Musical Prayer Station “What Cannot Be Forgotten”

“O SON OF SPIRIT!
My claim on thee is great, it cannot be forgotten. My grace to thee is plenteous, it cannot be veiled. My love has made in thee its home, it cannot be concealed. My light is manifest to thee, it cannot be obscured.”
Baha’i Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words #20

Dear friends,

Have you had enough of this winter’s snow? Have the daily distractions blurred your vision of who you truly are? Then, it is time to remember not only that spring shall come but also what cannot be forgotten!

What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, spiritual conversation, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, refreshments shared with smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing songs, prayers and inspiration with friends gets us all closer to the Creator and recharges us for the days ahead.

Arlington Prayer Station “What Cannot Be Forgotten” – Saturday, March 7, 6 pm

This Saturday, March 7th, 2015 — the eve before the International Day of Women — we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Musical Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “What Cannot Be Forgotten“.

To accommodate those who are observing the Baha’i Fast, we’ll gather at 6 pm and start at 6:06 pm sharp  with a potluck dinner (I will have beans soup ready but feel free to bring a dish), followed by reading of selected Holy Writings and Prayers. We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings.

My talented friend Ursula will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring songs and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets.

Arlington Prayer Station "What Cannot Be Forgotten"Arlington Prayer Station “What Cannot Be Forgotten”

We’ll also say prayers for anyone in need, so if you can’t join us and would like to request prayers please contact me. Please let me know if you plan on coming so I can plan the refreshments!

In His service,

Mitko

“Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self.”
(From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh)

From “Selma” to Love ‘n Faith

Discussing “Selma” at Love ‘n Faith

I am sitting at a table in the cozy Love ‘n Faith Community Cafe  with a group of strangers, some of them students –current and former ones — of Howard University, and I can’t help but think of the invisible connection between the NC A&T Students’ Sitting for Justice at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, and these words spoken by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá more than a century ago at Rankin Chapel in Howard University:

“Today I am most happy, for I see here a gathering of the servants of God. I see white and black sitting together. There are no whites and blacks before God. All colors are one, and that is the color of servitude to God. Scent and color are not important. The heart is important. If the heart is pure, white or black or any color makes no difference. God does not look at colors; He looks at the hearts. He whose heart is pure is better. He whose character is better is more pleasing.”
~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 23 April 1912, Talk at Howard University, Washington, D.C. published in ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace’, p. 44-46

Discussing "Selma" with befriended strangers at "Love 'n Faith"
Discussing “Selma” with befriended strangers at “Love ‘n Faith”

We are sitting and discussing the wonderful, informative, thought-provoking movie “Selma, which masterfully portrays a not deified but human Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., deliberately considering the heavy responsibilities laying on his shoulders, as well as the difficult choices and their grave consequences he and his collaborators would face if the struggle for justice and dignity was to be fruitful.

Colorblindness is wrong and tolerance is not enough

We talk about what in the movie surprised us, unsettled us, inspired us. We talk about unity and what it means for us, and what it might mean for others. We talk about diversity and the danger of colorblindness. We talk about appreciating each other’s differences beyond the basic social expectations of tolerance.

We talk and share stories of inspiration as varied as the delicious menu handwritten on the message board of this community café which intends to host monthly discussions on race. We talk and share high aspirations as varied as the quotes of “Love n’ Faith” inspiration printed on the cafe’s tables.

"Love 'n Faith" Community Cafe has monthly discussions on race
“Love ‘n Faith” Community Cafe has monthly discussions on race

“O CHILDREN OF MEN!
Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.”
~ Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #68

His truth is marching on

Aware that talk alone is not enough, we part our ways, now befriended strangers, into a new day confident that his truth is marching on, that when the glory comes it will be ours, and we are the ones to make the dream that would change the world a reality.

Join the conversation! Let us all make the dream a reality!

Interfaith Prayer Station “Back to the Father”

“God got a gift for Christmas and it was my Daddy…”

These were the words my 7 year old neighbor told his family and there was not a dry eye at the gathering to mourn the departure of his father.  This and many other stories of that family’s unshakable faith were shared with me when several ladies — grandmother, sisters, aunts — stop by to thank me for taking care of their little boy the night when his daddy’s soul winged its flight from this mortal world.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
~ Christianity, Holy Bible, John 14:1-3

As the ladies embraced me I started singing the song “Back to the Father” which Van Gilmer taught me:

“I’m going back to the father, thank Him for my journey, live in a mansion, Feast on milk and honey, shout troubles over, join the heavenly choir, rest from my labor, give God the glory, I’m going back to the father.”

