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Tidings Jan-Feb 2015

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In This Issue

Chris Wood – President’s Message
Editor –  2015 Urantia Association International Conference
Editor – 2015 International Conference Program Schedule
Anton Miroshnichenko  Spreading The Urantia Book in Ukraine
Editor – New International Service Board Members
James Woodward  Virtual Study Group, Symmetry of Soul
Editor –  Virtual Inspirational Messages
Susan Owen  Farewell to Shirley Pelland
Editor –  Good Tidings Conference and Meeting Announcements

In This Issue

President’s February 2015 Message

Chris Wood

Chris-Wood-framedFellow students of The Urantia Book, I want to give you exciting updates on four of the many ongoing projects the Urantia Association International is juggling.

In December we called for donations to help send a shipment of books to Zambia and Malawi, two countries with growing reader communities in southern Africa. Thanks to many generous donors and our dedicated “Seed” funding, 200 copies of The Urantia Book set sail across the Atlantic. The ones to Malawi have already arrived safely.

Photo0855There are eight study groups in Malawi, with 60 people who have finished their first reading of The Urantia Book, and there are many more who are eagerly reading. This shipment of books will allow for students to have their own copies as well as copies of the book to be placed in universities, hospitals, and libraries throughout the country. As many of you would know, Malawi has recently suffered from devastating floods, with half of the country being declared an emergency disaster zone. Grevet Moyo, who serves as Association President in Malawi, and Rick Lyon, former Executive Director of Urantia Association International, have teamed up to sell Malawi art in the United States to help one village. (Anyone wishing to purchase some of these paintings can contact the Central Office or Rick at [email protected].)

village

In Zambia there are 14 study groups, with an average of eight attendees per group, all of whom share copies of The Urantia Book. There are many stories about the Forum members’ excitement when they were allowed to take copies of The Urantia Book home for personal study and to share with family and friends. In Zambia that same feeling of excitement will soon be shared by dozens of dedicated students.

In spring 2014, the Urantia Association of Ukraine began a project to distribute books in their country. Working with the Urantia Association International and Urantia Foundation, a pallet of books were imported to Kiev. This winter a new step forward was achieved when the major bookstore chain in Kiev began to carry copies of The Urantia Book! This is a short-term experiment to see how well it sells, but right now shoppers see The Urantia Book highlighted in the bookstores near cash registers and in recommended reading shelves. Progress is often indiscernible; at times like these when progress is readily apparent, we must all cheer and congratulate the good team in Ukraine! Bravo!

Finally, our International Conference in Quebec, Canada, ought not be missed. Students of The Urantia Book from around the world will gather to study, worship, and commune together across different languages and cultures. We have already confirmed attendees from six continents, with a program designed to explore the progression from Human to Divine, featuring workshops conducted in three languages and real-time translations of our plenary speeches. You will be able to meet and speak with members of our Central Office as well as the International Service Board and the International Representative Council. It will be a rare opportunity to see the teachings of the revelation through the lens of dozens of cultures.

The Urantia Association International continues to grow because of the dedicated service of students who reach out to help our small but motivated communities. More and more people are being touched by the teaching that we are all children of a loving God and therefore are brothers and sisters. What better message could we carry forward from generation to generation?

In service,
Chris Wood
President

2015 Urantia Association International Conference

Conference Committee

AssocConf_2015 Mailchimp headerD

30 July to 2 August

Registration is now open!

Register Now  Inscrivez-vous  Regístrese ahora  Cadastre-se agora

Dear Friends and Readers of The Urantia Book,

Time is running out! Register now for Urantia Association’s International Conference in Quebec Canada.

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.

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.

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!

Click here for the Conference Schedule

Sponsorship

We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this event—many readers are coming from around the world and our financial aid committee is working hard to collect funds and manage requests from readers who need your help to attend this conference. If you feel generous, please give to our Scholarship Fund by clicking here.

Children’s Program

Children under the age of 13 are free!  A special “Children’s Program” will be provided.  Details of this program will be provided in the coming weeks.

Venue

250px-Rue_Wellington_Nord[1]The 2015 Urantia Association International Conference will be held at Bishop’s University in the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec Province in Canada.   Sherbrooke is a city of just over 152,000 people, making it the 6th largest city in Quebec.  Sherbrooke rests at the confluence of the Saint-François and the Magog Rivers.  There are eight educational institutions serving over 40,000 students.  The area has numerous parks and historical sites to visit and Montreal is only two hours away.

