Holy Land Pilgrimage

Urantia Book Readers’ Pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Jesus

April 20 to May 5, 2017

The United Urantia Family is delighted to invite you to join us for our 2017 Easter Spirit Renewal Retreat Pilgrimage in Israel!

Jerusalem, the City of David, the Old City Tunnels, Bethesda, Bethlehem, Mount of Olives, the Israel Museum, Mount of the Ascension, Beit Shan, Caesarea Harbor, Capernaum, the Jesus Trail, Mount of the Beatitudes, the Jordan River, Sepphoris, Scythopolis, Nazareth Village, the Annunciation Basilica, Cana, Caesarea-Philippi, Mount Hermon, the Ginosar Museum as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jesus Boat! You will see them all with your eyes, and we pray that your heart will sing in Joy. Ours do every single time we behold these sites and connect inwards.

This pilgrimage trip is scheduled from April 20 to May 5, 2017 as part of The United Urantia Family Easter Spirit Renewal Retreat 2017, when Israel is in full Spring bloom and the weather is most pleasant.

Through careful planning and arrangements, our 16-day spiritual pilgrimage is most affordable. The cost is $2,095 USD which includes the registration & processing fee of $100 (see our Early-Bird Special below to pay only $1,995). This price includes lodging in beautiful and strategically located pilgrimage homes, all breakfasts and dinners, transportation in a deluxe air-conditioning bus, the baptismal robe at Yardenit in the Jordan River and all site entry costs while visiting in Israel. The price does not include your airfare which you will have to purchase on your own, due to the fact that participants are coming from different cities and countries.

For more details, please visit our website at www.tuuff.org or contact Diane Labrecque at dianelabrecque@sympatico.ca if you have any questions.

I look forward to share this exceptional experience together with you and the Master!

Diane Labrecque
Your group leader

Click Here to Register for this Event

Kansas City Conference

Ministering The Gospel

March 10 – 12, 2017

Heartland Retreat Center
16965 NW 45 Highway
Kansas City, MO

We are a community of believers who feel compelled to research the gospel of Jesus.

We have been given a rare gift, a privilege beyond measure, and a remarkable responsibility.  The gospel of Jesus. We believe this strongly. Because of this belief, our gathering is a working opportunity to explore individual and personal ways to live and share the gospel. We wish to deepen our ministry and encourage others to deepen theirs.

We’ll be working and exploring the questions: What is the gospel of Jesus? How can we grow the gospel in our own lives?  How can we share it with others?  Why is the gospel so critical in today’s world?  We will be working on these questions in small groups and then sharing with the larger group.  Please come join us in this exploration with Spirit.

Conference fee: $175 double occupancy. For Registration or questions contact: Susan Cook 816-716-0330 or solonia@juno.com

“Let all mankind benefit from the overflow of your loving spiritual ministry, enlightening intellectual communion, and uplifting social service; but none of these humanitarian labors, nor all of them, should be permitted to take the place of proclaiming the gospel.”

Journal Editorial November 2016

Greetings fellow Journal readers,

This issue of the Journal is only the second one for 2016. Beginning in 2017 we will be doing only two issues per year with perhaps an additional “Special Edition Issue” like this one with Urantia Association Conference presentations from around the globe. In this issue our presenters will be coming to you from Texas and Alabama USA, from Sydney Australia, and from Cologne Germany.

Our first up is Jeff Wattles, USA with his presentation from the Conference in San Antonio Texas June 2016; How to Participate in Jesus’ Gospel Movement.  Jeff as a consummate professor is able to teach us how to assist Jesus in his movement by realizing Truth is a gift; our intuition is a gift. And faith is a gift. It is living, and it grows. What we receive as a gift, we exercise in action. Later we find our own way to give voice to truth. With practice we become comfortable and skilled. How shall we do this work? I’m going to give you two methods. They both involve study and experience. By the end of his thought provoking presentation you too will be participating in this magnificent movement.

