Annual Conference for French Speaking Urantia Book Readers

Hosted by French Association of Readers of the Urantia Book

15-18 June 2017

Theme: ““The Influence of the Spirit of Truth and the Divine Minister Upon Our Spiritual Evolution”

Location: Hostellerie Notre Dame Des Lumieres, France

2017 ANNUAL NATIONAL MEETING 

The Association Francophone des Lecteurs du Livre d’Urantia (AFLLU ) invites you to the Annual Conference for French Speaking Urantia Book readers to be held in June 2017 as of Thursday 15, 6 pm through Sunday on the 18th at 2 pm at Notre Dame de Lumières – 84220 – Goult.

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Journal Editorial May 2017

Greetings Fellow Journal Readers,

Welcome to the digital age of 2017 and the new digital format for the Journal.  Starting this year, we will be producing two issues of the Journal — one in May and one in November. If there is a conference, we might publish an additional issue with transcripts of the plenaries and presentations.  If you wish to continue to receive a hard copy via regular mail, it can be arranged. (The copy would be a printout of the online version.) The new subscription cost for hard copies is $10 a year for two issues. As in everything, onward and upward.

In this May edition, we have two engaging articles for your enjoyment and edification. The first near and dear to the dissemination of the philosophies and teachings of The Urantia Book is The Temple of Spiritual Brotherhood and the Greater Meaning of Study Groups, by Charles Laurence Olivea. In his warm and colorful comparisons and analogies, Charles personalizes and engages the reader as he shows us how to

“…go beyond the role of being merely readers of the book; we are more in the role of students looking for Living Water and the Bread of Life.  A student in this context may be defined as an attentive, systematic observer, who is engaged in mind and soul as a cosmic citizen growing with the Supreme.”

Charles tackles the nature and morontial significance of study groups, their structure and leadership, the repercussions of their achievement, and

“With God the Supreme, achievement is the prerequisite to status—one must do something as well as be something.”  [Paper 115:0.1, page 1260.1]  (Emphasis added)

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The Temple of Spiritual Brotherhood and the Greater Meaning of Study Groups

Great trees possess a majestic presence, such as the Grizzly Giant of the Sequoia Forest in Yosemite, California.  It is quite interesting, even instructive, to reflect upon the fact that they begin as small seedlings, emerging as saplings, and over a long period of time grow to become nature’s monarchs.

Likewise, study groups are establishing roots for a great movement, whose aim over time is to disseminate The Urantia Book and its teachings, having a transformational influence on the world.  Study groups may very well constitute the primary engine to achieve the necessary momentum toward human planetary destiny.  But to be successful this movement must be nourished by living spiritual virtues of truth, beauty and goodness.  Then the world, someday, will be able to see a majestic fraternity of men and women who exemplify the principle of universe unity made possible by higher teachings of God’s light and life.  We, students of The Urantia Book, past, present and future, have been given the opportunity to help make this possible.

The socialization or spread of the Fifth Epochal Revelation through a growing network of study groups will depend on what participants bring to such gatherings and by what they take from them.  The interactions between persons, when done in a revelatory search for God, can tap into the spirit of his grace, thereby, raising human consciousness.  Remember, the search for God is nothing less than the search for the source and center of all things and beings.  What’s more, an Archangel of Nebadon reassures us that

…knowledge is possessed only by sharing; it is safeguarded by wisdom and socialized by love. [Paper 48:7.28, page 557.12]

A Solitary Messenger reinforces this point by the generalization that

Personality cannot very well perform in isolation.  Man is innately a social creature; he is dominated by the craving of belongingness. [Paper 112:1.6, page 1227.6]

To know others who share kindred minds and souls is the great immediate benefit of study groups. The thesis offered in this essay concerns the living rationale for individual persons to meet in study on a regular basis seeking God intellectually and spiritually.

