Editor’s Note – May 2022

Welcome to the May 2022 edition of the Urantia Association’s Journal, a publication dedicated to the thoughts, observations, and experiences of Urantia Book students from around the world. Our contributors explore a wide range of topics, including personal stories of spiritual discovery, finding new meanings and values, and enhancing spiritual perception. Others write about cosmology, science, and ways to improve global civilization. Throughout all these articles, we see an extraordinary diversity of thought and a spirited unity of purpose.

Our first article, Legacy and Inspiration by Neal Waldrop, addresses the long-debated topic about how The Urantia Book should be disseminated in contemporary society. Neal argues that the evangelical, mass-marketing method of spreading the teachings is ineffective in the present age, primarily because it is difficult to attract people who are just not interested in spirituality, philosophy, or cosmology. He maintains that we should continue “to rely on person-to-person contact and other techniques that are consensual and informal.” Neal takes a unique perspective by contrasting the ways in which Christianity was forcibly spread in Europe during the early Middle Ages as opposed to more recent methods of evangelical work in Western civilization in the 19th and 20th centuries. He argues that neither method would work effectively today, hence the need to patiently continue with the consensual approach.

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Legacy and Inspiration

Almost everyone who encounters the fifth epochal revelation and who finds the teachings moving and inspiring, desires to share them with other human beings and help them experience the same spiritual benefits. This is entirely natural, and I reacted that way myself. On the other hand, immediate personal efforts along such lines almost invariably prove disappointing, and that was certainly what happened to me.

Over the next ten years or so, I eventually came to believe that the key criterion is whether or not the other person is relatively dissatisfied with his or her existing approaches to spirituality and the philosophic side of life — the question of whether or not he or she is really searching for more advanced levels of understanding and belief, even if the person concerned is not fully aware of this search and is not pursuing it consciously and deliberately.

To summarize these conclusions, I became convinced that if the other person was either fully satisfied with his or her existing approaches to spirituality and the philosophic side of life, or was just not very interested in these topics, then he or she would not be willing to devote the time, effort, and energy required to delve deeply into the teachings of The Urantia Book and eventually embrace them with conviction and commitment.

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The What Book?

Part I

Back in high school, I would have been voted “Most Likely to Volunteer for Alien Abduction.” Thus, I was immediately intrigued by a magazine ad I saw in 2009 for something called The Urantia Book.

The offer was for not just one, but two copies of the book, one indexed and the other not, and they were free. What could I lose? Of course, there was the possibility that along with the books would come a few survivalists to whisk me off to a commune in Idaho where I would be forced to hoard water, guns, and apocalypse-proof tins of food, but I suspected that if anyone actually did show up with my books, “he” or “she” would have come from somewhere a bit beyond Idaho. So, I took the plunge and went to the website pitching the book.

Soon a box arrived containing two copies of The Urantia Book. The unindexed version clocked in at 2,097 pages; the indexed version, set in a two-column format, covered 1,814 pages, followed by a 312-page Index. As a result, despite the tissue-thin paper, each volume must have weighed several pounds; not exactly light reading in every sense of the word.

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The Hazards of a Decimal Planet

We know from the revelators that our beloved blue planet is a decimal planet [58:0.1]. This means that on every tenth planet where the Life Carriers implant life, it undergoes new mechanical, chemical, and electrical mobilization patterns [57:8.8], that is, new life forms to develop possible improvements.

The Failures

Since we live in an experiential universe that is not yet perfect, failures in attempts to improve life are possible. Among the failures that have occurred on Urantia, we can mention certain bacteria and fungi. The former have changed since the earliest dawn of life and even show some degree of regression. In the case of fungi, many of them show a retrograde movement because they have lost their ability to produce chlorophyll and have become parasitic [65:2.3].

The amoeba and its protozoan cousins have remained almost unchanged since the beginning of life and are considered a failure by the Life Carriers for not having evolved [65:2.4].

Single-celled animals of primitive types associated themselves in colonies, such as the volvox, and later the jellyfish. Thousands of species appeared and disappeared during these ancient ages. All these specimens were nonprogressive. Even the fish family, animals from the evolutionary point of view, remained stationary [65:2.5].

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Why Participate in a Study Group?

As a student of The Urantia Book and longtime host and member of study groups, I have always been more than interested in their value to the mission of The Urantia Book. I have throughout the years organized many activities to promote not only the creation of new study groups, but also to explore their purpose in the plan to disseminate the teachings of the book. I also believe that study groups are an ideal place to create new kinds of spiritual leaders and teachers who are in harmony with the teachings of Jesus.

In this article, I list some of the reasons why it is important for each reader to participate in a study group and what I believe is their mission, philosophy, and purpose. Together, we will explore the question: “Why should I participate in a study group?”

This question is quite legitimate, and I try to give a reasonable answer supported by The Urantia Book, particularly by the life of Jesus. I also draw from the guidelines issued by The Urantia Book revelators as stated in the Publication Mandate. I will also share with you many testimonies of study group hosts and their members who were deeply touched by their participation in a study group.

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Why a Study Group?

This is a video presentation by Gaetan Charland, former President of Urantia Association International and former Chair of the Study Groups Committee of the ISB. He currently (2022) serves as an Associate Trustee of Urantia Foundation.

Gaetan’s passion has always been about the importance of the role study groups play in the mission of spreading the teachings of The Urantia Book. He also believes that the study group is a good environment for the development of teachers and leaders who can assist others in understanding the concepts in the book.

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Brazil Urantia Association

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.

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Senegal Urantia Association

The Progressive Divine Wisdom Group around its founder in 1986

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).

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.

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Australia & New Zealand Urantia Association

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.)  

Study Groups
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.

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Guatemala Urantia Association

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. 

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GLMUA – New Membership Invitation

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.

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Belgium-Francophone Urantia Association

ABFU

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.

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Sweden Urantia Association

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. 

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Find a Group

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.

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Online Education

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.

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Other News

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:

  • Examine the circumstances that led to his bestowal
  • Study his teachings and how they set the stage for Michael’s bestowal
  • Explore the lessons to be learned from the Melchizedek mission for modern-day truth revealers
  • And much more…
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Contribute

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.

Donate Now

About Tidings Newsletter

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 and Local 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 Local Urantia Associations, or the editorial team of the Association’s Tidings.

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Publication Mandate

COMPILED BY: Certain members of the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood

FOR: The files of the Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood

PRESENTED: 4 April, 1955

It seems appropriate, a second time, to bring to the attention of the Executive Committee certain wise comments and advices which have been gathered over a period of years and which pertain to the future problems of The Urantia Book. These advices could well be presented under the general caption:

The Timing of The Urantia Book

(Generally designated as “The Publication Mandate”*)

“We regard The Urantia Book as a feature of the progressive evolution of human society. It is not germane to the spectacular episodes of epochal revolution, even though it may apparently be timed to appear in the wake of one such revolution in human society. The book belongs to the era immediately to follow the conclusion of the present ideological struggle. That will be the day when men will be willing to seek truth and righteousness. When the chaos of the present confusion has passed, it will be more readily possible to formulate the cosmos of a new and improved era of human relationships. And it is for this better order of affairs on earth that the book has been made ready.

“But the publication of the book has not been postponed to that (possibly) somewhat remote date. An early publication of the book has been provided so that it may be in hand for the training of leaders and teachers. Its presence is also required to engage the attention of persons of means who may be thus led to provide funds for translations into other languages.

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