During its first fiscal year, the Youth and Young Adult Committee asked for funds to sponsor two regional youth gatherings in 2012. November 1st-4th in Santa Cruz was the sixth such event we’ve supported. The theme of our final conference of 2012 was “The Art of Introducing The Urantia Book.”
This weekend was born and empowered by the message of the master when he said to us, “I admonish you ever to remember that your mission among men is to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom—the reality of the fatherhood of God and the truth of the sonship of man. Proclaim the whole truth of the good news, not just a part of the saving gospel.” Or in his final days in morontia form when he proclaimed to the women, “Peace be upon you. In the fellowship of the kingdom there shall be neither Jew nor gentile, rich nor poor, free nor bond, man nor woman. You also are called to publish the good news of the liberty of mankind through the gospel of sonship with God in the kingdom of heaven. Go to all the world proclaiming this gospel and confirming believers in the faith thereof. And while you do this, forget not to minister to the sick and strengthen those who are fainthearted and fear-ridden. And I will be with you always, even to the ends of the earth.”
It’s these commandments that have lit a fire inside our souls to break through this material fetter and strive for a higher purpose. The young people who are showing up at our events, on UrantiaNow, and through social media are inspired and focused on these teachings and the growth of this community. Gatherings like this one are the life blood of how we grow together for performing the work we are called to do.
Our weekend focused on workshops, fellowship, and service. We had two key presenters, Andrea Barnes and Dani Reyes, who both talked about the importance and methods of introducing The Urantia Book. We started with Andrea on Friday sharing with us about traveling over the summer giving introductions to The Urantia Book, many of which I have attended. After a great workshop with our group, Friday night she gave a community introduction with about 30 participants, at least four of whom had never heard of the UB. It was a great experience for our group to see her in action because she really is amazing.
On Saturday Dani Reyes presented her workshop on street evangelism which was AMAZING! Anyone in attendance was blessed to be there. Not capturing it on film is a crime I will not forgive myself for. Dani is a perfect storm for being an emissary of the living truth. She has an experienced religious background and has spent significant time canvasing in Los Angeles. She is confident, friendly, and committed. We role played and took an honest look at our own personal comfort with proclaiming the Good News.
Saturday afternoon we did a service project we had planned months in advance. While in Santa Cruz last spring I visited a special needs home where Meredith Holland works. While we walked around the yard we got the idea that it would be nice to fix it up a bit. Knowing the YaYA’s would be there in the fall we made plans.
The yard is large and has many planter boxes but needed some TLC. So we cleaned out old plants and re-tilled the soil. Then we planted some flowers and veggies. Simple, fun and felt so good. To bring a yard to life in a few hours is a rewarding accomplishment. Everyone jumped in and put their love into the garden. Saturday was a good day!
That afternoon we had workshops and spent time together. That evening we kept with tradition and had a potluck with the local readers. Santa Cruz’s community is one of the larger and more active groups I know about. (Though they did continue to remind me they’re all over 60 and want us to help with that!) So we had an delicious dinner and talked about the future of this movement. That evening at the table there was an amazing amount of energy and spirit about all of the very important topics that are happening in our community. And in case you’re not aware, there really is a lot going on.
What I took away from this weekend was a crystal clear sense of what we have accomplished. Measuring results in doing the Father’s business is not simple or even worth doing for that matter. But when you have two new young readers attending your events who found our group through this website, and you have brilliant young minds trying to figure out how to serve this cause full time you get present. You get real present to what is really happening. If we simply put our hands up to serve, then we are at that very moment being helped by our divine parents.
The moment is striking to help this movement grow! This younger generation is focused on the tasks at hand; like reviving our Fellowship Society’s, inspiring the youth, and fundraising. They have an incredible amount of talent to contribute to this work. The way we approach living the teachings is going to be notably different than our peers. It’s a firm belief of mine that each new generation will be even more grounded and rooted in living the teachings as they see necessary to carry their culture forward. This generation truly desires to build a strong community as well as use all the tools available to us to “share the good news”. This means being in PUBLIC at expos, street fairs, and gatherings to let the world know about the Revelation. WE MUST PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS TO ALL THE WORLD and we will continue to work in any way we know how to make this the guiding light of our Urantia Family. It is the only way.