Prison Inmate Response Team (PIRT) Mission Statement 

PIRT’s mission is to enlighten the spirits and minds of incarcerated men and women by disseminating The Urantia Book to inmates and providing subsequent correspondence to support the inmate’s efforts to study the teachings. 

Drawn by a Texas inmate and printed with permission.

PIRT is a sub-committee functioning under the Association’s Dissemination Committee; 2022 marks this committee’s 17th year of service. Since the inception of PIRT, approximately 6,000 inmate letters have been processed, 2,800 Urantia books have been donated directly, and 400 books have been seeded into prison libraries.

This year, PIRT experienced the loss of its dear Chairperson, David Linthicum, who was Chair for 13 of its 17 years, with the exception being his term as Dissemination Chair. David left his mortal body for mansonia on June 1st, 2022. He is missed by all who served with him in their collective effort to “assist the Father in finding his lost sheep.” David was a tireless servant involved in many activities besides PIRT and his love touched countless souls.

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I Found the Key

How many of us are saddened to see the world today in such decay? I realize that we all have this need to feel comforted and at peace about what will happen after our time on earth. What will we leave as a spiritual legacy to our grandchildren and their children’s children? It may seem far-fetched to think like this, but it is so little when we know that life is eternal and that this earthly adventure must one day reach the era of light and life.

My greatest wish is that The Urantia Book will find its way into the hands of many souls thirsting for truth and that it will transform the person who studies it.

But how could this happen without a personal commitment from those who have found this treasure? As a fervent student of The Urantia Book and its teachings, I feel that these truths are a gift from heaven, an answer to my questions, the object that has given meaning to my life and answers to my many reflections. It has helped me feel better within myself, improving my health and general well-being; it has helped me to strive to be a better person and to be better at living my life and putting my beliefs into action. This book and its teachings cannot remain stagnant—they need to be shared. So, how to share it?

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Parliament of the World’s Religions

Faith & Interfaith Understanding

14 to 18 August 2023

In August 2023, the Parliament of the World’s Religions returns to Chicago, the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement, to celebrate 130 years of achievements. Parliament conventions attract participants from more than 80 nations reflecting over 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs.

It’s Mission: “The Parliament of the World’s Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”

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The Urantia Uganda Conference 2022

THE BIRTH OF THE URANTIA BOOK TEACHINGS IN UGANDA

The Urantia Uganda Conference 2022 was the first ever in Uganda. The conference was to have been held in August 2020 but, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, limited funds, and leadership challenges, it was not possible until this August.

The Urantia Book and its teachings have finally arrived in Uganda, the pearl of Africa. It is with great hope and faith that the truth seekers here will greatly enjoy the teachings of the book as they enrich their ever-growing spirituality, guided by love and the will to service. This is but a start to a long journey of spiritual adventure towards Paradise but most of all for all Ugandans, it brings spiritual enlightenment that shall create unity and harmony (brotherhood of man) among Ugandans in their affirmation of God as the Father (Fatherhood of God) within them. We thank God it has come to pass that The Urantia Book and its teachings have been initiated publicly in Uganda.

Under the sponsorship of Urantia Association, five of us were funded to attend this conference and I do thank God we did because our attendance shaped the program and designed the conference to meet a Urantia Book conference standard. We were asked by the secretary Matte to help develop a program on the day we arrived. We designed the program and the next day we presented an introduction to The Urantia Book, its history, the Publication Mandate, and leadership structure worldwide. 

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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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Estonian “Brotherhood Day”

Estonian readers will start to celebrate “Brotherhood Day” every year, and we begin this year by holding the event on 2 October 2022.

Our purpose is to highlight the importance and significance of the concept of brotherhood—to encourage living in brotherhood with every person in our lives.

The two most important teachings of Jesus were the revelation of God’s fatherhood and the brotherhood of man. We constantly pray and worship God, but there is a brotherhood here on earth that has gone rather unnoticed and overlooked. This shortcoming could be somewhat alleviated by celebrating “Brotherhood Day,” wherein the importance of brotherhood is highlighted, presentations are made, races and nations around the world are thought of as brothers, the meaning of brotherhood is deepened and, and most importantly, a pleasant time is spent with our closest brothers and sisters.

In truth, beauty, and goodness,
Karmo Kalda

Living Morontially

From Information to Transformation to Application

This is a workshop being presented at The Urantia Book Fellowship’s Summer Study Session 21 – 24 July, 2022

…mortal personality, through its own choosing, possesses the power of transferring its seat of identity from the passing material-intellect system to the higher morontial-soul system which, in association with the Thought Adjuster is created as a new vehicle for personality manifestation. [Paper 112:5.4, page 1232.5]

“Living Morontially” is an SSS’22 experiential workshop designed to explore ways to consciously apply the teachings of The Urantia Book.  

