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Tidings – December 2021

Image by Angeles Balaguer

In This Issue

President’s Message – December 2021

Enrique Traver

Enrique Traver “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.”

God-knowing creatures have only one supreme ambition, just one consuming desire, and that is to become, as they are in their spheres, like him as he is in his Paradise perfection of personality and in his universal sphere of righteous supremacy. From the Universal Father who inhabits eternity there has gone forth the supreme mandate, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.” In love and mercy the messengers of Paradise have carried this divine exhortation down through the ages and out through the universes, even to such lowly animal-origin creatures as the human races of Urantia. [Paper 1:0.3, page 21.3]

When I read this paragraph for the first time, many emotions and doubts filled my mind. There are so many truths in this text that it’s difficult to choose which to focus on.

One thing that gets our attention is the perfection of God. When we think about God, his perfection, and our desire to fulfill his command to be perfect as he is, we can become confused.

A first thought would be the mistaken idea that reaching the perfection of God is the same thing as “becoming a God." Of course, it is a mistaken idea since God is much more than a perfect being. His perfection could perhaps be summed up as his unity and balance, the unity of the physical, mental and spiritual energies divinely coordinated by personality. Yes, this is something we can achieve if we wish. Yet God IS, not only the unity of these energies, but he is the source of them. We can achieve balance and unity of our physical, mental and spiritual energies but we will never become the source of those energies. Yes, we can be perfect as he IS in our spheres of action, but we would never “be God.”

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Reflections: Ibero-American Urantiathon – November 2021

A Spiritual and Fraternal Feast

The Ibero-American Urantiathon held by Urantia Association International and sponsored by Urantia Foundation on November 20th and 21st, 2021, was a beautiful showcase of study and discernment, with presentations offered by sixteen Urantia Book students of all ages from many Ibero-America countries, in Spanish and Portuguese with simultaneous translations into Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

The theme of this Urantiathon was "Leadership and Spirituality," offering a wide range of interesting views on the challenges of leadership in the Urantia movement, service, spirituality, the reality of religious experience, leadership in everyday life, and more.

Below, we present the pearls of thought shared by some presenters:

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2024 Urantia Association International Conference

Michael Zehr, USA

The Nature and Nurture of the Soul

28 to 31 March 2024
Maritime Conference Center, Baltimore, Maryland USA

Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. (159:3.8)

The Urantia Association of the United States would like to invite you to attend the 12th Urantia Association International 2024 Conference, to be held from the afternoon of March 28th, until noon on March 31 in Baltimore, MD, USA. Full details can be found at: 2024 International Conference. Don't delay - early discount ends soon!

The program includes eight topics—four related to the nature of the soul and four related to nurturing our soul. Topics will be introduced by plenary speakers; group discussion and study will be facilitated by breakout leaders. In addition, there will be evening music, entertainment, and worship.

Attendees can stay afterwards at the conference center to enjoy the culture and attractions of Baltimore or visit nearby Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom festival.

Come set sail with us on March 28, 2024!

The Journal Publication—Latest News


Urantia Association International’s Journal has been in publication for over two decades and is published in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese) twice yearly (May and November.) It contains in-depth essays, articles, and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book.

Over the years, many students of the book have expressed their appreciation of this publication and value the many thoughtful insights contributed by their fellow students. We publish articles about personal spiritual experiences as well as fresh insights and new perspectives of the Urantia Book teachings. Also of interest are thematic studies and articles that compare, evaluate, or integrate other research (scientific, social, religious, or otherwise) with the teachings of The Urantia Book.

Recent times have impacted our social interactions, even halted our in-person study groups so it’s a great time to catch up with your reading and subscribe to your very own hard copy of the Journal. Although it is available electronically free of charge, we have recently upgraded and redesigned the hard copy version for those who prefer to read this kind of in-depth publication offline. (See below for subscription details.)

Calling for Submissions

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2021 ANZURA Virtual Conference Report

Kathleen Swadling, Sydney

This year’s 2021 ANZURA conference, hosted by our Sydney team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 2nd October. Once again, for all the “new normal” reasons we had to cancel our in-person event. We had high hopes all year that we could meet face-to-face as we saw our case numbers rapidly diminish to almost zero and then… as we all know, Delta hit and cases soared, so it was back to square one. Nevertheless, since we are told that disappointment is actually good for us, we joyfully knuckled down to figure out how we could adjust our plans accordingly.

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Hand in Hand with Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS)

Joanne Strobel, UBIS Executive Director, Georgia, USA

The mission of Urantia Foundation is to seed The Urantia Book and its teachings globally. The mission of Urantia Association International is to foster the in-depth study of the book and the dissemination of its teachings—teachings which have the potential to rejuvenate spirituality in this world and enhance the comfort, happiness and well-being of every person. I have the privilege of serving in both organizations, and it is no coincidence that we overlap, especially in the area of educational outreach.

