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future project
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Author:  urantiavista [ Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:26 am +0000 ]
Post subject:  future project

Al, all,

What I have had in mind is the coalescence of a group research project which would examine, contribute to or build upon the work done by TSF, Inc. This will necessitate considerable sober effort to become informed and to share experiential insights over an extended time frame.

Apparently, very few on this list (or elsewhere) have more than an inkling of the progress, both visionary and actual, made by TSF. Most folks, unfortunately, seem to be so mired in their own 'expertise' that they are unable to rightly evaluate either the potential service-values or the considerable difficulties and dangers involved in such an attempted socio-religious actualization.

There is a dedicated website with fully functional myBB forum capabilities prepared to serve as a discussion, research and implementation platform for whatever sized committed community may develop. If and when this community project materializes, all positive contributions will be welcomed and utilized by the group.

In the meantime, my efforts will continue to be directed toward education (e-ducere: to draw out or lead forth). I believe that a somewhat substantial pool of unbombastic, mature, veteran and servant-minded Urantian religionists who recognize the imperative significance of such an undertaking needs to be marshalled. Clearly that task, in itself, is one which dependably encounters much resistance and even indignation; its accomplishment, though inevitable, is not naively anticipated to be immediately forthcoming.

Peace and Joy, in Christ-Michael’s name,
MM

Author:  J. Barry [ Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:30 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

What is TSF ????

Author:  urantiavista [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:39 am +0000 ]
Post subject: 

J. Barry, all,

Back in 1991, or thereabouts, Dr. Sprunger began publishing The Spiritual Fellowship Journal. More info can be found on the urantiabook.org website, with a synopsis of Meredith’s efforts toward interfacing The Urantia Book with mainline Christian theologians and clergy for 40 years. http://www.urantiabook.org/archive/readers/doc054.htm

Around 2000, Sherilyn Henry, a reader from Fairfax, CA contacted Dr.Sprunger regarding his well-known proposals advocating for new socio-religious organizations. These proposals are found in many of his writings, including “Pioneers in the New Age”, “The Future of the FER”, “Our Major Responsibility:”, etc.

Sherilyn travelled on several occasions to Meredith and Irene’s home in Ft.Wayne to discuss possible plans for convening a volunteer research council to study the various parameters of what the Bright and Morning Star of Paper 87 calls “a new and appropriate symbolism”. Sherilyn was a successful, well-known licensed psychologist and counselor, and Dr.Sprunger advised her to continue her formal education with a Master of Divinity program at the Pacific School of Theology in Berkley.

In the early months of 2001, without any fanfare, volunteers for a research group began forming under their direction. Teams of four or five volunteers were tasked with research into a range of subjects related to socio-religious organization. In early 2002, Sherilyn registered The Spiritual Fellowship, Inc. as a 501c non-profit, with herself, Meredith and Irene as founding directors. Three other readers were invited by Meredith to serve on the first Board of Directors of this non-profit.

There was a weeklong conference of the research council held in Boulder prior to IC’02 at Estes Park. Susan and I were asked to facilitate the first group worship service in the chapel at the University of Colorado campus. The venue proved quite inspiring with live music, several hymns, a remembrance communion, and an ordination ceremony. At Estes the following week, Sherilyn conducted some seminars and Meredith officiated a wedding ceremony, to boot.

Some water has flowed under the bridge since then, but you can find for yourself some of the accomplishments of TSF, Inc. Their website address is http://www.thespiritualfellowship.org if anyone is interested.

Hope that helps,
MM

Author:  Kreneep [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:44 am +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
Susan and I were asked to facilitate the first group worship service in the chapel at the University of Colorado campus. The venue proved quite inspiring with live music, several hymns, a remembrance communion, and an ordination ceremony.


God help us all!!!!

I checked out the site and even with all the "intended" good it proposes, it is nothing more than another attempt to start a new church...

This is so very, very sad...

Author:  RayOK [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:44 am +0000 ]
Post subject: 

KP, don't you have some other potatos to peal? Leave these good folks alone; we are all painfully aware of your views and you have become totally boring - give it a rest.
Ray

Author:  Gerdean [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:47 am +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Why do we leave some good folks alone to foster their spiritual program and delete others as unworthy of note?

Author:  RayOK [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:01 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Specifics please. Admin can respond after you specify.

