Urantia Association
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Tidings – September 2017

In This Issue

President’s Message – September 2017

Chris Wood, USA

There has never been a busier, more productive time to be in service to the Urantia Revelation!

The Urantia Book tells us that:

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. [Paper 28:6.17, page 316.4]  

That’s all fine and dandy, but I’ve got a hive of hornets that have embedded themselves in the walls of my home and are swarming the office.  

I have been devoting a great amount of time to the contemplation of “motivations” lately. My wife and I will be giving a short speech on the concept of service to an upcoming conference so we are reading about it, discussing it with others, and jotting down ideas to piece together into a speech. One of the definitions that The Urantia Book provides is that “service” is a “living love” which I generally re-phrase as “service is love put into action.” And although I’m sure I’ll make a metaphor out of this at some point, I’m distracted because there are literally dozens of hornets buzzing the window trying to figure out how to escape through glass panes.

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International Conference 2018 – Amsterdam

12—15 April 2018

If you’re planning to go to Urantia Association’s International Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands next year, we urge you to book your accommodation in the hotel now! A lot of activities take place in the region surrounding the conference venue at that time of the year, so it is very important to book your accommodation early to insure you secure a room.

While you’re at it, if you haven’t registered for the conference yet why not also register now! The date for the €75 Early Bird discount has been extended to 1st October 2017 so start planning and make your bookings.

Book Your Accommodation Now!

Register for the Conference Now!

For more on the conference visit our website at: https://urantia-association.org/2017/2018-urantia-international-conference and the conference website at http://www.uai2018.org.

Jesus as a Teacher: 2018 Urantia International Conference in the Netherlands

An Experiment for Study Groups

Gaetan Charland, Quebec

During the last period of our study group sessions, from September 2016 to June 2017, we introduced a technological addition to our group to offer an alternative to students who could not attend the group in person for various reasons. This addition was the use of an Internet conference application called Zoom which is easy to use and has unparalleled accessibility from multiple platforms such as computers, tablets or smart phones. 

This was an almost instant success for our group as many participants during the winter months are faced with challenges such as braving snowstorms and slippery roads, being afflicted by the seasonal flu, and other situations that might limit their participation. At the beginning of our experiment, some members needed time to adapt to this new way of participating, but soon, they could enjoy the session as much as the other participants who attended the group in person. 

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A Call for Children’s Works

Education Committee

The family is the channel through which the river of culture and knowledge flows from one generation to another. [Paper 84:0.2, page 931.2] 

The Education Committee of Urantia Association International is in the planning stages of developing Urantia Book related programs for children and families as part of the Association’s outreach in the spreading of the revelation to the next generation.  

We know that many students of the book have devoted a lot of their service-time and energy in creating secondary works and study aids to assist families and their children as well as creating children’s programs for conferences or study groups. We ask those of you who have authored or created such works to please consider sharing your work with us.  

We are also developing a resource center of material so we can easily share these valuable creative endeavors and we would like to include your work in our children’s catalogue. This way we may build upon what already exists and share your work with others. If you are interested in contributing to this this program, please contact Jeannie Vázquez (Education Chair) at education[at]urantia-association[dot]org.

Bolivia Book Fair, Santa Cruz

José Ernesto Árias, Bolivia

Two students of The Urantia Book in Santa Cruz decided to present the book at the 18th International Book Fair of Santa Cruz (FIL) that was held over 12 days from 31 May to 11 June, 2017.  

Long before the book fair, we applied for a booth, only to discover our first obstacle: that all exhibition spaces were fully booked out. We were told we may get a booth if someone cancelled and were added on a waiting list with 15 other people. This was daunting at first, but we felt confident we would get a place—after all we were working for the Father! And so we did; after a while we received a call from the organizers telling us that there was a space. We gave confirmation even before we had the money to pay for it, which was due in 5 days. But the money also appeared! We paid and started preparing banners, flyers and spiritual vitamins.  

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Book Fair in Lima, Perú 

Mairam Durand, Perú

Attending a book fair is always interesting. Books—many books of every kind including comics, recipes, sports, stories, novels, history, science, as well as those about the customs of each invited country including our own country of Perú can be found.   

This year in 2017, the International Book Fair (FIL) exceeded the attendance of last year’s book fair by 23%. Even though more adults as well as some young people used to attend, this year there were teenagers and children in the company of their parents. That does not mean that reading has increased, however the interesting thing is that families walked “together,” visiting each stand filled with books representing different companies, publishers, and countries. 

I must say that participating in this type of book fair was extraordinary, not only because of the comradery we volunteers shared as brothers and sisters, but also because of the things that happened. There is one particular aspect that I must tell and that is how good it was for us Peruvian Urantia Book readers to be working at the booth for several days alongside our friends from Urantia-Bogotá.  

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Ecuador Book Fair 

Efraín Vivanco Maldonado, Ecuador 

Readers from the Urantia group, Lectores del Jardín de Edentia in Ecuador organized a Urantia Book booth at the book fair in Puce, Chillos Valley which was held 29 May to 2 June this year. Although attendance at this book fair was a little disappointing as it was held mid-week when most people were at work, many students and teachers attended and we were pleased to be given an opportunity to give an introduction presentation on The Urantia Book.

We handed out around 1,500 flyers with information on the book and sold four books. We collected the names and contact details of 10 people who were already readers of the book, and another 20 from people who were interested. Six of these people live in the Chillos Valley and will possibly come to the study group there.

