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Tidings – March 2018



In This Issue

President’s Message – March 2018

Chris Wood, President

In January representatives of Urantia Association International and Urantia Foundation met to update each other on our current projects, discuss issues of mutual interest and to plan for the future. Many issues were discussed but two themes stand out as highlights.

First is the need for succession of leadership within both organizations. A successful community such as ours depends upon a rotation of leadership. One sign of a healthy and vibrant social organization is to have volunteer leaders rotate into decision making positions and then rotating into other capacities for a period of time. As a decentralized international group, the Association has a large pool of active leaders. This leads to a problem of perceived overabundance: some potential leaders may think to themselves, “Surely there is someone better qualified than I am, so I will not step forward to take on International responsibility.” But the number of positions needed under the Association’s umbrella is enormous. We need active and willing volunteers at the local, national, continental, and international levels. We cannot afford to deprive Local and National Associations of good leadership in order to fill International positions. The need for new and excited volunteers is large and ever-growing as we expand across the globe.

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Lifting Together: The Future of Urantia Association

The Association’s Education Committee organized a live Webinar titled “Lifting Together: The Future of Urantia Association” presented by President, Chris Wood. This presentation was developed to share with the growing Global Urantia Community the goals, plans and vision for the Urantia Association International for the next three years and beyond. The Webinar was held on February 17th, at 11:00 a.m. EST USA.

You can view this presentation on the Association’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/1EU_ed53IUI

Service—more service, increased service, difficult service, adventurous service, and at last divine and perfect service—is the goal of time and the destination of space. [The Urantia Book, Paper 28:6.17, page 316.4]

European Urantia Leadership Meeting

(Adapted from the Meeting Minutes and reports submitted by Chris Moseley, UK and Sebastian Nozzi, Germany)

Members of National and Local Urantia Associations in Europe met at the Ibersol Hotel in Sitges, Catalonia 27—29 October 2017 for three days of fellowship and discussion about the present and future of the Urantia movement in Europe. Participants came from Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Estonia, and the UK. This was no ordinary pan-European Urantia meeting; the main thing everyone had in common was their affiliation with Urantia Association International. Thank you to the Association’s Conference Chair, Antonio Schefer from the Netherlands for organizing this historic event.

The main purpose of this meeting was to gather together the leaders of the various European Urantia Associations so they may get to know one another and begin creating a European focus. The aim was to discuss common goals for the revelation and decide on how European readers could work together to achieve these goals in their respective regions. Some of the main topics discussed were:

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Subsites for Regional Urantia Associations

Kathleen Swadling, Communications Committee

The website for Urantia Association International at https://urantia-association.org has a new feature allowing for multiple “subsites.” A subsite is a website that is joined to a main website, but has the appearance of a stand-alone website with its own unique domain name.

In January we were pleased to announce to the Representative Council (RC), consisting of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of all the National and Local Urantia Associations, that we can now offer them a valuable opportunity to create their own subsite at no cost! The main website has been upgraded to support this new option for our leaders throughout the world. There are several benefits for those associations who decide to take advantage of this service:

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Continental Conference in Brazil

Enrique Traver, Brazil

The next Continental Conference for Latin America will be held in Guarulhos, São Paulo, Brazil.

With the theme of Living the Teachings, this event will bring together students of The Urantia Book from all Latin American countries. We also invite readers from all over the world to join us in this unique opportunity to share three days of exploring together the many practical ways for living the teachings of The Urantia Book.

The conference is being organized by the Urantia Association of Brazil, with the support of the Latin American Committee, and will be conducted in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English. It will be possible to follow the presentations in one of these languages through a Zoom Internet meeting room.

Stay tuned for more information or email: [email protected]

Enrique Traver
Urantia Associação do Brasil
President

Jean Royer Graduation

Marlène and Georges Michelson-Dupont

Jean Royer, one of the Association’s most long-standing and dedicated French translation volunteers graduated from Urantia on the 5th of February, 2018 at the age of 78 years. He passed away in the evening in the hospital of Avignon (South of France.)

Jean had been exposed to the teachings of The Urantia Book (Le Livre d’Urantia) in the early 1960’s and became a strong supporter of the revelation. He contacted J. Weiss and started corresponding with him about the French translation. At the end of the sixties, Jean contacted my father, Jacques Dupont, and they became very close friends, visiting one another, sharing the teachings, writing articles and organizing study groups in their respective areas.

In the seventies, the relationship between a small group of French readers and Urantia Foundation/Urantia Brotherhood grew more and more; Jean attended several meetings and retreats in Recloses during the times of the revelation’s pioneers such as the Kendals, the Hales’, Martin Myers, Berkeley Elliot, the Begemans and many other Americans when visiting the Weiss and/or the Duponts. It was during these meetings that Marlène and I met Jean and developed a strong life-long friendship.