Use these links for more information on touring the Quebec City region and the Charlevoix region around the venue.

And discover the spirit and essence of Bishop’s University in this short film.

https://youtu.be/EMvbHKp39B4

Lodging

campus-aerial-1[1]Bishop’s University will be the home of this international event.  There will be several lodging options on campus.

  • Single room with semi-private bathroom
  • Double occupancy with two single beds and shared bathroom
  • Suite – four bedrooms (3 single, one double), two baths, living room and kitchenette.

Meals are included with the lodging or with commuter registration and will be furnished by the campus cafeteria and will provide for a variety of dietary needs.  The university will not provide toiletries.

For lodging options near the venue, click here:  Local Lodging Options

Travel and Transportation

The nearest international airport is Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport which is two hours from the venue.  There are several ground transportation options to choose from.  Please use this link for more detailed information – Ground Transportation.

Need Financial Aid?

The deadline has now passed for requests for financial aid to the conference.

Request for Conference Workshops Facilitators

For those of you who are coming or planning to come to this conference a detailed program is available for those who may be interested in facilitating a workshop. This can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking here (for English) or here (for French).

To apply to be a workshop facilitator click here (for English) of here (for French)

The program 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.

The conference plenaries and workshops will also offer insights on how to help children initiate their relationship with God the Father, and how we as adults, parents and grand-parents can help and be part of this progressive process.

Optional Program

Bishops University Astronomy Ad 2014Bishop’s University has a new observatory with the latest telescopes.  On Friday night July 31st, there will be a special 45 minute presentation of “A Brief Tour of the Universe” followed by telescope viewing on the ASH Observatory deck.  The group will then go inside the dome to see the skies through the new PlaneWave 17″ (f/6.8) Dall-Kirkham corrected optical design telescope. Tickets can be purchased with your registration.

for more information go to: http://physics.ubishops.ca/observatory/

 

We hope you plan your summer vacation to this beautiful part of Quebec, but more importantly, pleas join your brothers and sisters for this special international event .

Register Now Inscrivez-vous  Regístrese ahora  Cadastre-se agora

For questions, email Gaetan Charland or Line St. Pierre at: [email protected]

2015 International Conference Program Schedule

UAI 2015 logo_13a

Following are the plenaries for you to appreciate. Also see further on for the Program Schedule. Workshops will be published soon for readers to volunteer as facilitators.

Day One

1. The Child and His Education (Lourdes Burga-Cisneros) 

The Urantia Book teaches us that the universe is a great school where we are both student and teacher. The education of children is basic in the outlining of the character on which the Adjuster will lean on to do his work within the mind, where the great responsibility of parents is involved. This plenary is a reflection on the importance of creating an environment conducive to the growth of the child.

2. The Tools of Socialization of Children (Chris Wood)

This plenary will reflect on the concepts of The Urantia Book in regard to socializing our children. The most effective agent of socialization is the couple and the manner in which the father and mother will live their relationship, because it leads more effectively to virtue than to precepts.

  • the influence of family (nuclear and extended) in the socialization of  children;
  • the importance of playful aspects in learning teamwork;
  • the importance of real and imaginary journeys as engines of creativity;
  • the importance of domestic and social responsibilities in the acquisition of maturity.
3. Spiritual Unity of the Family (Tamara Strumfeld)

The Urantia Book teaches us that the home is the fundamental human institution for the development of civilization. Jesus taught his apostles to look for spiritual unity over uniformity of beliefs in both the couple and the family. This plenary explores the issue of relationships within the family.

Day Two

1. Human Dignity (pending approval)

Respect for human dignity is to recognize the divine nature of man since we are all children of God created in His image. But how can we really make human dignity the cornerstone of our relationship? What influences do the religions of authority have on the self-assertion of our dignity? How do associations of personalities and expression of mutual affection promote the acquisition of social maturity?

2. The Art of Living (Sheila Keene- Lund)

There is a positive force in the knowledge that you live for the welfare of others, and that others may contribute to your well-being and evolution. “Everything you would want men to do to you, do so to them” is the Golden Rule. What is the best way to awaken the beneficial latent powers sleeping in the soul? Although the spirit is our goal, the flesh is a fact. How to live in modern times? How to apply our acquired knowledge and wisdom in everyday life?

