Tidings April 2015
In This Issue
Chris Wood – President’s Message
Editor – 2015 International Conference – Quebec
Ed Armonio – Iloilo Urantia Book Readers in the Philippines
Antonio Schefer – New National Association in The Netherlands
Suzanne Kelly – Journal – March 2015 Issue Now Available
Katrina Glavan-Heise – Lone Star Urantia Association Conference
Bobbie Drier – Summer Study Session 2015
Kathleen Swadling – Website Translation Project
International Service Board – Thank You to Outgoing Board Members
Raimo Ala-Hynnila – News from the Finnish Urantia Association
Editor – Good Tidings Announcements
Chris WoodIt is getting harder to cross oceans. The problem is not one of technology or economics but of nationalism. Airline travel is connecting distant spots on the globe, and ticket prices are increasingly affordable; yet, it is increasingly difficult to cross national borders.
The organizers of the 2014 Study Group Symposium found that more than half of visa applications were being denied, often without specific reason. One year later, our Canadian friends are having the same problem trying to help people attend the International Conference in Quebec. In Europe we see the rise of the European Union making it easier for those citizens to cross borders, but greater scrutiny is placed on those from outside countries.
This rise in nationalism is part of the evolutionary progress of our world. As individual countries give way to continental unions, we may see increased tensions with those outside the union but greater peace within membership, increased economic and social benefits, and a closer realization of the worldwide Brotherhood of Man.
In the meantime, how do we as a readership community react to these roadblocks? If worldwide conferences are more difficult to produce, the solution must be to hold more regional, national, and continental conferences to serve our growing and multinational community.
I am pleased to announce our 2016 slate of conferences:
30 July to 2 August
Time is running out! Only two months before Urantia Association’s International Conference in Quebec Canada. (For details Click here)
Register now and benefit from discount fees to attend the 2015 Urantia International Conference in Quebec, Canada. You will save 10% by registering before June 1st and even more if you come from outside Canada, since the current exchange rates are favoring travelers. The early registration fees were extended to June 1st to save you money and help in your planning.
Why should you attend this conference? Because international conferences are unique experiences that foster personal spiritual growth and brotherhood while tremendously enhancing your perception and appreciation of The Urantia Book and its teachings. International conferences have been life-changing experiences for students, triggering insights into our deep potential – the present and profound meaning of God’s plan for us, and the eternal value we may claim in universe service.
This event is focused on spiritual education at many levels, starting in the family as a child and on to a mature adult. There is strong emphasis in The Urantia Book regarding the importance of education; without learning there is no spiritual, social or intellectual progress in the individual and/or society. We all want to play a significant and meaningful part in our own evolution and of the world. This conference could help you do that… so why wait for the next one?
The present is where we live and can act, the future is not open to our mind – this is why you should register now. Time is running out to have the best prices!
Request for Conference Workshops Facilitators
For those of you who are coming or planning to come to the 2015 Urantia International Conference this summer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, here is the program, made available for those who may be interested in facilitating a workshop. This program can be downloaded as a PDF file at:
Ed ArmonioThis is a recent picture taken at Misono restaurant in Jalandoni Jaro, near SM City Mall, Philippines, with Iloilo Urantia Book readers. Some were not able to attend due to some very important activities (graduations) but promised to attend the next time.
We met that afternoon and – as with any first meeting – we shared own personal experiences with The Urantia Book until we parted. They are all looking forward to another meeting this time with other potential, interested readers of The Urantia Book (we received many inquiries when we posted the picture on Facebook). I hope before I go back to the United States, I can have one or two more meetings until I form a Study Group as I had before.
In the picture (from L-R): Ed Armonio, Rey Daguman, an acquaintance whom I introduced to The Urantia Book so many years ago and who was very glad to have a personal copy; Rodel Suriaga, a new reader; Dr. David Deza, a dentist who requested I bring him The Urantia Book from my next visit to the United States; and Ma Lisa Montero, a long time Truth Seeker (a Theosophist) who was looking forward to having her own personal copy of The Urantia Book and her dreams came true.
