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Old 04-05-2018, 06:55 AM   #1
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Virtual Firesides & Virtual Deepenings Planning Thread

An Idea for a Project

Others here have given me an inspiration for a project...

It starts with Yousefy's comment in one thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2
A lack of firesides and deepenings is a great loss imo a great loss they seem to have been replaced by study circles .. I can't help but imagine how many people have lost faith as earnest seekers by being pushed into study Ruhi circles who needed a fireside or deepening
I agree with this, since my preferred model of learning or studying would be the "deepening class" model, and the lady in my community who once organized such events has had to scale back her hosting availability.

Then comes JCC's comment getting me further thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc
You can start your own deepening series, invite other Baha'is to present topics.
I do wish to do something like this, but my house is not big enough to host an event in my local community, nor do I presently have the funds to rent a location.

But then Gnat's post on another thread gets me thinking further... my physical community isn't my only community...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Truly amazing replies! They confirm that this site is a web Bahá'í community in its own right.
We're technically a Bahá'í community, albeit a virtual one. Is it, perhaps, possible for us to organize on a internet community level to create Virtual Firesides and Virtual Deepenings on this forum??

I have some ideas on how that might look:

Virtual Deepenings

This would probably be the easier of the two. I think we could do this in the following way: We first pick a book to be our topic, and then create a thread with that topic, something like "Deepening: Gems of Divine Mystery", and select a person from the community to serve as the "Guide" for this deepening session.

The Guide creates the thread, and each week sets a piece of "assigned reading" for the group. The rest of that Deepening Group then spends that week reading and discussing the passages within that thread.

Basically like a forum-based Bahá'í book club. But through discussing the Scriptures we read, we'd certainly deepen our understanding in that respect.

We should probably make sure whatever text is studied is freely available online, so that everyone who wants to can read it.

Virtual Firesides

This would be probably the more involved of the two. A physical Bahá'í Fireside works in the following way: A speaker presents a lecture on a topic related to the Bahá'í Faith, after which there is a free-form question and answer period where members of the Faith / Seekers can ask questions.

I imagine a virtual Fireside could work like this: A volunteer picks a topic and writes an essay about that topic, posting that in a thread, following that, users can post questions and members of the community can give answers.

Since writing an essay is no simple feat, I think maybe if people are interested in this idea, we could aim at doing a Virtual Fireside maybe every fortnight (two weeks) or so.

Formatting and Organization

If members of this community are interested in the idea, I propose simply for the sake of making these Virtual Fireside/Deepening threads easy to find on the website, that first, we post these in the seldom, used Bahá'í Studies section of the site: Baha'i Studies - Baha'i Forums

Second, I propose a standardized format to thread titles, to the effect of "Deepening: [Book Name or Subject]" for Virtual Deepenings and "Fireside: [Topic]". This merely so that finding these virtual Firesides/Deepenings on this site is easy for members and newcomers alike.

Purpose of this Thread

Assuming that people like this idea, I'd like to use this thread to organize things. I'd also like to use/edit a post on this thread to serve as an "index" to all Virtual Firesides or Deepenings that occur on this site.

This thread can also be used to organize groups. People can post texts/topics they'd be willing to lead for Deepening Groups, and others can reply to express interest in those texts/topics. Once enough people express interest in a Deepening text/topic, we can go forward and create a thread for that group.

We can likewise schedule Virtual Firesides here, as it might be best to try to space out Virtual Firesides to something like one-a-week at most, thus giving each person presenting the "stage" for a full week to two, and making sure we don't expend all of our Fireside ideas all at once. Scheduling can probably be on a "first to claim the week gets the week" basis.

Conclusion

While doing some research for this thread, I discovered a comment on a different site that read the following: "[Firesides are] usually in the bigger cities where there are more Baha'is. Some communities do not have firesides, especially if they are very small (unfortunately). (But they should—in a talk that a UHJ member recently gave, he stressed the necessity of firesides and said how Shoghi Effendi placed great importance on them. In some ways, firesides are even more useful than the Ruhi study circles in teaching the Faith.) "

This seems, to me at least, to be true, as obviously larger communities have more resources to pool to create physical firesides and physical deepening groups.