3. The Frame of Spiritual Mind (Richard Lachance)

Although religion is a matter of personal experience, it is important to know other religious expressions to avoid becoming egocentric and narrow-minded. But what are the necessary conditions to explore the spiritual world without losing one’s own direction? What roles can truth, wisdom, and knowledge play in the many missteps of the experience? The uncertainty in security is the essence of the Paradise adventure. 

Day Three

1. Revealing Our Selves to God Through Service (Sue Tennant)

Understanding service as a tool for growth; demonstrating the different types of services (personal service, service to society, to the Supreme Being) and how they can support spiritual growth. Explore the idea of service as a means of expression and realization of our human potential. Demonstrate the value of love in service and the worth of experience in growth.

2. Our Cosmic Adventure and the Supreme Being (Jeffrey Wattles)

Intellectual and spiritual growth are man’s experiential goals that unfold within the potentials of the Supreme Being. It is with recognition toward evolving Deity that we exist and progress: “In him we move and have our being.”

Program Schedule

Thursday July 30th, 2015 – Registration Day

3:00 – 9:00         Registration
6:00 – 7:00         Dinner
7:30 – 9:00         Opening ceremony

Friday July 31, 2015 – Day 1
Theme: Family
Creating an enabling environment for the development of the child

7:00 – 7:30         Meditation
7:30 – 8:30         Breakfast
8:45 – 10:15       Plenaries
10:40 –12:15      Workshops
12:15 – 1:30       Lunch
2:00 – 3:00         Plenary
3:15 – 4:45         Workshops
6:00 – 7:00         Dinner
7:30 –                 Entertainment
7:30 – 9:00          Planetary Program

Saturday August 1st, 2015 – Day 2
Theme: The individual
Encourage balanced growth

7:00 – 7:30          Meditation
7:30 – 8 :30         Breakfast
8:45 –10:15         Plenaries
10:40 – 12:15      Workshops
12:15 – 1:30        Lunch
2:00 – 3:00          Plenary
3:15 – 4:45          Workshops
6 :00 – 7:00         Dinner
7: 30 –                 Entertainment

Sunday August 2nd, 2015 – Day 3
Theme: Society and Brotherhood
Progressing from human to divine: revealing ourselves to God

7:00 – 7:30         Meditation
7:30 – 8:30         Breakfast
8:45 – 10:15       Plenaries
10:40 – 12:15     Closing Ceremony
12:15 – 1:30       Lunch

Spreading The Urantia Book in Ukraine

Anton Miroshnichenko

 

Anton Miroshnichenko-photoI conducted a study on the possibility of spreading The Urantia Book through the book trading network in Ukraine. Based on my research, I can describe the following possible book distribution channels in Ukraine.

 

Individual sales over the Internet

Ukrainian UBWe posted an announcement with a proposition to buy The Urantia Book at the Urantia Association of Ukraine Website, http://www.urantia.org.ua/p/2013.html, as well as on all possible free resources on the Internet (Websites ads, catalogs). Readers could order by phone or by email. A buyer could pay for the book on delivery. Shipping was done through commercial delivery service, “Nova Poshta” (New Mail). This delivery method was very convenient because in Ukraine there is a network of delivery offices. Buyers need to come to the nearest office in his/her city and pick up his purchase. The average delivery period in Ukraine is 1-2 days, and postage for one book costs about $2 to any city in Ukraine.

Personal recommendations

Usually those who buy the book recommend it to friends. After that, friends began to place their own orders. Most of the books were sold by these two methods.

Small bookstores and book markets

There are many small private and public bookstores and kiosks in Ukraine that usually work directly with book publishers on their own. Book placement at these stores is very difficult because The Urantia Book was not published in Ukraine. Because of this, major publishing houses will not promote the book either. Thus smaller stores cannot order it through publishing catalogs. There are some small shops that sell esoteric books and souvenirs that were willing to place the book. In Kiev, several of these types of stores were given copies.

There are disadvantages to this type of book placement: the book price doubles and thus sales are hindered; working with each shop requires a great deal of personal effort, which is inconvenient at times to contact, visit, and bring books and discuss sales with each. Sale prices are also doubled at book bazaars. Through one contract, based on this method, only one book was sold in 3 months.