Some of their expressions upon receiving The Urantia Book:
“My deepest gratitude for giving me the chance to open again The Urantia Book.”
“I truly know the will of the Father is very alive in each one of us.”
“Looking forward to deepening [our understanding] of The Urantia Book.”
“All I had been searching for was found!”
“Thank you, Jesus, for your Holy Spirit!”
On August 21, 2014 a group of twelve long time students of The Urantia Book met in Amsterdam to celebrate Jesus’ Birthday and to charter a new Local Association of Urantia Association International. It was a gorgeous and exciting day to launch a new organization. The chartering ceremony was solemn and beautiful with speeches of welcome, grateful acceptances, the lighting of a commemorative Urantia candle by the Urantia Association International President, Chris Wood, and the signing of the Chartering and Licensing Agreements. The new governing board was formalized with Jaap Terra as President and Treasurer, Samantha Nior as Vice President and Secretary, and Marcel Peereboom as Communications Chair.
The first goal of this new board was to become a National Association before the end of 2014. And this they accomplished with 31 enthusiastic full members. The Representative Council has voted to confirm this association as a National Urantia Association with full voting privileges. This will be an exciting time for this new team of leaders as they set their goals and register their non-profit organization. We hope you will join with us in welcoming Stichting Urantia Nederlandstalig to the Association.
Urantia Association International’s latest Journal is now available on the website. The Journal is a quarterly publication of articles and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book. Click here and choose 2015 No.1 to view and download.
Following is an editorial summary by Suzanne Kelly:
In our second issue of the Journal for 2015 there are two excellent and provocative articles guaranteed to make you think. Each one nicely timed to help shed a little light and put into perspective who we are, and where we are – spiritually and physically. In these tumultuous and trying times of 2015 – the age of instant information, it is almost euphoric to get a snapshot of both. (Cautionary note here, they will both require a good bit of your time and intellect and may result in a new point of reference.)
Our first article The Kingdom of Heaven in the 21st Century, by Olga Lopez, was presented in the chat room of the Urantia Association of Brazil on Easter Sunday last year. As important as it was then, it seems more important now that we rediscover where the Kingdom of Heaven has gone. Olga skillfully leads us through “the origin, history, and destiny of this concept. That is, what the origin of the concept of kingdom was, how it evolved during Jesus’ public life and the later Christianity, and what the future of its realization might be, under the light of The Urantia Book teachings.” One thing however has not lost its meaning through time or the mores of questionably progressing civilization, and that is the definition given by Jesus himself:
The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Lone Star Urantia Association (LSUA) held its 2015 regional conference at the Briarwood Retreat Center in Argyle, Texas (Dallas area) March 20 to 22. Almost 50 attendees were present for the entire conference. Prior to the conference members of the Urantia Association of the United States (UAUS) held their annual Council of Local Presidents meeting.
The program included:
A presentation on Social Architecture by Kaye Cooper.
Send Them A What? A skit written by Suzanne Kelly about a group of Seraphim discussing the possibility of sending Urantian mortals “a book”. These angels and “the 24” were excited about the possibilities and lots of people wanted to get in on the act including Andon and Fonta.
David Glass presented a powerful and moving video he helped to create that showed a beautiful overview of the Local Universe.
Debra Guevara gave a presentation on the Local Universe Mother Spirit – Extending the Hand of Love.
Bobbie DrierTechny Towers
The Urantia Book Fellowship’s Summer Study Sessions have been a tradition in The Urantia Book Community for many years.
Join with fellow readers of The Urantia Book readers this summer as we explore “Our Relationship with God the Father.” With a focus on Papers 1-5, the Fellowship’s Education Committee is initiating a journey through some major themes in The Urantia Book. The conference committee is planning a variety of experiences, including workshops for new readers, in-depth study, and experiential and advanced studies. In addition to the study program, there will be opportunities to participate in worshipful meditation and to enjoy renewing old friendships and making new ones.
