New York Baha’i Devotional Meeting Stresses the Importance of Community

November 28, 2005

Source: Baha'i World News Service

On November 28, 2005 the Baha'i World News Service reported, "The sounds of African drums and soaring voices burst out over a normally quiet lower Manhattan Street lined with antique dealers and four-story apartment buildings. It was a recent Sunday morning and the pulsating energy was coming from the New York Baha'i Center where a drum circle was being led by African-American men, with people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds joining in. The gathering was a striking example of a new and growing feature of Baha'i community life: community devotional meetings designed to engage the world at large through uplifting and inspirational prayers, music, readings and more... Called the 'Hush Harbor Devotional,' the gathering takes its name from meetings held by slaves who hung wet fabric on tree branches to stop their voices carrying while they were praying and planning escapes... The Hush Harbor Devotional began about three years ago. The idea came from participation by New York City Baha'is in the Black Men's Gathering, which are regular events that were founded by Dr. Roberts in 1987 and have continued ever since. The aim of that gathering, which has proved an ongoing success, is to change the conditions of men of African descent and help them to achieve spiritual transformation."