Open day marks Bahai celebration

Wednesday October 25, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Speaker of the House Niki Rattle (front left) was among guests at Sunday’s Baha’i celebration at Muri. 17102314 Speaker of the House Niki Rattle (front left) was among guests at Sunday’s Baha’i celebration at Muri. 17102314

Baha'i's of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Auckland, and Australia gathered with guests for an open day to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahaullah, Prophet-Founder of their Faith, at the Baha'i Centre in Muri on Sunday.


The day began with devotions led by Graham Murchie and Marie Francis, accompanied on flute and guitar by their nephew "Toto". 

Songs and prayers were shared in many languages   with the words of Bahaullah set to music in varied styles from Reggae to Gospel.

Talks included the life of Bahaullah by Marie Francis, stories of early Bahais by Tipene Nooapii and Jane Lamb, how spirituality and how the Bahai teachings help in the healing of addiction to drugs and alcohol by Tua Matepi.

Coach Andrew Ponga shared how the Faith inspired him to create unity and teamwork on the rugby field and how mentoring young boys as a coach helped them overcome conflict and build self-esteem. Linda Kavelin-Popov spoke of her own life journey as a child raised in a Bahai family with the belief that she was a "citizen of the world."

She spoke of the mystical teachings of Bahaullah on the soul and life after death as well as His practical teachings on how humanity is called to oneness and unity through collective security, elimination of all forms of prejudice, the tool of consultation to overcome conflict, and elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty.

Kai flowed from the kitchen throughout the day, and children happily played, sang prayers, and worked on a craft. Finally a beautiful film on the life of Bahaullah entitled "Light to the World" was shown.

Before a bountiful dinner was served, the children came in with gifts they had made, multi coloured pinwheels representing the Baha'i celebration of unity in diversity.

A visitor from Auckland spontaneously declared her faith in Bahaullah, a joyful ending to the celebration.

            - Release

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