Large retail networks

In Ukraine there are two major book shopping networks that distribute printed materials and books. This is the network of commercial bookstores “Chitay Misto” (Read Town) and a company that sells books through the post mail service called “Book Club.” Stores of Chytay Misto network are usually located in shopping malls or in a central area of the city. In Ukraine we have 39 such stores. In the summer of 2014 – together with Chris Wood – we decided to put books into the Chitay Misto’s trading network. With regard to the other company, Book Club, we would love to get into their catalog because it will offer us a wide audience of Ukrainian readers. Today we are still in negotiations with this company about the possibility.

Spreading The Urantia Book through Chytay Misto

In December, 2014, I, on behalf of the legal entity Urantia Association of Ukraine, signed an agreement for the implementation of book sales through the trading network Chytay Misto. Prior to this, the marketing manager offered us a commercial proposition to choose the terms of the placement of books. For example, the book can be placed on a special promotional pedestal, shelves, near the cash register, on banners near the books in the storefront, or a special promotional audio clip can be played with some frequency in the store. All of these services are commercial and cost some money. Finally, we chose to place The Urantia Book in three stores in Kiev, one located in the city center, the other two in large shopping malls.

Two weeks after sales began, through the Chytay Miston network, one book was sold. A pleasant surprise for me was that in one of these bookstores, a seller praised The Urantia Book and now reads it.

After completing the advertising campaign, we will have a choice: leave the book in the trading network but under the usual placement conditions and in the corresponding section of the store, or continue an advertising campaign in the event of success. Of course, I would like books to be in front of visitors, so I would be happy if we were able to continue the advertising campaign.

I am confident that we can and should use all avenues available to us in the way of modern marketing tools to distribute The Urantia Book. As stated in the Parable of the Shrewd Steward,

If you were so diligent in making gains for yourselves when in the service of self, why should you show less diligence in gaining souls for the kingdom since you are now servants of the brotherhood of man and stewards of God? (Paper 169:2.2, page 1853.5)

I believe that we must use all appropriate, proportionate, and reasonable tools to reach prospective readers of The Urantia Book.

Anton Miroshnichenko
[email protected]

 

New International Service Board Members

The Representative Council of Urantia Association International has just completed an election cycle for members of the International Service Board (ISB). Following are the positions that were due for election along with the successful candidates:

Vice President – Andres Ramirez (Colombia)
Secretary – Susan Owen (United States – re-elected)
Communications Chair – Kathleen Swadling (Australia)
Conference Chair – Antonio Schefer (The Netherlands)
Dissemination Chair – David Linthicum (United States)
Membership Chair – Anton Miroshnichenko (Ukraine)
Study Group Chair – Gaetan Charland (Quebec, Canada – previously served as President of Urantia Association International from 2003 to 2013)

Those remaining members whose positions were not due for election are:

President – Chris Wood (United States)
Treasurer – Bradly Tharp (United States)
Education Chair – Sheila Keen Lund (United States)
Translations Chair – Chris Moseley (United Kingdom)

Following are some insights into our newly elected ISB members who are serving on the board for the first time:

Vice President – Andres Ramirez

AndresRamirezSquaredAndres comes from Bogota, Colombia and is 38 years old. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Master’s degree in Mathematics. He found The Urantia Book when he was 16 through the books of J.J. Benitez and bought his own copy a couple of years later. He read the book alone for many years then heard about the Colombia Association in 2001 and joined a study group in 2002. Ever since then he has been active in the Bogota Urantia Association and currently serves as its Secretary.

Andres’ main focus has been with electronic media. He created a YouTube Channel for his Association and continues to be its administrator. He also undertook a web development course so that he could recreate and maintain his association’s website which had become out-dated.

Besides working with electronic media Andres is involved with the planning of events and conferences and develops strategies for the dissemination of the teachings of The Urantia Book. He says: “I have learned about the real importance and real objectives and goals of having an Association. As a purpose in life I’m willing to serve as much as I can in the work of disseminating the teachings of The Urantia Book.”

Andres has a keen mind and a deep commitment to work with Urantia Association in the service of the Revelation.  We are truly blessed to have him on the board.

