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Tidings – March 2016

Morontia Morning Mate by Carlos Rubinsky

Morontia Morning Mate by Carlos Rubinsky

In This Issue

President’s Message March 2016

Chris Wood

Chris-Wood-framedI am a conference fanatic. One of my first experiences with the Urantia community was piling into a car with four other young Urantia Book students and driving from Chicago to Vancouver, Canada for a conference. Over the years, these UBYouth Tours took us from Colorado to New York to Silver Springs to Kansas City to Philadelphia and Seattle and back again to Chicago over and over. We pleaded with the social organizations to schedule more conferences closer together so we could string them together for a summer. Along the way I met great friends, my future wife, hundreds of Urantia Book students, saw nearly every corner of North America.

When I was elected President of Urantia Association International I had few concrete goals, but one of them was simply, “More conferences.” This year the Urantia Community will be trying something we have never tried before: four conferences on four continents sharing the same theme. And although Urantia Association is leading this effort, this is truly a conference season for uniting the entire Urantia Community for these events.

North America will begin the conference season over the four day weekend of June 9-12 in San Antonio, Texas, USA, where Urantia Association of the United States (UAUS) and The Urantia Book Fellowship are co-hosting a joint event uniting an Association National Conference with a Fellowship Study Summer Session. This will be an exciting event as these two groups unite for the first time! Registration is now open and currently around 140 people have already signed up!

In September, two conferences on opposite sides of the world will share a theme and a weekend and, technology willing, some program highlights. In Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia the Australia and New Zealand Urantia Association (ANZURA) will host their annual conference September 16-19. Concurrently, September 15-18 in Budapest, the Hungary Urantia Association will work with the Blue Club of Europe to host a continental conference uniting the many Urantia communities spread throughout Europe. Registration is open soon for both events, so join us in one hemisphere or the other, your choice!

Finally, October 14-17 in Bogota Colombia will be the Latin American Conference bringing together representatives from National and Local Associations throughout South and Central America as well as the many pockets of readers who have been studying the book independently. This is the region of the world where the Urantia Teachings have spread the most rapidly over the last decade and this conference will bring together those who are dedicated to the growth of the revelation throughout the vast region of Latin America.

I highly encourage everyone to attend one or more of these conferences in person. For more information on these conferences visit our Events page on the website.

One more quick note: attending a conference is often the first interaction a person has with the Urantia community. Many of our current active leaders, including myself, started this way. A donation to the conference scholarship fund is more than a charitable gift – it is an investment in the future leaders of our community. Click here to donate online.

In service,
Chris Wood
President, Urantia Association International

Urantia Association’s Social Media

Social Media Committee

Public Facebook GroupThe Social Media Committee of Urantia Association International is pleased to announce the launching of the Association’s first Public Facebook Group. This differs from the existing Facebook Page of the Association in that it provides a platform for discussions and online study between Urantia Book students and anyone interested from the public at large. Posts can be viewed by the public, but if anyone wishes to join the discussions they will need to click on the “Join” tab and their request is vetted before they are accepted as a member of the group.

The Mission Statement for this Public Group states: As Urantia Association International’s mission is to foster the study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings, our purpose as faith sons of our Heavenly Father is to keep The Urantia Book on the top shelf of human thought by engaging in discussion on the uplifting truths contained in the book. The aim of this site is for participants to be exposed to the truths contained in The Urantia Book by providing an arena for the free expression of philosophic ideas concerning the Fifth Epochal Revelation to our planet. Discussions here are to be true to the spirit of Jesus as we share our highest truths in an effort to uplift and encourage one another in our study of the book.

This Group may be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/groups/UrantiaAssociationInternational.

In addition, the Social Media Committee has been revising the Association’s Facebook and Twitter sites. See our Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/urantia.association and Twitter at https://twitter.com/UrantiaAssoc. (Follow us on Twitter!)

The creation of the internet’s social media opened a vast arena of networking capability for Urantia Book students and teachers. It expanded the reach and potential of the local Urantia Book study group. Many Urantia oriented social media sites are now available to the new and seasoned reader. From the Association’s Forum to our Facebook Page and Public Group, from Twitter to Instagram, from YouTube to Vimeo, from LinkedIn to ‘Blogtalkradio,’ you will find many, many items of interest related to study and dissemination of The Urantia Book. This was not so a mere ten years ago. What will it be in 2026? The potentials are virtually endless for study and dissemination.

