Center for Faith and Vocation

Indianapolis Baha'i Center

3749 W 62nd St
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Phone: 317-295-9859
Website: www.indybahai.org

Location

The Indianapolis Baha'i community has a center in northwest Indianapolis located just east of Guion Rd on 62nd St. Devotions are held Sundays from 10:30 am until 12 pm; all are welcome.

Institutional History

Lewis Walker, assistant archivist at the Baha'i national headquarters, says that a Baha'i spiritual assembly was formally established in Indianapolis in the 1930s. The current Indianapolis Baha'i Center was built in 2000. Before the center was built, the community met regularly at members' homes. On special occasions, they rented out public places for larger gatherings.

Demographics

The Baha'i cultural center seems to have a very diverse community. Because they have several weekend services and they do not operate on a weekly calendar, attendance varies greatly. A range of activities from weekly devotions, potluck suppers, and book clubs are established for members of all ages. Although their casual attendance makes it hard to see what the community as a whole might "look like," the Baha'i community welcomes all races and ethnicities to their services and activities.

Service Style

The word that best describes the Baha'i faith services is "relaxed." There is no set leader of the service; instead all participants contribute what they feel would be for the betterment of the group. Services include sitting in a group as a community and reading prayers aloud from a variety of different, interfaith prayer books. Participants take turns reading their selected prayers aloud. While participation is not required of everyone who attends, it is gently encouraged. After the prayers are completed, light refreshments are provided and the group engages in personal discussion. The topics are not limited to religion; they can range from social conversation to opinions on "hot-button" issues. The services and participants are very welcoming to people who might not know much about the faith.

What to Expect

The Indianapolis Baha'i Center welcomes visitors each Sunday. Easily accessed is the room for worship where visitors will meet individuals who will quickly engage them in an informal introduction to Baha'i faith. Be prepared to enter a peaceful center where dialogue and discussion are embraced and all faiths and ideas respected. Dress varies among members, so it would be advisable visitors to wear whatever makes them the most comfortable. Coffee, tea, and donuts are provided after devotions and members are quick to engage in both casual and religious conversation during this time. The Center also has a library and books for sale which you may read and purchase at your convenience.