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Tidings April 2015

boat painting

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

In This Issue

President’s April 2015 Message

Chris Wood

Chris-Wood-framedIt 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:

  • In Europe, Urantia Budapest will host a continental conference under the guidance of the Blue Club. The Blue Club is a multinational Urantia group which has been hosting conferences in central Europe for the last 10 years. With the support of the Association, we hope the Budapest conference will be the largest one yet!
  • In North America, the Urantia Association of the United States will host their National Conference in Texas. Lone Star Urantia Association will organize the event, which will be the first national conference ever in Texas.
  • In Latin America, the Urantia Association of Bogota will host a Latin American Conference in October. The first of what I hope is many such events to follow, the Latin American Conference will aim to serve the fastest growing Urantia community on the planet.

In addition, these three conferences will be working toward the same shared theme: Teacher Training and The Urantia Book. Each will be taking a different view of what the revelation teaches us about being good teachers and good students.

This theme will first be explored this summer at the International Conference in Quebec, from July 30th through August 2nd. “Progressing from Human to Divine” will focus on the education of family and society. Registration is now open and I encourage you all to attend.

As nations throw up roadblocks, Urantia Association International will continue to find routes to unite! I hope to meet you all at a conference in the near future.

In service,
Chris Wood

2015 International Conference – Quebec

UAI 2015 logo_13a

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:


It includes the plenaries as well as the workshops and some instructions on what is expected from the facilitators. Workshops are 90 minutes long, plenaries 30 minutes; experienced presenters have already been selected for the plenaries.

Some workshops are already assigned but many more are still available in different languages such as English, French, and Spanish. In total there are 60 workshops that will be made available to conference participants, enough to satisfy everyone’s interest across many subjects. These workshops will be offered for two full days, 30 workshops each day, with 15 in the morning and 15 in the afternoon. Each workshop curriculum was designed to be relevant to the plenaries preceding them.

When you peruse the program to choose a workshop that you would like to facilitate, notice that some already have names assigned to them. Many of the plenary speakers are facilitating workshops keyed to their presentation, and this offers them an opportunity to practice their teaching skills while participants get the benefits of a personal experience with the presenter and other students.

If you would like to give a workshop that is not offered, it will be considered if it is relevant to the program, or reflects the teachings of The Urantia Book. You may submit your idea and each application will be reviewed to ensure that it reflects the goal of the conference.

Workshops are a great way to participate and grow during a conference; for those who facilitate them, they offer a rare opportunity to share, learn, and teach new ideas and concepts that can enhance spiritual living. So, be enthusiastic in your desire to share your concepts of the teachings and learn—choose a workshop of your liking, you will never regret or forget your experience!

Your choice is required by June 1, with the information required on page 6 of the program.  Please allow a few days to respond to your request. We will also provide you with an informative document on how to facilitate a workshop; we will do all we can to make your contribution a unique experience.

Do not forget to register as soon as you can at:
https://www.regonline.ca/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1643032 and enjoy the benefits of early registrants. This offer expires the 1st of June.

Iloilo Urantia Book Readers in the Philippines

Ed Armonio

Iloilo Urantia Book Readers at Misono Restaurant March   21MAr15This 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!”

Ed Armonio


New National Association in The Netherlands – Stichting Urantia Nederlandstalig

Antonio Schefer

Netherlands Association

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.

Journal – March 2015 Issue Now Available

Suzanne Kelly

UAI Journal online newsletter header copy

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.

Suzanne KellyFollowing 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 Master made it clear that the kingdom of heaven must begin with, and be centered in, the dual concept of the truth of the fatherhood of God and the correlated fact of the brotherhood of man… [Paper 170:2.1, page 1859:11]

What has been lost is the understanding of the brotherhood of man and Olga helps us map our way back to this knowledge – by reminding us … we all have the keys to enter the kingdom; “The unconditional faith of a little child who accepts to do the Father’s will with no conditions, no ‘buts’, no prejudices, no questions, resting assured that, if we give ourselves to the Father, then we are in the best hands. And, what is the act of God accepting our faith as the price of admission in the kingdom? It’s forgiveness.”  And as for the return of Jesus, when we ALL ask him – he will return…

Our next essay by Israel Dix Urantia, 606 of Satania is a well stated and dazzling endeavor at numbering the stars. Buckle up, and let Israel be your tour guide as you are about to take “a journey over some steep, rocky terrain, number-crunching math, and, out of necessity I’m afraid, plenty of interesting quotes. Lots of them. However, there is the added energy boost in knowing that, staying the course, there is at the end of our trek a beautiful picture, a surprisingly organized structure—the Satania System of worlds. So bear with me up this hill we are about to climb.” Starting with the decimal planet status we enjoy on Urantia his clarification of 606 vs. 610 had me in orbit briefly – but when I realized also that one in ten is different than “about one in ten” – it all made sense J.  For all you astronomers and mathematicians reading this excellent foray into formulas you will be giddy with the philosophy of it all.  For all you other readers you will be dizzy with the philosophy of it all, so either way it is a wonderful and fun roller-coaster of intellectual, hints, clues and discoveries, and at every turn, he makes macros out of micros and micros out of us all… whew! What a spatial outing that was!

Happy and enlightened reading!!

