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President’s Message – December 2019

In the early days of the Urantia community, we were challenged to address six basic tasks: translate The Urantia Book, publish it, distribute it across the world, foster the study of the book, train teachers, and train leaders. Today Urantia Association International and Urantia Foundation work hand in hand to accomplish these six tasks. The Foundation focuses primarily on translation, publication, and distribution, whereas the Association is dedicated to study, training teachers, and training leaders. It’s been more than 80 years since the papers were completed, but we remain dedicated to these basic tasks. Yes, our challenges have changed radically over the decades due to political developments, the rise of mass communications, and the internet—yet our dedication to these six pillars persists.

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Joe in South Lake Tahoe

While living in South Lake Tahoe in the 1970’s, I would regularly take hikes along the lake shore where I would often see the same homeless man who would always say, “Brother would you buy me a drink?” For the longest time I wouldn’t answer him and just kept walking.

One especially cold and snowy late afternoon, he saw me and pleaded for me to buy him a drink. He was huddled under a poncho with a couple of inches of snow on his head. For some reason, I decided to talk with him. He told me his name was Joe.

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An Exciting Service Opportunity  

“Service”—a search of The Urantia Book nets over 630 mentions of “service.” It is the first of the divine fruits of the spirit—loving service. Service is vital for spiritual growth, yet at this very moment, we do not have enough volunteers. There are over 30 projects supporting Urantia Association International and the revelation that are on hold awaiting volunteers willing to serve.

Over the life of the Association, there have been too many good program ideas that have been shelved because there was no one to do the work. We hope to change this with an exciting new service opportunity.

We are looking for someone to serve as our Central Office Volunteer Coordinator. Just one person with the right skills can make all the difference in the success of the work the Association does.

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Language Multi-Linguist Project

Introducing Urantia Association’s Language Learning & Multi-Linguist Project  

We are now in the Urantia Post-Bestowal Age. As regards our current age, The Urantia Book states:

While Jesus has shown the way to the immediate attainment of spiritual brotherhood, the realization of social brotherhood on your world depends much on the achievement of the following personal transformations and planetary adjustments:

1. Social fraternity. Multiplication of international and interracial social contacts and fraternal associations through travel, commerce, and competitive play. Development of a common language and the multiplication of multilinguists. The racial and national interchange of students, teachers, industrialists, and religious philosophers.

2. Intellectual cross-fertilization. …… There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love. [Paper 52:6.2, page 597.3. Emphasis added]

In a first effort to address these challenges, Urantia Association International is embarking on a new program to encourage and provide support in learning a new language, and to increase the number of multi-linguists within our community. This program will begin by finding a volunteer(s) who speaks English and Spanish to coordinate the first group of 12 Spanish-speaking students who wish to learn or improve their English.

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Incarcerated and Valued

The Paradise Father values all his children. No matter what our station in life, he forgives our sins even before we think to ask for such forgiveness. Divine mercy is beyond our mortal comprehension—it is all encompassing for those who seek such mercy. In the person of Jesus of Nazareth, we see the Father’s love through the teachings of the Master, even for those who have failed to live up to their highest potential.

We can all find comfort in these teachings as we look back upon our own lives, reflecting on our best and worst times in life, and contemplating our destiny in the life after this. For those who believe the teachings of The Urantia Book, there is a comfort in knowing that divine justice and divine mercy are available to all who desire to know the Father and live according to his will.

But does divine mercy extend to those who find themselves incarcerated in our nation’s prisons, having been found guilty of the most heinous crimes by a jury of their peers? Do those who robbed, raped, stole, deceived or even took another’s life deserve divine mercy? The answer is a definitive yes, but there is a catch!

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CALI International Book Fair 2019

What is Urantia? What is the work of God? How do we reach him? Is there life on other planets? Did Jesus have brothers? These were some of the many questions we came across at the pavilion of the Cali Book Fair, which lasted 11 days and was organized by the collaborative efforts of the Urantia Associations of Colombia and Cali (URANCOL and URACALI.) Between looks of amazement, a desire for knowledge, skepticism, and interest, more than 8,000 people received our love for the revelation and information about The Urantia Book. Eighty people asked to us to keep in touch, and 23 bought a hard copy of the book.

