Tidings – June 2017
In This Issue
I taught university courses for a few years and my favorite course to teach was Introduction to Philosophy. Introductory courses translate a subject’s ideas into common language, while in-depth courses teach you a new language to better develop these ideas. I liked the idea of taking what might literally be a lifetime of work and dedication and cutting it down to one hour’s worth of reading and one hour’s worth of lecture. You have to provide enough of a hook to each subject that it might grab the attention of a student, enough depth that it will show the worthiness of dedicating a career to its study, enough hints at future studies to give those students paths forward, but also enough of a structure and closure that the ninety-nine percent of students who listen and are not fascinated can still recall later in life, “Oh, yeah, Utilitarianism. It’s great for group decision making but I think it’s flawed as an individual moral system.”
I believe that the same structure ought to be applied to The Urantia Book. We are so enthused by these teachings that we want to treat every person as if they are the one person in one hundred who are going to latch onto it and fold it into her life’s pursuit. But we end up doing a disservice to the vast majority of people who we could leave with a vague positive notion about The Urantia Book such as, “Urantia? Yeah… Direct relationship between people and God, an organized universe. I’ve met some people who are into that. They’re normal.”
That should be the first goal for every outreach effort we have: Urantia Book students are normal. What “First, do no harm” is to the Hippocratic Oath, we should have a similar warning, “First, do not sound crazy.”
Every faith discussion is different. There is no value in outlining a step-by-step checklist. The audience is different if we are in front of a small group, a large classroom, a single stranger, or a couple of friends over dinner. I do, however, advocate that we can all have starting points, go-to phrases that help us get into the proper mindset for discussing Urantia teachings with non-Urantia students.
Advertisers tell us that an average person needs multiple positive interactions with a product before they are willing to buy it. It is the same with The Urantia Book. Most people need multiple positive interactions with the teachings of The Urantia Book before they are willing to read one for themselves. When we introduce someone to The Urantia Book, our success should not be judged by whether or not they buy a book and read it. Rather, it should be judged by whether you left that person with a positive memory of The Urantia Book, so the next time they hear about it they can recall, “Oh yes, Urantia. I’ve met one of those people. She was normal.”
You get seven seconds to make a good first impression. Do you have a good seven second introduction to The Urantia Book? If you are asked a second question, can you expand that seven seconds to 30 seconds?
This is basic outreach training that can and should be practiced in Associations and study groups as well as workshops at conferences: “Introduction to Urantia in seven seconds or less.” Perhaps we will see this course at the Association’s 10th International Conference in Amsterdam – April 12 – 15, 2018. I hope to see you there!
Urantia Association International
12-15 April 2018
Urantia Association of the Netherlands (UAISUN) invites you to attend the 10th International Conference of Urantia Association International in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Our conference theme is ‘Jesus as a Teacher’ and we are inviting students of The Urantia Book from all over the world. The subtitle is ‘Are You Ready to Live His Teachings In the 21st Century?’ This question calls us to explore what we know about Jesus’ teachings, his personal religion, and his message to us today. The program will inspire us to be true followers of Jesus and his teachings, and become the leaders and teachers of the future.
In the beautiful surroundings of the flower fields near Amsterdam, the ‘Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst in Noordwijkerhout’ will be the venue for our gathering. This conference centre offers everything we need to host a successful event. The conference will emphasize studying together, sharing with each other, and most of all, experiencing spiritual brotherhood.
The website http://www.uai2018.org/ is online and provides further information about the program, registration for the event, and reservation of your hotel room. In the upcoming months more information will be available on the website, for example: about the theme ‘Jesus as a Teacher,’ speakers, evening programs, and logistics. The website is translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch.
The language spoken during the conference will be English but we are offering simultaneous translations for Spanish (by Serapis Murillo) and French (by Christopher Moseley).
Plan your trip to our Conference 12-15 April 2018 right now and explore the great location in the middle of the flower fields during the wonderful blossoming season in the Netherlands near Amsterdam.
