2014 was a very productive year for media in the YaYA committee. We shot and produced a mini documentary about IC’14 as well as captured numerous other photos and videos from various events including an evangelist trip to Croatia. Look for that video coming soon!
The YaYA committee has had a strong commitment to using multimedia as an evangelistic tool from the very beginning. From our first video introduction, our montage, to IC’14 we have tried to highlight the good work and incredible progress being made through our committee and with the support of the Fellowship.
We plan on making 2015 our best year yet for media in the YaYA committee!
Here’s a link to our IC’14 video:
The YaYA committee strives to prepare young adults to be engaged in the future of the Urantia Book Fellowship as well as the movement at large. We are always growing and changing and that is why we were excited to add Aprilhelen to our leadership team. She is a beautiful sister and brings with her an unqualified spiritual self and commitment to the truths of the revelation.
We all wish our founding committee member Mae Thompson well in her adventure through university and look forward to her return when her hour arrives. The doors are always open for more emerging leaders, so if anyone is interested in service to the Revelation and the Fellowship, you are invited to participate. We have maintained weekly conference calls continuously over the past three years and all are welcome.
In 2014, we saw the fruition of some of our largest Committee undertakings to date. Chief among these was the Fellowship’s International Conference in Amherst, MA. The YaYA Committee was deeply involved in this project, as individuals and as a group. One of our major goals for IC’14 was to integrate our community across generations. We achieved this by offering programs for children, teenagers, young adults, and young families that were woven in with the programs for adults.
For example: We created a beautiful tent environment in the middle of campus that functioned as the Jerusalem Marketplace by day and a young adult hang out by night, as well as a central gathering place for all conference-goers. The Truthseekers curriculum, based on the divine pattern in the Urantia Book, guided not only the teen program but a series of six workshops for adults, facilitated by Committee member Geoff Theiss. And we organized the conference so that teenagers returned from their daily outings to rejoin the larger community, rather than staying off-site as at previous conferences.
One of our featured programs for children and families at IC’14 was The Story of Ruth, an original musical about Jesus’ relationship with his little sister written by Committee member Angie Thurston. This project received seed funding from the YaYA Committee and was supported by the Committee from conception all the way through to its production at the conference.
One of my personal highlights from 2014 was working with the Family Life adjunct committee led by Janet Graham and Sara Blackstock. The culmination of this team’s effort resulted in the resurrection of the Jerusalem Marketplace @ IC’14. It quickly became the crossroads of outdoor activities for all ages and contributed beautifully to the loving community feel that this Amherst gathering achieved. Many thanks to Richard Daunt, Miranda Clendening, Rachel Graham and Angie Thurston for creating a safe, playful, educational and spiritually fragrant space for our family of believers to grow Godward!
Another significant achievement with the Family Life team was when Richard launched a new website: http://urantiafamilylife.org/. Many of our treasured resources are now easily accessed by the current generation of parents who are actively engaged in rearing their children based upon the teachings of The Urantia Book.
A special thank you goes out to an anonymous donor who significantly helped lower the costs of attending IC’14 for some of our families, teens, and young adults. I’m constantly blown away by the generosity of time and money donated by the readers and believers who serve this organization.
What a pleasure to host a gathering in my hometown the same year being asked to join the Youth and Young Adult Committee! Now that some time has passed, I recognize a winning formula in the works for our playtime:
1} Commit a theme.
2} Get locals involved.
3} Be of service.
4} Spiritualize through socialization and nature.
5} Provide scholarships.
6} Let it be. Each of these parts were realized, contributing to the success of the whole.
We enjoyed the seasoned perspective and loving presence of the Urantia Book Society of Oklahoma City. They generously provided many travelers cozy resting places, were respectfully present in many of our activities, and hosted a special dinner for us all. This event was also anonymously gifted funds for organic food to be served the entire conference, which was prepared and cleaned up family style by the YaYas. About thirty participants of all ages shared the “Fruits of Divinity”. This theme of the five divine fruits was explored through small and large group discussions, lectures, socialization while dining, and a service project at the City Rescue Mission. We utilized Unity Spiritual Life Center for their welcoming event space and general openness to the teachings of the Urantia Book. Of course, nature is an important tool, so our collective walked and talked at a park right in the heart of the city. My gratitude reigns for allowing me the opportunity to be of service with so much more to come. Most certainly 2015 will refine our formula, multiplying creativity, adding enthusiasm, and rationalizing fun!
This summer at IC’14 Mae Thompson and I led the first ever Urantia Book Youth Group. It was an amazing experience for Mae and I to work with YaYA’s to come up with values based small group presentations and get Truthseekers to come together to talk about The Urantia Book. Our main goal throughout planning and executing this evening event was to encourage and foster teen’s interest in Growing Godward through the teaching in the UB. We were able to have different musicians come and play some tunes for us and one night I even ended up singing an impromptu solo of “Every Move I Make”. Looking back and reflecting on UBYG Mae and I feel that we were so successful in creating an environment that inspired some teen’s to become interested in the book that we are excited to announce that this summer at the 2015 Summer Study Sessions at Techny Towers we are going to offer a full program designed especially for teens. Keep checking out Uranita Now for more information on this and if you or anyone you know might be interesting in attending this years UBYG contact Liz Craig on Facebook.