Overcoming Materialism, Enlightening Europe
(Editor’s note: The Urantia Association of Spain, Urantia Association International, and the European Organizing Committee worked hard to create this event in Southern Europe to unite the European Urantia Community once again for our third European Urantia Conference.)
The 3rd European Conference of Urantia Book readers was held at the Sol Don Pablo Hotel in Torremolinos (Malaga, Spain) from October 20 to 23. Almost 70 readers attended from different parts of Europe and the rest of the world (from Georgia in Eastern Europe to the United States and Argentina in the American continent). With summer temperatures, we were able to enjoy not only the weather, but also the good company of other readers and some activities related to the theme of the conference and the theme of self-mastery, to which several workshops were dedicated.
This third European conference was intended to have a practical focus, so that attendees would return home with new ideas and tools to improve the art of self-mastery. Hence, the workshops of the so-called “route of self-mastery” had a theoretical part and a practical part in which the participation of the attendees was a prerequisite. To facilitate the organization, two routes were defined by language: English and Spanish, which worked independently but always focused on the same theme: self-mastery under the light of the teachings of The Urantia Book. As they developed independently, the approaches were different but equally enriching. There were readers who attended activities in both languages, so multilingual people had the advantage of seeing these different approaches. But there were also joint activities that maintained the cohesion of the group of attendees thanks to the translation services.
Since this was the first international face-to-face conference since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone was eager to meet again and catch up. For this reason, the organizers (who I would like to thank for their hard work) wanted to encourage social interactions by including two excursions in the program: the first one on Friday 21st in the morning, when we visited the Dolmens of Antequera, which are megalithic monuments older than Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt; and the second excursion on Saturday 22nd in the evening, when we took a walk through the city of Malaga accompanied by a guide who reviewed the millenary history of the city (founded by the Phoenicians) and told funny anecdotes about certain corners and the character of the local people. That night all the attendees enjoyed a typical dinner at a restaurant located on one of the beaches of Malaga.
On a personal note, this was my first conference as a Trustee of Urantia Foundation, where I had a chance to chat with many readers. I met new readers and continued to cultivate old friendships. I spent time listening carefully and trying to look beyond the program of activities to gauge the health of the Urantia community in Europe, and I must say that the development of the community of readers on this continent continues apace. There are capable leaders working tirelessly to keep the community cohesive. I also saw that the presentations and workshops have evolved: their format has diversified, the content has deepened, and the participation of the readers is more sought after. Above all, they apply the teachings in their daily lives.
For all these reasons, I am certain that a milestone has been reached in the development of the European reading community. Despite being scattered in many countries of different languages, European readers have created a common space from which to build a network of support to overcome materialism and enlighten Europe.