Course: The Four Valleys and the Hidden Words: an Arts Perspective (2021)
Faculty Mentor: Peggy Caton
Student: Melissa Hobbs
Editor’s Note: This was Melissa’s third course on the Arts with the Wilmette Institute. She took the companion course “The Seven Valleys and the Arts of Transformation” in 2019, and “The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts” in 2018. These comments are from an email she sent to Wilmette Institute Director, Rob Stockman, reporting on her continuing service to her community in Northern California.
“The class helps me with confidence that the arts are integral to Bahá’í life. I’m serving on the arts committee for our upcoming conference in Northern CA, CA03 cluster. We are planning how to weave the arts into each theme and into the evening presentations.
Continuing my storytelling, I created a biography of Mrs. Helen Goodall, one of the nineteen disciples of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. She consecrated her life to teaching and supporting Bahá’í activities in Northern California and throughout the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. She encouraged ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to visit California during His North America sojourn.
I’m using the course materials to tell stories about the Zoroastrians in India, and a traditional Ukrainian cultural tale. There are many stories around the world which promote spiritual conversations and mirror spiritual themes.”