There are so many great initiatives and resources coming to life as a result of all the excitement and efforts of thousands of Baha’is across the globe as they prepare to celebrate this very special time which marks the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith.
One of those initiatives that recently grabbed my attention is the “Light of Unity” Dinner Party Booklet, which Baha’is can use in 2017 and 2019 to host dinner parties in celebration of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah.
Joyce Litoff, a member of the US Baha’i Office of Communications and editor of the “Light of Unity” booklet agreed to answer some questions about the booklet and this project:
Baha’i Blog: Hi Joyce! What is the “Light of Unity” Dinner Party Booklet and who is the book for?
The “Light of Unity” Dinner Party Booklet is a 28-page booklet that includes stories, songs, prayers, discussion questions, and crafts that Baha’is can use to host a dinner party in their home to celebrate the 200th anniversaries of the Births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Hosting a dinner is something anyone can do. The booklet is ideal for use with 2-10 participants of all ages. It can be used as part of a dinner, potluck gathering, or just dessert and tea with time for discussion.
Baha’i Blog: What a great idea! Where did the idea come from?
The idea is partially modeled after Jewish Seders, which are meals in which families gather together during the holiday of Passover to share the story of the Jew’s Exodus from Egypt.
Baha’i Blog: So why a “dinner” booklet? And how should the book be used?
From my own experience, I know that Baha’is are often invited to holiday gatherings like Christmas and Hanukah parties. We needn’t be shy about inviting friends who may be eager to learn about other religions and cultures—and the Baha’i Faith. A home dinner party is a warm and welcoming setting. Hosts may share that they are planning “a special meal with festive activities in celebration of the 200th Birth of Baha’u’llah” so that guests will know what to expect. The material in the booklet is introductory, and is engaging for both adults and children.
Participants go through the book, taking turns reading aloud, pausing for activities and discussions. The material is designed to create a spiritual atmosphere and spark authentic, meaningful conversations. It takes about an hour and half to complete.
Baha’i Blog: So the book has activities–that’s really cool–but do participants need special items for the activities or craft projects?
The booklet includes a simple introduction and suggestions for the easy craft projects requiring only colored pencils, paper, and glue sticks. Children will enjoy these projects, and they are designed to be fun and thought-provoking for adults too.
Baha’i Blog: Thanks so much for taking the time to to answer my questions, Joyce, and thank you to all those involved in providing this wonderful resource!
You can get your copy of the “Light of Unity” Dinner Party Booklet using these two options:
1. A simple version of the Dinner Party booklet is available to download and self-print using this link on the bicentenary resource page of the Baha’is of the United States: https://sharing.usbnc.org:5001/sharing/JA990XMR2
2. You can also order a nicer pre-printed version from Special Ideas: http://www.bahairesources.com/light-of-unity-dinner-party-celebration-guide.html
We hope you find this helpful!