(Presented at the Hobart Anzura Conference, October 2010)
The Meaning of Worship
The urge to worship appears naturally with the activation of the sixth adjutant mind-spirit. In humans, the urge to worship and the capacity for it are innate. Although we all experience this urge as individuals and in our own way, in its most basic form, worship is the recognition and honoring of the mysterious and incomprehensible cause and motivator of everything.
Worship has evolved through many phases—animal worship, nature worship, polytheism, pantheism and so on—until in monotheism we come to recognize God as both the cause and source of everything and, as revealed to us most recently by Jesus, as a benevolent personality who loves us and has a place for each of us.
Worship is recognizing and honoring God as a father, but is it also the recognition of the non-personal aspect of deity? I think it is. Jesus defines worship as:
“…the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son with the Father; time in the act of striking step with eternity. Worship is the act of the son’s personal communion with the divine father, the assumption of refreshing, creative, fraternal and romantic attitudes by the human soul- spirit.” [Paper 143:7.8, page 1616.11].
For Jesus, worship consists of both personal communion with the Father and recognition of the Infinite as the source of everything. It is worth bearing in mind that this second aspect of worship is suggested by Jesus, and that our attempts at personal communion with the Father are also bound up with our recognition of the source of reality and the divine plan of progression. In a sense, we worship God because we know something about him—about who he is and what he is doing.
“What is Urantia?” It’s not a trick question. It’s one we have encountered ever since we started keeping a copy of The Urantia Book on our shelves. It’s a question we get asked when our friends and families find out that we take our precious vacation resources and spend them on Urantia conferences. The same question takes many forms, from “What is The Urantia Book?” to “What is your religion?” We each come up with our best answer, hopefully one that is true to our own life and inspires thoughtful questions and conversations. I have been using some form of the same answer for about six years now.
“Urantia is about a personal relationship with God that propels a person into service.”
It works for me. I see it as a reformulation of “The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.” In Paper 142, The Passover at Jerusalem, Jesus is visiting with a Greek Jew and tells him, in part, that we should be engaged in
…two great privileges: sincere worship of the infinite Creator, the Paradise Father, and loving service bestowed upon one’s fellow men. [Paper 142:4:2, page 1600.3]
This summer the 2nd European Urantia Conference takes place in Tallinn, Estonia 11 to 14 July, 2019. The Urantia Association of Estonia has been preparing for this event in Northeast Europe. Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The organizers chose this city in an effort to unite Urantia Book students from all around Europe, and from abroad for the second time since 2016. The previous conference was in Budapest-Hungary and about eighty Urantia Book readers from around the world participated in that historical event.
This conference will address the theme: “Sowing Seeds” by posing questions: – How can we grow internally in spirit and externally in numbers? On Friday and Sunday the program will concentrate on spiritual growth possibilities, and on Saturday the focus will be on growing the numbers of readers. Presenters will discuss personal experiences from different countries in Europe, and from other continents—exploring how to find new readers and form new study groups. Following these presentations, the various European national groups are invited to make their own plans for finding new readers. Breakout sessions will be organized into smaller language groups, and translation materials will be available for those who do not speak English.
David Linthicum, our current Dissemination Committee Chairman, will finish his term as chairman on March 31, 2019. David’s successor is Willem Jeths who was raised in the Netherlands and holds degrees in biology, science, and mathematics and speaks Dutch, English, German, and Portuguese. Willem currently resides in the south of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
We welcome Willem and wish to offer our thanks to David for his service to the Association, not just in his role as Dissemination Chair on Urantia Association’s International Service Board, but also for his twenty-plus years of service to Urantia Association of the United States (UAUS) where he served two terms as Treasurer, two terms as President, served as the Study Groups Chair, and also served on the International Association’s Judicial Commission. David remains active in his local association as a charter member of Spirit of Oklahoma.
Every two years the International Representative Council holds elections to select volunteers to serve as officers and committee chairs on the International Service Board (ISB). This election season the Association will see four positions change hands.
Susan Owen will be leaving as Secretary after ten full years of dedicated service. Susan has been the backbone of the Association. She has helped shape every committee and leadership goal for the last decade. She has proven to be one of the most trustworthy volunteers for our community and her faithful service to the Urantia teachings will undoubtedly continue for many years to come. But The Urantia Book teaches us that cycles of service are alternated with cycles of rest and play. I hope that Susan will enjoy a few years of joyful reversion.
Dear Friends of the Revelation,
There are many things I would like to write and share with you that are important to the revelation and to the work we do to promote its teachings, but for me, none of these are as important as study groups. Even if fraternal organizations such as Urantia Association International or The Urantia Book Fellowship should disappear, study groups could go on unhindered because there will always be a strong urge for truth seekers to meet and share their understandings, passions, and experiences, as well as their hopes for these teachings to change the world.