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The Hallelujah Aftermath

In recent years, Internet websites have displayed semi-viral videos showing so-called “flash mobs.” This often involves members of a choir and orchestra surreptitiously infil­trating the central court of a large department store or shopping mall, and then—to the surprise and delight of the assembled shoppers, who had merely migrated to their favorite location for shopping to purchase gizmos or doodads or whatever else may have caught their fancy—suddenly begin performing in unison. Several of these videos feature the thunderous lyrics and chords of the Hallelujah chorus from the celebrated oratorio The Messiah by George Frideric Handel, composed in 1741 but first performed in 1742.

Although opinion polls seldom examine such topics, it is quite possible that the Hallelujah chorus is the most beloved choral work ever to emerge from the realm of classical music and acquire great popular renown, at least in locations where English is spoken. The words read as follows:

Hallelujah!
for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,
The kingdom of this world is become
the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ;
and he shall reign for ever and ever,
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

In The Urantia Book’s Paper 21 entitled, “The Paradise Sons of God,” a Perfector of Wisdom duplicates the phrase ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’ On the other hand, this seems substantially more likely to be an implicit reference to the corresponding verse in the Christian scriptures (i.e., Revelation 19:16), rather than a citation from the Hallelujah chorus. Nonetheless, we should bear in mind that the im­plicitly political overtones of the phrase “the kingdom of God” gave the early Christians considerable trouble, as the Midwayer Commission points out in Paper 170:

By the time the Apostle John began to write the story of Jesus’ life and teachings, the early Christians had experienced so much trouble with the kingdom-of-God idea as a breeder of persecution that they had largely abandoned the use of the term. John talks much about the “eternal life.” Jesus often spoke of it as the “kingdom of life.”

He also frequently referred to “the kingdom of God within you.” He once spoke of such an experience as “family fellowship with God the Father.” Jesus sought to sub­stitute many terms for the kingdom but always without success. Among others, he used: the family of God, the Father’s will, the friends of God, the fellowship of believ­ers, the brotherhood of man, the Father’s fold, the children of God, the fellowship of the faithful, the Father’s service, and the liberated sons of God. [Paper 170:2.24, page 1861:6]

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Pato & Antoinette’s Spiritual Family Picnic

Hosted by Pato & Antoinette’s Spiritual Family

20 May 2017

Theme: “White and Denim.”

Location: Dorothy Green Park, United States

2017 SPIRITUAL FAMILY PICNIC 

Good News! Pato & Antoinette’s Annual Spiritual Family Picnic will take place at Dorothy Green Park, Santa Monica Beach on May 20th 2017 from 12noon til 5pm. It will be a day of Fun, Fraternity, Fellowship and Fabulous Caribbean Food! We will also have a Group Worship, Prayer Circle and a Urantia Booth for new Truthseekers.

Please read all the way through TO THE END!

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2018 Urantia International Conference

YOU ARE INVITED!

Urantia Association of the Netherlands (UAISUN) invites you to attend: 

The 10th International Conference of Urantia Association International in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

12-15 April 2018

Our conference theme is ‘Jesus as a Teacher’ and we are inviting students of The Urantia Book from all over the world. The subtitle is ‘Are You Ready to Live His Teachings In the 21st Century?’ This question calls us to explore what we know about Jesus’ teachings, his personal religion, and his message to us today. The program will inspire us to be true followers of Jesus and his teachings, and become the leaders and teachers of the future. 

The Conference

In the beautiful surroundings of the flower fields near Amsterdam, the ‘Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst in Noordwijkerhout’ will be the venue for our gathering. This conference centre offers everything we need to host a successful event. The conference will emphasize studying together, sharing with each other, and most of all, experiencing spiritual brotherhood.

Website

The website http://www.uai2018.org/ is online and provides further information about the program, registration for the event, and reservation of your hotel room. In the upcoming months more information will be available on the website, for example: about the theme ‘Jesus as a Teacher,’ speakers, evening programs, and logistics. The website is translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch.

The language spoken during the conference will be English.

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About the Journal

The Journal is produced twice yearly and contains articles and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book.  To read current and past issues click here or click on the above image.

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 $10.00 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
559 West Diversey Parkway #351
Chicago, IL 60614, USA

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The Finnish Summer Conference

Hosted by Urantia Association Finland

09-11 June 2017

Theme: “The Kingdom of Heaven.”