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How to Participate in Jesus’ Gospel Movement

Presented in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., June 11, 2016

Song
You’ve got to know this Jesus well
You’ve got to know this Jesus well,
You got to study and pray and walk in his way
You’ve got to know this Jesus well

Coming from Northeast Ohio, I can tell you that one thing that gives me genuine satisfaction is when LeBron James gets an assist for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He passes the ball excellently to his team member who is in position—and goes on to make a basket.

It’s like that on the team working in Jesus’ gospel movement. We assist the Spirit of Truth as another human being is approaching, making, or confirming the most important decision that a person makes in this life.

By the end of this talk, I want everyone to know how to assist in Jesus’ gospel movement. I have some general principles to propose and some examples of how I do things. Don’t imitate me. Just use my personal stories to stimulate you to be a living prophet in your way.

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Considerations for Study of the Human Jesus

Used for the Alabama Urantia Online Study Group; January 10, 2016

The Urantia Book informs us that man is a Paradise origin idea.

“Let us make mortal man in our image,” [Paper 6:5.7, page 78:3]

is attributed to the First and Second Sources. Condescension details for man were formulated.

The Father and the Eternal Son created the first down step with the original Michael Creator Son. The original Michael participates in creating more Michael Sons including Michael of Nebadon. Michael partnered with a Paradise daughter of the Infinite Spirit and they fully cooperated in their “man plan” while creating a local universe. They completed architectural spheres and then made ready to create man, perhaps according to a flexible “Trinity Master Man Plan.” Life Carriers implanted life, which eventually resulted in human beings. The Father’s Paradise Plan was advancing on Urantia.

The Paradise Father set a vital requirement for Michael to live as His created sons. This requirement included human life experience. Gabriel headed the Salvington commission tasked to find suitable parents to establish a suitable home. Consider the high probability the Father and Paradise Sons are aware of all human genetic history. Gabriel surely had vetted all genetic links. He then selected Joseph and Mary to be the parental couple. We may assume his decision was based on the then best available physical and temperamental features.

Urantia Book students are aware of Urantia planetary history, which includes many difficulties. Peter set new difficulties in motion during his Pentecost sermon and others concentrated on a new doctrine featuring the Risen Lord. Jesus’ humanity was mostly put aside. Until now, Urantians have been mostly unaware of Jesus’ detailed heroic, brave, and courageous human life.  He lived a marvelous model of and for man.

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Reporting Conference Experiences

Dear Urantia-Community,

I would like to report on my experience of the 2016 US National Conference (UAUS) and Summer Study Session (Urantia Book Fellowship) that took place at the Trinity University in San Antonio.

I arrived right on time at the Trinity University Campus after an 18-hour trip with three flights from Cologne to Berlin, Berlin to Chicago and Chicago to San Antonio. The Tex-Mex welcoming was just about to start and there was no time to rest as I wished to hug the few people I knew and meet all these new ones directly. After having nice introduction conversations, many of us went up to the Skyline Room, where we all met every evening. Having a wonderful view of the Skyline of San Antonio, this was my first moment thinking, “Yes, now the German guy is in Texas! Feels nice!” And, as I remembered it from other conferences, I just needed to forget for a while where I came from so I could get used to how open and lovely all these brothers and sisters are, and how quickly we get into that feeling of brotherhood.

After the first plenary presentation on Friday with Carolyn Prentice about “The Master Teacher: Exploring how Jesus taught,” I attended James Woodward’s workshop on “Worship: What’s Rest Got To Do With It?” James gave us a good summary on what The Urantia Book teaches about how to worship the Father truly and effectively in our everyday life. After that we, some of the young adults from the YAYA (Youth and Young Adults) and the UYAI (Urantia Young Adults International) groups, along with Jeffrey Wattles, conducted a workshop together with 30-40 people attending. Our workshop was about “Young Adult Students on the Master’s Teachings.” In that workshop we had three groups with three different topical questions. We repeated this workshop on Saturday. In our group we discussed the opportunities of holding an online study group, and shared our experiences with the other participants. Everyone was very excited about how well we young adult readers interact and what our plans are, as the YAYA and the UYAI Committees will work together in future. I would like to thank everyone who took this chance to encourage us younger readers in our activities and offered support for our future plans. The last workshop I attended on Friday was Derek Samaras’ about “The Attractive Personality of Jesus.” In two hours he presented how important it can be for us to be mindful about our own attractiveness in order to spread the gospel.

