What is a group of families?

A grouping of families are two or more families or individuals, whether they are enrolled Bahá’ís or not, who make a conscious decision to work together for the betterment of society and the realisation of Bahá’u’lláh’s vision for humanity. Importantly, they give thought to how every family member can be engaged and actively contribute from the children to youth and adults.

Why families?

We know that families are the building block of society, the family is the environment in which “praiseworthy morals and essential capacities” are developed. These morals and capacities become habits and actions which are then taken with us into every aspect of our lives from work to the social and political life of the country and eventually to the international sphere. By thinking about the whole family we support the spiritual and material advancement of every sphere of life.

Impact of service on the family: 

One of the indicators of a healthy family is that it is the home serves as a source of service, upliftment and strength for the community. Abdu’l-Bahá says:

“…make of thy home a centre for the diffusion of the light of divine guidance, for the dissemination of the Words of God and for enkindling at all times the fire of love in the hearts of His faithful servants and maidservants. Know thou of a certainty that every house wherein the anthem of praise is raised to the Realm of Glory in celebration of the Name of God is indeed a heavenly home…”

The Universal House of Justice describes the detrimental impact of excessive attention to family’s own interest. When we focus solely on the needs and interest of our own family we develop in our children an “us and them” mentality that stifles their love for humanity.

Whereas when we consider the needs of our broader community, our friends and neighbours we engender an all embracing love that fosters in each of us desire and qualities that extends from  considering the needs of our family, to the sacred obligation of service to our neighbours, to the advancement of our nation, and to the progress of the entire human race as the purpose of our lives.

“The family unit provides an environment within which such lofty and world-embracing principles can be taught and nurtured. It is the matrix in which generation after generation can be reared in the conviction that the well-being of the individual is inextricably bound to the progress and well-being of others.”

Stages of Development

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a family before I can be involved in this?

Anyone individual can be part of and help to bring together a group of families no matter the stage of life or circumstances.

How can I start a group?

Some groups have begun by having ongoing conversations with their networks from school, community hub or workplace on some of the needs of the community and their families, such as having a more united neighbourhood, effective consultation in the family to the education of children and more.  This conversation has then led to ongoing spaces to consult, study, act and reflect.

The Universal House of Justice has outlined the path of development of such groups in its 30th of December message, explaining that groups

“entails families and individual believers working together and making a conscious decision to see themselves as belonging to an expanding nucleus. Such groups of friends set about widening the circle of participation in their activities by engaging with the networks to which they belong—networks created through a place of work or study, a local school, or a community hub of another kind—and by accompanying others who arise to serve alongside them. These efforts have tremendous merit.”

30th of December 2021, Universal House of Justice

How can I learn more about groups of families and how they develop?

The Cluster Reflection Meetings, held every 3 months, are opportunities to connect to the experiences and learnings that have been gained across our diverse community, specially in the development of a group of families. In addition, experiences and learnings of groups will be regularly shared at the Feast.

Who can I ask for support?

The Area Teaching Committee, Brisbane Spiritual Assembly and Auxiliary Board members are here to support the groups of families by connecting friends and groups to relevant guidance and experiences. Please feel free to reach out for support. Friends can also be connected to groups across the cluster who have experience to share their learnings and insights.