Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada
The Bahá’í Faith has no clergy. However, it does have an administrative system at the international, national, and local levels. As in almost every other city in the world, Stouffville has its own local governing council, which guides the community here. Known as a Local Spiritual Assembly, this institution is composed of nine members elected every year by all of the Bahá’ís in the city.
There are no churches in the Bahá’í Faith. Activities are mostly localized in neighbourhoods and pre-COVID held in informal settings, such as homes, parks, and community centres. It would not be unusual to attend a prayer gathering in someone’s home, to participate in a youth group in a community centre, or to have a spiritually oriented conversation in a coffee shop. All of our activities are on-line for the time being. While there are no churches, the Bahá’í Faith does have temples (known as Houses of Worship) that are open for anyone to pray and meditate. The House of Worship closest to Toronto is located in Wilmette, Illinois, near Chicago.
To be a Bahá’í simply means to recognize Bahá’u’lláh as the Messenger of God for today and to follow his laws and teachings. There is no formal process or ritual to becoming a Bahá’í. If you recognize Bahá’u’lláh and follow His laws, then you are a Bahá’í. However, a person would normally inform the local governing council (known as the Local Spiritual Assembly) of one’s belief, so that they can fully participate in the activities of the community, such as voting for the Assembly, receiving email updates, etc.