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Bogota International Book Fair – Colombia 2019

Once again, the Urantia Bogotá Association, with the support of Urantia Association International, was present at the renowned International Bogotá Book Fair: FILBO 2019.

This year we had a large stand located in one of the best pavilions of the fair—the pavilion of the universities—that brought us a more intellectual audience with deeper questions than usual. We were challenged to broaden our answers and discussions, therefore devote more time to each visitor. It was very pleasant to talk with the young university students of this city, with their outstanding thirst for knowledge and desire to understand things of a spiritual nature.

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Peru 2021 – International Conference Update

11th Urantia Association International Conference in the Land of the Incas

Urubamba, Cusco-Peru, April 22th-25th, 2021 

Towards Cosmic Citizenship … The Time Has Come!  

Man … can elect to become more than a man; can choose to embark upon the voyage of universe ascension, but this is because the human choice and the divine will happen to be coincident upon this point. And what a son desires and the Father wills will certainly come to pass. [Paper 118:6.5, page 1300.1]

…Your short sojourn on Urantia, on this sphere of mortal infancy, is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. It is not so much what you learn in this first life; it is the experience of living this life that is important. Even the work of this world, paramount though it is, is not nearly so important as the way in which you do this work. There is no material reward for righteous living, but there is profound satisfaction—consciousness of achievement—and this transcends any conceivable material reward. [Paper 39:4.13, page 435.6]

… And this entire living adaptation of love must be effected in the light of both the environment of present evil and the eternal goal of the perfection of divine destiny. [Paper 180:5.10, page 1950.5]

What is the timeline in the evolutionary history of humanity? What are the traces left by the violet race that, today, we may freely utilize? How can we become conscious citizens of the universe? How can we turn ourselves into competent and reliable beings in the eyes of the universe? What is our commitment towards the Supreme Being—the evolutionary Deity? Can the age of light and life become a reality here and now? 

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Florida Urantia Conference 2020

The Agondonter Boot Camp Society of Florida and the Urantia Association of Florida are jointly sponsoring a conference on Service and Ministry, 14—16 February, 2020 at DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center Parrish, Florida (45 minutes from Tampa—St. Petersburg airports.)

Make this a part of your winter vacation to the Sunshine State!

What does it mean to serve? What does it mean to minister? How do we find ways to be of service and get prepared? How do we uplift service to a higher level of ministry?

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Vancouver 2020 – Urantia Global Experience

University of the Fraser Valley, BC  Canada
July 28 to August 1, 2020

Lifting Together – United in Purpose – Serving God the Supreme

The Urantia Association of Canada and The Urantia Book Fellowship have teamed up to host this gathering in the Vancouver Fraser Valley. They invite everyone to come together to serve the global community by making a personal contribution to civilization on Urantia.

The Urantia Global Experience is a gathering of minds dedicated to serving God the Supreme through the exploration of solutions for the progressive evolution of civilization. We believe the overall success of this experimental endeavor rests on our spiritual unity—our common motive to express the will of God in our personal daily lives as well as in our social institutions.

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Donating with AmazonSmile

Did you know that when you shop for the holidays at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates to Urantia Association International?

 

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Urantia Association International every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at AmazonSmile you’ll find the exact same prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Association.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com on your computer or mobile device. (You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at there.)

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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.

About Tidings Newsletter

The Tidings newsletter is an 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 and Local Associations around the globe as well as information and announcements from Central Office, the International Service Board, and the Representative Council. 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.

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Planned Giving Strategies Seminar

In November of 2019 Bradly Tharp, Urantia Association’s Chief Financial Officer (who is also a Certified Financial Planning Practitioner and Chartered Financial Accountant) presented the following talk at the online seminar regarding Planned Giving Strategies.

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Journal Editorial November 2019

Greetings Fellow Urantia Book Readers,

The second production of the Urantia Association’s Journal for 2019 highlights articles and presentations about study groups and how they are viewed by readers around the world. We have an overview of “The Study Group,” by Agnes Lazar, Belgium, “Study Groups Revisited” by Gaétan Charland, Canada, and both “Dynamic and Living Peace” and “Study Groups” by Moustapha N’diaye, Senegal. Each one is a vibrant understanding of what is needed to motivate and guide students of The Urantia Book to a greater comprehension of the teachings within this galactic reservoir of cosmic knowledge.