William — or Bobby, as he was known to his family — was a kind man who always greeted me from the porch of his house. He was the one from whom I borrowed basic kitchen utensils the day when I moved to my new house in order to have my first lunch with my girls at my new home.

Nephew of the founder of the first African-American taxi cab company in Arlington, Bobby was proud of the success of his limousine company and the trust his clients — white and black alike — had in his services. He had reliably given ride to many an important person in the area until that fateful Wednesday night — the one before Christmas Eve…

I had just come back from work, ready to start cooking dinner when I heard a knock on the door. I opened it and saw little Jayden worried telling me his daddy needed water. I rushed with him to the house and saw his father unconscious on the driver’s seat of his car, apparently getting ready to go pick his wife from the metro.  I called 911 immediately.

The response was impressively quick and when the the firetruck and EMS arrived to take William to the hospital, hopeful for his recovery I took his son to my home and the first thing we did was we prayed from our hearts — he with his little words; I chanting a healing prayer from the Bahá’í Writings: “Thy Name is my healing, O my God”.

The police were very efficient and in no time got in touch with family and friends until his older brother arrived to pick his resourceful younger sibling.  “May God protect them all and help the whole family be together for Christmas!” I posted on Facebook, asking for prayers to an overwhelmingly wide support. Alas, God had a different plan.

Later that night my neighbor’s wife stopped by to thank me for taking care of her son and told me her husband had passed… I kept thinking how we all need to treasure life’s precious moments for we know not how many are left yet each one of them is unique… 

“O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.”
~ Bahá’í Faith, The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #31

That is when I decided that this Sunday’s Interfaith Prayer Station will be dedicated to the progress of my neighbor’s soul, his family and our neighborhood… Yesterday I went around the neighborhood to invite all and my hope is it will be an opportunity for this very diverse neighborhood to be together and pray together.

Interfaith Prayer Station “Back to the Father”

Dear neighbors and friends,

Please join us this Sunday, December 28 at 7:30 pm  for an interfaith gathering to pray for the progress of the soul of our departed neighbor Bobby / William and his family.

Prayer Station for Bobby
Interfaith Prayer Station “Back to the Father”. Photo courtesy of Baha’i Writings as Art: http://www.bahaiwritingsasart.com/psalm56_13

We’ll start with light refreshments followed by reading of Holy Writings and Prayers on the theme of life after death and neighborly unity.

“By the passage of time, all of the humankind are in a state of great loss, except for those who come to the correct belief and do the deeds of righteousness; and encourage and exhort one another to Truth and encourage and exhort one another to steadfast patience.”
~ Islam, Holy Quran, Al Asr

We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings.

“O SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?”
~Bahá’í Faith, The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #32

We will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring musical selections and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets.

I look forward to greeting you and praying with you!

Mitko

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Winter and Troubles of the World”

“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”
~ Shakespeare, Richard The Third Act 1, scene 1, 1–4

Dear friends,

What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, homemade banana bread baked with love and shared with a smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing music and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator.

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Winter and the Troubles of the World”

“Came and passed the golden autumn in the forest’s gloomy shade, And the northern blasts of winter swept along the silent glade, When the chilly night was over, once at morn the prince of fame, For his morning’s pure ablutions to the Godavari came.”
~ Hindu, Ramayana, Book V “Winter in Panchavati”

In honor of the First Day of Winter and in witnessing of all the  troubles of the world these days, despite the preparation for a holiday season, the theme of the Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation this Sunday, December 21st, will be “Winter and the Troubles of the World”.

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Winter". Photo of Rila Mountain as viewed from the train to Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, taken by me.
Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Winter”. Photo of Rila Mountain as viewed from the train to Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, taken by me.

We’ll start at 7:30 pm with light refreshments followed by reading, at 8:00 pm, of selected Holy Writings and Prayers. We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings. We will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring musical selections and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets.

“The divine religions are like the progression of the seasons of the year. When the earth becomes dead and desolate and because of frost and cold no trace of vanished spring remains, the springtime dawns again and clothes everything with a new garment of life. The meadows become fresh and green, the trees are adorned with verdure and fruits appear upon them. Then the winter comes again, and all the traces of spring disappear. This is the continuous cycle of the seasons — spring, winter, then the return of spring. But though the calendar changes and the years move forward, each springtime that comes is the return of the springtime that has gone; this spring is the renewal of the former spring. Springtime is springtime, no matter when or how often it comes. The divine Prophets are as the coming of spring, each renewing and quickening the teachings of the Prophet Who came before Him.
~ Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 126-127

We’ll also say prayers for anyone in need, so if you can’t join us and would like to request prayers please contact me. Please let me know if planning to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly.

