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Abstract:
The purpose, organization, functioning, limitations, privileges and responsibilities of Bahá'í groups; guidance for individuals about application of Bahá'í laws, such as marriage and divorce; and guidance for Assemblies that have reverted to group status.
Notes:
Prepared by the Office of Community Administration and Development.

Supplement to Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities.


Guidance for Bahá'í Groups

by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States

Evanston, IL: US NSA, 2000
Table of Contents

Foreword    iii
Introduction     1
Importance of Bahá'í Groups  1
Group Formation and Officer Election    3
Group Organization     4
Lapsed Assemblies      5
Consultation     7
Protection  8
Publishing and Distribution of Bahá'í Literature   9
Community Membership   10
Teaching/Consolidation 13
Building Distinctive Bahá'í Communities 16
Bahá'í Holy Days and the Nineteen Day Feast  19
Bahá'í Funds     21
Bahá'í Education 23
External Affairs 23
Properties  25
Application of Bahá'í Law    25
Marriage    26
Divorce     28
Burial Law, Wills      29
Contact Information    31
Appendix  A  --  Basics of How To Be a Treasurer   39
Appendix B  --  Federal Tax Identification Number  41

                                1.2 Foreword

Guidance for Bahá'í Groups is intended  primarily  for  the  use  of  Bahá'í
groups and individuals.  Unlike Local Spiritual  Assemblies,  Bahá'í  groups
generally have no administrative functions other than maintenance  of  their
membership  lists.    Despite  any   similarities   in   general   community
activities among both group and Assembly areas, there can  be  no  confusion
between the role of a Bahá'í group, which  is  a  community  of  individuals
endeavoring to establish a Local Spiritual Assembly, and a  Local  Spiritual
Assembly, which is a legally recognized institution of the Faith.   Detailed
guidance  for  Local  Spiritual  Assemblies  may  be  found  in   Developing
Distinctive Bahá'í Communities: Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies.

1.3 1.4 Introduction

(DDBC notations  at  the  start  of  each  section  refer  to  corresponding
sections  of  Developing  Distinctive  Bahá'í  Communities:  Guidelines  for
Spiritual Assemblies, 1998 Edition,  which  is  available  from  the  Bahá'í
Distribution  Service.   Both  Guidance  for  Bahá'í  Groups  and  DDBC  are
available on the Internet for word searches  and  downloading  at  the  U.S.
National     Spiritual     Assembly's      administrative      web      site
[http://www.usbnc.org].  The American  Bahá'í  and  the  administrative  web
site are additional sources of current  news,  information  and  references.
The suggested  readings  listed  at  the  end  of  each  section  should  be
available through the Bahá'í Distribution Service.)

A Bahá'í group exists wherever two or more Bahá'ís reside and where the
Bahá'í community has not formed a Local Spiritual Assembly.  The main focus
of a Bahá'í group should be fellowship, community building, and teaching in
order to strengthen the community so that it may eventually form a Local
Spiritual Assembly.  While it is suggested that Bahá'í groups register with
the National Spiritual Assembly, a group is not an administrative
institution of the Faith and, therefore, does not have the same duties and
responsibilities as a Local Spiritual Assembly.  Registered Bahá'í groups
have certain privileges that unregistered groups do not, which are referred
to in the section titled Group Formation and Officer Election.  The
following guidance is intended to assist individuals and members of Bahá'í
groups in understanding their responsibilities and in knowing what matters
should be referred to a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly or to the National
Spiritual Assembly.

Development of Bahá'í groups well-grounded in Bahá'í principles and
patterns of community life is essential to the establishment of new Local
Spiritual Assemblies that are strong and vital, capable of serving the
interests and needs of their communities from the outset.  Therefore, the
energies of Bahá'í groups should be centered in cultivating a spirit of
loving fellowship, teaching unceasingly, and becoming trained and adept in
the art of Bahá'í consultation, which is the primary skill for Bahá'í
community life.  Creation of communities that are loving, unified, and
diverse will attract and hold the hearts of seekers, as such communities
embody the qualities of the divinely promised refuge for which all humanity
is seeking.

1.5 Importance of Bahá'í Groups

(DDBC, Chapter 1)

1.6

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, states that the principal
importance of Bahá'í groups is that they will eventually develop into Local
Spiritual Assemblies whose destinies are vital to the establishment of the
World Order of Bahá'u'lláh:

      Furthermore, I cannot too strongly emphasize the vital necessity for
      all the Bahá'í groups, scattered throughout these forty-two countries,
      to brace themselves, and make a supreme effort, during these
      intervening two years, to achieve assembly status,...contributing,
      through this act, to the broadening and strengthening of the
      foundations of these projected pivotal institutions, destined to play
      so prominent and vital a part in ushering in the last phase in the
      gradual establishment of the structure of an Administrative Order that
      must needs slowly evolve into the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and
      which in turn will give birth, in the fullness of time, to a world
      spiritual civilization, which posterity will hail as the fairest fruit
      of His Revelation.

                 (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Bahá'í World: 1950-1957)

When the membership of a group includes nine adult believers in good
standing, it becomes eligible to form a Local Spiritual Assembly on the
date of the following Ridván.  According to the Guardian, the formation of
a Local Spiritual Assembly should not be delayed for any reason, as each
new Spiritual Assembly becomes a link strengthening the world encircling
Administrative Order.

      It is of the utmost importance that in accordance with the explicit
      text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book, in every locality, be
      it city or hamlet, where the number of adult (21 years and above)
      declared believers exceeds nine, a local "Spiritual Assembly" be
      forthwith established.  To it all local matters pertaining to the
      Cause must be directly and immediately referred for full consultation
      and decision.  The importance, nay the absolute necessity of these
      local Assemblies is manifest when we realize that in the days to come
      they will evolve into the local Houses of Justice, and at present
      provide the firm foundation on which the structure of the Master's
      Will is to be reared in future.

                             (Shoghi Effendi: Bahá'í Administration, Page:
                       37)

Furthermore, the establishment of a Local Spiritual Assembly draws a share
of divine bounty to the entire locality in which it is formed, not merely
to the Bahá'í community:

      The community must become imbued with a sense of mission and the Local
      Spiritual Assembly grow in awareness of its role as a channel of God's
      grace not only for the Bahá'ís but for the entire village, town or
      city in which it serves.

                            (The Universal House of Justice, Dec 26, 1995,
                            letter to the Continental Boards of
                            Counsellors)

It sometimes happens that a community's membership list contains the names
of believers who are not known to the community or who have, in the past,
indicated that they are unwilling to serve on an institution.  When a group
realizes that it will have an opportunity to form a Local Spiritual
Assembly on the coming Ridván, it should endeavor, well in advance, to
clarify any uncertainties concerning the willingness of individual members
to participate in the election or joint declaration.  When it is confirmed
that there will be enough members to form a Local Spiritual Assembly,
election notices should be mailed to every member at least fifteen days in
advance of the election with instructions for absentee voting.  The
necessary election forms and instructions can be obtained from the Office
of Membership and Records at the Bahá'í National Center.  Following the
election, if the Local Spiritual Assembly formation is accepted by the
National Spiritual Assembly, the Local Spiritual Assembly will be mailed a
packet of information to assist it to begin functioning.

1.6.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi

           The Local Spiritual Assembly, compiled by the Research
           Department of the Universal House of Justice

1.7 Group Formation and Officer Election

(DDBC, Chapters 2 & 3)

A Bahá'í locality is an area in which a Bahá'í community is situated.
Generally, the boundaries of Bahá'í localities follow those of the smallest
unit of civil jurisdiction, such as the boundaries of an incorporated city,
or, outside of a city, the boundaries of a township or county.  Whenever
the boundaries for a locality are uncertain, boundary clarification and/or
guidelines for establishing boundaries should be requested from the
National Spiritual Assembly.  Bahá'ís residing in localities that do not
yet have enough members to form Local Spiritual Assemblies are encouraged
to register as Bahá'í groups.

Bahá'í groups are established through the believers meeting together and
deciding to register as a group in order to receive mailings, develop
community life, promote teaching and prepare for the eventuality of Local
Spiritual Assembly formation.  Larger groups are encouraged to elect
officers such as a correspondent, chairman and treasurer in preparation for
the time when they will become Local Spiritual Assemblies.  Small groups
need not hold an election, but may simply designate someone to serve as the
contact person to receive the group's mail.

Every group should submit a "Bahá'í Group Registration Form/Officers
Election Report" to the Office of Membership and Records at the Bahá'í
National Center on an annual basis.  This form can be obtained by
contacting the Office of Membership and Records.  The group will then be
registered and will receive correspondence from the Bahá'í National Center.
 Registering a group will ensure that it receives periodic mailings, Feast
letters and newsreels, and allows it to establish a local Bahá'í Fund.

Although a group may form and elect its officers at any time during the
year, it is recommended that, after the first formation, it reform each
year on the First Day of Ridván at an annual meeting.  Preferably, all
believers should be notified of the meeting at least 15 days in advance.

1.7.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Bahá'í Elections, compiled by the Research Department of the
           Universal House of Justice

           Electing Bahá'í Assemblies, National Spiritual Assembly of the
           Bahá'ís of the United States, 1997

1.8 Group Organization

(DDBC, Chapter  3)

In principle, registered Bahá'í groups regularly meet and consult together
regarding such matters as the observance of Feasts, the development of
children's classes, if needed, and the planning of teaching events.
Decisions in Bahá'í communities are achieved through consensus in
consultation, but if consensus cannot be achieved, then they are carried by
majority vote.  While Bahá'í groups may consult on issues of community
development and teaching, they cannot perform the legislative duties of a
Local Spiritual Assembly, such as, performing Bahá'í marriages or handling
cases involving the violation of Bahá'í law.  Nor should Bahá'í groups be
concerned, other than maintaining their membership lists, with such
administrative duties as taking minutes, distributing an annual report
(although one may be needed to preserve incorporation for a lapsed Local
Spiritual Assembly, see Lapsed Assemblies), and so forth.  Groups should
particularly bear in mind Shoghi Effendi's warning against over-
administration and place their primary focus on fellowship, community
building, and teaching.  Should an issue requiring the attention of a Local
Spiritual Assembly arise, the group should turn to a nearby Spiritual
Assembly or contact the National Spiritual Assembly for assistance.

