Our dear friend and brother, Bob Bruyn, has graduated. Bob served the Fellowship for many years, as a Society Leader, General Councilor, TDA Delegate, and on the Executive Committee in various capacities. I know Bob to be a wonderful and openhearted person and feel blessed to have worked with him in the Fellowship over the years. It’s so easy to love him and I’m sure we all wish him well on this new chapter of his Universe Career.
I had a great conversation with Bob recently and he told me he was so thankful that he had time (before leaving) to make sure that all was in good order for his wife, Charlotte. I remember thinking that that was so like him. I will always cherish that conversation, and all the heart-to-heart conversations I've had with him over the years. I look forward to those I hope to have with him going forward into eternity. The pain of separation is hard, but the heart is like Paradise, in that it is timeless and space less. This is evident because whenever we are separated by time and space from those we love, when we do get to see our loved ones again... it's as if no time or space ever came between us.
Godspeed Dear Bob, until we meet again!
Love….Paula ThompsoThank you, Paula, ... You have so well expressed what I appreciated about Bob. His was always a voice of practical wisdom, humbly and gently shared, with the warm smile in his eyes that shines in the photo you shared. He was quiet a lot of the time, ... such a fine listener! And a professional healer of the hurts of his sisters and brothers.
When I think of sitting down with him again for a catch-up conversation, over the morontia equivalent of a cup of tea or glass wine, it really gets me smiling.
Bon voyage, Bob .... see you soon, brother!
I am cheered by fond memories of the few times I had to enjoy being in the presence of Bob Bruyn. I'm struck by two features of his personality and maybe one other: I always felt gently and warmly welcomed while with him. He was disarming. You could not imagine, in your wildest dreams, any disapproval, let alone anger coming from the man. Even his laughter was gentle. He enjoyed the connection he was having with you, however brief or infrequent the visit. And there was nothing of egoic imposition in him. Godspeed brother, Bob. I will not be surprised if we shall find you leading us quietly in our lessons in personal growth someday.
That beautiful smile on his mouth and in his eyes is well-captured by the photo on this thread.
Thank you André- this is exactly the experience I had over the short couple of years on the GC with Bob - a genuine authentic connection.
I could not say it better -
Godspeed Bob - Love
When I was first elected to the GC back in ‘88, filling one of the three-year seats that was recently vacated by Helena Sprague and Gloriann Harris, I was the youngest member of the General Council at 31 years old. After my first meeting, saying nothing and observing everything, I wisely chose Bob Bruyn to be my mentor. He didn’t know this yet, but I wanted to be like him. The GC went on to have two “emergency meetings” in Chicago in ‘89, ending in October when the second shoe dropped. I made a point of sitting next to Bob during those meetings. He was the best listener, only raised his hand when he had a unique thought to share, and it was always delivered with gentle & insightful wisdom ... during very contentious times. He treated me as an equal. Told me I belonged and that I had unique talents to contribute to the revelation. He helped me find my voice as an effective ‘real life counselor’ would do. After the meetings were over, he was quick to pour a glass of wine and lighten up ... with smiles and laughter from a good ‘Heart of America’ brother.
Love you, Bob
I truly enjoyed serving with you here on Urantia. You made a positive difference. In the spirit of eternal friendship ~
Tony Finstad, Northern Light of Alaska
***********Bob was such a wonderful man, I'm enjoying reading this remembrances and tributes.
Blessings, Susan Ransbottom
*********We have just learned (via Susan Cook on Facebook) of the passing of our fellow Urantian, Bob Bruyn. We wish Bob Godspeed on his exciting new journey and condolences to his wife Charlotte and family. Saskia
Below is Bob's "How I Found the Urantia Book" story as he sent it to me in 1998. Saskia
ROBERT F. BRUYN: To tell you the truth, I don’t feel that I found the Urantia Book. Rather, it feels as if the book found me through a conspiracy of circumstances that I believe was the work of angels and midwayers.
It was January 1970, a time of turmoil, risk, decisions, and changes. I was in my third year of graduate study in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I had just decided to separate from my wife of seven years. I was so unhappy in this relationship that I was willing to give up everything material and even live apart from my precious six-year-old daughter. My first task was to find a place to live. Since it was in the middle of the academic year, few inexpensive apartments were available. I finally found a room—actually a second-story, screened-in porch that had storm windows placed over the screens. The furniture consisted of a small cot, a desk, and a closet. I shared a kitchen and bath with two other students.
Coincidentally, the student living across the hall had discovered the Urantia Book during his four-year stint in the Navy. David Jones had just returned to college following his discharge. (He has his own amazing tale of finding the Urantia Book through a woman in the hills of California, but that’s another story)
One of the first evenings after moving in, while David was making popcorn and I was warming up a can of soup, he struck up a conversation with me. After discovering my field of study, he asked, “What do they teach about God and religion in psychology?”
“They don’t!” I answered.
“Well, what do you think about God and religion?” he inquired.
“I’m not sure,” I responded. “I think I believe there’s a God but I just don’t know. . . .” I had been raised in a very religious family in a small town in Iowa. From an early age I attended a conservative Protestant church where the Bible was interpreted literally. If a person were to doubt one part of the literal interpretation of the Bible, then “you might as well throw out the whole thing.” The anatomy courses I had taken in college convinced me of the evolutionary process. Pow! Now what do I believe? Not the biblical Adam and Eve story. For about five years I had been living with this unresolved conflict between evolution and the Bible.