Social media can be especially helpful to the lone reader. Many an isolated reader, with no one to discuss this life-altering book, has found a wellspring of friendship and a library of information on social media’s Urantia oriented pages. This new and rapidly growing opportunity for study and friendly connection unites students and simultaneously reveals their private studies and reflections to a much larger audience than the study group would without social media. Even more, social media offers topical studies and an almost limitless array of images and artwork inspired by the teachings.

The various social media have already, in their relatively short existence, become a deep reservoir of Urantia related presentations, using text, graphics, photos, audio, documents, and videos that are easily created and widely broadcast. Social media is also a magnificent bulletin board for announcing conferences and links to teaching tools; it offers a place to teach and learn outside the reader realm. The ability to ‘SHARE’ on Facebook brings with it the potential for spreading the teachings limitlessly across time and distance – the “viral factor” applies. When Urantia Book students and teachers embed links in quotes and images, they lead revelatory pearl-seekers back to the book, and some will find their way to Urantia Association’s and Urantia Foundation’s webpages.

A note of caution: Social media is not yet perfected. Participants are well advised to protect privacy and use discretion when creating an identity, ‘friending’, private messaging, and giving out personal information. With proper precautions (which the Association and Facebook provide the tools for) students and teachers can usually navigate Urantia social media safely, profitably, and with a minimum of distraction and discomfort.

Urantia Association International’s Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/urantia.association/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UrantiaAssoc
Forum: http://urantia-association.org/forums

German-speaking Urantia Book Readers’ Meeting

Alexander H

German meeting-Mini Blue Club meetingDear Urantia Community,

I want to report to you about the meeting of the German-speaking Urantia Book readers in Frankfurt, Germany last November 6-8. It was held, as usual, at Hotel Monopol, right in the city’s center. We had a great conference. It turned out to be a very effective study session over those three days.

The main topic was: “What happens after death?” according to The Urantia Book of course. We studied Papers 47, 49.6, 55.2, 110.6-7, 112.3-7 and 113.6-7. We read together and discussed things in detail. I think I speak for everyone who attended when I say we are all smarter and wiser now – because we learn best when studying with one another. It felt good to see how well we interacted. Big thanks to organizer Christian Ruch for his diligence and hard work.

There were participants from all over Europe. It looked to me as if it was a Blue Club Meeting. The European Urantia Community may be small, but readers here are engaged and loyal. I wish to thank you all for that. And I hope we will all meet again in Budapest, at the European Blue Club Conference (September 15-18, 2016). There is a strong community developing in Europe and we are very happy and encouraged by this.

German meeting-SigningAfter the conference we held a meeting of the new association that was formed for German speaking countries two months before. It will be called “Urantia-DACH” (D=Deutschland, A=Austria, CH=Schweiz; Dach is German for “roof”). This Tri-national Association is now officially signed under Urantia Association International as a Local Association. This is a first step for the German speaking Urantia Community here in Europe, to make contact and interact with the rest of the international Urantia community.

The goals of Urantia-DACH are:

1. To study and disseminate The Urantia Book in German speaking regions.
2. To organize national and international meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
3. To support activities here in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that promote study and dissemination of The Urantia Book.

We, the first fourteen signed members, voted and elected the officers of our new association: German meeting-Alexander, Sandra and ChristianChristian Ruch, President; and Sandra Burgos-Cisneros, Vice President (both from Switzerland). They founded the association in September 2015. With them, Reinhard Schneider, (also from Switzerland) and Alexander H from Cologne, Germany, have been elected as a four person service team. I have also been voted to be the ambassador of Urantia-DACH.

All Urantia-DACH members also represent the Urantia Europe “Blue Club”. We extend this open invitation: Come, join us, at Budapest, Hungary, in September, 2016! This will be an international conference organized by the European Urantia Book readers with the theme: “Who is Jesus?” We are looking forward to this event and we hope there will be many attendees, and from many nations. Let us say, in Hungarian: “Wir freuen uns auf Euch!” or “Bízunk benne, hogy látni!” (according to Google Translator). More information about this event will be provided soon.

