Green Acre - The Future Center of Baha'i Learning in North America
November 2, 2007
Green Acre Bahá'í School, in far southern Maine, is already a center of learning. But one day it will be the Bahá'í center of learning in North America, or so, prophetically, has 'Abdu'l-Bahá said. Perhaps "exhortationally" is more accurate than "prophetically", since his prophetic words are themselves a directive to the Bahá'ís. And when you think about the number of colleges and universities that will need to be built in coming years in order to meet the demand of an ever-growing population, you realize it is not at all infeasible that there will, one day, be highly-respected school here.
The Harriet and Curtis Kelsey Center, photo via Bahá'í Media Bank
The Bahá'í Faith currently has one official House of Worship in North America, in Wilmette, Illinois. I know that there are at least rudimentary plans for several others in major cities (no doubt in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto), and I always expected that one of these great cities would be home to the next. But, upon touring Green Acre in 1912, 'Abdu'l-Bahá proclaimed of a hill nearby: "This is hallowed ground made so by your vision and sacrifice. Always remember this is hallowed ground which I am pointing out to you. This is where the first Bahá'í University will be built; this is where the second Bahá'í Temple in the United States will be raised" (qtd. in Green Acre on the Piscataqua : A Centennial Celebration by Atkinson, et al.)
Oh, by the way, I happen to be at this beautiful facility for the National Treasurer's Forum, sponsored by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the U.S. for the benefit of treasurers and other members of Local Spiritual Assemblies. Silly me, I didn't bring a camera, so I can't show the place off properly.
During his 1912 visit, 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a series of interesting talks, the notes from which were included in the compilation of talks titled The Promulgation of Universal Peace. Whilst these are not considered precisely authoritative transcriptions, they are considered of such high quality as to be meaningfully attributed to him. In these talks he covers a wide range of subjects, including the nature of love; four types of persuasive "proofs"; materialism; the unique nature of the "spirit of man"; the unity of humanity; and the underlying unity of the messages delivered by the Manifestations.
Time to close this up and get moving for breakfast.