Should a group disperse and no believers remain in the community who are
able to responsibly store whatever archival records may exist for the
community, they should be sent to the National Bahá'í Archives.   Only
actual community records, such as important correspondence, local
bulletins, financial records, local publicity material, and other
historical information, such as community photographs and scrapbooks should
be sent.  Do not send any of the community's library, including back issues
of The American Bahá'í and Bahá'í News.  Books and other such printed
matter may be given to a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly or registered
Bahá'í group to use as they wish.  Certain types of records having no
permanent value, such as routine mailings from the Bahá'í National Center,
routine advertisements, etc., from non-Bahá'ís, and so forth, should be
disposed of locally.  If a dispersing group has a local Bahá'í fund, it may
send the remaining balance to any other Bahá'í fund before the group
dissolves.  An individual believer may not hold funds on behalf of a
registered Bahá'í group in the hope that it will reform.  If Bahá'í funds
remain following the dispersion of a registered Bahá'í group, advice should
be sought from the National Treasurer's Office.

1.8.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Lights of Guidance, A Bahá'í Reference File, compiled by Helen
           Bassett Hornby, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India

      1.9 Lapsed Assemblies

(DDBC, Chapter  3)

In an area served by a Local Spiritual Assembly, if the number of
registered believers in possession of their administrative rights falls
below nine, it may lose its Local Spiritual Assembly status.  While this is
unfortunate, it is sometimes unavoidable due to the size of a community and
the circumstances of its members.  Job transfers or layoffs, marriages,
divorces, illness, death, and other factors naturally produce fluctuations
in the size of communities.  When the communities are small, minor
variations in the number of believers often make the difference between
maintaining or losing Local Spiritual Assembly status.  Records indicate
that there is a real correlation between general population density and the
size of the Bahá'í community.  Therefore, in many areas, particularly those
less populated, the challenge of establishing and maintaining a Local
Spiritual Assembly requires a long-term commitment on the part of the
believers.  In these areas, opportunities abound for true homefront
pioneering.

Believers in an area that has lost its Local Spiritual Assembly status
should not become discouraged and allow the loss to consume their spiritual
energies.  They should not feel that they or others have, in some way,
failed in their obligations as Bahá'ís, but should realize that, in the
natural ebb and flow of events, it is inevitable to experience setbacks.
In due course, the community will again achieve Local Spiritual Assembly
status and become stronger and more firmly established than it was
previously.

When a Local Spiritual Assembly community reverts to group status, it
should report immediately to the National Spiritual Assembly.  The National
Assembly may, at its discretion, appoint a temporary administrative
committee for the purpose of maintaining the life and vigor of the
community.  In addition, there are a number of issues pertaining to the
change in status that may need to be considered:

Bahá'í Funds:  The names of bank accounts should be changed, if necessary,
to reflect the change in status.  Automatic contributions may be continued,
if the group wishes, and the amount adjusted, if necessary.  However, the
group should file a name change with the Internal Revenue Service to
reflect its change in status for its Federal Tax Identification Number.

Postal address:  If the Local Spiritual Assembly had a post office box and
the group wishes to maintain it, the name associated with it should reflect
the status of the community.

Disposition of Local Spiritual Assembly records:  The outgoing Local
Spiritual Assembly should determine whether a reliable member is willing to
hold the Spiritual Assembly records.  If someone is willing, the National
Spiritual Assembly should be informed of the location of these records and
the name of the person holding them.  If not, or if the Local Spiritual
Assembly is not re-formed after two years, the Spiritual Assembly records
should be forwarded to the National Archives at the Bahá'í National Center.
 Only the actual Spiritual Assembly records, such as minutes, important
correspondence, local bulletins, financial records, publicity material, and
other historical information, such as community photographs and scrapbooks,
should be sent.  Do not send any of the Spiritual Assembly's library,
including back issues of The American Bahá'í and Bahá'í News.  Books and
other such printed matter should, if possible, be given to a nearby Local
Spiritual Assembly, registered Bahá'í group, or responsible individual
willing and able to hold it in trust until the Local Spiritual Assembly can
be reformed. Certain types of records having no permanent value, such as
routine mailings from the Bahá'í National Center, routine advertisements,
etc., from non-Bahá'ís, and so forth, should be disposed of locally.

Insurance:  Activities and events organized by Bahá'í groups are not
covered under the National Spiritual Assembly's general liability insurance
policy.  However, they may be covered if a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly
can be found to sponsor them.

Incorporation:   The incorporated status of a Local Spiritual Assembly is
not necessarily lost if it is unable to re-form.  The corporation created
has a legal existence apart from the actual Local Spiritual Assembly that
it represents.  It can continue to exist even if the Local Spiritual
Assembly itself is lost, as long as the legal requirements for maintaining
corporate status continue to be met, including filing the annual report
with the Secretary of State in the state of incorporation.  The Local
Spiritual Assembly's incorporation can and should be maintained as long as
there are one or more believers in the area who are willing to do so.

Bahá'í Properties:  If the Local Spiritual Assembly holds real estate,
appropriate measures should be taken to ensure the proper management of the
property.  With the approval of the National Assembly, a local or regional
committee may be established under the auspices of another Local Spiritual
Assembly to manage the property, or the property may be transferred to the
National Spiritual Assembly to hold in trust or to dispose of as indicated.


1.10 Consultation

(DDBC, Chapter  4)

Bahá'u'lláh says, "No welfare and no well being can be attained except
through consultation."[1]  `Abdu'l-Bahá called consultation "one of the
explicit ordinances of the Lord of Mankind."[2]  The Universal House of
Justice states that the skill of consultation will lead to "new paths of
human corporate action."[3]   It may be said, therefore, that the most
important skill for believers to acquire in their development as members of
a Bahá'í group is that of effective Bahá'í consultation.  Individuals and
Bahá'í groups are encouraged to attend workshops offering training in
Bahá'í consultation skills, including those offered through the National
Spiritual Assembly's Office of Assembly Development, in addition to those
offered through Bahá'í schools and training institutes.

Groups will wish to consult on developing plans for the growth of their
Bahá'í community in anticipation of the time when they will function as a
Local Spiritual Assembly.  A primary concern of the group will be to foster
the development of the Faith in its locality by deepening its believers and
by attracting new souls, so that when a Local Spiritual Assembly is
eventually formed, it will be firmly grounded in the teachings, principles
and spirit of the Faith.  Since a group is not an administrative
institution, consultation within it does not cover the wide range of issues
that may be considered by a Local Spiritual Assembly, such as marriage,
divorce, personal problems, status of believers, and so forth.  Should such
concerns arise regarding any of these issues, they should be referred to a
nearby Local Spiritual Assembly or to the National Spiritual Assembly.
Nonetheless, as the principles of consultation are universal, group members
will obtain valuable experience in preparation for becoming Local Spiritual
Assembly members by endeavoring wholeheartedly to understand and apply the
principles and practices of Bahá'í consultation.

The principle of consultation, which constitutes one of the basic laws of
the Administration, should be applied to all Bahá'í activities which affect
the collective interests of the Faith, for it is through cooperation and
continued exchange of thoughts and views that the Cause can best safeguard
and foster its interests.  Individual initiative, personal ability and
resourcefulness, though indispensable, are, unless supported and enriched
by the collective experiences and wisdom of the group, utterly incapable of
achieving such a tremendous task.

                            (Shoghi Effendi, Consultation:  A Compilation,
                            p.  15)

Individuals may also wish to know that the Universal House of Justice has
noted that:

      Any Bahá'í, whether an isolated believer or a member of a local
      community or group, may convey his suggestions and recommendations to
      the National Spiritual Assembly at any time and thus take part in the
      consultative aspect of Bahá'í community life.

                 (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of
                 Justice to an individual believer, dated July 23, 1985)

1.10.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Consultation:  A Compilation, Extracts from the Writings and
           Utterances of Bahá'u'lláh,`Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and The
           Universal House of Justice,  compiled by the Research Department
           of the Universal House of Justice

           Consultation, John Kolstoe

           Channels of Divine Guidance: Consultation, Part I & II, National
           Spiritual Assembly, Office of Assembly Development

1.11 Protection

(DDBC, Chapter  5)

Protection of the Faith primarily involves maintaining the unity of the
friends, upholding the principles and standards of the Faith, and
encouraging obedience to the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh.  If problems of
disunity arise within a group, and sincere attempts at consultation do not
resolve them, the matter should be reported directly to the National
Spiritual Assembly or to the Auxiliary Board member or assistant for
protection for that area.  Contact information for Auxiliary Board members
can be obtained through a Local Spiritual Assembly or the National
Spiritual Assembly.

Problems of opposition, which originate with people outside the Faith, or
of Covenant-breaking, which afflicts only Bahá'ís, should be reported
immediately to both the National Spiritual Assembly and to the Auxiliary
Board member for protection.  As Covenant-breaking is something that occurs
only rarely, it is important to understand what it is not.  Those who break
Bahá'í law, who withdraw from the Faith, or who reject Bahá'u'lláh's claim
to be a Manifestation of God are not Covenant-breakers.

