|Urantia Book Forum
|"Step 7" outreach
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|Author:||urantiavista [ Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:46 pm +0000 ]|
|Post subject:||"Step 7" outreach|
We would do well to heed the visionary wisdom of Meredith J. Sprunger, who consecrated his life to the service of our Father and His family even before his first reading of the Urantia Papers in 1956. For 5 decades Meredith, now aged 91, has performed yeoman work for the dissemination of the FER (see http://www.urantiabook.org/archive/mjs_archive/mjs_biographical_intro.htm ). His writings addressing the importance of the emergence of new socio-religious organizations supported by the UPapers should not be lightly regarded, given his proven depth of experience and wisdom.
On UBRON, Phil Geiger recently alluded that principles derived from the study of complex systems (also known as chaos theory, chaotics, or chaordics, etc.) may be applied to the evolutionary growth of dynamic religious communities consistent with the counsel and admonitions of the authors of the Urantia Papers. How, you ask?
Founded by Dee Hock, the Chaordic Commons (see http://www.chaord.org/what_des.html) is a valuable resource for those interested in such socio-religious organizations congruent with the teachings of the FER. "Developing a self-organizing, self-governing organization worthy of the trust of all participants usually requires intensive effort."
Such a wholehearted service-adventure would require the patient dedication of persons willing to affirm with our Master Son that "the truth never suffers from honest examination." Groundbreaking work was accomplished by The Spiritual Fellowship, Inc. (see http://www.thespiritualfellowship.org) and a new Community Server based website for Agape Michael Organization, Inc. is in place to facilitate further such efforts in the upcoming months/years. If you are drawn to the consideration of this many-faceted opportunity for "Step 7" outreach ministry, send a short note to Susan and me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get acquainted ;>)
|Author:||urantiavista [ Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:59 pm +0000 ]|
|Post subject:||"Step 7" outreach|
At this point Susan and I are simply putting out "feelers" in hopes of finding a pulse.
We envision long-term collaborative R&D into the formation of a grassroots supported network of "locally grown" worship and service groups, cells, or home churches united by love for God and dedicated to living and sharing the gospel of Jesus. Such an alliance could conceivably evolve the regional, national, and international support infrastructures necessary for viable cross-cultural and intergenerational outreach ministries.
Following the "Six Lens" process as described at the Chaordic Commons website, we propose an initial draft form of Purpose and Principles for defining Ag`ape Michael Organization, Inc. (AMO) as:
The Mission of AMO, Inc. is to support the formation, growth, and co-operative networking of faith communities
sharing goals and ideals and inspired by the Urantia Papers.
Our primary Purpose is to promote the experience of faith-sonship with God through loving worship and joyful service.
The two-fold Cornerstone of our mission is the truth that all people are God's beloved children and the fact that Jesus-Christ Michael, our divine Paradise Creator Son, lived a God-revealing life among us.
Our Testimony shall consist in the actual and living experience of loving and serving God and His family, even as Christ Michael loves and serves us all.
Foundational Shared Ideals:
1 - Faith - wholehearted acceptance of the child/Parent relationship with God - the prerequisite of spiritual rebirth and the key to eternal survival.
2 - Worship - our highest privilege and first duty - devoted communion with God, publicly and/or privately.
3 - Liberty - utmost respect for the sanctity of free-will and humble appreciation for God’s gifts of unique personality.
4 - Consecration - fervent dedication to co-operation with God’s will in response to an all-consuming desire to become more like Him.
5 - Loyalty - faith-acknowledgement of belief in the combined Divine-human nature of our Creator Son/brother - Jesus-Christ Michael, grateful remembrance of His bestowal Life and Spirit, and commitment to loving and following Him.
6 - Servanthood - the joyful experience of yielding spiritual fruits in loving service to God’s family of humankind.
7 - Progress - the watchword of the Universe - aided by study of the Urantia Papers and any teachings harmonious with the fifth epochal revelation in our diligent efforts toward progressive spiritual growth under the Supremacy of LOVE.
Refinement/revision of these statements and the other dimensions of the "chaordic" design process - Participants, Organizational Concept, Constitution, and Practices - are a "work-in-progress"...
If these initial proposals strike a resonant chord, or if you would care to offer your considered views, please reply to Michael and Susan at email@example.com. We encourage forwarding this email to friends, but we request that your direct responses be made only to this sender, in consideration of minimizing unwanted email traffic for those who are not interested. Hopefully, we have not importuned...
After some period for sifting and sorting of responses (realize that Susan and I have full-time jobs), collaboration will be facilitated via an AMO Community Server discussion forum dedicated to this project.
His Peace in all your Ways,
Michael and Susan Melody
|Author:||urantiavista [ Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:58 am +0000 ]|
|Post subject:||'epochal' responsibility|
We've read that Jesus instructed his apostles at Amathus: "...first see that men are born of the spirit before you seek to instruct them
in the advanced ways of the spirit. Do not undertake to show men the beauties of the temple until you have first taken them into
the temple. Introduce men to God and as the sons of God before you discourse on the doctrines of the fatherhood of God and the
sonship of men...Simply go forth proclaiming: This is the kingdom of heaven - God is your Father and you are his sons, and this
good news, if you wholeheartedly believe it, is your eternal salvation."
"To promote the experience of faith-sonship with God through loving worship and joyful service."
This restatement of the divine commission to proclaim the good news of eternal salvation is proposed as the primary
goal of Ag'ape Michael Organization, Inc.