Kathleen SwadlingA major project is well underway to translate Urantia Association International’s website into multiple languages.
Right now we have translators working on the French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian languages. Page by page, article by article, this hard working group is gradually producing enough material for us to be able to view the website in these languages.
Already you can view some of the pages that have been uploaded. If you see any page on the website that has a pull down menu of languages, you can view those translated pages on the site. (If you see a box like the one circled in red on the screen print below, you know there are pages in other languages available. Simply use the pull down menu to choose the language.)
Once we have enough translated material available the Website team will start building the other language mirror sites so you will be able to choose a language from the Home page and navigate through the site in that language.
It is truly inspiring to see the level of dedication these translators have in assisting us in this mammoth task. If you would like to help us with this project please do not hesitate to submit a volunteer request via the online Volunteer Application form.
Apart from translators, we need people who can help us upload the translated pages. If you have WordPress knowledge (which is the website software we use) or would like to learn how to update content please let us know. The website is very user friendly and easy to use once you know how.
International Service BoardWe would like to acknowledge and thank our outgoing members of the International Service Board whose terms expired March 31st 2015. Their great work and dedication to Urantia Association International’s mission and goals over the last few years has helped us to keep moving forward in our work for the Urantia revelation.
Merindi Belarski took office April 1, 2007 and served for two full four-year terms as Vice President. She also served as the Chair of the Association’s Representative Council during those same eight years. Merindi proved to be an outstanding Board member, not only doing her assigned duties with efficiency, diplomacy and grace, but also volunteering for several other responsibilities. She served on the project teams for the 2011 Leadership Symposium, the 2014 Study Group Symposium, and the 2015 International Conference. She was the team leader for the coordination of financial aid and visa applications for attendees of all three events. During her tenure Merindi went from being a single woman to becoming a wife, a mother of one, then a mother of two, while holding down a full-time job for much of that time. We are grateful for the wisdom and intelligence that Merindi brought to the Board and wish her well in her future endeavors.
Winter Meeting in Kiljava, Finland
Finnish readers met for their Winter Meeting in Kiljava, Southern Finland 23 – 25 January 2015. Around 40 people attended. The theme was “The Urantia Book and the Heart – Experience the Love of God”
Program lectures and topics included “Poetry and the Heart”; “The meaning of the heart, physical and spiritual”; “The heart, especially in connection to your spiritual life and experience”; “The Kingdom of Heaven in your heart – the teachings of Jesus”. After each topic there was also a workshop and a short summary.
We have two conferences every year and the next will be 12 – 14 June 2015. The theme will be “Great Thinkers and Minds of our Time in the Light of The Urantia Book“. We hope to get also some foreign participants to our conferences. Welcome!
Our summer conference will be held in Sastamala Vuorihotelli about 200 kilometers north from Helsinki. The price for two nights including all meals etc. will be around 200 euros. The Chairman of the Conference Committee will give more information. His email is [email protected]
Our annual Association Meeting will be held during this summer conference. Nowadays there are 83 Association Members in our National Urantia Association.
Finnish Urantia Association
Finnish Summer Meeting
June 12–14, 2015
Great thinkers and Minds of our Time in the Light of The Urantia Book
Sastamala Vuorihotelli (about 200 kilometers north of Helsinki)
For more information contact: [email protected]
Urantia Book Fellowship Summer Study Session 2015
July 9-12, 2015
For information and registration visit http://urantiabook.org
2015 Urantia Association International Conference—Quebec (Canada)
July 30–August 2, 2015
Progressing from Human to Divine—Revealing Ourselves to God
Bishops University in Lennoxville, Quebec
For more information visit http://urantia-association.org/2014/11/01/2015-urantia-association-international-conference
2015 ANZURA Conference
October 9-12, 2015
Faith & Courage – the Pathway to Paradise & Beyond
Sydney Academy of Sport & Recreation
For information and registration visit: http://urantia-association.org/2015/02/15/anzura-conference-2015
Or email [email protected]