Welcome to the May 2021 edition of the Urantia Association’s Journal, a publication dedicated to the thoughts, observations, and experiences of Urantia Book students from around the world. This edition offers a broad scope of ideas and reflections, including spiritual insights gained from personal tribulations, approaches to worship and service, tactful ideas for spreading the good news, and novel ways to introduce the ideals and ideas of The Urantia Book to younger generations.
Our first article, No Appointments, No Disappointments: Adversity and the Authentic Self, is a moving and thoughtful piece by Christopher Ross, who describes his tragic experience with a partner who was a spiritual seeker like himself but who could not find happiness in his own life. This sad event inspired him to closely examine his “authentic self” as well as “the mission of adversity and the spiritual value of disappointment” that God and his angels present to all of us in the course of our lives. How we deal with such problems, he concludes, is not by intellect alone but by a daily devotion of oneself to conscious union with God.
The second article, Making Worship and Service the Center of Our Lives by Kathleen Swadling, takes a close look at how we internalize concepts of worship and service, as well as how we can incorporate a meaningful, daily practice of worship and service in our lives. She reminds us of the central role worship plays in any spiritual progress, “worship is really the fountain head, the fundamental premise from which everything else of spiritual value springs.” In particular, Kathleen stresses the point that our relationship with our Father is like any relationship of love; you have to work at it. And this work includes not only worship but also an attitude of sincerity, making the right choices, sharing our lives with God and, just as importantly, offering our loving services to others.
Our third paper, Preparing for Spontaneity by Chris Wood, addresses the methods by which we attempt to share the teachings of The Urantia Book with others, especially those unfamiliar with it. The subtitle of his article, The Necessary Work to Avoid Sounding Crazy, sums it up nicely. I’m sure that many of us, if not all of us, who are greatly enthused by this revelation have encountered awkward situations whenever we attempt to share brilliant quotes from the book. Indeed, we can sound crazy. But Chris has some good advice on how to present the teachings in a way that is both tactful and effective.
And finally, our fourth article, Millennials and the Church: An Important Lesson for the Urantia Movement by Bruce Jackson, addresses an issue that many of us Urantia Book old-timers have long pondered—where are all the young folk? But this is the same question that most religious institutions are asking today, and I would go so far as to say that it is not just religions suffering this fate of indifference but almost any organization, including service clubs such as Kiwanis International, or even local photography clubs. Bruce takes a look at the considerable research Christian organizations and research centers have conducted in an attempt to understand why millennials are so complacent about joining religious groups and he then applies the same reasoning to people in the Urantia movement. These are thoughts to ponder if we seriously wish to engage our youth in the fifth epochal revelation.