The Revelation tells us that every true relationship is an end in itself (112:2.8). This means the bonds we create on Urantia are eternal in nature.
Since I became a member of the YaYA Committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship, I have been actively working to help create a foundation of individuals and resources to grow the youth community through personal relationships. In the past two years I have learned an incredible amount about not only myself but students of the Revelation all across the country. I have started a successful Urantia Book-based website, made a video introduction to the Urantia Book, and spent almost six months traveling and evangelizing. These projects have been realized by my desire to follow the leading of my indwelling adjuster, and possible only because of the incredible support of the Fellowship, friends, and my family. This last YaYA gathering in Gloucester, MA was a landmark for me. It felt like the culmination of these two years of hard work and effort.
Our YaYA gathering was significant for me based on a number of reasons, but two stand out: First, it was our largest gathering with 32 registered participants and even more attendees from the local area. Second, it brought together many different groups or sects of the Urantia community.
There are many students of the Urantia Book who have very strong feelings about not only what other Urantia Book students believe but how they practice these beliefs. I understand the Revelation to be clear about how we should approach others’ beliefs and religious practices, but some have judgment or disdain for those who practice anything unfamiliar to conventional Urantia Book students. The Revelation tells us:
“While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences (the diverse interpretations of other and diverse mortals) to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric—circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial.” 103:1.3
I’m of the opinion that those who focus on the divisiveness of our differences represent the fringed or the few. However, I have personally experienced people in leadership positions holding some of these views. What I have also experienced, and surely did in Gloucester, is a very real shift in the desire to take on this problem through the spiritual unity of our community.
The reality is that I now, more than ever, understand how these cultural pitfalls came to be. In the last six months I have personally dealt with much angst and confusion in my efforts to grow the kingdom of God on Urantia. I have dealt with the censorship of content on UrantiaNow, I have tried to understand a lack of enthusiasm for doing traveling outreach from many of my elders, and I have been verbally attacked and accused of ignorance for my efforts to build bridges with Gabriel’s community and the UAI. Don’t get me wrong: I’m clear that once you step to the front lines, as I feel I have, you must be prepared to deal with these types of conflicts. What’s been hard for me is the reality that all of the work I do is a result of my deep love and joy for my fellows and for the future of this expanded truth for OUR beautiful planet Urantia.
I am left with the insight that a genuine, heartfelt desire to contribute to the good of a community or the world through creative projects is sometimes met with push-back, judgement, and negation because of fears. Those fears are many and often fully justified but they are fears. Those who desire to push the forward the conversation must be prepared to work with all sides in finding common ground and unity of purpose.
The reality is Gabriel claims to have new Revelation, the teaching mission claims to be communicating with our cosmic family, and the Fellowship, UAI, and Foundation all have differing ideologies and ideas of how best to be stewards of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. Does this mean we must retreat to our corners and write each other off? Does this mean we are incapable of coming together with a common love of our Master? Does this mean we have let our intellectual concepts of these new teachings overcome our love and devotion to one another? I’m here to tell you for me it doesn’t. And for those who desire to keep a focus on our differences you would be wise to understand that times are changing and what we want, more than anything, is for you to join us in building this new spiritual community. A community focused first on our unity of spirit and second on our common goals.
What I realized from the incredible weekend in Gloucester is that what I have been working toward has become a reality. Through the incredible support of my fellow committee members we have created a NEW culture based upon our interpretations of love, service, and brotherhood. We have refused, through action, the inheritance of past pitfalls and have, together, pushed off the shore and toward the high seas of adversity to create a new era focused on spiritual unity and spiritual brotherhood–not our diverse interpretations of truth.