Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

Animator

An older person (typically a youth) who accompanies and assists members of a junior youth group in the development of their capacities. See: Junior youth spiritual empowerment program.

C

Children’s classes

Baha’i children’s classes aim to nurture the hearts and minds of children. The emphasis of these classes is on helping children to learn to reflect on and apply spiritual principles, such as love, unity and justice, to their own lives and to the lives of those around them. Based on the teachings of Baha’u’llah, the classes seek to inspire in children a love of God and His Messengers, and of humanity in all its diversity. The classes include short lessons, activities to build friendship, games, stories, art and music.

Cluster

A geographic area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities in which the Baha’is and their friends are working in close collaboration in their community building efforts. The factors that determine the boundaries of a cluster are dynamic and can change over time, but typically include natural affinities, culture, language, patterns of transport, infrastructure, and the social and economic life of the inhabitants.

Core activities

Devotional gatherings, study circles, children’s classes and junior youth groups are community building activities currently being offered by Baha’i communities all over the world. These activities are open to all.

D

Devotional Gatherings

A regular gathering of people from all faiths and backgrounds who come together in a locality to share prayers and worship. Often held in homes or neighbourhood or community centres, devotional gatherings are considered an essential practice of the spiritual wellbeing of a community, and follow no set form or rituals.

F

Fireside

A gathering open to the general public for the purpose of discussing some aspect of the Baha'i teachings with friends, neighbours and acquaintances.

P

Pebbles To Pearls Program

A summer initiative that assisted animators to start local junior youth groups across the city of Toronto.

S

Social action

A broad area of activity that seeks to apply the Baha’i teachings and principles to improve some aspect of the social or economic life of a population. Such initiatives can range from simple acts of community service to complex social and economic development programs and initiatives.

Study circles

A decentralized and participatory approach to learning where groups of friends and neighbours engage in study of the Baha’i writings and develop their capacity to serve their community. Study circles are facilitated by a trained tutor who also accompanies the participants in their learning.

T

The junior youth spiritual empowerment program

Often also referred as the junior youth empowerment program or simply junior youth groups. This educational program typically engages older youth as animators of younger peers aged 11 to 15 to help them develop their powers of expression, capacities for moral reasoning, and an ethic of service to others. The program combines study, mentorship and social action.

The Ruhi Institute

An educational institution based in Colombia, South America. Study circles all over the world use curriculum developed by the Ruhi Institute.

Training Institute

A systematic approach to learning aimed at imparting knowledge, skills, spiritual insights into fundamental aspects of the teachings and practices of the Baha’i Faith in order to better ourselves and the conditions of the world. The program of the training institute consists of a sequence of courses offered at a central location or through study circles at the local level.

Tutor

The facilitator of a study circle. This individual is not a teacher but rather a collaborator in the learning process.