In your opinion, what are the critical issues the Fellowship needs to deal with?
Here are my philosophical ruminations.
I remember well the way that leadership worked in our movement when as a college student I came into intimate friendship with Berkeley Elliott in 1973. She was a true leader. She could persuade most everyone to take on some task, and they would invariably obey. She was ambitious, but fully socialized. (48:7.19) We always had a goal ahead of us for some fruitful and shared service. We were in friendly and joyful competition with David Kantor, the Brosnan Tortoise group, and others to make beautiful and compelling Urantia related slide shows and multi-media. We organized conferences under early Urantia movement distress and courageously prevailed with her leadership. Study groups and conferences were well organized and frequent. The majority of believers in the 1980's were below 35. Berkeley was a master at personal ministry.
Excuse me for getting sentimental, but the point is - we need good strong leadership, competition, and cooperation. These are the spiritual engines that will help us to bring forth the fruits of our Fellowship and in our lives. We just need to do our best and to be our best.
Concerning leadership. All institutions crave good strong leadership. Our Fellowship is no exception. If you have leadership qualities, are you fully socializing your ambition? (48:7.19) We need men and women of "great decision." (113:1.5) Bring forth the fruits of your talents and inspire us all as a self-forgetful servant and friend. We know you will make mistakes, but we all do. Just do your best. (See the UB leadership quotes below.)
Concerning competition. Our service should reach out competitively to all factions of sincere believers. Even the angels enjoy this type of healthy rivalry: "Effective use is made of the fraternal competitive spirit by circulating to any one world information about what the others, particularly the best, are doing. A refreshing and wholesome rivalry is promoted even among the seraphic hosts." (28:5.18) And, "Competition is essential to social progress,.." (71:5.1) We all improve and do better if we have great motivation to be the best among friendly rivals.
Concerning cooperation. Cooperation, teamwork, and service should inspire us to reach out to all differently affiliated organizations and individuals. Diversity? Yes. Unity? Always. It must first be ascertained that non-affiliated groups are promoting projects that are ethically sound and promote the same purposes as spelled out in our constitution. Of course we must promote cooperation within our organization. Departmental committees are the best exponent of fruitful output for our Fellowship. Societies must be nurtured. Our constitution is based on the maintenance and expansion of Societies. If we fully socialize our coordinated efforts, our spiritual harvests can be bountiful for new readers and old believers alike. Unity initiatives provide this cooperative spirit in outreach. Teamwork is required for our outreach. "One of the most important lessons to be learned during your mortal career is teamwork. (28:5.14)
To me, the overall effect of our early efforts to evolve into the age where the gospel of Jesus will become more widely accepted, is like the times of John the Baptist who paved the way for the advent of Jesus' life and gospel. Dynamite needs a blasting cap, Jesus needed John, and the new revival of the true gospel of Jesus will rest upon the dual foundations of epochal and auto revelation. The efforts to make the public more favorably aware of the book and its teachings, thus becomes humanly sacred and something that should inspire us all. Our efforts should equal the zeal of our calling. The early spread of epochal revelation is always slow and dangerous. Unlike the fate of so many Christian martyrs, I know of no one who has been executed because they publicly promote the Urantia Book. (However, this could happen in the future.)
The dangers we face today are indifference, mediocre dedication, and an aging population with no apparent young ground swelling replacements. The epochal revelatory foundation must be firm going forward. All organizations related to the dissemination of the teachings of the Urantia Book and the Book itself are critical to the future acceptance of the mighty gospel of Jesus. "Sooner or later another and greater John the Baptist is due to arise.." (170:5.19) He or she will need the foundation we provide for his/her amazing efforts to enlighten our world. Just as the inevitable return of Jesus to Urantia, the timing of this great gospel awakening is not our concern. We should not be discouraged. Make not the mistake of the first generation of laborers of the advent of Adam and Eve when they rebelled because the promised Son had not arrived as quickly as they had hoped.
We must have a long term view of the future certainty of the victory of the gospel of Jesus among all mankind. Your time required to arrive on Paradise is guaranteed, although our time on Urantia is very limited. If Urantia is "quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment,” then that brink may be 1,000 years hence. 1,000 years is not a long time for the Secondary Midwayer who wrote this. Imagine that 500 years for a Secondary Midwayer is the equivalency of one year of our lifetime. They would be 70 years old equivalent to our life span. In other words, 1,000 years would be similar to 2 years of our life. That is not long for a Secondary Midwayer, nor would it be for us if we had lived this long. And of course, the accumulated wisdom of 35,000 years, imparts a huge measure of patience and wisdom in the global outcome of the advent of these enthralling epochs on Urantia. We too must take a long term and patient view of the future of Urantia, and work hard in the short time we have here.
Here, Jesus predicts the epochal revelation of the Urantia papers: "And when the kingdom shall have come to its full fruition, be assured that the Father in heaven will not fail to visit you with an enlarged revelation of truth and an enhanced demonstration of righteousness, even as he has already bestowed upon this world him who became the prince of darkness, and then Adam, who was followed by Melchizedek, and in these days, the Son of Man." (176:2.3) Will this "full fruition" be because of or in spite of our efforts? We must do our best. Jesus is with us on this.
May we be inspired to bring out our best efforts with the love of Jesus and God,
Tom Allen, Judicial Chair
THE URANTIA BOOK FELLOWSHIP
(53:7.1) Ellanora, a young woman of that mortal realm, grasped the leadership of the human races, and not a single soul on that strife-torn world enlisted under the Lucifer banner.
(78:2.2) The heroism displayed in the leadership of the second garden constitutes one of the amazing and inspiring epics of Urantia's history.
(81:6.37) 13. Effective and wise leadership. In civilization much, very much, depends on an enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit. Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together—all at the same moment. And such teamwork—social co-operation—is dependent on leadership. The cultural civilizations of the past and the present have been based upon the intelligent co-operation of the citizenry with wise and progressive leaders; and until man evolves to higher levels, civilization will continue to be dependent on wise and vigorous leadership.
(81:6.42) Leadership is vital to progress. Wisdom, insight, and foresight are indispensable to the endurance of nations. Civilization is never really jeopardized until able leadership begins to vanish. And the quantity of such wise leadership has never exceeded one per cent of the population.
(92:5.5) Most great religious epochs have been inaugurated by the life and teachings of some outstanding personality; leadership has originated a majority of the worth-while moral movements of history.
comments powered by Disqus