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The Study Group

In this article, I wish to share some reflections that have been long maturing, the result of which are experiences in the bosom of different study groups, including one I initiated 16 years ago.

In January 2001, arising from various personal ordeals, I found myself in great confusion. Turning to God, I prayed to be led to discover a deeper sense of the notion of love as well as a clearer path in life in the years to come. The response was not slow. In September of the same year, I found myself in a group of long-term readers of The Urantia Book. We were all in the presence of an educator who, very simply, spoke of mankind as a creature of God, carrying on an eternal project of progression and growth, to which one could join without delay and in an active way.

This instructor aroused in me a profound desire to do as he did: to consecrate my life to developing and affirming my relationship with God, to make him known around me, and to start a serious study of the fifth revelation.

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Study Groups Revisited

During the conference in Amsterdam, I met with a long-time reader and had an interesting discussion with him about the name, nature, function, mission, and goals of study groups. Since then I had a few more discussions about this subject with readers from Europe, North America, Africa, and my local association. In all those exchanges, my goal was to explore what can be done to make study groups more appealing, practical, and useful to the readers and students of both the new and the old generations.

Looking at the directives expressed by the revelators in the Publication Mandate to create thousands of study groups, to train leaders and teachers, and to respond to the challenge to accomplish the mission of The Urantia Book as stated in the Foreword: to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception [0:0.2]—and to answer the other great challenge, to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind [196:3.34], my questions are: Are the study groups fulfilling these goals? Or are study groups organized and facilitated without having any of these specific goals?

From these exchanges, I realized that study groups need to be revisited if they are to accomplish what the revelators possibly had in mind for them. Perhaps doing study groups for so many years and becoming somewhat complacent about them, we may gradually forget about their true purpose and importance while making them more intellectual and social instead of more spiritually progressive and attractive to a new generation of readers.

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What Does the Future Hold for Study Groups?

In the mid-1970s, guided by our spiritual mentor, a number of like-minded friends and I entered into a new journey of spiritual awakening based on the revelations of The Urantia Book. Our mentor, who had received his copy of the “Urantia Cosmology” directly from a French reader in the 1960s, tailored the guidance he offered us to the sociological reality of Senegal at the time. In the year 2000, some twenty-five years later, we discovered and began working with several other study groups worldwide.

Two years earlier, in December of 1998, we spoke by telephone with a Trustee of Urantia Foundation. A Fellowship member had contacted the Trustee around that same time in an effort to find a local Dakar contact to assist with his Fellowship mission to Africa. He had planned a short stopover in Dakar, along with his companion to pick up a shipment of English copies of The Urantia Book that had just arrived from the Port of Marseille. These books were destined for distribution throughout English-speaking African countries (Senegal is French-speaking) and, together, they had planned to crisscross Africa to carry out their mission.

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Dynamic and Living Peace

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:7]

O bestow on your people Israel great peace forever, for you are King and the Lord of all peace.  …  Blessed are you, Yahweh, who blesses his people Israel with peace. [Paper 150:8, page 1685]

Peace be unto you. And unto you, peace.

Introduction

Who among us has paused to reflect upon the familiar greeting and response, “Peace be unto you. And unto you, peace?” This essay draws on personal experience and understandings, the testimonials from those who collaborated in its writing, and an assessment of the religious literature of the Far East (particularly the writings of Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism), to do just that—pause and reflect on a dynamic and living peace. In so doing, this reflection explicitly relies on the teachings of The Urantia Book and the example provided by the life of Jesus as recounted in Part IV.

We have two goals. The first is to determine the extent to which human and superhuman agents contributed to this much desired peace, despite the unexpected consequences arising from the vicissitudes of our planetary history. And the second, to understand how our experience with the teachings of The Urantia Book reveal the myriad problems of the modern world, the relationship of those problems to a lack of dynamic and living peace, and the practical contributions this revelation can offer for their resolution.

Our immediate observation from this reflection identifies a deep-rooted malaise that characterizes modern times. This malaise, which we refer to as “stress,” has multiple and often unsuspected sources. It results from the external conflicts and internal disturbances that increasingly pervade both our individual lives and society at large. Globalization and the interweaving of economic, cultural, political, religious, and social institutions makes this malaise one the most widely shared perils confronting us today.

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