The Urantia Book Internet School – My Lifeline to the Urantia Book Community
By Pam Maunakea, San Dimas, California, USA
Thirty years passed between my introduction to The Urantia Book in 1970 and the day I discovered the Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) online in 2000. During that time, I read the book three times from front to back. Family and friends were not interested. Study groups were too far away, and raising two young children made it difficult to begin one at my home. I felt isolated and alone studying The Urantia Book by myself.
UBIS became my lifeline to other Urantia Book readers, other like-minded truth seekers. I took a course almost every semester. Then in 2006, I was invited to take the Teacher Training course to become a Teacher/ Facilitator. I was in shock, and waves of doubt swept over me. I was still a learner; this was such a huge responsibility. Was I ready for it? It was a leap of faith that got me over this short period of indecision and awe.
After the five-week teacher training period, I was asked to teach/ facilitate a course the following semester in April 2007. I thought that taking a 10-week course as a student deepened my understanding of the teachings of The Urantia Book, but developing a course did so ten times over! I was assigned a mentor, an experienced teacher/ facilitator, who guided me every step of the way. It was one-on-one for weeks of delving into a thematic topic of my choice. It was intense and enlightening to have a mentor.
My experience as a teacher/ facilitator was great! The “pre-course” week was fun and amazing. I met, over “cyberspace,” readers from all over the world. There was a reader from Africa who had to walk to an internet cafe to participate. A reader from the Middle East had to be discreet for fear of causing problems for family members. I’ve met readers from Russia, Cyprus, Brazil, New Zealand and, of course, from the United States.
Shortly after facilitating my first course, I was invited to serve as a member on the UBIS board of directors. I participated in their meetings and was assigned various tasks. I was able to experience the workings of UBIS from the other side of the “classroom.” Knowing all the work that had to be accomplished before these courses could be offered online, I became a better student. I was beginning to realize that participating in various aspects of UBIS was deepening my understanding of the papers.
As a board member of UBIS, I was also asked to serve on the Course Review Committee (CRC). This task requires a short and intense study into two to three different courses that are being prepared by other teacher/ facilitators. Three members review these courses and make revisions if necessary. Time is required to sit and reread two to three papers in order to provide informed critiques. The interaction with the other reviewers was educational in itself.
UBIS has provided me a lifeline to other readers. Being involved as a student, as a teacher/ facilitator, as a staff member, and as a CRC member, has provided me multiple perspectives of this program dedicated to enlightening the people of this planet. What an honor and adventure it is to be involved with UBIS!
Audio Urantia Book
Board Meeting Decisions
Urantia Foundation History