A Urantia Book Booth at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
James Woodward

By James Woodward, California, United States

The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and The Urantia Book have some things in common. Both were inaugurated in Chicago; both have a mission of expanding humanity’s knowledge about religion and philosophy; and both continue to gather momentum among truth seekers around the world.

The first Parliament (a name for a gathering of leaders) took place in 1893 in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. That event is now considered the birth of formal interreligious dialogue worldwide. Sometimes referred to as the interfaith movement, it is a growing trend among progressive religionists who take pleasure in exploring the common elements that flow through traditional religions and spiritual paths. That first gathering in Chicago witnessed high priests, swamis, tribal chiefs, and many other religious leaders discovering that they all were seeking a greater understanding of the Divine. The Parliament was resurrected for a centennial celebration, became structured as a non-profit with a board of diverse leaders, and again convened in Chicago in 1993. Since then, Johannesburg, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; and Melbourne, Australia, have hosted the gathering about every five years. This October an estimated 10,000 persons will attend the Parliament, which will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.

Readers of The Urantia Book have been attending Parliaments since 1993. There were several Urantia-themed presentations included in the Melbourne program, and there may be more this year. At least five proposals have been submitted to the organizing committee. And again this year, as in Melbourne in 2009, Urantia Foundation, The Urantia Book Fellowship, and Urantia Association International are cooperating in efforts to support an information booth featuring Urantia Books, educational materials, and, of course, friendly volunteers to interact with interested seekers.

The event runs from October 15 to 19 and will include speeches by well-known and respected religious leaders, hundreds of spiritually themed workshops and presentations, and stage performances representing the music and artistry of a diversity of religious cultures. Also featured is the expo hall where one may find information booths about every religion and spiritual path under the sun. Our booth, simply named The Urantia Book, will be located very near the entrance, which should afford great visibility and the opportunity to introduce the book and its teachings to lots of active religionists.

My personal experience at the Parliament in Melbourne remains a highlight of my religious journey. The combination of camaraderie with my Urantia Book reader friends, the pageantry of the nightly performances, the thought-provoking speeches and workshops, and the exhilaration of mingling with so many people of such diverse religious backgrounds, were memorable and soul-enriching.

To find out more about the mission of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, you can visit their website: www.parliamentofreligions.org. If you are interested in attending the Parliament this fall, it would be wise to register now as the fee will increase at the end of March. And if you have an interest in volunteering with Urantia Book students at the event, you may contact Cristina Seaborn at [email protected], who chairs the Fellowship’s Interfaith Committee, James Woodward at [email protected], who is organizing the efforts of Urantia Association, or Joanne Strobel at [email protected], who is assisting facilitation for Urantia Foundation.

Foundation Info

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Urantia Foundation, 533 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: +1-773-525-3319; Fax: +1-773-525-7739
© Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved