David Linthicum, our current Dissemination Committee Chairman, will finish his term as chairman on March 31, 2019. David’s successor is Willem Jeths who was raised in the Netherlands and holds degrees in biology, science, and mathematics and speaks Dutch, English, German, and Portuguese. Willem currently resides in the south of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
We welcome Willem and wish to offer our thanks to David for his service to the Association, not just in his role as Dissemination Chair on Urantia Association’s International Service Board, but also for his twenty-plus years of service to Urantia Association of the United States (UAUS) where he served two terms as Treasurer, two terms as President, served as the Study Groups Chair, and also served on the International Association’s Judicial Commission. David remains active in his local association as a charter member of Spirit of Oklahoma.
The primary function of the Dissemination Committee is the dissemination of The Urantia Book. During David’s term in office hundreds of books have been distributed, with the help of willing souls around the planet. This could not have been accomplished without the energetic support of people “on the ground” in their native countries. David’s committee has identified and worked with several individuals to get the book placed in prominent institutions and to study groups and individuals in places as far as Fiji, Cuba, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia, Palestine, the Philippines, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
In addition, the Dissemination Committee supports book fairs around the world which are visited by tens of thousands of people each year. Most of the recent efforts have been focused on book fairs in Latin America which has seen an accelerated interest in the revelation. It is noted that Brazil accounts for almost half of all new readers identified by the Reader Services sub-committee.
Reader Services is a recent addition to the Dissemination Committee; its purpose is communication with those who contact either Urantia Foundation or the Association. A welcoming letter is sent to each individual and their contact information is then forwarded on to our local or national association’s chosen representatives who follow-up with offers to assist with questions, finding study groups, conferences etc. For those who live outside the United States it is comforting to hear back from someone in the Association that speaks their native language. Person-to-person communication is always the most enduring experience.
Dissemination’s Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT) which began in 2004, remains an integral part of the committee. Over the years this team has answered 4,400 inmate letters and delivered around 2,100 books to those who languish in some of the darkest places on the planet, our nation’s prisons. This was once a function provided by Urantia Foundation. Our team also supports inmate-led study groups at various facilities. We opened a new Canada chapter a couple of years ago and is currently in communication with representatives in Finland who are actively sending books to all the penal institutions there. When asked why the Association spends resources on “prisoners” we remind people of Jesus’ statement concerning sinners:
“This kingdom is an everlasting dominion. Those who enter the kingdom shall ascend to my Father; they will certainly attain the right hand of his glory in Paradise. And all who enter the kingdom of heaven shall become the sons of God, and in the age to come so shall they ascend to the Father. And I have not come to call the would-be righteous but sinners and all who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of divine perfection.” [Paper 137:8.16, page 1537.3]
Much remains to be done. Due to the generosity of our membership, Dissemination has accomplished much in our efforts to get the teachings of The Urantia Book into the hands of so many who hunger and thirst for the divine truths it contains. The Global Seeding Fund is integral to our mission of disseminating the Fifth Epochal Revelation. We thank you for your support.