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road

 

Presentation from the ANZURA 2015 Conference, Sydney 

Introduction

We’ve done a lot of talking this weekend about the individual’s journey with faith and about developing the character traits required to stay on that pathway that leads us all the way to Paradise and beyond. I’d like to focus on what believers who’ve made the big decision to enter into the kingdom of heaven, do collectively to help an evolutionary world move along the pathway towards the era of Light & Life. I’m going to refer this this pathway as the “Yellow Brick Road.”

Yes, I think you all know where I stole this term from. That famous children’s movie: The Wizard of Oz. The idea to borrow this concept evolved in my mind as I was contemplating the experiences I had in the developing stages of becoming a believer in God. I’ve always thought of those special moments that occurred in my inner life that helped to bring me closer to having a faith in God, were like fine golden threads connecting my inner most core with the source of truth. As more and more fine golden threads emerged they started to wind themselves into a thick golden rope. I started to feel like I had found a golden freeway. Everything that came before was like looking for the on ramp to the freeway; once I found that on ramp and entered the freeway I was on my way!

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To Catch a Fraud

Presented at the Sydney ANZURA Conference,  October 2015

I began this presentation with a simple experiment. Without any warning I caused a very loud, totally unexpected noise that startled the audience and elicited the typical gasps, shrieks and jolting movements from everyone as you would expect. I informed the audience that I had just activated their fear responses and pointed out that they were right now as one body, behaving in unison through their fear and asked, isn’t that great we’re all united like this together? Isn’t that what we’re all seeking? some kind of togetherness that leads to brotherhood for us to live in peace and harmony and on to eternal life?

Well that way, my friends I hope to show today, is a complete fraud.  Fear has a role to play in our survival, granted, but we know through The Urantia Book teachings that survival on its own is not enough. There must be growth to pass through time and into eternity. Growth is necessary on the pathway to Paradise and beyond.

Few persons live up to the faith which they really have. Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.  [Paper 48:7.4, page 556.4]  from Morontia Mota No. 2

Fear is a fraud. It says one thing and delivers another—to our disadvantage. While fear may assist us in avoiding an immediate and short-term threat, enabling us to survive a little longer, sustained and unreasoned fear actually impedes our longer-term growth, affecting even the growth of our soul. Thus fear threatens the eternal survival we seek. It is retarding the growth of our souls and slowing our path to God.

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2017 Finnish Winter Conference

The Winter Conference of the Finnish Urantia Association

28-29 January 2017

Theme: “The essential nature of the cosmic reality“.

Location: Kumpeli Spa, Heinola, Finland

2017-venue-finland-winter-meeting

2017 Winter Conference

The winter conference of the Finnish Association is held the last weekend of January 2017. The venue is located in a small town two and a half hours’ drive away from the Finnish capital Helsinki. The mid-range hotel has a spa with a variety of pools and baths including a Jacuzzi, therapy pool and massaging tubs.

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Urantia Ghana 2017

Urantia Ghana 2017 Banner

Minister Pato Banton & The Urantia Association International join forces with The Urantia Book Readership in Accra Ghana for a beautiful international Spiritual Gathering, Visionary Conference and Fraternal Fellowship with live musical performances, refreshments and dinner for everyone in attendance. This event is organized together with The Urantia Book Readership in Accra-Ghana and is open for everyone who can make it to this event.

10-12 February 2017

Accra City Hotel, Accra, Ghana

This conference is organized by Minister Pato Banton and The Urantia Book Readership in Accra Ghana and sponsored by Urantia Association International

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President’s Message – November 2016

As I write this, I am traveling to Frankfurt, Germany to celebrate Urantia DACH joining our International Association.  This German-speaking group has been meeting for years and has been highly active in organizing events throughout Germany and its leaders have also been working with all of Urantia Europe with the Blue Club.

