28 July 2020

Carmel Baha'i School Online

When I was 14 a visionary married couple in my area started a Baha'i summer camp for youth. It was one of many inspiring events for young Baha'is while I was growing up. It became the only Baha'i summer school with a counselor program outside of the three permanent schools (Bosch, Louhelen, Green Acre), allowing kids as young as 12 to come without parents for a transformative week. 

The camp survived the passing of its founders and met continuously for 25 years, until now. The 2020 Camp Carmel became another casualty of the pandemic, and the in-person gathering has been replaced with a shorter online camp as a placeholder until next summer. 

On the plus side, the online camp will have many of the things that make the in-person camp amazing, like arts classes, some great special guests for evening programs, and even a good ol' counselor program for small group bonding with older youth. It also means that it can be attended by just about anyone. 

Of course, the heart of the camp is a set of classes that will teach about the life of Baha'u'llah, aspects of the future world civilization, and how to build race unity in America. 

It starts next week, and registration will close August 3. If you have any young people in your life, please go register them now!


07 July 2020

Wealth is praiseworthy if...

Maybe it is because I recently spent 3 months in a country with a GDP per capita of $2,100, or maybe because I recently entertained leaving a great job to spend more time with kids, or maybe because the pandemic is wiping out the economy, but I've been thinking about wealth lately. 

The Baha'i Writings are full of references like this: "to be poor in all save God is a wondrous gift, belittle not the value thereof, for in the end it will make thee rich in God" (Baha'u'llah). Or, "In the estimation of them that have fixed their eyes upon the merciful Lord, the riches of the world and its trappings are worth as much as the eye of a dead body, nay even less" (The Bab).

There are also other references that praise wealth. These are not in conflict with the need to denounce riches, but require virtue in the acquisition and use of funds. Here are two examples.