That evening, David took the opportunity to suggest that I might want to look at an interesting book he had found while in the Navy, the Urantia Book. He invited me to stop by his room sometime.
It didn’t take long before I took him up on it, both of us being somewhat alone at the time. David had a large room compared to mine and he owned a stereo system! All I had were my clothes and books. He began to share some passages from the book. Of course, I was curious about what this book had to say about evolution. Immediately I was impressed. The Urantia Book unified science and religion. I could believe in God and in evolution. What a deal! My dilemma was forever resolved. And the book did so much more.
Little did I know that this was just phase one of the conspiracy. “They [angels] cannot fully control the affairs of their respective realms of action, but they can and do so manipulate planetary conditions and so associate circumstances as favorably to influence the spheres of human activity to which they are attached” (p. 1256).
With a new semester and a new set of classes, I met a student named Barbara Newsom. We became friends. One afternoon we were at a pizza shop and during our conversation I mentioned that my new friend David had shared a very interesting book that I had not heard of before. “I think it’s called Uracia or something,” I said.
“Not the Urantia Book?!” she inquired emphatically.
Suddenly I felt overwhelmed. The feeling was somewhat frightening. I stood up and walked out of the pizza place into the parking lot, somewhat dazed. What was going on here? Two new friends who both knew of a revelatory book that I had never heard of before?
I came to find out that Dr. Myers of Newton, Kansas, had introduced Barbara’s family to the Urantia Book amidst a curious set of circumstances following the death of Barbara’s sister. But that’s another story as well.
David, Barbara and I met often to read and study the Urantia Papers. The circumstances of our having gotten together felt so much like the work of superhuman forces that we joked about having been “coincidenced”—a term we’d coined.
I soon realized that I no longer had a fear of death. I hadn’t been aware of ever having any anxiety or uncertainty about death, so why the sense of peace? Maybe I was experiencing the satisfaction of really believing in eternal survival.
Why was I so attracted to the teachings of the Urantia Book? I’d had so many unanswered questions during my childhood and young adult life that I had just about given up on ever getting answers. Then out of nowhere comes a new revelation that gives plausible answers. For me, what it boils down to is that the Urantia Book just makes sense. Could this feeling be the Spirit of Truth working in our lives?
I cannot begin to describe the many ways in which the Urantia Book has changed my thinking, my decisions, and my life. I am so grateful for this magnificent revelation of the nature of the universe and my heavenly Dad, and for the wonderful brotherhood of believers—individuals, couples, and families—that I have had the opportunity to become friends with.
*****************Bob was (I’m sure still is) such a gentle and gracious soul. Carol Weatherford
Bob Bruyn taught me a number of valuable lessons. I served on the Fellowship General Council with him, back in the last Century. He leaves a hole in my heart, as I so respected his wisdom, and benefitted from his generosity.
There were several times when our paths crossed, and we had the pleasure of sitting and talking together. He was one of the first professional psychologists to assure me of the clarity of their profession, that a homo-sexual orientation was not some mental illness, but a variation in type of both male and female personalities.
Over the nine years that I served on the GC, Bob remained a voice of caution, and yet glad assurance, too.
His wife Charlotte and Bob offered me a place to stay during a project for The Foxhall Fund, years ago. It was a pleasure.
I was given a look at Bob's office building, and subsequently with Charlotte's tour-guide assistance, an immersion in what makes Kansas City the "heart of America."
Because I had lived in KCMO as a child, what I experienced gave me a definite sense of how times have changed. I am very grateful to Charlotte for touring me around.
I want to honor Bob Bruyn for being a resource within the GC, of a calm appraisal of facts, a cool analysis of tradition, and a genuine friendly yet professional individual, who served many roles of responsibility, based on his dedication to the Urantia Revelation.
Stephen Zendt, Walnut Creek
In memory of Robert,
He possessed the three keys to the Kingdom of Heaven that really mattered: Sincerity, more sincerity and more sincerity. And I always admired the way thoughtful decision-making was the active foundation in the personal growth of his character. Relationships with such individuals are a real treasure -- a living treasure through the divine spirit.
For the glory of true friendship,
Charles Laurence Olivea, Former General Council & member-at-large
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Is a great man, wonderfully warm, and a solid thinker. I will personally miss him here on 606; looking forward to working with him on high! GOD speed my dear Brother Bob :)
Bob was a wonderful human being, a wise and focused Agondonter. I will miss his quiet wisdom and his radiant smile but I'm excited for him to be on the next phase of his journey. He made a major contribution to the lives of many people. Safe travels, Bob; keep going!
_____________________________Here is a bio of Bob that appeared in the April 1988 issue of Pervaded Space, the Midwest newsletter. The same issue reported on the chartering of the Heart of America Society.
Cece Forrester, Chicago
******Immense thanks for the wonderful tributes to Bob. I recall his consistent balanced and mature attitude along with thoughtful and insightful reflections. Truly, he was a gentleman and a scholar.
******Photos of Bob Bruyn on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bob.bruyn/photos?lst=503904333%3A1450113163%3A1547242662&source_ref=pb_friends_tl