3rd European Urantia Conference in Spain

20 – 23 October 2022

Overcoming Materialism – Enlightening Europe

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 3rd European Urantia Conference to be held at the Sol Torremolinos Resort, Malaga, Spain 20 to 23 October 2022.

The Urantia Association of Spain, Urantia Association International, and the European Organizing Committee have been working hard to create this event in Southern Europe to unite our European Urantia Community once again for our next European Urantia Conference. 

Our last European Continental Conference was in Tallinn 2019 and attracted Urantia Book students from Europe and North America who all participated in that event. The aim of this coming conference is to discuss questions about Urantia Book readers working together to bring enlightenment to the European continent in the midst of a materialistic, secular world. Urantia Book readers from all around the globe are welcome to join us in this Continental Conference.

About the Theme:

According to the revelators, “…the worst of the materialistic age is over; the day of a better understanding is already beginning to dawn” (195:6.4, 2076.9), and “The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men.” (195:10.1, 2084.1).

But how can we leave materialism behind and be born of the spirit? How can we develop spiritually? Jesus himself said that “Self-mastery is the measure of man’s moral nature and the indicator of his spiritual development.” (143:2.3, 1609.4) Then learning the art of self-mastery seems fundamental to progress, both morally and spiritually. For this reason, at the 3rd European Urantia Conference, we will explore the various facets that seem most important for us to govern ourselves. With that intention, a series of workshops has been proposed under the common title of “The Route of Self-mastery.”

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President’s Message – December 2022

Enrique Traver

Hello, dear friends!

My children, like most Christian children, were born and raised celebrating Christmas on December 25th. It was always a magnificent celebration, with all the family members participating happily and celebrating the birth of our Master and sharing the company among all. Furthermore, when they were little, all of them believed in Santa Claus and their happiness was greatly enhanced by the anticipation of the arrival of this sweet imaginary old man bearing presents. I took advantage of this belief of the little ones to bargain with them for good behavior and high performance at school throughout the year. I grew up that way and my kids did too.

At some point, the sweet old man ceased to exist in our lives, we ceased to be children, bringing disappointment, but at the same time, the joy of being together as a family remained, all gathered in fraternization and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Over time, we learned that the important thing was always being together, celebrating our families and the birth of Jesus.

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A Study Group As a Circle of Trust

I invite you to consider a study group as a Circle of Trust.  I became familiar with the term “Circle of Trust” back in 2004 with the publication of Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness.  Our community has engaged a number of retreats using the tool kit of the Circle of Trust.  Parker Palmer hails from the Quaker Tradition and shares in his book many insights of that tradition, which are in agreement with the teachings of Jesus.  He quotes Rufus Jones, one of the human sources used in the development of The Urantia Book, who writes: “I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place.”  In the history of the development of The Urantia Book there was a communication known as the Publication Mandate that the Forum studied very closely which states:

The book is being given to those who are ready for it long before the day of its world-wide mission. Thousands of study groups must be brought into existence and the book must be translated into many tongues. Thus will the book be in readiness when the battle for man’s liberty is finally won and the world is once more made safe for the religion of Jesus and the freedom of mankind.

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3rd European Conference of Urantia Book Readers

Overcoming Materialism, Enlightening Europe

(Editor’s note: The Urantia Association of Spain, Urantia Association International, and the European Organizing Committee worked hard to create this event in Southern Europe to unite the European Urantia Community once again for our third European Urantia Conference.) 

The 3rd European Conference of Urantia Book readers was held at the Sol Don Pablo Hotel in Torremolinos (Malaga, Spain) from October 20 to 23. Almost 70 readers attended from different parts of Europe and the rest of the world (from Georgia in Eastern Europe to the United States and Argentina in the American continent). With summer temperatures, we were able to enjoy not only the weather, but also the good company of other readers and some activities related to the theme of the conference and the theme of self-mastery, to which several workshops were dedicated.

This third European conference was intended to have a practical focus, so that attendees would return home with new ideas and tools to improve the art of self-mastery. Hence, the workshops of the so-called “route of self-mastery” had a theoretical part and a practical part in which the participation of the attendees was a prerequisite. To facilitate the organization, two routes were defined by language: English and Spanish, which worked independently but always focused on the same theme: self-mastery under the light of the teachings of The Urantia Book. As they developed independently, the approaches were different but equally enriching. There were readers who attended activities in both languages, so multilingual people had the advantage of seeing these different approaches. But there were also joint activities that maintained the cohesion of the group of attendees thanks to the translation services.

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Farewell Margo Sherwood

Margo Sherwood, beloved wife of Will Sherwood, after a long illness, graduated peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning, October 29, 2022, with the help and support of her husband, her pets, and loving hospice care workers. 

Margo was born in 1954 in Hungary and escaped that communist nation in her early 20’s. She and her then husband stayed in Austria for nine months awaiting political asylum to become American citizens.