The following passage from the Universal House of Justice explains what
Covenant-breaking is:

Every Bahá'í is at liberty, nay is urged, to freely express his opinion and
his understanding of the Teachings, but all this is in a totally different
category from that of a Bahá'í who opposes the clear Teachings of
Bahá'u'lláh or who asserts his own opinion as an authoritative and correct
interpretation of the teachings, and attacks or opposes the very
institutions which Bahá'u'lláh has created to protect His Covenant.  When a
person declares his acceptance of Bahá'u'lláh as a Manifestation of God he
becomes a party to the covenant and accepts the totality of His Revelation.
 If he then turns round and attacks Bahá'u'lláh or the Central Institution
of the Faith he violates the Covenant.  If this happens every effort is
made to help that person to see the illogicality and error of his actions,
but if he persists he must, in accordance with the instructions of
Bahá'u'lláh himself, be shunned as a Covenant-breaker.

                                  (Letter from the Universal House of
                                  Justice, dated March 23, 1975, to an
                                  individual believer)

A Bahá'í who violates the Covenant is declared a Covenant-breaker only
after every effort has been made to help that person see the illogicality
and error of his actions.  Only the Universal House of Justice can declare
someone a Covenant-breaker.  Since Bahá'u'lláh has stated that Covenant-
breaking is a highly contagious spiritual disease, for the protection of
the community Covenant-breakers are cut off from all association with the
Bahá'í community both in their personal and public lives.

1.11.1.1 Suggested Reading:

      Overcoming Barriers to Unity, Steven E. Ellis, The Alaska Bahá'í
      Bookshop

Issues Concerning Community Functioning, compiled by the Research
Department of the Universal House of Justice

The Covenant, compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of
Justice

Opposition, compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of
Justice

1.12 Publishing and Distribution of Bahá'í Literature

(DDBC, Chapter  5)

The National Spiritual Assembly, through the following agencies, publishes
and distributes the sacred and authoritative texts, teaching literature,
introductory and historical works, literature for children and youth,
audio/visual materials, and periodicals:

The Bahá'í Publishing Trust publishes sacred and authoritative texts and
other works to support the teaching and consolidation efforts of the
National Spiritual Assembly.

The Bahá'í Distribution Service distributes Bahá'í publications and special
materials through mail order and Bahá'í bookstores.

Bahá'í Media Services provides media production services to both the
national and international Bahá'í community, produces videos and
audiotapes, provides photographic services, and maintains an extensive
media library.   It also produces The American Bahá'í, a newspaper covering
domestic and international news of the progress of the Cause.  The American
Bahá'í is provided free of charge to all U.S. Bahá'ís in good standing.

Bahá'í Subscriber Services offers subscriptions to Bahá'í periodicals
including Brilliant Star, a bimonthly magazine for children and youth;  One
Country, the Bahá'í International Community newsletter;  Art Matters, a
triannual magazine focusing on the importance of teaching and the arts;
Herald of the South, a full-color quarterly magazine from Australia;  and
World Order, a quarterly journal featuring scholarly articles.

The National Spiritual Assembly is responsible for the reviewing of
material intended for nationwide publication.  Local Spiritual Assemblies
review material intended for publication or distribution within their own
communities.  Bahá'í groups may not review works for publication.  All
works produced for public distribution that mention the Faith, its Central
Figures, history or teachings must be submitted to the Office of Research
and Review.  In addition to written materials, videos, music, play scripts,
souvenir items, greeting cards, and so forth, that mention the Faith must
also be reviewed.

Bahá'í groups may not set up book sales outlets, but may establish
community lending libraries and may open accounts with the Bahá'í
Distribution Service.  Individuals in any locality are free to order Bahá'í
books directly from the Bahá'í Distribution Service.

      Suggested Reading:

Writers and Writing, compiled by the Research Department of the Universal
House of Justice

1.13 Community Membership

(DDBC, Chapter  6)

Groups are asked to maintain their own membership list and to inform the
National Assembly of address changes for those believers moving into or out
of the community.  Forms for reporting address changes may be obtained from
the Bahá'í National Center's Office of Membership and Records.

Communities render an important service to the National Assembly by
maintaining current membership information.  As there are significant costs
associated with undeliverable mail, changes in the community's membership
list should be reported as soon as possible.  Twice a year, the National
Spiritual Assembly, through its Management Information Services department,
sends a revised Community Membership List to all Local Spiritual Assemblies
and registered Bahá'í groups.  Three general categories appear on each
list:

   1. Believers with known addresses:  Mail is deliverable at the listed
      address.

   1. Believers who have had their mail returned:  Mail does not reach the
      addressee and is returned to the post office.  The community should
      try to verify the addresses of these believers.  When a community has
      verified that a person does not live at the last known address, and no
      forwarding information is available, that finding should be reported
      to the Membership and Records Office of the Bahá'í National Center so
      that person's name can be removed from the local mailing list.  While
      names of believers whose addresses have been verified as unknown do
      not appear on any community membership lists, the person's name is
      retained on the National Spiritual Assembly's membership rolls with
      their last known address.

   1. Believers deprived of their administrative rights, institutionalized,
      or imprisoned:  Since these people are still members of the Bahá'í
      Faith, their names are retained on the local list with notations about
      their personal status.  These individuals do not receive The American
      Bahá'í, nor should they receive routine mailings such as newsletters
      from local communities.  (See section on Community Membership.)

Printouts of the community membership mailed to the group's correspondent
are confidential, and obsolete lists should be shredded or burned.  Bahá'í
mailing lists or directories are to be used for the work of the Faith only
and may not be used for promotional or advertising purposes, or for
business solicitation.  Furthermore, as the names and addresses of
individual Bahá'ís are confidential, the lists should not be given to
individual Bahá'ís outside the community of their residence without the
prior consent of each community member.  The National Spiritual Assembly's
policy is that such information is private and confidential and thus should
not be made available without the person's consent, unless it is requested
by a Bahá'í institution for official business purposes only.
Correspondence and messages should, of course, be forwarded to the person
that the inquirer wishes to contact.

Since Bahá'í groups are not administrative institutions, they do not have
the responsibility of enrolling new believers, handling requests for
withdrawal from the Faith, or issuing Bahá'í credentials.  This does not
mean, of course, that a group may not accept a Bahá'í declaration card;
only that the countersigning of the card should be done by an institution
of the Faith.  This will usually be the nearest Local Spiritual Assembly,
Auxiliary Board member, or Regional Bahá'í Council.  All requests for
withdrawal and requests for Bahá'í credentials should be referred to the
National Spiritual Assembly.

Bahá'í parents may complete a Bahá'í registration card for each child and
forward it to the Bahá'í National Center.  Registration cards can be
obtained from the Office of Information Services.  When the child's card is
received at the Bahá'í National Center, the child will be assigned a Bahá'í
identification number and the child's name will be added to the national
computer records.  After the child's name has been recorded on the
computer, the child will receive an acknowledgement letter in care of the
parents.  The letter will include the child's Bahá'í identification number,
which the parents should refer to when making address changes for the
family.  Parents may register their children at birth or any time before
they reach the age of fifteen.  Bahá'í birth certificates are available
from the Office of Information Services for a small fee.  On attaining the
age of fifteen, registered Bahá'í youth receive a letter of recognition and
a Bahá'í membership card from the National Spiritual Assembly.  If the
youth do not wish to remain registered as Bahá'ís, they may return the card
at that time.  After reaching the age of 15, any youth who was not
registered as a child must complete a Bahá'í Declaration card to have his
or her name entered on the membership rolls.

Bahá'ís in possession of their administrative rights may attend Nineteen
Day Feasts, vote and be voted for in Bahá'í elections, participate in
activities reserved for enrolled members in possession of their
administrative rights, contribute to the Bahá'í Funds, go on pilgrimage,
receive publications intended for Bahá'ís only, be appointed to service by
the institutions of the Faith, be married in the Faith, and enjoy the
blessings conferred through obedience to Bahá'í law.

Bahá'ís whose administrative rights have been removed do not share in the
above privileges.  Nonetheless, since their spiritual commitment is not in
question, their continuing Bahá'í life can include loving fellowship and
friendship with other believers, worship of God through the prayers of the
Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, and `Abdu'l-Bahá, and observance of the Fast, of the
Bahá'í Holy Days, and of all the personal and family occasions of the
Faith.  They have access to the literature of the Faith and, unless
specified otherwise by the National Spiritual Assembly, may attend any
meetings and Bahá'í school sessions that are open to the public.  They may
subscribe to Brilliant Star and World Order magazines and other general
publications, but cannot receive The American Bahá'í.  Bahá'ís deprived of
their administrative rights cannot attend Nineteen Days Feasts, contribute
to the Bahá'í funds, have a Bahá'í marriage, or go on pilgrimage; nor may
they receive mailings intended for Bahá'ís only, such as newsletters and
bulletins, participate in administrative affairs, vote or be voted for, be
appointed to committees, or serve as teachers or speakers in programs
sponsored by Bahá'ís.  At the discretion of the National Spiritual
Assembly, an individual's rights may be limited rather than removed
completely.  Bahá'ís who have lost their administrative rights may recover
them through working with a Local Spiritual Assembly to correct whatever
condition resulted in removal of their rights.

Bahá'ís who are transferring into the United States from another country
should complete their Bahá'í transfer through the Office of Membership and
Records as soon as possible.   If they have current credentials from their
previous country they may participate fully in the life of the community,
pending transfer of their membership into the United States Bahá'í
community.  If they do not have current credentials from their previous
country, they are not eligible to participate in Bahá'í-only activities
until their status has been verified and their transfer completed.  They
must contact their former National Spiritual Assembly and ask that their
credentials be sent to the U. S. National Spiritual Assembly.  For some
believers, particularly Persians, the transfer process may take many
months.  Until then, their participation in the community is restricted to
activities open only to non-Bahá'ís.  Believers in the process of
transferring into the country without current credentials are ineligible to
vote or to be elected, to contribute to the Bahá'í funds, to attend Feasts,
or to have access to any of the other privileges accorded Bahá'ís whose
good standing is known to the National Spiritual Assembly.

