The Universal House of Justice

The enduring sacrifices of the friends make it possible to continue supporting all the ongoing efforts required for this community to play its part at the regional, national, and international levels. Contributions to the National Fund Goal should be post marked by April 30 for it to be counted towards the current fiscal year 2021-2022.


The Bahá’í National Archives: Preserving Our Spiritual Heritage

The International Archives was the first building Shoghi Effendi planned to be built on the Arc in Haifa, Israel. He even mandated that every Hazíratu’l-Quds should have an archives, and said, “The importance of the institution of Bahá’í Archives is not due only to the many teaching facilities it procures, but is essentially to be found in the vast amount of historical data and information it offers both to the present-day administrators of the Cause, and to the Bahá’í historians of the future. Future generations of believers will be surely in a better position that we are to truly and adequately appreciate the many advantages and facilities which the institution of the Archives offers to individual believers and also the community at large.  (from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, September 25, 1936)

 The Archives at the Bahá’í National Center in Wilmette, IL preserves relics, documents, and stories relevant to the Faith in many mediums. The Archives serves as our spiritual connection between the past, the present, and into the future as the faith continues to flourish across the globe. It fulfills our desire to be closer to our higher selves though the connection to relics from our past.

The Archives at the National Center are located in the basement of the House of Worship and needs to be relocated to another facility in order to ensure the long-term preservation of the Holy Writings, historical documents, and artifacts that comprise our archival heritage, and to improve access to these materials. 

The current systems for security, fire suppression and climate control that protect our archives in the ground floor of the House of Worship were of high quality when they were installed, but are now in need of an update. In addition, the current storage facilities in the House of Worship, where the archives have been located since the 1940s, are far too small for our growing collections of records, documents, artifacts, audio-visual materials and works of art, and areas to receive visitors and researchers are cramped. An improved space to house these artifacts ensures the preservation of our spiritual heritage for centuries to come. 

Recent months have seen further advancements in the project for the National Bahá’í Archives facility. A building owned by the National Spiritual Assembly is being renovated as the new location for the Archives. Among the many improvements are climate control, fire suppression, and other technical systems in the building that will be the best available for an archives, and engineered for sustainability and efficiency. The building’s storage system will consist of custom-designed mobile compact shelving units to maximize efficiency, safety and convenience. These are expected to hold all the archives that are currently stored in our current quarters in the House of Worship, as well as materials we are currently paying storing offsite.

The costs for this undertaking are significant. The fund for this project stands at $290,086 and the overall costs are $2.5M. To participate in the preservation of the spiritual legacy that will inspire learning, unity, and connection to our past for generations to come, you can contribute to the US Bahá'í Archives Renovation Fund using the Online Contribution System.

Image001proposed rendering for the new archives building


Robert Turner Monument

It is with great excitement that we share that work is underway in creating a befitting resting place memorial for Mr. Robert C. Turner, the first Black Bahá'í in the West and a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for America, whom the Master addressed as “O thou who art pure in heart, sanctified in spirit, peerless in character, beauteous in face!”

Friends who would like to take part in this historic and auspicious endeavor by contributing to this project may do so by selecting the Robert Turner Memorial Fund, now available on the drop-down menu of the Online Contribution System (https://ocs.bahai.us/) or by sending a check earmarked for the project to the Burlingame Local Spiritual Assembly at 1210 Bellevue Ave, Apt 207, Burlingame, CA 94010-4030


National Spiritual Assembly Sets Fund Goal for 2021/22

The Office of the Treasurer is pleased to announce that the National Spiritual Assembly has prayerfully reflected and has determined the National Fund goal for this year. The National Fund goal, which is the minimum material resources required for the essential operations of the Faith in the United States, is $40M. The Universal House of Justice in its May 9th, 2020 letter stated, "Let there be no doubt or equivocation in this regard: it is essential that the institutions of the Faith maintain their operations throughout this period and not be obstructed by lack of resources in the discharge of their core duties." The National Fund will support the growth of the Faith, expansion and consolidation efforts, community building endeavors, maintenance of currently owned properties, and the acquisition of needed institute properties.

"...we entreat Bahá’u’lláh to make the confirmations that have sustained His followers for so long more abundant still, that you may be carried forward in your mission, your composure undisturbed by the turbulence of a world whose need for His healing message is ever more acute." The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 2021

The firmness in the Covenant and generosity of the American Bahá’í community has resulted in exceeding the National Fund goal for the past two years. May the confirmations referred to by the House of Justice above inspire the community of the Greatest Name to not only continue this trend, but increase it even more.


National Fund Goal Achieved

Dearly loved Bahá’í Friends,

Thanks to your sacrifice and generosity, the $40 million National Fund goal has been won on this second day of Riḍván.

As we prepare for a year like no other, the observance of the centennial anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension and marking 100 years since His Will and Testament was released outlining the features and setting in motion the processes of the Administrative Order, we call upon those who can, to continue the flow of funds to enable us to "multiply the community’s powers in the field of action."

Juana C. Conrad

Treasurer

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States


Last Year's Grand Canyon Bahá'í Conference

The National Spiritual Assembly would like to take this opportunity to thank the friends for their participation in the first virtual event of the 36th Annual Grand Canyon Bahá’í Conference hosted in December, 2020 by the Local Spiritual Assembly of Phoenix, AZ. Many souls from across the nation came together in unity to hear how Bahá’u’lláh’s vision and ideals of a future society can be translated into action.

While the registration fee was waived this year due to the pandemic, with gratitude to the Blessed Beauty we are delighted to share that participants contributed over $300,000 towards the funds of the Faith.


National Fund Update

The American Bahá’í community has contributed $30.6M to the National Fund as of January 31st, a 12% increase from this time last year. Additionally, the 3rd quarter goal of $29.9M has been met, a milestone that hasn’t been reached in the past few years. Demonstrating that your connection to the Funds and devotion to the vision of a united humanity remains,  we continue to receive reports of creative ways you have contributed to the Funds despite national shut-downs and the inability to gather in person.

We are heartened by these triumphs and look optimistically toward the 2020/2021 National Fund goal of $40M with your encouragement.


Properties Relief Fund Update

We are delighted to share that we will be temporarily closing the Properties Relief Fund set up for the immediate needs of Bosch Bahá’í School in California. We have reached the $250,000 threshold for the repairs, including the high out-of-pocket deductible required on this property. We wish to express our gratitude to the sacrifice and generosity of the numerous friends who have contributed towards this Fund.