I’ve been attending the United States Baha’i National Convention since I was a kid. There have been a lot of changes over the years, but I have to say that this year was one of the best that I have attended.
171 delegates are elected by Baha’is all over the country, and they come to the House of Worship to vote for the National Spiritual Assembly and consult on topics relevant to the advancement of the Baha’i community. If you want more details about the 103rd Convention, click on the links, as the articles are much more explanatory than I have room for here. There is also a Flickr page with photos from Convention, including an amazing photo of a red-tailed hawk.
There was a cohesive force, a unity among the delegates that I haven’t seen before. There was also an elevated level of discourse and desire to change habits of thought and action that was highly encouraging. A sense of joy and excitement pervaded Foundation Hall the whole weekend.
I was at the Convention for nearly every session, working as stage manager and doing other random duties as they came up. It is such a privilege to interact with Baha’is from across the country, and Mr. Hooper Dunbar (former member of the Universal House of Justice) and his wife Mrs. Maralynn Dunbar were attending as special guests. It took me back to my days in Haifa, attending the youth classes that Mr. Dunbar had every Thursday night.
There are always things happening behind the scenes at every National Convention…staff members doing heroic things to make sure that everything goes smoothly, sweet moments of conversation between friends, a youth inspired to offer a prayer, even the panicked rush to make sure the microphones are working (my constant battle this year). But as I try to convey every time someone brings it up, it is truly a fun, intensely rewarding experience to contribute to the success of this gathering.
Although I have to admit, I would like to take a nap right now.