From time to time it becomes necessary to provide letters of introduction
to federal or state authorities, or to other National Spiritual Assemblies,
to confirm that an individual is or is not a Bahá'í in good standing.  All
such requests should be made to the National Spiritual Assembly, which
reserves the exclusive right to introduce individuals as Bahá'ís to federal
or state government authorities and to other National Spiritual Assemblies.

1.13.1.1 Suggested Reading:

      Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities: Guidelines for Spiritual
Assemblies, Chapter 6

1.14 Teaching/Consolidation

(DDBC, Chapter  7)

As proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh himself, a fundamental precept of the Bahá'í
Faith is that every believer has a responsibility for spreading and
strengthening the Cause of God:

      To teach the Cause of God, to proclaim its truths, to defend its
      interests, to demonstrate, by words as well as by deeds, its
      indispensability, its potency, and universality, should at no time be
      regarded as the exclusive concern or sole privilege of Bahá'í
      administrative institutions, be they Assemblies, or committees.  All
      must participate, however humble their origin, however limited their
      experience, however restricted their means, however deficient their
      education, however pressing their cares and preoccupations, however
      unfavorable the environment in which they live.  "God," Bahá'u'lláh,
      Himself, has unmistakably revealed, "hath prescribed unto everyone the
      duty of teaching His Cause."  "Say," He further has written, "Teach ye
      the Cause of God, O people of Bahá, for God hath prescribed unto
      everyone the duty of proclaiming His Message, and regardeth it as the
      most meritorious of all deeds."

                       (Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice, Page:
                 45)

The main focus of Bahá'í groups should be on developing Bahá'í community
life and teaching the Faith in their locality so as to raise their status
to that of a Local Spiritual Assembly as soon as possible.  In their
efforts to achieve their goals, groups are encouraged to develop local
teaching plans in cooperation with nearby Local Spiritual Assemblies, if
any are available, and to seek assistance from the National Teaching
Committee and their Regional Bahá'í Council.  Groups may also call upon the
services of their Auxiliary Board members or assistants for propagation to
assist them with these efforts, whether or not they have been adopted as an
extension teaching goal by a Local Spiritual Assembly.

            However, in those many communities where no organized activities
      are taking place, whether or not a Local Spiritual Assembly has been
      elected, more basic challenges have to be addressed, and in this the
      Auxiliary Board members and their assistants must play a fundamental
      role. Concerted effort must be made to help the individual believers,
      men and women alike, increase their love for Bahá'u'lláh and His Cause
      and to bring them together in the Nineteen Day Feast as well as
      periodic meetings aimed at raising their awareness of their identity
      as a community.

                       (The Universal House of Justice, Dec 26, 1995, letter
                       to the Continental Boards of Counsellors)

The responsibility for local teaching activities rests with the individual
members of the each community.  Attendance at local or regional Bahá'í
training institutes can assist individual believers increase their
understanding and develop skills for teaching and consolidation.  Whatever
the identity, background, or means of the believers, each soul that has
received the bounty of knowing Bahá'u'lláh has their own special part to
play in the development and growth of the community.

      In principle, the initiative and responsibility for electing a Local
      Spiritual Assembly belong primarily to the Bahá'ís in the locality,
      and assistance from outside is ultimately fruitful only if the friends
      become conscious of this sacred responsibility. As progress is made in
      the training of human resources and in the development of the entire
      range of Bahá'í community life, the capacity of the friends to elect
      their Local Spiritual Assemblies on their own will certainly grow.

                       (The Universal House of Justice, Dec 26, 1995 letter
                       to the Continental Boards of Counsellors)

The work of teaching has three aspects: proclamation, expansion, and
consolidation.  Proclamation involves raising public awareness of the
existence of the Faith and its teachings.  Expansion involves attracting
individuals to the Faith, expanding their knowledge of it, and eventually
enrolling them.  Consolidation involves continued deepening in the
teachings, increasing firmness in the Covenant, and development of skills
needed in Bahá'í community life and administration.  Each is important and
a balance among them is essential for the healthy development of the
community.

      Expansion and consolidation are twin processes that must go hand in
      hand.  The friends must not stop expansion in the name of
      consolidation.  Deepening the newly enrolled believers generates
      tremendous stimulus which results in  further expansion.  The
      enrollment of new believers, on the other hand, creates a new spirit
      in the community and provides additional potential manpower that will
      reinforce the consolidation work.

                 (The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, p.
                 33)

Bahá'í groups are encouraged to participate in the National Spiritual
Assembly's national teaching plan, which is currently using the powerful
medium of television broadcasting to proclaim and teach the principles of
the Faith all over the country.  Links to the 1-800-22-UNITE response
system, available to Bahá'í communities at no cost, distribute seeker
inquiries directly to a local community nearest to them.  Media campaign
videotapes are also available for communities to use on local cable TV
channels.  Detailed information is posted on the National Spiritual
Assembly's Administrative Web Site and may also be obtained by calling the
National Teaching Committee office.

In areas where there are concentrations of minority populations the
believers should strive to make themselves aware not only of the needs and
interests of those populations, but to be respectful of their cultural
practices and sensitive to the effects of their immersion in the dominant
culture.  The National American Indian Teaching Committee has prepared a
booklet, Protocols for American Indian Teaching, which has been adopted as
policy of the National Spiritual Assembly for teaching American Indian
people.  Questions concerning teaching this and most other minority
populations may be directed to the group area's Regional Bahá'í Council.
Requests for assistance and questions concerning Southeast Asian teaching
should be directed to the U. S. Bahá'í Refugee Office under the Office of
the Secretary for External Affairs.

Believers who wish to fill a homefront pioneering goal should contact the
Regional Bahá'í Council for the area in which they are interested.
Believers who wish to pioneer internationally, either long or short term,
or who wish to contact a Bahá'í community outside the United States should
first consult the Office of Pioneering at the Bahá'í National Center.

1.14.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           The Power of Divine Assistance, Extracts from the Writings of
           Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi, compiled by the
           Research Department of the Universal House of Justice

           Promoting Entry by Troops, The Universal House of Justice

           A Special Measure of Love: The Importance and Nature of the
           Teaching Work among the Masses, Messages from Shoghi Effendi and
           the Universal House of Justice, National Spiritual Assembly of
           the United States

           Effective Teaching Workbook, National Teaching Committee

           Protocols for American Indian Teaching, National American Indian
           Teaching Committee


      1.15 Building Distinctive Bahá'í Communities

(DDBC, Chapter 8)

At the heart of every successful Bahá'í community is the love and unity of
the believers.  Activities and relationships within the community which
promote fellowship, provide opportunities for service, increase
understanding between believers of diverse backgrounds, and develop the
spiritual life of the community are all essential to the development and
expansion of every Bahá'í community.  These principles apply to
intercommunity relationships as well as local community relationships.

The people of the world not only need the laws and principles of the Bahá'í
Faith‹they desperately need to see the love that is engendered by it in the
hearts of its followers, and to partake of that atmosphere of tolerance,
understanding, forbearance and active kindness which should be the hallmark
of a Bahá'í Community.

                 (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated December
                 5, 1942, to an individual believer, in Lights of Guidance,
                 #1345)

Bahá'í communities should strive to be characterized by harmony among the
believers and by freedom from prejudice, by embodying the principle of
unity in diversity, and thereby demonstrating, once and for all, the unity
of mankind.  Building distinctive Bahá'í communities results in the
transformation of collective human life and the attraction of others to the
Faith:

It is in the local Bahá'í communities that the most widespread presentation
of the Faith can take place....It is here that the power of Bahá'u'lláh to
organize human affairs on a basis of spiritual unity can be most apparent.

                            (Letter from the Universal House of Justice,
                            dated Ridván, 1985, to the Bahá'ís of the
                            World)

Development of spiritual characteristics, improvement of moral character,
firmness in the Covenant, and striving to live up to the high ideals of the
Faith are among the essential responsibilities of individual believers in
developing distinctive Bahá'í communities.  Since a community is a group of
people with relationships to one another, the achievement of unity depends
upon successful relationships among the Bahá'ís.  According to the
Universal House of Justice:

...where love, respect and courtesy are genuinely and mutually expressed,
estrangement finds no accommodation and problems become soluble challenges.

                       (May 19, 1994, letter from the Universal House of
                       Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
                       United States)

For spiritual characteristics to create unity among the believers, they
must find active expression in equality between women and men and in
elimination of all manner of prejudice.  The full participation of
minorities, whether they are African American, American Indian, Hispanic,
Persian, Southeast Asian, or any other minority, can be achieved through
sincere and sustained efforts to understand one another, to accept
differences in perception and styles of communication, and to extend a
degree of hospitality and kindness which may normally be reserved for
family and close friends:

      Unless and until the believers really come to realize they are one
      spiritual family, knit together by a bond more lasting than mere
      physical ties can ever be, they will not be able to create that warm
      community atmosphere which alone can attract the hearts of humanity,
      frozen for lack of real love and feeling.

                       (Written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, The Individual
                       and Teaching: Raising the Divine Call, pp. 25-26)

Most people of other cultures are accustomed to establishing bonds of
friendship and trust within the context of family relationships, and in
general, prefer personal contact to maintain their relationships with the
Bahá'í community.  The social aspects of community life are likely to be
most attractive to them and many may enjoy hosting unity Feasts or Holy Day
observances in their homes.   The customary Western practices of using
bulletins and flyers to advise them of community events and of scheduling
meetings to sustain their interest in community life may fall short of the
desired results.

