Report of the Education Committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship
January 2018 Report of the Education Committee to the General Council
The Education Committee has begun planning Summer Study Session 2018. The theme is “It’s a Friendly Universe: Serving with Our Celestial Family.” SSS18 will again be held at Techny Towers in Northbrook, Illinois, and it will run from 7/19 to 7/22, preceded by a spiritual retreat, the Triennial Delegate Assembly, and perhaps other pre-conference events, and followed by the General Council meeting. The SSS18 chair is Jackie Koury; Ann Biggs, Ken Keyser, and David Kulieke are others on the planning board, with the always valued support of Paula Thompson. Several other individuals are already lending assistance, and the search for speakers and workshop leaders has begun.
The committee’s yearly face-to-face meeting was sparsely attended but highly productive. Several new initiatives were begun, and four new workshop
handouts and lesson plans are about to go on our website. At that meeting, which was in Columbus, Ohio, the committee presented a workshop
to a local study group for the second year. (attachment 3) It is the plan to bring workshops to local groups both as illustrations of ways
to elevate study groups and to stimulate the local groups. We have presented at three such groups so far with more planned for this year. A
conference near Atlanta had to be canceled, but we are hoping to present to that group some time in 2018.
We are creating protocols and examples for people for making these handouts and to assist those who would like to take a presentation that’s been
done and turn it into a workshop, including instructions and a protocol both for existing workshop material to give to people as they prepare,
such as for SSS18.
We keep adding to our website offerings, which can be found at the Fellowship website (http://www.urantiabook.org/committees/education/index.)
In addition to the aforementioned workshop offerings, there are several useful educational tools and articles in addition to all of the articles
from the three Wrightwood Series seminars and our most recent seminar from March 2017. A new set of reference tools are archival materials
from past deliberations of the Education Committee, going back to 1955, including about 3/4 of the 60 years of Reports such as this one (others
are not in existence or at least have not been found.) We have found past wisdom, triumphs, and even projects no longer in existence to be
useful to our current thinking. For example: it seems that every generation has been concerned about how to outreach and expand its educational
programs past initially, the Brotherhood School, and then, the summer study sessions.
We outlined five methods, initially, of reaching people.
Methods of Reaching People for Educational Outreach:
1. People come to Central Location (study groups, conferences, SSSs, seminars)
2. We go to them (visiting teachers, guest workshops like this weekend, presenting at regionals)
3. Train people a central location and then send them back to their groups, a la Dalamatia, Eden (plan for International Center for Urantia Studies)
4. Online classes (UBIS, UU)
5. Downloadable self-teaching (including our programs)
I recommend other committees to look into their histories as well.
Current Plans, in Addition to Those Mentioned Above
We are continually adding materials to our website. There are many useful downloadable items there now, and I invite you all to peruse the site
(http://www.urantiabook.org/committees/education/index), which we will
publicizing more aggressively as soon as our batch of workshop downloads is available. The website reflects an overview of most of our activities
Landing Pages: We would like to work with Sean Privitera to offer Education Committee content expertise and learn how to help with landing
pages (Geoff Theiss’s suggestion). This will include question and answer and other sessions for new readers on Zoom.
Booklets: Our “Community” booklet, on study group formation and vitality, has been successful, and we are working on adding other such booklets on other topics, both as hard copy and downloadable, including: on presenting conferences, preparing for expos, introducing The Urantia Book, and a booklet of our “Prime Quotations on Education from The Urantia Book” publication in order to make the latter more attractive.
Promoting Workshops in the Field: As we train more people to do it and continue to bring workshops to local groups and conferences, we will be more assertive in promoting our willingness to do this. We have learned from perusing our archives that to do this has been a desire on the parts of several iterations of the Education Committee in the past. They met with little response. Since groups have been enthusiastic for us to do this when we offer to come to them and very positively responsive when we do, we have concluded that the idea has always been a good one but needs aggressive promotion to help contribute to the Revelation.
Tweaking Our Look, Making the Website More Interactive, and Expediting Improvement of the Website: We have plenty of ideas.
The International Center for Urantia Studies
This is the joint educational project that has been brewing for a year. It is not a function of the Fellowship Education Committee per se, but
our contributions to it and support of it in its initial planning phase were approved by the Education and Executive Committees in April 2017.
It was announced, began its planning, and was explained to the GC in July 2017 (see attachment for an updated report). David and Marilynn Kulieke
represent the Fellowship on the six-member early phase planning board.
While it is true that the institutionalization of religion has usually detracted from its spiritual quality, it is also a fact that no religion
has thus succeeded in surviving without the aid of institutional organization of some degree, greater or lesser. (98:6.1)
David Kulieke (chair)