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The Mighty Messenger
Summer 1998 Issue

In this issue:
General Council Meets in DC and Adopts New Fellowship Name
Readers Meet in Finland and Estonia by Marvin Gawryn
1998 Summer Study Session by Steve Dreier
Urantia Book Makes Appearance at Gay Games in Amsterdam
Michael's Birthday Widely Celebrated
The Urantia Book Reader's Survey: Golden Gate Circle-Summer 1998 by Michelle Klimesh
Happenings Here and There

General Council Meets in DC and Adopts New Fellowship Name

In its July meeting at Mount Vernon College in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC, the Fellowship's General Council voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new name for the organization, a name which will immediately identify the group's association with the fifth epochal revelation. The new name, which is already in use, is The Urantia Book Fellowship. Prior to taking this historic step, the General Council had elected four new Councilors who will fill vacancies until the next Triennial Delegate Assembly which will be held in the year 2000. Elected were Bob Arkens from Clintonville, Wisconsin, Adrienne Jarnagin from Burnet, Texas, Phil Geiger from Boulder, Colorado, and Claudia Ayers from Sacramento, California. Also elected to the Executive Committee were Lorrie Krasny (Secretary) and Robert Bums (Chairman of the Charter Committee).

The present configuration of the Executive Committee is as follows: Janet Farrington-Graham, President; Stephen Dreier, Vice President; Lorrie Krasny, Secretary; Harry McMullan, Treasurer; Marilynn Kulieke, Secretary General. Also included are the standing committee chairs who are: Dan Massey, Judicial; Robert Burns, Charter; Marvin Gawryn, Fraternal Relations; Paula Thompson, Domestic Extension; John Lange, International Fellowship; Michelle Klimesh, Education; Avi Dogim, Publication; Joseph Liszka, Finance; and David Kantor, Special Projects.

Readers Meet in Finland and Estonia by Marvin Gawryn

Approximately 160 people attended the IUA's International Conference in Helsinki, Finland in early August-30-40 from North America, about 30 from assorted other countries (anywhere from 1-5 participants from Holland, Russia, France, Belgium, Norway, Estonia, Columbia, Peru, Germany and a few other countries) and the rest from Finland. Almost all the talks were printed in English and Finnish and read to the audience, much like papers presented at a professional conference. Two that I particularly enjoyed were by a Russian reader, Andrei Reznikov, on the admonition, "Be You Perfect and the talk by Nienke Begemann-Brugman from the Netherlands on "Religious Intrepidity."

John Hales and I brought greetings from the Fellowship and extended a warm invitation to attend and participate in Spirit Quest 2000. We had good conversations with many of the participants, generally attempting to share the values and concerns of the Fellowship, with more success than not. Estonia was a smaller gathering-about 25 North Americans, a few from other countries, and about 25 Estonians. It was held at a rustic children's camp on the Baltic sea coast and was more informal and interpersonal. Peep Sober is the leader of the local readership and heads the Estonian translation efforts.

His talk on the future of our planet was intriguing. It was fascinating to talk with leaders from a number of countries, working with reader groups at markedly different stages of evolution. I gained a deeper appreciation for the courage of their pioneering efforts, as well as the progress we've made in North America in the last 30 years, growing from a homogenous core group in Chicago into a diverse continent-wide movement.

1998 Summer Study Session by Steve Dreier

The 1998 Summer Study Session was held at Mount Vernon College in the beautiful Georgetown area of Washington, DC. From July 9-12 about 150 readers gathered for three days of study, worship, recreation and fellowship. This year's overall theme was "The Art of Spiritual Living." It was explored through three daily themes: Day one, "Fellowship with the Father," considered our personal relationship with God; day two, "The Living Brotherhood," examined our relationships with one another; day three, "Vision of the Future," attempted to predict the developmental course of the revelation and its effect upon Urantia. A variety of stimulating viewpoints were presented. in morning plenary talks, followed by small thematic discussion groups in both mornings and afternoons. Evening activities featured entertainment provided by talented members of our community supplemented by professional musicians.

During the unscheduled hours, most attendees spent some time visiting some of the many attractions in the Washington, DC area. For many years the Fellowship's Education Committee sponsored Summer Study Sessions in the Chicago area. More recently, the Education Committee decided to hold these events in different locations each time to facilitate wider participation. In addition, much of the responsibility for planning and running the conference is delegated to local readers. The Education Committee retains responsibility for some of the more technical aspects of the conference and serves as advisor to the local group. Most of the work involved in planning this year's Summer Study Session was accomplished by volunteer Urantians from the Washington, DC area.

This group worked tirelessly for almost a year attending to the many details of the conference program. They recruited an outstanding assembly of plenary speakers, workshop facilitators, and musicians and arranged a special program for children and teens. This planning group was composed of Fellowship members, IUA member, and unaffiliated readers. Next summer the Fellowship is sponsoring International Conference 1999 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The next Summer Study Session will be held in 2000 at a location yet to be determined. The Education Committee welcomes proposals from local reader groups to plan and host this conference. Contact Michelle Klimesh through the Fellowship's Chicago office.

