A successful junior youth camp in Rose Hill

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We’ve just held a week-long junior youth camp in Rose Hill. Youth and junior youth met every day for art activities, singing, making journals, and role playing how to teach a children’s class.

On the last day of the project, the junior youth met to make ‘aloo dam’, hot potatoes! The youth and junior youth were planning for the Cultural Day on Saturday, an event with lunch to which they could invite family and friends. At 11am on Saturday, the activity began to set the hall up. Soon, more and more people arrived bearing wrapped dishes of hot food, cartons of juice, fresh baked bread and brownies. Balloons and decorations were employed to create a very festive atmosphere. Mums, younger brothers and sisters, and invited friends began to arrive. At 12 the programme began with speeches introducing the junior youth class, a song, a play, and then a game… musical chairs involving the whole audience.

The programme ended with a delicious lunch. As more friends arrived, the spirit in the hall was vibrant. Cultural day ended with new resolutions and warm friendships made.

John Estlin Carpenter

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A website called Baha’i Tributes has just posted this item about John Estlin Carpenter, Principal of Manchester College when ‘Abdu’l-Baha visited Oxford:

John Estlin Carpenter was an eminent Unitarian biblical scholar, theologian and Oxford professor. Carpenter presided over a meeting on 31 December 1912 for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Manchester College, Oxford, where Carpenter was Principal.

“From that subtle race (the Persians) issues the most remarkable movement…The new faith declared that there was no finality in revelation, and while recognising the Koran as a product of past revelation, claimed to embody a new manifestaton of the divine Unity. Carried to Chicago in 1893…it succeeded in establishing itself in the United States; and its missionaries are winning new adherents in India. It, too, claims to be a universal teaching; it has already its noble army of martyrs and its holy books; has Persia, in the midst of her miseries, given birth to a religion which will go round the world?”

From Comparative Religion

Social Action: Junior Youth Empowerment Project

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by Clare O’Brien

Junior Youth Around the World

This Saturday Oxford University Baha’i Society is going to have an amazing workshop for anyone who wants to get involved in social action through junior youth empowerment!

What is Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment?

The objective of the junior youth groups are the empowerment of participants through the development of spiritual perception, the enhancement of their power of expression, and the building of a sound moral structure.  The program molds the capacities of all the junior youth for service to humanity, releasing their energies for a purposeful and constructive life. Now tell me, who doesn’t want to do that??

The Junior Youth Empowerment Project

The junior youth program is a globally developed social and economic development initiative that began some thirty years ago in a number of countries around the world. Its purpose is to empower young people to contribute effectively to the advancement of civilization. Today there are junior youth groups in every part of the world, who meet in various places (homes, schools, under trees, centres).

Why Junior Youth?

Junior Youth are young people between the ages of 11-14 years old. This is a very important time when jr youth are transitioning from being children into being youth. It is during this period of life that the majority of behaviours and habits are developed. They are impacted by a number of different forces (media, society, friends etc). To find out more come on Saturday.

Why Service?

Empowerment

Empowerment

One of the main objectives of junior youth groups is to empower the young people to be able to contribute to the advancement of world civilization. Individual and social transformation go hand in hand, their is a great need to encourage young people to better their environment through service. It is impossible to chance just the individual or society, it must be a dual process to be effective.

Why Language?

There is great importance in developing a rich vocabulary and eloquent speech. Junior youth are dis-empowered when they cannot express what they see and experience in the world. More on Saturday!

Why Religion?

The majority of junior youth believe in religion, or ‘a’ religion, and this is a topic could not be avoided. In families, and all around the world, religion is a powerful social force, and the majority of the peoples of the world have beliefs. Junior youth groups make a space so that people from all religions could come together and make the world a better place and at the same time talk about what spirituality is.

A Baha’i from Canada describes this so well
“This is very important because junior youth have many dimensions to their reality; they are physical beings, they are social beings, but they are also spiritual beings. We have to help ensure that all these aspects of life become integrated and one, not separate from each other. It is actually when we start making separations that things become confusing and problems arise. We tend to fragment life in compartments, life, school, work, church/mosque, family, and we begin to act differently in each setting, until you end up forgetting who you are. This is because spiritual and material, or intellectual, progress needs to go hand in hand.”

Where & When: Saturday, February 14 at Brasenose College (Lecture room 11) from 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Rose Hill, here we come!

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A post from Clare O’Brien at http://footballandfaith.org

Pioneering!

Pioneering!

Grace Kermani and I have officially moved into our new home today! We decided to move a few months ago in order to be closer to the Nepalese population that we work with in Rose Hill, Oxford. Although Rose Hill is just 10 minutes up the road from Iffley Heights were we used to live… it was a different world away. I have a few friends who who work together as part of a ‘teaching team’ that is learning help the Nepalese community to build resources so that they may fully run and expand all the lovely activities currently going on. In October we were deepening our knowledge and understanding of carrying out this service by reading a document prepared by the International Teaching Centre, one of the Institutions in the Baha’i Faith, it said that one method that had been successful in other areas is to ‘homefront pioneer’ into a community so that you can help support them more fully. Those of us reading it initially were not sure if we should consider doing it. After consulting with our dear friend we realized that from the three of us, only I was in a position to be able to move at that time but that I would actually need someone to go with me. We consulted and decided that Grace Kermani was the most natural suggestion. I was not sure if she would agree to do it. From the moment I asked her she said, “yeah, I think I could do that for a few months. Let me think about it, but why not?”

Grace Kermani, my lovely house-mate

Grace Kermani, my lovely house-mate

Day 1

this is what Grace says about our first day:

Day 1: Tonight will be our first night in our new home, our new neighbourhood. It’s been a rollercoaster ride just getting this far and I know there’s some exciting times ahead! I can’t wait to meet the families soon :)

So now 3 months after our initial thoughts about homefront pioneering… 5 car loads later… we are going to be spending our first night in our new home! We do get scared sometimes… maybe that is just because our house was broken into last month and then someone tried to again a few days ago. Maybe it is because it is culturally and socially miles away from our current life? But we are both very excited and ready to serve!

It’s a new day

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Welcome to the new website of the Oxford Baha’i community. We plan to post news and updates on the site in the days and weeks to come.

A special thanks to Jonah Winters for getting us up and running.