It is forty years since Marcelino Ramirez opened his mind and spirit to God in the aftermath of a personal crisis that lasted more than 15 years. After a prolonged period of self-edification, he discovered The Urantia Book in 1991. By 1996, he found that the teachings of the book were such an extraordinary inspiration he decided to travel to many states in his beloved Venezuela to sow the seeds of what he calls “our wonderful Revelation.”
His service extended for another five years, until early 2001, when he decided to devote himself full-time to the dissemination of the revelation in his country, relying only on his modest state pension for money and what he calls “the miracle of the limited economic support of a few people with a huge heart.”
September 27 – 30, 2019
This year the ANZURA conference returns to the nation’s capital, this time in a bush setting on the north bank of the Murrumbidgee River. The conference will be hosted by the very capable “Canberra Crew” and our keynote speaker will be astrophysicist and long-time reader, Nigel Nunn.
Theme: Mind Over Matter—Spirit Over Mind
In the evolutionary superuniverses energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit through the mediation of mind is struggling for the mastery. The goal of the evolutionary universes is the subjugation of energy-matter by mind, the co-ordination of mind with spirit, and all of this by virtue of the creative and unifying presence of personality. [Paper 116:6.1, page 1275.1]
It is pretty obvious that in the 21st Century there is considerable understanding of the ways in which the human mind has been subjugating matter. The industrial and technological advances of the previous couple of centuries have resulted in modern men becoming virtual worshipers of science, and many suggest that this will lead eventually to mankind’s complete understanding of the material world.
Long-time student of The Urantia Book and dedicated member and volunteer of Urantia Association International, Eddie King passed away on 13th February, 2019 after a battle with health problems. Eddie follows his wife and long-life friend and soul-mate, Joanne who passed away last August.
Eddie and his Urantia colleagues in the Southern Kindred Spirits in Nashville were among the first to form a Local Association of Urantia Association International. They hosted the first three international conferences of the Association in Nashville from 1994 to 1996. Eddie also served as the first Conference Committee Chair of the International Service Board (ISB).
PIRT, the “Prisoner Inquiry Response Team” ended the year 2018 on an extra positive note and we would like to share our news with fellow readers. PIRT was formed by a small group of volunteers in the United States to disseminate The Urantia Book to our planet’s darkest corners, the nation’s many prisons. All of the original PIRTeam members continue to serve in some capacity after 15 years! Currently there are six United States volunteers actively answering inmate inquiries, or helping in other ways, and a few more good people have served and moved on. We rejoice and give thanks for all the hungry souls who have found the soul saving truths in The Urantia Book. I am humbled by the dedication of our volunteers who make it all happen; we are excited to celebrate fifteen wonderful years of Urantia Book placements that PIRT members have delivered. It is thrilling to see the seeds of the revelation grow and come to fruition.
(Editor’s note: Ken Ingle of the Lone Star Urantia Association (LSUA) in Texas passed away on Saturday, 2nd February at the age of 85. Following is an account of his life by his good friend, Richard Glass)
As real lover of life, Ken’s example of defining his own life was a good goal for any personality. He became a self-created, award-winning, science-fiction novelist heralded and acclaimed by sci-fi loving groups at UTA and other locations in the state and nation. Ken hosted a study group for many years. He had a wide variety of world interests which included his family, maintaining his health and vitality, sports, science, and his passion for science-fiction writing.
I was very happy when Ken first contacted me in the 1980s to inquire about the book and its study in the area. I was living in Fort Worth and he in Arlington at the time. It was shortly thereafter that he decided to host a study group on Pebble Way that kept going and growing, having its ups and downs, and sometimes serving as a venue for introducing some prospective readers to the Good News—to Better News than anyone initially expects.
15 to 19 July, 2020
Lifting Together: United In Purpose – Serving God The Supreme
The overriding objective of the Urantia Global Experience is spiritual unity, a unity inspired by our common motive to do the will of God, and by the recognition that each of us is indwelt by the spiritual gift of God.
More specifically, we aspire to spiritual unity for the purpose of effecting positive changes in the evolution of civilization on our planet. Through unity we gain strength, making it possible for all of us to lift together in the great task of making such progressive changes a reality. And as we lift together to raise our world a little closer to an age of light and life, we find ourselves engaged in humble service to God the Supreme.
