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Eugene Bahá’ís elect Local Spiritual Assembly

The Eugene Bahá’í community recently elected its nine-member governing council, known as the Local Spiritual Assembly, for 2014-2015. The election was held on April 21, the same date for Bahá’í elections in communities around the globe.

The nine people elected to Eugene’s new Local Spiritual Assembly are: Bill Harris, Ron Lillejord, Karl Weaver, Vida Ellins, Ted Taylor, Jeanine Taylor, Laleh Rezaee, Hazel Jones and Shadi Miller.

Bahá’ís to Celebrate Festival of Ridván

The Eugene-Springfield Bahá’í communities will celebrate the first day of their annual Festival of Ridván on Sunday, April 20, with a hosted dinner and a program of music and stories about Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, and about the origin of this special 12-day celebration.

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Reflection on fasting leads to radiant acquiescence

From March 2-20, Bahá’ís worldwide rise before dawn to eat breakfast, pray and then abstain from eating or drinking until sunset in observation of the annual 19-day Fast.

As in many world religions, the Fast is a time for reflecting on one's spiritual progress and making an effort to detach from material desires. The Faith exempts from fasting those who are ill, elderly, traveling, pregnant, nursing, menstruating or engaged in heavy labor. Bahá’ís from age 15 to 70 are enjoined to participate in the annual fast. 

Talent outshone variety at annual Ayyám-i-Há program

No magic, no hip hop dancing and the juggler and poet both canceled at the last minute, but the third, so-far annual, Ayyám-i-Há Variety Show still drew rave reviews from the audience. The program was held on Sunday, February 23 at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center in Springfield.
Brenda Sawyer, who has organized the event each year, once again demonstrated why thrift stores have welcome signs with her name on them. From tutus to taps, red wigs to butterfly wings, she had a costume change for every act on the bill. She also epitomized the “variety” in variety show by being one half of several duos who sang, danced or played guitar during the show.

A number of talented musicians performed a variety of musical styles throughout the program:

Dr. Don Addison played piano music composed for a variety of religious traditions, while the audience guessed which religion was being featured
Bill Harris, dressed as stevedore Joe from the musical Showboat, sang “Old Man River”
Kelly Farmer was Brenda’s partner in singing a prayer
Suzanne Mann-Heintz sang a well-known Bahá’í children’s song and another song she composed herself
Shanalea, Moya and Ezahn played percussion instruments and saxophone
Dawn Altree sang an older pop standard
Pani Soltani sang a Persian song and was called back for an encore
Kurt Star sang a rap tune he had composed and accompanied himself with beatbox
Eugene and Suzanne Otis sang two smooth jazz compositions of their own creation; each took a turn as piano accompanist
One musical performance didn’t include vocals and one vocal performance had no music:

Hazel Jones shared the stage with Brenda to trip the light fantastic, clogging style
Marcia Veach told a story from her comedy writing class

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