September 26, 2012
To the American Bahá’í community
for the Feast of Mashíyyat
Dearly loved Friends,
As we enter the final months of our year-long commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá’s visit to these shores, the power of His words and deeds continues to be everywhere present, summoning us to acts of service worthy of our high calling as a national community.
Countless times in His public addresses during His eight months’ sojourn in America, the Master gave us intimations of the great destiny of this land and its peoples, which He later elaborated on in His Tablets of the Divine Plan, in terms that astonish us still. “Exert yourselves,” He exhorts us in one of these Tablets, “your mission is unspeakably glorious.” He goes on to give us this startling promise:
Should success crown your enterprise, America will assuredly evolve into a center from which waves of spiritual power will emanate, and the throne of the Kingdom of God will, in the plenitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established.
Divine and mysterious as the forces that propel it may be, glorious as its outcome will be, the work of building the Kingdom of God on earth, like any other project, is dependent on material means. Whether the task at hand be assisting in the expansion and consolidation work of 10 new Regional Bahá'í Councils and their Regional Training Institutes, defending the rights of our cruelly persecuted sisters and brothers in Iran, commencing construction of the Bahá'í House of Worship’s visionary new Welcome Center, or contributing our share to international collaboration goals to meet the requirements of the Faith worldwide, the need for funds is both constant and pressing.
To stay on track toward our $31 million National Bahá'í Fund goal for this fiscal year, contributions at the forthcoming close of the second quarter must amount to $10.2 million. At this writing, a total of $6.3 million has been received, leaving us $3.9 million to be raised before October 31—a formidable challenge, yet only one of many that, time and again, we, the community of believers addressed by the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, as “the champion-builders of Bahá'u'lláh’s embryonic Order,” have proven ourselves equal to.
As the precious days of this centennial year of the Master’s visit dwindle, let us redouble our efforts to repay our debt to Him for the boundless love, patient care, and priceless guidance He lavished on us by striving anew to reflect the virtues He taught by example—among them the virtues of complete consecration and selfless devotion in our services to this mighty Cause. We can best demonstrate our consecration and selflessness, as the words of one of the Master’s prayers tell us, by offering up our whole hearts to God, never withholding from Him—in adoration of His beauty and in our search for ways to please Him—the things we possess.
Dearest friends, the “goodly gifts and bestowals” that await those who expend their wealth in the Blessed Beauty’s path are, so we are promised, plenteous. Let us not wait for year’s end to experience these wondrous spiritual rewards— let us, with an outpouring of material resources the likes of which this community has never before seen, not only meet but surpass our October 31 milestone for contributions. Let us seize this precious chance to once more prove our undying gratitude to a loving Master Who called this community into being and, through His ceaseless and assiduous labors, “raised it up for the glory and honor of His Father’s Faith.”
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of the United States
Juana C. Conrad Treasurer