Spanish Urantia Book Readers Meet

The 16th meeting for Spanish Urantia Book readers was held from April 28th to May 1st in the Hotel Tryp in Guadalajara (near the capital, Madrid.) In attendance were almost 50 people hailing from the north, east, and south of Spain. Antonio Schefer’s presence was appreciated as he again came The Netherlands to represent Urantia Association International.

The theme of this meeting was “God in Man,” which is the title of section 6 in Paper 108 (Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjuster). The main subject of discussion were the Thought Adjusters: what they are, what they do for us, and what we will become together. On this occasion, our goal was to coordinate the presentations so they could approach different aspects of the Thought Adjusters and our relationship to them.

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Our Trilogy Mission – London, Birmingham & Ghana

We were already excited about the prospect of working in partnership with Urantia Association International during our 2017 Urantia Conference in Accra Ghana, when Antonio Schefer alerted us to Antonio Roque’s desire for us to host a Study Group “meetup” in London in the UK during our visit to Birmingham (UK) en route to Africa. Even more thrilling was the knowledge that some of our Urantia family in Europe had expressed their desire to fly over and join us too!

Part 1—Hallmark Hotel, East London, UK 

Initially, the London gathering was intended to be a full day of studying The Urantia Book with some live music (performed by us) intertwined, but because many of us were meeting for the first time, we decided to change the format into a group discussion which would allow us to get to know each other better, to learn about our individual journeys since finding The Urantia Book and to see how we could improve on applying the teachings in our daily lives. Of course the music was still interwoven throughout the program, but now, everyone was involved in contributing to the celebration!

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Study Groups and Us—Survey Results

Two months ago a survey was sent to English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French readers on the email list of Urantia Association International. This survey was created with the goal to find better ways to serve the growing community of study groups, and with the objective to find the different characteristics inherent in the many kinds of study groups existing throughout the world.

On behalf of the Study Group Committee I’d like to thank everyone who devoted a few minutes of their time to respond to this survey.

I’d like to share a summary of this survey with you so you can—in your own ways—find some answers or solutions that may make your study groups more responsive to the needs of different kinds of readers and cultures.

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Youth & Study Groups

I worry that we are swimming upstream when we try to insert younger adults into study groups made up entirely of older people. Many times I have been one of the token young adults at Urantia events, and while I am glad that I attended them, being the odd man out always held an undertone of discomfort; and I did, at one point, stop attending a study group when I felt like I simply could not fit in. I think that I was more tolerant of the age difference than the average person, and to ask that of every younger attendee is asking a lot.

I have been enjoying studying the book independently for the past several years. I do, however, long for the community aspect of simply spending an evening with other students of The Urantia Book. A younger friend of mine says that she does not attend a study group because she just doesn’t like to sit with a group to study; she prefers to learn about the book through normal, informal conversation. If we have no alternative group to attend, we would, to a large extent, be left out of the Urantia community.

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Young Readers & Study Groups

I read with great interest your article in the last Tidings and both responses from young readers that were printed with it. From what the young (and extremely erudite) Venezuelan reader had to say, it would appear that young readers might be more interested in group study if the group itself consisted of only young readers. She did not mention this, but my thought is that perhaps one, more experienced student as a guide or clarification source would be helpful, if not downright indispensable! to such a group. One problem I foresee with this model is, of course, finding young readers with the time, venue, resources and dedication to host and/or facilitate such groups. Obviously, the easiest way for the first three issues to be addressed is to establish these study groups online. As for the dedication required, that depends wholly on the spiritual investment of the founding young reader.

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Southeast Urantia Gathering, USA

On the weekend of May 5 a group of 20 Urantia Book readers from different states including Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia met at a beautiful nature center in Alabama for the whole weekend. Mark Kurtz, who was the main organizer for this event had created a program that covered interesting topics for all those present. During this gathering a few readers had been chosen to make presentations on different topics. The beautiful camaraderie that was present at this gathering was the confirmation of its spiritual maturity and encouraged everyone to share their longing for the welfare of the revelation.
This was spiritual brotherhood in the making!

Dutch Speaking Urantia Conference—21st August

As in previous years Urantia Association of the Netherlands (UAISUN) is organizing this year’s 2017 annual Urantia Conference for Dutch speaking students of The Urantia Book on August 21st. We will also be celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnation of Michael of Nebadon.

Last year we enjoyed an upward trend in the number of attendees compared to previous years; we hope this development continues.

This year’s conference will focus on: Jesus as a Human Being, as the Living Way, as the Leading Example. We will be exploring how Jesus developed as a human being prior to his public work.

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Daughters of God Women’s Retreat

Dancing with God—Emerging in Sacredness

September 21 to 24, 2017
Urantia Foundation, Chicago

As our series of women’s retreats continues at Urantia Foundation, the “Daughters of God” facilitator team is inviting you to an intimate, experiential, and fun weekend.

In their next retreat, “Dancing with God-Emerging in Sacredness,” four Daughters of God have designed a program where they will co-create a milieu of trust within a spiritual circle, to explore together questions such as:

  • What does this statement mean to you: “Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual?”
  • “Angels never invade the sanctity of the human mind.” How do you relate to this?
  • How do you become aware of the sacred in the drudgery of everyday life?

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Story from India

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

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Attendee Reports – Urantia Gatherings in UK

Following are reports from 2 attendees who attended the Urantia gatherings organized by Pato Banton and Antoinette Rootsdawtah and held in London and Birmingham. The first is by Alex H of Germany, and the second by Anna Zeven of the Netherlands. 

Alexander H of Germany writes:

I arrived in London by plane from Germany on Friday the 27th of January. After a very short sightseeing tour to the Tower Bridge, I took the train to Croydon, where the UK Urantia Conference took place the next day. I was welcomed heartily by a few formerly acquainted brothers and sisters. I have been looking forward to seeing them all again. The next day we had a small but excellent conference in the Hallmark Hotel in Croydon. This venue was a very good choice, in my opinion. There were approximately 15 people attending. Most of them lived in the UK, but a few people from other countries were also in attendance. We had people from the Netherlands, Sweden, and myself from Germany. Pato Banton and Antoinette Rootsdawtah made the long journey from California to England solely to attend these meetings. After we took enough time to let everybody introduce themselves to the others, the outstanding program began. We sang, danced, read, discussed and prayed together. It was wonderful.

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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.

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 at least five semi-viral videos showing members of a choir and orchestra who had surreptitiously infil­trated 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 site for shopping so as to purchase gizmos or doodads or what-ever else may have caught their fancy—suddenly arose from their seats and emitted the thunderous lyrics and chords of the Hallelujah chorus from the celebrated oratorio The Messiah by George Frideric Handel. *

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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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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