Lawrence Baha'i Community

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 26 October 2018.

Phone: 785-843-2703
[flickr_set id="72157621817821183"] History Little is known about the origins of the Baha'i community in Lawrence, Kansas, but Jan Connley and Jean Randazo are referred to as the Baha'i pioneers in the Lawrence area. The approximately thirty-five active members enjoy meeting for services each Sunday. The Lawrence area does not have enough members to support a separate Baha'i house of worship. Normally, Baha'i houses of worship are characterized by their nine-sided floor plan and central dome. The nine-member spiritual assembly, which guides business matters for the community, chooses to have services at the Ecumenical Christian Ministries building on the University of Kansas campus. Activities and Schedule Each service is prepared by Julie Ranjbar, the secretary, and includes readings from Baha'u'llah; the Christian Bible; or other sacred scriptures, music, and shared prayers. The reading responsibilities are shared by all present, even those who have not officially joined the faith. Each reading focuses on a topic of the members' choice. The services are largely informal, begin when all are present and conclude in approximately twenty minutes. At the close of the service, members are encouraged to share refreshments and fellowship. In the marriage ceremony of the Baha'i Faith, the bride and groom are required to present written consent from at least one parent, and the partners must promise to follow God's will in their lives. Members observe the nineteen-day feast cycle, a Baha'i holiday. The Lawrence community meets every nineteen days to talk of Baha'i matters, feast, and conduct a business meeting. Ranjbar describes the celebration as more of a spiritual feast than simply eating food. The University of Kansas also hosts a Baha'i Club, which is sponsored by the Lawrence Spiritual Assembly. While its founder is unknown, its purpose of spreading the message of Baha'u'llah continues, as it has for approximately thirty years. Currently, there are three active members who meet each Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union.