Sign up for this memorable event and receive an Early Bird discount of €75 if you register before the 1st of October 2017.
Click on the following link: http://www.uai2018.org/ to register for the event and to book your room.
Encourage Urantia Book Students
In order to attract Urantia Book readers from all over the world we ask you to please share this announcement with Urantia Book readers in your country and help us to promote it on your own websites and social media.
On behalf of Urantia Association of the Netherlands (UAISUN) and the organizing team for this conference, I look forward to meeting you and offering you a warm welcome.
With best regards,
Annual Report 2016
The Association’s 2016 Annual Report is now ready for you to review and download from our website at: https://urantia-association.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/UA_AR2016_Final.pdf.
(You can also find this PDF by going to https://urantia-association.org/about-uai/governance-policies and scroll down to find the Annual reports.)
Revised Home Page for Website
The Association’s Home Page of the website has been revised to reflect the social nature of our organization. Some colour and style changes on the secondary pages have also been revised. Check it out at: https://urantia-association.org.
The Association’s website now has a Topical Index for articles. This index is generated by certain subject categories that have been assigned to the various articles and announcements that have been posted to our website.
The index should assist students to find study aid materials, historical information, presentations from various conference events, announcements, personal testimonies etc. Check it out at: https://urantia-association.org/topical-index-of-articles.
Please feel free to send us any comments or suggestions you may have to help us improve this service. You can send you comments to us online via: https://urantia-association.org/about-uai/contact-us.
Revised Information Brochure
The Association’s Information brochure has been revised and is now available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Ukrainian and Russian. This brochure is an excellent tool for introducing the Association to interested students of The Urantia Book who may be interested in our service projects and joining the membership. It is a double-sided 3-panel colour brochure that can be downloaded and printed. It may be useful to have a supply on hand at Association conferences and other similar Urantia events.
The brochures are now available on our website on these links below:
(You can also find the PDF by going to: https://urantia-association.org/about-uai/governance-policies and scroll down to find the Information Brochure.)
In October 2016, a small group of leaders from Urantia Association International and the Urantia Book Fellowship met in Chicago to discuss the potential unification of our two organizations. This meeting was approved by the Association’s International Service Board and Representative Council, and the Fellowship’s Executive Committee. It was not the first time our community has met to discuss ways to achieve better harmony and cooperation between the two groups, but at this meeting, those present produced a proposal outlining steps that could be taken toward organizational unity. This “Transition to Unity Proposal” was then presented to the leadership boards and councils of both the Association and the Fellowship to be embraced, rejected or amended.
In February 2017, the General Council of the Fellowship passed two resolutions, one of which embraced the short term cooperative steps recommended in the “Transition to Unity Proposal,” but fell short of including statements about their desire for unity and the proposed initial structure of a united organization. The second resolution reaffirmed the Fellowship’s commitment to its continued operation of Uversa Press in relation to its printing of The Urantia Book.
The Association has no intention of being a competitor of Urantia Foundation. If organizational unity is to be achieved, the publishing of The Urantia Book needs to be separated from any united social organization, and ideally left to the Foundation. However, the Fellowship’s stand is that its continued publishing of The Urantia Book is an important part of its service to the Urantia community.
And so we have come to an impasse.
For now, the transition to unity will remain a possibility and progress will continue as the different branches of the Urantia community work and grow together.
The Association continues to thrive as we share the teachings of The Urantia Book with the myriad of cultures throughout our diverse world. As our responsibilities expand, we ask everyone to pitch in wherever they can and help us lift this load together as brothers and sisters—sons and daughters of God.
President, Urantia Association International
Andres Ramirez, Colombia
The International Book Fair in Bogotá, Colombia was held April 25 to May 8, 2017 with a booth hosted by Urantia Association of Bogotá and with financial support from Urantia Association International. More than 40 volunteers participated in the booth. Guest volunteers from some Latin American countries were invited to come and volunteer to learn from this highly experienced group on how to host a successful book fair booth. Volunteers from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia answered the invitation and gained valuable hands-on experience.
