Tidings – June 2015
In This Issue
Chris WoodBeginning this summer and continuing for the next three years, Urantia Association will encourage an in-depth discussion on the role of teachers in the Urantia community, how we can better identify natural teachers, and how we can train all students of the book to become teachers in their lives.
Central to this discussion is the question: Is it possible to measure and quantify depth of understanding?
It is much easier to measure breadth, the wide reach of The Urantia Book, its teachings and our community. We can count the number of study groups in any given community, nation or the world. We can count the number of conferences, of affiliated members, of recipients of our newsletters, and we can use this data to measure our growth.
This year we celebrate 60 years since the first publication of The Urantia Book and the first attempts by the Urantia community to organize and socialize its teachings. From those early groups in Chicago, our reach has expanded tremendously. The Urantia Book is now available in 17 languages, 26 countries have joined Urantia Association International and 12 more countries have organized communities on the cusp of joining. Analyzing the data from the last 60 years, we can see some years were stagnant, in some our growth appeared over-rapid, but with the perspective of time we can look back and see the steady progress that has led us to this moment.
Gaetan G. Charland
30 July–2 August
There are only a few weeks left before Urantia Association’s International Conference in Quebec. If you have not done so, please register now by clicking here to visit the event’s web page. There you will find all the information you will need to register, including directions to the venue whether you come by car, plane, or bus.
This might be your first time attending such an event and your expectations might be very high. You will not be disappointed! The program will provide ample opportunities to satisfy the intellect as well as your spiritual needs. Not only does it focus on child education, but it also explores the fostering of spiritual maturity in everyday living. While all workshops are planned to compliment the plenaries, we will also explore diverse views of The Urantia Book.
Hosted by the Urantia Association of United Kingdom & Ireland
Friday August 21st to Sunday August 23rd
Ty’n Cellar Farm, Margam, South Wales
Theme: The Times of the Bestowal
Every year, at some point in the summer, British Urantia Book readers choose a rural retreat somewhere in the British Isles to spend a weekend in a calm, relaxed atmosphere. This is a time when we enjoy sharing meals and studying a particular aspect of The Urantia Book in-depth. It can happen at any point in the summer season, depending on when our chosen venue is available. This year, we have extra cause to celebrate, because Jesus’ birthday falls on a Friday.
Please come and join us for this very special Jesus’ birthday celebration. The event will be held at the lovely peaceful retreat of Henrietta’s Hall, located at the Ty’n Cellar Farm, Margam, South Wales.
September 10-13, 2015 – Urantia Foundation, Chicago
The Urantia Book informs us that as we are led by the Spirit of God, we are Daughters (Sons) of God.
Have you ever acted upon an inspiration of value that brought you great (spiritual) joy? In their next retreat, “Dancing with God,” four Daughters of God have put together a program in which the participants will explore questions such as:
- How do we understand and experience the fact that women are the moral and spiritual torchbearers?
Susan OwenI had the pleasure of attending the Study Group Symposium held last June in Madison, Wisconsin. I came away with some great ideas; but the biggest thing I ended up with was a number of big questions arising from these statements in the Publication Mandate, “An early publication of the Book has been provided so that it may be in hand for the training of leaders and teachers.” “Thousands of study groups must be brought into existence…”
Pretty good advice, but I wondered – could study groups be the vehicle by which the training of leaders and teachers most easily takes place? How do we find and identify these teachers and leaders? I don’t see any in my study group. Well, maybe a few candidates, but really… do we need training? And what would we be training them to do? We have been reading together for over 35 years and we are doing just fine.
Various Study Group Hosts
On 16th of May study groups met for the annual International Study Day. This year we read Papers 160 and 161 – Rodan of Alexandria and Further Discussions with Rodan. Following are some reflections from several of the groups that met.
Canberra Visits Sydney
The plan was for the Canberra Study Group to visit the Sydney group for a joint Study Day. In the end only two of us made it, but it was a great day and we were impressed with the turnout of the Sydney group and the way in which it conducted its meeting.
The study was of papers 160 and 161—the discussions with Rodan.
The usual questions about Rodan’s identity were raised with no-one being any the wiser, and the presentation of his philosophy drew the admiration of most of us, bearing in mind that Rodan had constructed it from his own interpretation of prevailing Greek thought following only some preliminary conversations with Jesus.
Andrés RamírezIn April 2014 and 2015, the Bogotá Urantia Association had a booth at the International Book Fair of Bogotá. This annual event is for 15 days and typically has around 500,000 visitors. The Bogotá Association had the support of the Urantia Association International, which provided 167 Urantia Books in 2014 and 100 copies in 2015. This article describes our experience and lessons learned that may be useful for other associations around the globe wishing to engage in these types of events.
This was not the first time that we have participated in the International Book Fair of Bogotá; in past years we rented a small space from a bookstore that owned the booth and who set the selling price of the books. While this arrangement was not ideal, we were able to meet many people and made useful contacts. An added benefit is that our volunteers learned how to talk about The Urantia Book with strangers, and gained experience that prepared us for the 2014 and 2015 events. Our ultimate goal was to have our own booth; and that was made possible in 2014 thanks to a combined effort between the Bogotá Association and the International Association.
Carmelo MartinezThe Urantia Association of Spain held its 14th meeting of readers from April 30th to May 3rd, 2015 in the wonderful and historic city of Cartagena. About 40 readers from all regions of Spain attended. We were also joined by the International Service Board Conference Committee Chair Antonio Schefer who came from the Netherlands to share this valuable time with us.