In reference to hospitality, however, a word of caution is in order.
Because it is generally known that Bahá'ís are kind, generous and
sympathetic by nature, training, and conviction, it is not uncommon for
them to receive appeals for financial and other kinds of emergency help
from itinerant Bahá'ís and others who claim to be Bahá'ís or friends of the
Faith.  While it is left to the discretion of individual believers to
respond as they see fit, it should be remembered that the Bahá'í community
is not a traveler's aid or social service agency prepared to assist the
needs of itinerants, other than in some selective and discriminating cases.
 Although Bahá'u'lláh has told us to "be a home for the stranger . . . an
answerer of the cry of the needy," no Bahá'í should presume that the
hospitality of his fellow Bahá'ís is his due.  Bahá'u'lláh also states, "No
man should enter the house of his friend, save at his friend's pleasure,
nor lay hands upon his treasures, nor prefer his own will to his friend's,
and in no wise seek advantage over him."  Thus Bahá'u'lláh makes
hospitality the prerogative of the host and not of the guest.  Common
courtesy demands that an individual should not impose himself upon anyone
without prior invitation, and Bahá'ís should be far more courteous than
others in this respect.  Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that a person
will contact a Local Spiritual Assembly or individual believer, claiming to
be a Bahá'í but having no Bahá'í credentials or other forms of
identification.  If you do not know the person asking for hospitality,
before offering aid to such a person it is advisable to check with the
Office of Community Administration and Development at the Bahá'í National
Center to verify that he or she is indeed a member of the Bahá'í Faith.

Group activities characteristic of a distinctive Bahá'í community life may
include spiritual gatherings such as dawn prayers, devotional meetings,
Nineteen Day Feasts and celebration of Bahá'í Holy Days; a wide range of
socialization and fellowship that draws on the cultural diversity of the
community; the practice of Bahá'í consultation for solving problems of
every sort; deepenings and firesides; fund raising events; the support and
promotion of unity in family life; support, encouragement, and education of
children and youth; and service projects for the betterment of the
community.  According to the Universal House of Justice:

      A community is of course more than the sum of its membership; it is a
      comprehensive unit of civilization composed of individuals, families
      and institutions that are originators and encouragers of systems,
      agencies and organizations working together with a common purpose for
      the welfare of people both within and beyond its own borders; it is a
      composition of diverse, interacting participants that are achieving
      unity in an unremitting quest for spiritual and social progress.

                            (1996 Universal House of Justice Ridván Message
                            to the Bahá'ís of the World)

For youth in the community, the National Youth Committee can provide
assistance with a variety of youth activities, including the Bahá'í Youth
Service Corp (Year of Service), Bahá'í Youth Workshops, Bahá'í Campus
Associations, and more.  In addition, each Regional Bahá'í Council has
established youth committees and desks in each region to assist with
organizing and coordinating youth activities in each of the regions.

All believers are strongly encouraged to attend their annual Unit
Conventions for election of delegates.  These annual conventions are an
integral part of Bahá'í community life and were stressed by the Guardian as
particularly important for Bahá'ís to attend as a means of becoming better
acquainted with other believers in the unit area.  They are also the means
by which every adult Bahá'í in good standing has a voice in the annual
election of the National Spiritual Assembly and, periodically, of the
Universal House of Justice.

Believers are also encouraged to attend local, regional, national, and
international Bahá'í conferences.  Such conferences enable the believers to
develop broader and more inclusive views of the Faith, as they often
include large numbers of participants from a wide variety of backgrounds.

1.15.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           The Divine Art of Living: Selections from the Bahá'í Writings,
           compiled by Mabel Hyde Paine

           The Power of Divine Assistance, compiled by the Research
           Department of the Universal House of Justice

           Issues Concerning Community Functioning, prepared by the
           Research Department of the Universal House of Justice

           Spiritual Foundations: Prayer, Meditation, and the Devotional
           Attitude, compiled by the Research Department of the Universal
           House of Justice

           Unrestrained as the Wind: A Life Dedicated to Bahá'u'lláh, the
           Bahá'í National Youth Committee and the Bahá'í Publishing Trust

           The Power of Unity: Beyond Prejudice and Racism, compiled by
           Bonnie Taylor, National Race Unity Committee

           Women: A Compilation, compiled by the Research Department of the
           Universal House of Justice

           The Pattern of Bahá'í Life, compilation of extracts published by
           the Publishing Trust of the United Kingdom

           Living the Life, compiled by the Research Department of the
           Universal House of Justice

1.16 Bahá'í Holy Days and the Nineteen Day Feast

 (DDBC, Chapter  9)

The Nineteen Day Feasts and Bahá'í Holy Days are central to the life of the
community, no matter how large or small the community may be.  'Abdu'l-Bahá
describes the spirit that should permeate such gatherings:

      You must continue to keep the Nineteen Day Feast.  It is very
      important; it is very good.  But when you present yourselves in the
      meetings, before entering them, free yourselves from all that you have
      in your heart, free your thoughts and your minds from all else save
      God, and speak to your heart.  That all may make this a gathering of
      love, make it the cause of illumination, make it a gathering of
      attraction of the hearts, surround this gathering with the Lights of
      the Supreme Concourse, so that you may be gathered together with the
      utmost love.

            Each one of you must think how to make happy and pleased the
      other members of your Assembly, and each one must consider all those
      who are present as better and greater than himself, and each one must
      consider himself less than the rest.  Know their station as high, and
      think of your own station as low.  Should you act and live according
      to these behests, know verily, of a certainty, that that Feast is the
      Heavenly Food.  That Supper is the "Lord's Supper"!  I am the Servant
      of that gathering.

                            ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, #796)

It is preferable that Feast be observed on the first day of each Bahá'í
month in the period between sunset of the preceding day and sunset of the
first day, although it may be held on a later day, if necessary.  The
program for each Feast should consist of three parts.  First a devotional
portion, followed by consultation on matters of importance to the community
including the sharing of news and messages, ending with a social portion.
Of course, the believers are free to gather before the Feast for fellowship
and meals also.

      'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi after Him have gradually unfolded the
      institutional significance of this injunction.  'Abdu'l-Bahá
      emphasized the importance of the spiritual and devotional character of
      these gatherings. Shoghi Effendi, besides further elaborating the
      devotional and social aspects of the Feast, has developed the
      administrative element of such gatherings and, in systematically
      instituting the Feast, has provided for a period of consultation on
      the affairs of the Bahá'í community, including the sharing of news and
      messages.

                                              (Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pg 202)

Small groups and isolated believers are encouraged to come together among
themselves and with larger communities for increased diversity and
fellowship both in observance of the Nineteen Day Feasts and celebration of
the Holy days.  While larger groups are encouraged to observe the Feasts in
their own community, according to the same principles followed by Local
Spiritual Assemblies, they may join with neighboring communities for other
observances.  According to the Universal House of Justice:

      In reply to your letter of November 8th we feel that all friends,
      whatever their circumstances, should be encouraged to observe the
      Nineteen Day Feast. Obviously it can only be an official
      administrative occasion where there is a Local Spiritual Assembly to
      take charge of it, present reports to the friends, and receive their
      recommendations.  But groups, spontaneous gatherings of friends, and
      even isolated believers should certainly remember the day and say
      prayers together.  In the case of a group it may well hold the Feast
      in the manner in which a Local Spiritual Assembly would do so,
      recognizing of course that it has no official administrative standing.

                  (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the
                 National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, December
                 1, 1968, Bahá'í Journal of the British Isles, No. 190,
                 March-April 1969)

Other observances should be held at the times indicated according to
standard time.  Bahá'í Holy Days are an important aspect of Bahá'í
community life, whose observance was repeatedly encouraged by the beloved
Guardian:

      "He wishes the Bahá'ís to press for recognition of their right to
      observe their own Holy Days, and to observe them whenever possible in
      strict accordance with our teachings."

                       (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, pg.
                       30)

       "He wishes also to stress the fact that, according to the Bahá'í
      laws, work is forbidden on our nine Holy Days. Believers who have
      independent businesses or shops should refrain from working on these
      days. Those who are in government employ should, on religious grounds,
      make an effort to be excused from work; all believers, whoever their
      employers, should do likewise. If the government or other employers
      refuse to grant them these days off, they are not required to forfeit
      their employment, but they should make every effort to have the
      independent status of the Faith recognized and their right to hold
      their own religious Holy Days acknowledged."

                       (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, pg.
                       37)

Letters from the National Spiritual Assembly explaining the importance of
Bahá'í Holy Days can be obtained from the Office of the Secretary to use in
obtaining recognition from schools for these important religious
observances.  A copy of this letter may also be printed out from the
National Assembly's administrative web site.

1.16.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File, compiled by Helen
           Bassett Hornby

           Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities:  Guidelines for
           Spiritual Assemblies, Holy Days, The Nineteen Day Feast, and
           Special Events (Chapter 9)

           Days to Remember,  a compilation by B. Forghani

           The Nineteen Day Feast, compiled by the Research Department of
           the Universal House of Justice

           The Ayyám-i-Há Camel,  Cher Holt-Fortin, 1989 (Children's book)

      1.17 Bahá'í Funds

(DDBC, Chapter  10)

Only registered Bahá'í's in possession of their administrative rights may
contribute to the Bahá'í funds.  There are four major funds that believers
may support according to their own discretion:

The Bahá'í International Fund supports the vast array of the work of the
Universal House of Justice.  It is used to finance, among other things, the
operations of the Bahá'í World Center, assistance to various National
Spiritual Assemblies, subsidies for Bahá'í social and economic development
programs around the world, and work with United Nations organizations.

The Continental Bahá'í Fund supports the propagation and protection work of
the International Teaching Center, the Continental Boards of Counselors,
and the Auxiliary Boards and their assistants.

The National Bahá'í Fund supports the work of the National Spiritual
Assembly.  It is used to assist the national proclamation, expansion, and
consolidation of the Faith; to maintain national properties, including the
House of Worship in Wilmette; to promote external affairs work; and to
support the international institutions of the Faith.

The Local Bahá'í Fund in each Bahá'í locality supports the work of the
local community and may also be used to support other the Bahá'í Funds.