Over 500,000 visitors attended the book fair, 23,000 flyers introducing The Urantia Book were handed out to visitors coming through the booth, 85 email addresses were collected, and 60 soft-cover books provided by Urantia Foundation were sold. The Bogotá team also made contact with 33 schools where they will be donating books to their libraries and holding conferences for students and teachers.
This book fair experience inspired many volunteers in the following ways:
- As a result of his experience at the International Book Fair in Bogotá, Efrain Vivanco from Ecuador will be hosting a booth at a book fair in Ecuador, May 29 to June 2. Two volunteers from Colombia will be there to help.
- The President of the new Urantia Association in Costa Rica returned home from this book fair experience and mobilized his team; he intends to host a booth at a book fair in Costa Rica in June.
- The two volunteers who attended from Cali, Colombia are making plans to host a booth at their local book fair in October.
- As a follow-up to this event the Bogotá Association will host an online talk on May 20, 2017 titled “Introduction to The Urantia Book” and will be broadcasted via Zoom in Latin America.
In addition Urantia booths will be present at book fairs in Bolivia, May to June, Guatemala in June, and Peru in July.
Book fairs provide a unique opportunity for volunteers to promote the revelation to the reading public while at the same time providing opportunities to meet with fellow students and volunteers creating strong bonds and friendship among the family of Urantia Associations around the world.
Olga Lopez, Spain
The 16th meeting for Spanish Urantia Book readers was held from April 28th to May 1st in the Hotel Tryp in Guadalajara (near the capital, Madrid.) In attendance were almost 50 people hailing from the north, east, and south of Spain. Antonio Schefer’s presence was appreciated as he again came The Netherlands to represent Urantia Association International.
The theme of this meeting was “God in Man,” which is the title of section 6 in Paper 108 (Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjuster). The main subject of discussion were the Thought Adjusters: what they are, what they do for us, and what we will become together. On this occasion, our goal was to coordinate the presentations so they could approach different aspects of the Thought Adjusters and our relationship to them.
On Friday evening Olga López gave a presentation on the History of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. Many readers are confused about the people and circumstances involved in the revelatory process, so this was part of a series of presentations designed to inform the Spanish readers about the historic and organizational background of The Urantia Book.
On Saturday morning the first presentation, God in Man, was given by Carmelo Martínez, who set the tone for the weekend presentations. This was followed by Mariano Pérez, with The Action of the Thought Adjuster in Man, in which he focused on the material support needed for the Thought Adjusters to act, such as our brain and our glands (mainly the pineal gland) related to spiritual activity.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed some socializing while taking a walk in Guadalajara and seeing some of its most famous buildings. We even had the chance to taste the famous “borrachos” (local little cakes dipped in sugar syrup) in a patisserie. After the city tour, we were surprised by the celebration of the wedding of a couple of readers who came with their family to share their joy with all of us. It was very moving indeed! These wonderful friends also provided a special dinner for which we were very grateful. We Spanish readers are a big and loving family!
Sunday morning we had two very innovative presentations given by two great women. The first one by Paula Requejo told us a tale inspired by “The Persistence of True Values,” using a PowerPoint presentation with evocative images and a main character called “Urantina,” a little girl who discovers what these true values are.
The second one by María José Santamaría took us on a trip to Paradise and beyond with our Thought Adjuster once fused in our unique being. In her presentation titled, “The Adjuster and the Soul,” she used little moments of meditation, music, and words to make us feel as if we were flying away in the company of our Thought Adjusters. It was really amazing!
For the first time, the presentations were broadcast and recorded in Zoom so they could be uploaded to the Association’s YouTube channel of in the near future. Some students joined us via Zoom to attend the presentations in this virtual conference room. With the appropriate technology and good quality microphones, this could certainly be the solution for the future for people who wish to listen to the presentations but can’t attend the meeting in person.