There are at least three types of unity in our Urantia Community: spiritual unity, which we share not just with other students of this revelation but with every God-seeking person in the world; social unity, which we achieve by gathering at conferences and study groups, learning how we each understand and incorporate these teachings in our lives; and there is organizational unity, agreeing to unite our principles and our efforts toward achieving a common goal. As more and more Urantia groups join us in organizational unity our reach and our abilities expand exponentially.

In the last few months there has been a European Conference in Budapest, a Latin American Conference in Bogota, an Australian & New Zealand conference in Tasmania, an important meeting about the future of the North American community in Chicago, and now a new Association celebration in Frankfurt. As our programs grow, they reach more new students of The Urantia Book, and more and more people will have first hand experience with the Fifth Epochal Revelation.

As we turn our eyes toward 2017, we can hardly imagine all of the work we have before us, but we strive to serve loyally day after day, eventually another year of progress will be made. I hope you can join us for a service project in 2017. There will always be more work to do!

In service,
Chris Wood
President, Urantia Association International

Budapest Conference Report

budapest-buildingWho Is Jesus?

15 to 18 September, 2016

Quietly and almost unobtrusively–but impressively–a new milestone in the maturing of the Urantia movement was achieved in September 2016 when a pan-European conference of readers of the revelation was held for the first time. More truly it was a pan-Northern Hemisphere conference, because there was a significant leavening with representatives from the United States and Canada.

Antonio Schefer, conference co-ordinator for Urantia Association International, ably and tactfully assembled an organising team that worked for many months behind the scenes to get this conference ready and running smoothly. There were participating organisers from the various European Associations, and for these people too, it was an important and new learning experience in collaboration.

The germ of the idea came from the loose organisation of readers in the German-speaking lands, DACH, named after the international identifying codes of the three countries, Germany (D), Austria (A) and Switzerland (CH) by their co-ordinator Christian Ruch. (‘Dach’ means ‘roof’ in German, typifying the loose but comfortable and protective covering over all the readers.)

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Bogota Conference Report

Bogota conf-audience2The Master and the Student

14 to 17 October, 2016

The First Latin American Urantia Conference was held in Bogotá, Colombia October 14-17, 2016 and was organized by the Bogotá Urantia Association (Asociación Urantia Bogotá, AUB.) The Conference included the participation of 16 countries, 108 attendees (46 from countries outside Colombia) and between 20 and 50 virtual participants throughout the conference who tuned into video transmission in Spanish via Zoom and English via Ustream.tv. Participants enjoyed learning from the information and experiences that were shared by 17 speakers who provided outstanding remarks and presentations.

The Conference opened on Friday with a welcome from the President of Urantia Association International, Chris Wood, followed by remarks from the President of the Urantia Colombia Association, Wilson Leon. Then the participants and delegations from each country were introduced.

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Tasmanian Conference Reflections

Equipped to be Teachers of the Religion of Jesus –
Are You Willing? Are You Ready?

16 to 19 September, 2016

maryknoll-3The 2016 annual conference for the Australia & New Zealand Urantia Association (ANZURA) was held at the delightful Maryknoll Retreat Conference Centre overlooking Blackmans Bay just south of Hobart. Many thanks go to our gracious hosts Julian McGarry and the Hobart study group team for providing such a well-planned event. Not only did the venue provide a stunningly beautiful natural environment, but the program itself provided for much heartfelt discussion and qualitative food for thought.

Urantia Book readers came from all around Australia and two from New Zealand. A good number of participants who haven’t been to a Urantia conference before came from Tasmania itself!

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Russian Conference Report

moscow7Becoming Friends & Loving Each Other

9 to 11 September, 2016

The first meeting of Russian speaking readers of The Urantia Book was held 9 – 11 September, 2016 at the Novahoff Hotel in Nicholas Uryupino Village near Moscow. This conference was initiated and skilfully organized by Tamila Ragimova from Medellin, Colombia. Twenty five readers attended hailing from Russia, Finland, the Ukraine and the USA.

On the first day over dinner, each of those present spoke about his or her path to finding The Urantia Book. Presentations were given in the mornings, then after lunch we broke up into smaller discussion groups.