Registered Bahá'í groups may choose to elect a treasurer and to establish
and maintain a local Bahá'í Fund, using the procedures outlined in Appendix
A, but are not required to do so.  If a registered Bahá'í group chooses to
establish a Bahá'í fund, its treasurer must be of legal age, usually at
least eighteen years of age, in the state in which the group is formed.
Groups that are not registered with the National Spiritual Assembly should
not undertake the establishment of a local Bahá'í Fund.

Contributions to the Bahá'í funds are sacred and confidential, and must be
handled by the local treasurer with the utmost discretion and
trustworthiness.  Non-Bahá'ís and Bahá'ís who have been deprived of their
administrative rights, as well as believers whose international transfers
have not been completed, may not contribute to the Bahá'í funds.

Bahá'í funds should never be co-mingled with personal funds.  Bahá'í funds
for a registered Bahá'í group should be deposited in a separate checking
account under the name of the local Bahá'í community.  For example, if the
name of the community is "Bahá'ís of Union Township", the group account
should be opened under the name of "Union Township Bahá'í Fund."

Tax exempt status for registered Bahá'í groups may be established by
applying for a Federal Tax Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal
Revenue Service, as explained in Appendix B.  The group's EIN should be
reported to the National Spiritual Assembly's Office of the Treasurer as
soon as it is received from the Internal Revenue Service.

An annual audit of the local Bahá'í fund is recommended, especially for
larger groups, as a prudent safeguard and a means of evaluating the uses of
the funds.  Treasurers of registered Bahá'í groups are encouraged to study
Stewardship and Development 2nd Edition, available through Bahá'í
Distribution Service, for detailed information pertaining to handling
Bahá'í funds.

Contributions to the local Bahá'í Fund are entrusted to the local
treasurer.  Personal contributions to the National Bahá'í Fund may be
entrusted to the local treasurer to be forwarded to the national Office of
the Treasurer, or may be sent there directly by the believer offering the
contribution.  Personal contributions to any of the international funds can
be entrusted to the local treasurer, to the national Office of the
Treasurer, or sent directly to the Universal House of Justice.

Information regarding the details of the sacred law of Huqúqu'lláh, the
Right of God, which pertains only to personal contributions, can be
obtained from one of the trustees or representatives of the Board of
Trustees of the Office of the Secretariat of the Bahá'í Huqúqu'lláh Trust.

1.17.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Bahá'í Funds: Contributions and Administration

           Ridván letters from the Universal House of Justice, dated 1988 &
           1989

           Huqú'qu'lláh, Extracts from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-
           Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice

           Stewardship and Development 2nd Edition

      1.18 Bahá'í Education

(DDBC, Chapter  11)

While Bahá'í groups have no specific responsibilities concerning the
education of children, other than those that devolve upon individuals to
promote education and learning, any group may establish youth and
children's classes according to the needs of their community.  Adult
deepenings should also be held in response to the needs of the community
and its seekers.

Bahá'ís are encouraged to attend local and regional Bahá'í schools and
institutes whenever possible.  The various Bahá'í schools, offering on-site
facilities, offer a wide range of programs for children, youth, and adults.
 For distance learning, the Wilmette Institute offers opportunities for
mature youth and adults to undertake in-depth study of the Bahá'í Writings
at both the introductory and intermediate levels.  College level credit is
available for some courses.  Scholarship funds for various aspects of
Bahá'í education may be available through Local Spiritual Assemblies.

1.18.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Foundations for a Spiritual Education, prepared by the National
           Bahá'í Education Task Force

           Scholarship, compiled by the Research Department of the
           Universal House of Justice

           Summary of the Core Curriculum for Spiritual Education
           (available through the National Teacher Training Center at the
           Louhelen Bahá'í School)

           Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File, compiled by Helen
           Bassett Hornby

1.19 External Affairs

(DDBC, Chapter  12)

As groups are not administrative bodies, they should adhere to the
guidelines for individuals when dealing with external affairs matters.
Bahá'í individuals and institutions must first obtain the permission of the
National Spiritual Assembly's Office of the Secretary for External Affairs
in Washington, D.C. before contacting the following on matters directly
pertaining to the Bahá'í Faith:

Agencies and officials of federal or state governments

National or state offices of national organizations

Prominent people

Examples of official contact on behalf of the Bahá'í Faith include
invitations to Bahá'í community events, presentations of Bahá'í statements,
and expressions of Bahá'í support for or positions on particular policies
or issues.

The policy does not apply in cases of informal contact with friends or
family members who happen to hold public office or who may be publicly well
known. The National Assembly would very much appreciate being informed,
however, if a Bahá'í has a personal relationship with a prominent person or
government official, because such relations may facilitate official contact
should such contact be required.

A Bahá'í group may contact officials in their locality and local chapters
of organizations under programs approved by the National Spiritual
Assembly, using materials and guidance made available through offices or
agencies of the National Assembly.  In any communication with local
officials, the friends should proceed with the utmost moderation, tact, and
wisdom, keeping in mind the importance of preserving the dignity and
reputation of the Faith.

Individual believers are free to contact government representatives, sign
petitions, or participate in nonpartisan campaigns to express their views
on non-Bahá'í matters, but they should not identify themselves as Bahá'ís
or convey the impression that they are representing the Bahá'í Faith unless
encouraged to do so by a Bahá'í institution.  They also may associate with
local chapters of national organizations whose goals are consistent with
Bahá'í teachings, and in this case may share their personal Bahá'í beliefs
when appropriate.  However, before taking any action or becoming involved
in issues or campaigns that may have national or international
implications, advice should be sought from the National Spiritual
Assembly's Office of the Secretary for External Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Questions concerning contact with national or regional media should be
directed to the National Spiritual Assembly's Office of Public Information
in New York City.  Contact with local media is governed by the same
principles as contact with local officials, and questions concerning such
contact may be directed to the Office of Public Information.

Questions about United Nations related activities or advocacy on United
Nations issues should be addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly's
U.S. UN Office in New York City.

Questions dealing with refugees and immigration should be addressed to the
U.S. Bahá'í Refugee Office under the Office of the Secretary for External
Affairs.

1.19.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities: Guidelines for
           Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 12: External Affairs, National
           Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, 1998

           Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities: Guidelines for
           Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 13: Social and Economic
           Development, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the
           United States, 1998

      1.20 Properties

(DDBC, Chapter  14)

Bahá'í Groups may not acquire or lease property, nor should they refer to
privately owned property as "Bahá'í Centers".  The use of the word "Bahá'í"
for naming of properties is reserved exclusively for Bahá'í institutions
under the direction of the National Spiritual Assembly.  In the event of a
group having the opportunity to obtain property for the Faith, e.g.,
through donation, the matter should be referred to the National Spiritual
Assembly.

1.20.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities: Guidelines for
           Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14: Properties, National Spiritual
           Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, 1998

1.21 Application of Bahá'í Law

(DDBC, Chapter  15)

      "... he feels it is his duty to explain that the Laws revealed by
      Bahá'u'lláh in the Aqdas are, whenever practical and not in direct
      conflict with the Civil laws of the land, absolutely binding on every
      believer or Bahá'í institution whether in the East or in the West.
      Certain laws, such as fasting, obligatory prayers, the consent of the
      parents before marriage, avoidance of alcoholic drinks, monogamy,
      should be regarded by all believers as universally and vitally
      applicable at the present time.  Others have been formulated in
      anticipation of a state of society destined to emerge from the chaotic
      conditions that prevail today.

                       (Shoghi Effendi: Directives of the Guardian, Pages:
           3-4)

Every believer is encouraged to obtain a copy of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
Bahá'u'lláh's book of laws, familiarize himself or herself with its
passages, and strive to apply its precepts in their life.  A detailed list
of laws that are not currently binding on Western believers is published in
Developing Distinctive Bahá'í Communities: Guidelines for Spiritual
Assemblies and may be obtained from any Local Spiritual Assembly.

Believers should be aware of the Bahá'í laws on marriage and divorce and
that violation of these laws may result in administrative sanctions.
Bahá'í marriage consists of a legally recognized union between a man and a
woman with the expectation of chastity on the part of both men and women
outside of marital relationships.

Bahá'ís who are sole owners of businesses are obligated to conform their
practices and dealings to the laws and teachings of the Faith.  For
example, a restaurant owned by a Bahá'í should not serve alcohol or feature
entertainment that is inconsistent with the teachings.  In addition, stores
and establishments owned by Bahá'ís should be closed on the nine Holy Days,
even though they may have non-Bahá'ís in their employ.  According to the
same standards, individual Bahá'ís should, if possible, avoid employment
that would involve a compromise of their principles, such as serving
alcoholic beverages.

Flagrant violations of Bahá'í law that may be damaging to the reputation of
the Faith should be referred either to a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly or
directly to the National Spiritual Assembly.  The National Spiritual
Assembly may then assign the matter to a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly to
handle.

1.21.1.1 Suggested Reading:

      The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh

           A Chaste and Holy Life, Shoghi Effendi

           Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order of
           Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi

           1.22 Marriage

(DDBC, Chapter  16)

Bahá'í groups do not have the authority to officiate Bahá'í marriages.
Bahá'ís living outside the jurisdiction of a Local Spiritual Assembly who
wish to marry may contact any nearby Local Spiritual Assembly to assist
them.  While they may also contact the National Spiritual Assembly
directly, it will normally appoint a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly to
take responsibility for the matter.

In preparation for marriage, Bahá'í couples would be well advised to attend
workshops together in the practice of Bahá'í consultation, as the following
extract from a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice
indicates its importance to the success of Bahá'í marriage, which it
characterizes as:

      ... [a] relationship of mutual respect and equality enjoined by the
      Bahá'í writings‹a relationship governed by the principles of
      consultation...