If anyone wants to do a presentation or a workshop at our Budapest Conference, please email [email protected]

Winter Conference in Finland

Raimo Ala-Hynnila

Finland Conference groupOur winter conference was held 22-24 of January 2016 in the central part of Finland on the shores of Lake Paijanne. There were about 35 Finnish participants and one foreign visitor; Antonio Schefer, from the Netherlands. Two Urantia-Book readers from Cameroon wanted to participate as well, but they did not get the visa in time. The theme was The Journey of Mortals on Urantia, the Mansion worlds and Through Spheres Toward the Isle of Paradise.

Luckily the weather was much better during the weekend compared to the earlier three weeks when the temperature was minus 25-30 degrees Celsius.

On Saturday morning the real conference program started from the topic “A little Jesus child as a refugee in Egypt”. The refugee and asylum seeker theme here in Finland is now a topic of keen discussion since there have been hundreds of thousands of refugees escaping war torn areas of Syria and Afghanistan in recent months. Tens of thousands of refugees have also come to our country located in the north. That is why we were reminded that Jesus was also a refugee for some time in his life and we should always have a positive attitude to those who are seeking shelter.

In the afternoon we continued to the mansion worlds and listened to how the evolving mortals get a new morontia body and how they will learn about real cosmic wisdom, morontia mota itself.

Finland conference study aidHere is a picture of where Jerusem, the capital of our local system of Satania, is located in the centre and the seven transition worlds and the 49 satellites that encircle it. Seven mansion worlds are encircling transition world number one.

In the evening many of us went and had a sauna situated by the lake which was unfortunately frozen so swimming was not possible. During the evening Antonio had a study group meeting through the internet with Urantia Book readers all over the world. It was very exciting to be able to hear and see our friends located so far away from us.

On Sunday we started with beautiful music and continued listening to a lecture about the mortal journey from the local system to the local and super universes and then finally towards the billion different worlds of Havona and the Isle of Paradise. What a beautiful and adventurous journey we have ahead of us!

Raimo Ala-Hynnila
President, Finnish Urantia Association

Cameroon Study Group

Paul Tsekar

Cameroon SGGreetings from all of us here in Cameroon! I am proud to present to you our new Study Group The Cameroon Urantia Book Study Group Yaounde. We were unable to come together as a group since 2010 but now we thank Jesus that our prayers have been answered and our problems have been solved.

Thanks also goes to Rick Lyon who personally sent us some copies of The Urantia Book and those of you brothers and sisters who together sent 10 copies of The Urantia Book to us.

If we are able to come together as many as you can see in our group photograph, it is thanks to your efforts. I placed some of those books in a local church here in Yaounde and the Pastor of the Church was very interested. He introduced the book to his deacons and elders and now a room and a regular day has been set apart for the study of The Urantia Book on the church premises, thereby solving our chronic problem of finding a place to hold our studies.

I shall send you more details of our new group from time to time.

Peace and Love,
Paul Tsekar
Cameroon Group Leader

ANZURA Conference Tasmania 2016

Equipped to be Teachers of the Religion of Jesus – Are You Willing? Are You Ready?

16-19 September, 2016

Maryknoll Retreat and Conference Centre
15 Home Ave
Blackmans Bay, Tasmania
Australia

Maryknoll 3Urantia is poised to experience a spiritual revolution, the likes of which has never been witnessed before on this planet:

Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment. [Paper 195:9.2, page 2082.7]

It has now been more than seventy five years since a Midwayer Commission declared that message to our troubled world! Where and how do we, as readers and students of The Urantia Book, fit into this planetary scenario of social, moral, and spiritual reformation? Consider the following:

The religion of Jesus is the most powerful unifying influence the world has ever known. [Paper 194:3.17, page 2065.5]

Could it be that this religion of Jesus is the fuse that ignites and the driving force behind this global renaissance? And if so, just how does this take place….who are the key players….and just what is the divine plan for this unprecedented spiritual renewal?

These intriguing questions and many more are to be considered and answered at ANZURA’s forthcoming national conference, to be held in Hobart, Tasmania from the 16th to the 19th September 2016. It was almost six years ago that Hobart hosted its inaugural national conference and once again you are warmly invited to gather with us at the Maryknoll Retreat Centre overlooking the picturesque Blackmans Bay, just fifteen minutes south of the city centre.

