Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Junior Youth Groups: Purpose, Coherence, and Action

The guidance given to the global Baha'i community by the Universal House of Justice - which is developed through the humbly shared learning gained from the innumerable experiences of individuals and clusters throughout the world striving to apply previous guidance from the House - has established for us a systematic process of social evolution capable of leading us into greater applications of the Baha'i teachings and our contribution to the unfoldment of an ever-advancing civilization.

With such increasingly meaningful and conscious contact with the Creative Word, your growing understandings of the Word and efforts to put It into practice in service to humanity, "you will be drawn further and further into the life of the society around you and will be challenged to extend the process of systematic learning in which you are engaged to encompass a growing range of human endeavours. In the approaches you take, the methods you adopt, and the instruments you employ, you will need to achieve the same degree of coherence that characterizes the pattern of growth presently under way" (Universal House of Justice, Ridvan Letter, 2008).

In this light of coherence and growth, the significance, potential, and influence of junior youth groups begins to glow. As the newest core activity, and possibly the most complex, it opens a beaming shaft in the clouds of contemporary social action, social and economic development, and the influence of public discourse. It is at this time in our learning about expansion and consolidation that we are just beginning to see glimpses of how the institute process is bringing us to a point of capacity and coherence to contribute towards the needs of communities - needs articulated by the communities themselves rather than our own vain imaginings. In the purpose of junior youth groups - "in assisting them to navigate a crucial stage in their lives and to empower them in directing their energies towards the service of the advancement of humanity" (Universal House of Justice, Ridvan Letter, 2008) - our growing range of human endeavors will
be particularly addressed by this new generation which has previously been withheld from revealing their own innate gems. We are at the beginning of an unprecedented shift of consciousness not only for the young people of the world, but in the character of the coherent efforts towards the betterment of humanity.

How does the concept of assisting junior youth to "navigate a crucial stage in their lives" shape your efforts in the junior youth groups we are animating?

What can we concretely practice in our approaches to animating that reflect this framework of learning, coherence, and our purpose as animators?

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