All posts by Sonjel Vreeland. Browse Other Authors

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

The Last Ten Minutes – A Baha’i-Inspired Novel by Vered Ehsani

Vered Ehsani has penned a new novel inspired by quotations from the Baha’i Writings on the theme of death. I was very curious to hear more about this unique novel and how it came to be. Vered generously agreed to tell us about and here’s what she said:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve been a writer since I could hold pen to paper, which is a lot longer than I care to admit. Originally from South Africa, I grew up in Canada, and have lived in Kenya with my family for the past two decades. I began my Bahaʼi journey in my early 20s.

Baha’i Blog: Could you please tell us a little about your novel, The Last Ten Minutes?

Zain Fischer is experiencing a life review, although she doesn’t know it yet. She thinks she’s at the hospital for a routine medical check up. But there’s nothing routine about the waiting room which has a caged bird and a lot of closed doors. Each door leads to a specific memory. As she explores her past, she begins to see her behaviour and achievements from a different, otherworldly perspective. Her discoveries challenge her previous priorities and push her to reevaluate her beliefs about what makes life meaningful.

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BWNS: Global Conferences – The Arts Promote Peace, Inspire Service to Society

This video from the Baha’i World News Service (BWNS) shares how, as the wave of conferences sweeping across the globe continues, artistic expressions emerging from these gatherings are conveying an essential longing of the human soul: the need to seek harmony and to selflessly serve society. Through these artistic works—be they music, theatre, visual art, traditional dance, crafts, or other art forms—participants at the grassroots in virtually every part of the world are exploring profound spiritual concepts, such as justice, peace, and unity. Continue reading

The Calligraphy of Brian Kurzius

I met Brian Kurzius many years ago and I’m grateful that social media allows me to stay connected with friends from different phases of my life, and for me to be able to see art that they’ve created. Brian’s calligraphies capture my eye and my heart and I’m thankful he agreed to share some of his work with us and to tell us what inspires him and what words of encouragement he might offer anyone wishing to beautify words from the Baha’i Writings with the art of calligraphy. Continue reading

Moments of Meaning: Agriculture’s Importance in Rebuilding Our World – Roy Steiner

Moments of Meaning is a podcast produced by Baha’i Teachings and hosted by Sean Hinton. 

In each episode, Sean speaks to someone whose life has been profoundly affected by the writings of the Baha’i Faith. Each guest shares with Sean their “moment of meaning” — whether it’s a big life choice, a turning point in their career, an inspiration or an insight. They share the passages from the Baha’i writings that were part of this moment, and explain the changes this moment inspired in their lives. Continue reading

What You Win – A Book of Stories for the Whole Family by Donna Price

Donna Rae Price has authored a book called What You Win: Stories for the Whole Family. The book features 16 short stories. From silly to serious, these hopeful tales are about walking your own path, finding friends, fighting everyday battles and the value of demonstrating good qualities and virtues. The stories are short, sweet and sure to capture the hearts of children who are contributing to the betterment of the world.

Donna generously agreed to tell us about herself, her book, and what she hopes you’ll take away with you once you’ve finished reading it:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Northern California (USA), where I live with my family. My mom became a Baha’i when I was eight so I know what it’s like to go to school where no one has ever heard of your religion, or think it’s weird, or to fast during marching band in the heat, or to be quizzed by your friends’ parents. I can really relate to what many Baha’i children are facing.

I’ve been writing since childhood, but for the last 15 years I’ve been so fortunate to contribute to Brilliant Star Magazine. I get to work with a wildly talented and creative crew who are passionate about empowering children and youth. It’s a dream come true for me to have a job with so much camaraderie and hope for the future.

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The Public Discourse – Season 3, Episode 2: Confronting Hatred and Prejudice

The Public Discourse is a podcast produced by the Office of Public Affairs for the Baha’i Community of Canada. In it, we hear from people across Canada about the values and principles that inform the way they are thinking about society, and how we can create a better public discourse.

On this second episode of the third season (which is called “A Vision of Oneness”), we hear from Mohammed Hashim and Jelana Bighorn about how we can confront the problem of hatred and prejudice in our society and promote the oneness of humanity. Hashim is executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and Bighorn is an educator. Continue reading

Ambassador to Humanity – Episode Nine: The Exemplar for Today

Ambassador to Humanity is a podcast series of nine episodes in honor of the centenary of the passing of Abdu’l-Baha. The podcast was produced by BahaiTeachings.org and it recounts the life and work of this unique figure in human history, celebrating His life, His legacy, and His enduring influence on humanity. It includes eyewitness accounts from those who encountered Abdu’l-Baha and commentary from those who have studied His life and example.

This ninth and final episode in the Ambassador to Humanity podcast series reflects on the passing of this unique personality as well as the legacy of His life of sacrificial service for humankind today.

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Ambassador to Humanity – Episode Eight: The Life of the Spirit

Ambassador to Humanity is a podcast series of nine episodes in honor of the centenary of the passing of Abdu’l-Baha. The podcast was produced by BahaiTeachings.org and it recounts the life and work of this unique figure in human history, celebrating His life, His legacy, and His enduring influence on humanity. It includes eyewitness accounts from those who encountered Abdu’l-Baha and commentary from those who have studied His life and example.

What does it mean to be spiritual in a material world? How do we develop noble human qualities like generosity, kindness, and forgiveness? What is the value of prayer? What is the relationship between religion and spirituality?

We explore these essential questions in this episode of Ambassador to Humanity. Continue reading