Our Theme

Sooner or later another and greater John the Baptist is due to arise proclaiming “the kingdom of God is at hand”–meaning a return to the high spiritual concept of Jesus….There must come a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus…[Paper 170:5.19, page 1866.2]

….the teachers of this new religion are now equipped with spiritual weapons…[Paper 194:3.11, page 2064.3]

Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. [Paper 195:9.4, page 2082.9]

Who are these “new teachers of Jesus’ religion”, who courageously proclaim his life-giving message to the world? What qualifies them to be such? What are these “spiritual weapons” that they are equipped with? How do they perform this critical role on behalf of their fellow mortals? These are pertinent questions to consider as we respond to the call to be teachers of the religion of Jesus. Are we willing to step up to the task? If not us….then who?

Maryknoll 1The Venue

We will have exclusive use of the Maryknoll Retreat and Conference Centre; situated only a short walk from the beautiful waters of Blackmans Bay. Run by the Tasmanian Presentation Sisters since 1979, the Centre offers a chapel for worship, a large conference room, a kitchen, dining room, and several smaller rooms that could be used for study group discussions. Accommodation is all on-site and consists of three double rooms, five twin rooms, and twelve single rooms which all share communal bathrooms and toilets; in addition, there are three self-contained hermitages each suitable for a couple or small family. We’ll do our best to provide attendees with requested accommodation. Beds all have electric blankets and each bedroom has an electric heater. Bed linen and towels are supplied. Tasmania gets pretty cool this time of year so make sure you bring plenty of warm clothes to wear.

Catering

The Centre provides a self-serve breakfast as well as lunch and dinner every day. In addition, tea, coffee and other refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Cost

Full conference (Shared bathroom): $390, (Hermitage): $420. These costs cover 3 night’s accommodation plus all meals from Friday dinner to Monday lunch. Alcoholic beverages will be available for an extra cost.

Daily Rate: $80 – includes both lunch and dinner plus tea and coffee throughout the day
Daily Rate: $40 – includes only lunch plus tea and coffee throughout the day

Contact [email protected]

Seeding The Urantia Book

David Linthicum

David Linthicum

I’m sure we all recall our first experience with attempts to share the book with family and friends. If your experience was anything like mine, you might have been left with a feeling of profound disappointment and perhaps even surprise that not everyone was as enthusiastic about the book as you were. Why wouldn’t they see the light and embrace this marvellous book? Why am I unable to convince people that this is the best book ever written?

The Publication Mandate advises us that the Revelation is intended for a future generation when the hearts and minds of mankind will be ripe for the book and its wonderful message; that the book was given to us in advance of this age to prepare teachers and leaders.

When I was elected as Urantia Association International’s Dissemination Committee Chairman last year one of the first things I did was review our Charter and Bylaws for guidance on the role of this committee. Basically, it is the function of the committee to “…coordinate the UAI international efforts to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book and to provide information about The Urantia Book and UAI to people who are not familiar therewith.”

With the Publication Mandate in mind and the Association’s governing documents as a guide it seems to me that one way to prepare for the age to come is to make the book available to as many people as possible, to ensure the book is distributed to every continent on the planet. The next question was, “OK, how does one go about it?”

What I learned was that there were several seeding projects underway across the globe.  The Association was leading the effort to get the book distributed in the Ukraine, the Philippines and Africa, with great success. Seeds that were planted in South Korea, South America and Europe just a few short years ago have sprouted and grown with new associations and study groups being the fruit. New teachers and leaders have emerged and energized our budding organization. The growth in Mexico, Columbia and Brazil is astounding.

This was fantastic news! I decided my job was to explore the components of those efforts and see how best to replicate them and expand the process to other countries. What I found was that the Association and Urantia Foundation have been consistently working in harmony to seed The Urantia Book around the globe. In many cases I found that the best results came when working with very dedicated people who were driven to bring the book to their home country.

For instance, the gentleman leading the effort in the Philippines, Eugene Asaido, had approached Urantia Foundation with his desire to disseminate the book to the islands that make up the Philippines.  The Foundation and the Association worked in harmony to provide the books and, to his credit, Eugene funded the travel, food, lodging and other expenses out of his own pocket. Eugene, along with three to four friends, spent six months in the Philippines distributing books to seminaries, universities, public libraries, an institute of technology, a science high school, new age, esoteric and theosophic groups as well as to various individuals and study groups that emerged out of their efforts. In the course of his travels Eugene and his crew were able to start three study groups. The Baguio City study group had 23 attendees at their first meeting. The Philippines is fertile ground for the Revelation; Eugene and his friends have been planting many seeds.

