LOUHELEN—1 939 SEASON
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- INCREASE IN NUMBER OF LOCAL
“The summer of 1939 there were
registered at the first youth session and 47 at the August one. These numbers do not include
many visitors who came for a day or shorter time nor adults who helped in teaching and other ways. In fact figures do not tell the
story, but we keep a record for our own help in follow-up work and in other ways. The following daily programs were carried out:
“First Youth Session, June 25-29, inclusive:
Devotions (before breakfast)
1. Character Building.
Miss Flora Hottes (Bahá’i Standards of Conduct)
2. a. The Promise of All Ages
Mr. Wm. Kenneth Christian
(Bahá’i Principles and History)
b. The Prophet of Arabia
Mr. N. H. Firoozi
(Facts about Muhammad and His
3. Laws of Bahã’u’lláh.
Mr. Clarence Niss
(The present day application of the
laws of Bahá’u’lláh and how they
lead to the New World Order)
(The above course continued through
four days. The fifth day was given
over to an all day forum conducted
by Mr. Niss on the subject Bahá’i
citizenship and Building Com munit Life)
Recreation, forum, conferences, enter tainment. “At the Second Youth Session, August 16- 20, inclusive, the plan and subjects were
the same as for the first session but the courses were conducted by Mrs. Virginia Camelon, Mr. Ralph Garner, Mrs. Helen Bishop, Mr.
Carl Seheffier, respectively. An additional feature was Mrs. Marzieh Gail’s class in the
World Order Letters of Shoghi Effendi.
“It will be noted that the program aims at a balanced hfe so greatly emphasized in our teachings,—the spiritual, the intellectual, social,
physical and recreational. The aim is to have Bahá’i life and standards of conduct permeate all activities. Each year we feel we do
make progress toward attaining these high standards, but make no claims to perfection. The words of our Guardian urge us to
increased effort. In a letter written through his secretary, November, 1932, he expresses the hope that these Bahá’i schools ‘may
become powerful and well-established organizations that will train innumerable young men and women to go out into the world to
spread the message of Bahá’u’lláh.’ At another time he wrote, ‘Indeed it is very important for the Faith to extend the teachings of
Bahá’u’llah amongst the youth, as it is through their
THE BAHA’I WORLD
activities that the Cause of our beloved Master will in the future spread all over the American continent. They have upon their
shoulders the responsibilities for the progress of the Movement; it is our duty to
enlighten their hearts with the light of guidance which has been shed before us by the Master.’
“The young people take their share of responsibility in making these youth sessions vital and dynamic. A group from some one
community is chosen to be responsible for activities in entertainment, recreation, sports, and to help in creating a spirit of cooperation
in maintaining order together with freedom on the campus and in the dormitories. Last summer the North Shore young people
assumed this responsibility and carried out the plans most successfully. This group assigned, in turn, the various evening
entertainments to other groups. These youth sessions are truly cooperative enterprises.
“This was the second summer in which the committee has planned a special kind of session which we named the laboratory session
both because it has been experimental and because it has meant real work and study by those attending. It has aimed to do two things:
help those who wish to be guided into a deeper study and understanding of the Teachings and second to work out by practical
demonstration under experienced teachers some type of Bahã’i teaching or administrative problem. Last summer
and workers from east, west, north and south threw themselves wholeheartedly into seeking a better understanding of the Bahá’i
Administrative Order and working out some definite probles-ns. The program follows:
Devotions (before breakfast)
1. Applied Administration
Mr. Harlan Ober
(Actual practice in electing a local Assembly, appointed committees which did publicity and contact work in neighboring towns, held
a Nineteen Day Feast, arranged a public meeting, etc.)
2. The Three Worlds of Divinity, Prophet- hood and Creation
Mrs. Mabel Paine
(A survey of Bahá’i Writings and research therein)
3. Public Speaking—Instruction and prac tic Mrs. Maude Stuart Beagle
4. Comprehensive survey of Shoghi Effendi’s World Order Letters
Mrs. Margaret Luberger
“Mr. Ober was most successful in guiding the elected Assemblies to Bahá’i solution of problems and to correct Bahá’i procedure.
Mrs. Paine helped many into a new understanding of some of the deeper aspects of our Faith. Mrs. Beagle made her class at the same
time, inspirational, practical and relaxing and Mrs. Luberger used great skill in giving us a survey of the World Order letters.
“At the August general session about
were present and a fine spirit prevailed. There were more strangers and inquirers than ever
before. The program follows:
General Session, August 6-13, inclusive:
Morning Pro gram
Devotions (before breakfast)
1. The Administrative Order of Bahâ’u’lláh Mr. Curtis Kelsey
2. The Culture of Islam. Mrs. Helen Bishop
3. The Art of Living.
. . .
