The Local Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of Klickitat County will be hosting a Convention for Baha'is from northern Oregon and southern Washington states. Baha'is from Astoria to the Wallowas will be gathering at the Civic Auditorium in The Dalles on October 6th for the annual election of this area's delegate to the National Baha'i Convention held in Wilmette, Illinois.
This annual election is part of the Baha'i community's belief in a different way of approaching the organizational needs of an international faith. Since there is no clergy in the Baha'i Faith, the election of representatives is regarded as a spiritual responsibility. The goal is to prayerfully elect those who can best selflessly accept and perform this honor of service. Every year in April each local community elects nine people to the Local Spiritual Assembly which offers guidance and performs the administrative functions required on a local level. In October Baha'is gather in larger unit conventions to elect regional representatives who in turn will meet at the national center in Wilmette, Illinois to elect the National Spiritual Assembly for the United States, also a body of nine. In turn, the members of all the world's National Spiritual Assemblies meet every five years to elect the Universal House of Justice, the guiding body for the Baha'is of the world.
The Baha'i Faith traces its origin to 1844 when The Bab (which means "The Gate" in Farsi), announced that He was a Messenger of God, the forerunner of One even greater than Himself who would bring new teachings for humanity. Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith, announced His mission and the fulfillment of the Bab's prophecy 19 years later. His message is that the many Divine Educators throughout history have brought messages especially suited to their times, but all have taught the same basic truth of kindness, service to mankind and love of God. The Message for our age, according to Baha'u'llah's teachings, is the reality of the unity of the human family in all our diversity.
Locally Baha'is meet in each others homes for a spiritual feast every nineteen days. They host children's virtues classes open to all children, Junior Youth Empowerment Programs for middle schoolers, interfaith devotional gatherings, and study groups, all open to everyone. If you are interested in any of these programs or would like to learn more please contact the local Baha'is at 509-281-0477 or explore the Baha'i website bahai.org.