What We Do
"Let Deeds, not Words, be your adorning."
Children’s classes nurture the tender hearts of children and help them to build the foundation of life as a spiritual being. The classes require the children to think, reflect, and apply spiritual laws (such as ‘treading the path of justice’) to decisions in their lives. Great attention is given to the development of spiritual qualities and to those beliefs, habits, and behaviors that are essential to our nobility as spiritual beings. The arts are used to further deepen each lesson.
Lessons typically center around a particular spiritual theme, and incorporate prayers, memorization, songs, a story, collaborative games, and art, as these are some of the ways we have found to be successful in building the capacity of every participant.
There are many neighborhood children’s classes being offered by Bahá’ís and their friends throughout metro Atlanta. All of these classes focus on developing spiritual tools that the future citizens of this world will need to increase the process of building peace. The program is currently offered to children aged 5-10 and hosted in various community centers and homes in over 200 countries around the world.
Junior Youth Groups
This is a program that assists youth ages 11-14 (junior youth) to navigate through a crucial stage of their lives so they may become empowered to direct their energy towards making positive contributions to their communities. The junior youth meet regularly with a trained mentor (animator) to study and discuss lessons created for the program, and engage in artistic, extracurricular, and small community service initiatives. The program offers them a platform to discuss and analyze both the constructive and destructive forces operating in society in order to become more aware of the influence these forces exert on their thoughts and actions.
Through this practice, these junior youth are able to exercise their individual perceptions, enhance their powers of expression, and reinforce positive moral practices that will serve them throughout their lives. Although the moral concepts are in alignment with the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, the program's content is not religious in nature and has been designed for a diverse range of junior youth, thereby addressing the needs of the greater community.
The program is currently hosted in various academic institutions, community centers, and participants' neighborhoods in over 150 countries around the world.
Devotional gatherings offer an opportunity for community members to pray and consult together on the issues that concern them most. Bahá'ís believe that regular prayer and meditation result in a more balanced inner spiritual life, as well as serve as a source of replenishment as we each tread a path of service to humankind.
These gatherings occur naturally in an environment where conversations about the spiritual aspects of human existence are present. Devotional gatherings are as unique as the participants, and can range from a quiet gathering to reverently read prayers together to a passionate evening of drumming and singing to a silent group
meditation followed by deep, searching discussion. These gatherings foster unity among friends who are actively seeking to increase the fellowship and understanding between one another's diverse perspectives.
All are welcome to participate. Devotional gatherings occur when as few as two or as many as a thousand people come together. They are hosted in various homes, parks, community centers, houses of worship, and participants' neighborhoods in over 200 countries around the world.
A study circle is comprised of a group of friends who come together to enhance their capacity to carry out acts of service. Often meeting in one of the participant’s homes, schools, or community centers, these study sessions shy away from formally taught classes and, instead, foster a participatory method of learning. Led by a facilitator, the format of the courses encourage participants to engage in open dialogue about how to apply the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh in their own lives and communities. Participants support one another as they attempt to put into practice the new concepts learned. In the beginning courses, acts of service are relatively simple (such as visiting a friend to share a prayer), and become more complex as participants
gain experience and confidence (such as serving as a children’s class teacher or guiding a group of adolescents towards becoming vibrant youth committed to service to humanity).
The materials used in study circles have an emphasis on the Bahá'í writings as a means of finding a unity of vision and action by focusing on the fundamental elements of Bahá'í beliefs. Materials used are developed by the Ruhi Institute.
The Ruhi courses have been used by communities worldwide for over 20 years and were created in order to assist individuals in deepening their understanding of the Bahá'í writings, to exercise their spiritual perception, and to develop the skills necessary for carrying out the work of an ever-advancing civilization.
Through the process of action, reflection, consultation, and accompaniment, study circle participants around the world have become increasingly committed to the vision of individual and collective transformation, and to building the foundation for a global community centered on service and worship.