The world feels—at least to me, and maybe to you—like new, unexplored territory.
Something is re-enlivened, and possibly, hopefully, moving back toward an awakening of the Anima Mundi—the World Soul. We are in this together, a growing spiritual community, with helpful inner tools, devoted to the ideals of beauty, love and harmony.
These ideals are real; they are the essence of Reality itself, and exist now and always.
It is up to us, in close relationship with aligned communities and friends, to provide ongoing, everyday reminders of this reality. This is our work, and in a basic sense, the mission of our Order—to remember.
Over the last two years, the Inayati Order has been laying the groundwork for a fundamental and necessary shift in how we operate. This shift is timely, as the work ahead of us is likely to be momentous. Here is a preview of what is to come over the next year:
- The Inayati Order’s North American Headquarters will move to Richmond, Virginia, in the summer of 2017. We are in the process of negotiating the purchase of an historic building in the heart of the city. For now, please help us quietly hold the concentration of acquiring this special building. If things continue to go well, we will share more details soon. (Our practice for this is Ya Musawwir, “the Fashioner.”)
- Programmatically, we plan to intentionally develop offerings for various audiences, including the general public, mureeds, and leaders within the Order. We will offer programs in Richmond, and also regionally, in partnership with local Inayati Centers.We also hope, over time, to integrate the work of the five activities—Esoteric School, Universal Worship, Healing Order, Ziraat, and Kinship—into our headquarters’ responsibilities.
- A natural complement to programs is a true Public Relations effort. Like you, wealso want to see Murshid’s teaching represented in media throughout North America. This means hiring a public relations firm to help place Pir Zia and other Inayati spokespeople in national publications, radio and television interviews, digital media, and as speakers at relevant, large-scale events. It also means ramping-up our presence online through articles, podcasts and video, and more active representation through social media.
- Also necessary is an update and expansion of materials. These include: booklets on prayer, initiation, waza’if, the silsila, everyday practices, esoteric papers (Gathas, Githas, Sangathas, Sangithas), a new initiates booklet, etc., as well as leadership manuals, all to be available in print and digital formats, with complementary audio and video.
- As we lay our infrastructure across the United States and Canada, we will need to increase our overall Inayati Leadership Capacity. Region by region, we will need to access and better highlight our strengths, and also look for ways to deepen and grow our offerings, developing new guides and teachers, and increasing our regional public profile.
- To do all that we hope to do, we will also need to grow our staff capacity. Right now,we have four full-time staff, including Pir Zia. If we want to answer every e-mail and phone call (and there are many), respond to every media request, organize quality programs, develop useful materials, and best support the ongoing spiritual needs of our mureeds and leadership, then we will need a few more skilled and attuned people in the office. We want to create a world-class center for Inayati Sufism, and need a good group of us on site, at our headquarters, to do this. (Details about open positions will be shared later in the spring.)
Everything listed above is possible. This is the time for the Inayati Order—for all of us—to take it up a level. Pir-o-Murshid’s teaching and atmosphere is needed in the world right now, and this is our moment.
Toward the One,
Jennifer Alia Wittman
The Inayati Order
P.S. – If you gave to our Fall Appeal, tithe regularly, or provided any type of financial or other support in 2016, weare incredibly grateful. Please see below for final numbers related to our year-end campaign. An incredibly generous showing—thank you!
An Update on Our Fall Appeal
During the last months of every year, as non-profits across American do, we too held a Fall Appeal. We have been waiting until now to share how much was raised, waiting for our bookkeepers to properly close out the books for 2016.
Our community brilliantly rallied around our cause. Our goal was to raise $200,000 by year-end. We raised $181,475 in one-time donations, and another $71,432 in tithe pledges for 2017, for a total of $252,907.
We are incredibly grateful to all who donated, and also understand that it is sometimes impossible to give financially. We recognize all the ways the members of our community are giving, and appreciate all your help in moving things forward, and putting us on strong footing, into the New Year.
Wisdom of the Prophets: Sufism & Judaism, April 27-30 – Registration Now Open
(Open to the Public)
Inayati Leadership Training Spring 2017, March 30 – April 2 – Registration Now Open
(Designed for Inayati Order Coordinators and Representatives)