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A Newsletter Produced by the Wilmette Institute
Volume 3, Number 5, November 1998
Planning Underway for Spiritual Foundations' Summer of 1999
At its September 15 meeting, the Wilmette Institute Board finished reviewing suggestions by students and faculty of the 1998 Spiritual Foundations for a Global Civilization summer session and made the following decisions for the upcoming year of the program:
1. Tuition for 1999-2000 will be the same as for 1998-99: $825. Expenses are anticipated to change little over the next year because inflation is low.
2. The summer program will start Saturday, July 17, 1999, at 2:30 p.m. with orientation.
3. The summer program will end Friday night, August 6, 1999, allowing students to depart for home Saturday morning. This will shorten the summer program by a day, giving students more time to get home on the last weekend.
Spiritual Foundation students enjoying a lesson from Dann May, whose 1998 classes received particularly high praise.
4. Classes will usually be 60 minutes in length instead of 90 minutes. This recognizes the fact that(continued on page 3)
Wilmette Institute Inaugurates
The Wilmette Institute Board is pleased to announce the beginning of a program called Studies in the Bahá'í Faith (SBF). It gathers into one program all correspondence courses and minicourses the Institute has taught or will teach in the future.
"Studies in the Baha'i Faith" Program
Its principal difference from the Institute's other program, Spiritual Foundations for a Global Civilization, is that it does not require a residential session of classes in Wilmette or anywhere else. Its purpose remains the same as the Spiritual Foundations program: to raise up a new generation of diverse, knowledgeable, articulate teachers and administrators of the Bahá'í Faith by imparting knowledge; developing various skills, particularly teaching skills; and fostering Bahá'í identity. Since students may take as few as one course and attend(continued on page 3)
INSIDE THIS ISSUE . . .Planning Underway for SFGC Summer of 1999.....1
Wilmette Institute Inaugurates "Studies in
the Bahá'í Faith" Program.................1
How to Register for WI Courses................2
Faculty Confirmed for 1999 Summer Session.....4
Series on World Religions to Begin in January.4
Two correspondence Courses Under Way..........4
Eight Wilmette Institute Students Attend
Twentieth `Irfán Colloquium..............5
20th `Irfán Colloquium: Report by a Student...5
WI Presence at ABS Conference.................6
A Teaching Story..............................6
Studying the Revelation.......................7
Patricia Campuzano Joins WI Staff.............8
E-mails from Students.........................8
Wilmette Institute * 536 Sheridan Road * Wilmette, IL 60091
Phone: (847) 733-3415 * Fax: (847) 733-3563 * 24-hour automated information line: (847) 733-3595 Email: Wilmette_Institute@usbnc.org * Website, www.usbnc.org/wilmette
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 2 November 1998
The Lamp is the newsletter of the Wilmette Institute. The Institute was established in January 1995 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States to offer academic, professional, and service-oriented courses related to the Bahá'í Faith. The Wilmette Institute offers courses about the Bahá'í Faith that are at a university level of rigor and are often available for university credit. It is also interested in fostering Bahá'í scholarship; developing new, innovative curricular materials; creating courses on teaching the Faith that are of high quality; and refining Bahá'í concepts of pedagogy. It aims to produce teachers of the Bahá'í Faith of great capacity, capable of demonstrating Bahá'í truths in their lives as well as by their speech, and able to teach these truths to others.
For more information about the Bahá'í Faith, the Wilmette Institute, courses offered by the Wilmette Institute, or registration for courses at the Wilmette Institute, please contact:
536 Sheridan Road
Wilmette, IL 60091 * U.S.A.
Phone: (847) 733-3415 * Fax: (847) 733-3563
24-hour information line: (847) 733-3595
The Lamp is produced bimonthly by the Wilmette Institute. Executive Editor: Robert H. Stockman.
Subscription inquiries should be directed to the above address. All material is copyrighted by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and subject to all applicable international copyright laws. Articles from this newsletter may be copied or republished by any organization, provided that the following credit is given: "Reprinted from The Lamp, the newsletter of the Wilmette Institute."
