Members of the Huntsville Bahá’í Community will take part in an annual ‘rite of Spring’, April 19, 7 p.m., at the Bahá’í Center for their annual meeting and election of the Local Spiritual Assembly.
In each locale around the globe where there are nine or more adult Bahá’ís, a Local Spiritual Assembly is elected to administer the affairs of the local Bahá’í community. Huntsville has had an elected Bahá’í assembly each year since the 1950’s.
“… consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience.” – Bahá’í Writings
Each April, just before the Bahá’í Festival of Ridvan, the local community meets to hear an annual report from the Assembly, consult on items of interest to the community, and elect the nine members of the Assembly. The elections are unique in that there is no campaigning, no electioneering or nominating. The ballots are cast privately and there are provisions for absentee balloting.
“One’s vote should be kept confidential. … The friends must avoid the evil methods and detestable practices of the politicians. They must turn completely to God, and with a purity of motive, a freedom of spirit and a sanctity of heart, participate in the elections; otherwise the outcome will be chaos and confusion, serious difficulties will ensue, mischief will abound and the confirmation of God will be cut off.” – Bahá’í Writings
The responsibilities of the Local Spiritual Assembly include promoting the spiritual education of children and young people, strengthening the spiritual and social fabric of Bahá’í community life, assessing and utilizing the community’s resources, and ensuring that the energies and talents of community members contribute towards progress. It is also responsible for organizing the Nineteen Day Feast, which is the cornerstone of Bahá’í community life. During the Nineteen Day Feast the friends living in a particular locality gather to pray and consult together, give suggestions to the Local Spiritual Assembly, and receive information from it. In addition, the Assembly is intimately concerned with the well-being of the wider community.
For more information of the Local Spiritual Assembly can be found here.