Activities and celebrations not only did not slow down as Sunday began, it continued strong and intensified towards the last hours toward the sunset on Vancouver’s West Coast horizon. As reports and pictures come in, they will be posted on this page.
• 350 friends, two-thirds of whom were friends of the Faith, joined the joyous community-wide Bicentennial celebration in Richmond on Sunday afternoon at the Sheraton Hotel. The guests included the Mayor of Richmond and three City Councillors, an MP, and two MLA’s including one who changed her flight to be able to attend. The uplifting program of artistic performances, multi-lingual prayers and a 15- minute clip from Light of the World – gave the friends a glimpse of the majesty and power of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
One of the guests in attendance, a recently-met neighbor, was invited the night before the celebration, and came with his wife, daughter and mother-in- law. After the program, he commented to his friend, “This Bahá’i Faith is really interesting.” When asked what he found so interesting, he replied: “People look at you and you have this energy about you but it’s really because you are a Bahá’i that you have this energy. I can also learn and when I learn about the Bahá’i Faith, I will also have this energy. We don’t need to go around telling people that we are such and such or we are so and so, people will just recognize our energy and will recognize our demeanor and will want to know more about who we are. At that time, we can share with them we are Bahá’is and that’s how they’re going to learn and they will become Bahá’is.” He added, “You know, it’s really quite simple. There’s nothing complicated about this Faith.” The friend who invited him replied, “You got it man. It’s totally simple.” The neighbor later said, “Why don’t we have activities in our compound?” His friend replied, “Well you’re the first one so why don’t we start something?”• Tonight at 7:00 pm the lights at Vancouver City Hall turned off and then began flashing in rows from the top of the building to the bottom in honour of the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah.• A group of friends serving the children’s classes in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano held a children’s festival to celebrate the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah with children and families. Around 100 people, both Baha’is and members of the wider community, gathered for this special celebration held at the local community centre. Children participated in artistic activities, made care packages for a women’s shelter, sang songs together, and presented stories of Baha’u’llah. One mother who has just started bringing her child to the children’s classes shared how the teachings of Baha’u’llah resonate with her and how moved she is by everything she has learned so far about the Baha’i Faith.
• Many of the children and junior youth from the hillside area of Edmonds gathered to do arts and play basketball in honour of the bicentenary. The Buckingham junior youth group came for a showdown. They said prayers for unity and then celebrated on the basketball court.
• A teaching team in Kitsilano held an open house exhibition in a gallery about the Baha’i Faith which was visited by 24 friends of the Faith. A few members went to the street outside the gallery to invite people to come in. One man was walking with his son and a friend. When they were invited into the gallery, the man was very curious. His friend insisted that he was not interested, but the man gave his friend his house keys and told him to wait for him while he visits the gallery with his son. As he entered the gallery and read about the Faith he became more and more interested. As the end of the gallery was a room with the Light to the World film playing. The man said “I want to watch this video. I want to know about Baha’u’llah”. As he watched the video he said “I guess I am Baha’i. Who do I contact to in order to become a Baha’i.” His son, who is a youth, also said he would like to serve as an animator.
• Burnaby’s Hastings neighbourhood is learning to incorporate service into their commemoration. After the celebration was held, children and junior youth made sandwiches for a nursing home in Burnaby. The remaining sandwiches was taken to a homeless shelter.
Some stories as we receive them:
- Dunbar Theatre showing-many seekers-about 30 to 40. Total number around 180-200. About 30 on the balcony alone.
- Gathering at Aurora-during reception- about 10-12 friends of the Faith
Video Clip earlier in the day in Strathcona as preperation was underway for the exhibit and program in later afternoon. The posters you see in the video were produced by Maria Fernanda and are available in the Bicentenary Resource page.