Highlights: Service & Administration
Table of Contents
Multilingual Learning Program
Andres Rodriguez, Colombia
The Urantia Book challenges us to meet the needs of the Post-Bestowal Age. Some of these challenges include:
Social fraternity. Multiplication of international and interracial social contacts and fraternal associations through travel, commerce, and competitive play. Development of a common language and the multiplication of multilinguists. The racial and national interchange of students, teachers, industrialists, and religious philosophers.[Paper 52:6.3, page 597.4]
At the beginning of 2020, our outgoing President, Chris Wood, had the idea to meet this challenge and, with his direction, Urantia Association International began a program with this target in mind. Many people around the world dedicated to The Urantia Book teachings who do not speak English as their first language but desire to serve the fifth revelation, are currently limited in their interactions at the international level due to their low proficiency in the English language.
So, in 2020 we began a Language Learning pilot program to facilitate a group of Urantia Book students in learning a new language through a combination of web-based training and interactive conversation based around a study of the revelation. This first pilot program includes a group of Spanish speakers who have been coming together to learn English. For the most part, they represent nine countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Perú, and Venezuela). Based on the lessons and techniques learned from this first experience, we hope to expand the program to English speakers learning Spanish and then introduce more languages from around the globe.
With the help of Wilson León, serving as the Association’s Latin-American Continental Coordinator, and Andrés Ramírez, serving as the Study Group Committee Chair, we met a group of volunteers headed by Fernando Maldonado from Mexico, who serves as the Membership Committee Chair, and Oscar Velasco from Bolivia, who is a young volunteer with a great desire to serve the revelation.
This first group of students were divided into two classes; one led by Fernando for those with an intermediate knowledge of English, who read and discussed The Urantia Book teachings and related documents; the other class was led by Oscar for those with little knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary issues. As Fernando said: “This project helped me to follow that call to serve as a volunteer, to broaden my vision about service to our beloved Father through love, and work with our brothers and sisters.”
In a short time, we expect to have more students and volunteers eager to participate in this program. We hope it will help bring a new generation of leadership out of Latin America to be shared with Urantia Association and Urantia Foundation.
There is a great art to translating The Urantia Book and we are very grateful to Urantia Foundation for their dedicated efforts in bringing the teachings to all languages. We hope to be able to use this effort as a tool to help our group learn new languages and gain a deeper appreciation for The Urantia Book and its teachings. Furthermore, the Foundation’s amazing new feature, the “Multi Language Urantia Book” which is in Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Magyar (Hungarian), Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish, will allow new students of English and other languages to practice intensively and compare simultaneously The Urantia Book teachings in several languages. This online product can be found on Urantia Foundation’s website at: https://www.urantia.org/MultiLanguageBook
International Service Board
Elected Committee Functions
Education (Jeannie Vasquez, Uruguay)
The Education Committee fosters the study of The Urantia Book and facilitates the development of teachers and leaders dedicated to the dissemination of its teachings. Educational materials are created, gathered, and shared to encourage, inspire, and guide students in the study of the book and to develop inherent teaching and leadership skills.
Communications (Kathleen Swadling, Australia)
The Communications Committee oversees Urantia Association’s international communication channels and community relations as they relate to the associations and members, the general community of readers of The Urantia Book, the media, and the public.
Dissemination (Willem Jeths, Brazil)
The Dissemination Committee coordinates the international efforts of Urantia Association to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book and to provide information about the book and the Association.
Study Groups (Andres Ramirez, Colombia)
The Study Group Committee fosters the formation and maintenance of study groups for readers of The Urantia Book worldwide and supports national and local study groups by promoting communication and sharing of methods, ideas, and experiences. It assists readers in finding existing groups and those wishing to create a new group.
Conference (Antonio Schefer, the Netherlands)
The Conference Committee oversees and coordinates international conferences of Urantia Association and assists associations with their regional conferences by promoting their events and making available resource information to help guide them in the planning and organizing process.
Membership (Fernando Maldonado, Mexico)
The Membership Committee assists in the development of new associations of Urantia Association and serves as an information resource for constituent associations regarding membership issues.
Translation Committee (Gabriel Rymberg, Israel)
The Translation Committee provides translation services to the Central Administration in order to facilitate communication among members and to make Urantia Association’s resources available to members speaking various languages.