President’s Message – December 2018

Brotherhood is impossible on a world whose inhabitants are so primitive that they fail to recognize the folly of unmitigated selfishness. 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 52:6.4, page 597.5] emphasis added

This year I have had the honor of travelling to The Netherlands, Ghana, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Mexico for Urantia activities, in addition to events across my home country of the United States. Of course, there are many things that are universal across all cultures, but one thing has struck me about our expanding Urantia community: those of us who love The Urantia Book also love books in general. We are, by andlarge, a group with a passion for reading.

In preparation for my travels, I set a goal of reading at least one novel by a native author set in each country I was to visit. I wanted to become better familiar with the thoughts, feelings and arts of the nations I was hoping would welcome me. In Paper 52 (Planetary Mortal Epochs) section 6 (Urantia’s Post-Bestowal Age) we are given a list of five tasks we can dedicate ourselves to in this day and generation. The one most easily accomplished, I believe, is the exchange of literature.

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Latin American Youth Meeting – Brazil 2018

At the Latin American Conference in Brazil recently held in Guarulhos, Brazil, young readers from all across Latin America met to exchange experiences, get involved, have fun, and make decisions for the future. We see plenty of potential in these young people who express good ideals, genuine experiences, great talents, and a great deal of faith in the Heavenly Father. The entire event exceeded our expectations.

Youth coordinator Fernando Maldonado started a discussion at the top of Mount Pico Olho D’água, in the neighboring town of Mairiporã. The breathtaking landscape and feelings of a spiritual presence brought about an inspiring moment. Here, we began to tell each other a little bit about ourselves and our experiences, which proved to be an enlivening and moving encounter.

We feel that being a reader of The Urantia Book makes us different and, at times, we feel displaced as faith children of God who do not fit into any religious institution. Some of us have left our churches and often carry a tremendous emotional weight because of it. We were able to share our sorrows and experiences, but it was not a painful process, it was a relief. There were some who felt guided by the Spirit of God to reach that moment on the hill. We heard many similar stories of struggles in the arena of mind, difficult decisions through faith, passing through different religions, and various intellectual and spiritual pursuits, all of which have led us to the same common gift–The Urantia Book.

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Italian-French Urantia Conference – Garda Lake, 2018

A Urantia Book readers’ conference took place in Italy, near the beautiful location of the Garda Lake from 5 to 7 October. It lasted from Friday evening (dinner and get-together) to Sunday in the afternoon.

The main goal of this conference was to bring Italian and French readers together. A minority of Spanish and Portuguese speaking attendees was also present, adding to the colorful mix of languages.

The main organizer of this event, Danielle La Scala, has ties with both the French and Italian Urantia Book reader communities. Although the Italian community is very enthusiastic and growing, it is still relatively new. The Urantia movement in France is older and more established, with more experienced longtime members. These conferences in northern-Italy (this was not the first one) have the goal of bringing these two groups together to foster learning, cooperation, planning and growing.

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Testimonials of Truth-Search, Growth and Service

Dear Siblings and Friends,

We on the Education Committee are getting in touch with you again through this article to bring you some inspiring testimonials about personal truth-seeking and growth, with thanks to the Urantia Association of Mexico for their service of disseminating the teachings of our wonderful Urantia Book.

The truth-seekers and students of The Urantia Book in Mexico find an open and free space to meet each other in the conferences and workshops offered by the Urantia Association. Here, they listen to good lessons, learn, discern, and cultivate friendships and spiritual brotherhood.

Here are some of the stories told by those who lived them (namely Norma Angelica Perez Arteaga, Hector Landin Vazquez, and Martin Guzman.) They speak for themselves.

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Pereira Book Fair 2018

During the six days of the Feria del Libro de Pereira 2018 (Pereira Book Fair), from October 2 to 7, 2018, about 20,000 people entered the Convention Center of Pereira, also known as Expofuturo, to enjoy the event. We found that a surprising number of people throughout this coffee growing region know about The Urantia Book or are reading it independently.

Volunteers gathered in the midst of a beautiful landscape, with a slight aroma of coffee in the air and a cozy family atmosphere. They were led by Elaine Restrepo, with the help of the Urantia Association of Bogota. In all, there were fourteen volunteers from Cali, Santa Rosa de Cabal, Bogota and, of course, Pereira.