Would you like to join others in a journey to take the inspiring words off the pages and into your life? Together we’ll share our experiences and encourage each other with a variety of strategies to discover how to reflect God’s will and way.  

This two-session workshop will be held on Friday, July 22nd in both morning and afternoon sessions. Pre-registration is required by July 10th; participants will be given a short assignment in advance of the workshop. The workshop is led by Bobbie Dreier, Sharri Gaines, and Sherry Cathcart Chavis.

To register, or for more information, send an email with your phone number to Bobbie Dreier at bdreier@earthlink.net.  

Graduation of David Linthicum

“A Mighty Oak Has Fallen”

Long time devoted Urantia Book student and servant David Linthicum graduated from Urantia in the early morning hours June 1, 2022. He was informed of cancer earlier this year and selected aggressive therapy, bravely giving his all, in hopes the healing process would emerge victorious over time. David kept a wonderful, positive attitude throughout the months of treatment, and met the trials of illness and impending death with a calm dignity, true courage, generosity, steadfast faith, and hope for eternal life.

David continued to his last precious days on Earth to give his time and resources to important legacy projects he had been involved with. He was a dedicated servant to mankind. Perhaps not too many people know that David wrote and self-published a book titled “The Emerging Recognition of Jesus’ Divine Nature.”

David helped charter the Spirit of Oklahoma Urantia Association, as well as serving as its president. He was a regular study partner with a group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. David served two terms as President of Urantia Association of the United States (UAUS), as well as Dissemination Chair for Urantia Association International. He helped found the Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT) and served as its Director for many years, as well as becoming a volunteer who personally answered letters and gave support to many prison inmates.

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Fearless Leader of PIRT — Ode to a Friend

The Prison Inquiry Response Team (PIRT) is very near and dear to me. Before it had the official title and an official Director (David), responding to prisoners was one of my duties at Urantia Foundation. As the Reader Services Manager, I was fielding lots of inquiries about The Urantia Book, including a growing number of letters from prisoners all over the United States. I decided to recruit my friends in Urantia Association to help with the workload, and a lasting service partnership developed between Urantia Foundation and the Association. The volunteers were eager to serve in a unique and valuable project.

Those “inside the walls” often sent stunningly sincere letters to the publisher; some were requesting pen-pals but that fell outside the office duties. Handing off the correspondence worked out well. Urantia Foundation continued to send the books after the volunteers had vetted an inmate’s level of interest.

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Eulogy for David Linthicum

(Editor’s note: David asked Rick to make his eulogy a testament to the teachings of The Urantia Book. He wanted those gathered to hear what his religious life was about.)

My name is Rick Lyon. I have known David Linthicum for many years. I am and always shall be his friend.

I first want to point out the design you may have seen that David had engraved on the headstone and the pin I am wearing. The cross combined with the three blue concentric circles. The cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus. The blue circles represent the Trinity—God the Father, the Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit. The cross represents the greatest demonstration of love this universe has ever known, and the blue circles represent the source of that love.

When Billy Graham was nearing the end of his time on this earth, he was asked if he feared death. His reply was: “Fear death? I look forward to it. When you hear that Billy Graham is dead, don’t you believe it.”

This mortal life is only a shadow, the beginning, of spiritual reality. What comes next is more real and more true, beautiful, and good than anything we can experience in this life on earth.

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The Eyedropper, Spoon, and Shovel

(Editor’s note: This article was first published in the 2018 November Journal. It was adapted from a plenary speech delivered at the 2018 Netherlands conference. We are re-posting it in memory of the late David Linthicum who passed away on June 1, 2022.)

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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Two Sides of the Same Coin

(Editor’s note: This article was first published in the 2021 June Tidings. We are re-posting it here in memory of the late David Linthicum.)

During a recent Urantia Association conference, a question was posed to those assembled: “How many have been successful in introducing The Urantia Book to family or friends?” The response was not surprising; a quick count revealed that only a smattering few raised their hands. For all those who have tried and failed to introduce the book to family and friends, you are in good company.  

Here we have in our hands a divine revelation, the fifth epochal revelation to mankind, the most amazing treasure since Jesus walked the Earth and yet many of our family and friends are not interested. I’m sure this is a reality for a great many of us and a disappointing one at that!

I’ve been a student of the book for 26 years, yet despite my best efforts to interest family and friends, for the most part they have shown only passive interest, perhaps tolerance or even appeasement would be more like it; none have taken the time to read the book. I was able to get a previous girlfriend to read the book several years ago and she became a dedicated student of the book. So, one person after 26 years of trying—not a great record!  

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Gallery for David

Please enjoy this selection of photos of the late David Linthicum depicting his participation in a variety of meetings, working groups and study groups.

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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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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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