Tidings Special Issue – March 2022
Unity in Purpose & Action
Instead of our normal March quarterly issue of Tidings, this special issue is dedicated to reporting on a sample of the work being done by some of our loyal and dedicated members serving the revelation at the grass roots level of Urantia Association International.
All our members join the Association by becoming members of one of the National or Local Associations that are scattered around the globe. If there are none of these associations in a region where a member resides, they may join as a Member-At-Large. This way we are unified not only in spirit but also in action.
The structure of Urantia Association is specially designed for the inclusion of a diversity of languages, cultures, and nationalities while remaining true to our mission which is to “foster the study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.”
Enjoy these reports from some of our associations to get an idea of how the teachings of the Urantia revelation are taking root all over the world.
In This Issue
UAB Board, Brazil
The Urantia Association of Brazil (UAB) was established as a National Association of Urantia Association International in 2003. It is one of the largest associations with a total of 493 members, 120 of whom have read the book in its entirety. All the activities of our association during the 2020/2021 biennium was guided by a strategic plan that was established at the beginning of 2020 to provide direction and structure for our association. In this way, we established and implemented well-defined objectives and followed up with weekly meetings of the board to assess the progress of activities.
In general, our overarching goal is to become more proactive in our work of spreading the Urantia revelation in Brazil and to become better acquainted with Urantia Book students of in our region. We want to become more efficient in distributing The Urantia Book and to provide effective communication channels so that students of the book can find one another for study and socializing purposes.
Our main goals are to generate financial resources to meet the needs of our association, support our members in their various initiatives, create a standardized communication channel with the Urantia Book reader community using all available media resources, distribute The Urantia Book to various segments of the general community of truth seekers, foster more study groups both virtual and face-to-face, and provide a good infrastructure for the implementation of our plans.
Activities & Objectives
Our activities are divided into five areas with the aim of structuring and organizing for future growth. In practice, these activities are undertaken by all board members and some employees.
1. Administrative and Financial. Our objective is to improve our administration and generate financial resources to meet infrastructure needs and to better support members in their various initiatives. This includes encouraging members to engage through teamwork and service, conducting monthly fundraising campaigns, continuing our work of producing an audio version of The Urantia Book into Portuguese (which we expect to complete by April 2022), increasing Urantia Book sales, and supporting member initiatives on YouTube and with projects such as the Urantia School which is an initiative of a group of readers who launched the school with 149 lessons on The Urantia Book.
2. Communication. Our objective is to create and make available materials and means for the communication and dissemination of the Urantia teachings using all available media resources. Currently we are present on all available social media and, in addition to our annual meetings, we are undertaking presentations and workshops as well as an introductory program for new students of the book.
3. Dissemination. Our objective is to disseminate The Urantia Book by attracting new readers and to increase the number of our members. We sold 280 books in 2020/2021 and we had 1.8 million YouTube views on our presentations and workshops.
4. Study Groups. Our objective is to increase the number of face-to-face and virtual study groups, and to stimulate and maintain the quality of these studies. In 2020/2021 only one new face-to-face study group was established due to the Covid pandemic but there was a large increase in online presence.
5. Infrastructure. Our objective is to implement, support, and maintain the digital infrastructure necessary for the functioning of UAB initiatives. We aim to implement a program for registering and monitoring our relationships with associates and members; our website is being upgraded and will have a new look in 2022. This year we will also be implementing a video library to improve searches for our many videos.
"The daily practice of small actions is the secret of great achievements" — Delia Steinberg Guzmán
UAB Board 2020 / 2021
Milton Cardoso - Chairman
Flavio Burin - Vice-President
Desirré Abi Rachid - Chief Financial Officer
Geraldo Majela - Secretary
Stella Maris - Members and Groups Director
To see a detailed outline of our plan see our 2021 Annual report at: https://urantia-association.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Brasil-Assn-Annual-Report-2021-ENG.pptx
Moustapha Ndiaye, Senegal
Senegal was chartered as a National Association of Urantia Association International in 2001 under the name of "Senegalese Association of Research and Studies." During the course of 2021, we carried out activities in relation to the teachings of The Urantia Book in the form of the "Progressive Divine Wisdom Group" (PDWG).
|The Progressive Divine Wisdom Group around its founder in 1986|
Our approach consists in establishing a progressive program of personal assimilation of the concepts of The Urantia Book. This program is structured in the form of instruction by sharing experiences and spiritual activities through a Progressive Divine Wisdom education. It is intended for readers of The Urantia Book and for all seekers of Truth and God, whatever their journey.
