By Greg Ford
SACHSE — The date of Oct. 22 may not be significant to a lot of people, but to those of the Baháí faith, it is indeed a special day. On that day Bahá’u’lláu, the religion’s founder, was born in 1817.
In a little less than two weeks, it will be their founder’s 200th birthday, which will be celebrated worldwide, including in Sachse, where Baháí faith members will be holding a “Light of Unity Festival” at the Sachse Senior Center from 2-4 p.m.
Once there, members not only plan for Bahá’u’lláu’s 200th birthday to be celebrated, but will attempt to bring together members of the Sachse community.
Part of the event includes collection of non-perishable foods that will be delivered to the Five Loaves organization for distribution.
“Every city in the Metroplex is doing this, and it’s to bring the people of their city together in unity to celebrate this event, and try to bring unity to our community,” said Cindy Wahkinney, one of the organizers. “It’s open to anyone who wants to come.”
Added fellow Baháí member Dennis Wahkinney, “It’s kind of a first step to bring people together to have conversations to improve our society. Things have been a little dark, and it’s time to have a good conversation about hope.”
Mr. Wahkinney made a short announcement regarding the Oct. 22 celebration at the most recent city council meeting, where he invited members to attend.
“The mayor has done a proclamation for us, and we’re presenting invitations to the fire department, the police department, all of the school principals and superintendents, Chamber of Commerce members, and individuals we know throughout the community for the 20 years we lived there,” Mrs. Wahkinney said.
She has been a Baháí member since 1972, and Mr. Wahkinney has been a member since 1981. There is Baháí faith center in Sachse, they said, but Mrs. Wahkinney noted there are ones located in cities such as Dallas, Plano and Irving.
Bahá’u’lláu was born in what is now Tehran, Iran, which was then known as Persia, and, according to the religion’s belief, divine messengers foretold his coming in previous years. He founded the Baháí faith around 1863 with a focus on, among other things, there being one God, one human family and that God’s religion is progressively unfolding. Also, Baháí members consider the highest form of worship being work that is done in the spirit of service to humanity.
Mrs. Wahkinney noted multiple prayers in different languages will be recited at the Oct. 22 event.
“(We want) to emphasize unity and diversity,” Mr. Wahkinney said. “I’m of Native American heritage, a Comanche from Oklahoma. I have a friend from Oklahoma who is going to come and start our program with a Comanche prayer song. I am going to contact him to see if he (also) can do the Lord’s Prayer in Comanche when he finishes his song. I will be doing a greeting for everybody, and part of it will include the Comanche language.”