Report of the Education Committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship
Since July, 2015, the time of SSS15, the Education Committee has been involved in planning SSS16 and developing services to be available on our website.
In August, with the approval of the Executive Committee, after support from the General Council, we had agreed to cosponsor this summer's San Antonio conference with members of the Urantia Association International. This significant step forward in the cooperative interactions with our fellow readers of The Urantia Book is not always smooth and easy, but plans are moving forward well. A core Program Planning Committee of four individuals includes two who are associated with the Education Committee, Sherry Layton (chair) and Neda Tehrani. Two others from the Education Committee, Barb Newsom and David Kulieke, serve as advisors. While cooperating with ideas from people in the UAI, we are trying to do everything possible to maintain the momentum our committee has established and executed in previous Summer Study Sessions to provide high quality education and in-depth study that recognizes principles both from The Urantia Book and wisdom generally gained from centuries of education as well as a spiritual tone that includes prayer and worship. Before the conference we plan to sponsor a shorter version of our joint education committees from three organizations that we held for three days in 2014. One of our members, Bobbie Dreier, will again co-plan the pre-conference retreat as has been the case before the past several SSSs.
Our usual yearly, face-to-face weekend meeting became a weekend Zoom meeting this year due to unavoidable practical problems. We discussed what each ideally would like eventually to see happen in the committee's work, a comparison of our mandate, mission statement, and website description, and the creation of online material, complete with lesson plans, that will be made available very soon. This will include both workshop materials that are already made but can be adapted s any study groups leader sees fit as well as materials to help plan a new workshop or study group. We intend to add materials that can be generated by short films soon.
There are already several other materials that people might find useful. The Education Committee website can be easily reached under "Study" on the homepage of the Fellowship website. There, among other things, one will find a twenty-plus page, categorized compendium of "Prime Quotations" about education from The Urantia Book and our booklet "Community," which describes approaches to start and organize study groups.
In addition to adding workshop materials and lesson plans, we will soon be adding a link plus a descriptive page for "Other Educational Initiatives," such as Urantia University and the Foundations online site UBIS. We are happy to steer anyone who wants to study The Urantia Book to other avenues where something is happening educationally that we do not do. We also are about offer a new booklet detailing how we organized the 2015 SSS that we hope can be a reference for those planning conferences. In the fairly near future, we hope to offer online, live classes with individuals seeing each other and responding as they would in the same room.
We will have plenty more to share in June.
David Kulieke (chair)