THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA’IS OF TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT RIDVAN 164 - RIDVAN 165 21 April 2007 - 20 April

2008

APPENDIX 2 SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING PAST YEAR These include the following events, listed chronoligically, some of which were called by the National Spiritual Assembly or the Baha'i Council: • Meeting with Mr. Siamak Hariri regarding the Chile Temple project, June 2007 • BNASAA seminar on “Spirituality and Sexuality”, September 2007 • Meeting of Counsellor Dan Scott with parents and teachers of children’s classes, October 2007 • Regional institutional conferences, May and November 2007 • National Memorial Service for Hand of the Cause of God ‘Ali-Muhammad Varqa, December 2007 • Winter School on “Divine Civilization” – December 2007 • Meetings in English and Persian with representative of the National Spiritual Assembly regarding the National Fund, February 2008 • Symposium on spiritual education of children and junior youth, March 2008 • Course on public speaking, January – February 2008

APPENDIX 3 COMMUNITY STATISTICS (as of 16 April 2008) Baha'i population: 1744 Adult Population: 1440 Youth Population: 120 Junior Youth: 41 Child Population: 131 Unknown Age: 8 Moved into Toronto: 51 Transferred out of Toronto: 20 Enrolments: 44 Youth Affirmations: 13

Child Registrations: 9 Marriages: 12 Deaths: 5 Births: 11 Resignations: 1 International Pioneers: 8 Pioneers within Toronto: 16 Travelling Teachers: data not available Assembly Meetings: 42

APPENDIX 4 LIST OF APPOINTED AGENCIES DURING B.E. 164 Assembly Appointed Agencies During Past Year Care Committee CABS (Campus Association for Baha'i Studies) Centre Management Committee Cluster Growth Committee Counseling Committee - East Counseling Committee - West Debriefing Taskforce (for pioneers) Deepening Committee Elections Taskforce External Affairs Committee Feast Committees (6 committees) Fundraising Taskforce (for Centre Renovation Debt) Funeral Resources Hiring Taskforce Holy Day Committee Information Technology Coordinator Integration Committee Toronto List Monitor (listserv) Muslim Enrolment Taskforce Newsletter Persian Gatherings Committee Pre-Marriage Preparation Taskforce Seasonal Schools Sector Teams/contact persons Statistics Team Number serving on agencies: 114 To contact the above agencies: see newsletter

APPENDIX 5 STATISTICS ON THE CORE ACTIVITIES OVER 5 YEAR PERIOD Number of core activities and of attendance in core activities for each year shown:
Junior Youth Program No. 3 Att. 23 Seekers No. 18 Devotional Gatherings Att. 55 Seekers

Data as of: No. Ridvan 2004 Ridvan 2005 Ridvan 2006 Ridvan 2007 Ridvan 2008 62

Study Circles Att. 500 Seekers 7

Children's Classes No. 10 Att. 70 Seekers

39

236

17

15

75

4

34

25

350

19

148

6

9

55

6+

4

15

3

32

242

50

40

156

34

25

146

65

6

58

29

54

271

28

45

122

30

24

126

42

5

32

13

29

261

62

Total number who have taken Ruhi books by the date shown:
Date as of: Ridvan 2004 Ridvan 2005 Ridvan 2006 Ridvan Book 1 422 Book 2 277 Book 3 158 Book 4 177 Book 5 3 Book 6 107 Book 7 117 Tutors Animators

466

305

188

201

3

158

134

482 449

322 311

195 193

225 228

11 32

171 169

147 149

94 149

13 32

2007 Ridvan 2008 503 326 214 249 41 183 130

Note: The data in the above table is somewhat inaccurate for earlier time periods (2004 and 2005). If a person moved into Toronto from out of province, having already completed books in the main sequence – the institute does not keep record of his/her time of arrival, or the start/end dates of the books they have completed. For this reason, a person who has just moved into Toronto may be counted in previous time periods, since we have no means of separating them.