Conference Chair – Antonio Schefer

Antonio was born in Colombia and raised in the Netherlands. He is 38 years old and has been reading The Urantia Book since 2005. He graduated in 2008 with a degree in Public Administration. That same year he created a website dedicated to The Urantia Book teachings and organized his first activity for the Urantia community giving an introduction lecture about the book. Since then he has been giving lectures and video and radio interviews on The Urantia Book and has been actively involved in the Netherlands Association Stichting Urantia Nederlandstalig.

Antonio has developed skills in graphic art and 3D image technology and has been developing custom made videos using his own designs for mediums such as Facebook and YouTube. He spent time in Colombia visiting study groups and assisting with a variety of Urantia related activities such as the International Book Fair where he displayed one of his videos. Recently he has been involved with utilizing his skills in digital 3D technology for Urantia Book related image art. His biggest and best video production to date was released in 2013 titled The Urantia Secret.

Urantia Association is fortunate to have one such as Antonio on the board. Apart from his sincere dedication to the Urantia revelation and a willingness to serve, he brings with him the freshness and enthusiasm of youth as well as modern Internet technology to help us keep step with the rapidly changing world around us.

Dissemination Chair – David Linthicum

David LinthicumDavid is from Oklahoma in the United States and found The Urantia Book in 1996; he has been an avid student of the Revelation ever since. He recently retired after a 40-year career with a Fortune 500 company with extensive experience in supervisory management, accounting, real estate, project management, training and budget forecasting. He is married with two grown children and four grandchildren.

David is a charter member of the Spirit of Oklahoma Local Association having served as President, Treasurer and currently as Vice-President. He has served on the national level as UAUS Treasurer and President and as a member of the Urantia Association Judicial Commission. He has been the chairman of the Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT) since its inception ten years ago, as well as being a member of the planning committees for both the Association’s Leadership and Study Group Symposiums where he introduced the “group dynamic” conference format. As well as being actively involved in planning conferences at the local, regional and international levels he is a strong supporter of study groups.

In addition to his commitment to serving the Revelation and his long time loyalty in the service of Urantia Association, David brings with him a high level of expertise in organizational and administrative ability as well as proven leadership qualities. We are certainly blessed to have one such as he on the board and we will definitely draw from his many talents.

Membership Chair – Anton Miroshnichenko

Anton Miroshnichenko-photoAnton is from Ukraine, is 32 years old, and is married with two children. He found The Urantia Book in 2005 while working in a bookshop that carried spiritual literature. He graduated from university the same year after completing studies in electrical engineering. He has gained extensive experience in a variety of fields that include news media, event management, climate change science, scripting and filming, and technical writing for IT companies. He is currently involved in the civil ecological movement and works as a program manager and IT specialist for a non-profit ecological club that handles a number of educational ecological activities that promote energy efficiency and sustainable development in schools of Ukraine and other Western European and Asian countries.

After finishing his first reading of The Urantia Book, Anton soon realized that he would like to know more about The Urantia Book reader’s community so he contacted the Urantia Youth web forum and was greeted by Mike MacIsaac from Sweden who maintained a global young readers’ network. Mike introduced Anton to other readers in Ukraine and as a result of their common efforts, in December of 2010 established a local association known as Urantia Association of Ukraine where Anton is currently serving as President.

In 2011 Anton and his wife Kateryna attended the Chicago Leadership Symposium as well as the European Urantia Book reader’s conference in Berlin. He attends a couple of online Urantia Book study groups via Skype, one of which is organized by Michael Hanian, the Russian translator of The Urantia Book. One of the main goals of that group is to improve the Russian translation.

In May of 2014 Anton was involved in a book project undertaken by his association whereby, with the help of Urantia Association International, they imported 270 Urantia Books from Urantia Foundation into Ukraine. So far they have distributed 110 of those books. Anton is currently working on placing the book in the major bookstores.

Anton has also been organizing the translating of material from Urantia Association’s website into Ukrainian and Russian. Because of his IT background he is keen to assist with the management of the Association’s website.

Anton will be a tremendous asset the Association. We feel very fortunate to have one with Anton’s level of experience and expertise on the board. His willingness to serve and his level of dedication to the Revelation is a blessing to us all.

