What Bahá’ís Do
The Bahá’í community of the United Kingdom comprises over 7,000 Bahá’ís who, with a few thousand friends and neighbours, are working together to contribute to the spiritual and material progress of our society. In Cambridge, as in other parts of the United Kingdom and throughout the world, we are striving to establish a pattern of community life that embodies the principle of the oneness of humanity.
Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of the oneness of humanity can best be achieved through the transformation of both our individual and collective lives.
Prayer and Worship
Prayer and worship are central aspects of Bahá’í life, both as individuals and as a community.
Education and Capacity Building
Over the past few decades, the worldwide Bahá’í community has developed an educational programme that seeks to cultivate the vast and powerful potentialities inherent in every human being.
Prayer and Worship
Prayer and worship are central aspects of Bahá’í life, both as individuals and as a community. The Bahá’í Writings state that prayer, in its highest form, is an expression of love and gratitude for one’s Creator. Prayer can be likened to food for the soul and is a means of attracting divine assistance and blessings. Prayer is not limited to words, but is a state of being that, ultimately, finds expression in our deeds.
In diverse settings, Bahá’ís in Cambridge gather with their friends and neighbours to pray and reflect upon the Bahá’í Sacred Texts. These simple gatherings generate a spirit of collective worship that inspire acts of service and increase the spiritual character of neighbourhoods and communities.
Service to Humanity
Service is integral to both individual and collective life. We are each called upon to be an active participant of social progress. Through our actions and deeds, and in our work and service to our communities, we strive to contribute to the betterment of society and to develop our intellectual and spiritual capacities.
Service in the Bahá’í community finds expression in the mutual support that we provide one another, as well as in the accompaniment provided by the community and institutions to each individual.
In Cambridge, throughout the United Kingdom, and around the world, Bahá’ís, together with their friends and neighbours, are engaging in acts of service that seek to contribute to the transformation of society. Together they work to improve their neighborhoods, their cities and their country through programmes aimed at developing the capacities and capabilities of children, young people and adults.
Education and Capacity Building
The Bahá’í belief in the inherent nobility of each human being is intimately connected with the conviction that education, both material and spiritual, has the power to manifest the potential nobility within each person and, most importantly, benefit society.
Over the past few decades, the worldwide Bahá’í community has developed an educational programme that seeks to cultivate the vast and powerful potentialities inherent in every human being. Guided by the principle and goal of universal participation, this educational programme combines personal reflection and group study with acts of service in the community.
Those who participate in this educational programme encompass diverse ages, faiths, worldviews and backgrounds. It is through collaboration with people of all perspectives that greater insights into the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh emerge, furthering the realisation of the oneness of humanity. All are warmly invited to contribute to this process.
Junior youth in Cambridge, together with their friends, participate in neighbourhood groups that focus on developing mental and spiritual capacities, fostering the desire for service, and assisting them to navigate through this crucial period of life.
Together with friends and neighbours, Bahá’ís gather in homes and other informal settings to study and reflect upon the Bahá’í teachings pertaining to individual and societal progress.
Bahá’ís regard children as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. This promise is dependent on the type of education that is imparted to our children. In addition to the pursuit of academic knowledge, the Bahá’í community places great emphasis on the spiritual nourishment of children, focusing on the development of spiritual qualities, such as truthfulness, generosity and kindness.
Children’s classes are offered by the Bahá’í community of Cambridge to tend to the moral and spiritual development of children between the ages of 5 and 11 years. These classes include short lessons that make use of stories, games, music and the arts to explore the meaning, significance and practice of spiritual qualities.
Falling between the ages of 12 and 15 and representing a transition from childhood to youth, young adolescents—referred to as “junior youth”—experience rapid physical, intellectual, and emotional changes. Their spiritual powers expand. A new level of awareness fosters in them an increased interest in profound questions and in their talents and abilities. During this short and critical three-year period, ideas about the individual and society that may very well shape the rest of their lives are formed. However, delight at these new powers is often combined with feelings of worry, discomfort, and doubt that may produce contradictions in behaviour. Directing their new abilities towards selfless service to humanity is therefore needed at this age.
Some views of junior youth do not cast this period of life in a positive light. Popular views, for instance, regard this age as full of confusion and crises. Such thoughts foster conditions in which undesirable patterns of behaviour are spread. A proper understanding of this age is that of selfless young people with “an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world”. The negative traits they sometimes show are certainly not intrinsic to this stage in human life.
Junior youth in Cambridge, together with their friends, participate in neighbourhood groups that focus on developing mental and spiritual capacities, fostering the desire for service, and assisting them to navigate through this crucial period of life. Through a participatory mode of learning, these young participants come to see themselves as agents of positive change in the world.
Together with friends and neighbours, Bahá’ís gather in homes and other informal settings to study and reflect upon the Bahá’í teachings pertaining to individual and societal progress. Through the study of a sequence of courses, spiritual insights are gained and practical skills and capacities developed that place service at the heart of our lives.
Participants of the educational and community building process are naturally inspired to translate insights gained into endeavours that contribute to the material and social wellbeing of their communities. In various settings and at all levels of society, Bahá’ís are working shoulder to shoulder with diverse groups to contribute in the areas of social action and public discourse.