As a successful real estate agent in Los Angeles, CA, she spent her office breaks talking with (unknown to her at the time) Urantia Book reader, Jean Painter. And for about nine months, though they talked much about philosophy, surprisingly Jean never mentioned the book! However, while attending a Whole Life Expo in Pasadena, CA, Margo found herself drawn to the booth hosted by The Urantia Book Los Angeles Society. As she read over a list of people currently reading the book, she was stunned to find that her friend and colleague, Jean, was on the list of people reading and studying the book! Margo immediately called Jean, saying, “This is Margo from Urantia! Why haven’t you told me about this book?” From that point, still in her 20’s, Margo started actively reading the book and attending study groups in Southern California.

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International Service Board Elections

The International Service Board (ISB) recently held elections for the positions of Vice President, Secretary, Communications Chair, Dissemination Chair, and Study Groups Chair. Here are the results:

Vice President: Andres Rodriguez (re-elected for second term)
Secretary Joanne Strobel: (re-elected for second term)
Communications Chair: Myra Hight (elected for first term)
Dissemination Chair: Willem Jeths (re-elected for second term)
Study Groups Chair: Phillip Marriott (elected for first term)

Congratulations to the successful candidates. Former Communications Chair and Study Groups Chairs, Kathleen Swadling and Andrés Ramírez respectively completed their second terms so needed to step down. We are very grateful for their incredibly loving, loyal, and tireless service. We welcome Myra Hight from California and Phillip Marriott from South Australia to the ISB. We hope they find their volunteer work for the Urantia revelation fulfilling, rewarding, and joyful.

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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Editor’s Note – November 2022

Mark Blackham

Welcome to the November 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 coupled with a spirited unity of purpose. 

Our first article, Our Missing Mother God: Monotheism at the Cost of Trinitarianism by Elisabeth Callahan, is an insightful and novel essay centered on the Mother concept of God. Elisabeth has conducted several classes and forums at the Urantia University Institute on the nature of the local universe Mother Spirit as well the maternal characteristics of the Eternal Son and God the Supreme. In this essay, she makes the case that the continued focus on a male dominated monotheism in world religions detracts from the higher truth inherent in the nature of trinitarianism and, in the process, has devalued the maternal creative function.

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Our Missing Mother God – Monotheism at the Cost of Trinitarianism

Back in the late 1980s, while engaged in a graduate program in transpersonal psychology, I took a class in Creation Spirituality with Matthew Fox, the former Dominican priest, theologian, and author of 37 books including Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth. This was my first significant foray into the idea that God has a pervasive, life-giving, maternal creative function.

At the time, from the viewpoint of the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, Fox’s perspective bordered on heresy. He was booted from the Dominican priesthood but later, in 1994, he was received as a priest in the Episcopal Church by Bishop William Swing.

Nonetheless, the concept of creation spirituality was planted in my mind as something worth pondering. Creation spirituality posits that God is in all things (panentheism), that divinity permeates all things, and that all things bear the energetic blueprint of divinity. That is not to say that God is all things, which is a pantheistic assertion, although it is true to say that without God or a Primal Cause, nothing would exist.

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My Relationship to God – My Mother and Father

My understanding of, and relationship with, God has changed tremendously since I discovered The Urantia Book fifty years ago. I was raised in a religion where masculine, anthropomorphic descriptions of Deity dominated the religious thinking of our world. This is not surprising given that almost all aspects of society have been male dominated except within the home, where women have often played an equal or dominant role in family life. The Judeo-Christian and Islamic theologies that are the prevailing religious systems of our times are a product of, and are rooted in, concepts of God that place little emphasis on God as Mother as well as Father. Even the Urantia Papers are written in a way that makes far more use of the term Father and masculine pronouns to describe God. This preponderance of usage has led me and many who have studied the book to overlook its ground-breaking revelation of God as equally mother-like and in possession of all the traits and values that we associate with the feminine. 

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The Psychic Circles and Morontia Life

An archangel of Nebadon mentions:

You should understand that the morontia life of an ascending mortal is really initiated on the inhabited worlds at the conception of the soul, at that moment when the creature mind of moral status is indwelt by the spirit Adjuster. [Paper 48:6.2, page 551.7]

This quotation indicates that morontial life begins on our planet at the formation of the soul through a sincere moral choice, heralding the arrival of the indwelling Thought Adjuster. The joint formation of the morontial soul with the Adjuster provides access to morontia realities, and it is possible for a human personality to know and experience a taste of morontia life during his or her earthly life with the absolute conviction of being part of this great morontial family.