Sunday afternoon was the time for workshops. There were five different workshops with five different facilitators. This time, the mechanics were a little different: each assistant was assigned to a workshop randomly, so groups were as heterogeneous as possible. Each workshop addressed a topic related to the Thought Adjusters:
- The Nature of Thought Adjusters
- The Psychic Circles
- The Adjusters on Urantia
- Erroneous Concepts of Adjuster Guidance
- The Human Paradox
After this group activity, we shared our workshop experiences with the whole group which developed into a lively discussion at the end.
And let’s not forget the evenings! As usual, we kept the long-time tradition of engaging in spontaneous discussions until our eyes begin to close.
On Sunday we held an open meeting of the Spanish Urantia Association where the board presented the association’s activities of 2016. In addition an election was held; Miguel Bustos vacated his position as Secretary and was replaced by José Manuel Duarte. Welcome to the board, José Manuel!
After Sunday lunch it was the time for goodbyes. But the countdown to the next meeting is already ticking forward!
Urantia Association of Spain
Pato Banton & Antoinette Rootsdawtah
We were already excited about the prospect of working in partnership with Urantia Association International during our 2017 Urantia Conference in Accra Ghana, when Antonio Schefer alerted us to Antonio Roque’s desire for us to host a Study Group “meetup” in London in the UK during our visit to Birmingham (UK) en route to Africa. Even more thrilling was the knowledge that some of our Urantia family in Europe had expressed their desire to fly over and join us too!
Part 1—Hallmark Hotel, East London, UK
Initially, the London gathering was intended to be a full day of studying The Urantia Book with some live music (performed by us) intertwined, but because many of us were meeting for the first time, we decided to change the format into a group discussion which would allow us to get to know each other better, to learn about our individual journeys since finding The Urantia Book and to see how we could improve on applying the teachings in our daily lives. Of course the music was still interwoven throughout the program, but now, everyone was involved in contributing to the celebration!
And celebrate we did! The atmosphere during the whole conference was fun, beautiful, inspiring, light-hearted but also deeply touching as we learned about each other’s personal experiences that brought us to this point on our spiritual paths. We studied together, prayed together, sang, danced and laughed about the trials of life and the roles we need to play in making the world a better place.
The highlights of the day for us were:
- Learning that Zoe Millington (who lives in South Hampton) found The Urantia Book in March 2016 by observing our Facebook activity and joined our Spiritual Family Group. She drove two hours to be at the gathering and her knowledge of The Urantia Book was quite impressive.
- Being blown away when Alexander H from Germany grabbed the mic and started rapping over the music in his native language!
- When Lenson, our Indian waiter accepted our invitation to share his religious philosophy with everyone in the room. He said, “I was raised as a Christian, but I believe that God loves everybody!” He then held hands with us and joined in for our closing prayer circle with a prayer that touched our hearts and souls. He was excited to receive a Urantia Book and promised to stay in touch with us.
Part 2—Hotel Blu, Birmingham, UK
Still buzzing from the amazing experience at the London Urantia gathering, the next day seven of us decided to make our way to Birmingham by car and train for another exchange of inspiration, spiritual motivation and love.
Three of Pato’s daughters usually host the Urantia study group and other activities in Birmingham, and they had estimated a turn-out of about 14 people for this gathering. But because they had also asked Pato to use this occasion to perform the Christening Ceremony of five of his grandchildren, it also became a family celebration with about 40 people in attendance. Pato opened the evening with a prayer and proceeded to christen the children by anointing their heads with oil. Alexander H from Germany shared his desire to be consecrated by Pato during this moment, and Pato obliged with a very touching ceremony.
We then told everyone that we were about to study a paper in The Urantia Book, and if anyone wasn’t interested or needed to leave, now was a good time to do so. But to our surprise, everyone grabbed a Urantia Book and stayed, participating in what became a very memorable evening that continued way beyond the scheduled time.