While we share a common understanding of destiny and hope, we also recognize that our spiritual unity is built on a foundation of free personality and spirit originality. As Jesus said,
“You do not have to see alike or feel alike, or even think alike, in order spiritually to be alike.” [Paper 141:5.1, page 1591.6]
The Urantia revelation, prayer, and worship provide our inspiration and direction as we work in full cooperation with the angels of progress to provide a positive environment conducive to both individual and group participation.
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The second Urantia Peru National Conference took place in Pachacámac from 20—21 October 2018. Pachacámac is a rural site about 30 km south of Lima in a place called Atinchik (in the Quechua language, “together, we can do it”.)
The theme of the event was “The Practice of Brotherhood…Truth or Utopia?” In this conference, six plenary lectures and two experiential workshops were given by readers from different parts of Peru, and a guest from Canada.
In Peru, there are many long-time readers of The Urantia Book who have a wide range of experience in the organization of events and activities related to the dissemination of the teachings of the book, but it was only in 2018 that we incorporated ourselves into becoming a National Urantia Association.
Since then, we have made a commitment to host a National Conference each year in order to disseminate the teachings in an interesting and attractive way, and to foster committed readers and study groups.
We also have another goal; given that Peru is the future site for the next Urantia Association International Conference in April of 2021, we hope to gain as much experience as possible to insure the international conference will be a good quality and valuable experience for all participants.
26 to 30 August, 2019
Hello friends! Two years have passed and it’s now time for our Biannual Vancouver Island Urantia Friends Campout! We have been holding this event since 2007 and, over the years, have had the pleasure of meeting Urantia Book readers from around the world. It’s normally a small group affair of about 15-25 people but we can always accommodate more.
This year, we will be meeting at Miracle Beach Provincial Campground from Monday, August 26 to Friday, August 30 (four nights). This is a beautiful space and the ocean is spectacular! The campground is midway between Courtenay and Campbell River (an hour or so north of Nanaimo) on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
At the beginning of 2018, Mairam Durand and I started a virtual group called The Discernment Club. It was directed at potential new readers. The idea was to talk about life topics, to share different points of view and, by taking quotes from The Urantia Book, to contribute to the topic in a high-minded way. So we slowly introduced these people into a reading of the book, forming a beautiful group of women—four from Lima and three from Máncora (a popular beach area in northern Peru).
When we started to promote the 2nd National Urantia Peru Conference, the northern women wanted to participate as well, but it was difficult to do so because Peru is an extensive country. Traveling from the north, from Máncora to Lima, takes about twenty hours by bus or two hours by plane… a lot of time and money for our Máncora readers who, because they are enterprising leaders in their own fields, could not attend the conference.
So we decided to take the meeting to them—and they, in turn, looked for other women thirsting for Truth because they wanted to share with others what we had discovered together in The Discernment Club. The Máncora meeting, which took place as a sort of post-conference event was called: I Transform Myself by Inspiration. And for this we had the valuable participation and support of Line St. Pierre from Canada.
Delicious food, fun, fellowship, and reading about a nation on a nearby planet (Paper 72) were highlights for 11 Pensacola Study Group reader-students and guests at a luncheon hosted by Mark and Karen Kurtz in Fairhope, Alabama, USA, on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
Meeting in a home was a refreshing delight for the group that normally meets in a church basement. Rick and Susan Lyon from South Bend, Indiana, contributed to the discussion. Rick briefed the group about their internet online store, CosmicCreations.biz.
Kathy Soukup suggested Paper 72, which most always invigorates lively discussion as it did for the group. Reading about this isolated nation seems to inspire readers to think Urantia could be improved by adopting new policies. Looking at that nation we can hardly justify cynical and pessimistic souls who say we have so many problems and who contribute little or nothing to positive change. The discussion resulted in new understanding and hope for Urantia to progress. We will, with world-wide help, from dedicated reader-students.
We are all keen to see the success of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. Of course, it will be a long journey. It takes place on a time scale that we cannot really understand. Nevertheless, I regularly ask myself the question, what can I do at my scale that will contribute to the enterprise? First, of course, I try to put the teachings of The Urantia Book into practice by transmitting the truths that I have discovered into my surroundings without necessarily speaking of the book. Then I formed a study group and, for the first time, I made a donation to Urantia Association International. For the moment, that’s what I found was in my power to do.
Richard Keeler passed away peacefully on 16 January of this year after a battling a terminal illness. Long-time servant of the Urantia Revelation, good friend to many, loyal and trusted member and supporter of Urantia Association International, and Trustee of Urantia Foundation for thirty years, Richard was loved by many and will be sorely missed by those who called him their friend.
Following are some tributes from some of his friends that portray the depth of love and gratitude so many had for this wonderful man.
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 and large, 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.