Communications Chair – Kathleen Swadling 

Kathleen SwadlingKathleen is from Sydney, Australia and is 62 years old. She has been a reader of The Urantia Book since 1974 and, along with her husband Trevor, has been hosting a study group since 1981. They have 3 adult children, who are all second generation Urantia Book readers, and 6 grandchildren. Kathleen is now retired but in her professional life gained extensive experience in all facets of people management, customer services, and administration.

Kathleen has been active in the Urantia movement since the early 1980’s. In the early years she was involved in a comprehensive library donation project where over 500 Urantia Books were donated to libraries throughout Australia and New Zealand. She was a founding member of the first readership association for Australia & New Zealand that became known as ANZURA. She has served on its Governing Board several times as President, Secretary, and Treasurer. During the early ‘90’s she and Trevor opened the first branch office of Urantia Foundation in Sydney Australia in order to supply The Urantia Book to the book trade in the Asia Pacific region. They have attended many book fairs and have been providing services to readers ever since.

In the late ‘90’s Kathleen and her husband lived and worked at Urantia Foundation’s head office in Chicago. Kathleen was the Development Coordinator and worked closely with the Trustees and Executive Director, Tonia Baney. Duties included fundraising and event management, database development, reader services, public relations, and assisting in the development of a long-term strategy for the Foundation. She represented the Foundation at international book fairs in Chicago, South Korea, and India. During that time she also served on the committee that assisted the Foundation in creating the Charter & Bylaws for Urantia Association International. After returning to Sydney in the early 2000’s she remained a part-time employee of Urantia Foundation for another 6 years and continued with public relations and development as well as taking over the role as Manager for Urantia Foundation’s corps of International Representatives and Branch Offices. She also served as an Associate Trustee for 3 years during that time and attended many of the Association’s international conferences. In more recent years she has been serving Urantia Association as the Chair of the Website Management Committee which has been developing the revised website.

Kathleen’s long time commitment to the Revelation, as well as her lasting loyalty and involvement with study groups and Urantia organizations, along with well developed organizational and management skills and proven leadership qualities brings a much appreciated wealth of history and experience to the board.

Study Group Chair – Gaetan Charland

Gaetan CharlandTo those familiar with Urantia Association, no introduction is needed for Gaetan who served as the Association’s first President from 2003 to 2013. After a two-year break from the board it is good to have Gaetan back as part of the team. Currently he and his wife Line are organizing the upcoming 2015 International Conference for the Association on their home turf in Quebec, Canada. Gaetan’s passion is study groups and he has spent many years, both in his capacity as the former President and in his everyday service life fostering study groups and assisting readers in their journey with The Urantia Book. A more loyal, hardworking, and dedicated servant of the Revelation would be hard to find. Welcome back Gaetan!

Virtual Study Group – Symmetry of Soul

James Woodward

Symmetry of Soul Progresses into its Fifth Year

James WoodwardVirtual study groups of The Urantia Book are growing in popularity and provide a valuable option for those without a local meeting of readers.

One of the first virtual study groups of The Urantia Book to take wing on the Internet, Symmetry of Soul (SoS) has featured in-depth broadcasts since September 1, 2010. Originally launched with three co-hosts, Ann Garner, Dr. Chris Halvorson, and James Woodward, the program soon recruited one of its early supporters, Kermit Anderson. Each of the four co-hosts brings their unique personality and perspective to the weekly sessions, but Dr. Halvorson, who has led a well-attended study group in Boulder, Colorado, for the last 20 years, skillfully directs the systematic “unpacking” of the revelation.

Symetry of SoulThe Symmetry of Soul program is broadcast live for two hours every Tuesday at 9:00 pm ET (6:00 pm PT) by BlogTalkRadio, a very popular Internet company that allows anyone, from famous media stars to everyday folks, to create their own modern-day version of a radio show. To listen to and/or join in the study, go to www.symmetryofsoul.org or www.blogtalkradio.com/symmetryofsoul.

The home Website, www.symmetryofsoul.org, is managed by the SoS team, dedicated to archiving the broadcasts and the weekly reviews compiled by Anderson. It also features introductory bios of the four co-hosts. Although the BlogTalk site does store the broadcasts, the team wanted to ensure the preservation of the instructive sessions and make it easier for students to find a particular program of interest.