Copyright ©1998 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States.
How to Register for Wilmette
To obtain information about any or all of the Wilmette Institute's courses, contact the Registrar, Heather Gorman, by telephone at (847) 733-3415, by e-mail at email@example.com, or by writing to Wilmette Institute, 536 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, IL 60091. Information is also available at the Wilmette Institute's website, www.usbnc.org/wilmette, and by calling the 24-hour automated information line, (847) 733-3595.
Spiritual Foundations for a Global CivilizationThe 1999-2000 year will focus on Carrying Forward an Ever-Advancing Civilization. To participate, individuals must apply by March 30, 1999. The academic year runs from May 1, 1999, to March 31, 2000, and is composed of home study combined with a required residential session beginning July 17, 1999, and ending August 6, 1999.
Each applicant must submit a completed application form, 500-word personal statement, recommendation letter, photocopy of her latest transcript, and $25 application fee. Tuition for the year is $825 and room and board during the three week summer session runs approximately $35 per day. For more information on the content of the 1999-2000 course year, payment schedule, and scholarships, please contact the registrar.
Studies in the Bahá'í Faith (SBF)SBF courses can be completed from any place in the world, as they contain no residential requirement. The article in this issue of The Lamp about the Studies in the Bahá'í Faith program (beginning on the first page) details the courses offered in the next year, their schedule, and tuition. The registrar is happy to answer questions and provide further information about the courses.
To register for any of these courses, individuals must pay the full course tuition and fill out a registration form available from the registrar. Students may pay by check, money order, Visa, or MasterCard, and can register by mail, fax, e-mail, or phone. To receive the course materials in time to begin the course, students should register at least two weeks before the beginning of the course. Registration opens several months before each course begins and closes when the course is full or one week into the course.
For students who form a local study group of three(continued on page 3--see "REGISTERING")
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 3 November 1998
Spiritual Foundations' Summer of 1999(Continued from page 1)
90-minute classes are tiring and allows more alternation of faculty. It will still be possible for faculty to combine several sixty-minute sessions if they are giving workshops or leading discussion.
5. Volunteer service will be assigned on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, rather than during one of four days a week as in the past. This allows two
afternoons a week of classes, which in turn allows for more relaxed evenings.The matter of housing and classroom space will be determined in January and February when universities and churches are prepared to contract space to the Wilmette Institute.
6. The Board accepted the proposal for a weekly "arts/community night" that the students would plan themselves. It has also scheduled two informal evenings a week with faculty for open discussion on subjects of the students' choosing.
Wilmette Institute Inaugurates "Studies in the Baha'i Faith" Program
(Continued from page 1)
no classes, each course must aim to accomplish the program's goal through its curricular materials and completion requirements.
Certificates of completion are offered for each course a student takes. As the program expands, one or more certificates may be offered within the SBF for various combinations of courses.
To date, the Wilmette Institute has offered SBF
(Continued from page 2)
or more individuals, each student receives a 20% discount. Students needing financial assistance are encouraged to ask for help from their local spiritual assemblies, and the Wilmette Institute is happy to write letters on the students' behalf. Because the Institute is independent of the Bahá'í Fund and depends on tuition and donations to cover operating costs, the Institute has few scholarships available for SBF courses.
Persian Language CoursesIn cooperation with the Wilmette Institute, the Persian American Affairs Office offers intensive, residential courses on the Persian language during the summer. For more information, please contact the Persian American Affairs Office directly at (847) 733-3467, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1233 Central St., Evanston, IL 60201.
courses on the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh (covering 1853-68, 1868-92, and the Kitáb-i-Aqdas) and a series of minicourses on world religions at Bosch. In 1999 the Institute plans to add a series of correspondence courses on world religions (see article on page 4). It will expand its courses on Bahá'u'lláh's writings into a series called "Exploring Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation," comprising six courses:
Each course on Bahá'u'lláh's writings lasts six months and costs $225 ($180 with the group discount). The courses exploring Bahá'u'lláh's writings chronologically represent a splitting of two previously offered six-month courses into four, to provide the students with enough time to read the tablets and related material at a comfortable pace. Additional courses on individual works of Bahá'u'lláh may be added later.