The chosen paper was The Second Discourse on True Religion, which turned out to be a great choice, as everyone in the room (Muslims, Christians and Agnostics alike) could relate to Jesus’ teachings on this thought provoking subject of spiritual freedom. This was also an ideal opportunity for the skeptics to have their questions about The Urantia Book answered in an open and loving environment.
The closing prayer circle (with everyone holding hands) was a true testament to how much we all have in common when we open our hearts and minds in the spirit of Spiritual Unity!
There were many great moments throughout this event but some of the main highlights for us were:
- Pato’s mum arriving with some Caribbean home cooking for everyone and sharing her ideas about spiritual freedom and the need for everyone to simply coexist.
- Tanisha Mendes (Pato’s niece) who was leaning towards becoming a Muslim, excitedly sharing many expressions and reflections during the evening and embracing many of the concepts of The Urantia Book, stating, “This makes so much sense to me and the way I think!” Before departing she took some of the books to share with her open-minded friends who she felt would be interested in learning about these “new truths.”
To illustrate these inspiring events in the UK, two attendees: Akex H from Germany and Anna Zeven from the Netherlands wrote reports of their enlightening experiences. See: https://urantia-association.org/2017/attendee-reports-urantia-gatherings-uk
Part 3—Accra City Hotel, Ghana, West Africa
With our missions to London and Birmingham completed, we set our sights towards Africa…
This was truly set to be an international gathering with attendees from the UK, France, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and the USA. The “meet and greet” that had been planned the evening before the conference, progressed into “An introduction to The Urantia Book” due to the many inquisitive new truth-seekers who had heard about the event and wanted to know, “What is this all about?” They had heard of The Urantia Book from local readers who had invited them to the conference and from friends in the USA who told them that we would be hosting a spiritual event in Accra. We stayed up late into the night answering questions and getting to know our African brothers and sisters.
We could write a book about the amazing presentations, musical performances, testimonies of faith, group discussions and inspiring moments during our conference the following day, which was attended by a very diverse group of people from a wide range of belief systems.
But even with all this diversity of intellectual viewpoint, the gathering was very harmonious and savored the beautiful flavor of spiritual unity.
On the third day we gathered for an in-depth study of The Urantia Book on the subject of “Spiritual Unity.” The attendance was almost overwhelming but the discussions and reflections were outstanding and fun!
Hotel accommodations were provided for many people traveling from outside Ghana and the hotel buffet was provided each day for everyone in attendance, complimentary of Urantia Association International. (Thank you!)
For a more detailed review of this gathering in Ghana please see Kwajdo Spiri’s (03/27/2017 Mission Accomplished) reflections here: http://www.urantia.org/category/news-categories/gatherings
Highlights during our trip to Ghana were:
- The discovery of a group of female, long time Urantia Book readers who, since the conference are now responsible for hosting the weekly Urantia Study Group alongside Kwadjo Spiri and Collins Lomo.
- Our television interview on the most popular TV3 Network to promote the reason for our trip to Africa and was broadcast to six different countries. During the interview the TV host did a presentation on Pato’s long career and sang one of his songs with him. Pato also used this as an opportunity to promote our gathering, some of the teachings of The Urantia Book and he even held his book in front of the camera.
- A revealing and heart-wrenching tour of the town and schools of Nima, the poorest community in Accra, Ghana. We are dedicated to providing ongoing support, in some small way, to help improve the conditions for some of the children there.
Through teamwork great things are achieved!
Two months ago a survey was sent to English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French readers on the email list of Urantia Association International. This survey was created with the goal to find better ways to serve the growing community of study groups, and with the objective to find the different characteristics inherent in the many kinds of study groups existing throughout the world.
On behalf of the Study Group Committee I’d like to thank everyone who devoted a few minutes of their time to respond to this survey.
I’d like to share a summary of this survey with you so you can—in your own ways—find some answers or solutions that may make your study groups more responsive to the needs of different kinds of readers and cultures.
