First Two "Playgroup Get-together's" a Success!!!

On October 28th and November 11th, Windsor children and parents gathered at a local Windsor residence for a "playgroup get together".   Kids ages four to seven participated in story time, a game, craft and playtime centered around the themes of love and respectfulness.  Another "get together" will take place on December 9th centered on the theme of responsibility.

 

All the playgroup lessons are based on the book "The Virtues Guide" which is a guide for parents on bringing out the best in children and encouraging positive behavior.  The Windsor Bahai Community sponsors and supports the groups and the playgroups are facilitated by both local Bahai's and non-Bahai's. The mission of the events is to give Windsor children the opportunity to learn and practice values like love, responsibility, respect as well as offer famlilies a chance to develop new connections and friendships and/or build on old ones.  


Bahai's of Windsor Celebrate 200th Anniversary of Bahaullah

On October 21st at 6pm the Bahai's of Windsor hosted a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahaullah, the prophet founder of the faith.The celebration began with dinner and a program followed.  Representative of different world religions said prayers and a brief video on the life of Bahaullah was played.  Several Bahai community members, including some youth, performed musically.  The even was co hosted by the Conecticutt Councel on Intereligious Understanding at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Manchester.  About 60 community members of all faith attended the program.

Race Unity Circle Meets in Manchester

Circle of Race Unity was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Manchester on may 30th. The  of this multiracial group is to provide meaningful conversations, as a means of learning to respect each, accept each other's diversity, an dappreciate each other's contributions to humanity's social well-being.  The attendees also plan action steps to address racism on an individual level and strategize ways to eliminate prejudice as a group and a community.  the group was well attneded by over forty individuals from the Bahai community, the larger community, and the Unitarian congregation. The next meeting will be held in September.  The group email is cor.unity@gmail.com; the website is circleofraceunity.org.                                      

 

 

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Windsor Baha'i's Celebrate Birth of Baha'u'llah at Windsor Public Library

On Saturday November 14th, the Baha'i's of Windsor celbrated the birth of thier prophet founder, Baha'u'llah in the large meeting room at the Windsor Public Library.

About thirty five Baha'i's and non-Baha'i's gathered for a program that included stories from the prophet's life, readings from the writings of the Faith, musical performances and a brief video presentation.  The program was followed by food and fellowship.


18th Annual Greater Hartford Prayer Breakfast a Success!

On November 12, 2015 members of various faith backgrounds gathered in Hartford for the 18th Annual Greater Hartford Prayer Breakfast.  Several Bahai's from Windsor participated and attended.  Anne Alleva, Windsor resident, directed her children choir from the Ana Grace Arts Academy.  Yolanda Bonnick (pictured above and left), also a Windsor resident, served on the planning committee, helping to make this inspiring and unifying morning possible.

The theme this year was abundance.  Besides music, prayers from various faith traditions were sung and read, and a light breakfast served.  The event is an annual tradition meant to honor and bring together the incredible religious diversity of the greater Hartford area.

Windsor Chorister participates in Annual Baha'i Choral Festival

Windsor chorister, Yolanda Bonnick, participated in the ninth Annual Baha'i Choral Festival held at the Baha'i House of worship in Wilmette, Illinois, May 21-24 2015. Every spring for the past nine years, more that 200 singers of many faiths and backgrounds have participated in the Baha'i Choral Festival. This year, choir members came from 32 states and 11 countries. Singers perform under the direction of Van Gilmer,Music Director for the Baha'i House of Worship.

Mr. Gilmer inaugurated the Festival in 2007 as a way to provide Baha'is who were living in remote areas across the country the opportunity to sing together. Gilmer says this year's music was especially selected to praise God and provide comfort and solace during a time there is much turmoil in the world. Selections include Classical, Negro Spiritual and Gospel musical compositions, and readings from the sacred scriptures of several religions, demonstrating the Baha'i principle of the oneness of humanity.

This was the first year in which singers from local churches and synagogues were invited to join the 250-voice choir in singing the "hallelujah" Chorus from Handel's Messiah. Music presented in the Auditorium of the Baha'i House of Worship is a-cappella (for voice alone) and is offered not as a performance, but as prayer to God, with the goal of connecting and uplifting the hearts, minds and souls of the listeners.