In the Ukraine the Association has been working with Anton Miroshnichenko, President of the Ukraine National Association. Anton had already completed the distribution of the first pallet (270 Russian language books) to arrive in the Ukraine when I came on board and was requesting a second pallet. Anton has been successful in locating a book distributor that has agreed to place The Urantia Book in several bookstores throughout the country. This is a very fortuitous development as it facilitates the widespread distribution of the book throughout the country. Anton also does the basic footwork of distributing the book to libraries, universities, individuals and study groups. All of these efforts combined will reap much fruit in the years to come.

In Africa it was Grevet Moyo, President of the Malawi Local Association, and his Vice-President, Brian Mtambo who were handling the dissemination of a pallet of 120 books in their city of 1.2 million. Brian has since graduated from this life (February 4, 2016); some of you may remember him from the Association’s Study Group Symposium which he attended. With no funds, but much heart, Grevet and Brian set out to disseminate the books throughout the country, on foot, walking to villages up to 21 kilometers away, all while carrying heavy boxes of books. They left books with universities, hospitals, libraries, the forestry service, two prisons, and were able to get books to their Local Association and study group members who needed one.  Several people Grevet and Brian met have since joined one of the 12 study groups they organized and have added new members to Malawi’s Local Association, which has grown from 7 to 115. You can read about Grevet and Brian’s efforts in the recent edition of Tidings http://urantia-association.org/publications/tidings-newsletter. Grevet is in the process of gaining National Association status for Malawi. While Brian will be sorely missed, we have in Malawi a very strong leader who is overcoming many difficulties.

*As an aside, it may interest some of you to learn that during his travels Grevet visited the Malawi College of Medicine. One of the professors was so impressed with Grevet that she offered him admittance to the college and the opportunity to attain his medical degree. The price was right. A two-year program cost just $10,500 but it might as well be $10 million. Grevet and his family live in abject poverty, depending on a monthly allotment of rice to feed his wife and two young sons. I was so impressed with Grevet and his “can do” attitude that I offered to assist him with a private fundraising effort. A GoFundMe site was created and has resulted in the receipt of around $3,500, enough to get Grevet enrolled in his first semester, as well as a little extra for food and necessities for his family just before Christmas. The college tuition covers Grevet’s room, board and meals but nothing for his family. If you would like to assist Grevet with attaining his goal of achieving his medical degree, please visit the GoFundMe site at: https://www.youcaring.com/grevet-moyo-458222. In order to continue his education the goal is to raise an additional $8,000 which will cover all of his tuition requirements and allow for a little extra to care for his family’s needs. Grevet is a proven leader in his country and personally I feel he deserves our support and the chance at a better life. *(See footnote)

I’m very impressed with Eugene, Antonio, Grevet, his former colleague, Brian Mtambo and all those who assisted them with their selfless efforts to spread the book to the far corners of the globe. Who says one person can’t make a difference in this world? We have individuals going quietly about doing big things and small, each adding to the successes of the other, in their quest to get the teachings out to hungry souls.

Another avenue for seeding The Urantia Book is by signing up for bookfairs. My first experience working a booth was in Salt Lake City, Utah this past summer at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. It was an eye-opening experience for me as I had never talked to so many people about the book in the span of a few short days. It was a little scary to tell the truth. I sort of stumbled around with the first couple of folks to visit the booth until I found my comfort zone. I noticed some of the volunteers working the booth answered questions by stating, “The book says…”

That approach wasn’t working for me so I decided that I’d just tell them about my experience, the questions it answered for me, how I came to read it and how it changed my life. In arriving at this approach I recalled a suggestion Chris Wood put forth at a past conference, basically that it was important not to sound weird. His suggestion was to talk about the book without using Urantia Book terminology or information that is unique to the Revelation, stuff most people don’t know and would only find confusing. I found that telling my story and explaining why I read the book was a way for me to connect person-to-person. The questions I had about God, Jesus, religion, the cosmos, etc. are the same questions many others have as well.

The Parliament booth was a huge success; there were no books left at the end. I am hopeful that the seeds we planted during that time will bear fruit in the future. If history is any gauge, it most certainly will. On a personal level, I came away better for the experience. There were opportunities for growth and development that I had not anticipated. National and Local Associations should encourage their members to participate at bookfairs.