- The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1853-63 (January 1-June 30, 1999)
- The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1863-68 (July 1-December 31, 1999)
- The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1868-73 (January 1-June 30, 2000)
- The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1874-92 (July 1-December 31, 2000)
- Exploring the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and Related Texts (April 1-September 30, 1999)
- Exploring the Kitáb-i-Iqán and Related Texts (November 1, 1999-April 30, 2000)
In addition to the series of courses on the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and world religions, the Wilmette Institute is considering courses on the life, writings, and talks of `Abdu'l-Bahá; the life and writings of Shoghi Effendi; the history of the Bahá'í Faith; and some other subjects covered by the Spiritual Foundations program.
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 4 November 1998
Faculty Confirmed for SFGC
Three faculty members have already been confirmed for the 1999 summer session. Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh, an emeritus professor of history at Yale University and a member of the National Spiritual Assembly since 1963, will give four presentations on "The Great Peace," meaning the history of efforts to establish world peace, the Bahá'í concepts about world peace, and the contents of the Peace Statement.
1999 Summer Session
Dr. Farhad Sabetan, an Auxiliary Board member from California, will be teaching on "Global Prosperity," which will integrate Bahá'í statementssuch as the statement on prosperitywith the science of economics.
Dr. Hoda Mahmoudi, dean at Olivet College, an Auxiliary Board member, and a Bahá'í author, will be speaking about gender equality, with a focus on the National Spiritual Assembly's statement Two Wings of a Bird.
The Lamp will continue to update the list of faculty as more presenters are confirmed.
On September 4, the Wilmette Institute's third correspondence courseˇon the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and related textsˇbegan. Four weeks later, October 3, a second section of a course on the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1868-92, was inaugurated.
Courses In Progress
Since most of the students in the first section of Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1868-92, course (beginning July 3) had decided to wait for the second group to begin, October 3 had a special feeling with many students posting brief introductions on the course listserver. A conference call was held to inaugurate study efforts.
Homework for both courses is being read and assessed by Jonah Winters, the faculty member in charge of reviewing homework and maintaining the websites of the two courses. So far, he reports students are submitting extremely high quality work in abundance.
Series on World Religions
The Wilmette Institute has decided to inaugurate a series of courses titled "The World's Religions: An Integrated Approach" in 1999. The series introduces the origin, founder, teachings, practices, and followers of the various world religions. The faiths are studied as integral parts of the ever-developing religion of God, not as isolated phenomena, and in the light of the Bahá'í Faith. Each course is designed to foster dialogue (to help one interact with people of other religions and explain the Faith to them) and deepening (to help one understand better the basics of the other religion and, by comparison, the Bahá'í Faith). Students are encouraged to give firesides or deepenings on the other faith as well as to conduct a "dialogue project" of their own design with members of the other religion. The schedule is as follows:
to Begin in January
Courses that last two months are $100; those that are three months long, $50. Textbooks will cost extra. "Eastern" and "Western" religions are alternated to allow faculty and students interested in either to rest between courses. A course on the Bahá'í Faith is included and will be aimed particularly toward college students wanting to take a course over the summer. The series will be repeated in future years, allowing students to take some courses the first time around and others the second or third.
