Junior Youth Weekend
Join other junior youth for a weekend of learning and fellowship exploring your contribution to the transformation of society. Through interactive study, discussions, role playing and the arts, reflection, fellowship, and activities aimed to encourage independent thinking, this weekend is intended to offer spiritual empowerment and support your efforts in engaging in the community around you. Bring a friend!
Creative Arts Festival: Inspiring Transformation
Kevin A. Locke, Nathan Davis, Bahhaj Taherzadeh, George and Sharon Davis, Kim Douglas, Liz Davis, and Marie Taherzadeh
The Creative Arts Festival is a celebration of the creative process and the arts in community development and social transformation that honors both oral and written traditions. In an age of developing our understanding of the value of diversity, the Festival will feature and welcome folk and literary artists, bloggers, story-tellers, song writers, novelists, playwrights, screen writers and more. In addition to readings and performances, plenary and breakout sessions will stimulate participants. Some topics include Storytelling as Social Action, Spirit & the Creative Mindset, Starting & Maintaining a Blog, From Writing Idea to Writing Proposal, Songwriting, Book Clubs & Meaningful Conversations, Designing Dynamic Devotionals and Transformative Writing inside the Study Circle.
The Festival will turn reading and writing into an engaging and fun community experience, bringing people together to share thoughts, explore ideas and engage in meaningful conversations. The festival is for you whether you are new to the arts or seasoned. The festival is for you if you are an educator wanting to invigorate your classroom or a facilitator of a study circle wanting to provide more creative activities. The festival is for you if you want to start a blog or put music to the Sacred Writings. Come one. Come all. This will be a weekend of learning, action, reflection and consultation. You will leave inspired to fulfill your creative ambitions and to serve your community. Children’s classes will be held.
Friends and Family I (Includes two Courses)
Course I - The Ministry of Shoghi Effendi
With Robert Stockman and June Thomas
Vital to our understanding of the Five Year Plan and the current place of the Bahá'í Faith in the world is an understanding of the role of Shoghi Effendi in the Faith’s organization, diversification, and international spread. This course opens with the early life of Shoghi Effendi and follows the Guardianship from 1922 to the establishment of the House of Justice in 1963. Participants will examine the role of the Guardian in protecting the Faith, building the administrative order, expanding the world wide community, beautifying and acquiring Holy places and the vast guidance offered from interpretations of the teachings.
The Wilmette Institute will extend a 10% discount to participants interested in continuing study in the on-line course of the “Ministry of Shoghi Effendi” that starts in June, following this session.
Course II - Advancing Our Community: A Framework for Oneness
With Donna Hakimian and Justine Finn
Indeed, they recognize the benefit that accrues from the contribution of each individual to the progress of the whole, and thus the service rendered by each one, in keeping with the possibilities created by a person’s circumstances, is welcomed by all. - Riḍván 2013
We want to develop our full spiritual capacities to best serve the Cause, but we live in a world that makes that challenging. In this course, we will use the equality of women and men as a lens through which to examine our true realities and equip ourselves with skills to further our community building efforts. Moving beyond traditional understandings of gender inequality that create either 'victims' or 'oppressors', our group will learn together how everyone can contribute to the creation of a society in which men and women work and exist as equals.
Delving into the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, as well as findings from research, we will find inspiration and a practical model for how to live and serve humanity as equals, based on an understanding of the nature of the soul and the purpose of our earthly existence. In a dynamic mix of interactive workshops, small group study and the arts, participants will develop tools to enhance their path of service to be champions of peace and equality in their own communities.
This special family session opening the summer includes a 50% scholarship for all children and junior youth ages 4-14 if they attend with a parent or legal guardian registered for the full program.
Youth Program: Shaping Our Individual and Collective Actions
Coordinated by Gordon Naylor, Bronwyn Naylor and Tahirih Naylor Thimm
The House of Justice is summoning, “youth whose consciousness of the failings of society impels them to work for its transformation.” Rooted in an exploration of the Covenant we will examine ways to help us connect and build vibrant communities that youth want to contribute to and long to be part of. Our goal is to acquire new capabilities in becoming loving and creative agents of change, aspiring to heal and create a peaceful and prosperous life.
June 27 – July 2
Louhelen Children’s Program: Sharing Spiritual Principles
Coordinated by Joannie Yuille Coordinator
Supported by a diverse team of teachers and counselors
Sharing our understanding of spiritual principles and the importance of living a life service is the theme of this program. Participants will build confidence in having conversations on meaningful concepts and direct attention to what they do in their everyday lives in service to humanity. The varied learning activities include dialogue on spiritual principles, interactive sessions in sharing our understanding, and engaging in acts of service in community life. Prayer, reflection, music, art, and recreation are an integral part of this learning community.