Besides the obvious benefits of getting the book out to the public it is also an excellent opportunity to get our members involved in an endeavor that fosters teamwork and cooperation. People want to be involved and are looking for avenues to be of service. The Association will assist those who wish to host a booth by donating 50% of the booth fee and Urantia Foundation often assists with providing the books. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in hosting a booth at a local bookfair, expo, etc.

There are other things we can do individually. Bookstores only stock books that sell and libraries will only hold them on their shelf if they are checked out regularly. If you need a book consider utilizing a brick and mortar bookstore; many people still prefer to go to a bookstore to browse the shelves. If they don’t have The Urantia Book in stock, ask them to order a couple, if they sit on the shelf, buy one for your study group or for a friend. Go to the library and check out the book, if they have it. We have a library placement program if they don’t. This is something Local Associations and study groups can tackle in their home towns.

I would be interested to hear from you any ideas you may have for avenues to spread the teachings of the book. There is no one right way to go about it and I’m open to hearing your thoughts as to how we can better pursue our goals, together.

David Linthicum
Dissemination Committee Chair
Urantia Association International

[email protected] 

*Footnote:  Urantia Association International supports the efforts of individuals and groups to serve, announce, and discuss worthy service projects in our publications, website, social media, and email systems but the Association does not necessarily endorse or approve of such service projects or opinions which have not received the full due diligence and official approval for Association funding or sponsorship. All opinions expressed herein are personal to the author and do not represent the Association’s leadership or its membership regarding policy.

Study Group Committee in the Making

Gaétan G. Charland

Gaetn CharlandDuring the last two months, calls were made to many different Urantia Associations across the world to recruit volunteers to join the Urantia International Study group Committee. We had good results; four members of different Associations have come forth and offered their help to further the mission of this committee. Presently the committee can start addressing its task by first revising its strategic plan.

Of those volunteers, two are from New Zealand, one from Australia, one from Colombia, one from the United States, and me from Canada. The role of this committee in the coming years will be to coordinate certain activities among the various Urantia Associations around the world in fostering the creation of more study groups, while making available to them study aids, documents and guides to help them improve the quality of the teaching and learning experience within them.

The members of this committee will also be engaged in various activities such as making presentations and workshops about study groups at international, national and regional conferences. One of our members is also part of the committee managing the Study Group directory so the Study Group committee will be able to make recommendations to this dedicated group in order to improve the service it provides to students of The Urantia Book around the world while promoting its website to increase the number of registered groups.

The Study Group committee will also be promoting the creation of virtual study groups using the ZOOM platform which provides incredible and reliable quality of video and audio communication. For this to happen, more experience must be gained in that area so we can provide interested hosts and participants valuable advice on how such groups can be as good as a regular in-person group.

Another goal that will help focus our efforts is the promotion of the acquirement of teaching and leadership skills by students in study groups. There is much to be done in that area if we are to follow the advice the Revelators given in the Publication Mandate. What better place to acquire those skills than in the purview of a study group?

If you would like to join our committee, please contact me at [email protected]

In spirit of Brotherhood,

Gaétan G. Charland
Study Group Chair
Urantia Association International

Farewell Brain Mtambo, Malawi

Rick Lyon

We have received word from Grevet Moyo that one of our leaders of the Urantia revelation, Brian Mtambo of Mwanza, Malawi, has graduated. He died on the night of 4th February 2016 after spending two weeks in hospital.

Brian Mtambo-Malawi VPBrian was the Vice President of the Urantia Association of Malawi and has been a student of The Urantia Book since 2006. Our friend was a teacher, organizer, and had strong personal relationship skills.

Brian was one of the hard working members of our Association in Malawi. He helped the group there by establishing study groups and in 2012 he attended Urantia Association International’s Study Group Symposium in Chicago, USA. During this event he visited Urantia Foundation. Last year, Brian, Grevet, and others, distributed The Urantia Book in various parts of Malawi.

We will miss him and his services. May God be with him and our spiritual friends welcome him to the mansion worlds.

Rick Lyon

Farewell Herrol Dallaire, Quebec

Gaetan Charland and Line St-Pierre

Herrol Dallaire2The passing of a dedicated servant…

A few years ago, as part of an outreach initiative to meet Urantia Book readers in the far regions of the province of Quebec where I live, a group of board members of our local association, while visiting one of those regions, met this reader, Herrol Dallaire whom on our first meeting offered his help as a translator.