Musical Prayer Station with Kat Key on January 11, 2015

Please mark January 11, 2015 in your calendars for the Musical Prayer Station with Katharine Key as as it will be a wonderful occasion to celebrate the arts, current events and service to humanity.

Until then, enjoy the beautiful song “Troubles of the World” performed by Eric Dozier and One Human Family Choir.

In His service,

Mitko

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station “Messenger of Joy”

O SON OF THE SUPREME!

I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?
Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic #33)

Dear friends,

What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, homemade banana bread baked with love and shared with a smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing music and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator.

candle for the departed souls
Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Messenger of Joy”

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Messenger of Joy”

In honor of my friend, Tony Joy, whose soul has winged its flight to the hidden realms of the Almighty, the theme of the Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation this Sunday, December 14th, will be “Messenger of Joy”.

Tony, who most of all loved teaching about the Baha’i Faith, was so passionate about “Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh” that he authored two books dedicated to discovering and exploring these “passages from the outstanding works of the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation”. He also loved music and frequently told me how much he appreciated hearing songs based on the Bahá’í Writings.

We’ll start at 7:30 pm with light refreshments followed by reading, at 8:00 pm, of selected Holy Writings and Prayers. We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings. We will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring musical selections and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets.

We’ll also say prayers for anyone in need, so if you can’t join us and would like to request prayers please contact me. Please let me know if planning to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly.

Musical Prayer Station with Kat Key on January 11, 2015

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Judaism / Christianity, Holy Bible, Psalms, 98:4

The December 7th Musical Prayer Station was originally planned to be with Katharine Key but instead we ended up hosting ‘Kissed by a Gypsy’ to accommodate their travel schedule. Kat Key will be back with her musical program on January 11, 2015. Please mark this date in your calendars as it will be a wonderful occasion to celebrate the arts, current events and service to humanity.

In His service,

Mitko

Musical Prayer Station with “Kissed By A Gypsy”

“Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men….”
~ Bahá’í FaithBaha’u’llah, “Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, p. 295)

Dear friends,

What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, uplifting conversations, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, home-made banana bread baked with love and shared with smile?

Whatever the answer might be, sharing prayers and inspiring conversations with friends and strangers alike gets us all closer to the Creator and recharges us for the week ahead.

Musical Prayer Station with “Kissed By A Gypsy”

This Sunday, December 7th, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to a Musical Prayer Station featuring a house concert with ‘Kissed by a Gypsy’, husband and wife folk duo traveling along the East Coast to spread joy through music.

We will gather at 4 pm with simple refreshments so that the house concert can start at 4:30 pm. After the concert, we will have soup for the starving among us so feel free to stay around for dinner as well.

Kissed by a Gypsy is the husband and wife folk duo of Adam & Maggie Pounds.
Kissed by a Gypsy is the husband and wife folk duo of Adam & Maggie Pounds.

Adam & Maggie Pounds, or Kissed by a Gypsy, have been playing music and traveling together for the past 2 years. It all started in their hometown of Hutchinson Kansas on the Pound’s family front porch where jam sessions went until dawn and the newspaper boy was greeted with music! Adam would beg Maggie to come play and sing (to make the jam band sound better with her voice). This sparked a relationship between the two and they couldn’t get enough of each other or the music. It wasn’t until the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival a couple years later that Adam asked Maggie’s hand in marriage under the big blue Kansas sky before they took off to live in Key West Florida. Now as a husband and wife folk duo Kissed by a Gypsy will be traveling the country in a converted Chevy Astro van to spread the light of music and the connection that it creates between other musicians, listeners, and friends.

In their own words:

“We are embarking on a new journey, traveling the country by van, camping, couch surfing, playing music, hanging out with new people, and volunteering. Our hope is to experience the country through the kindness of people and to be of service and share our gifts in whatever ways we can.”

Please let me know if you plan to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly. Make sure to invite your friends too as it promises to be a wonderful event!

In the meantime, enjoy the sweet song “The Other Side” by Kissed By A Gypsy.

