I worry that we are swimming upstream when we try to insert younger adults into study groups made up entirely of older people. Many times I have been one of the token young adults at Urantia events, and while I am glad that I attended them, being the odd man out always held an undertone of discomfort; and I did, at one point, stop attending a study group when I felt like I simply could not fit in. I think that I was more tolerant of the age difference than the average person, and to ask that of every younger attendee is asking a lot.
I have been enjoying studying the book independently for the past several years. I do, however, long for the community aspect of simply spending an evening with other students of The Urantia Book. A younger friend of mine says that she does not attend a study group because she just doesn’t like to sit with a group to study; she prefers to learn about the book through normal, informal conversation. If we have no alternative group to attend, we would, to a large extent, be left out of the Urantia community.
In my region, there are a few young families within a few hours drive of each other and I am determined to form whatever cohesiveness I can with them. I took a first step last summer when my family went on a joint vacation with one of the other families, and I hope to do three family friendly get-togethers per year that include these families. These visits will mostly be fun socializing, with some Urantia mixed in—too small and informal to be called a conference and too much play to be called a study group. One might think that forming and maintaining regional friendships is just something that would happen naturally, but in my experience, it takes time, effort, prodding, and stubbornness.
I think it is worth encouraging friendships and small events specifically geared toward regional groups of younger adults that are Urantia focused without necessarily being study focused, so that younger readers can find a way to be included in the wider Urantia community.