The Symmetry of Soul introduction from the Website states the virtual study group is “a weekly study of the unifying concepts of The Urantia Book, mindful of the threefold nature of the cosmos: ‘philosophy, religion, and science are welded into a meaningful unity by the conjoined action of wisdom, faith, and experience.’ Our exploration follows a study group pattern of topical inquiry, moderated discussion, and citations from The Urantia Book.”

Symmetry of Soul follows a topical format, and many intriguing topics from The Urantia Book have been the subject of study. Most recently the focus has been on Machiventa Melchizedek—exploring his emergency bestowal in depth, including the influence of his teachings upon all the major religions of the world. Another program arc, one that spanned sixty-four episodes, was a thorough study of all five epochal revelations to Urantia.

Serious students of The Urantia Book and new readers as well are encouraged to listen live to the weekly study and avail themselves of past shows stored in the archives. Listeners may also register for the live chat room that features its own discussions, questions, and the posting of the text being studied. Readers can call in during the show with questions as well.

Symmetry of Soul offers a fun and instructive medium moderated by devoted students. Those who want to really “unpack” the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Fifth Epochal Revelation are invited to check it out!

To correspond with the Symmetry of Soul broadcast team, please send your email to: [email protected].

James Woodward
[email protected]

 

Virtual Inspirational Messages

Inspirational Messages of Light is led by Dr James Perry and a small group of truth seekers who desire to share their spiritual experiences with others. Their mission is to elevate the consciousness of the love of the heavenly Father through his son, Jesus, in those who already know the Father and in those who lack a relationship with him.

Their goal is to reach a large group of truth seekers. Tune in to hear the live radio broadcasts of current 282 inspirational messages at http://www.warr.1520.com every Saturday morning from 9:45 am until 10:00 am.

Hear live inspirational messages (or read them) on such topics as Faith Consciousness (Message 200); The Truth of the Father’s Love (Message 144); Living the Spirit-Filled Life (Message 31); and The Discipline of Submitting to the Father’s Will (Message 127).

For more information, email [email protected].

Farewell to Shirley Pelland

Susan Owen

Susan OwenShirley Pelland graduated from her life on Urantia Friday February 21, 2015. Shirley is a long time and devoted student of The Urantia Book and beloved member of the Urantia community. Her wonderful vibrancy, energy, love and caring touched so many.

Shirley PellandShirley was a member of the First Urantia Society of Los Angeles and a charter member of the Southwest Urantia Reader Family (SURF) where she served as an officer for many years while living in Southern California. She also served as the first Secretary of the International Service Board of the International Urantia Association from 2003 – 2007. She later moved to Ocean View on the ‘big’ island of Hawaii to be closer to her family and there she served for many years as an officer of Hawaii Urantia Local Association (HULA).

Shirley Pelland's BD JumpShirley cared deeply for this planet and was a true lover of life and adventure. She was a real Southern California surfer girl and an avid skydiver. The picture on the right shows a few of Shirley’s friends who joined her to celebrate her 50th birthday with a three concentric circle flight. That’s Shirley in the middle circle on the right side in the yellow helmet. And I am sure that many of those flight suits were designed and sewn by Shirley.

Although Shirley left Urantia all too early and she will be sorely missed by many, her soul has been released for the next adventure and there will be smiles all around when we meet again on the mansion worlds. Fly high Shirley. See you soon.

Good Tidings Conference Announcement Update

Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Local Universe

March 20-22, 2015
Briarwood Retreat Center
Argyle, TX
For more information, click here or email [email protected]

2015 Urantia Association International Conference—Quebec (Canada)

The Urantia Association International conference theme is, Progressing from Human to Divine—Revealing Ourselves to God
July 30–August 2, 2015
Bishops University in Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada.
To learn more about the conference and to register, visit http://urantia-association.org/2014/11/01/2015-urantia-association-international-conference/

Easter Spirit Renewal and Sacred Heart Retreat

March 27-30, 2015
Los Gatos, CA
For more information visit this website

Urantia Book Fellowship Summer Study Session 2015

July 9-12, 2015
Techny Towers
Northbrook, Illinois
Online registration available soon at www.urantiabook.org

2015 Australia & New Zealand Urantia Association Conference

Faith & Courage – the Pathway to Paradise & Beyond
October 9-12, 2015
Sydney Academy of Sport & Recreation
Narrabeen, NSW, Australia
For more information, visit http://urantia-association.org/2015/02/15/anzura-conference-2015 or email [email protected]