My wife Line, who was doing a lot of translation work for our association, was delighted by this offer. A new friendship started to grow and the more we worked with Herrol, the more we discovered how generous and forthcoming he was with his time. He even did a lot more than we asked him to do. For example, one day after he read the book “Heaven is Not the Last Stop” written by Sheila Keene-Lund, he offered to translate it into French, and soon enough the translation was done.

Herrol never even once complained about the requests that were made of him to translate many documents, no matter how many or how long they were, always replying, “This is my service for the revelation and the readers”. In the last year, after we asked him if he wanted to be part of the team of translators for Urantia Association International’s Website, he accepted without hesitation and even bought himself a new computer so he could do the job better. This is how dedicated Herrol was, a man with limited financial resources who had worked most of his life in the great forest of Quebec.

We did not know much about Herrol’s personal life, only that his wife died two years ago. The last time we saw Herrol was last year during the International conference. We learned of his passing from one of his brothers after trying to reach him by phone.

He will be sorely missed by many of us for he was an untiring servant whom we could always trust to deliver the work he was given.

In spirit of brotherhood,
Gaetan Charland and Line St-Pierre

Urantia University Institute

UrantiaUniversity InstituteActualizing personal potentials of mind, matter and spirit through enlightened study, service and experience.

Urantia University is a global center of study and service dedicated to training teachers and farseeing leaders and fostering a spiritual community with cosmic ideals based on truths in The Urantia Book.

Part of a long-range plan to develop a university grounded in cosmic wisdom, ideals and aspiration, Urantia University Institute (UUI) was set up to provide diverse learning paths for students in an online educational environment in which to explore, discern, and actualize the truths and knowledge found in The Urantia Book.

It offers an exciting and innovative series of online classes which not only  introduce newer readers (and any student) to some of the most important concepts, truths and themes found in The Urantia Book, but also provide intensive studies of selected topics in the book.

The classes do not require attendance at any fixed times. The UUI virtual classroom is open 24/7 so students may visit anytime to engage in their classwork. Most classes may be taken in one of two ways:

Participant – A student who intends to actively engage in the class through reading, learning exercises, class discussions, video instruction, meditation exercises, and webinars.

Auditor – A student who intends to make limited use of the selected readings, videos and learning exercises but who, for whatever reason, does not intend to participate in class discussions and webinars.

You will be given an opportunity when you register to declare which track you wish to pursue.

Learn more about UUI’s exciting new series of classes focused on The Urantia Book at: http://www.urantiauniversity.org.

International Service Board at Work – 4th Quarter 2015

Study Group Committee – Gaetan Charland, Chair

The Study group Committee began the development of a strategic plan and the search for committee members continues with invitations sent to different leaders throughout the Association. An email message was sent out to all of the readers in the Association’s database inviting them to register their study group in the Study Group Directory. As a result, 20 new groups were registered. Two articles were written for Tidings to promote study groups. Gaetan attended the new online study group created by Antonio Schefer and facilitated by Jeffrey Wattles to gather information in order to promote study group as a way to train leaders and teachers. Gaetan offered to do a presentation or workshop to promote study groups at this year’s conferences in the United States and Budapest. 

Dissemination Committee – David Linthicum, Chair

A new member from Malawi was added to the committee. The focus continues on building book distribution channels in Malawi, Ukraine, Zambia and Philippines. David participated in planning for the Parliament of the World’s Religions and attended the event. He is also on the planning committee for this year’s joint conference in the United States. 

Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT): In 2015, 230 inquiries were received, 93 books were placed and there are two well developed prison study groups of 10 and 27 members respectively. Groundwork is underway for prison library placement project. From 2005-2015 PIRT has processed 3,494 letters and placed 1,735 books. A pilot program that provides study aids has been started. 

Reader Services: 61 new contact letters were processed and sent bringing the total for 2015 to 152. A new member to handle Portuguese translations was added to the team so we now have the contact letter translated into Portuguese, French, Spanish and Finnish. Volunteers for German and Polish translation are being sought. 

Membership Committee – Anton Miroshnichenko, Chair

Members from Portugal, Israel and Germany have volunteered to serve as Membership Coordinators. Fifty four applications for membership have been received from Malawi which now qualifies to become a National Association. A governing board has been elected for Urantia DACH which represents Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and a submission has been made for them to become a Local Association. 

