Study Groups: New Thoughts from an Old Reader

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By Mike Wood, Urantia Foundation, Illinois, USA

I found The Urantia Book in the early 1970s and have been attending and hosting study groups since the late 1970s. Early on, I found that hosting a study group became the highlight of my week. After hosting a couple of small study groups in less populated areas, I moved to the greater Kansas City area in 1986 and started hosting a study group in Overland Park, Kansas. It still continues to this day. That group took on a life of its own and quickly became one of the great joys of my life. For more then 20 years my study group has brought me joy, friendship, and spiritual fulfillment on a level that few other things in my life can match. And that alone is a great reason for anyone to consider hosting a study group. But in more recent times, I have found an even better and perhaps more important reason to host a study group: service.

In March of 2009, I moved to Chicago to work at Urantia Foundation. Among the first tasks I was given to do was Reader Services. Nearly every day I read and answer letters, emails, and phone calls from readers around the world. There is also another very important part of Reader Services involving referrals. Urantia Foundation maintains a worldwide database of both study groups and individuals who have given us permission to share their contact information (phone number and email address only) with other interested readers. One of the great pleasures of my job is speaking with a new reader who is on fire with the excitement they experience when they begin to realize what they have in their possession. And that great pleasure is increased when I am able to tell them that someone in their neighborhood hosts a study group for students of The Urantia Book. But all too often I have to tell them that there are not any listings of study groups in their area.

Jesus taught that religion, in its highest form, is a personal experiencea relationship between creature and Creator. Consequently, the Urantia Movement doesnt have physical churches, a clergy, or any other type of infrastructure that easily brings new readers into contact with other like-minded individuals. In the end, the only thing that we really have to perform this vital function is study groups. But from my perspective, there are not nearly enough study groups.

For every referral request that I can respond to with an active study group, I have five responses with a letter that begins with the words I am sorry, but I was not able to find a study group in your area. So, when someone asks me what they can do to serve the Urantia Revelation, I ask them, Do you host a study group or actively support someone who does If their answer is yes, I say, Thank you very much! But if their answer is no, I encourage them to start a study group, not only for the joy and satisfaction it will bring them personally, but also as a service to those readers who are dying to talk to someone about the most incredible book they have ever come across in their life.

If you are not quite sure how to start a study group, call or email me, and I will gladly give you a few ideas and a list of referrals in your area who might be interested in attending. If you do host a study group or are available to talk to interested readers in your neighborhood, please contact Urantia Foundation to make sure your contact information is correct. My email address is [email protected] or call 773 -525-3319 during business hours (M/F- 9/5).

In an article entitled The Timing of The Urantia Book, Bill Sadler Jr. quotes certain wise comments and advices.

"You must learn to possess your souls in patience. You are in association with a revelation of truth which is a part of the natural evolution of religion on this world. Over rapid growth would be suicidal. The book is being given to those who are ready for it long before the day of its world-wide mission. Thousands of study groups must be brought into existence and the book must be translated into many tongues. Thus will the book be in readiness when the battle for man's liberty is finally won and the world is once more made safe for the religion of Jesus and the freedom of mankind."

Much like the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, thousands of study groups will be brought into existence one study group at a time. Have you started yours yet?

David Browe, Mike Wood, Sarah, Svetlana Lambrino, Brad Hanson-Smith, Wanda, Angelique, Bill Martin
Tuesday night study group at 533
Back row: David Browe, Mike Wood, Sarah, Svetlana Lambrino, Brad Hanson-Smith, Wanda, and Angelique
Front row: Bill Martin

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