Of all visitors, over 5,000 were students from different municipalities of Risaralda and the neighboring municipality of Cartago. These young people showed a great interest in knowing The Urantia Book, both for the many topics it contains and for the message it conveys.

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Cali International Book Fair 2018

The Urantia Book was presented at the Cali International Book Fair in Colombia, which took place in October 2018. Our mission was “… Revealing God to Men…” following in the footsteps of the Master, Jesus.

The book fair brought together 776 publishers, 93 exhibitors, 48,000 publications and 231,234 visitors. For the first time in Cali, the Urantia Association of Cali (Uracali) and the Urantia Association of Colombia, along with 13 volunteers, distributed 10,000 small illustrations of The Urantia Book and 2,000 pamphlets containing book quotes as a way to disseminate its content and to provide a means of future contact for those interested in fraternizing.

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2nd European Urantia Conference – Tallinn, Estonia 2019

We are pleased to announce the 2nd European Urantia Conference that’s being held in Tallinn, Estonia, 11 – 14 July 2019.

The theme of the conference is: “Sowing Seeds– Qualitative Internal and Quantitative External Growth” and we will be focused on how we can grow internally in spirit and externally in numbers. We welcome readers from all over the world.

On the Friday and Sunday, the program will concentrate on spiritual growth potentials; on Saturday the focus will be on growing the numbers of readers. We will present experiences from different countries in Europe and other continents, examining what they have done to find new readers and to form new study groups. Following these presentations, our workshops will focus on developing new plans to attract readers. Workshops will be organized into smaller language groups.

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Conference & Chartering – Ecuador 2018

In the house of spiritual retreat “San Fernando” located in Ballenita, Santa Elena, Ecuador, the second National Urantia Conference in Ecuador 2018 was held from October 6 to 8 with the theme: “A Spiritual Experience in Urantia.”

The event was led by Sandra Naranjo Cabezas, President of the Urantia Association of Ecuador (Asociación Urantia Ecuador or AUEC) with the collaboration of the conference coordinator, Jaime Chiriboga, Vice President, Efraín Vivanco, and members of the board and other students of The Urantia Book.

Forty-one readers arrived from different cities of Ecuador and from abroad. It was good to observe middle-aged and young people in attendance.

The objectives of the conference were:

  1. To meet other readers of The Urantia Book
  2. Exchange experiences
  3. Get answers to our questions about life
  4. Practice living in the “here and now”

In addition, a chartering ceremony was held for the inauguration of the Urantia Association of Ecuador.

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Advocacy for Study Groups

Having been involved for many years in the development of study groups both internationally and in my sphere of local activities within the Urantia Association of Quebec, I realize that despite all the efforts of many committed readers, growth of study groups is proceeding very slowly.

I believe there are several causes for this slow growth, some necessary and others not so necessary—even harmful in some cases. For the mission of the revelation to flourish on our planet, we must put into place all the strategies and advice that the revelators offered us, and we must be wise and discerning in the application of these strategies. Successful study groups are an essential part of these strategies to integrate the teachings of The Urantia Book successfully throughout the world.

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2nd European Urantia Conference

2nd European Urantia Conference – Tallinn, Estonia

Dear Urantia Book Readers,

We are pleased to announce the 2nd European Urantia Conference that’s being held in Tallinn, Estonia, 11 – 14 July, 2019.

The theme of the conference is: “Sowing Seeds– Qualitative Internal and Quantitative External Growth” and we will be focused on how we can grow internally in spirit and externally in numbers. We welcome readers from all over the world.

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2019 Finnish Winter Conference

The Winter Conference of the Finnish Urantia Association

25-27 January 2019

Theme: “The Urantia Book, a Guide Book to Eternity”.

Location: Hotel Tallukka, Vääksy, Finland

2019 WINTER CONFERENCE

The winter conference of the Finnish Urantia Association is held the last weekend of January 2019. The venue is located in a small town at one and half hour drive away from the Finnish capital Helsinki. Hotel Tallukka is situated in Vääksy, between two of Finland’s most beautiful lakes, Lake Vesijärvi and Lake Päijänne. More than half of the rooms come with a beautiful, unobstructed lakeside view as seen above.