To give you an idea of the subjects discussed, following is a list of the titles of the presentations and workshops:

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Italian Conference Report

italian-conference1Survival of the Human Self

7 to 9 October, 2016

In a quiet hotel on the shores of Lake Garda, which was our panorama during the sessions, we had met our Italian Urantia neighbours for the second time on the initiative of our dynamic Danielle La Scala, whose abilities as a translator are astonishing. Apart from Danielle and three non-Urantians, there were three French people (Georges and Marlène Michelson-Dupont and Ivan Stol), two Swiss (Doris Calmel and Guy de Viron) and six Italians (Nirvana and Deanna Bussadori, Maria Dolores Novati, Alberto Dujela and Serena Zaganelli), and the European co-ordinator Antonio Schefer.

The discussions on the topic of “Survival of the Human Self” gave us a chance to clarify many questions on the existential issues of “who will survive” and “the true choice of survival.” Likewise, “how to live with other people,” “what is love,” “doing the will of God,” and “becoming perfect” were dealt with making use of Georges’ expert practice in guiding discussions.

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YouTube Videos of Conference Presentations

youtube-channelThe plenary presentations held at the recent conferences listed below were video recorded and are now available for viewing. These recordings are of a high quality and are very easy to watch; it’s just like being in the audience so if you were unable to attend the conference, we recommend you take a look. Following are the links to our website pages for each conference. From these pages you will find a direct link to the opening plenary presentation as well as a link to the complete set of presentations on YouTube.

A special thanks to Gaetan Charland and his team for the great work in producing these videos.

Study Groups and Young People

Gaetan CharlandAfter my return from the Budapest conference, I was contacted by one of our members asking me about the different study group models I know of, because from what this reader said in her message, it was her opinion that the younger generation is less prone to joining study groups the way that most are currently structured.

This is a very important question associated with a more important comment. The question is easy to answer as there exist on different organizations’ website many study aids, guides, articles and experiences shared by readers about the value of study groups and how they can be organized and managed. The difficulty arises when trying to respond to a comment like this about the interest young readers have for the actual ways study groups are conducted, organized or managed. Not being a young reader myself and belonging to a very different generation (I am now 67) I find myself somewhat unqualified to provide good solutions to this problem.

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Dutch Urantia Meeting 21st August

gOn Sunday, August 21st the annual Dutch Urantia Meeting Day was held in a nice conference centre “Groot Kievitsdal” near Baarn. It was the 10th time we celebrated the birth of Michael of Nebadon, incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia, with readers of The Urantia Book.

We could rejoice with a large number of attendees, including 17 new guests visiting this gathering for the first time. It was nice to see that visitors who had joined us in previous years and those who visited for the first time felt a sense of belonging.

During the introduction, attention was paid to the administrative affairs of the SUN (the Urantia Association of the Netherlands). Bernhard Mertens, who passed away in early August after being in hospital for 40 days, was commemorated. Bernhard Mertens and Johan Vandewalle took care of the various presentations for the last few years at our Urantia gatherings. Also Johan and Bernard were planning to provide the first reading for this year.

There is a Urantia candle that we lit as a symbol of the alliance between the Dutch and Belgian Flemish readers of The Urantia Book as some Flemings were our guest this day.

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The Urantia Book Internet School

ubis-website-imageI would like to tell you about the Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS). This adventure of our age is staffed by a team of volunteers; women and men who are devoted to building something substantial and enduring that will assist readers of The Urantia Book.

This undertaking began in late 1998 in order to respond to concerns expressed by isolated readers about their need to study the teachings of The Urantia Book in a structured and stable context while sharing them with other truth seekers around the world. The Internet made this possible.

The Urantia Book Internet School operates on a software platform called Moodle. This open-source software is user-friendly and offers many custom features that the user can choose, as well as a large number of educational tools. Further, its interface has been translated into more than 120 languages.

Overview

The school helps expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception, thereby assisting the authors of The Urantia Book in achieving these aims. It does this by providing an educational environment that is well suited to studying the teachings, while embodying methods that are non-interpretative, non-invasive, and dynamic — resembling the approach that Jesus of Nazareth adopted while he was living on Urantia.

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