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BridgING the Gap with Love 2023

Want to join us for this summer's Urantia Book Fellowship IC23 fun?

Want to enjoy thousands of others with a multitude of faith traditions at the Parliament of the World's Religions?

You can do it all!!!

Stay in Chicago for a month of

spiritual rejuvenation and interfaith dialogue!  

Register Now
July 24-28

Bridging the Gap with Love

IC23 to the Parliament to Jesus's Birthday!

July 29 - August 13

Register Now

August 14-18

Tuesday, July 24–Monday, August 21, 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

  • Creating (and supporting you to create) pre-Parliament events for you to join via Zoom, in your local communities, or in person in Chicago, during the months leading up to Parliament,

  • Maintaining a current schedule for you to choose from many pre-Parliament events, and

  • Assisting with accommodations July 28-August 22, (terms apply).

Three major gatherings:

  1. The Urantia Book Fellowship (a.k.a. the Fellowship) is presenting their International Conference 2023 (IC23) with the theme of “Living the Teachings: Heart, Mind, and Soul.”

  2. The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions will convene after the sixteen day gap with the theme of “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights.” A booth, to present our beloved revelation (The Urantia Book), will be jointly sponsored by a unified team that includes The Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Foundation, Urantia Association International, and This joint sponsorship has been in place in many of the previous Parliaments. 

  3. The BGL team is creating a grand finale by creating a gathering to celebrate the two thousand twenty-ninth birthday of Jesus, on August 21. We enthusiastically invite you to this experience, featuring Pato Banton and Antoinette Rootsdawtah!

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.

Art of Universal Language - Official pre-Parliament exploration series

Share and learn from your peers in this exploration of unifying communication. Whether you are attending the Parliament, manning a UB-related booth at any expo, meeting "strangers" as you pass by, or healing a relationship, this free series is perfect for honing your skills of expressing words and tone that will reach the greatest number of people doing the greatest good for the greatest length of time.

Since you are choosing to participate in interfaith events such as the Parliament, we intuit that you are already interested, or well-seasoned, in speaking to a broad spectrum of believers. Please, join us to share your proven techniques, help others practice skills, and prepare for Parliament engagement and volunteering.

View future conversation events here.


Check back, as this listing is updated often!

Link BGL calendar HERE.

  • IC23: Living the Teachings: Heart, Mind, and Soul
  • Bridging the Gap with Love
  • Parliament of the World's Religions
    • Interfaith Meditation, Devotion, and Prayer room - Urantia Book Interfaith Movement
    • Charter of Compassion: "Ubuntu" Documentary Screening - Gard Jameson, Pato Banton, Antoinette Rootsdawtah
    • Improvisation for meditation and connection - Cristina Seaborn
    • "Hope Road" Film Screening - Aprilhelen, w/ Susan Cook and Peter Laurence 
    • Contemplation Yurts - Inspired by Gard Jameson
    • Volunteer Opportunities: 
      • BGL Team - Team member, volunteer, event participant, booth participant
      • Urantia Book Booth - Urantia Foundation, Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Association International, Truthbook
      • Contemplative Yurts - Contact Gard Jameson
      • Official Parliament Volunteer
  • Urantia Book-related Parliament booths
  • Jesus's 2029th Birthday
    • Featuring Pato Banton and Antoinette Rootsdawtah!!! (info below)
    • Are you hosting a hybrid celebration? We will post your information here. Email the details to the BGL team.


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?

  • 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. The Urantia Book 100:4:6 (1098.3)
  • Peace among religions is a precondition for world peace. Swami Agnivesh
  • God has given us many faiths but only one world in which to co-exist. May your work help all of us cherish our commonalities and feel enlarged by our differences. Lord Jonathan Sacks
  • As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Nelson Mandela
  • My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. Dalai Lama


What are Urantia Book students saying about why interfaith work is important?

  • Members of the Urantia Book community have been involved in the Parliament of the World's Religions since its 100-year anniversary in 1993. As one of the largest interfaith gatherings in the world, the Parliament presents an unparalleled opportunity to learn about evolutionary religions in their current stage of development, and to represent The Urantia Book as a visible participant in the dialogue. Peter Laurence
  • To deepen your religious understanding of your fellows faith, let the Spirit of Truth open your eyes and heart to experience the work of God in each. Thomas Pirie
  • Interfaith sharing illuminates the future, a time when truth seekers and teachers will augment “the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of Satania.” (92:5.16; 1010.4) Barbara Newsom
  • Service in the realm of interfaith work is truly one of the most advanced altruistic steps toward the Supreme Being. Aprilhelen

Contact the BGL team now!

We are here to serve!

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...

Bahá'i House of Worship

Wilmette, IL


(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:

  • Interfaith America Interfaith America’s mission is to inspire, equip, and connect leaders and institutions to unlock the potential of America’s religious diversity. Their motto is “Faith is a bridge.”

  • Interfaith House Interfaith House provides a healing environment and resources to help ill and injured homeless adults restore their health, rebuild their lives, and regain self sufficiency.

  • Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities The Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities was established to empower faith leaders to work for the safety and security of our communities, tackling issues such as child sexual abuse, extremism, radicalization and human trafficking. 

  • United Religions Initiative United Religions Initiative comprises over eleven hundred member groups, called Cooperation Circles, in 112 countries, as a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world.


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

or computer!

If you will not be attending in Chicago this summer, we encourage you to collaborate with us by joining other’s events, such as the Art of Universal Language exploration series, 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 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:

The Parliament of the World’s Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

To accomplish this, we invite individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.

Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center


Monday, AUGUST 21, 2023 / 4 - 8 p.m.

Our grand finale will be the celebration of Jesus, featuring Pato Banton and Antoinette Rootsdawtah!

Get your ticket @ THIS LINK!

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 this link. Stay tuned for more details about the Chicago party. We suggest a $20 donation. If you'd like to make donations to reduce the cost for others, let us know

Embassy Suites by Hilton 

Chicago Downtown River North

600 North State Street, Chicago, IL

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.

100:4:6 (1098.3)

Urantia Book friends in Chicago for Summer Study Session 2018


Do you want to serve inside and outside of the Urantia Book community? We can use your help. 

  • Maybe you are ready to join us on the planning team, currently and during July and August in Chicago. If so, we have several volunteer opportunities available.

  • Are you a writer and have multi-faith knowledge to describe the basic tenets of various faith traditions? We are preparing several events and resources that you can help create.

  • If your Parliament proposal has been accepted, let us know, and we’ll place it on our calendar of events.

  • Would you like to commit to hosting a pre-Parliament event in your hometown or online? Let us know and we’ll help you. They have already started. Check out the Pre-Parliament Event List.

  • Is interfaith work/dialogue important to you, and you want to financially contribute to this experience? We are accepting donations to decrease the accommodation costs for the participants. Please, contact the BGL team. (Tax deductible receipts are available.)
  • Perhaps you would simply consider using this year to dedicate your sacred devotional time to keeping Urantia’s interfaith work in your mind’s eye, adding value to the Supreme Being.

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.

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