- Hinduism for Dialogue and Deepening
Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 1999 $100
- Judaism for Dialogue and Deepening
Mar. 1-Apr. 30, 1999 $100
- Buddhism for Dialogue and Deepening
May 1-June 30 1999 $100
- Christianity for Dialogue and Deepening
Sept. 1-Oct. 30, 1999 $100
- Chinese Religions for Dialogue and Deepening
Nov. 1-Dec. 30, 1999 $100
- Zoroastrianism for Dialogue and Deepening
Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2000 $100
- Islam for Dialogue and Deepening
Mar. 1-May 31, 2000 $150
- The Bahá'í Faith: A Systematic Introduction
June 1-Aug. 30, 1999 $150
June 1-Aug. 30, 2000 $150
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 5 November 1998
Eight Wilmette Institute Students Attend
Twentieth `Irfán Colloquium
Eight Wilmette Institute students were among the one hundred forty people who attended the `Irfán Colloquium held October 9-12, 1998, at Louhelen Bahá'í School in Davison, Michigan. The weekend was the first to involve simultaneous conferences in English and Persian.
The two themes of the colloquium connected to recent Wilmette Institute courses. The English-language program, with an audience of twenty-five, focused on world religionsspecifically ChristianityFriday night and Saturday morning. A Wilmette Institute student, Ted Brownstein, offered a presentation on "How Bahá'u'lláh Taught Christians: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings to Followers of Jesus Christ."
The rest of the weekend examined tablets revealed by Bahá'u'lláh during the Istanbul-Adrianople period (1863-68), including a talk on the Law-i-Sultán by Iskandar Hai, another Wilmette Institute student.
A fifteen minute presentation on the Wilmette Institute, and comments by the students, resulted in one new registration for a correspondence course and several expressions of interest.
The Persian colloquium, attended by about 120 people, focused exclusively on the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh during the Istanbul-Adrianople period (1863-68). Seventeen presentations were made by eleven speakers. After beginning with an overview of the revelation during the five-year period, presentations focused on specific tablets, such as the Tablet of the Branch, the Kitáb-i-Bad'` (the longest work by Bahá'u'lláh not yet translated into English), Bahá'u'lláh's mathnav' (a poem), the Tablet to the Shah, other tablets to the Kings, and the Tablet of the Celestial Nightingale.
Themed talks considered "Pantheism and the Station of the Manifestation of God," "The Most Great Separation," "Human Rights and Collective Security," and "Principles of Bahá'í Theology." A special program commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Badasht conference. Every evening a panel discussion with all the speakers of the day allowed the audience to ask questions, followed by socializing and Persian music.
The `Irfán Colloquia began in 1993. Currently English and Persian conferences are held annually in both North America and Europe. "`Irfán" is a Persian word referring to mystical, theological, and spiritual knowledge. The conferences are sponsord by the Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Fund, which was established in 1992 to honor Haj Mehdi Arjmand (1861-1941), a Persian Bahá'í who became known for his profound knowledge of the Bible, Qur'án, and Bahá'í scripture.
The purpose of the Fund is to foster study of scriptures of the world's religions from a Bahá'í perspective. A 36-page abstract booklet from the twentieth Irfán Colloquium is available for $3 from the Research Office, Bahá'í National Center, Wilmette, IL 60091. Checks should be made out to the "Bahá'í Services Fund." Eventually many of the papers will be published in a series of Arjmand-sponsored volumes. Tentatively, next year's Irfán colloquia in English and Persian will be held at Louhelen over the Columbus Day weekend.
Wilmette Institute students gathered outside Louhelen.
Left to right: (back row) Ted Brownstein, Iskandar Hai, Rob Stockman (WI Administrator), Cher Gupta; (front row) Ruhiyyih Skrenes, Barbara Henes, Hoda Erfany, Amelia Allmart.
The Twentieth Irfán Colloquium:
Report by a Wilmette Institute Student
by Ruhiyyih Skrenes
Thank you for recommending and encouraging us students at the Wilmette Institute to attend the Irfán Colloquium. I'd like to share with you the impact these seminars had on me. I feel that I have gained an experience which I eagerly look forward to repeat.