One question that is often raised by readers is, “Where are the young students?” Another question is, “How can we interest our youth to participate in study groups?” I invite you to read the comments that have been published in this newsletter that were made by Alice Wood and Cheryl Glicker in response to these two questions.
From this survey, which was sent to 3,744 readers in four different languages, we received a total of 550 responses, which is a 14.69% response. We hoped there would have been more respondents to the survey, so we could have gathered a more accurate picture of the interests of Urantia Book readers in relation to study groups.
Here are some basic average percentages from the survey but keep in mind that some participants did not answer every question. To get a better picture, consult the results of the survey by following the provided links at the end of this summary:
30% of participants in study groups were women
1%: 18 to 25, 4%: 26 to 35, 25%: 36 to 50, 69%: 51 and older
48% of participants in the survey are members of a study group
62% of the groups are listed in the Study Group Directory
23% of participants host a study group
65% participate in face-to-face study groups
25% participate in virtual study groups
10% participate in both virtual and face-to-face study groups
Perceived Benefits of Study Groups
70% Expanded cosmic consciousness
75% Enhanced spiritual perception
65% Enhanced intellectual understanding
62% Other benefits
Frequency of Attending Study Groups
47% once a week
13% every second week
39% once a month
Number of Participants in Study Groups
21% between 3 and 5
47% between 5 and 10
16% between 10 and 15
17% 15 and more
Young People in Study Groups Between the Ages of 18 to 24
35% responded yes
Which methodologies or themes do you consider more attractive to young people?
12% Practical study
32% Life enhancing study
5% Sequential reading
17% Topical study
29% Do not know
Reasons for not participating in a study group
40% None available in my area
20% Lack of time
Intend to participate or to start a study group in the near future
If you would like to consult the complete results of the survey, please follow these links:
Many answers on how to improve study groups can be gleaned from the analysis of this survey and some solutions are more evident than others, such as improving the visibility and access in the Study Groups Directory. Another is to provide more support for readers wishing to find a study group.
The Study Group Committee of the Association will have a more in-depth look at the results of this survey, but we invite you to make your own analysis and find ways to improve your group and to attract more women and young readers.
Gaetan G. Charland
Study Group Chair
Urantia Association International
Alice Wood, Wisconsin USA
I worry that we are swimming upstream when we try to insert younger adults into study groups made up entirely of older people. Many times I have been one of the token young adults at Urantia events, and while I am glad that I attended them, being the odd man out always held an undertone of discomfort; and I did, at one point, stop attending a study group when I felt like I simply could not fit in. I think that I was more tolerant of the age difference than the average person, and to ask that of every younger attendee is asking a lot.
I have been enjoying studying the book independently for the past several years. I do, however, long for the community aspect of simply spending an evening with other students of The Urantia Book. A younger friend of mine says that she does not attend a study group because she just doesn’t like to sit with a group to study; she prefers to learn about the book through normal, informal conversation. If we have no alternative group to attend, we would, to a large extent, be left out of the Urantia community.
In my region, there are a few young families within a few hours drive of each other and I am determined to form whatever cohesiveness I can with them. I took a first step last summer when my family went on a joint vacation with one of the other families, and I hope to do three family friendly get-togethers per year that include these families. These visits will mostly be fun socializing, with some Urantia mixed in—too small and informal to be called a conference and too much play to be called a study group. One might think that forming and maintaining regional friendships is just something that would happen naturally, but in my experience, it takes time, effort, prodding, and stubbornness.
I think it is worth encouraging friendships and small events specifically geared toward regional groups of younger adults that are Urantia focused without necessarily being study focused, so that younger readers can find a way to be included in the wider Urantia community.