Our process is initiated and supervised by truth seekers, students of The Urantia Book who have accumulated more than forty years of study with their spiritual educator in Senegal. These researchers then gained experience by sharing these truths, first in Dakar, Senegal, with several hundred truth seekers from 1973 to 2000, then with more than thirty readers from Europe, Canada, and America from 2000 to 2018.
The aim is, first of all, to provide a framework for the clarification and personal assimilation of the concepts of The Urantia Book, in a living, gradual and transmissible form, to any seeker of truth. The ultimate goal is to help those who want to become future educators of the teachings.
PDWG Founder’s International Activities 2000-2010
From 2000 to 2010, Moussa Ndiaye, Founder of the PDWG initiated several training sessions in Canada and France following the spirit and method of the Progressive Divine Wisdom Group. Senegalese members who have benefited from this method for many years have also gained experience by participating in events organized by the Urantia movement in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. The PDWG subsequently involved readers of The Urantia Book, who had a long experience in studying the book and who had stayed several times in Dakar.
Activities in 2021
During 2021, the activities of the Progressive Divine Wisdom Group (after the 2020 Group) were as follows:
The Progressive Divine Wisdom Group, composed initially of five educators each with more than forty years of study and training in the teachings of The Urantia Book, has also begun the construction of an online French Internet School, to organize, structure, and better administer the training.
At the same time, the PDWG has taken initiatives to extend the method to a larger number of Francophone countries and eventually to Anglophone readers. The PDWG relies on the multifaceted support and active participation of all readers who agree with this approach, to continue the work of expanding Spiritual Education in relation to the fifth revelation, and according to the indications of the Master Son and his spirit, as bestowed upon all flesh.
|First Dakar Summit 2017|
|Formation 2, organized by Moussa Ndiaye (Founder of Progressive Divine Wisdom Group) in 2004 in Canada|
Phillip Marriott, Adelaide
The Australia & New Zealand Urantia Association (ANZURA) was first chartered as a National Association in 1994 and was one of the pioneer non-American associations to join the then new Urantia Association International that has always supported and worked closely with Urantia Foundation. (Many of ANZURA's founding members had been members-at-large of the former Urantia Brotherhood.)
Since the Covid pandemic stimulated the explosion of Zoom internet conferencing technology, many readers who were previously unable to experience a study group now have the opportunity to reap the benefits of studying and socialising with fellow readers. Needless to say, study group attendance has grown rapidly in the last couple of years.
Conferences and Regional Events
Ever since 1981, ANZURA has been holding an annual conference. Each year we rotate the venue for the conference by holding it at different locations where there are readers. This gives us great variety as readers in each location are given the opportunity to host the meeting and prepare the program, which helps in the development of teachers and leaders. This also means there are a different mix of readers at each conference as the rotation system allows those readers who do not usually travel long distances to conferences to experience the value of studying and socializing with fellow readers without the need to travel. These experiences also help to stimulate the growth and development of study groups. Currently, we rotate the conferences between the local regions of Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, and Sydney.
In addition to the conferences, ANZURA also arranges an annual “Study Day.” We set a date, usually in May or June, and decide on a paper to read from The Urantia Book (usually something relating to the theme of the annual conference.) We liaise with the local study group hosts to arrange a daylong meeting and social in their region on the chosen date, then we promote the event via a mailout to everyone on our mailing list giving them the contact details of all the hosts so they may contact the one nearest to them directly if they wish to attend the meeting. In this way, we have groups meeting on the same day reading the same paper! This event gives people who may not attend study groups regularly an opportunity to meet with readers in their local areas and experience the value of a study group.
Another opportunity for readers to get together is, of course, the Jesus birthday celebrations. These gatherings are usually arranged at the local level.
ANZURA keeps a small supply of Urantia Books in stock (which is replenished as needed) to either sell to readers or to donate to individuals who wish to use them for local outreach programs, such as promoting the book at expos or local markets, placing books in public and prison libraries, and donating to prisoners or people without means. In May of this year, a Body Mind and Spirit-type event is scheduled in Adelaide, South Australia. A reader in Adelaide has organised to set up a booth to promote the book there and a couple of other readers have volunteered to assist him.
Most readers (especially new readers) are interested in study aids and secondary works produced by individuals who have a good grasp of the Urantia teachings. Therefore, ANZURA maintains a resource library of such items that are made available at conferences and on the website. (Many of our products have been purchased from ‘Cosmic Creations’ in the United States.)
Many of our readers volunteer to work on projects or serve on committees at the international level of Urantia Association International. Over the years, several of our members have served on the International Service Board (ISB) or have been on committees that report to the ISB. Whoever is President or Vice President of ANZURA automatically serves on the international Representative Council of Urantia Association.