The first presenter, Gary Selchert, though his topic was unfamiliar to me ["A Comparative Study of Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith"], pointed to a need to become familiar with the subject. Ted Brownstein's study of Bahá'u'lláh's tabletsˇparticularly His tablets to the Kings, to discover His methods for teaching Christiansˇwas definitely interesting and useful!(Continued on page 6)
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 6 November 1998
(Continued from page 5)
Iskandar Hai made a really personal connection to his audience when he presented the historical background of Bad''s delivery of the Lawh-i-Sultán to Násiri'd Sháh. He also emphasized specific aspects of the tablet to the Shah.
Habib Riazatihow do I convey my impressions of his presentation [on "A Brief Overview of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh During the Istanbul-Adrianople Period"]? It is truly captivating to observe any one person with such a broad base of knowledge who is able to convey and share the knowledge with humility and power.
Nader Saiedi passionately conveyed the individual's responsibility to achieve certitude in the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh in "Introducing the Kitáb-i-Bad'."
The only other two presentations which I attended were those of Muin Afnani [on "Pantheism and the Station of the Manifestation"] and Sohrab Kourosh [on "Tablets to the Kings: Human Rights and Collective Security"], which were equally informative and useful. Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference before its completion, but I experienced more than I lost. What an overall energizing experience!
[Note: Other presentations in the English-language program were: a second presentation by Habib Riazati on several tablets of Bahá'u'lláh; Azar Movagh, "Sesquicentennial of the Badasht Gathering"; Moojan Khadem, "The Mathnav' of Bahá'u'lláh"; a second presentation on the Kitáb-i-Bad' by Nader Saiedi; and Iraj Ayman, "Principles of Theology in the Tablet of Salmán."]
Wilmette Institute Presence at
At least four Wilmette Institute students, three members of the Wilmette Institute Board, and several faculty attended the Association for Bahá'í Studies annual meeting in Montreal, September 24-27, 1998. A presentation on the Wilmette Institute Saturday night drew most of the students and provided an opportunity to explain how the correspondence courses work in terms of expectations and the freedom of the student to shape the course to fit her needs. Several friends of students and interested visitors asked questions about the upcoming correspondence courses.
Association for Bahá'í Studies Conference
The theme of the conference was "The Covenant: Pivot of the Oneness of Humanity." It was attended by some 800 people from the United States, Canada, Alaska, and overseas. Friday was devoted to the theme of the Covenant in the world's religions, with presentations about the Covenant in Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Bahá'í Faith, all by members of those faiths. Saturday morning was devoted to simultaneous sessions about the role of the Covenant in law, global governance, marriage and family life, gender equality, community life, and history. In the afternoon Dr. William Hatcher delivered the Hasan Balyuzi lecture on "Love, Power, and Justice." Sunday morning there were presentations on "The Covenant and the Unity of Humankind" and "The Universal House of Justice in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh," followed by a youth panel. All three of the conference's evenings (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) featured excellent artistic presentations.
The Association for Bahá'í Studies conference was also the site for meetings of special interest groups on
science and religion, religious studies, knowledge and scholarship, the arts, agriculture, cyberspace,and aboriginal Canadian Bahá'ís. Wilmette Institute faculty were involved in planning the Religious Studies Seminar and delivered one of its four presentations.
The next annual meeting of the Association for Bahá'í Studies will be June 17-20, 1999, in Tempe, Arizona (next to Phoenix). The theme will be "Sacred Justice: Uniting the Human Family." It will focus on conflict resolution and American Indian/first nations issues, among other subjects.
A Teaching Story
from Alice Ferro, SFGC student
A new Bahá'í, Sione Imgram, turned 15 and asked me to bring a declaration card to our regularly scheduled children's classes on Saturday. This same Saturday, Sione's father, Al, had invited all the Christian Marshallese and their minister, Steve Stone, for a barbeque.
I quickly realized that this was not the time or place for Sione to declare his Faith or for us to have children's classes, and asked to reschedule the lessons for later that week. Then, Sione asked me if I had the "card." I did.
At this point, the Minister said that Sione could not declare his Faith because both I and Bahá'u'lláh were liars. I told Sione that we should wait. Again, Mr. Stone said that Bahá'u'lláh was a liar and His Faith was false.