We are extremely grateful to those individuals and groups who provided assistance to make this event possible. Urantia Association International provided us with our financial needs, 20 books were donated by the Latin American Committee and were brought in by our Colombian sisters Isabel and Italy, and Agustín Arellano arranged with some generous readers in the United States to donate 10 books.

All in all this was a great experience for us, and we expect to do even better next year.   

Efraín Vivanco Maldonado
Coordinador del Grupo “Lectores del Jardín de Edentia”

Ecuador Conference 

Andres Ramirez, Colombia

Members of the “Edentia Garden” study group organized the Ecuador National Conference 5-6 August in the Chillos Valley, which is one of the two big valleys that surround Quito, the capital of Ecuador. There were several talks and a workshop and Saturday night was dedicated to socializing which provided many opportunities for people to interact with one another and make new friendships. Together the group decided that Guayaquil will be the city for the next national conference in 2018. 

Visitors to the conference included Andres Ramirez from Colombia, Agustin Arellano from Mexico and Nelida Oliver from Argentina. Nelida has lived most of her life in Ecuador and is a prolific worker for the dissemination of the teachings of The Urantia Book 

The Chillos Valley Group has been particularly active in the last couple of years under the leadership of Efrain Vivanco, who travelled with many members to the Latin American Conference in Bogota in 2016. They have organized a Urantia Book booth at the book fair in Ecuador this year and initiated the National Conference as well as the creation of a new Urantia Association for Ecuador.  

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European Blue Club Meeting

Sandra Burga-Cisneros, Switzerland

The annual meeting of the European Blue Club was held in Vienna from 20—21 May of this year. Around 12 people from different countries came together to talk about a very delicate and controversial topic. We discussed the different events that have been happening all over Europe. The topic was “Islam.” 

At the beginning of the meeting, a presentation was made with the title “How to Deal with Islam.” As Urantia Book readers, we realized that the approach had to be different. It is not about dealing with something that seems to be wrong. It is about how to engage with people who have different beliefs, who have other traditions and ways of thinking that may be very different from what we are used to. It is about respecting the diversity of every person and still engaging in unity. 

Some of the people who attended the meeting raised the question about whether it was necessary to discuss the political situation in Europe as it relates, among other things, to the waves of refugees coming from different parts of the planet. Also, how should our leaders act or react in this matter. We soon realized that in our position we have to focus on what we can do as individuals and to ask ourselves what would be the right approach for engaging our Muslim brothers and sisters. 

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French National Meeting

Ivan Stol, France

The annual gathering of the AFLLU (French-Speaking Urantia Association) for 2017 took place recently, which included a program with the theme, The Influence of the Spirit of Truth on Each One’s Spirituality. 

 Along with the program, a business meeting took place, addressing the situation of the association, our help for the African French speakers, and the renewal of the governing board. Sixteen members were present (out of 41) with 8 non-affiliated readers.

The Spirit of Truth:

The sphere of his/its influence is difficult to understand for Urantia Book students because it is hard to differentiate from the ministry of the angels and the Adjuster. The term ‘Comforter’ is helpful but the examples of the apostles, who gained renewed energy to go off courageously with the announcement of the kingdom of God, do not supply much light on what changes this bestowal really brings about.

The fact that evolution has accelerated since then on both social and technological fields seems to show that this influence is mainly to be found in the greater courage to fight for legitimate and reliable values and discoveries. But these values and discoveries are apparently due to other influences which prompt us to exercise better judgment and to better use our intellectual powers (Adjuster, Angels).

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Passing the Torch of Light to Future Generations 

  Lourdes Burga-Cisneros, Peru 

the security of civilization itself still rests on the growing willingness of one generation to invest in the welfare of the next and future generations. [Paper 84.7.27, page 941.8]

…man possesses the power, by controlling the educational training of the younger generation, greatly to modify the evolutionary course of civilization. [Paper 81:6.24, page 909.5]

It is a fact that a lifetime truly flies away. Twenty years ago, those that are now-a-days middle-aged people were young, and in twenty years ahead they will already be part of the so-called third age. But what responsibility lies underneath such a pretty obvious fact? Well, a responsibility of utmost importance: to prepare today´s children, teenagers, and youth generations to be the torchbearers of the spiritual light for humanity. That is something every committed reader of The Urantia Book understands well. And, of course, it does not happen by an act of magic; neither is it a process that takes place naturally. It is rather an endeavor of sowing the right causes in order to reap coherent consequences.

each succeeding generation of youth must receive anew its education. The superior qualities of civilization—scientific, philosophic, and religious—are not transmitted… by direct inheritance… only by the enlightened conservation of social inheritance. [Paper 68:0.2, page 763.2]

In that sense, “The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality… the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression (195:10:17, 2086.3), by providing them, in early life, with favorable conditions—“…liberty…restrained by love, motivated by loyalty…, directed by the intelligent discipline of wisdom(177:2.7, 1923.1), that will enable the development and promotion of real individual and social evolution. Only this type of education, “assisting the child to win the battle of life…” (84:7.26, 941.7), has the power of truly breaking-down the vicious cycle of unconsciousness spiritual neglect that repeats itself generation after generation, colored by traumas and low family patterns that, when not overcome and worked on consciously by parents, arise unconsciously in their children, as a never ending cycle.

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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 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.