There has been a core of dedicated volunteers who have played key roles in keeping ANZURA running over the last 30 years. I am particularly grateful to Kathleen and Trevor Swadling, Rita Schaad, Neville Twist, Ian Campbell, Marion Steward, Andrew Swadling, Daniel Swadling, Merindi Swadling, Regina Williamson, William Wentworth, Nigel Nunn, Julian McGarry and Vern Verass.
Phone: +61 (0)431 285 943
Gerardo Leche, Guatemala
Guatemala Urantia Association was chartered as a Local Association of Urantia Association International in 2021. The years 2020 and 2021 were atypical years for the Guatemala Urantia Association. During the first four months, the entire population was subject to mandatory confinement in their homes. We could only leave our homes for those services essential to life and food supply. Consequently, work was done at home, and part-time jobs, which are commercial activities for most of the population, reported heavy losses. As an economic fact, experts in the sector consider that part-time jobs account for seventy percent of Guatemala's economic activities, so there was an increase in unemployment. It is important to mention this because the main efforts of Guatemalans have been oriented towards the survival of their families and the fulfillment of their individual obligations.
For the activities of dissemination and teaching, there has been goodwill on the part of the Guatemala members who sent out ten Urantia books by private mail and invited people to join study activities using social media and Zoom software. The activity of sharing the teachings via social networks has not diminished in intensity and it helps to bring readers together in Guatemala.
As a result, in-person student attendance has been irregular, despite sending invitations and weekly spiritual quotes from The Urantia Book. It seems that such irregularity is due to the activities of economic survival.
Regarding the development of new readership groups, visits to several cities are pending, including Antigua Guatemala in the central region, Quetzaltenango in the west, Mazatenango in the south, Cobán in the north and Jutiapa in the east. In each city, we try to disseminate and deliver books, and provide motivation for the formation of study groups.
Also in 2020 and 2021, we participated in Urantiathons and in the activities of the Education Committee under the direction of Jeannie Vazquez of Uruguay. In the future we plan to develop a subsite of Urantia Association’s website.
Alice Wood, USA
Greater Lake Michigan Urantia Association (GLMUA) is a Local Association of the United States Urantia Association (UAUS). Recently we hosted a New Membership Invitation Meeting and as a result, we are now welcoming two new people into our ranks. For organizations like the many Urantia associations around the world that make participation in events open to all, it is difficult to express the benefits of membership. This meeting gave GLMUA an opportunity to pointedly convey who we are, what our goals are, and how it serves the individual and the community when people become members.
This meeting has been a long-time coming. As president, I’ve had it on my mind for a couple of years but wanted to build up to it with a record of maintaining our regular activities (planning various gatherings throughout the year) while also taking on some unique activities which grab people’s attention and get them excited. GLMUA members worked together to give a talk at a Urantiathon and a group was formed to support people in reaching their personal goals. This build-up paid off, as one of the new members stated that the reason why he was joining, even though he is a self-professed non-joiner, is because of how active we have been.
The meeting itself was open to all readers who wanted to learn more about GLMUA. It attracted 17 people, some of whom were non-members while others were members who just wanted a refresher on the organization. I co-hosted the meeting with Rick Lyon, and we took turns talking about:
Two new members may not seem like a whole lot, but for us, it is a year’s worth of new members. I feel confident that if we keep going along the route that we have been—if we keep holding steady to the projects that people have come to expect from us, and if we continue to engage people in novel activities that help people to live the teachings more fully, then in a just a few years' time I hope to be able to host another successful New Membership Invitation Meeting.
Jean Annet, Belgium
The Belgium-Francophone Urantia Association (ABFU) was charted as a Local Association of Urantia Association International in 2006. For 40 years, study groups were initiated mainly by one man: François Dupont. As of 2006, the groups were gradually overseen by the new President, Jean Annet.
We organize study groups in different cities, participate in expos and fairs, and give lectures in both public and private places so that hundreds of people may hear about The Urantia Book in French-speaking Belgium.
Every year we organize, a national meeting on Jesus’ birthday where between 20 and 30 people attend. We also organize study days with Georges and Marlène Michelson-Dupont from France. We have a roster of about 100 people, of whom one third are members of our association, while another third are actively involved in activities such as study groups, conferences, and study days. The remaining participants follow our activities closely or remotely.
Since COVID, activities have been reorganized in other ways, mainly through Zoom meetings. Agnès Lazar and Guy Perron host several national and international study groups and present webinars in both French and English, as well as conducting courses at the Urantia Book Internet School. Jean Annet continues his study groups via the internet; the last meeting brought together about twenty people.