Until Sunday,

Mitko

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Preparing for the Advent”

“Know thou, of a truth,” He significantly affirms, “these great oppressions that have befallen the world are preparing it for the advent of the Most Great Justice.” “Say,” He again asserts, “He hath appeared with that Justice wherewith mankind hath been adorned, and yet the people are, for the most part, asleep.” “The light of men is Justice,” He moreover states, “Quench it not with the contrary winds of oppression and tyranny. The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men.”
~ Bahá’í FaithBaha’u’llah as quoted by Shoghi Effendi in “The Advent of Divine Justice

Dear friends,
What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, homemade banana bread baked with love and shared with a smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing music and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator.

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Preparing for the Advent”
Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Preparing for the Advent”

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Preparing for the Advent”

This Sunday, November 30th, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “Preparing for the Advent“.

We’ll start at 7:30 pm with light refreshments followed by reading, at 8:00 pm, of selected Holy Writings and Prayers. We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings. We will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring musical selections and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets.

We’ll also say prayers for anyone in need, so if you can’t join us and would like to request prayers please contact me. Please let me know if planning to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly.

Next Sunday, Musical Prayer Station with the Folk Duo ‘Kissed By A Gypsy’

On December 7th, at 4 pm, the Musical Prayer Station will feature a house concert with ‘Kissed by a Gypsy’, husband and wife folk duo traveling along the East Coast to spread joy through music.

Adam & Maggie Pounds, or Kissed by a Gypsy, have been playing music and traveling together for the past 2 years. It all started in their hometown of Hutchinson Kansas on the Pound’s family front porch where jam sessions went until dawn and the newspaper boy was greeted with music! Adam would beg Maggie to come play and sing (to make the jam band sound better with her voice). This sparked a relationship between the two and they couldn’t get enough of each other or the music. It wasn’t until the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival a couple years later that Adam asked Maggie’s hand in marriage under the big blue Kansas sky before they took off to live in Key West Florida. Now as a husband and wife folk duo Kissed by a Gypsy will be traveling the country in a converted Chevy Astro van to spread the light of music and the connection that it creates between other musicians, listeners, and friends.

Kissed by a Gypsy is the husband and wife folk duo of Adam & Maggie Pounds.
Kissed by a Gypsy is the husband and wife folk duo of Adam & Maggie Pounds.

From their blog:

We are embarking on a new journey, traveling the country by van, camping, couch surfing, playing music, hanging out with new people, and volunteering. Our hope is to experience the country through the kindness of people and to be of service and share our gifts in whatever ways we can.

Please let me know if you plan to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly and make sure to invite your friends!

Until then, enjoy the original song “Roly Poly” by Kissed By A Gypsy!

In His service,

Mitko

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “The Eternal Covenant”

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt.
(Judaism / Christianity, King James Bible, Hebrews, 8:8-9)

Dear friends,
What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, homemade banana bread baked with love and shared with a smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing music and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator.

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “The Eternal Covenant”

This Sunday, November 23rd, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “The Eternal Covenant“.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
For the covenants (of security and safeguard enjoyed) by the Quraish,
Their covenants (covering) journeys by winter and summer–
Let them adore the Lord of this House,
Who provides them with food against hunger, and with security against fear (of danger).
(Islam, Quran, Surah 106 – The Tribe of Quraysh)

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “The Eternal Covenant”  - Photo of a rainbow near the Shrine of the Bab - photo credit: Mara Dornbrook
Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “The Eternal Covenant” – Photo of a rainbow near the Shrine of the Bab – photo credit: Mara Dornbrook

Gather them, then, together around this Divine Law, the covenant of which Thou hast established with all Thy Prophets and Thy Messengers, and Whose ordinances Thou hast written down in Thy Tablets and Thy Scriptures. Raise them up, moreover, to such heights as will enable them to perceive Thy Call.”
(Bahá’í FaithBaha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 106)

We’ll start at 7:30 pm with light refreshments followed by reading, at 8:00 pm, of selected Holy Writings and Prayers. We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings. We will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring musical selections and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets. We’ll also say prayers for anyone in need, so if you can’t join us and would like to request prayers please contact me. Please let me know if planning to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly.

Until then, enjoy this informative video about the “Eternal Covenant”.

In His service,

Mitko

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Peace With Yourselves”

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”
~ Christianity, 1 Thessalonians, 5:11-13

“The time is approaching when ye will be at peace with yourselves in your homes, and lo, Him Whom God shall make manifest will have appeared, and God wisheth you to return unto Him, even as God called you into being through the Primal Point.”
~ Bahá’í Faith, The Báb, Selections From the Writings of the Báb, p. 130

Dear friends,
What nurtures your soul? What makes your heart tender? Prayer, music, fellowship, tea poured in peace, homemade banana bread baked with love and shared with a smile? Whatever the answer might be, sharing music and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator.