Author:  Gerdean [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:44 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

I was just pouting. I was hauling a grudge around all morning about having to edit something I wrote. But I got over it. Please excuse me.

Author:  Kreneep [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:01 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Excuse me Ray:

Quote:
KP, don't you have some other potatos to peal? Leave these good folks alone; we are all painfully aware of your views and you have become totally boring - give it a rest.
Ray


I think I am expressing my "aversion" (for another "church") just as anyone else is allowed to express their "proposition" for this new "church"...

Sorry you are so bored... I'm rather getting bored with Michaels' spamming of this Forum with his nonsensical ideas which he obviously has plagerized. (read his initial posts from a year ago)...

I agree with Gerdean:

Quote:
Why do we leave some good folks alone to foster their spiritual program and delete others as unworthy of note?


OR

Why do we allow one person to proselytize and delete someone else's speech?

If you are bored, Ray, don't read my posts...

Back to the subject... I read some of the "membership" rules on the TSF site and it just about made me gag:

Quote:
SECTION 4. ADMISSION OF MEMBERS
Persons who meet the qualifications for membership in Section 1 above may become members of a spiritual fellowship in one of the following ways; (a) profession of faith in the Father/Motherhood of God and the brother/sisterhood of all people as portrayed by the Life and Teachings of Jesus in the Urantia Papers as taught by their spiritual fellowship; (b) letter of transfer from another spiritual fellowship; (c) letter of transfer from a religious institution and acceptance of option (a).

Persons may become members-at-large of TSF by (a) profession of faith in the Father/Motherhood of God and the brother/sisterhood of all people as portrayed by the Life and Teachings of Jesus; (b) letter of membership from another spiritual fellowship; (c) letter of transfer from a religious institution and acceptance of option (a).


I'm sorry... but if this doesn't sound like another "church" with organized membership , By-Laws, Rules and Regulations, then I must be missing something in the "translation"... there are also rules about kicking people out of this "church"...

Jesus said that NO ONE could "pluck me from His hand" and since the True "Church" is the Brotherhood of Man I do not see where this organization has any grounds for kicking anyone out...

WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER CHURCH... BUT it certainly looks like we already have one...

That's why I say "God help us"... we are doing it again... we are once again trying to take the "message" and making it fit into our ways instead of allowing the Spirit of Truth to enlighten and draw all men to the Father...

As soon as mankind can grasp the truth that in living the "message" is far more of a dissemination of Truth than building churches and making idols out of books and papers and people (Meridith Sprunger), then will the True "Church" arise in all it's glory and expression...

Until then... count me out of your plans...

Author:  RayOK [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:30 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

More "Service with a Smile" from a Jesusonian? I think not. Work on it KP.

Author:  Chriss Watts [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:46 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Whew....

First off, great points from everybody.

Second off, while many seem to disagree with Kreneep here, his points do have some merit, just as Michael's have merit too.

Now, this issue seems to be drawing some heat. This is good. Why? Because it's a boring day :wink:

Actually, discussing the formation of a Urantia church is a good thing because this is one of those questions that will need to be addressed in time. Sooner or later when the Urantia Movement gains real momentum, people will begin to ask whether or not a church--or at least a social organization--should be formed.

Personally, I think that one should be formed...but not yet. I think that a church at this particular time will simply segregate us from the rest of the world instead of provide for the realization of the Brotherhood of Man. I would prefer to see groups of readers from all religious backgrounds using the teachings of the Urantia Book to enrich their own religion and culture instead of replacing them. The fact is, the religions of authority seek to divide men. The religion of the Spirit seeks to unite men in their purpose, not necessarily in their intellectual views. This is why I think that the more reasonable approach to building a "Urantian Brotherhood" would be to cause the walls between the religions of authority to crumble with the Urantia Book being the figurative pickaxe.

I just don't believe that the Urantia Book was meant to be the basis of a religion on it's own. I think that it was meant to uplift the religionist, and thereby enrich all other religions.

While we shouldn't put this issue off, I think that dissemination is far more important at this time than the formation of a church. But, I am open minded and I have been wrong before.