Location: Sokos Hotel, Vantaa, Finland

Scenic summer panorama of the Market Square (Kauppatori) at the Old Town pier in Helsinki, Finland

2017 SUMMER CONFERENCE

We would like to welcome you to the Summer Conference for Urantia Book Readers in Finland and which is going to be held from 9-11 June, 2017 at Sokos Hotel at only a distance of 200 meters from Tikkurila train station, in the city of Vantaa and what’s part of the inner core of the Finnish Capital Region.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland and what borders to Vantaa, is one of the few cities in the world where nature is so close, even in the heart of the city.

During our conference we will have lectures, workshops, study groups, discussions, a riverside walk, a social program and other Urantia focussed activities with good food and drinks, which we would like to share with you. Come and and discover it yourself during our 2017 Summer Conference.

For more event details look for our program further below.

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Transition to Unity

The following is an account of the Transition to Unity meeting held in October last year by a joint committee of representatives of Urantia Association International and the Urantia Book Fellowship. Included is an initial report written by one of the participants, followed by the proposal both parties agreed upon and presented to their prospective organizations. Following that is an announcement written by Chris Wood informing us of the decision made by the Fellowship’s General Council after its members were presented with the proposal. The date stamps indicate the chronological order of the various announcements.

General Report, November, 2016

On October 3-5, 2016, representatives from the Fellowship and the Association met in Chicago, USA to discuss the possibility of unity between our organizations. This meeting was approved by the Association’s International Service Board and Representative Council, and the Fellowship’s Executive Council. Chris Wood, Merindi Belarski, Rick Lyon, Share Beasley and Susan Owen represented the Association.  Michael Challis, Paula Thompson, Steve Dreier, Janet Graham, and Geoffrey Theiss represented the Fellowship. Janet had to leave early so John Hales replaced her on the second day.

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President’s Message – March 2017

The Pay-it Forward Conference Model

Last summer, Lone Star Urantia Association was tasked with hosting the first united conference between Urantia Association of the United States and The Urantia Book Fellowship. This was a challenge of unknown proportions simply because we had never attempted it before! But they were ready and produced a wonderful event that will propel our community forward for years to come.

One of the challenging questions was simply: What to do with any leftover conference funds? Traditionally within the Association, the hosting group would decide on how these funds would be distributed, but because of the unique nature of this conference a new framework was adopted: instead of splitting the excess between the Fellowship and the Association, all leftover funds from this North American conference would be forwarded to international conferences in Europe and Latin America.

In September, Budapest hosted the first United European Conference bringing together students from more than 20 countries and starting a new tradition of yearly European events. The North American donation was used to bring in students from Croatia, Ukraine, Russia, and young and new readers from across Western Europe.

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Urantia DACH Annual Meeting in Frankfurt

Urantia DACH held its annual meeting from 4 to 6 November 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany. It was the 10th meeting of Urantia Book readers in Germany and the second meeting for the new Urantia Association, “Urantia DACH.” Urantia DACH became official as a Local Association at this latest meeting. A short informal ceremony was held as the Chartering Agreement was signed by Christian Ruch, the President of Urantia DACH, and Urantia Association International’s President, Chris Wood. (“Urantia DACH” embraces the regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. DACH stands for: D=Deutschland, A=Austria, CH=Switzerland; “Dach” is the German word for “roof”.)

We spent a day and a half studying and discussing Papers 99 and 100 of The Urantia Book.
Almost all of the discussions were held in German and any key ideas were translated for Chris and me into English. All participants were quite active in the discussions—it seemed to me that the conversations were very deep and productive.

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UK Urantia Book Readers’ Meeting with Pato Banton

Fourteen devotees of the Urantia revelation gathered on 28th January at a hotel on the old site of Croydon Airport, south London, for a rare chance to meet with Pato Banton and his musical and life partner Antoinette Rootsdawtah. Pato and Antoinette were visiting Britain, and in fact the next day they were moving on to his former home town of Birmingham to host another meeting with readers. This gathering was something of a cross between a study group and a miniature conference, with the added spice of Pato’s and Antoinette’s music. Pato is always an effective evangelizer of the Revelation through his infectious music. We don’t see them often in Britain, as their music takes them around the world and they live in Southern California these days.