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Editorial

Greetings fellow Urantia Book readers,

In this November edition of Journal we have several essays that focus on the personal understandings gleaned from studying The Urantia Book. Our first essay, The Purpose of the Fifth Epochal Revelation, was written by members of the Sunshine Coast Study Group, Queensland Australia in 1990. A prominent member of that group back then was Ken Glasziou who is well-known in the Urantia community for his many scientific papers. The essay starts with a very important question, “Why has this new revelation come to us specifically at this time, and not one thousand years hence or whence?” Their answer helps to edify the reason, paraphrasing from Paper 99, “In the past, religion did not have to adjust its attitude to extensive changes in economic and political systems; today the rapidity of changes in living conditions is such that institutional modifications must be greatly accelerated, and religion must quicken its adaptation to an ever-changing social order. We are told that these periods of gross instability will endure for a thousand years; that the human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments and readjustments and that mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed destiny.”

Another question presented was about how we accomplish the spreading of these truths. Should we be a disciple or an apostle? As a disciple we become a follower or student of a teacher: “One difference between discipleship and apostleship as announced by Jesus is that, in undertaking apostleship, we elect to represent him in the world in the same way that, in his human life on Urantia, he represented the Father. This is certainly a rigorous undertaking, for it is not by the words we speak but by the lives we live that we will represent Jesus to the world.” Our authors succinctly address this directive “to farsighted men and women of spiritual insight and with the necessary skills and abilities, using The Urantia Book as source material, to conduct those secondary works that will permit the teachings of the book to penetrate to all segments of all societies and thus…

…attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul. [Paper 2:7.10, page 43.3]

Are you a disciple or an apostle?

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The Purpose of the Fifth Epochal Revelation

Is it the Recruitment of Genuine Apostles?

What is the specific purpose of the fifth epochal revelation on this planet? While this may seem obvious to very many readers of The Urantia Book, to others who are familiar with the finest concepts and teachings of Christianity as well as the best in several other of the world’s religions and philosophies, the answer is not so obvious. Excepting for detailed information on the hierarchical structure among the heavenly hosts that we have no means of verifying, much of the book’s content has been stated elsewhere. Neither do the scientific aspects of the book bring much new knowledge independently within a short time after the book’s publication.

Perhaps the simplest conclusion is that it has been given to us in order that we should recognize our sonship with the Father and the brotherhood of all men. But that message is not new, so is there some other purpose for this revelation? Undoubtedly part of its purpose is to rectify error that has partially negated the effectiveness of the fourth epochal revelation. Another purpose would be to amplify upon our knowledge of our place in the totality of God’s creation. But why has this new revelation come to us specifically at this time, and not one thousand years hence or whence?

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The Personal Experience of Revealed Truth

Our Urantia Book Internet School Pedagogy 

This essay is offered as a context exploration of our Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) pedagogy and methodology in response to a provocative question: can our encounter with newly-revealed, epochal truth be facilitated successfully by employing evolutionary techniques of education or can revealed truth be comprehended using the interpretive teachings of the evolutionary religions of authority?

I would observe that it is the combined nature of revelation and the revelatory process which together determine how revealed truth is encountered, accessed, experienced, perceived, and learned to facilitate its integration into the soul of each truth seeker.  I do not believe that this is possible using intellect alone, but only by accessing truth in our progressing morontial (soul) consciousness. Some two thousand years ago, Jesus sought acceptance and certification of his revelation by the existing, established, evolutionary religious authorities—the Scribes and Pharisees. But as revealed truth designed to uplift and supplant existing evolutionary beliefs, it was rejected at the time by these leaders. Nonetheless, it was eventually spiritually integrated into human consciousness via the living power of Jesus’ life, the Spirit of Truth, the consequential, universal bestowal of Adjusters, and at the present time by the gift of the fifth epochal revelation to our world. Indeed, Jesus’ crucifixion represented the conscious evolutionary response by religious authority to destroy the newly-revealed truths which were seen as a challenge to existing beliefs and theologies. Is that response a warning for us today?

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The Eyedropper, Spoon, and Shovel

This article is adapted from a plenary speech delivered at the 2018 Netherlands conference.

The conference theme of the 10th Urantia Association International conference in The Netherlands was “Jesus as a Teacher.” When I was asked to be one of the plenary speakers I thought it would be a great opportunity, even though I had never given a conference speech.