July 4-15, 2014
ISGP Graduate Seminar I
Discourse and Social Transformation: Achieving Coherence
July 17-28, 2014
ISGP Graduate Seminar II
Discourse and Social Transformation: Achieving Coherence
Junior Youth Program: Becoming Agents of Change
Coordinated by Melodie Yates
Supported by a diverse team of facilitators and counselors
Inspired by the Dawnbreakers and the spirit that is animating junior youth through the invigorating encouragement from the Universal House of Justice for this specific age group, junior youth will focus on walking a spiritual path of service which translates into becoming an agent of change in their own neighborhoods. Interactive experiences include participating in everyday conversations to assist junior youth draw on their powers of expression and build confidence in offering a voice to effect change in their communities. An uplifting environment for learning is supported through community devotions, service, team building activities, and the influence of the arts.
Friends and Family II: Fostering Spiritual and Material Prosperity in the Family
With Laura and Jason Combs
How can we create dynamics within the family unit that leads to spiritual and material prosperity? This session will focus on assisting us to establish within our families a process of ongoing systematic learning- a mode of operation characterized by action, reflection, consultation, and study. Through various hands-on activities and exercises, we will focus on developing skills for each step of this learning process: making study of the Guidance a regular part of family life, taking up everyday concerns through consultation, carrying out the actions that emerge from the consultations in a unified manner, and reflecting on the outcomes of those actions. Includes a program for all ages 4 and up.
Education and the Revelation: An Exploration for Educators
Coordinated by Ashraf Rushdy and Emily Rushdy
"Bahá’ís who are involved in …education…have the responsibility to earnestly strive to reflect on the implications that the truths found in the Revelation may hold for their work." (From a letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, July 24th, 2013).
Whatever your involvement in the field of education may be, whether you are a teacher by profession or involved in the institute process, we invite you to join us for this exploration. By approaching the field of Education with a humble posture of learning, we will:
- focus on increasing our understanding of an evolving conceptual framework based on the Writings;
- reflect on our actions in light of the framework; and
- consult together about how to contribute to the discourse on Education.
A program for all ages 4 and up is included.
Friends and Family III: Contributing to Processes that Promote Peace and Unity
With Mark Gilman and others
The principle of non-involvement in partisan politics can be taken as an abdication of moral responsibility on the part of the Bahá’í community: “If your commitment to justice is indeed authentic,” we are sometimes asked, “then why aren’t you directly engaging the forces of evil as we are, in the political arena?” The March 2 letter from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'í’s of Iran provides answers on many levels. It provides a vision of the “framework” that guides our action and explains our “strategy” for contributing to enduring social change, predicated on a “revised conception of power, freed from the notion of dominance.” Study of this letter will assist us in conversations about how we are working, both within the context of the development of our own community and in partnership with others, “to transform society”, “further the cause of unity, promote human welfare, and contribute to world solidarity.” Together, we will explore powerful and concrete alternatives to the culture of “contest, contention, division and superiority” that is impeding humanity’s ability to solve fundamental problems. A program for all ages 4 and up is included.
Reaching Out to the Latino Community
Jaque Bookwalter, Mauricio Brizuela, Leonardo Duque, Enidia Rinaldi, and others
Would you like to reach out to Latino friends or seekers in your community or work place? Are you interested in improving your ability to communicate in Spanish? Would you like to increase your understanding of Hispanic culture? You may have plans to visit or even pioneer to an area where speaking Spanish is most common. These are among the good reasons you would want to participate in this course.
The session is designed to help you gain confidence in communicating and sharing Baha’i concepts in Spanish. Although courses will allow for different levels of proficiency, participants should have basic Spanish abilities because communications will be conducted completely in Spanish. This engaging program includes interactive study, discussion, music, art and more.
August 27- September 1
Justice: The Best Beloved of all Things
With Kiser Barnes, retired member of the Universal House of Justice
Nancy Barnes, Adalia Ellis, Jacob Hill, Gayle Johnson, and Toufan Rahimpour
Consider the nature and character of divine justice: why it is “The best beloved of all things,” and a divine “gift.” Why is it important to “Ponder this in thy heart how it behooveth thee to be”? Join us for an exploration of the value of justice for the progressive transformation of humanity; the purpose and functions of the concept in relation to Bahá’u’lláh’s Station as “the Fountain of the Most Great Justice” and to His Mission for the Oneness of Humanity. Together we will look at the relevance of such a powerful, complex force in connection with our spiritual development and service to the Cause of God.