We began by going around the table describing how the Urantia revelation came into each of our lives. Most of us already knew each other, but it is always affecting to hear and compare our individual stories of how it came to touch us – and besides, this was an international gathering. There were some European readers present. In that sense, this was a bit of milestone in the British Urantia movement: the net was cast wider than the UAIUK can usually reach. Pato’s own story of his own personal and spiritual path was a pretty harrowing one, starting off from disadvantages most of us in the room could never dream about.

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Study Groups – A Key Tool

Hello to study group hosts and participants. In the November edition of Tidings, I wrote an article on Study Groups and Young People which attracted the attention of a few readers. I have obtained permission from these readers to publish their comments so you will have the opportunity to read what they have said about this topic. Please feel free to respond to those comments or to any articles I write, or have written about study groups that are published in this newsletter.

There is a great need for spiritual nourishment in this world. For The Urantia Book to succeed in its mission “to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception” [Foreword 0:0.2, page 1.2] many more study groups are needed. But it is also necessary for study group hosts to stay focused on the goals of striving to make study groups effective tools in the training of leaders and teachers, and assisting students in learning how to integrate the teachings of The Urantia Book into their lives.

In my own desire to increase the effectiveness of the study group that I have been hosting for many years, I have introduced a variety of reading and studying techniques in an effort to insure that the interest of new and old readers alike would not falter. While I have not always been successful, I have learned many lessons that have kept the group strong all these years.

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Responses to Call from Young Reader Feedback

Below are a couple responses to the articles that were published by Gaetan Charland, the Association’s Study Group Chair in the November 2016 Tidings concerning the subject of young Urantia Book readers in study groups.

Gaetan wrote:

“After my return from the Budapest conference, I was contacted by one of our members asking me about the different study group models I know of, because from what this reader said in her message, it was her opinion that the younger generation is less prone to joining study groups the way that most are currently structured….

“If you are a young reader and would like to help us find answers and solutions to what I’ve mentioned here, please contact me at this address: [email protected]

(click here for full article)

Response from Charles Smith,USA:

Hello. My name is Charles Smith, but most people call me Chuck. I have been asking myself that same question for the past few years ever since the starting of The Urantia Book study group I am a part of. It is as if young people my age, I am 34, simply don’t care about anything spiritual anymore.

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International Service Board Elections

The Representative Council of the Association held elections in January of this year to vote for 7 positions on the International Service Board (ISB). Here are the results of the election:

President: Chris Wood (re-elected)
Chief Financial Officer: Bradly Tharp (re-elected)
Membership Chair:  Luis Garcia- Bory (replaced Anton Miroshnichenko)
Conference Chair: Antonio Schefer (re-elected)
Education Chair: Jeannie Vasquez (replaced Sheila Keene-Lund)
Translation Chair:  Gabriel Rymberg (replaced Chris Moseley) 

The newly elected ISB members assume their new position on April 1, 2017.

In addition to the ISB elections, Travis Binion was re-elected as Chief Judicial Commissioner.  On December 18, 2016 the RC confirmed Joyce Anderson as the third Judicial Commissioner to fill a vacancy, joining Travis and Benet Rutenberg.

The Association proudly welcomes Luis Garcia- Bory from Mexico living in Switzerland, Jeannie Vasquez from Uruguay, and Gabriel Rymberg who lives in Israel to the ISB and we thank them for their willingness to serve and their untiring loyalty in their work for the Association.

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Alabama Gathering Reminder

Space is still available at 2017 Southeast Urantia Gathering at the Alabama 4-H Youth Center, Columbiana, Alabama (USA).

The deadline for registrations is March 15 but late ones may be accommodated up to March 25 with an additional fee of $25.

