My name is Teuvo Orjala and I grew up in the Inland Northwest. A beautiful little city called Coeur d’Alene is where I call home. My father was on his way to Canada in his hippie days, stopped here, and never left. Years later my mother came over for a “love gathering” my father organized, and while sitting around the fire my father looked at my mother and asked “have you heard of the Urantia Book”? I’m sure he was shocked when she said “yes, I read the Urantia Book!”. And that explains how I got here.
My childhood was as good as I could someday wish to give my children. We weren’t wealthy but we always had what we needed. More importantly my parents were dynamic, creative, and socially active, showing me the value of health, service, and community. The Urantia Book was never pushed on me and I have little memory of it until I finally picked it up one day when I was twenty. That first sincere reading changed my life forever. About eight years later I reached a place of full soul commitment to the revelation and have never looked back.
Within those years, I became a founding member of the Youth and Young Adult committee and a member and General Councilor of the Urantia Book Fellowship. I believe that, though in much need of transformation, the Fellowship is one of the most important organizations the revelation has. It is the largest social group in the Urantia movement and has some of the most loving, talented, and committed individuals I’m blessed enough to call my brothers and sisters. For these reasons I have made it my life’s purpose to help the Fellowship move towards becoming the dynamic organization I know it will someday be.
Part of this process is starting new societies and reinvigorating old ones.
About two years ago I moved back to North Idaho after spending seven years in San Diego. While in California I had started the process of creating a society in San Diego but by the time I was actually making progress I had decided to move. So naturally when I got back to the Northwest, my home, I started to look around at the possibility of starting a society here.
Honestly, there was both excitement and resignation. Many of the readers here had little desire to make formal pledges to a largely unknown organization. But I told them that unless we got off our asses and do something it really meant nothing so no reason to stress. The truth always seems to work!
Well, I’m truly excited to announce that last month the fourteen members of the Fellowship’s Executive Committee and around twenty-five local believers spent the evening finally inaugurating our newly formed society! This was all possible with the help of some amazing local readers and my father Thomas Orjala. It was an amazing evening, on the heels of the Executive Committee’s fall meeting, where we got to share time together and fellowship with a palpable feeling of hope and excitement for the future. Lots of changes have been happening inside the Fellowship and progress seems to be upon us.
Our Inland Northwest Uranita Society is going to try and be a beacon of innovation and progress for the Fellowship society model. My father and I have been doing lots of local outreach and are finding new readers regularly. In fact just in the last week I have been contacted by two new readers in the Spokane area who would like to start a study group where currently there are none! This is due to our continued outreach activities here at the holistic fairs.
Of course things always seem to be moving slowly but if you set a clear intention and get out into the world and act, things start to happen and it truly is amazing!
So who’s next?