Want to join us for this summer's Urantia Book Fellowship fun?
Want to enjoy thousands of others with a multitude of faith traditions?
You can do it all!!!
Stay in Chicago for a month of spiritual rejuvenation and interfaith dialogue!
Bridging the Gap with Love
IC23 to the Parliament to Jesus's Birthday!
Tuesday, July 24–Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Bridging the Gap with Love
Empowering Creative Diversity
You have a wonderful opportunity this year, as Chicago, Illinois, USA, will be host to three major gatherings for our beloved Urantia Book community.
Bridging the Gap with Love (BGL) is an experience being planned as a way for you to remain in Chicago during the gaps between these gatherings to amplify your spiritual experience. A Bridging the Gap with Love team (a.k.a. BGL team) has formed to organize this experience. Currently, the BGL team consists of Thomas Pirie, Barbara Newsom, and Aprilhelen.
BGL team is here to serve by
Three major gatherings:
There is a sixteen-day gap between IC23 and the Parliament this year. We are setting up events during this time that will enable people to connect with various faith communities or interfaith organizations as well as spend time worshiping together and sharing meals. If you are going to those gatherings, consider joining the Bridging the Gap with Love experience.
Check back, as this listing is updated often!
Link BGL calendar HERE.
Empowering Creative Diversity
The BGL team has a vision of Urantia Book students using the sixteen days, and the preceding weeks, to refine our skills of communicating across the bridges between faith traditions. We are working with those in our community and beyond.
Check out our Urantia Book Fellowship landing page for interfaith resources, linked here!
We view this as a great opportunity to learn from others while we share our own experiences. Here are several potential outcomes we have identified:
Empowering creative diversity—Share what initiatives or difficulties are challenging our respective faith traditions and seek strategies to address those issues.
Identifying commonalities—Seek meanings and values common to our faith traditions.
Sharing faith experiences—Become closer to others through understanding how our personal faith experiences have grown us spiritually and increased our understanding of unity.
Moving forward—Go beyond the Parliament as interfaith work inspires faith traditions into caretaking the world at large—social issues, social justice, and social transformation.
Healing Urantia—Find unity, not uniformity.
Thomas Pirie, in his October 13, 2022, Mini Messenger article titled “Bridging the Gap,” proposed a call to action for the commitment of participating in Chicago while bridging the gap with love between these incredible gatherings, July 29-August 13, 2023. Since then he has been joined by the enthusiasm of Barbara Newsom (the Fellowship’s Interfaith Committee chair) and Aprilhelen (the Fellowship’s Youth and Young Adult Committee chair). Each of these seasoned readers have long held the value of expanding our service beyond the Urantia Book community. This mighty team is excited to invite you to consider this experience as an opportunity to unite as ambassadors of The Urantia Book.
We recognize that bridging the gap can be explored from a variety of perspectives. Thomas suggests:
The concept of bridging the gap with love has many potent applications. If it is true that our faith is a bridge from this world to the next, and if our faith can build a bridge of trust and goodwill between diverse persons of many faith traditions, and if people of faith can meet on this bridge and safely exchange our values and build new and greater meanings for those values, all while turbulence rushes beneath our faith bridge, then this bridge, born of goodwill, sustained by confidence in the Divine's invincibility, can and will support increasingly potent exchanges of individual and group expectations. Such a bridge will further invigorate those persons whose inner light is guiding them to that common ground rich in potential fruits of service to fellow sisters and brothers.
Thomas speaks to the heart of our intention. We consider the BGL experience as not only bridging the gap of time between events, but also between Urantia Book-based organizations and other faith traditions. It can also be thought of as bridging the gap between now and the era of light and life.
Importance of Interfaith Work/Dialogue
What does The Urantia Book and other faith traditions say about the importance of interfaith work/dialogue?
What are Urantia Book students saying about why interfaith work is important?
IC23 (JULY 24-28, 2023)
The Fellowship’s International Conference 2023 (IC23) is being held at Oakbrook Resort in the suburbs of Chicago for four nights and three days of fun and education for the whole family. The planners welcome all ages with its theme, “Living the Teachings: Heart, Mind, and Soul” whether or not you are a Fellowship member.
The Children + Teen Program will be cared for by a team of five Urantia Book students and many volunteers. Bring your kids of all ages, knowing that they will be in a safe, friendly, and creative environment while you enjoy worship experiences, plenaries, workshops, and social events. Urantia Family Life is also offering a workshop series, as well as some intergenerational activities.