Suzanne Kelly
Journal Editor

Lone Star Urantia Association Conference

Katrina Glavan-Heise

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

2015 Hitchikers Guide Lone Star ConfLone 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.

2015 Lone Star ConfSend 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.

Will Sherwood, President of UAUS talked about the Geometric Growth of the Urantia Movement. He encouraged each of us to continue our efforts to spread teachings of The Urantia Book. He said that if every person who reads the book successfully introduced it to one other, they will be directly contributing to this geometric growth.

Rick Guevara talked about the Material Sons and Daughters and went into detail about the default of Adam and Eve.

Jean-Pierre Heudier stimulated a lively discussion with his presentation, Hitchhiking Our Way from the Schools of Earth to the Schools of Salvington that guided the attendees through the various training schools presented in The Urantia Book.

Chris Wood, President of Urantia Association International talked on A Messed Up Look at the Mansion Worlds, an elaborate ruse to talk about and show pictures of his children! Chris shared delightful stories which demonstrated how our planet is “messed up.” (He was referring, of course, to our non-standard development.)

Richard Jernigan showed his video on Urantia, Nebadon and the Master Universe. It is an exploration of Urantia’s numerical relation to its local universe of Nebadon and the Master Universe based on the cosmology in The Urantia Book. Click here to view this amazing 5-minute video.

Exploring the Astronomy of Nebadon. John Causland shared his ideas about some of the confusing language in The Urantia Book relating to the cosmos. He pointed out that in the early 1900s and 1920’s old language was still in use. He suggested that the revelators waited until Hubble published his work that set the direction for the astronomy of the future.

On Sunday morning everyone was treated with another skit, You Are Here, about John Smith waking up on mansion world number one, meeting his new associates and finding out about his eternal career.

Gaetan Charland finished the weekend with a talk about the Publication Mandate and the importance of fostering more study groups.

To see LSUA’s newsletter with a detailed account and photos of the conference click here

Summer Study Session 2015

Bobbie Drier

Techny Towers
Northbrook, Illinois
July 9-12

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.

Although readers gather for a variety reasons, a major incentive for attending is the high quality of the workshops that are offered.  The conference team is requesting workshop proposals appropriate for new readers as well as in-depth study for “veterans.” There will be a track for workshops that are primarily experiential, but all workshop leaders should plan to engage participants actively.

If you have an idea for a workshop on this summer’s theme, please request a Workshop Proposal Form from David Kulieke, david.kulieke@gmail.com.

Save the date and plan to celebrate! (A preconference retreat will be held from July 7-9.) Online registration available on the Fellowship’s website www.urantiabook.org.

Bobbie Drier

Website Translation Project

Kathleen Swadling

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.)

Screen grab 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.

Private: Thank You to Outgoing Board Members

International Service Board

We 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 B 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.

Vern Verass took office April 1, 2007 and served for two full four-year terms as the Communications Chair. Vern is a professional graphic designer and was a powerhouse of creativity. During his tenure he led and directed the editorial boards of our three main publications: Tidings, Journal and the Annual Report and redesigned their appearance and layout. He was at the forefront of the re-creation of the Association’s website and served on the subsequent revision team. Vern designed a new logo for the Association and developed a Logo Usage Policy as well as a Style Guide, which insures consistent visual branding across the entire Association. Vern was always eager to serve, create, and participate wherever and whenever he could. We will miss his bubbly personality and his positive outlook on life, but the good news is that he has agreed to be a member of the Communications Committee and will continue to use his expertise in the production of our publications.

Bernie B served for one four-year term from 2011 to 2015 and served as the Dissemination Chair. Bernie is a great ideas man and was responsible for coordinating many international efforts of outreach and dissemination of The Urantia Book. He provided information about The Urantia Book and Urantia Association to the general public, responded to reader and non-reader inquiries, helped associations to get involved in book fairs, and assisted study groups in some of the developing countries to insure they had sufficient books for their members. Bernie is a devoted and dedicated student of The Urantia Book and intends to continue to serve the revelation in whatever way he can. 

Bill Beasley took over from James Woodward as the Study Group Chair in October 2012 and dedicated much of his time as Urantia Association’s representative in the development of the Study Group Directory, which was a combined team effort of the three prominent Urantia organizations: Urantia Foundation, Urantia Association International, and the Urantia Book Fellowship. He also contributed to the planning and organization of the 2014 Study Group Symposium planning team. Bill’s experience and business background proved valuable to the board and his wise advice was always appreciated. Bill will never stop serving the revelation; we know he has a passion for study groups and will continue to foster them for as long as he possibly can.

News from the Finnish Urantia Association

Raimo Ala-Hynnila

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.

Summer Conference

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 konferenssikomitea-pj@urantia.fi

Our annual Association Meeting will be held during this summer conference. Nowadays there are 83 Association Members in our National Urantia Association.

Raimo Ala-Hynnila
Finnish Urantia Association

Good Tidings Announcements

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: konferenssikomitea-pj@urantia.fi

Urantia Book Fellowship Summer Study Session 2015

July 9-12, 2015
Techny Towers
Northbrook, Illinois
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
Narrabeen, NSW
For information and registration visit: http://urantia-association.org/2015/02/15/anzura-conference-2015
Or email anzura@urantia-anzura.org