                 (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of
                 Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia,
                 dated April 12, 1990)

It will be helpful for everyone involved if the friends who wish to be
married are aware ahead of time of what will be expected of them and what
they may expect from a Local Spiritual Assembly.  The essential
requirements of Bahá'í marriage are as follows:

     1. Consent of both parties

     2. Consents of all living, natural parents

     3. Proof of divorce, if there were prior marriages

     4. Compliance with local civil marriage laws

     5. Performance of a Bahá'í ceremony under the prior authorization of a
        Local Spiritual Assembly

Two Bahá'ís who wish to marry each other must have a Bahá'í ceremony.  A
Bahá'í who wishes to marry a non-Bahá'í must have a Bahá'í ceremony and may
also have a civil or another religious ceremony to satisfy the needs of the
non-Bahá'í party.  When more than one ceremony is planned, the Bahá'í
ceremony may not be commingled with the other ceremony and the Bahá'í may
not make commitments which are not in keeping with the principles and laws
of the Bahá'í Faith.  If more than one ceremony is to be held, the order in
which the ceremonies are held is not important.  However, both ceremonies
must take place on the same day, that is, a night should not intervene
between one ceremony and the next.

All Bahá'ís wishing to marry must first contact a Local Spiritual Assembly.
 It is not possible to have a Bahá'í marriage ceremony without a Local
Spiritual Assembly's prior authorization.  There are many different
circumstances that may affect how the Bahá'í marriage law is applied, and
the Local Spiritual Assembly will be able to assist the couple in
clarifying how it applies to their particular situation.

When a marriage is planned, the Local Spiritual Assembly selected to
officiate should be informed far enough in advance that it can review and
approve the parental consents and ensure that arrangements for the Bahá'í
ceremony are in conformity with Bahá'í principles and the requirements of
both Bahá'í and civil law.  Failing to give a Local Spiritual Assembly
adequate time to fulfill its responsibilities may lead to a delay of the
wedding, as it cannot take place until the administrative requirements have
been met.  If difficulties arise in obtaining consent, the Local Spiritual
Assembly should lend whatever help it can.  A couple is not considered to
be engaged to be married until the consent of all living, natural parents
has been obtained by the Bahá'í institutions.  Accordingly, a couple should
not make marriage plans, and certainly should not set a date for a
ceremony, send invitations, and so on, until the consent of the parents is
obtained.  By delaying their plans until consent has been obtained, the
couple will not only show proper respect for Bahá'í law but will also avoid
the awkward situation of not having the required consents as the planned
marriage date approaches.

Individuals should be aware that breaches of the Bahá'í marriage law may
result in removal of administrative rights.  As Bahá'u'lláh has placed such
emphasis upon the importance of marriage as the foundation of society, it
is crucial that believers become informed about the laws pertaining to it.
It should not be assumed that all the believers in a community are fully
aware of the Bahá'í marriage law.  As opportunities arise, whether at the
Nineteen Day Feast, at community deepenings, or in local newsletters, the
community should make an effort to ensure that all of its members are
familiar with the basic requirements of this fundamental Bahá'í law.

1.22.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Bahá'í Marriage and Family Life:  Selections from the Writings
           of the Bahá'í Faith, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís
           of Canada

           Family Life, Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi
           and the Universal House of Justice.  Compiled by the Research
           Department of the Universal House of Justice

           Marriage: A Fortress for Well-Being, National Spiritual Assembly
           of the United States

           Marriage and Family Life (available through Core Curriculum
           program)

Women, compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of
Justice

1.23 Divorce

(DDBC, Chapter 17)

Just as registered Bahá'í groups do not have the authority to officiate
Bahá'í marriages, they do not have the authority to initiate a year of
waiting or to grant Bahá'í divorces.  A year of waiting is an application
for Bahá'í divorce that must run for one full year before a Bahá'í divorce
can be granted and cannot begin until the couple have established separate
residences.  Bahá'ís living outside the jurisdiction of a Local Spiritual
Assembly who wish to apply for a Bahá'í divorce should contact any nearby
Local Spiritual Assembly to assist them in establishing a year of waiting.
While they may also contact the National Spiritual Assembly directly to
initiate a Bahá'í divorce, it will normally appoint a nearby Local
Spiritual Assembly to take responsibility for the matter.

A couple experiencing difficulty in their marriage would be wise to seek
the guidance and assistance of a Local Spiritual Assembly well before the
situation has deteriorated to a point where one of the parties feels
compelled to seek a year of waiting.  Consultation with an Assembly should
be entirely confidential and might help to provide the couple with a more
balanced perspective about their concerns, increased clarity about the
spiritual principles involved, and one or more possible courses of action
to resolve their difficulties.

When a couple or a partner to a marriage approaches a Local Spiritual
Assembly with the intention of starting a year of waiting, they should
expect the Assembly or its representatives to review the Bahá'í teachings
on divorce with them and explain the requirements pertaining to the year of
waiting.  It may be pointed out that divorce is condemned in the Bahá'í
teachings and that a condition of aversion, antipathy or repugnance must
exist to justify the extreme measure of dissolving the marriage.

Since the Local Spiritual Assembly has the responsibility to determine
whether irreconcilable antipathy exists and the duty to try to reconcile
the couple, it is important that it meet with both parties, if possible.
If one of the parties is not a Bahá'í, the Local Spiritual Assembly may
extend an invitation for the non-Bahá'í spouse to meet with the Assembly or
its representatives, but should not pursue the issue if he or she seems to
have no desire to meet with the Assembly.

To obtain a Bahá'í divorce, a civil divorce must be granted in addition to
the completion of a year of waiting.  The date on which a Bahá'í divorce is
granted will coincide with either the date of the completion of the year of
waiting or the date of the civil divorce, whichever occurs later.

1.23.1.1 Suggested Reading:

           Bahá'í Marriage and Family Life:  Selections from the Writings
           of the Bahá'í Faith, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís
           of Canada

           Family Life, Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi
           and the Universal House of Justice.  Compiled by the Research
           Department of the Universal House of Justice

           Divorce:  Writings Discourage Divorce, Compiled by the Research
           Department of the Universal House of Justice.  Published by
           Bahá'í Publishing Trust of the United Kingdom

      1.24 Burial Law, Wills

(DDBC, Chapter 18)

According to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, every adult Bahá'í is obligated to prepare
a will but the form and content is a matter of individual discretion at
this time.  Believers may make gifts of property or funds to the Faith
through their wills and are encouraged to engage the services of a
competent attorney, if they wish to do so.  They should include in their
wills provision for Bahá'í burial and would be wise to inform non-Bahá'í
family members of their wishes in this matter.

As personal papers are an important source of information for historians
and Bahá'í administrators, these may also be included in estate bequests to
the Faith.  The National Bahá'í Archives is trying to acquire a wide
variety of collections to document the diversity of the American Bahá'í
community.  The Archives is interested in correspondence, photographs,
personal recollections and manuscripts.  Even a small collection of papers
can be a valuable resource for future Bahá'í scholars.

Bahá'í groups are not officially responsible for conducting funeral
services or carrying out arrangements for interment but may, nonetheless,
find themselves called upon to do so in the absence of a nearby
institution.  All believers should be familiar with the Bahá'í burial law,
as the following requirements are binding on believers in the West:

   1. The body must be buried, not cremated

   2. The Bahá'í Prayer for the Dead is to be recited for a believer of the
      age of 15 or over.  This prayer appears in the Bahá'í Prayer Book and
      also as number CLXVII in Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh.

   3. The body must not be transported more than an hour's journey from the
      place of death.  The method of transport is not specified, but the
      journey must not take longer than one hour.  The place of death can be
      taken to mean the civil boundaries of the town or city in which death
      occurred.

Although the following additional requirements are not currently binding on
the Western believers, they are binding on the Persian believers, and
Western believers may observe them, if they choose to do so:

   1. The body should be wrapped in a shroud of silk or cotton.

   2. A burial ring should be placed on the finger of the deceased before
      interment.  (Burial rings can be purchased through the Bahá'í
      Distribution Service.)

   3. The coffin should be made of crystal, stone or of a hard, fine wood.

1.24.1.1 Suggested Reading:

   The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh

   Open Door

   The Writing of a Will

   Unto Him Shall We Return, compiled by Hugh Motlagh

   Death: The Messenger of Joy, Madeleine Hellaby

Bahá'í World Center

P.O. Box 155                                    Pilgrimage Office

Haifa 31 001, ISRAEL                      Email:
pilsched@bwc.org

|Bahá'í International Fund   |Office of the Secretariat     |
|Phone:  011-972-4-8358185     |Phone:  011-972-4-8358358     |
|Fax:  011-972-4-8358129       |Fax:  011-972-4-8358280       |
|Email:  finance@bwc.org       |Email:                        |
|                              |secretariat@bwc.org           |

Bahá'í World Center Public Web Site:               http://www.bahai.org

Bahá'í International Community Public Web Site:
http://www.onecountry.org

Institution of Huqúqu'lláh

Office of the Secretariat

21300 Avalon Drive

Rocky River, OH  44116-1124

Phone:           (440) 333-1506

Email:           ddh999@aol.com

      Board of Trustees of Bahá'í Huqúqu'lláh:

      Dr. Amin Banani                   Mr. Stephen Birkland

      2320 Alta Avenue                  1192 Benton Way

      Santa Monica, CA  90402-3154           Arden Hills, MN  55112-3756

      Phone:           (310) 394-5449        Phone:           (651) 484-
9518

      Fax:       (310) 394-6167         Fax:       (651) 490-7521

Email:           banani@ucla.edu        Email:            sbirkland@aol.com

      Mrs. Sally Foo                    Dr. Daryush Haghighi

      106 Ketterer Court                     213 Avalon Drive

      Trenton, NJ  08648                     Rocky River, OH  44116-1124

      Phone:           (609) 671-9125        Phone:           (440) 333-
1506

      Fax:       (609) 671-0740         Fax:       (440) 333-6938

      Email:           HSFoo@aol.com         Email:
ddh999@aol.com

      Mrs. Elizabeth W. Martin

P. O. Box 178

Winnsboro, SC  29180-0178

Phone:           (803) 635-9602

Email:           elmartin@infoave.net

National Spiritual Assembly

  of the Bahá'ís of the United States

Office of the Secretary-General

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.1 Office of the Assistant Secretary

