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

Enemy within, friend without

When too many emails means missing the one about “No dance practice tonight”…

… And showing up at the Swedenborgian Church (doesn’t this does name evoke a sci-fi movie?) to discover that I will be late for the express bus, thus I have to wait for the train.

Orange line. Evening commute. Not so overcrowded that you need to stand up but not empty enough to sit by yourself. I ask a woman if I can sit next to her. She nods, focused on her smartphone.

Then, a small commotion happens on the bench across the isle.  A woman sits next to an unsuspecting friend who is startled before they both start laughing… The luxury of meeting a friend on the street — or a metro train — a sure sign that this is your home town, where you belong.

These shared thoughts and observations lead to a meandering conversation of mutual curiosity with my metro seat neighbor, somewhat surprising for this city built on aloofness (when it comes to keeping your distance from strangers) and directness (when it comes to what you do and whom you know).

Who dances on a Wednesday?

“Where are you from?” turns into”What was the smelliest city you ever lived in?”
“What life story would you write about?” turns into “When are you considered experienced enough to share a story?”
“What do you do” turns into “Who dances on a Wednesday?”

I chuckle, “Today is Thursday, anyway”, and leave the train.

But indeed,  who dances on a Wednesday? Or on a Thursday, for that matter?

Well, it would be me with my feeble attempts to learn Bulgarian folk dancing. Or it could be anyone, if we were not so shaped by the structured demands of productive life and optimized efficiency.

Free creatures, framed by habits of thought

Productive life… How about a meaningful one?

Efficiency hacks… How about compassionate presence.

enemy-within-friend-without

We are all  free creatures, framed by our habits, mostly habits of thought. We are so rarely aware of the boxes we put ourselves in that only the meditative peacefulness of a hike in the park or a chance encounter with a stranger who, miraculously mirroring the distortions in our self-chattering boombox, helps us to hear the subtle melody coherently vibrating in tune with our longing soul.

It is time to unchain the brain

Enemy within, friend without

On the way back home I realize that this whole scenario repeats the first half of the thought-provoking new essay by Andréana Lefton, “On Gentleness, Wrestling with a Wounded Angel” (I would copy the whole brilliantness of it but for copyrights):

“And, if I love those crying, playful, unruly kids so much, how could I not love the bawling, dancing, I-don’t-care-who’s-staring self I usually keep locked up? How could I not treat both inner parent and inner toddler with equal if different modes of kindness until, and here’s the real magic, they both mature? Until they reach their own understanding that has nothing to do with pull-and-tug, and everything to do with the space and flow of my ensouled body?

Wherever we are, sitting with a cup of tea, or at a computer, or on a commuter train, every bit of us is in flight. Thoughts are flying across synapses, cells are migrating to heal a wound, memories are churning up by the whiff of perfume floating off a fellow passenger.

And that harshness or loving-kindness inside our heads is flying too. He or she is fluid, and as full of space and change as we are. Our beings are not solid granite. We are evolving constantly — the parts of us that are immature or always have a foot out of line. And the sweet, beautiful parts too. Flying. Every blessed bit of us.

I may not have a grasp on gentleness yet. I may not know how to juggle the demands of being a young, single mother to myself — much less to the world around me. But when I shook out my thought-wings this morning, they looked strong and ready for a journey — however long it may take.”

The only difference is, I am now the single father — not only of two vivaciously energetic girls — but of unruly thoughts (or puppies, if you prefer) telling me to love the befriended stranger next to me yet continue judging the enemy within.

Stay, down, sit, heel. Heal!

“And God said, Love your enemy, & I obeyed Him & loved myself.”
~
Khalil Gibran

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station “All Souls”

“Thou God of gods, Life’s Dwelling-place and Rest. Thou, of all souls the Soul! The Comprehending Whole!”
~ Hindu, Bhagavad Gita

“Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine…”
~ Judaism / Christianity, Book of Ezekiel, 18:4

“Verily God is fully capable of causing all names to appear in one name, and all souls in one soul. Surely powerful and mighty is He.”
~ Bahá’í Faith, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183

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 “All Souls”

This Sunday, November 2nd, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to an Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation in Arlington on the theme of “All Souls“.

Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “All Souls”
Arlington Interfaith Prayer Station and Spiritual Conversation “All Souls”

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.

Nov 9th, Jazz Prayer Station with Ana Velinova

A week later, on November 9th, 2014 at 1 pm, the talented jazz singer Ana Velinova will inspire us with original songs from her new album, “December Wishing”.

December Wishing with Ana Velinova

She will be accompanied by John Albertson on the guitar in what promises to be a unique house concert 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

Restore Happy: Peace and Hope Exhibit of Syrian Children’s Art

When I was around 10 or so, I decided to make my summer vacation stay with my cousins at my mom’s village by arranging an outdoor exhibit. The canvases were huge sheets of plywood we had found behind the donkey’s night rest. These makeshift paintings came alive with images of heroes from the Bulgarian struggle for independence and landscapes inspired by the hills and valleys of my childhood’s freest days.