Mrs. Alice Bacon (Bahi’i standards of conduct)
4. What is the Bahá’i Faith, a series of talks, and forums to introduce the Faith to new seekers, by Bahá’is present.
Talks on various phases of Bahá’i teachings, evening talks by Mrs. Marzieh Carpenter Gail.
“Mr. Kelsey’s series of lessons was particularly inspiring and helpful. In fact the whole Kelsey family brought that real Bahã”i spirit
of cooperation and understanding that radiated to all. Mrs. Kelsey’s help with music was great and the children formed the nucleus of
a children’s class that was conducted by Miss Frances Bacon.
“Mrs. Bishop opened new vistas for us in the understanding of the sources and forces of all culture and civilization as well as those of
Islam. Mrs. Bacon inspired us to make new efforts to rise to Bahã’i standards of conduct. Her use of some of the DawnBreaker stories
to illustrate certain characteristics brought the early days of the Cause to mind. The evening talks by Mrs. Marzieh Carpenter Gail
were conducted in-
CURRENT BAHA’I ACTIVITIES
formally. Her method was to draw the listeners unconsciously into the discussion. Her talk on Bahá’i marriage was especially
“As always those who came as learners were among the greatest helpers in planning and carrying out Bahá’i forums, panel
discussions, other teaching projects and helping with music and in innumerable ways.
“One great addition to the physical equipment of the school is the new library building, the gift of two friends augmented by smaller
gifts and the labor of Mr. Eggleston and his son Mr. George Eggleston. Many books have been contributed so that now there are some
in the library. These include standard secular books on various subjects, fiction, philosophy, science, sociology, history, etc., as
well as Bahá’i books. People from surrounding communities are invited to use the library and to draw books for home reading. Thus
the library becomes a community service and acquaints people with the school. It is hoped that it will be one means of eventually
attracting people to the Cause. The library is by no means complete and we invite people to continue to contribute books which are
suitable, both new and used, which are in good condition.
“An entirely new project of the Louhelen committee was the winter session held the week after Christmas, December 26, 1939-
January 1, 1940. The registration (12) was small since warm accommodations were limited, but all who came considered it entirely
worth while. The aim was especially to inform about Latin American conditions and culture as a basis for Bahâ’i work in those
countries. Mrs. Frances Benedict Stewart gave most valuable information and inspiration along these lines. Two public meetings were
held during the session at which Mrs. Stewart was the speaker. Some 71 different people from twelve towns and four states were
present during the week. Mrs. Stewart also remained by special invitation to address the Shrine club in Flint. Other lessons in methods
of teaching and study were given by Mrs. Ethel Furbush, Mr. Harry Jay and Mrs. Bertha Kirkpatrick. A letter from New Zealand
inquiring about the winter session at Louhelen makes us realize the world-wide interest in all Bahá’i activities.”
NEW INTERNATIONAL BAHA’i SCHOOL
On September 4, 1939 Mrs. Loulie A. Mathews executed an Indenture of Trust under which title to property at Pine
Valley, Colorado Springs, is to be vested in Trustees for the benefit of the National Spiritual Assembly. Mrs. Mathews
retaining full use and control of the property during her life.
This munificent donation is an important contribution to the facilities of the American Bahã’i community for service to
the Faith, Mrs. Mathews having plans for developing at Pine Valley a School for the training of BahI’is for
This plan was welcomed by the Guardian in a letter addressed to Mrs. Mathews on December 14, 1938: “The Guardian
feels also deeply appreciative of your generous offering to the N.S.A. of your ranch in Colorado Springs. Your idea to
turn this property into a training school for Inter- America teaching work, he feels, is splendid.”
The first session was not held until after the period covered by the present summary. However, the program announced
in advance included two periods daily for prayer and meditation, followed by active discussion. Lectures on Latin
American music were to be given by Prof. James Sykes and Prof. Nicolas Slonimsky. Prof. C. W. T. Penland was also
announced in connection with an illustrated lecture.
Discussion on Inter-America teaching was planned to share the personal experiences of Mrs. Mathews herself,
Chairman of the Inter-America Committee for several years, and of Mrs. Louise Caswell, pioneer teacher settled in
A program of public lectures was arranged in Half Way House, Colorado
Springs, with talks on the Cause by George
0. Latimer, Raphael Pumpelly, Mrs. Charles
Bishop, Marion Holley and Horace Holley.