Urantia Book Makes Appearance at Gay Games in Amsterdam

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Nick Curto, the founder of GLAD, the Gay and Lesbian Urantia Book Readers Association, and to the support of the Fellowship and the Society of Greater New York, The Urantia Book made an appearance at the Gay Games in Amsterdam in early August. The Games, founded by Dr. Tom Waddell and first held in San Francisco in 1982, have been held every four years since, but never before this year outside the United States. According to Nick, 12,500 athletes and 2,500 cultural participants from 66 countries and from five continents took part. Over 200,000 spectators enjoyed the mega event, and the national television of The Netherlands covered it.

While, to Nick's disappointment, the Games organizers did not allow him to set up a Urantia Book booth, he was given an opportunity to participate in three separate cultural events during which he presented the book to wide audiences. Joining Nick at the Amsterdam Games were long time reader Larry Geis of San Francisco, as well as globe trotting Norman Ingram and Stella Religa. Nick gave Norman the entire slide presentation on The Urantia Book, which he had used in conjunction with his talks, so that Norman could use it as part of his dissemination efforts in Africa, where he was headed shortly after the Games.


Michael's birthday celebrations have been held in various parts of The Urantia Book reader community during the month of August. The following are but two examples.

Study Groups of Upper Tennessee by Denise Flowers

August 15th marked the 10th year the study groups of upper Tennessee have hosted a Urantia picnic to celebrate Jesus' birthday. Fifty-three people from several states met in Hampton at the mountain home of Billie and Greg Anderson. This year's event opened with a bagpiper in the morning mist playing Amazing Grace. To the mesmerized crowd, he appeared as an other-worldly Scotsman. Upon closer inspection, we discovered he was actually the Anderson's teenage son, Ian. The day's topic was "Exploration."

Beth Bartley selected passages from The Urantia Book and led us in a discussion on "Exploring Mind, Body and Spirit." Terry Faulkner shared her research "Exploring the Grand Universe" with maps she'd created to give us a visual interpretation of the book's literal descriptions. And Bennett Rowan. a local artist, led us in "Exploring Our Inner Life Through Mandalas." While enjoying a bountiful evening meal, we admired our mandala gallery and the wonderful music of Jim and Cheri Miller. Later, some of us were entertained by Jim's impromptu magic show, while others embarked upon debates that inspired rapidly flipping Urantia Book pages.

The picnic came to an end, but most travelers spent the night with a host family, continuing discussions late into the night. Those of us who stayed with area coordinator, Dean White, enjoyed playing Tom Stubblefield's Urantia Book version of Trivial Pursuit. The celebration of Jesus' birthday is a joyous event in East Tennessee. Perhaps next year you will join us.

The Society of Greater New York Celebrates Jesus' Attributes by John Lambo

Members and friends of the Society of Greater New York celebrated Jesus' birthday on Sunday, August 16 at the home of John and Pat Lambo in Newtown, Connecticut. The theme, complementing the birth of Jesus, was "A Celebration of the Attributes of the Master." Les Jamieson prepared and led a session where Jesus' attributes were recognized through readings from The Urantia Book. Other events of the day included a spirited interaction with pets and farm animals, children and young adult basketball, tether ball games, rides in Carl Heyne's vintage Cadillac convertible, and the opportunity to view a taped presentation on The Urantia Book given at the Gay Games in Amsterdam earlier in the month. Needless to say, the day of fellowship and celebration was enjoyed by all.

In the Footsteps of Jesus, Peter, John and Paul: Mediterranean Adventure by Carolyn Kendall

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity-to experience the ancient world known to the apostles who, in the first century, proclaimed the teachings of their Master, Jesus of Nazareth, to the hungry souls of the Roman world. Inheriting the tour-guide mantle of the late Berkeley Elliott, Waldine Stump, Oklahoma City, organized the trip. Twenty travelers-eleven students of The Urantia Book and their families began their tour at the Parthenon in Athens, moving on to Corinth, which has been reconstructed as of the times of Jesus' two-month sojourn and Paul's 18 months of preaching. Jesus' most memorable personal encounters on his Roman trip occurred in Corinth.

The island of Crete was significant not only for Jesus' bolstering of Fortune, the young man who was afraid, but also because of the first Andite island settlement 14,000 years ago. Patmos offered the tourists the experience of standing in the grotto alleged to have been the site in which John received his revelation. In Turkey the bus made an unscheduled stop, upon the insistence of Paul Herrick, at the grounds of a monastery that held a remnant of the "famous temple of Artemis of the Ephesians, about two miles from the city" visited "many times" by Jesus and his Indian fellow travelers (P. 1477).

The monastery was also reputed to be the final resting place of the apostle John. Paul of Tarsus also resided in Ephesus, lecturing on religion and philosophy. By the time they reached Rome, they were experienced at sorting out the endless layers of history and legends surrounding each place they visited. The site of emperor Tiberius' throne room brought nods of recognition as having been the spot where the ruler of all Rome commented approvingly upon the kingly bearing of his visitor from Palestine. The great central throne in the Vatican marked the location under which the apostle Peter was buried after his own crucifixion. Despite one glitch, a dock strike in Athens, the group enjoyed their accommodations and arrangements and were already talking about another adventure somewhere "soon."

