Feature News

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.


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.”