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “Peace With Yourselves”

This Sunday, November 16th, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “Peace With Yourselves“.

This Sunday, November 16th, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “Peace with yourselves“.
This Sunday, November 16th, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “Peace with yourselves“.

We’ll start at 7:30 pm with light refreshments followed by reading, at 8:00 pm, of selected Holy Writings and Prayers. We have many books of prayers from different faith traditions but if you wish, feel free to bring your own prayers or inspiring writings. We will uplift and refresh our souls with inspiring musical selections and we’ll conclude with tea and sweets. We’ll also say prayers for anyone in need, so if you can’t join us and would like to request prayers please contact me. Please let me know if planning to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly.

Until then, enjoy Bill Fay’s beautiful song “Be At Peace With Yourself“.

In His service,

Mitko

Jazz Prayer Station with Ana Velinova Presenting Songs of Peace and Unity

Dear friends,

Please join us this Sunday, November 9th, 2014 at 12 noon, for a Jazz Prayer Station — a holiday concert with jazz vocalist Ana Velinova presenting songs of peace and unity.

This special event will feature Seattle based jazz vocalist Ana Velinova who is visiting Washington DC to present her newly released CD entitled ‘December Wishing.’

Backed up by the extraordinary talent of jazz guitarist John Albertson with this special holiday production Velinova aims to inspire people from all social and spiritual backgrounds.

We will gather at 12 noon and the concert will start at 12:30 pm so John can leave for another gig at 2 pm and Ana can have enough time for her flight back home to Seattle. We will serve lunch so come hungry for jazz and food!

Jazz Prayer Station with Ana Velinova Presenting Songs of Peace and Unity
Jazz Prayer Station with Ana Velinova Presenting Songs of Peace and Unity

Jazz Prayer Station with Ana Velinova Presenting Songs of Peace and Unity

Jazz vocalist, songwriter and poetess Ana Velinova has inspired diverse audiences with her wide range artistic talents. A native of Sofia, Bulgaria, Ana Velinova has lived and performed in the US and Canada since 1993. A highlight of her 2014 season is the release of two new albums reaching into the top #10 on the American and Canadian Top 40 Radio Jazz Charts. Ana Velinova holds a Master’s Degree in Jazz & Contemporary-Classical Voice Performance from the Longy School of Music in Boston and undergraduate studies in Vocal Jazz from the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles. For more information visit her web site: anavelinova.com or Facebook Fan page.

Some time ago I had interviewed Ana (then still Gergana) and upon one of my visits to Bulgaria, which had coincided with hers, we paid respect together to the resting place of one of the earliest Baha’i pioneers in Bulgaria, Marion Jack.

Our paths to the Baha’i Faith — from Bulgaria and through music — are somewhat similar, and I can’t wait to introduce more of you to her talents.

Here is one of Ana’s poems — an ode to those who follow their unique path:

This Road

This road i walk on is narrow and hidden.
My bear body covered with thorns.
My mouth ever so dry.
Bloody drops drip from my small feet,
smear the soil and stones.
I meet others who travel,
wandering why i wish to walk here. Not there.
When all i could do is make a small step, change my direction.
Why do i only eat seeds,
when i could feast ’round the big human fires.

Why? Why? Why?
I don’t know.
Maybe i’m in love with a Bird
who’s tripping around, singing:
follow me, follow me,…and you shall find.
Yes, i do bleed.
Yet something inside me
pushes me forward, waters my mouth.
Maybe i ought to be crazy
when seeing the trails of my blood,
i hysterically laugh,
for it shows me that i am alive!

This road i walk on is narrow and hidden.
Here, you must learn to feed from the soul,
and drink from the lakes.
Here, you can shower with rain,
and shelter your body with blankets of leaves.
Here, you can talk to the plants,
and play with the beasts.
And when your heart tells you a poem at midnight,
you may ask the Moon kindly, she’ll lend you her light.

This road i walk on,
so narrow and hidden,
is just what i’ve searched for
since the day i was born.

The Jazz Prayer Station will take place at my home on November 9th, 2014 at 1 pm. Please let me know if planning to attend so I can plan the refreshments accordingly. It promises to be a fascinating event so you should not miss it — please, come along with your friends!

Until then, enjoy the beautiful song “Peace” from Ana’s new album “December Wishing”!

In His service,

Mitko