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Report of the Education Committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship

July 2018 Report of the Education Committee to the General Council

Two of every three summers, without fail since the 1970's, the Education Committee of The Urantia Book Fellowship provides Summer Study Sessions for readers of the Urantia Book, including 2018 at Techny Towers. During the two years between the Fellowship’s international conferences, these have served not only as a time for sustaining and enlivening our friendships, they have afforded the opportunity for in-depth study as well as worshipful experiences. Many outstanding teachers and presenters of the teachings of the book have both organized these seminars as well as spoken and given workshops at them. This year, under the theme “It’s a Friendly Universe: Serving with Our Celestial Family,” 11 members or adjuncts of the committee, including Conference Chair Jacqueline Koury, have directly contributed by participating in the planning or giving a workshop or worship. 

Enhancing Study

As has been the goal of this committee since its inception in 1955, our desire in helping to enhance the quality and in-depth study of The Urantia Book while encouraging spiritual growth among individuals is to reach more people and give individuals and groups support when they invite us to do so. Among our expanding methodologies in doing so are two significant ways:

  1. We have begun to send members of our committees to study groups who wish us to do so to present high quality workshops while reinforcing effective methods of study outlined in The Urantia Book as well as in best practices found elsewhere.

  2. We are providing downloadable materials on our website for the enhancement of strong education. Please take a look at our website. Here is an index of some of the highlights, to be found at http://www.urantiabook.org/committees/education/index or by going to the second item under the Study tab on the Urantia Book Fellowship website

Here are some of the materials available on the Urantia Book Fellowship Education Committee Website:

Under Resources:

  • “Prime Education References from The Urantia Book”: This is a compendium of 21 topically organized pages of the best quotations about education, teaching, learning, etc., whittled down from over 130 pages.

  • Educational References: several articles and reference from such topics as:
    How Jesus Taught
    Study Group Materials
    In Depth Study
  • Workshop Materials Adapted for Teaching: The committee considers this to be one of its most important initiatives. It includes handouts, lesson plans, and outlines for participants that can be downloaded for use and adaptation by any group. These workshops are carefully chosen and edited, and they are being added to.

  • Study Group Materials: This includes a colorful, downloadable publication created by the Education Committee, rich with photos and ideas, called “Community: Beginning and Organizing Effective Study Groups.”

  • Seminars: Among its more notable achievements, the Education Committee presented three seminars from the Wrightwood series of the 1990s: “ Building the Living Temple of Spiritual Fellowship,” Gender and The Urantia Book,” and “Perspectives on Race in The Urantia Book.” In addition, the committee put forth a joint seminar with the education committee of Urantia Foundation titled "Giving of the Truth of Heaven: Using Our Talents," which dealt with spreading the teachings of The Urantia Book. The papers from all four of these seminars can be read and obtained at this site.

Under Events: Upcoming events are highlighted and soon there will be links to look at photos and videos for past events.

Under Links: Here there are links to the other major organizations, Urantia Foundation and Urantia Association International; other important education endeavors within the revelation, including Symmetry of Soul, Urantia Book Internet School, Urantia University, and the Family Life Committee; and several other useful sites.

Under About Us: Each standing committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship now creates two reports about its activities each year. The most recent Education Committee report can be found under “Current Education Committee Report.”

  • Reports from the past several years are shown under “Past Education Committee Reports.”
  • Under “Reports from Other Events” is a “Joint Educational Initiative Statement” created at a joint seminar in 2014.
  • “Historical Educational Documents” offers a number of documents created by leaders over the decades, including all of the Fellowship Education Reports since 1955 that exist and a spreadsheet that summarizes the most important ideas on each one.

I recommend other committees to look into their histories as well.

Current Plans, in Addition to Those Mentioned Above

Website:

  • 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 and plans.

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 Center for Urantia Studies

This education committee is working hard to expand our contributions to the study of the Urantia teachings. Over the past several years, we have collaborated with the education committees of Urantia Foundation and Urantia Association International as well as with individuals from Urantia Book Internet School and Urantia University. We have had several joint seminars, worked together on two workshops at international conferences, and a joint summer study session, among several other ventures.

The Center for Urantia Studies is the joint educational project of the previously referenced five educational organizations. It is not a direct function of these organization but represented by members of the organizations and began its planning, in July 2017 (David and Marilynn Kulieke and Mahtab Tehrani represent the Fellowship on the 12-member planning board). Our early primary goal is to begin fulfilling the long-desired priority of training teachers and leaders. The Center is exploring an August 2019 inaugural class at 533 Diversey Parkway in Chicago followed by six online courses during the following seven months culminating in a practicum in the summer of 2020. In addition to educational programs, the Center also intends to provide support for all Urantia educational groups while encouraging them in their current activities, maintain a collection of educational resources, and support the development of research and media projects.

Respectfully submitted,

Members:
Paul Anderson
Bobbie Dreier
Daniel Glazer
Jackie Koury
David Kulieke (chair)
Mahtab Tehrani

Adjuncts:
Katharina Becker
Ann Biggs
David Fabe
Sherry Layton
Ken Keyser
Marilynn Kulieke
Barbara Newsom
Susan Rowland
Andrew Story

 

Archive of Previous Education Committee Reports