Join others in exploring spiritual topics in free weekly study classes.
* All classes are free and open to all regardless of background or belief.
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“Responding to the inmost longing of every heart to commune with its Maker, they carry out acts of collective worship in diverse settings, uniting with others in prayer, awakening spiritual susceptibilities, and shaping a pattern of life distinguished for its devotional character.”
REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT
What is a Bahá’í study circle?
“Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” is the first in a series of free discussion classes or “study circles” offered at the Lake Oswego Bahá’í Center and in neighborhoods around the metro Portland area. The focus of the class is largely concerned with the question of true identity and uses passages and quotes from the Bahá’í writings to explore spiritual themes related to prayer, the soul, and life after death.
Small groups of individuals typically meet once per week. Anyone aged fifteen or older, whether a Bahá’í or not, is welcome to take part. Each group is brought together by an unpaid volunteer tutor. Tutors are not clergy and do not hold any special status or rank within the Bahá’í community. They are simply those who have previously studied the course materials and who have received some further training related to facilitating study circles with others. Everyone can potentially serve as a tutor on some occasions, while continuing to take part as a member of a study circle on others.
A core principle of the Bahá’í Faith is the independent investigation of truth. All those participating are seen as active agents of their own learning, and tutors strive to create an atmosphere that encourages individuals to assume ownership for the spiritual educational process in which they are engaged. A study circle should be a space that leads to the spiritual and moral empowerment of individuals.
The materials also include passages from the Bahá’í writings related to specific themes and acts of service. Together participants think about the application of these passages to their individual and collective lives. Among the questions they explore are how to create environments that put people in contact with the spiritual forces released through prayer and devotion, how to strengthen bonds of friendship and establish meaningful patterns of communication among people of various backgrounds, and how our own spiritual growth and development doesn’t occur in a vacuum but is directly tied to the spiritual progress and wellbeing of others and of our communities.
To build a better world requires an ever-growing pool of people capable of contributing to the accomplishment of the myriad tasks at hand, and regardless of your faith, background or belief we invite you to work alongside us as we strive to build better communities and to create unity in our city, our country and our world.
What is the Baha’i Faith?
At a time of rapid change in the world today, humanity needs, more then ever, a unified vision of the nature and purpose of our lives and of the future of our society. Such a vision unfolds within the writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
The Bahá’í community in Lake Oswego and all around the world is exploring Bahá’u’lláh’s spiritual teachings with people of all backgrounds and is learning how this vision of the oneness of mankind, best expressed by the principle of unity in diversity, can be translated into action for the betterment of the world.
What Baha’is Believe
THE ONENESS OF GOD…
Though known by many names and understood in different ways, there is only one God, the Creator of the Universe and all that lies therein.
THE ONENESS OF RELIGION…
There is no one true religion. All the world’s faiths come from the same divine Source.
THE ONENESS OF MANKIND…
There is only one race, the human race, beautiful in all its diversity.
Bahá’ís believe that throughout history, God has sent to humanity, according to the needs of the time, a series of Divine Educators, known as Manifestations of God. These Divine Educators include Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Their distinct social and spiritual teachings have guided humanity’s efforts to advance civilisation.
Bahá’u’lláh, the most recent of these Divine Educators, teaches that humanity is on a path to maturity, much like an individual who progresses through various stages of development. The current turmoil in the world can be viewed as humanity experiencing the turbulence of adolescence.
The writings of Bahá’u’lláh provide a wealth of spiritual teachings that assist us in progressing on this path towards maturity, and in building a peaceful and unified world.