Urantia Foundation’s online school began in the late nineties, when the internet was still in its nascency. The vision of trustee Georges Michelson-Dupont became a reality thanks to a team of enthusiastic and dedicated readers who in turn recruited students to join as staff members and fellow facilitators.  And it still works that way. UBIS has always fostered peer-to-peer facilitation, rather than the credentialing of teachers. We offer training in the art of group dynamics and in the development of insightful questions that help students explore layers of facts, meanings, and values. Every individual has a unique experience of the revelation, and the soulful sharing of these insights and new-found truths animate our course discussion periods.   

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The Meaning of Christmas

Mark Blackham, Canada

Image by Kerut
As most of us know, Christmas began as a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and to many it still is. On Christian websites, the meaning of Christmas is said to be a celebration of God’s love for the world, or the celebration of the God-man who came to earth for the salvation of all people. And on other sites, it is a time to glorify God and Jesus.

For those who are not so religious, Christmas has come to mean something a little different. The meaning of Christmas in more secular circles also includes a celebration of love (but not God’s love), and other meanings center around friends, family traditions, helping others, and peace on earth. These are meaningful interpretations of Christmas but they do not represent the whole truth.

Fortunately, those of us blessed with the revelation have a more profound understanding of why Jesus bestowed himself on our world. Christmas, even though it does not coincide with the actual birth date of Jesus, is still a great time to celebrate, especially for the people of Urantia.

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Video Part 4D: Ancient Orvonton, and a Young Cosmic Web

The Urantia Book presents a cosmology that stirs the soul: a central and perfect universe, fringed by spacetime shallows in which finaliters are born—finaliters, destined to launch from this cosmic continental shelf into oceanic depths, seeding the light and life of personality throughout nested levels of outer space.

Soul stirring indeed! A cosmology pervaded by meaning and value, eclipsing in its scope our finest Sci-fi. What a relief from the consensus-materialist models that native science has managed to evolve.

However, right after having thus stirred our souls, the authors pour cold water over our expectations.

…within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision… [Paper 101:4.2, page 1109.3]

“Will stand in need of revision.” When compared with current consensus cosmology of a young universe beginning with a hot Big Bang, the cosmology of The Urantia Book is so unorthodox, and so apparently wrong, that some students of these papers now see this cosmology as little more than decoration for the book’s more important themes: its spiritual and philosophical revelations. But take another look at the “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that they were limited in what scientific facts they could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting.

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The Jesus Museum and The Jesus Metaverse

We'd like to share with you two projects we've been working on for some time now: The Jesus Museum and the Jesus Metaverse

The world needs a new vision of the Master’s life on earth. 

Urantia Book students are now building the Jesus Metaverse—an online portal that will offer an immersive presentation of Jesus’ entire life as portrayed in The Urantia Book.  Jesus’ story and teachings will also be featured in the planned Jesus Museum, near the Sea of Galilee.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a museum entirely devoted to Jesus? Have you ever dreamed of building a temple to the unseen Father?  Such a venue, situated at a most befitting location, will focus on our heavenly Father (as revealed by The Urantia Book and Jesus) and promote the religion of Jesus. 

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Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie – Obituary

Irmeli Ivalo Sjölje passed away on November 28th in Helsinki, Finland at the age of 92. She will be greatly missed around the world by the Urantia Book reader community and many others from all walks of life. In 2007, Irmeli was appointed an Associate Trustee of Urantia Foundation and also served as a Urantia Book ambassador for the Foundation. She traveled widely, attending conferences and study groups, and assisting with many bookfairs.

Over the decades, Irmeli worked faithfully to disseminate The Urantia Book in her home country of Finland as well as in Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. She lived in Brazil for 20 years and played a significant role in facilitating the printing of the Portuguese translation. After teaming up with Werner Sutter (a German/Canadian Urantia Book reader) in 1999, they devoted their lives to assisting with book distribution in Europe. Irmeli was also instrumental in the creation of a book placement project in Dallas, Texas.

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About Tidings Newsletter

The Tidings newsletter is a quarterly on-line publication that serves as Urantia Association International’s primary communication tool for reaching out to the Association’s membership, supporters, donors, volunteers, and general readership friends. It provides news and information on the many activities and events of the National or Affiliate Urantia Associations around the globe as well as information and announcements from Central Office, the International Service Board (ISB), and the Representative Council (RC). It serves to keep members in touch with one another and gives readers a sense of belonging—of being an integral part of a truly international movement that is designed to promote the Urantia revelation to all corners of the world.

Note: Tidings also occasionally provides news of other Urantia-related activities and events that may be of interest to our supporters and friends. Please note that any interpretations, opinions, conclusions, or artistic representations, whether stated or implied, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Urantia Association International, the National or Affiliate Urantia Associations, or the editorial team of the Association’s Tidings.

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Ways to Donate to Urantia Association International

Artist: Carlos Rubinsky
The world is changing fast and Urantia Association International is in a unique position to foster the Urantia revelation in so many ways. With localized teams in the form of associations springing up across the globe, we are ready to help anyone, anywhere, to study and spread the teachings that we all hold so dear.  

The Association has only one paid staff member to manage and coordinate our worldwide activities. All other services are rendered by devoted students who donate their time (and often their treasure) to the projects that help bring us closer to our heavenly Father. Thank you to our faithful volunteers and donors!  

Here is a selection of ways to donate to Urantia Association: 

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