The Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Santa Clara celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of their faith’s founder, Bahá’u’lláh, on Oct. 21 at the Jamison-Brown House at Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Ave. About 40 Santa Clara Bahá’ís and guests gathered to honor the divine messenger, born in Persia in 1817.
A proclamation signed by Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor proclaimed Oct. 22, 2017 in Santa Clara as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh. It encouraged Santa Clara residents “to promote virtues and attributes that will bring about the recognition of the oneness of humanity; to embrace diversity; and to work for unity in our local community, in our country, and in the world.”
The wider Bahá’í community also received proclamations from past U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of India.
Followers of the Bahá’í faith, dating from the mid-1800s and said to be the world’s youngest yet most widespread religion, believe in one creator God uniting all humankind equally as one family. God’s purpose in one’s life is revealed through the writings of Bahá’u’lláh—God’s most recent divine messenger—as well as the writings of the divine messenger Báb, who foretold the coming of Bahá’u’lláh.
The Bahá’í Faith has no clergy. Instead, followers are guided by an elected, nine-member council. Followers of the faith meet at homes for prayer and devotions, to handle business and administrative matters, and to share friendship and refreshments.
Bahá’í assemblies have met in Santa Clara since 1957, and today there are about 50 followers of the Bahá’í faith in Santa Clara. They originate from such diverse countries as India, Japan, Korea and Persia as well as the U.S.
“We are like family members even though we come from various cultural and social backgrounds,” said Korean-born Kyongmi Ader, who, though raised as a Buddhist, became a Bahá’í in Korea.
“We all feel like brothers and sisters. We share the same fundamental teaching that we are all one family,” said Ader. “All mankind is one.”
“What I’ve experienced most is a warm sense of togetherness, a nice peaceful sort of energy,” said Tiffany Walters, who was drawn to the Bahá’í faith in New York City after the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001.
“The miracle of hope is the real miracle of the Bahá’í faith we celebrate on these days,” said Brian Didier, Chairperson of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Santa Clara. “God loves all of us. We are all God’s children, and he wants us to get along.”
Santa Clara Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Dan Winter attended the Bahá’í celebration on behalf of the department.
“We like to show our support. We’re honored they invited us,” said Winter. “We’re the police department for all cultures and religions in Santa Clara.”
For information about Santa Clara Bahá’í study circles, “fireside” fellowships, children’s classes and Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Didier at (650) 603-1581. For general information about the Bahá’í faith, with its landmark holy Shrine of Báb in Haifa, Israel, visit www.bahai.org or www.bahai.us.