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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
After placement of rocks:
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