The Urantia Book gives us some information about the activities in the schools of education and training on the morontia worlds in Papers 47 and 48. These papers give us an opportunity to study and join these morontia schools during our earthly life. Man has the power to transcend time and space and live as if in direct contact with the Heavenly Father through his vast personality circuit and through the indwelling presence of the Thought Adjuster. “Man’s ability to transcend himself is the one thing which distinguishes him from the animal kingdom” [111:6.9].

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The Word, the Language, the Dictionary

In the Spring of 2018, I read of the new library in the Urantia Foundation’s building, dedicated to containing the works of literature assumed to have been used by the revelators in the Urantia Papers’ formation. Over the years, I have wondered about the origins of the Urantia Papers and reviewed such websites as Matthew Block’s Square Circles in his efforts to match The Urantia Book to human sources. The new library at the Urantia Foundation preserving such works is an invaluable collection, especially for future generations.

Having studied The Urantia Book for years, I am still amazed at the quality of the English language used in the papers. The Urantia Book is a masterpiece of prose literature with its poetic cadence, with each author representing their thoughts through the written word. The style of the Urantia Papers is exclusive from any human author’s works I have read. Even the style of each author is unique. Each has its unique writing style, from a Divine Counselor to a Solitary Messenger, Mighty Messenger, or the Midwayer Commission.

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About the Journal

journal

The Journal is produced twice yearly and contains essays, articles and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book. 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 Journal.

Subscriptions

The Journal is available electronically free of charge for anyone with an email address. Join our mailing list to receive free electronic copies.

To receive hard copies, you may subscribe to the Journal at the annual rate of $15.00 USD via any of the following methods. 

  • To subscribe on line click here
  • To subscribe by telephone call:  +1-773-572-1180
  • To subscribe by check or money order, please send in $U.S. dollars only and make payable to “Urantia Association International”. Mail to: 

Urantia Association International
4000 W Montrose Avenue #606
Chicago, IL  60641

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Why a Study Group? (video)

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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Mission, Philosophy and Goals of Study Groups (video)

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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Creating a Study Group (video)

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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Facilitating a Study Group (video)

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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Methods for Facilitating a Study Group (video)

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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President’s Message – September 2022 

Enrique Traver

Dear Friends,

I am impressed to know that so many of us are present and active in study groups. And many who believe the truth of this revelation have formed true family associations that are actively engaged in various projects of learning and disseminating the teachings. It’s just wonderful to see all this happening.

Many of us embrace the challenge of serving our Father and others by becoming workers for the kingdom of God. Those who love The Urantia Book revelation approach this purpose with great enthusiasm and true devotion.

When we act enthusiastically to attract more souls to the kingdom of God, there are many different approaches. But no matter which approach we use, we certainly want everyone to feel the same attraction to the revelation as we do.

However, I have observed that some of us are convinced that “converting our fellows  in favor of this revelation is a great grace and a precious service to others and to the Father. We often deliver impassioned speeches or go out of our way to build up arguments to demonstrate why others must change and how, upon discovering The Urantia Book, each of us must behave in the future. At times, some of us are astonished when faced with confronting situations caused by students of The Urantia Book that, according to our understanding, should not have occurred or are not acceptable. In some situations, our over-zealousness towards non-students of the teachings may cause the encounter to become argumentative when trying to convince that person to change.

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The Jesus Metaverse

Calling for Presentation Curators

What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions! [Paper 196:1.2, page 2090.3]

About the Jesus Metaverse and the Center for Unity

Gabriel Rymberg

The Center for Unity is currently developing a Jesus Metaverse app that is a strategic, technologically savvy and innovative way to share Jesus with young adults focused on the untold story of Jesus. Our core focus is “to transform the world by sharing a new revelation of Jesus’ life, creating experiences that produce spiritual transformations.”

The user experience in the Jesus Metaverse is based on carefully curated content, presented in a visually engaging and easy to use manner. The media presentations are the basic “building blocks” of the experience. The quality of the experience, the service we provide to our users, therefore relies on two main factors: 1) The quantity and quality of the content and, 2) the quality of the design and implementation of the software.

For a deeper view into the Jesus Metaverse, take a look at this presentation and the jesusmetaverse.org website.

We are currently looking for Presentation Curators who will be tasked with finding specific pieces of content for Metaverse “nodes.”

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3rd European Urantia Conference 2022 

20 to 23 October 2022 

Overcoming Materialism, Enlightening Europe 
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,  

This year we have prepared a dynamic and unique European Conference intended to be a light for our siblings from the continent. It will be held 20 to 23 October at Torremolinos, Málaga, Spain. 

Data shows that secularism triumphs in Europe and that biblical ideas are not well received.* However, there is a very important nuance: the majority still believe in God. Therefore, is there any opportunity for the teachings of The Urantia Book? Whatever: Let’s take it!  

In this new venture we have a plan. We will dive into the waters of self-mastery to gain a clearer idea of how to become better versions of ourselves. And we will do  this through practice in a series of workshops. 

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