At the 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX, I presented my very first workshop, so I decided to expand on that workshop theme for my plenary speech in Holland, the workshop was titled, “The Eyedropper, Spoon, and Shovel.”

I came up with the idea primarily based on my experience with trying to get my family and friends to read The Urantia Book.

I found The Urantia Book and finished a cover-to-cover reading in 1996. Like many of us, I was eager to share this marvelous book with those closest to me, my family and friends. I couldn’t wait to tell my best friend the good news!  I had discovered a true treasure, something beyond my wildest imagination.

One day I bought him a book and handed it to him saying, “Man, you have GOT to read this!” I was fired up! I was hoping my best friend would be just as excited as I was. I wanted him to read it, so we could share our thoughts as we had when we read the Carlos Castaneda and J.R.R. Tolkien books in years past.

Let’s just say, things didn’t work out as I had hoped; my friend never read the book. My effort was a dismal failure. I found out sometime later that he showed it to his wife who thumbed through it and declared it to be the work of the devil. I was heartbroken and disappointed.

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Family Crises

(Adapted from a presentation given at Midwest Conference 2018)

All of us have faced a family crisis at some point—actually multiple points—in our lives. Some we create; some we fall victim to; and some that just happen.

This article is going to look at family crisis. The goal here is to help you look at how crisis effects our families, the barriers to overcoming family crisis, how we have addressed previous crises, find better ways to solve crises in the future, and perhaps prevent crises in the first place.

Let us look at my own personal family crisis as an example. The major crisis in my family was the physical and mental problems of my second son. His name is Brad. He was born in November of 1978; the same year I discovered The Urantia Book. He passed away in September of 2010.

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2nd National Meeting – Urantia Association of Ecuador

October 6-8, 2018

The Urantia Association of Ecuador (AUEC) will be presenting its second national conference for readers of The Urantia Book in Casa Ballenita San Fernando.

The theme will be “A Spiritual Experience on Urantia.”

We will be addressing a variety of topics such as getting to know other readers of The Urantia Book, exchanging experiences with one another, exploring answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, achieving new spiritual experiences, and practicing to live in the here-and-now.

A tour on the beautiful peninsula will be included in the programming.

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President’s Message – September 2018

One of the many reasons I love The Urantia Book and I am continuously re-reading it is because it utilizes words which I think I understand, but then in some random paragraph in some random paper, it will define a common word in an uncommon way and suddenly I need to go back and re-read everything with this new definition in mind.

One recent example of this is “personality,” which in a book that has personality survival as one of its main plot points, I feel like I should know what personality is. And walking around in my limited vocabularic bliss I would think that “personality” would be defined as… what? … as a person’s distinctive character, perhaps? A Solitary Messenger tells us that:

…it would be presumptuous to attempt the definition of personality… [Paper 112:0.2, page 1225.2]

but then randomly in the Sojourn at Rome, a midwayer decides that it’s apparently not presumptuous, it’s just, umm… sumptuous? …  for us to be told that:

The presence of goodness and evil in the world is in itself positive proof of the existence and reality of man’s moral will, the personality… [Paper 132:2.8, page 1458.5]

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Farewell to Sue Tennant

Sue Tennant, long-time supporter of the Urantia revelation and a dear friend of mine and to many reading this, left this world for the mansion world adventure in March this year.

I meet Sue in 1999 at her home in Silver Springs for a meeting with other readers for the chartering and inauguration of the Urantia Association of Canada. From that first meeting, I knew that Sue Tennant was one of those people dedicated to the welfare of humanity; she was generous, humble and hardworking, and was a woman driven by her love for her fellow brothers and sisters and by her faith in God and his plan.

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Finnish Summer Conference Report, 2018

Theme: We Have Been Summoned to Eternal Life

Once again, the Finnish Urantia Book readers held their annual summer conference, hosted by the Urantia Association of Finland 9–10 June 2018 at the Lautsiala Resort, Hauho. Over 30 of us gathered, the weather was lovely and the resort was a beautiful place to hold the meeting. The weekend began with touching live music and singing.

There were several presentations. Ben, aged over 90, reflected on the last 100 years in Finland tying its history to The Urantia Book. He ended his presentation saying, “Whenever we want we can move to a time of life and light.”

There were presentations on “Eternal Life in the Universe” and “Belief and to Believe” concentrating on the personal relationship with the Father.

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