APPENDIX 6 QUOTATIONS RELATED TO ASSEMBLY’S ROLE IN THE FIVE YEAR PLAN 1. None of the accomplishments of the individual or the community could be sustained without the guidance, encouragement and support of the third participant in the Plan—the institutions of the Faith. It is heartening to see to what extent the institutions are promoting individual initiative, channelling energies into the teaching field, underscoring the value of systematic action, fostering the spiritual life of the community and nurturing a welcoming environment. In helping the community to remain focused on the aim of the Plan, they are learning in practical terms what it means to maintain unity of vision among the friends, to put mechanisms in place that facilitate their endeavours and to allocate resources in accordance with priorities wisely set…While tending to needs of this kind, the institutions find themselves increasingly capable of directing the thrust of the effort exerted by the generality of the believers towards the prosecution of the central tasks of the Plan.
(Universal House of Justice, December 27, 2005, paragraph 17)

2. The role of the Local Spiritual Assembly is, like that of all other institutions, an evolutionary one, which will develop in relation to the processes of growth. Although observations in this area are still rather preliminary, certain broad conclusions are already discernible. Where Local Assemblies have acquired the new vision of growth and adjusted to the requirements of operating within the context of the cluster, they have greatly enhanced the teaching work. Conversely, where there has been resistance to the new realities, the process of growth has been adversely affected. (International Teaching Centre, Reflections on Growth #10, paragraph 11) 3. If the potential for growth is to be realized, however, it is imperative that the two movements which lie at the heart of the current series of global Plans receive further impetus from your institution by your eliciting the heartfelt support of the believers, ensuring that energies are not

dissipated and making resources available as needed. In addition, as the elected representatives of the body of believers, your members will need to work shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Bahá’ís in the forefront of activity, sharing their challenges and providing an example of wholehearted participation. At this critical moment in the fortunes of the Faith, no believer, whether veteran or newly enrolled, can regard passive acceptance of the activities of the Plan as an adequate response to the needs of the hour.
(Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly)

4. Beyond these considerations, the leadership role of the Spiritual Assemblies—be they national or local—is of profound importance. It has been observed in many clusters that the processes of growth are greatly enhanced where this leadership role is exercised through the Assemblies’ constant effort to maintain the vision of growth before the believers, allowing for the two essential movements to impact priorities, avoiding unnecessary distractions, providing the necessary resources, and reinforcing the plans and initiatives at the cluster level. Further, the dynamic force of individual example as the members of Assemblies themselves become personally involved in the cluster activities, actively supporting the efforts of the cluster agencies, is imperative.
(International Teaching Centre, Reflections on Growth #10, paragraph 17)

5. In other instances, particularly in the context of intensive programmes of growth, Local Assemblies with a high level of functioning are rising to the challenges created by the programme. Such Assemblies have effectively reinforced the cluster plan formulated by the cluster agencies and assumed responsibility for certain elements of the endeavour within their own area.
(International Teaching Centre, Reflections on Growth #10, paragraph 13)

6. Over the past four and a half years, as the believers throughout the world have striven to pursue the aim of advancing the process of entry by troops, it has become increasingly clear that the close of the present Five Year Plan will mark a decisive moment in the unfoldment of the historical enterprise on which the community of the Greatest Name is embarked. The elements required for a concerted effort to infuse the diverse regions of the world with the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation have crystallized into a framework for action that now needs only to be exploited. Our 26 December 1995 message, which focused the Bahá'í world on a path of intense learning about the sustained, rapid growth of the Faith, described in general terms the nature of the work that would have to be undertaken in meeting the challenges ahead. As a first step, Bahá'í communities were urged to systematize their efforts to develop the human resources of the Cause through a network of training institutes. While every national community took measures to create institutional capacity to perform this essential function, it was not until the outset of the Five Year Plan that the significance of a well-conceived programme of training became widely appreciated. The introduction of the concept of the cluster made it possible for the friends to

think about the accelerated growth of the community on a manageable scale and to conceive of it in terms of two complementary, reinforcing movements: the steady flow of individuals through the sequence of institute courses and the movement of clusters from one stage of development to the next. This image helped the believers to analyse the lessons being learned in the field and to employ a common vocabulary to articulate their findings. Never before have the means for establishing a pattern of activity that places equal emphasis on the twin processes of expansion and consolidation been better understood. Indeed, so consistent has been the experience with intensive programmes of growth, implemented on the basis of this understanding in divers clusters, that no cause for equivocation remains. The way forward is clear, and at Ridvan 2006 we will call upon the believers to steel their resolve and to proceed with the full force of their energies on the course that has been so decidedly set. In presenting to you the features of the coming Five Year Plan, the subject of your deliberations in this conference, we will review the record of recent accomplishments of the Bahá'í world and indicate how current approaches, methods and instruments should be carried to this next stage. What the analysis will make evident is that the wholehearted response of the individual believer, the community and the institutions to the guidance they received five years ago has raised their capacity to new levels. The continued development of this capacity will remain essential to the aim of advancing the process of entry by troops - the focus of the Bahá'í world through the final years of the first century of the Formative Age.
(The Universal House of Justice, 27 December 2005, To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, paragraphs 1-3)