Communications Committee – Kathleen Swadling, Chair

Publications: Regular issues of the Journal and Tidings were published in English, French and Spanish.

Website: Research and costing was undertaken to explore the viability of switching to a new host server and converting the website to a WordPress multi-site. This would allow for the creation of sub-sites for all of the Associations at little or no cost. These sub-sites (or child-sites) would appear as independent sites but would be “joined at the hip” with the main Association site. This means the Association could provide a service to those associations that cannot afford their own servers and webmasters.

Public Relations: The Association’s Information Brochure is being rewritten and simplified. Investigations with Google Search and the tagging of our website content are underway in an effort to improve the search engine optimization. Website Home page revision has been discussed and is under consideration.

Social Media: Worked on a new logo and banner for the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages. A Public Facebook Group has been created to provide further opportunity for outreach to help readers gain a clearer understanding of the teachings of The Urantia Book. 

Conference Committee – Antonio Schefer, Chair

Antonio is an active member of the 2018 International Conference planning committee. They are reviewing the draft of the Conference Guide and will be giving suggestions. He has continued to work with three of the 2016 Conference Committees. Webinars in Spanish have been developed and all known events have been promoted on the website and on Facebook. Antonio attended the Blue Club meeting in Frankfurt, Germany and met with the Urantia DACH leaders, encouraging them to form a local association. He also formed a team of young adults (Urantia Young Adults International UYAI) and has begun hosting an online study group with Dr. J. Wattles, PhD. for the training of future workshop facilitators and event presenters. 

Translation Committee – Chris Moseley, Chair

Chris continues to look for volunteer translators.  A Portuguese translator has been found to replace the previous one who resigned. Translation services to the ISB, RC and the website have been provided.

President

Chris Wood continued to work with the 2016 UAUS-Fellowship Conference planning team and attended the first quarterly meeting with Presidents of the Fellowship and Urantia Foundation. He created and facilitated a mailing team for the Association’s Fall Fundraising letter, made fundraising phone calls and solicited donations in support of the 2016 conferences. He also attended a local conference of mostly new readers in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Vice President

Andres Ramirez continued to Chair the online continuous meeting of the Representative Council. He attended the national conference in Brazil and met with leaders of the association there. He attended the Colombia National Conference and continues to serve on the planning team for the 2016 Latin American Conference as well as the Leadership Seminars for leaders in Latin America.

Chief Financial Officer

Bradly Tharp participated as a member of the Executive Team and the Finance and Fundraising Committees. He drafted the Fall Fundraising letter and reviewed final financial reports for the 2015 International Conference. He also finalized and procured ISB approval for a detailed Executive Administrator Job Description, and finalized research and made recommendation to the ISB for a new database for the Association.

Secretary

Susan Owen provided meeting minutes and action points for the monthly ISB meetings and posted the August and October ISB meeting minutes and 3rd Quarter ISB Activity Report to the Representative Council. She verified voting results and conducted 4th quarter RC and ISB roll calls. She continues to serve as a member of the Executive Team and the committees for Website Management, Public Relations and Education. 

Executive Team

Following are some of the topics addressed by the Executive Team in the 4th quarter:

  • The job description for Executive Administrator was completed and approved by the ISB.
  • Work continued on the formation of a Governance Committee
  • Final recommendation made to the ISB for the new Association database

Fundraising Committee – Chris Wood, Chair

Chris reported that we met our 3-year goal to have 2016 budget money in the bank by year-end 2015.

Finance Committee – Bradly Tharp, Chair

Bradly submitted a resolution to establish a restricted Future Conference Fund to house funds already received. The committee reorganized accounting and banking accounts to improve transparency and changed protocols for better identification of income sources.

Upcoming Events

Check out Urantia Association International’s Events Calendar at http://urantia-association.org/events-list. Upcoming events can be viewed in a List or Calendar view.

Urantia Book reader events provide opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of the ideas and concepts presented in The Urantia Book and help to facilitate a personal commitment to the ideals of spiritual living. We hope you can make it to some of these events and experience the joys of meeting and studying with fellow readers.

If you’re planning a Urantia Book reader event in your region and would like help in promoting it, please send us your information and we’ll consider it for our Events Calendar.