I asked Mr. Stone, "If Jesus Christ were here would you call Bahá'u'lláh a liar in front of Him?" Mr. Stone again said that Bahá'u'lláh was a liar. I repeated my question and added, "Did not Jesus say not to persecute those who worshiped in other ways because His Father's House had many mansions?"
Again Sione asked to sign his Bahá'í card. Mr. Stone
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 7 November 1998
Studying the Revelation
The Three Stages of Divine Revelation by Habib Riazati
QUESTION: the beloved Guardian, in God Passes By, pp. 138-39, states that the Kitáb-i-Iqán "adumbrates and distinguishes between the three stages of divine revelation." What are the three?
ANSWER: This statement of the beloved Guardian refers to the section in the Kitáb-i-Iqán, pp. 139
42, where His holiness Bahá'u'lláh explains the meaning of the "Presence of God." The three stages are:
1) Tajall'y-i-`Am: The Universal Revelation of GodTajall'y-i-`Am means that all created beings are the manifestations of the revelation of God's attributes. Tajall'y-i-Khass means that there is a revelation from the inner essence of God to Itself; no other being ever receives such revelation.
2) Tajall'y-i-Khass: The Specific Revelation of God
3) Tajall'y-i-Thán': The Secondary Revelation of God
Tajall'y-i-Thán' refers to the revelation that only belongs to the Manifestations of God and His chosen Ones. This is the mash'yyat-i-aval or the Primal Will. His holiness Baha'u'llah refers to these on pages 141-i-42 of the Kitáb-i-Iqán.
These three stages have been referred to by various names in the works of Sufis. For instance Ibn
Arab' (1153-1191) in his Fusás-al-Hikam uses the terms fayd-i-aqdas (Most Holy Outpouring) which is tajall'yi-i-khass, and fayd-i-muqqadas (Holy Outpouring) which is tajall'y-i-i-thán'. The main reason that His holiness Bahá'u'lláh refers to these is to show that the Manifestations of God are the ultimate center for the revelation of God's attributes and therefore by the term "attaining to the Presence of God" is meant "attaining to the Presence of the Manifestations of God." By "Manifestation of God" we mean Bahá'u'lláh or that Primal Will in all the Manifestations of God. In this respect, the Divinity, Prophethood and the Servitude of the Manifestations of God are in reality speaking of only one reality that appears in the contingent domains of Time and Space.
(Continued from page 6)
asked why he and his family come to church on Sunday if he wanted to be a Bahá'í. Sione replied that his stepfather insisted that they all go and Sione complied to preserve family unity and harmony, but he was a Bahá'í. Mr. Stone said nothing further. Sione signed his card.
Sione's father invited me to stay for the barbeque and Mr. Stone invited me to join him. Upon request, Mr. Stone explained that he had first heard of the Faith in Okinawa while in the Navy. He had thought about becoming a Bahá'í then, but the Bahá'í teacher was shipped back to the US. When he was shipped back, he never found another Bahá'í but the Lord Jesus instead.
I asked Steve what he remembered about the Bahá'í. He said that while working in the Navy Personnel office, Steve heard a colonel talking to his own colonel about a problem he was having: a young woman was helping to spread the beliefs of a cult all over Okinawa.
The colonel did not care what the locals believed, but several members of his church had become Bahá'ís. He offered the woman promotions and better positions to get her to leave his department, but nothing worked. He tried to get her confined to quarters and tried to stop a Bahá'í marriage, but it
was as if the devil himself was protecting her; the Judge Advocate she was called to see turned out to be a Bahá'í and was delighted that there was to be a marriage and saw no reason to keep her confined to quarters.
Mr. Stone then heard these two colonels work out how to set up false charges to cause this woman's court-martial and dishonorable discharge. He also found out that charges would drop if she quit the Bahá'í Faith and joined the church.
