Mid-Island Bahá’í Summer School 2014
Family and friends began to gather late afternoon on Friday, June 27, 2014, at the Mid-Island Bahá’i Summer School. The Nanoose Place Hall in Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, offered a treed and grassy area for tents and a large gravelled spot for mobile units. The chatter amongst the gatherers was friendly and familiar.
Deepening the Knowledge
On Saturday, June 28, the volunteers at the front desk welcomed the campers and other attendees with a schedule, a name tag and a photo waiver form. It became the hub to initiate the spirit of fellowship and to respond to any questions the guests might have had.
“Does the school have a theme?” one curious visitor said.
“Yes. The theme this year is science and religion,” the registrar said
Every morning devotions opened hearts to receive the gift of exchange from the scheduled speakers. Keyvan Geula shared her study of the harmony of science and religion through an exploration of the latest findings from the field of psychology. Over the three-day community learning event, she guided the adults through the light of divine guidance and taught how these insights could be applied to the betterment of the life of the family and the community.
Throughout the weekend, Dr. Arsalan Geula offered exciting workshops on health and healing from a Bahá’i perspective, evolution from a Bahá’i perspective and science and religion.
Adding to the congregation’s increased knowledge of the Teachings was Naisan Geula’s talk of the adventures that combined recent advances in cognitive science with the Writings.
Shaku Raniga further stimulated the need for increased knowledge by presenting the topic, ‘Elements of Social Action' taken from the document prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development at the Bahá’i World Centre.
Stimulating the Zeal
Throughout the three and a half day experience, workshops filled with an atmosphere of life and thought were orchestrated. Novice, intermediate and advanced musicians strummed guitars with guidance from Amy Stephens. An improve session led by Lisa Olsen had the friends stimulated by Bahá’i quotes and laughing with joy. In another workshop, Robert MacMillan introduced the friends to the concept and inception steps of forming a spiritual café medium to teach the faith.
The children, junior youth and youth were educated in school-themed topics. For example, the youngest demonstrated their learnt skills by performing a two-act play on stage. Others were guided to learn the miraculous transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly using paper, glue and coloured crayons.
The Spirit of Fellowship
Every day, at lunch and dinner, all the attendees gathered to feast on the elaborate presentation of nutritious food. Table-side conversations included further deepening of the science and religion topic, sharing of stories from previous gatherings and new exchanges with new friends. Within a very short time, the community members became well acquainted with one another. To help digest the meal friends engaged in various forms of recreation. The children’s laughter along with the junior youth’s friendliness and the youth’s physical activities added to the festive mood.
With humble thankfulness, the volunteers tended to all the needs of the friends. From cleaning rooms to preparing abundant meals, they demonstrated true comfort and spread the love of Bahá’u’llah and devotion to His Faith. The atmosphere of the Mid-Island Bahá’i School was firmly rooted in the hearts of the believers. Many could be heard humming ♫“Ye Are The Trees Of My Garden” ♫.
Submitted by: Susan Black, Campbell River, BC