President’s Message – December 2020

This year has provided a lot of time at home with my family. And not just that quality time that everyone likes to talk about, but big solid chunks of quantity time. I have watched my ten and eight year old sons adjust to this year of isolation with good cheer and acceptance, but at the same time I recognize that they are becoming wound up like a coil and when this pandemic lifts they will spring out into the world with untold energy. 

There’s a question the kids often ask my wife and me in a variety of ways which ultimately boils down to, “Why does God let people die? Why doesn’t he let everyone live forever?” And we try to answer it the best we can. We try answers like, “People don’t really die, just their bodies do,” but that doesn’t really answer their questions. We then try to get them to see things from God’s perspective by using an analogy like, “Each morning we make them change their clothes, and although it can be a challenge at times, we don’t feel bad for the set of discarded clothes. Well, God thinks of our bodies in a similar way.” He cares about us, but he doesn’t mind when we need to change our bodies. I don’t know if that really helps the kids or not, but it sure gets me thinking about what mortality looks like from God’s perspective. How does God view this year of Covid? How do our seraphic guardians view this challenge?

It seems like a document from the ancient past now, but about a year ago I wrote down plans and goals for the year 2020. There would be continental conferences, a major conference in Vancouver, Canada, trips to visit budding Urantia communities in Africa and Europe, and celebrations of new National Associations in Latin America. Instead, the story this year is a contemplation on patient endurance.  

A Divine Counselor tells us, The religion of Jesus is salvation from self, deliverance from the evils of creature isolation in time and in eternity [5:4.5]. That same Divine Counselor implores us to recognize that the watchword of the universe is progress [4:1:2].

It’s easy to be enthusiastic about the growth of Urantia Association International by traveling the world to meet with fellow readers. But this year has shown our ability to remain enthused while staying home. Global webinars have brought new friends together and allowed us to socialize our continued spiritual growth. The facts of isolation have not become an excuse for inaction. We continue to grow and progress in our attempts to bring the fifth epochal revelation to the world. I hope our seraphic helpers are pleased by our ability to adjust and adapt, but not slow down our mission to bring the good news of the gospel to the world.  

On 24—25th of April next year the global community will come together to celebrate the virtual version of the 2021 International Conference, bringing an experience of Peruvian culture into your home. I hope you will be able to join us for some quality time celebrating these teachings we all hold dear. And I also look forward to the day when we can all meet again and enthuse in some quantity time together. 

In service,
Chris Wood