We shall continue to do whatever we can to foster the study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teaching in French-speaking Belgium.
Riitta Tuori, Sweden
The Sweden Urantia Association was chartered as a Local Association of Urantia Association in 2007. The study group in Stockholm started around 2005. Over that time, group members have been changing as some have left the group and new ones have been coming in. Today there are five of us from Sweden and two from Finland.
Normally we have meetings at someone’s home, twice a month. During the pandemic, the meetings have been once a month on the Internet, and still are.
We donated the Finnish translation of The Urantia Book to the Finnish library in Stockholm about ten years ago. The book was stolen so we donated another one. Now we are planning to donate books to the Swedish libraries.
To find new readers, we have been displaying The Urantia Book in a spiritual book fair where some new readers have been finding the book.
Our biggest event of each year is the birthday celebration of Jesus on August 21. In 2020 and 2020 we celebrated via the internet for because of the pandemic.
|Jesus Birthday Celebration|
|Jesus Birthday Celebration|
Wherever you reside in the world, you can find someone to talk to about The Urantia Book or to find out about Urantia Book related activities. There are study groups, membership associations, discussion forums, and with the help of technology you are only a call or email away from finding another reader/student to talk with about your incredible discovery.
National & Local Associations
The National and Local Associations are local membership chapters of our international body: Urantia Association International. Members are devoted to the fostering of the study of The Urantia Book and the spreading of its teachings. They provide a central hub in various regions around the world to assist reader/students in finding out about study groups and activities in their local areas. To contact a member of the National or Local Associations in your region click on the relevant continent below to find associations closest to you.
International Study Group Directory
The International Study Group Directory is a website containing information on Urantia Book study groups around the world. Study group hosts can enter and update their own information in this guide. They have done this to enhance mutual understanding of the teachings of the book and to establish friendships with other readers. We ask that you only use this information to contact these individuals and for no other purpose. Also, we are not able to make any representations to you that the individuals to whom we refer are adequately informed about the book, or that they are individuals with whom you would like to associate or study. These kinds of decisions are largely personal in nature, so we leave them with you.
Click here for the International Study Group Directory
Other Ways to Be Involved
To receive regular news and from Urantia Association about activities and events, join our mailing list.
Attend an Event
To see upcoming events, visit our Events Calendar.
To join in the many discussions relating to The Urantia Book sign up to our Forum.
Jeannie Vasquez, Education Committee
Service to the Urantia Community
Urantia Association International's Education Committee is honored to serve the Urantia Community by organizing webinars and workshops in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, with the purpose of providing opportunities for study and reflection, as well as cultivating friendships among members of our community around the world.
When the pandemic began, our online activities intensified, offering more opportunities to come together to share learning moments and help each other to get through these difficult times.
The service of the presenters in studying and sharing their sincere understandings of the revelation, has tremendous didactic and spiritual value. The efforts to acquire knowledge and teach by sharing one's discernment fulfills the universal method of learning and imparting the teaching to others, a method also used in the school of evangelists in Bethsaida as organized by Jesus.
As you journey toward your Paradise goal, constantly acquiring added knowledge and enhanced skill, you are continuously afforded the opportunity to give out to others the wisdom and experience you have already accumulated; all the way in to Havona you enact the role of a pupil-teacher. … In the universal regime you are not reckoned as having possessed yourself of knowledge and truth until you have demonstrated your ability and your willingness to impart this knowledge and truth to others. [Paper 25:4.12, page 279.13]
Peter, James, and Andrew were the committee designated by Jesus to pass upon applicants for admission to the school of evangelists. All the races and nationalities of the Roman world and the East, as far as India, were represented among the students in this new school of the prophets. This school was conducted on the plan of learning and doing. What the students learned during the forenoon they taught to the assembly by the seaside during the afternoon. After supper they informally discussed both the learning of the forenoon and the teaching of the afternoon. [Paper 148:1.1, page 1657.6]
The narrator goes on to say:
Each of the apostolic teachers taught his own view of the gospel of the kingdom. They made no effort to teach just alike; there was no standardized or dogmatic formulation of theologic doctrines. Though they all taught the same truth, each apostle presented his own personal interpretation of the Master's teaching. And Jesus upheld this presentation of the diversity of personal experience in the things of the kingdom, unfailingly harmonizing and co-ordinating these many and divergent views of the gospel at his weekly question hours. [Paper 148:1.2, page 1658.1]
So, to share our views and personal experiences with divine truth is positive and instructive for others. In this way, we inspire our fellows to live the teachings, motivate them to grow in spirit, and disseminate the revelation.