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Online Workshop Series Report

Jeannie Vaszquez, Education Committee

A series of weekly online workshops on the subject, Leadership and Teaching According to The Urantia Book was organized by the Education Committee of Urantia Association International late last year. I would like to thank those who helped to make this an instructive and satisfying experience.

Thank you to Gaétan Charland, who presented three beautiful and instructive sessions about how to be a true spiritual leader and servant of the Urantia Revelation, living the teachings and serving others as a fruit of the spirit;

to Rick Lyon, who gave us a useful and instructive lesson about the value of social organizations of service to the spiritual fraternity;

to Guy Perron, who gave us a comprehensive instruction over four sessions about the importance of developing our inner life—going inward, upward, onward and outward in our search for God;

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History of Study Groups

Gaetan Charland, Study Groups Committee

Many new students of The Urantia Book today have not had the experience of being a part of the Urantia movement while in its early years of development—when study groups were the main focus of the former Urantia Brotherhood, the original fraternal organization. Throughout the many years of reorganization while our young movement has undergone many growth problems common to organizations such as ours, the focus has tended to shift from creating study groups to growing the membership and trying to make The Urantia Book more visible to the public in the belief that this would—all by itself—change the world.

In searching the history of our movement to find more about study groups, and while reflecting on why we were told by the revelators to create thousands of them, I came across some very interesting articles and letters that were published by the Brotherhood and Urantia Foundation—articles written by readers who believed that study groups were very important.

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Canada Prison Program

Chris Gravel, Canada

I would like to let you know what has been happening with the Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT) in Canada over the last couple of years. Thanks to the support of Urantia Association International I have been placing books into penitentiaries throughout Canada. In January of this year I sent French Urantia Books (Le Livre d’Urantia) to the thirteen Federal Institutions in Quebec. They were sent as book donations with Don de Livre de Bibliotheque (Donation of Book to Library) marked on four sides.

The winter of 2016 marked the initial effort of sending a copy of The Urantia Book to every federal prison in Canada. Thank you, Gaetan Charland for providing the initial support to “get the ball rolling.” The initial books sent from the Urantia Association of Quebec were sent to Ontario and other provinces in the west as well to the Atlantic provinces in the east. I was sure to send both English and French copies to New Brunswick as they are unique in that they have both English and French as official languages in Canada.

When all of the federal prisons have been covered, I plan to start sending books to the Provincial branches.

Ministry in Belgium Prisons

Agnès Lazare, Belgium

It all started just a year ago. The school in which I teach English and stress management was approached by a prison in the region with the aim of expanding their training offer to male prisoners, who want to expand their knowledge and practices in the diversified fields and thus increase their chances of social and professional reintegration as soon as they get out.

I accepted the challenge because of what it was at first, convinced that God was offering me a special opportunity to serve even more. The news having arrived a few weeks before the beginning of my teaching activities, I prayed a lot: “That the participants to the courses will be thirsty souls for God,” “And that I may be an instrument of his peace and a channel of his love by which God manifests himself and will be manifested.”

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Finnish Winter Meeting 2018

Laura Suominen-Raatikainen, Finland

Once again enthusiastic Finnish readers of The Urantia Book gathered together for the annual winter meeting of the Urantia Association of Finland. It was held 26-28 January at Lautsia Resort Center in Southern Finland, a beautiful place in the countryside near a lake.

Over 30 readers attended from all over Finland and two from Estonia. The meeting was a huge success. Everything seemed to flow beautifully thanks to efforts of Olli Ylitapio, Tapio Kankkonen and Raimo Kujala who organized the program. The theme of the meeting was “Spiritual Coaching” and this proved to be a very fruitful theme. People were alert and interested.

The meeting started with a short presentation on “Moral Education.” Then Tapio and Raimo presented on the “Coaching of the Apostles.” After this the participants were divided into small groups to discuss what kind of coaching would be needed for a person who is aware of their Thought Adjuster and the Holy Spirit. The discussion afterwards was very lively and brought forth new ideas.

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Miami Book Fair

Ramon Franco, USA

The Miami Study Group participated in the Miami Book Fair from 17-19 November 2017. Many thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers who worked together so well to create a Urantia Book display booth and to make this such a great experience. Our team consisted of Angela Alvarez, Jeanette Francis, Eva Castell, Luis Betancur, Raul Pujol, and me.  The booth attracted a lot of interest.

We sold 25 books, handed out 1,000 flyers in Spanish and 1,500 in English, and added 60 people to our mailing list. We enjoyed being able to share with new and long-time readers and we heard some incredible testimonies and stories of personal transformation from people who had read the book.

Without a doubt, this has been our best experience so far in our efforts to share the amazing Urantia revelation.  Please enjoy these photos that capture the atmosphere of this incredible event.

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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 along to some of these events and experience the joys of meeting and studying with fellow readers.