Seeing reality through children’s eyes… and art!

I was reminiscing of that exhibit when on Friday, during my lunch break I biked down to the National Mall to take photos of the “Peace and Hope” Exhibit of Syrian Children’s Art. The idea of that exhibit was simple but profound — to make the personal connection with the innocent children suffering during the war in Syria and see their reality through their eyes and art.

I thought it would be an appropriate even if indirect response to Andréana Lefton’s invitation to discover a voice’s life story and be open to surprises in the process of discovery.

Arriving at the National Mall, I asked one of the volunteers, Dena Elian with Syria Relief and Development, to say a few words about the exhibit:

Then I strolled around, taking photos here and there and seeking a silent connection with the young artists. That the images tended to be serene, considering the circumstances of their creation, made their impact only more powerful. An hour or so later in my office, browsing the images with a Jewish coworker of mine who had visited some of the refugee camps in Jordan made us reflect on the innocent way children perceive the world. Yet, amidst the playful innocence of childhood imaginings, there were images and words clearly talking about the despair of abandonment…

I have no doubt that art has a power to heal but we cannot leave it to crayons and canvasses and acrylics to restore the happiness of these children.

This century old quote from from another humble yet distinguished resident of the Holy Land came to mind:

“Ye observe how the world is divided against itself, how many a land is red with blood and its very dust is caked with human gore. The fires of conflict have blazed so high that never in early times, not in the Middle Ages, not in recent centuries hath there ever been such a hideous war, a war that is even as millstones, taking for grain the skulls of men. Nay, even worse, for flourishing countries have been reduced to rubble, cities have been leveled with the ground, and many a once prosperous village hath been turned into ruin. Fathers have lost their sons, and sons their fathers. Mothers have wept away their hearts over dead children. Children have been orphaned, women left to wander, vagrants without a home. From every aspect, humankind hath sunken low. Loud are the piercing cries of fatherless children; loud the mothers’ anguished voices, reaching to the skies.”
‘Abdu’l-BaháSelections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Both my father and mother worked in Aleppo, Syria while I was at university so I have this personal if distant connection with that storied land. As I walked past the wind-blown canvasses I was contemplating that these children would most likely be friends with my daughters if living in the comfort of Northern Virginia. My intuition tells me that while we are far, we need to continue speaking about and befriending these souls who happen to have been born in places shaped by the shifting incursions and abandonments of the world powers. I made sure to make new friends with the ladies from the Qatar Foundation International who were kind enough to translate for me Befriended Stranger into Arabic.

Qatari / Yemeni Befriended Stranger
Qatari / Yemeni Befriended Stranger
Befriending a Qatari / Yemeni Stranger
Befriending a Qatari / Yemeni Stranger

Let’s care for each other and restore happy peace and hope

But I kept going back to the children. Would I recognize these young artists if they were nearby? Would I be able to envision them as their daily lives are disrupted by war? Would I be able to witness their inspiration and hope for restoring happiness if I were to see them in front of their canvasses?

Would I walk away if these children were mine? Guess what, they are mine and yours and of Syria and of the whole world.

Let us take care of each other, and restore happy peace and hope!

“And among the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is the oneness of the world of humanity; that all human beings are the sheep of God and He is the kind Shepherd. This Shepherd is kind to all the sheep, because He created them all, trained them, provided for them and protected them. There is no doubt that the Shepherd is kind to all the sheep and should there be among these sheep ignorant ones, they must be educated; if there be children, they must be trained until they reach maturity; if there be sick ones, they must be cured. There must be no hatred and enmity, for as by a kind physician these ignorant, sick ones should be treated.”
‘Abdu’l-BaháSelections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Story-Kindling Prayer Station with Andréana Lefton

“Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled…”
~ Judaism / Christianity, Holy Bible, Isaiah 50:11

Kindle the fire of love and burn away all things, Then set thy foot into the land of the lovers.”
~ Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, The Seven Valleys And the Four Valleys, p. 65

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 inspiring stories, music and prayers with friends gets us all closer to the Creator.

Story-Kindling Prayer Station with Andréana Lefton

This Sunday, October 26th, 2014, we invite you and your loves ones to the inaugural Story-Kindling Prayer Station with the talented Andréana Lefton!

Story-Kindling Prayer Station with Andréana Lefton
Story-Kindling Prayer Station with Andréana Lefton

We’ll start at 4 pm with light refreshments followed by Andréana‘s inspiring stories and poetry. Andréana Lefton is a writer of the living stories of untold people, wonderer, and wanderer doing her best for justice, literacy, and creativity:

“Humans will always need storytellers. But I think we need something different as well. We need “story-kindlers”, people who encourage others to share and speak, knowing their stories will be respected and heard.”

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

It promises to be a fascinating event so you should not miss it — please, come along with your friends!

Until then, enjoy the song “Kindle The Fire of Love” performed by a group of youth from Malaysia.

In His Service,

Mitko

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