To see the videos of past webinars and workshops, please visit the website at: https://www.youtube.com/c/UrantiaAssociationInternational and https://www.youtube.com/c/UrantiaAsociaciónInternacional
Our Education Committee is always open to earnest Urantia Book students who want to share their studies and reflections about the teachings. Please don't hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Urantia Book Fellowship’s Education Committee
Summer Study Session 2022
Thursday, July 21st — Sunday, July 24th
Machiventa Melchizedek — Preserving Truth and Lighting the Way for Future Revelations
Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center 3500 Midwest Rd, Oak Brook, Illinois (near Chicago)
The Urantia Book Fellowship’s Education Committee is pleased to announce the upcoming Summer Study Session (SSS) 2022 to be held at the beautiful Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center. At long last, we will be gathering with our Urantia family in-person again to learn about “one of the most unique of all characters ever to become connected with the history of Urantia.” [Paper 93:10.11, page 1026.1]
It was 4,000 years ago that Machiventa Melchizedek heroically “personalized” on earth; at a perilous time when revealed truth was on the brink of extinction.
Together we will:
Call For Presenters and Volunteers
Are you interested in presenting your ideas and sharing your experiences with your fellows? The Education Committee is soliciting workshop presentations related to the theme of “Machiventa Melchizedek.” Please use this link to contact our Program Coordinator, Tim Duffy, to request a Workshop Proposal form.
Are you interested in volunteering for other aspects of the planning of the Conference? Please use this link to contact our Conference Chair, Mahtab Tehrani, to volunteer.
We Hope to See You There
Come study, worship, and fraternize with us as we reflect on many of the various features of the Third Epochal Revelation and celebrate the 4,000th anniversary of Machiventa Melchizedek’s bestowal on our planet!
Save the Dates
Please save the dates and watch for the Registration information and Registration link coming soon.
Most of the services for managing and coordinating Urantia Association's worldwide activities are rendered by devoted students who donate their time (and often their treasure) to the projects that help bring us closer to our heavenly Father. Your donation is what makes it possible to spread the revelation.
The Tidings newsletter is a quarterly on-line publication that serves as Urantia Association International’s primary communication tool for reaching out to the Association’s membership, supporters, donors, volunteers, and general readership friends. It provides news and information on the many activities and events of the National or Affiliate Urantia Associations around the globe as well as information and announcements from Central Office, the International Service Board (ISB), and the Representative Council (RC). It serves to keep members in touch with one another and gives readers a sense of belonging—of being an integral part of a truly international movement that is designed to promote the Urantia revelation to all corners of the world.|
Note: Tidings also occasionally provides news of other Urantia-related activities and events that may be of interest to our supporters and friends. Please note that any interpretations, opinions, conclusions, or artistic representations, whether stated or implied, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Urantia Association International, the National or Affiliate Urantia Associations, or the editorial team of the Association’s Tidings.
Grass Roots Level
The number of National or Affiliate Urantia Associations scattered throughout the world is steadily growing and collectively they undertake service activities that have the ability to inspire and motivate others; activities such as study conferences, regional gatherings, study groups, dissemination programs, educational programs, outreach projects, and the development of study aids and newsletters. These Associations are the lifeblood of Urantia Association International—they function at the grass roots level where effective service and dissemination of the revelation takes place.
Share Your Stories
There are thousands of readers with unique personal stories about how they found The Urantia Book and how it has changed their lives. There are hundreds of study groups all over the world that can share stories and encourage readers to either create a study group of their own or participate in one. These stories need to be told and Tidings provides an effective platform for the sharing of such activities.
If you would like to share your stories please submit your material to the Chief Editor. Topics may include:
- How you found The Urantia Book
- Special projects such as Book Fairs, Library Placement, Outreach
- New or established study groups—how you got started—what keeps you going?
- Your annual meetings, picnics, or other social gatherings
- Send pictures
- Chief Editor: Myra Hight
- Co-editors: Mark Blackham, James Woodward
- Online and hard-copy English newsletters: Mark Blackham
- Spanish translator an online Spanish newsletter: Olga Lopez
- French translator: Alain Cyr and collaborators
- French online newsletter: Alain Cyr
Submit articles to the Chief Editor and please understand that they may be subject to revision. Please limit them to approximately 1 to 1½ pages (700 to 1400 words) plus one or two photos.
Here is a list of those currently serving on the International Service Board (ISB) and the positions they hold:
Executive Administrator – Margaret Slater-Thompson
For more detailed information about the ISB click here