Urantia Association’s Global Seeding Fund provides financial support for projects intended to spread the teachings of The Urantia Book and to disseminate the book itself. It also supports regional groups and associations in their efforts to supply study groups with books, support materials, teachers and organizers, to participate in national and local book fairs, and to place books in libraries. Funds have also been used to make books available to book stores in isolated regions where there is no commercial book distribution available. The following are some stories of the successes made possible by the Global Seeding Fund.
A Personal Story of Finding The Urantia Book at a Book Fair:
Esther Andrade Burgos
It was a Saturday afternoon in April of 2015 when my brother invited me to visit the Bogotá Book Fair. We toured various booths without much interest and without much eagerness, until we were almost leaving at the end of the afternoon when an image of Jesus caught my attention. So much so that I would dare to say that he invited me to approach the booth where a couple of people shared a smile with me. When I asked what the image of the universe was about, there ensued a 40-minute conversation that captured me, and a certainty arose within me that I had arrived at a place where my questions would be finally resolved. From that day and each day, The Urantia Book is my main reading.
I believe nothing that happens in our lives is a coincidence, and that everything corresponds to a perfect plan and things arrive when we are ready to receive them with gratitude and joy. Having come to know the revelation of The Urantia Book confirmed this belief.
From this initial introduction at the Bogotá Book Fair, I joined a study group; I have integrated with other readers. I have read the book twice. Its teachings really have given me tools to understand my purpose of life, to understand and feel the unconditional love of our Father, and to approach the adversities of my existence in this world with faith, hope and courage.
I am happy each day and I want to share with many people these teachings, that I interpret them as true, in my own way. It is for this reason that recently I shared a talk with readers of Bogotá about the beliefs that impede the task of our Thought Adjuster in our mind.
The benefits of having a consistent presence at book fairs is enormous. However, renting book fair space is expensive. The National and Local Urantia Associations sustain half the booth cost, and the full cost for brochures, posters, or any volunteer logo apparel. Your donation to the International Association’s Global Seeding Fund provides for the rest of the costs and helps support other dissemination projects.
A True Story of a Life That Was Changed:
I have been a reader of The Urantia Book who read alone since 1995 until April 2001, when I attended the Bogotá International Book Fair. It was there for the first time I met other readers of The Urantia Book at a booth some volunteers had rented. I was so happy and surprised to know about the existence of a group of readers in my city. And, I learned that there was a Urantia Association in this city as well. At that time I didn’t suspect I was going to be so involved in the future with this organization at the administrative and personal level.
I must confess I had some fears about the nature of this organization and the type of meetings they had, so it took me about a year before finally deciding to contact anyone. After getting in touch with the readers and study groups, I soon made very good friends and my understanding of the book started to grow exponentially. And, even though I didn’t understand the differences between the Urantia organizations, their structure or their relationship with study groups, I started to volunteer in the projects of the association, and little by little I learned.
And because of what finding other readers at the book fair meant to me, I continue to volunteer and help organize the booth. I also continue serving within my local and national associations and am currently serving as Vice President on the International Service Board where I am learning even more from working with my brothers and sisters around the world.
The number of people who are exposed to the word “Urantia,” as well as the book and its teachings year after year at book fairs is staggering. The impact on lives—priceless. Your donation to the Association’s Global Seeding Fund makes this possible.
Lives are changed when students learn how to work together as a team, and how to share their spiritual inspiration with others; truth-seeking individuals are exposed to the soul-satisfying truths of the fifth epochal revelation; and our unseen friends gain expanded opportunities to lead mortals to the understanding of humanity’s status as beloved children of our Heavenly Father… all of us brothers and sisters.
Reflections from Volunteers at Book Fairs:
Mairam Durand, Peru
The main objective of the book fair was not to sell books—even though each one of them was sold—but to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book. It is only by experience that we truly comprehend that there are people searching for answers, seekers of truth. And who better than children and youngsters—with their thirst of knowledge, observing it all—to generate questioning? One morning a 7-year old child who was holding the hand of his 5-year old little sister, approached me, and coming close asked, ‘Could you tell me where God is?’ At first I was surprised, because people normally start asking ‘What is The Urantia Book?’ or ‘What is Urantia?’ This beautiful being of only 7-years old went straight to the point… ‘Where is God?’ I put my hand on his heart and told him, ‘Here.’ There was no surprise, not even doubt, in his eyes! He clearly understood and continued with the questioning: ‘How do I to talk to him? Does he listen to me? Where does he live?’ Then, quickly the little sister, next to him, stared at the universe banner and pointed her little finger towards Havona, and said, ‘There, right?’ I was simply amazed by the simplicity of their questions and the rapidity of their understanding. Then we talked about the meaning of loving each other as siblings, for that is what The Urantia Book teaches us when reading it. I consider that my experience, as part of the team in charge of the Urantia booth, was far more than a simple trip to the book fair; it was a journey of adventures that helped me to comprehend that there are no barriers, and that everything moves and flows in order to increase understanding of where we are.
José Ernesto Árias, Bolivia
I think that because of this kind of work we have become more aware of the importance of the mission of disseminating the teachings of The Urantia Book. We have learned that people are now open and thirst for this new knowledge. I expected that there would be more people who would be critical and would mock us, but there was no such thing, rather the opposite. People were willing to listen…
The personal experiences of those who have served at book fairs are a testimony to the importance of this work. These volunteers have been supported in their global efforts since the inception of Urantia Association International. Urantia communities remain active and vibrant and leaders and teachers are developed in the course of organizing and staging book fairs. Study groups are initiated and expanded as the result of this public outreach.
Book Fairs in Latin America
Between 2016 to 2018, donations to the Association’s Global Seeding Fund supported book fairs in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and a Spanish book fair in Miami, Florida USA. Latin American students have been present at book fairs for many years now and the amount of people who have come into contact with The Urantia Book because of these events is noteworthy.
In 2018 alone at the book fair in Bogotá, Colombia, over 500,000 people attended, 43 students of The Urantia Book volunteered in the booth, over 50,000 handouts were distributed, 70 books were sold, and around 70 people from the public attended educational workshops about the book. And this seeding of the revelation in Latin American will continue year after year with your support.
The history of participation in the International Book Fair of Bogotá (Feria Internacional del Libro de Bogotá or FILBO) is particularly inspiring. FILBO is a huge event, held in two massive pavilions each year. Members of the Local Urantia Association of Bogotá have been displaying The Urantia Book there since 2001. When they began they could only afford to share a small space inside the booth of another vendor and only needed a few volunteers. It wasn’t until 2014 that the Bogota Association hosted its own booth where more volunteers from the reader community gained experience sharing the revelation. Each year since, their booth has become bigger until it doubled in size in 2016 and over 40 volunteers participated in 2018. In 2019 they anticipate having two booths, one in each building.
Here is the Bogotá story in pictures:
Read More about Urantia Association’s other Program Funds