Registrations can be sent to our mailbox or via email. Please visit the website at http://www.southeasturantia.com/2017-gathering.html for more details on the gathering and for registration information.

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 along to some of these events and experience the joys of meeting and studying with fellow readers.

Holy Land Pilgrimage

Urantia Book Readers’ Pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Jesus

April 20 to May 5, 2017

The United Urantia Family is delighted to invite you to join us for our 2017 Easter Spirit Renewal Retreat Pilgrimage in Israel!

Jerusalem, the City of David, the Old City Tunnels, Bethesda, Bethlehem, Mount of Olives, the Israel Museum, Mount of the Ascension, Beit Shan, Caesarea Harbor, Capernaum, the Jesus Trail, Mount of the Beatitudes, the Jordan River, Sepphoris, Scythopolis, Nazareth Village, the Annunciation Basilica, Cana, Caesarea-Philippi, Mount Hermon, the Ginosar Museum as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jesus Boat! You will see them all with your eyes, and we pray that your heart will sing in Joy. Ours do every single time we behold these sites and connect inwards.

This pilgrimage trip is scheduled from April 20 to May 5, 2017 as part of The United Urantia Family Easter Spirit Renewal Retreat 2017, when Israel is in full Spring bloom and the weather is most pleasant.

Through careful planning and arrangements, our 16-day spiritual pilgrimage is most affordable. The cost is $2,095 USD which includes the registration & processing fee of $100 (see our Early-Bird Special below to pay only $1,995). This price includes lodging in beautiful and strategically located pilgrimage homes, all breakfasts and dinners, transportation in a deluxe air-conditioning bus, the baptismal robe at Yardenit in the Jordan River and all site entry costs while visiting in Israel. The price does not include your airfare which you will have to purchase on your own, due to the fact that participants are coming from different cities and countries.

For more details, please visit our website at www.tuuff.org or contact Diane Labrecque at [email protected] if you have any questions.

I look forward to share this exceptional experience together with you and the Master!

Diane Labrecque
Your group leader

Click Here to Register for this Event

Kansas City Conference

Ministering The Gospel

March 10 – 12, 2017

Heartland Retreat Center
16965 NW 45 Highway
Kansas City, MO

We are a community of believers who feel compelled to research the gospel of Jesus.

We have been given a rare gift, a privilege beyond measure, and a remarkable responsibility.  The gospel of Jesus. We believe this strongly. Because of this belief, our gathering is a working opportunity to explore individual and personal ways to live and share the gospel. We wish to deepen our ministry and encourage others to deepen theirs.

We’ll be working and exploring the questions: What is the gospel of Jesus? How can we grow the gospel in our own lives?  How can we share it with others?  Why is the gospel so critical in today’s world?  We will be working on these questions in small groups and then sharing with the larger group.  Please come join us in this exploration with Spirit.

Conference fee: $175 double occupancy. For Registration or questions contact: Susan Cook 816-716-0330 or [email protected]

“Let all mankind benefit from the overflow of your loving spiritual ministry, enlightening intellectual communion, and uplifting social service; but none of these humanitarian labors, nor all of them, should be permitted to take the place of proclaiming the gospel.”

Journal Editorial November 2016

Greetings fellow Journal readers,

This issue of the Journal is only the second one for 2016. Beginning in 2017 we will be doing only two issues per year with perhaps an additional “Special Edition Issue” like this one with Urantia Association Conference presentations from around the globe. In this issue our presenters will be coming to you from Texas and Alabama USA, from Sydney Australia, and from Cologne Germany.

Our first up is Jeff Wattles, USA with his presentation from the Conference in San Antonio Texas June 2016; How to Participate in Jesus’ Gospel Movement.  Jeff as a consummate professor is able to teach us how to assist Jesus in his movement by realizing Truth is a gift; our intuition is a gift. And faith is a gift. It is living, and it grows. What we receive as a gift, we exercise in action. Later we find our own way to give voice to truth. With practice we become comfortable and skilled. How shall we do this work? I’m going to give you two methods. They both involve study and experience. By the end of his thought provoking presentation you too will be participating in this magnificent movement.

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