2016 European Urantia Conference in Budapest - Who is Jesus?
The 2016 European Urantia Conference was held in Budapest, Hungary, from September 15 to 18. This conference was organized by the “Blue Club” of European readers of The Urantia Book and sponsored by Urantia Association International (UAI) and Urantia Foundation. The beautiful city of Budapest, with its rich history, beautiful buildings, and friendly people, was an inspiring place to be. Budapest was chosen to unite people from the east and the west of Europe. The Conference Committee, known as the Blue Club, among European readers, made a great effort to create a conference that would involve young adults, and as a young adult, I felt blessed to meet so many new friends.
This was the first Urantia conference that my father—Jaap Terra, president of the Netherlands Urantia Association (Stichting Urantia Nederlandstalig or UAISUN)—and I attended. In the Netherlands, the community of Urantia Book readers is expanding, with more study groups being formed and more activities being organized. At this moment, the UAISUN is preparing to host the international conference in 2018. It is a big challenge and a wonderful opportunity for us to develop a stronger community in the Netherlands and Europe. We are hoping to become part of the community of readers worldwide.
Our goal for attending the conference in Budapest was to meet people, to experience the program, and, most important of all, to get inspired—not only by the plenaries and workshops on the theme “Who is Jesus?” —but also by the other attendees.
Because it is impossible to include all the workshops and plenaries, I have chosen some highlights from the conference to write about. At the opening on Thursday night, Chris Wood spoke about the future of Urantia Europe, the future of the global Urantia community, and how the Internet gives us the opportunity to make worldwide contacts.
Karmo Kalda from Estonia gave a plenary with the title “Jesus—the First Marketing Manager.” It was a great exposition of the mission, vision, and goals of Jesus. Karmo used a modern marketing strategy in a very creative way to show how Jesus could be seen in that role.
I attended Jeffrey Wattles’s workshop “Effectively Revealing the Master to All Men.” In small groups, we talked about our personal religion and relationship with Jesus, and how to start a conversation about religion with other people. Jeffrey created an atmosphere where the attendees were invited to talk to each other on a personal level.
Mike MacIsaac gave a very beautiful plenary about Jesus’ social aggressiveness and sincere interest in all kinds of people. He talked about the way Jesus approached people, loved people, and made real contact with his brothers and sisters. Mike called it the “love virus,” and he made us think about how to spread this virus in daily life.
I joined Carrie Prentice, Doreen Heyne, Katharina Becker, and Line St-Pierre at their workshop titled “As She Passes By: Bringing Jesus’ Teachings to Life.” This workshop made a big impression on me. In a short period of time these women made it possible for all of us to share our deepest fears, our dreams for the future, and our personal relationship with Jesus. There is so much to learn from the life experiences of the people around us. This workshop made us feel connected to each other on a deeper level. These women are especially interested in uniting female Urantia Book readers all over the world. This made my heart sing because I truly feel that women will have a great influence on making Urantia a world of “light and life.”
Between workshops, there was plenty of time to socialize and see the city. The hotel was wonderful, and we took a great boat trip on the Danube on Friday night. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Urantia Book readers of all ages and from all over the world. I had memorable conversations, made new friends, and I’m already looking forward to my next international conference. I thank the members of the Blue Club and all the others who made this conference possible.
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