Feature News

Unit Convention Bahá'í Treasurers Bulletin

Dear friends, the Office of the Treasurer sends annual materials to the community at Unit Convention. Due to the pandemic, Unit Convention will not be held this year, so we would like to share a special edition of the Bahá'í Treasurers Bulletin, featuring announcements and updates related to the Fund and the efforts it supports:

 

 Joyous Contribution to Universal House of Justice from the American Baha'i Community

The American Bahá'í community exceeded the National Fund goal last year by $2.5M. The National Spiritual Assembly decided that it was prudent to hold on to the additional funds to see how the pandemic would affect the Fund in the coming year. The National Assembly has been so moved by the accelerated efforts of the friends in achieving the work of this Plan as well as the steadfastness in which they respond to the tests before our turbulent society that they made a joyous decision. With great love, they made an additional gift of $1.25 million to the Universal House of Justice to assist our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are dealing with a myriad of challenges.

 

“The Leaven Destined to Leaven the Whole”

The 100th Anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá calling for the American community to organize a National Race Amity Conference soon after “The Red Summer” that ushered in one of the greatest periods of interracial strife the nation had ever witnessed and awakened in the American Bahá'ís a heightened sense of responsibility is approaching next year. The National Center for Race Amity will be honoring this committed effort to bring peace among the races with a series of large gestures all focused on public discourse around the “most vital and challenging issue” still facing America today. Underway is a documentary series starting with An American Story: Race Amity and The Other Tradition, and a follow-up series of five half-hour programs which will continue to examine the remarkable, uplifting stories of the long ignored and uncelebrated profound and inspiring cross-racial and cross-cultural friendships throughout history. These friendships provide moral counterweights to the tradition of racism in American society - relationships that advanced access, equity, and social justice. It seeks to discuss the “better in us”. The series should first air on many PBS stations on Martin Luther King Day, 2021. 

Green Acre Bahá'í School staff have been involved in a process of growth with the Police Department in Eliot, Maine. There has been important engagement on the subjects of racial unity, social discourse and action, and applying the principles of the Faith as a framework for unity and action with between officers in the community and our Green Acre servants. 

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    Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 6.53.00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Treasure To Our Lord- The Spiritual Bounty of a Will & Testament

The Office of the Treasurer is excited to announce that it has made updates to the new version of the booklet “The Writing of a Will and Testament” which was prepared earlier this year to help the friends gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the law of writing a will. The booklet can be downloaded when you sign in using your Bahá'í ID and password at www.bahai.us/community/resources/planned-giving, or contact us at plannedgiving(at)usbnc.org or call (847) 733-3569 to request a copy.

 

Coming Soon - New Online Contribution System

Nearly ten years have passed since the launching of the Online Contribution System (OCS) to the American Bahá’í community. OCS has become a viable, cost-efficient tool assisting members of our community in developing a direct relationship with all the funds of the Faith. Within those ten years, we continued to learn from the user community their growing needs and made frequent updates to the system. We are excited to share that a complete revamping of its front-end modules for both individuals and localities is near completion and will be launched to the community soon!

IPhone SE

The dynamic nature of the Faith is progressive, and we too must keep up. Shoghi Effendi shared with an individual believer that “the Bahá’ís should not always be the last to take up new and obviously excellent methods, but rather the first, as this agrees with the dynamic nature of the Faith which is not only progressive but holds within itself the seeds of an entirely new culture and civilization.”

 

Maintaining National Properties a Priority

As you may know, structures at Bosch Bahá'í School have sustained damage or have been totally lost to wildfires. Damages still need to be fully assessed, but because of the high insurance deductibles in California, all immediate repairs will be out of pocket. Gifts made to National's Properties Relief Fund will assist us in a timely response to Bosch. To give to the Properties Relief Fund, select it in the drop-down menu of the Online Contribution System on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

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So far, more than $80K has been raised for Bosch. Once Bosch has a final assessment from the insurance company and consults on the overall property needs, the National Assembly will be able to set and share an overall fundraising goal for this beloved property.

Some of the damage caused by wildfires:

Maintenance destruction
Maintenance destruction
Maintenance destruction
Maintenance destruction

If you would like to share your stories and photos of your time at Bosch, please email myfundstory(at)usbnc.org.

On the mighty shores of Lake Michigan under the shadow of the Mother Temple of the West sits the National Haziratu'l-Quds, the building Shoghi Effendi determined to be the seat of the Bahá'í National Assembly and pivot of all Bahá'í administrative activity in the future. This property has faced extreme shoreline erosion over the years. The cliff pictured below used to be 280 feet of sandy beach. It has now been replaced with boulders and structures to prevent future erosion ensuring, in a befitting manner, a solid ground to seat the Haziratu'l-Quds, administering to the spiritual needs of the American community for decades to come.

Stone in the shoreline August 4  2020

Stone in the shoreline August 4  2020 Stone in the shoreline August 4  2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After placement of rocks:

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Widening Our Embrace - Workshop Material Translation

With the growth of the American Bahá’í community, many friends have recently enrolled in the Faith or newly arrived from homes outside of the United States. While being welcomed and acquainted with new environments, the National Assembly aims to create spaces to share the love of the institution of the Fund in their native languages. Thanks to the friendships currently in place, plans are underway to study the current Fund Deepening material with friends in the Spanish, Nepalese, and Swahili languages to start.