At the trial, the woman claimed her innocence and and said that God would protect her. Mr. Stone could not believe that a member of his church was pressing false charges. He testified at the trial of what he had heard and all charges were dropped. Mr. Stone went to several meetings before the Bahá'í was discharged from the Army early.
I did not tell him that I was that Bahá'í 28 years ago.
This memorable Saturday impressed with Sione standing up so young for the Faith, a minister who had courage in defending a new Bahá'í so many years ago given another chance to find Bahá'u'lláh, and a Bahá'í who years ago should have guided the minister to the Faith given another chance to help him find the truth he was looking for so many years ago.
The Lamp, vol. 3, no. 4 8 November 1998
Patricia Campuzano Joins the Wilmette Institute Staff
Two days after arriving in Evanston, IL, Patricia got to work in her office space at the Wilmette Institute.Photo courtesy of Dennis McDonnel
During the 1998 Spiritual Foundations summer session, Patricia Campuzano, a first-year SFGC student, decided that she would sell her acupuncture practice in Portland, Oregon, and drive her cat and all her life's possessions 2,300 miles to the Chicago area to help the Wilmette Institute.
She arrived October 6 and within a week she had settled into her new apartment, openned an acupuncture practice, seen several patients, and begun her voluntary service at the Wilmette Institute. "It would seem that God had his welcoming signs out for me," Patricia noted in summary.
Patricia will split her time between her patients and the Wilmette Institute. Patricia brings her experience as Registrar, Dean of Students, and Dean of Faculty with the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, and will help the Wilmette Institute with registration tasks, publicity and marketing, and long-term development goals.
E-mails from Students(The following were gleaned from student introductions on REV, the listserver for the correspondence course on the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1868-92.)
From Elizabeth Pottinger:I live in a log cabin across from a pond in a very high elevation in New Hampshire. I'm married and we have two boys, ages 10 and 11, whom I educate at home. I work in a Florist shop on weekends and every holiday season. We also have a wonderful mutt named Otis, Otie or my Otis Blossoms, depending on my mood or what he's gotten into. I hike, cross country ski, canoe, watch my kids play hockey.?.?.?.?and spend time helping people in our town in various ways.
I'm an isolated believer. This is my second correspondence course. It has been so wonderful to have the opportunity to participate in a national training institute. Having known that I would be going to unit convention and giving a presentation on my experience, which I just did, I took the last week to read everything I could find on training institutes and I must say that the Wilmette Institute is a powerfully shining example of what they are to be. My experience truly was transforming. I went from a place of not knowing much, to knowing AND understanding a little and then being able to put it into action. My love of Bahá'u'lláh has deepened, I have felt the courage and ability to teach effectively for the first time in my Bahá'í life and I feel that this has happened in a loving and spiritually disciplined atmosphere.
From Dana McMurry:I live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia just north of Roanoke. I share most of my life with my husband, Chris, our two daughters, Cara and Krista, one aged 10 and one 6 and 3/4 (as she is so fond of proclaiming) and our nine cats.
Until a month ago, my main job was homeschooling the girls. However, we were blessed to be able to enroll them in a private school here whose mission statement follows so many of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings. We couldn't resist the opportunity for the girls to gain social skills, which are missing in our 6 member Bahá'í community, and teach the Faith to their friends. Now, I work with my husband in our land surveying business.
I was a part of the first course in this series and it is impossible to state all that the course has done and is continuing to do for me, my family, my community, and our area. Although I really do not have the time to take this part, I can not pass it by. There is so much to be gained. To those of you who are just starting this course, you will be astounded! . . . .
Lastly, I wish to apologize to all of you ahead of time for the dumb questions I am bound to post. I am on the extreme other end of the stick compared to [the faculty]. But I discovered early on in the other course that there are no dumb questions to them and all of my questions and more were answered patiently, earnestly and lovingly. Asking them also led to more discussion that led to even greater enlightenment.
So, bravo for Wilmette Institute and hold on to your hats! Here we go!