PRoustEss OF TEMPLE ORNAMENTATION
Great progress was made in the external ornamentation of the BahI’i House of Worship at Wilmette between 1938 and
1940. The facts were presented by George 0. Latimer in his annual reports submitted on behalf of the Temple Trustees,
and the following excerpts are taken from his reports:— “On July 4, 1937, the Guardian sent an
THE BAHA’i WORLD
inspiring cable outlining live successive steps in Temple construction. At the beginning of the current year two of these steps had been
completed, and on June 6, 1938 Shoghi Effendi again cabled as follows: ‘Rejoiced thankful initiative resourcefulness newly elected
National Assembly prompting them signalize inauguration period stewardship by launching third stage in progressive unf oldment
seven year plan. Such far-sighted action evokes in me deepest longing that they will not alone accomplish placing final contract but
will have also ere expiry allotted year embarked on concluding stage by insuring uninterrupted prosecution of closing phase of an
enterprise which for no less than thirty years, has engaged attention and challenged resources of entire American Bahá’i community.’
“Since the receipt of this challenging cablegram the work of the ornamentation of the gallery section has been carried on slightly
ahead of schedule with the same excellent craftsmanship that has characterized the Dome ornamentation by the Earley Studio. When
work was discontinued on December 23, 1938, all of the contracted work had been completed except the upper sections of the nine
pylons. The remainder of the work of pouring the pylons will start about April 1, or when weather conditions are favorable, and
should be finished sometime in June, 1939. Mr. McDaniel has supervised the construction work on behalf of the Trustees and has
rendered monthly reports checking all items of expense. To date $111,785.40 has been expended on the contract for the gallery section
and there are sufficient funds on hand for the completion of the work, estimated at $125,000.00.
“The Trustees had been informed by the National Assembly that the Guardian had approved of placing the contract for the
ornamentation of the first story when one- half of the estimated cost of $150,000.00 for this work was at hand. In October it was
learned that savings in both time and cost could be effected if a contract were placed, before the completion of the gallery section, for
the execution of the hand-carved models for the first story, thus dividing the work in successive units. The Guardian approved the
placing of an immediate con-
tract for the models in a cable on November 29th, and on December 11, 1939, the Trustees signed an agreement with Mr. Earley for
making the models at a total estimated cost, including the contractor’s service fee, of $21,000.00.
“Mr. McDaniel informed the Trustees in October that a new source of supply of quartz needed in the external ornamentation had been
located nearer to the Earley Studio and that if Mr. Earley were authorized to purchase the quartz at this time, the cost would be about
$8.00 a ton, dehvered, thus effecting a saving of several dollars per ton in comparison with the original cost of the former quartz. It
was voted to authorize Mr. Earley to purchase SO tons of quartz a month, at $8.00 per ton, dehvered, until the amount needed for the
next contract is obtained. To date of this report 300 tons have been purchased and delivered at Rosslyn, Virginia, from the Annapolis
“The Trustees were further notified of the most generous gift of the Guardian of One Thousand Pounds toward the Temple
construction fund and the linking of the memory of Bahiyyih Khánum with all future Temple construction. With this glorious start,
coupled with another munificent gift of $25,000.00 and payment of some substantial pledges by different Assemblies, the Trustees
entered into a second contract, dated February 4, 1940, with Mr. Earley for the making of the molds required for the exterior
ornamentation of the first story of the Temple. These two contracts for $21,000 and $29,000 respectively, plus an estimated $5,000 for
the necessary quartz, completes one-third of the required amount for the main story, leaving an estimated $95,000 still to be raised for
casting and applying the units to the first story. Thus, the fourth of the successive steps outlined by the Guardian has been taken, and
the Trustees feel assured that the fifth and final stage will be inaugurated by the friends well within the time allotted by the Seven Year
“Mr. Earley completed his contract for the lower sections of the pylons of the main story of the Temple, and the Trustees have taken
steps to assure the continuation of the construction of the main story section
CURRENT BAHA’I ACTIVITIES
in the Spring of 1940 by asking for
000.00 by April 1st, in order to enter into the final contract for the ornamentation of the
Temple. This advance step makes it necessary to provide for the purchase of fill so that the plans for landscaping the grounds may be
completed. Arrangements have been made by the chairman of the maintenance committee, Mr. Scheffler, to secure the necessary fill
from excavations now being made at Northwestern University. Mr. Allen B. McDaniel has ably supervised the progress of the Temple
construction work of the Earley Studios and represented the Trustees in the contractural agreements.”
