Reflections from 2018 International Conference

The following are testimonials from two conference attendees, Jorge Buckingham and Mairam Durand from Peru who shared their experiences of the International Conference in The Netherlands with us.

Jorge Buckingham, Urantia Peru:

It is said that that the great experiences are remembered forever—more so if such experiences form part of a learning process that transforms our lives. And it must be true, because evoking the memories of the 10th Urantia Association International Conference brings me a very special pleasure.

The event took place between the 12th and 15th of April, in Noordwijkerhout, in the Netherlands. The venue was the Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst—a space resembling the most prestigious universities of the world, thus contributing a suitable academic environment for the conference. The vitality of Antoinette Hall and the iconic reggae singer Pato Banton as masters of ceremony is worthy to note… their energy and contact with the audience stimulated and prepared all for the programs of reflection, education, and entertainment.

I particularly liked the methodology used to develop the conference program. After brief but meaningful plenaries of about 20 minutes, the participants joined previously assigned groups in which they could discuss the presented topics in a deep and detailed way. Groups were formed with consideration to native languages. The group leaders assigned tasks and offered references and questions for discussion so participants could link theoretical concepts with daily life experiences. It was a dynamic and interactive way of doing things because all the attendees had the same opportunity to express themselves and contribute their ideas.

It was very memorable when a group of us Colombians decided to explore the grounds of the conference venue to see up close the typical Holland crops of tulips. It was almost sunset time and it was cold. However, it was truly beautiful! We took several pictures of ourselves enjoying the amazing colors of the flowers. I remember one of the girls of the group mentioned that it was like a foresight of the beauty that awaits us on the next worlds. There are times in which words cannot express that which overflows in our soul!

It was very gratifying to get to know and share, throughout four days of intense activity, with so many fellow readers of The Urantia Book from all the continents of the world, all united under the same flag… different people, people from different races, ideologies, or nationalities… all united in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, committed to giving the best of themselves, in the task of loving and serving humanity.

To sum up, being part of this international conference, celebrated near the city of Amsterdam has been enthusiastically memorable and grandiose.

Mairam Durand, Urantia Peru:

To travel is a human activity that allows us to contrast our own reality with new realities we are getting to know… a true adventure, indeed. But getting to know so many people (almost two hundred) who consider The Urantia Book part of their lives is, without doubt, also a privilege.

This 2018 International Conference in Amsterdam drew attendees from 23 countries of the world and allowed us to closely observe those values we choose to follow: cultivating friendship, brotherhood, and lots of goodness. The presence of people from so many countries certainly makes a multicultural conference in which, beyond differences, there is brotherhood… besides the language limitations of each participant to communicate, there is tolerance and harmony in order to understand each other, without discrimination, prejudices, or differences.

I personally spent time talking to Urantians that have read the book for many years and we shared anecdotes we have had in our experience while studying The Urantia Book. Thus we verified how it changed our lives and realized we all had the same objective: to increasingly disseminate the teachings of the fifth revelation.

It was also an adventure for me to travel to the post-conference event on Texel Island, organised in order to give voice to young Urantians in workshops and lectures. I got to know the experience of fresh youngsters learning how to live and develop a family with the teachings of The Urantia Book for life guidance, building a future underpinned by revelation.

I had not only the valuable experience of visiting Amsterdam but also the one of gaining so many sisters and brothers in four days… a true miracle, considering the fact that it took my father and mother nine months to bring me into the world! And from that conference I returned to Peru with so many siblings… true siblings.

I must conclude this little note thanking all and each of the organizers (whose names I won´t mention) because, at every moment each one from its supporting role, made us feel comfortable, at home, and as if we were members of a family… the great family Urantia has to offer us.