The Urantia Book Reader's Survey: Golden Gate Circle-Summer 1998 by Michelle Klimesh

The Golden Gate Circle is a society of Urantia Book readers from the San Francisco bay area in Northern California. This summer surveys were sent to all GGC members and to a random batch of nonmembers from our mailing list. Within four weeks of the mailing I had received a 52% response from our members and 13% response from nonmembers. Let's call the imaginary composite of our active membership Mr. GGC (not because I'm sexist, but because we have 34 male and 30 female members). Mr. GGC is between 50 and 65, has been reading The Urantia Book for more than 20 years, and has a Master's degree.

He reads the book daily or weekly and was introduced to the revelation by a friend. Mr. GGC was raised as a Protestant but now considers himself a full-fledged Urantia Book believer. He doesn't go to church, but he does attend study group more than once each month. The typical nonmember respondent (Mr. Not) is also between 50 and 65 and has been reading more than 20 years after having been introduced to the book by a friend. Mr. Not attended college but did not complete a degree program. He reads The Urantia Book monthly and attends study groups occasionally. Mr. Not was raised Protestant but now considers himself a full-fledged Urantia Book believer.

Some things that we learned:

Only 60% of the people who said that they belonged to our society also said that they belong to the Fellowship (even though membership in the Fellowship automatically follows membership in the society). Thirty percent of the people who are not members of our society thought that they actually were members. Members are overwhelmingly more likely not to attend church (83%-17%) than nonmembers (60%-40%).

Sixty-one percent of members attend study group more than monthly, while 60% of nonmembers attend study group occasionally or not at all. Members felt conferences were the most important reader service provided by an organization (57%), while nonmembers said newsletters were most important (70%). Both groups said that building global awareness of The Urantia Book was the top priority for the future, followed by training teachers and leaders.

It would be interesting to compare our society profile to readers in other parts of the count If your society would like to run this survey for its own members, please contact me at or 925-9373138 ' I would be happy to send you a camera-ready copy for your own use. If you don't belong to a society but would like to take the survey electronically, the survey is online at 1.htm.


Chicago Area Outreach: Whole Life Expo Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10 This Fellowship-sponsored booth has been very successful in introducing thousands of people to The Urantia Book at various locations throughout the United States. All readers are invited to participate through attendance. For more information or to help staff the booth, call David Kulieke at 847-945-1812.

All Day Miniconference on Education Sunday, October 18, 9:30am-4:30pm Harris Hall, Room 108 Northwestern University, Evanston, IL Coordinator: Lynne Kulieke This workshop will feature the best of The Urantia Book teachings on education, applied to reader study groups. Concepts and techniques for in-depth study and advanced learning will be experienced in creative activities designed to prepare teachers and leaders. Readers at all levels of experience are encouraged to attend. Everyone will learn something new! Watch for special mailing for registration and program details.

Communion: Pathway to Perfection October 24 and 25 Sponsored by Heart of America Society This spiritual retreat conducted by Gard Jameson of Boulder City, Nevada, will take place at the Lake Donaphin Conference & Retreat Center near Excelsior Springs, Missouri, a beautiful nature setting with a private lake, trees and meditation trails. This is an opportunity to learn about and experience fellowship, contemplation and worship. For more information, contact Ginny or Gene McCarthy at 816-454-0213 or e-mail to

Lone Star Round-Up Conference October 30-November I Camp Buckner, Kingsland, Texas Sponsored by the Lone Star Conference Association, composed of members of the First Urantia Society Houston, the Urantia Society of Dallas and the Austin study group of Urantia Book readers. The theme of the conference is "Spiritual Communion, Why Pray?" The conference organizers invite the participants to come explore with us the wonder realm of communion with our parent in heaven. For more information, call Adrienne Jarnagin at 512-756-1637.

Holiday Program Party Jointly sponsored by First Society and Urantia Foundation Saturday, December 12. Program 3:00-5:00pm; Party at 5pm. Both program and party will be held at 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL This special holiday gathering will both inspire and entertain as we first honor the great truth teachers of Urantia; then celebrate with friends and family. Program coordinators are Carolyn Kendall, Barbara Newsom and Bob Solone.

VIPs Preparing to Become a Society Cristel Garrick and Bud Kagen report that the Vancouver Island People Study Group (VIPs) are "now in the process of becoming a full fledged society under the Constitution of The Urantia Book Fellowship." The group celebrated the Master's birthday on August 22 at Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island.

Did you know that if you buy books through on the internet, you can help raise money for The Urantia Book Fellowship by clicking onto Amazon.corn through the Fellowship's website? The Fellowship gets a fee from Amazon every time a purchase is made in this fashion.

MIGHTY MESSENGER Published quarterly by Uversa Press for the Publications Committee of The Urantia Book Fellowship Members: Avi Dogirn, Chair; Nancy Johnson, Carolyn Kendall, Linda Buselli, Sage Waitts