Cheryl Glicker, Michigan USA
I read with great interest your article in the last Tidings and both responses from young readers that were printed with it. From what the young (and extremely erudite) Venezuelan reader had to say, it would appear that young readers might be more interested in group study if the group itself consisted of only young readers. She did not mention this, but my thought is that perhaps one, more experienced student as a guide or clarification source would be helpful, if not downright indispensable! to such a group. One problem I foresee with this model is, of course, finding young readers with the time, venue, resources and dedication to host and/or facilitate such groups. Obviously, the easiest way for the first three issues to be addressed is to establish these study groups online. As for the dedication required, that depends wholly on the spiritual investment of the founding young reader.
Unfortunately, I have no helpful suggestions to offer with regard to finding such dedicated young readers. My own attempts to interest the younger (age 34) of my two daughters in reading and studying The Urantia Book have resulted in only limited and sporadic success. I believe that this particular age group of 20-40 year olds is more concerned (and rightly so) with the proper establishment of marriage and family life. The inclusion of a spiritual practice into that life is certainly indispensable, but I believe they are, for the most part, so disillusioned with institutionalized religious practices that they deem such practices unfit, if not irrelevant, to the conduct of their personal lives. From what I have observed in my elder (age 40) daughter’s life since the birth of her child, the time, energy and thought required to establish their own spiritual practices and teach them to their growing families is incredibly daunting in the face of the pace and complication of their daily lives. Without a primer or roadmap of established Urantia Book inspired spiritual practices, they simply haven’t the time or energy to create their own, much as they might want to do so. Sigh…
Gaetan Charland, Quebec
On the weekend of May 5 a group of 20 Urantia Book readers from different states including Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia met at a beautiful nature center in Alabama for the whole weekend. Mark Kurtz, who was the main organizer for this event had created a program that covered interesting topics for all those present. During this gathering a few readers had been chosen to make presentations on different topics. The beautiful camaraderie that was present at this gathering was the confirmation of its spiritual maturity and encouraged everyone to share their longing for the welfare of the revelation.
This was spiritual brotherhood in the making!
Jaap Terra, The Netherlands
As in previous years Urantia Association of the Netherlands (UAISUN) is organizing this year’s 2017 annual Urantia Conference for Dutch speaking students of The Urantia Book on August 21st. We will also be celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnation of Michael of Nebadon.
Last year we enjoyed an upward trend in the number of attendees compared to previous years; we hope this development continues.
This year’s conference will focus on: Jesus as a Human Being, as the Living Way, as the Leading Example. We will be exploring how Jesus developed as a human being prior to his public work.
The venue of the conference will again be the Estate Groot Kievitsdal: (www.grootkievitsdal.nl). This beautiful centre is perfectly equipped for social meetings.
Groot Kievitsdal is beautifully situated between the forests of the Estate Pijnenburg on the road between Hilversum and Baarn and is well known as one of the most beautiful locations in this region.
More information about this conference can be found at: www.urantia.nl.
Line St Pierre, Quebec
Dancing with God—Emerging in Sacredness
September 21 to 24, 2017
Urantia Foundation, Chicago
As our series of women’s retreats continues at Urantia Foundation, the “Daughters of God” facilitator team is inviting you to an intimate, experiential, and fun weekend.
In their next retreat, “Dancing with God-Emerging in Sacredness,” four Daughters of God have designed a program where they will co-create a milieu of trust within a spiritual circle, to explore together questions such as:
- What does this statement mean to you: “Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual?”
- “Angels never invade the sanctity of the human mind.” How do you relate to this?
- How do you become aware of the sacred in the drudgery of everyday life?
About Daughters of God
To enhance the status of being a woman dedicated to spiritual growth, intellectual advancement, and moral progress.
To touch women’s hearts by exploring the dignity off being Daughters of God by honouring their value and importance, and by cooperating with the divine spirit to bring forth the beautiful harvest of the fruits of the spirit.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace his Father’s table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste.
So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks he has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in his pathway.
Go out boldly knowing that in our weakness we find his strength, and that, “In him every one of God’s promises is a Yes.”
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