Bahá’ís across the country once again have the opportunity to create their own decentralised summer schools, with the support of presentations and resources offered online.

How it works

Communities, sectors, neighbourhoods, and families are holding gatherings that suit their local and personal circumstances, during the period from 27-30 December 2022.

The foundation of the programme for adults will be four plenary sessions of video presentations. These will be released online on 12 December, on the Programme page. That page also provides brief descriptions of the presentation topics.

Materials and suggested activities for children and junior youth are provided on pages of this site: Children’s Activities and Junior Youth Activities. Many summer school gatherings will run children’s and junior youth activities in parallel with the adult programme.

Sessions and schedule

  • For an outline of daily topics and descriptions of plenary video presentations see the Programme page.
  • The four plenary presentation videos, and a video from the Regional Bahá’í Councils, are available on the Programme page.
  • Workshops or reflection sessions are arranged locally. For workshop resources such as focus questions and quotations for discussion, see Workshop Resources.

Notes for the attention of gathering organisers

  • While all four plenary sessions are provided as videos for adults and youth to view at any time, children’s and junior youth activities need to be organised locally. Materials and suggested activities are available .
  • Please consider the hospitality aspects of the gatherings e.g. ensuring people are welcomed, an opportunity to introduce each other, etc. including expressions of aroha, generosity and mutual respect.
  • Please remember to take photographs, most importantly a group photo of those present. Send your best photos to the National Assembly to be shared around the national community (in some form to be announced later).

Why decentralise?

The decentralised summer school format is designed to draw on the experience our community has gained in creating activities at the local level and in creatively using modern communications technology. Experience from the World Conferences earlier this year has further confirmed the value of decentralised gatherings for learning.

Who organises local gatherings?

Summer school in your locality may include gatherings (of all sizes) for viewing the online presentations and discussing them afterwards in workshops. Children’s and junior youth activities are being locally led, coordinated and delivered, with help from guides on this website.

Different arrangements can be made depending on local conditions. With Local Spiritual Assemblies taking a facilitating role but not necessarily organising everything for their communities, some possible configurations include:

  • Gatherings of groups of families, in neighbourhoods, or in sectors.
  • Gatherings held in Bahá’í Centres (or hired venues) for whole localities or even multiple adjacent localities, such as within a cluster.

Engaging with friends from the wider community

Here are some ideas for engaging with friends from the wider community.

Arrange a time to view any of the following videos, either in full or in part:
After the viewing, have a conversation based on the film.
  • Pick a topic such as the equality of men and women, oneness of humanity, human rights and well-being of all, community building, youth as protagonists of change, how to work together and care for each other during the global health crisis, etc. Study a few poignant quotations relating to this topic to spark conversation. Try to be action oriented.
  • Arrange a special day with whanau and friends of participants from an existing children’s class, junior youth group, study circle or group of friends that hold a regular devotional gathering. Depending on needs, interests, energies and resources, these groups could either focus on learning something, strengthening their fellowship and unity, doing some service to the local community, or creating arts together.

Promotional items

The items listed below may be useful in promoting your summer school.

Flyer – Editable Word document that can be edited. You may print this out or convert it share it digitally. It is best to convert it to pdf for sharing digitally.

Posters | Digital Posters with included dates and programme that can be sent digitally through email/social media — jpg format

Posters | Print Posters with included dates and programme that can be printed in A3 format – or larger — jpg format

Presentation Screens Static images formatted for idle presentation screens — jpg format. One file shows the logo and the programme, and the other shows just the logo.

Logo Logo with dates which can be shared via emailed weekly notices/social media — animated gif / mp4 / jpg formats

Photography policy

Please make participants aware of the following. Photos taken at this event may be used by Bahá’í institutions/agencies in Bahá’í publications such as websites, social media pages, newsletters, and promotional materials – both online and hard copy. Photos may also be archived. Those who do not agree to the use of their images for these purposes, please make this known to the organisers, and your wishes will be respected. Also, parents should state if they do not agree to the publication of images of their children.