Joyce Booze, from Westminster, Colorado, took the Wilmette Institute’s course on How to Study the Bahá’í Writings in 2011. Recently she shared with us the story of how her teaching team, composed of Kim McMillin, Bahar Azamian, and herself, decided, after meeting “erratically” for two years, to a host of tea for women and to share the Education Under Fire documentary. Here is an account of the proverbial rock’s being dropped into a pond and the resulting ripples and actions. Not realizing that the teaching team was moving from expansion and consolidation into social action and public discourse, it is now considering taking the Wilmette Institute’s course on Social Action and Public Discourse, which will be offered again in June 2013. Here is the teaching team’s report.
Three of us women, Kim McMillin, Bahar Azamian, and myself, formed a teaching team a couple of years ago and have met erratically since then. In the fall of 2012, we conceived the idea of having a ladies’ tea (at the townhome of one of us) to share the Education Under Fire DVD and (we hoped) to engender some discussions about human rights and the Bahá’í Faith.
We sent out formal paper invitations (and also, in some cases, called potential invitees before sending the invitations out, in order to determine receptivity), and then held the tea on October 28, 2012.
We provided all the expected “trappings” of a formal tea: white tablecloth; pretty teapots; lovely teacups from several different countries; and various teas, cookies, and goodies to eat. We served cups of tea first and then (rather than having prayer per se) had a few minutes of silence in thanks for the blessings we have. After that we showed the Education Under Fire video and had some formal group discussion before breaking for the actual food and informal discussions.
We invited seven friends, five of whom accepted our invitation. Three of them were not Bahá’ís. Of the Bahá’ís present, one woman was a BIHE graduate herself (which was very helpful). Two others were Persians who well remember the Iranian Revolution.
We all had a lovely and somewhat emotional time. We talked about equality, world unity, religious unity, the inevitability of becoming united, and the progress of true causes even through adversities.
Our teaching team is very excited about this event and its outcome and will be planning similar events, either showing the same DVD to different groups or showing a different DVD to the same group. We will keep the number of all who attend, including ourselves, to no more than ten so that we can easily accommodate everyone and allow time for each person’s input. Of course, we will inform our Spiritual Assembly about future events and will welcome recommendations and, especially, prayers for assistance and confirmation.
After our tea and the showing/conversation of the Education Under Fire documentary, one of the ladies present, who teaches at Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colorado, held a showing on a very short notice at her college. Thirteen people attended that showing/conversation.
We were pleased with this nonthreatening way in which to focus on human rights; bring the plight of the Iranian Bahá’ís to light; and, in the process, share information about the Bahá’í Faith.