March 12, 2020

1969: The story of Saskatoon…

Saskatoon, circa 2020
For some time now the believers across the country [Canada] have heard the name “Saskatoon” appearing with increasing frequency. We hear of something like 70-80 declarations, almost all of them youth, in less than two years, of no “generation gap”, of new approaches and exciting happenings. Anyone who visits the Saskatoon community cannot help but feel that something momentous has taken place and is taking place there.

What is the Saskatoon story?

For a year or so, it has been suggested that the News tell the story of Saskatoon. Urgent pleas have gone out for an "on the spot” account, but to no avail. Finally a wandering member of the Editorial Board [of Canadian Baha’i News magazine] spent a delightful summer evening on the spacious grounds of the Rogers [Don and Barbara] family just outside Saskatoon at a Race Amity Youth Rally. Amid the ebbing and flowing of youth of all ages, she managed to extract from Assembly members some of the history. The difficulty of putting it into words soon became apparent. The growth of the community has demanded all the energy and attention of the Assembly. Furthermore, it seems almost impossible to describe adequately both the spiritual forces that are so obviously present, and the feeling that is Saskatoon.

For, more than anything else, it seems to this observer, Saskatoon is a feeling, a feeling of community — not just any community, but a community of purpose — the community of Baha’u’llah. One feels that here is a dynamic community made up almost entirely of believers under thirty years of age, a community in which everyone, no matter how conformist or non-conformist he or she may appear to be, has a sense of belonging and acceptance. As it becomes increasingly clear that today’s youth is crying out for the experience of community, one to really believe in, Saskatoon takes on even greater significance.