The Fellowship’s General Council will convene for their quarterly business meeting (July 28-30, 2023) at Oakbrook Resort. Any members of The Urantia Book Fellowship are welcome to sit in on many of the conversations. It may entice you to serve the Urantia Book community in a new capacity.
Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center
Oak Brook, IL, US Meetings and Events
During the sixteen days, we'll tour several sights, such as
Urantia Foundation at Diverse Parkway and...
BRIDGING THE GAP WITH LOVE
(JULY 29-AUGUST 13, 2023)
The BGL team is currently reaching out to various faith traditions and interfaith groups in the Chicago area to determine their interest and how we might come alongside them in service. We have already learned much about the Windy City (Chicago).
Did you know Chicago is home to many headquarters of faith traditions and interfaith groups? Here are several interfaith organizations we are reaching out to for volunteer opportunities:
We have a vacation rental on a beautiful lake in the suburbs of Chicago!
This lovely place is a home that is split into a duplex. We rented both sides. One side has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. The other side has 1 bedroom and 1 bath. Both sides have separate entrances and decks. The entire space sleeps up to 12 people.
Enjoy kayaking on the lake, share a cappuccino while discussing interfaith engagement, and be with us touring the temples and engaging in the events that we have planned. We are giving preference to those who stay for a longer period of time. The cost is based on the bed rental and room sharing, ranging from $25-$80 per night per person. Contact BGL team.
Join us from your hometown
If you will not be attending in Chicago this summer, we encourage you to collaborate with us by joining other’s events or by hosting your own pre-Parliament event in your local area. Our BGL team will support you in efforts for your event to become an official pre-Parliament event.
You may also receive help from the Parliament organizers by submitting a pre-Parliament event registration form or email them for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your questions are not answered, contact the BGL team to connect with us for support.
We are maintaining an active calendar (above) over the months leading up to the Parliament. Please, let us know if your events has been accepted as an official pre-parliament events; we'll add it to the calendar!
From the Parliament’s website:
In the months leading up to the 2023 Parliament convening in Chicago, USA communities around the world will hold pre-Parliament events. Pre-Parliament events offer “a taste of the Parliament experience,” an opportunity to learn more about the 2023 Parliament, and a forum to highlight the work of your local interfaith initiatives. An event can be held in a conference center, a place of worship, a fellowship hall, a public arena, or a living room. Events can last for a few hours or a few days and can focus on our special constituencies (women, next generation, and Indigenous peoples) or our critical issues (the global ethic, peace and justice, and climate change).
Pre-Parliament events must have some element of the program dedicated to the promotion of the 2023 Chicago Parliament convening and must provide the staff with enough time to develop special marketing materials. If you are interested in hosting a pre-Parliament event or combining your existing event with a pre-Parliament event, submit the pre-Parliament event registration form.
Parliament of the World’s Religions
(August 14-18, 2023)
With this year’s Parliament theme, “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights,” it is fitting that we are motivated toward bridging gaps. Just look at the Parliament’s mission statement that also reflects our BGL team’s intentions:
Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center
HAPPY 2029TH BIRTHDAY, JESUS! (AUGUST 21, 2023)
Our grand finale will be the celebration of Jesus, featuring Pato Banton and Antoinette Rootsdawtah!
Join us for music, videos, prayer, meditation, Remembrance Supper, discussions and fun!!!
Space is limited at a hotel conference room, so make your reservations early through the BGL team. Stay tuned for more details about the Chicago party. There may be a nominal fee. If you'd like to make donations to reduce the cost for others, let us know. The address will be revealed upon your reservation.
Whether you are with us in Chicago, celebrating in your hometown, or online,
you are encouraged to add the theme bridging the gap with love to your presentations and prayers.
What does The Urantia Book say about the importance of interfaith dialogue?
Paper 100 - Religion in Human Experience
It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being.
If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality.
Urantia Book friends in Chicago for Summer Study Session 2018
CALL TO ACTION
Do you want to serve inside and outside of the Urantia Book community? We can use your help.
We invite you to join us for the next few months, or any portion of it, wherever you are, or meet us in the Windy City as ambassadors of The Urantia Book.
Whether you host a local pre-Parliament event, attend IC23, participate in the BGL team’s events, join the fun at the Parliament, or celebrate Jesus with us, may you keep the loving intention of bridging all gaps with love.
Our team will post an update each month leading up to the Parliament, which will include a schedule of events for you to attend.
Please, contact the BGL team for ideas, comments, commitments, or donations.