 

A Young Heart's Loving Initiative

LittleHandsandPrayerBeads

 

Click here to download Little Hands and Prayer Beads


Bosch Bahá'í School Needs

Many friends have asked about fundraising needs for Bosch Bahá'í School. At this point, we need to assess the damages fully; however, we already know that due to the high insurance deductibles in California, immediate repairs will be out of pocket. Our office will share more as it becomes available.
 
In the meantime, gifts made to National's Properties Relief Fund established to fund unexpected and emergency needs of Bosch Bahá’í School will allow us to respond timely to Bosch's emergency needs. Please select Properties Relief Fund in the drop-down menu on the Online Contribution System on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Fund Goal for 2020/21

The National Spiritual Assembly has prayerfully reflected on the spiritual and material responsibilities of the American Bahá’í community and has determined that the Fund goal for the 2020/21 fiscal year will be $40M. The National Spiritual Assembly continues to be encouraged by the beautiful stories of teaching and sacrifice from the believers.

The Universal House of Justice’s May 9th letter has offered encouragement for Bahá'ís, taking into account the reality of the effects of the global pandemic.

“When society is in such difficulty and distress, the responsibility of the Bahá’ís to make a constructive contribution to human affairs becomes more pronounced. This is a moment when distinct but interrelated lines of action converge upon a single point, when the call to service rings aloud. The individual, the community, and the institutions of the Faith—inseparable protagonists in the advancement of civilization—are in a position to demonstrate the distinctive features of the Bahá’í way of life, characterized by increased maturity in the discharge of their responsibilities and in their relationships with each other. They are summoned to a fuller expression of the Faith’s society-building powers.”


Fund Goal Achieved!

Each year, the believers triumph over great challenges, making amazing sacrificial efforts to nurture the Bahá’í community’s strength and capacity, and ensuring forward movement toward Bahá'u'lláh vision of a world characterized by love and unity. The Office of the Treasurer is happy to report that the 2019/2020 National Fund goal of $40M has been exceeded. In addition, the ongoing Fund for the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá grew to over $5.4M dollars.

Congratulations to the U.S. Bahá’í community! Please see the video below for a message of gratitude from the Office of the Treasurer.


Ruhi Book 11

The Office of the Treasurer is excited to share the news that Ruhi Book 11, Unit 1 is now available for study in your community! Titled 'Giving: The Spiritual Basis of Prosperity', the first unit explores the spiritual underpinnings of material prosperity. To learn more about how to study these important materials contact your Regional or Cluster Institute Coordinator. 


Ruhi Book 11

The Office of the Treasurer is excited to share the news that Unit 1 of the Ruhi Book 11, Material Means is now available for study in our communities. Titled, Giving: The Spiritual Basis of Prosperity, this first unit is a deepened exploration of the spiritual underpinnings of material prosperity. To learn more about how to obtain and study these important materials please contact your Regional or Cluster Institute Coordinator.


US Bahá’í Archives Renovation

A fund has been created to house the National Bahá’í Archives. This new archive space will house precious relics, historical artifacts and fragile documents now stored in several back spaces of Foundation Hall. Since its temporary space has become too small for the archive’s massive and growing collection and the technology for security, fire suppression and climate control is becoming obsolete, the US Bahá’í Archives Renovation Fund will enable relocation to a building in the vicinity of the House of Worship, renovation, and new, up-to-date safety and security systems. These developments will allow archivists to more securely house the items and documents that chronicle the history of the Faith in the US. Included in the archives are relics associated with the three Central Figures, such as clothing from Bahá'u'lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the original Tablet of Ahmad and the original Tablets of the Divine Plan, and precious artifacts of the Báb, which will be displayed for the upcoming Bicentenary.

The monthly figure for the contributions to the US Bahá’í Archives Renovation Fund will be contained in each issue of the Treasurers Notes.


Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

As you may know from The Universal House of Justice’s 2019 Ridvan message, a Shrine to hold the sacred remains of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will be constructed in near the Ridvan Garden:

“The Bahá’í world is being summoned to build the edifice which will forever embosom those sacred remains. It is to be constructed in the vicinity of the Riḍván Garden, on land consecrated by the footsteps of the Blessed Beauty; the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will thus lie on the crescent traced between the Holy Shrines in ‘Akká and Haifa. Work on the architectural plans is advancing, and more information will be shared in the coming months.”

The progress of the Fund to support the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is included in the Treasurers Notes.

*Note: The current totals for the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Bahá’í Archives Renovation Fund listed in this issue of the Treasurers Notes differs from the last issue in that the current figure shows the cumulative total of contributions. Last month’s issue presented the total contributions for this fiscal year. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Going forward, the Treasurers Notes will list the cumulative figure of all contributions toward the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Bahá’í Archives Renovation Fund. 


Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Audits Due July 31

The Finance Office sends its warm greetings with an important reminder to all Local Spiritual Assembly members. The due date of the annual audit for Local Spiritual Assemblies is July 31. If your Assembly has not submitted its audit for the period of May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019, we ask that you complete and send it as soon as possible.

The audit-form is available on the Treasurer’s Tools page, and can be submitted via e-mail to finance@usbnc.org (electronically is preferred) or by mail to: Office of the Treasurer, 1233 Central Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201.