It has been my long held conviction that a spiritually focused and service-oriented socio-religious organization inspired by the
Urantia Papers should be established upon clear and simple sonship/daughtership goals and values. The revelators themselves
offer many suggestions and hints related to the ideal character and positive benefits of such a fellowship of faith community.
They counsel that "(r)egardless of the drawbacks and handicaps...even the restatement of the religion of Jesus must develop
a new and appropriate symbolism."
While I regard the commission of our beloved Michael of Nebadon that we work to increase the sonship harvest as primary,
as a student of the Urantia Papers I also acknowledge an 'epochal' responsibility to disseminate the advanced teachings of this new
revelation to our world. As I see it, there are practical as well as theological/philosophical reasons for prioritizing these somewhat
discrete responsibilities - the Great Commission and 5th epochal dissemination.
The evolution of a new religious 'cult' - such as the revelators encourage - with dissemination of the teachings as intended focus
would seem to transpose the "beauties of the temple" with the temple itself, place the cart before the horse, so to speak. How
many brothers and sisters, disillusioned with traditional religions, sorely need the Truth of the family of God but will stumble if
the FER is placed in the temple Doorway?
Practically speaking, service institutions and fraternal associations dedicated to dissemination already exist, and I pray God bless
these indispensible efforts. Also, though probably to some extent unavoidable, the prospect of exacerbating conflict with existing
religions by forming a religious cult with a principal goal of disseminating the teachings of a competing 'sacred' book might perhaps
give one pause. However sincere and forthright the effort, imo this leads to dilution of focus from the first task of increasing our
Father's sonship harvest.
That said, it would be unwise and hypocritical for a network of faith communities inspired by the FER to bootleg or otherwise
seek to conceal this revealed source of advanced teachings - "the beauties of the temple". So, I've meditated for years on the question
of how to grow a religious cult focused primarily on the goal of promoting the experience of sonship with God while forthrightly
acknowledging the authentic inspirational value of the FER. The current proposed Bylaws of AMO, Inc., which borrow much from
the seminal work Dr. Meredith Sprunger, is the present summation of these efforts.
The Bylaws of AMO, Inc. are a 'chaordic' work in progress. There is much work to be done in finalizing all six phases or dimensions
of the 'chaordic' design process. The Preamble, Constitution, and its Appendices (Practices) delineate a great number of details necessary
for the cooperative functioning of the faith community network. Sincere believers who have the energy and inclination to participate in the further
development of this socio-religious outreach effort are invited to contact Michael and Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free
to forward this to anyone you think may want to help. We have a website Community Server forum which is hoped will help facilitate
cooperative research and development in the near future.
[trivia note: The word ag'ape (Greek:) literally means LOVE and also pertains to the believer's remembrance supper or LOVE FEAST.
Although not particularly germane, the acronym for Ag'ape Michael Organization - AMO - is also Latin, meaning I LOVE.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (in The Divine Milieu) praised this word, amo, as a superb focus for the practice of 'centering' prayer,
suggesting it to be as efficacious as the well-known 'name-of-God' - (OM).]
P.S. Benefitting from the counsel of Dave Elders, the Preamble has been 'tweaked' to reflect greater acknowledgement of our 'epochal' responsibilities. For a copy, just email Susan and I.
|Author:||urantiavista [ Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:00 am +0000 ]|
|Post subject:||'Step 7' Outreach|
Susan and I, along with many others, have yearned for and worked toward the development of a socio-religious organization - a "cult of mutual support" - "predicated on the concept of the Fatherhood of God" and "pregnant with the mighty ideal of the brotherhood of man".
Dr. Sprunger (http://www.ubfellowship.org/archive/mjs_archive/mjs_future_of_fer.htm) and others have shared their visions that no doubt many types of religious organizations would be inspired by the Urantia Papers.
The "Community Server" portion of http://www.spiritamo.net/comserv/forums is intended, in part, as a forum for the considered sharing of ideas and aspirations along these lines.
We (Susan and I) have envisioned a new institutional platform named Ag'ape Michael Organization, Inc. which borrows much from the research done for The Spiritual Fellowship, Inc. While respecting the formative decisions of TSF's (http://www.thespiritualfellowship.org)directors and recognizing the value of its vision, we have diverged significantly in our Bylaws.
As dedicated readers, we profess our profound appreciation for the Fifth Epochal Revelation from above. Our Bylaws will testify to the inspiration provided by the Urantia Papers. That said, we feel that Spirit leads us and experience informs us to minister to the spiritual needs of our brethren with both personal and institutional focus on an outreach that can be more easily grasped by average men and women. We are aware of a certain amount of 'inbreeding' within the 'Urantia movement' and would like to move beyond 'preaching to the choir'.
Surely we all realize how deep the need for suffering humanity to discover the saving truth that we are all beloved children of our Universal Father (193:0:4). How can we most directly minister to this need of our brethren - that through faith they will actually realize an enobling and salvatory sonship experience?
We've been active in small group worship and are moving toward expanding our outreach to include networking communities with emphasis on family-based group worship, spiritual growth, and service projects. We believe there is great potential for like-minded persons to glorify our Father and serve His children through involvement in the grassroots extension of a mutual-support network for similar faith-communities.
The "Community Network Drafting Group" section of this forum is available to members who are willing to dedicate time and energy to the study of pertinent research material and revision/finalization of the present draft form of the Bylaws for AMO, Inc. If you have an interest or questions, or would like to offer helpful reflections to further directionize the development of this new religious organization, please register and contribute your feedback.
When and if enough mature leaders reach consensus on a final draft of the Bylaws, a Board of Directors will be formed and actions taken to register AMO, Inc. as a non-profit religious corporation at state and federal levels.
Michael B Melody
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