536 Sheridan Road

Wilmette, IL  60091-2849

Phone:           (847) 869-9039

Fax:        (847) 869-0247

Email:              secretariat@usbnc.org

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.2 Office of the Secretary for External Affairs

1320 19th St NW, Suite 701

Washington, DC  20036

Phone:           (202) 833-8990

Fax:        (202) 833-8988

Email:              usnsa-oea@usbnc.org

|Office of Public Information |U.S. Bahá'í Refugee Office |
|866 UN Plaza, Suite 120      |1233 Central Street          |
|New York, NY  10017-1822     |Evanston, IL 60201-1611      |
|Phone:  (212) 803-2500       |Phone:             (847)     |
|Fax:  (212) 803-2573         |869-9039                     |
|Email:                       |Fax:                 (847)   |
|usopi-ny@bic.org             |733-3545                     |
|                             |Email:                       |
|                             |usbro@usbnc.org              |
|U.S. United Nations Office   |                             |
|866 UN Plaza, Suite 120      |                             |
|New York, NY  10017-1822     |                             |
|Phone:  (212) 803-2500       |                             |
|Fax:  (212) 803-2573         |                             |
|Email:                       |                             |
|usun-ny@bic.org              |                             |

Bahá'í House of Worship

100 Linden Avenue

Wilmette, IL  60091

Phone:           (847) 853-2300

Fax:        (847) 853-2396

Email:           how@usbnc.org

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.3

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.4 Bahá'í National Center

1233 Central Street

Evanston, IL  60201-1611

Phone:           (847) 869-9039

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.5 Administrative (Bahá'ís only) Web Site:
http://www.usbnc.org/

United States Bahá'í Public Web Site:        http://www.us.bahai.org/

|The American Bahá'í          |Bahá'í Media Services       |
|Phone:  (847) 853-2373         |Phone:  (847) 853-2352        |
|Fax:  (847) 256-1372           |Fax:  (847) 256-1372          |
|Email:          tab@usbnc.org  |Email:    media@usbnc.org     |
|Bahá'í Subscriber Services   |Management Information        |
|Phone:  (847) 733-3453         |Services                      |
|Fax:  (847) 733-3453           |Phone:  (847) 733-3456        |
|Email:                         |Fax:  (847) 733-3543          |
|subscriberservice@usbnc.org    |Email:    mis@usbnc.org       |
|National Bahá'í Archives     |National Teaching Committee   |
|Phone:             (847)       |Phone:  (847) 733-3498        |
|869-9039                       |Fax:  (847) 733-3502          |
|Fax:                 (847)     |Email:    ntc@usbnc.org       |
|869-0247                       |                              |
|Email:                         |                              |
|archives@usbnc.org             |                              |
|National Youth Committee       |Office of Assembly Development|
|Phone:  (847) 733-3499         |                              |
|Fax:  (847) 733-3502           |Phone:  (847) 733-3484        |
|Email:    us-nyc@usbnc.org     |Fax:  (847) 733-3486          |
|                               |Email:                        |
|                               |oad@usbnc.org                 |
|Office of Education and Schools|Office of Human Resources     |
|                               |Phone:            (847)       |
|Phone:  (847) 733-3492         |733-3427                      |
|Fax:  (847) 733-3502           |Fax:                (847)     |
|Email:    schools@usbnc.org    |733-3430                      |
|                               |Email:                        |
|                               |hrm@usbnc.org                 |
|                               |                              |
|Office of Membership and       |Office of Persian American    |
|Records                        |Affairs                       |
|Phone:  (847) 733-3438         |Phone:  (847) 733-3528        |
|Fax:  (847) 733-               |Fax:  (847) 733-3486          |
|Email:                         |Email:    persian@usbnc.org   |
|is-membership@usbnc.org        |                              |
|                               |                              |
|Office of Pioneering           |office of research & review   |
|Phone:  (847) 733-3508         |Phone:             (847)      |
|Fax:  (847) 733-3509           |733-3548                      |
|Email:    pioneer@usbnc.org    |Fax:                 (847)    |
|                               |733-3463                      |
|                               |Email:                        |
|                               |research@usbnc.org            |
|Office of the Treasurer        |Office of Women's Affairs   |
|Phone:  (847) 733-3472         |Phone:  (847) 733-3529        |
|Fax:  (847) 733-3471           |Fax:  (847) 869-0247          |
|Email:    finance@usbnc.org    |Email:  usnsa-owa@usbnc.org   |

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.6 Bahá'í Distribution Service             Bahá'í Publishing
Trust

4703 Fulton Industrial Blvd.                 415 Linden Avenue

Atlanta, GA  30336-2017                      Wilmette, IL  60091-2844

Phone:           (800) 999-9019 or                 Phone:           (847)
251-1854

            (404) 472-9019              Fax:       (847) 251-3652

Fax:        (423) 843-0836              Email:               bpt@usbnc.org

Email:               bds@usbnc.org

1.24.1.1.1.1.1.7 Permanent U.S. Bahá'í Schools and Institutes

|Bosch Bahá'í School        |Green Acre Bahá'í School   |
|500 Comstock Lane            |188 Main Street              |
|Santa Cruz, CA  95060-9677   |Eliot, ME  03903-1827        |
|Phone:  (408) 423-3387       |Phone:  (207) 439-7200       |
|Fax:  (408) 423-7564         |Fax:  (207) 439-7202         |
|Email:  bosch@usbnc.org      |Email:  greenacre@usbnc.org  |
|Web:                         |Web:                         |
|www.bosch.org                |www.greenacre.org            |
|Louhelen Bahá'í School     |Louis G. Gregory Bahá'í    |
|2308 S. State Road           |Institute                    |
|Davison, MI  48423-8603      |Route 2, Box 71              |
|Phone:  (810) 653-5033       |Hemingway, SC   29554-9494   |
|Fax:  (810) 653-7181         |Phone:  (843) 558-5093       |
|Email:  louhelen@usbnc.org   |Fax:  (843) 558-9114         |
|Web:                         |Email:  lgi@usbnc.org        |
|www.louhelen.org             |                             |
|Native American Bahá'í     |Wilmette Institute           |
|Institute                    |24-Hour Info:   (847)        |
|830 Burntwater Road          |733-3595                     |
|P.O. Box 3167                |Registrar:          (847)    |
|Houck, AZ  86506-0167        |733-3415                     |
|Phone:  (520) 587-7599       |Email:                       |
|Fax:  (520) 587-7599         |info@wilmetteinstitute.org   |
|Email:  nabi@usbnc.org       |Web Site:                    |
|                             |www.wilmetteinstitute.org    |

Regional Bahá'í Councils

|Regional Bahá'í Council      |Regional Bahá'í Council    |
|for the Southern States        |for the Central States       |
|4100 NW 16th Ave, Suite 9      |11100 Timberline Dr.         |
|Oakland Park, FL  33309        |Rolla, MO  65401-8128        |
|Phone:              (954)      |Phone:              (573)    |
|202-9421                       |364-9618                     |
|Email:                         |Email:                       |
|secretary@rbcs.usbnc.org       |secretary@rbcc.usbnc.org     |
|                               |                             |
|Regional Bahá'í Council      |Regional Bahá'í Council    |
|for the North East             |for the Western States       |
|675 Eastern Court              |266 Casitas Ave.             |
|Ridgewood, NJ 07450-3510       |San Francisco, CA 94127-1604 |
|Phone:              (201)      |Phone:               (415)   |
|652-6385                       |759-1996                     |
|Email:                         |Email:                       |
|secretary@rbcne.usbnc.org      |secretary@rbcw.usbnc.org     |
|                               |                             |

1.25

      Appendix  A  --  Basics of How To Be a Treasurer

I.    WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?

     1. Apply for a Federal tax identification number, known as an Employee
        Identification Number (EIN), if your group does not have one (see
        Appendix B).

     2. Open a community checking account (see page 25) and learn how to
        use it.

     3. Purchase a duplicate receipt book.

     4. Buy pocket file folders for paid and unpaid bills.

     5. See that contribution goals are established for the group.

RECEIVING OFFERINGS FROM THE FRIENDS

     1. Prepare duplicate receipts for all contributions.

     2. Keep abreast of tax changes that affect all aspects of giving and
        the documentation required for receipting gifts.

     3. Distribute receipts to the contributors.

PUTTING THE FUND TO USE

     1. Contribute regularly to the Bahá'í National Fund and the other
        Bahá'í Funds.

     2. Pay all bills promptly.

MAKING REPORTS

     1. Make regular reports to the community on total income and expenses,
        community participation, money  in the bank and bills to be paid.

     2. Make regular reports to the community at Feast including:

        3. Education on the spiritual nature of giving and sacrifice.

        4. The status of the community's Fund contribution goal each Bahá'í
           month.

        5. The percentage of the community giving to the Fund each Bahá'í
           month.

THE ANNUAL AUDIT

     1. Arrange in order by month all bank statements, canceled checks,
        deposit tickets and paid bills.

     2. Have the community appoint two individuals, other than the
        Treasurer, to audit the community's financial records, as described
        in Stewardship and Development.


           1.26 Appendix B  --  Federal Tax Identification Number

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[1] Consultation: A Compilation, p. 3, #2

[2] Consultation: A Compilation, p. 7, #14

[3] Wellspring of Guidance, p. 96
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