Celebration at Windsor Public Library

On Saturday May 2nd, the Bahá'ís of Windsor sponsored a "Twelfth Day of Ridvan" celebration at the Windsor Public Library in downtown Windsor.  Over thirty Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís gathered for prayers, readings and music performed by the Connecticut Bahá'í Chorale.  Afterwards there was food and fellowship.

Bahá'ís all over the world celbrate whis holy day on May 2nd each year; the Twelfth day of Ridvan is the last day of this twelve day celebration that begins on april 21st.  It was during these twelve days that Baha'u'llah, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, declared His mission as the most recent Messenger of God.  Bahá'ís observe the first, ninth, and twelfth day of this period (April 21, 29, and May 2nd).  The actual even occurred in a garden, called Ridvan (Paradise) in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1863,

It is also during this period of time that Bahá'ís have their annual elections for their Local and National Spritual Assemblies.  The Local and National Spritual Assembly (LSA) and democratically elected and , as there is no clergy within the Bahá'í Faith, seve as the governing bodies of the local and national commnity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Bahá'ís Celebrate "Naw Ruz" with Fundraiser Dinner

The Windsor Bahá'í Community gathered on Saturday March 28th to fellowship and fund-raise for the end of their religious and fiscal year.   Bahá'ís celebrate the New Year (Naw Ruz) on the first day of spring each year.   Often communities gather for prayers, music, food and other festivities.  Although this year the Windsor Bahá'ís did not sponsor a Naw Ruz celebration, they did  gather to raise money to donate to their National Spiritual Assembly for the ending 2014-2015 fiscal year.  Items donated by local Bahai’s were auctioned and a meal was served for a suggested donation of ten dollars.  Over four hundred dollars were raised!

 

Bahá'ís Make Donation To Local Food Bank

 

On October 7, 2014 two Windsor Residents made a trip to the Windsor Food Bank to donate items collected by the Windsor Bahai Community. Recently, because of the suggestion of a new member in the community, the Bahai's in Windsor decided to make a donation “bin” available at each of their gatherings. The group will make monthly trips to the Food Bank to bring the items that have been collected each month and is very excited to able to support the Food Bank now on a ongoing basis.

The Windsor Bahá'ís are also exploring other service opportunities with a community of refugees from the Karen Tribe in Southeast Asia that are housed in Hartford. The Bahá'ís have made initial contact with their Buddhist spiritual leader and will continue to strive to build friendships and bridges between the two communities in hopes of understanding how best the Bahá'ís might offer support and assistance.

Grace Cook (pictured below with Nancy Casasan), Windsor’s newest community member recently shared these thoughts about the Bahá'í Faith, Christianity and serving humanity:

In this global electronic and satellite world, our “neighbor” is wider and broader then just our town or our state; our neighbor is now anyone and everyone in need of food or clothing and they may be from Burma or Thailand or Cuba or Croatia. So to be a “good Samaritan we have to help whoever we know to be in need, be it someone from across the street or someone the world.

Bahá'u'lláh was described as not "being interested in titles and honors of this world; His interest lay in defending the poor and protecting the need… He cheers the disconsolate and feeds the hungry, befriends the poor and the stranger."

In the Bible it is said "Then The King (Jesus Christ) will say to those on His right hand 'Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you game me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me'. Then the righteous will answer Him saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick or in prison and come to You? And The King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Ruhi Classes Continue Throughout the Summer

In June of 2014 a small group of Windsor residents met to begin studying from one of a series of “Ruhi” courses.  These ongoing classes, part of the Ruhi Institute, have become a focal point of Bahá’í communities everywhere in their endeavor to build community, inspire spiritual conversations and provide opportunities for spiritual growth and insight.  Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís alike participate in the Ruhi courses, and often service projects and community action are born out of the Ruhi course.  This happened in 2013 when several Windsor residents studied and completed a Ruhi course on teaching children’s classes and organized their own children’s virtues class, which is also ongoing.  There are seven books in the Ruhi sequence ranging from topics like “life after death” and “prayer” to teaching children’s virtue classes and courses on the life of the Twin Manifestions of the Faith, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.  For more information on the Bahá’í Faith and the Windsor Bahá’í community please call 860-878-1781 or visit our website at windsorctbahai.org.

 

Pictured below: Children’s virtues class, inspired by one of the Ruhi courses

 

 

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