But that's the advantage of our online Bahá'í community! Virtual space to hold these events is cheap! We could serve as an outlet to those outside of big cities to have Deepenings and Firesides of our own!

Please let me know what you think of this idea, or any input on how it could be better organized.

Last edited by Walrus; 04-05-2018 at 07:05 AM.
 
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:55 AM   #2
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Ongoing Deepenings
The Hidden Words (Started 4/8/2018, Guided by Walrus)

Last edited by Walrus; 04-08-2018 at 06:33 AM.
 
Old 04-05-2018, 07:02 AM   #3
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Now that I've outlined the system I envision, I'll volunteer for it.

Deepening Groups I'd be willing to run
-The Seven Valleys
-The Qu'ran
-The Hidden Words
(either one)
-Any of the Taoist texts.

Fireside topics I'd be willing to write about
-Alchemy (a topic at a later date, I am only in the beginning research phase of this fascinating subject)
-Bahá'í theology and media arts
-Dreaming in the Bahá'í Faith

If anyone is interested in any of the above becoming a Virtual Deepening Group or Virtual Fireside, let me know.
 
Old 04-05-2018, 11:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
If anyone is interested in any of the above becoming a Virtual Deepening Group or Virtual Fireside, let me know.
Walrus it is a good idea for sure.

Deepenings and firesides are great as there is personal contact and interactions. The virtual world seems to lack these components.

No harm in trying

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-05-2018, 11:53 AM   #5
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From: Kettering, Ohio USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Now that I've outlined the system I envision, I'll volunteer for it.

Deepening Groups I'd be willing to run
-The Seven Valleys
-The Qu'ran
-The Hidden Words
(either one)
-Any of the Taoist texts.

Fireside topics I'd be willing to write about
-Alchemy (a topic at a later date, I am only in the beginning research phase of this fascinating subject)
-Bahá'í theology and media arts
-Dreaming in the Bahá'í Faith

If anyone is interested in any of the above becoming a Virtual Deepening Group or Virtual Fireside, let me know.
I'd be interested in the Qur'an, the Hidden Words (all of them), and the Seven Valleys. Especially the Hidden Words.
 
Old 04-05-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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I think this can be a good idea .. as there is no time we need to be there right? seven valleys and hidden words is good for me to take part in
 
Old 04-05-2018, 01:31 PM   #7
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Joined: Nov 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Now that I've outlined the system I envision, I'll volunteer for it.

Deepening Groups I'd be willing to run
-The Seven Valleys
-The Qu'ran
-The Hidden Words
(either one)
-Any of the Taoist texts.

Fireside topics I'd be willing to write about
-Alchemy (a topic at a later date, I am only in the beginning research phase of this fascinating subject)
-Bahá'í theology and media arts
-Dreaming in the Bahá'í Faith

If anyone is interested in any of the above becoming a Virtual Deepening Group or Virtual Fireside, let me know.
As I work evenings, and it seems like every last Baha'i event has to take place when I'm at work, this would work extremely well for me! Love the idea! I'd be interested in learning from pretty much any of these. I suppose I am fairly knowledgeable in Hinduism, running something on say, the Srimad-Bhagavatam would be fun. We could all play to what we know and in doing so spread our knowledge to everyone.

This is an awesome idea, Walrus. I've been thinking of something like this for a long while.
 
Old 04-05-2018, 03:37 PM   #8
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I like the idea.

gnat
 
Old 04-05-2018, 08:30 PM   #9
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The idea is very good. I prefer the seven Valleys and the hidden words.
 
Old 04-06-2018, 06:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
as there is no time we need to be there right?
Correct, it would basically be a week of forum discussions focused on a specific selected sections of readings that we'd each do independently.

I see equal numbers of people expressing interest in Seven Valleys and Hidden Words, with one person stating "especially" for Hidden Words, and so I'll start putting together a Hidden Words Deepening Group. I'll plan on posting the first thread this Sunday, and I'll put a link on this thread when I do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
I suppose I am fairly knowledgeable in Hinduism, running something on say, the Srimad-Bhagavatam would be fun.
I'd be very interested in joining that group! It's always interesting to read the older Scriptures in light of the new.
 
Old 04-08-2018, 06:34 AM   #11
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And here it is: Hidden Words
 
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