INCREASE IN NUMBER OF
A total of twenty-four new Assemblies was established in North America between
At the annual election held uniformly throughout the Bahá’i world on April
Assemblies formed were:
Knoxville, Tennessee; Jamestown, New York; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Helena,
Montana; Huntington Park, California; ‘Wauwatosa, ‘Wisconsin; Eagle River, ‘Wisconsin; East Cleveland, Ohio; Richmond
A year later the Assembly Roll included:
Alhambra, Burbank, Big Bear Lake, Beverly Hills and Santa Rosa, California; Hamilton, Ontario; West Haven, Connecticut; Atlanta,
Georgia; Oak Park and Waukegan, Ilhnois; Brookline, Massachusetts; Omaha, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; North Augusta, South
Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin. By April 21, 1940, the American Bahá’i community contained one hundred and two local
The same period also saw a large increase in the number of the incorporated Assemblies, the newly incorporated bodies being those of
Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Phoenix, Portland, Lima, Columbus, Philadelphia, Jersey
City, Boston, Winnetka, ‘Wilmette, Peoria and Helena. By April 21, 1940, there were twenty-seven legally incorporated local Bahá’i
Assemblies in the United States and
recent change in the status of the local Bahá’i Assembly was the successful
Chicago Assembly for civil recognition of its right to conduct a legal marriage and file a marriage
certifièate. The Bahá’is have thus made a beginning in their fulfilment of the functions of an independent religion. Under the
controlling procedures explained by Shoghi Effendi, the Assembly Chairman or Secretary represents the Assembly in the conduct of
the marriage ceremony by the two contracting parties. Furthermore, before the Assembly can officially take part and issue the
certificate it must have in writing the consent of all four, or all surviving parents, to the proposed marriage.
The two great world’s fairs held during this period, at San Francisco and New York respectively, during two successive summer
seasons, afforded the American Bahá’is an extraordinary opportunity to present the teachings to the general public. In addition, the
local exhibits of the Temple model, Bahá’i books and other material greatly increased. As for the local and more informal type of
exhibit we have the following data reported by the Teaching Committee:— “Exhibits of the beautiful model of the
Temple give the teaching work great impetus in any area. Being tangible, it is something that can be easily grasped and discussed and
it thus provides unending opportunity to present the Teachings through publicity and directly to large groups.
“The results of these exhibits at fairs, conferences, and congresses cannot be measured or over-emphasized, and the Teaching
Committee would urge all Assemblies, teachers, and Regional Committees not to overlook any opportunity to arrange for a display of
a Temple model. The National Spiritual Assembly has made five models available to the Teaching Committee for this purpose and it
is important that they be kept in constant use.
“During the past year exhibits of the Temple model were arranged at Cornell University, at Vassar College during the World Youth
Congress, at Toronto during the Canadian National Exposition, at Albu
significant result of this comparatively
querque at the New Mexico State Fair, at Urbana on the occasion of the meetings of the National Spiritual Assembly in that city, at
Port Huron, Flint, and Marysville in Michigan, at Santa Barbara, California, Wichita, Kansas, at the Temple of Religion and in the
Bahá’i booth at the World’s Fair in San Francisco.
“Various Assemblies throughout the country have purchased models and use them most effectively in local and extension teaching
“The Bahá’i Booth at the Canadian International Exposition attracted thousands, giving the attendant opportunity to teach, and
resulting in many fine contacts. Over 15,000 pieces of free literature were distributed.
“Perhaps the outstanding exhibit of the Temple model at State Fairs, was the one arranged by the Milwaukee Assembly, at the
Wisconsin State Fair. Attendants were present at the Booth responding to the many teaching opportunities presented. There were some
18,000 visitors at the Booth, and about 2500 pieces of literature were distributed.
“Another outstanding exhibit, was that in Sacramento, Cahf., at the annual flower show. This exhibit, prepared by the Junior Garden
Clubs of Sacramento, under Bahá’i direction, portrayed the Temple in a garden with flowers from all countries of the world. It was
especially mentioned by the Management, and won one of the first prixes.
“At Newark, New Jersey, the model was displayed at the ‘fair-o-scope’—a model of the New York World’s Fair in miniature. There
were about 4000 visitors daily. The management conceded that the Temple Model display was the outstanding single exhibit.
“Likewise requiring special mention, is the exhibit arranged in Butte, Montana, at the WPA Art Center. Groups were brought in from
all parts of the county to view it. One Photography Group made a special study of methods of photographing it. Inquiry has been
received as to whether we could permit this Model to be sent from Art center to Art center, throughout the State.
“At all exhibits where a Bahã’i Booth was maintained, an attendant was present at all times. Those interested were asked to reg iste
in guest books. These names and addresses were sent to the nearest Assembly, group, or Regional Committee for active follow-up.
The Chicago Assembly report that one of its outstanding teaching successes of the year, was the follow-up contacts made at the
various Fairs. One hundred fifty of these people responded to an invitation to a musicale and reception, planned by the Assembly to
establish a friendly contact, as a foundation for more direct presentation of the Faith.
“The records of the Teaching Committee show that there were thirty-seven displays of the Temple model this year; over 300,000
pieces of teaching literature were distributed, and the ‘Message’ given to thousands of people. Undoubtedly, other exhibits were
arranged by Assemblies owning Temple models, which were not reported to the Committee.”
Concerning the formal Bahá’i exhibits at the World’s Fairs we have special reports prepared by or for the Committees directly in
charge, for the 1939 season.
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