200th Anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah

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Baha’is of Chelsea are preparing to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, on October 22, 2017.

Plans underway locally include a free concert, “A Gift of Music”, for all area residents.  Jump Start Band will play at 2pm at the Chelsea RR Depot, 125 Jackson Street.  Their music includes many old favorites and classics: old rock and roll, ballads, gospel, and some contemporary artists’ material.

The band has performed over the years at festivals, parties, and retirement facilities.  They have also given annual shows at Jackson’s Michigan Theatre to raise money for its ongoing renovations and have played at Cascades and for the City of Jackson’s Downtown Development Authority.

Jump Start musicians are Tim Farrell (lead vocalist), Carol Konkol (drums), Dick Barnes (bass), Jimmy “Jam” Kulas (trumpet and sax), and Ralph Mullins (lead guitarist).  Carol Konkol is a 3rd generation musician, and Jimmy Kulas regularly plays “Taps” for funerals locally and especially for fire fighters and police.

County-wide, the Baha’is are planning a “Light of Unity Festival” the weekend of October 21-22, which will feature a Sunday program at WCC’s Towsley Auditorium.  The Light of Unity Festival is not a single event but a series of activities generated at the grassroots level all around the country, which reinforce Baha’u’llah’s vision of the oneness of humanity and empower participants to contribute. Area activities will include drama, music, art exhibits, storytelling, service projects, prayer and devotional programs.

At the national level, the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois will host a nine-week series of programs beginning in early September including environmental justice, race relations, indigenous peoples, human rights, and the harmony of science and religion.

Baha’u’llah (1817-1892) was a spiritual teacher who announced in 1863 that he was the bearer of a new revelation from God.  His teachings have spread around the world, forming the basis of a process of social transformation and community building which is unique in its global scope and the diversity of participants.

This Light of Unity Festival is a celebration of the transformative impact of Baha’u’llah’s teachings on the lives of families, neighborhoods and communities around the country and the world.  Baha’u’llah’s vision of the oneness of humanity is an antidote to the racial prejudice and materialism that are corroding American society.

“Now more than ever we need positive models of social change that bring people together rather than divide them,” said Sandra Vadlamudi, of Chelsea.  “This is what we will be celebrating in the months leading up to Baha’u’llah’s birth in October.”

To learn more and get involved, go to www.bahaicenterwashtenawcounty.org

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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