~Chris

Author:  urantiavista [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:35 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Hi there friends ~

Hey KP, if your advice to RayOK (“If you are bored, Ray, don’t read my posts…”) constitutes Service With a Smile, why not follow it yourself (“I’m getting rather bored with Michael’s spamming…”), and have a really great day??? Just wonderin’…

Anyhow, tarpon well over 100 lbs were leaping into the air in Barfield Bay today. I tossed in a 7 in. finger mullet (cast-netted in Tigertail lagoon earlier) and didn’t wait long…something powerful ripped the line out toward David Key for nearly 100 yds. I worked some line back a bit while observing two giant tarpon fly out of the water. Then my line was ripping out again, and a 5 or 6 foot blacktip shark rose up with a thrashing jump. My 175 lb. test stainless leader broke…

I’m in such a good mood right now, that even if a hysterical barky Chihuahua were yapping at my heels I’d be smiling. 8)
Quote:
“But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. Long since, the battle cry of these pilgrims became: “In liaison with God, nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible.” (26:5)

preview or quick summary of Chaordic Principles:

1. It should be owned by all participants. No participant should have an inherently greater or lesser ownership position.
2. Participants should have equitable rights and obligations. There should be no attempt to impose conformity.
3. It should be open to all qualified participants. While it must be able to create standards for eligibility, once those standards are established, it should be open to all interested persons meeting the standards.
4. Power, function, and resources should be distributive to the maximum degree. Where behavior is compelled, there lies tyranny, where behavior is induced, there lies leadership.
5. To the maximum degree possible, everything should be voluntary. Persuasion, not compulsion, should be fundamental.
6. It should induce, not compel, change. It should liberate and enhance creativity and ingenuity.
7. It should be infinitely malleable, yet extremely durable. It should be capable of constant self-generated modification of function without sacrificing its essential nature and principles.

Have a great day in God’s love!
MM

Author:  Gerdean [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:40 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

I incline toward Chriss' and Kreneep's thoughts on this issue, as far as a Urantia Church is concerned. But a society, well, that's different.

Speaking of which, many years ago the Urantia Book Study Groups were striving to develop into societies, like FUSLA (First Urantia Society of Los Angeles) and there is one in Oklahoma. I am sure they had to go through many hoops in order to be sanctioned. In 1976 I applied for and became a Member-at-Large in the Urantia Brotherhood, an entity that no longer exists, thanks to the great schism. Are the Societies still in existence? Are they still being fostered? How do they compare to the Urantia Church you want to instigate, Michael? One is social based on spiritual, the other is spiritual based on social? Or what?

I have read about the Chaordic Principles and I like them, as far as groups go. The Zooids abide by these kinds of principles. Just as there are some folks who would not be happy living in a gated community, there are folks who would not be happy living in a Zooid Colony. (This refers back to capitalism, imo, where everybody wants their own 40 acres and a mule.) But in order to rule out the defectives and degenerates (if that can be defined) or those who might seek either to exploit their pacific predilections or to destroy their advancing civilization, there would have to be natural law and organizational guidelines.

The thing is, though, in matters of the spirit we are all equal. Nobody can be closed out of a spiritual circle, not if we subscribe to the spirit as taught by Jesus when he lived among us. He just says we are to "love one another as I have loved you," and that has nothing to do with signing on the dotted line, tithing, or any of that stuff. He assured Ganid that we don't need another religion. We don't need another church either.

I understand what it is to do battle against that which we believe to be anathema to the spirit. I appreciate the passion. We would not have evolved to this point were it not for those who fought for spirit reality in the face of that which would pull us down, hold us back, or render us dull through standardization and mediocrity. The living water is are alive. It is dynamic. It cannot be contained in a building or in a book or it will die. I would not want to contribute to the crystallization of 5th epochal truth.

Author:  bouk [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:57 pm +0000 ]
Post subject: 

Ive been really trying to work out both sides of this issue to myself in order to try to understand everyone as fully as possible. Theoretically, in my experience with the UB so far, I percieve the message of Jesus to be that spirituality is in the individual, and its not right to make idols of laws and traditions. However, Im also a realist. Just as the Romans had to incorporate traditional pagan holidays and rituals into christianity in order that the people made a comfortable, unshocking conversion. The idea of some form of "church" may very well be necessary in the slow evolution of true personal spirituality. So, like I see it we are all shooting for the same target, it is only the path to it thats in question.

Author:  rick warren [ Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:30 am +0000 ]
Post subject: 

.


Thanks Chris, very wise and well said imo. Rick

.

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