This year, we again used the 4 day/3 night format, which we had used in past years, and based on attendees’ feedback, it was very successful.
Christian Ruch[caption id="attachment_15755" align="alignleft" width="300"] Readers at the Blue Club Meeting[/caption]
It was a small but interesting crowd which came together in Frankfurt, Germany on the weekend after Easter to meet for the fifth Blue Club meeting. Never heard of the Blue Club? It is a private, non-institutional fellowship of European Urantia Book readers – from the south in Spain to the north in Finland. Five years ago some people had an idea to talk, exchange experiences and to have a good time together in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. At the first meeting in 2011 (also in Frankfurt) someone had the idea to call this get-together the “Blue Club” – as blue is the Urantia color.
After having met last year at a larger conference in Berlin, this year it was again Frankfurt’s turn to host a smaller meeting. The hotel there already knows the “Urantian” people quite well because this hotel is also the place where German readers meet every year at the beginning of November.
Cesar PauloThe Brazilian Urantia Association met in Canela, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on May 23, 2015, at the home of our host Edison Arpino Torres and his wife Susana. We are always received warmly and are welcomed to join together in search of knowledge and to share our insights gained from reading The Urantia Book.
Everyone in the group looks forward to this valuable time every month. We are united in our pursuit of strength and enlightenment with the mutual objective of understanding how best to do the will of the Father. Thanks to everyone who actively participated in sharing The Urantia Book’s teachings, and experiencing the special presence of the Spirit of Truth. We all share a sincere desire to follow the path to a new reality during our lives on earth, and prepare ourselves for the eternal and progressive journey.
John Zavala, Jr.Note from the Editor: This is a letter sent to us from an individual who is incarcerated and received a Urantia Book as a result of the Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT) program.
Thank You for Your Support
John Zavala, Jr.
Of all the prison ministries that I have had the privilege with which to participate, none have been more of a benefit to me than the Prisoner Inquiry Response Team, or PIRT.
This team is made up of volunteers and is a subcommittee of Urantia Association International’s Dissemination Committee and works very closely with the Urantia Foundation. They provide an invaluable service to the incarcerated by supplying them with Urantia Books and related literature. When I was introduced to The Urantia Book in 2009, I wasn’t given much information about its history. How did this book originate? What was its purpose? I had only a borrowed copy and even then, I had it for only a few hours.
[caption id="attachment_14526" align="alignleft" width="150"] Anton Miroshnichenko[/caption]
It’s an honor to share with you this latest clip on UrantiaFilm featuring Urantia Book reader Anton Miroshnichenko. Anton has been instrumental in spreading The Urantia Book throughout his home country of Ukraine. In particular, he and fellow Urantia Book readers last year imported 270 Russian translation Urantia Books amidst the uncanny complexities of exporting foreign goods to Ukraine.
When I was interviewing readers at the European Urantia Book conference in Berlin last
summer, Anton shared his thoughts on camera in English, and at the end of the interview he requested to say a few words in Russian, which you see in this video.
Anton’s statement is a powerful testimony of how these teachings can be a catalyst to spiritually transform even the most questioning mind.
Says Anton, “For us, and for any human on this Earth, it is so important to understand who we truly are, and The Urantia Book clearly tells us everything about this.”
2015 1st Quarter Activity Report
The International Service Board (ISB) conducts the daily business of Urantia Association International. Its members, elected by the Representative Council (RC), include the following: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Chief Financial Officer (all of whom form the Executive Team), and Chairs of the following committees: Membership, Communications, Dissemination, Education, Conference, Study Group, and Translation. The officers and committees of the ISB as well as the Executive Administrator plan, coordinate, and carry out the activities of Urantia Association that are international in scope and have been authorized by the Representative Council. They also serve as an information resource for the constituent Associations.
The following describes some of the activities undertaken by the ISB members in the first quarter of 2015:
Chris Wood, who is also acting Fundraising Committee Chair, chairs the Executive Team, and is the liaison with the leadership of Urantia Foundation and the Fellowship, attended and made a presentation at the Lone Star Urantia Association regional conference in Argyle Texas in March and provided special training on the 3-Year Plan for the newly elected ISB members.
Merindi B, whose term expired at the end of March after serving two full terms, was also the Chair of the Representative Council. She provided information and guidance for a smooth transition to the new Vice President and RC Chair, Andres Ramirez. She continues to serve as a team member of the 2015 International Conference Financial Aid team.
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
United Kingdom Annual Summer Meeting
August 21–23, 2015
The Times of the Bestowal
Ty’n Cellar Farm B & B, Margam
South Wales, United Kingdom
For more information email:
Chris Moseley: email@example.com
Gary Rawlings: Garyurantia@aol.com
Dutch & Flemish Urantia Book Readers’ Meeting
August 21, 2015
Groot Kivietsdal-Baarn, The Netherlands
Hosted by the Netherlands Urantia Association
For more information visit: http://urantia.nl/21aug/2015_aankondiging.php
Italian Urantia Book Readers’ Meeting
August 29, 2015
Discover The Urantia Book
Bussolengo (Verona), Italy
For information on the program, accommodation & registration click here
Email Danielle La Scala at firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia & New Zealand’s Annual 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@example.com