Urantia Foundation's Global Cultural Symposium

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Claire Mylanus

By Claire Mylanus, associate trustee emeritus, Brittany, France

Finally, it was happening! After almost three years of planning and weeks of anticipation, Marilynn Kulieke, Marta Elders, and I joyously welcomed participants from 12 countries. They travelled from five continents to share a year’s worth of research combined with their personal experiences of introducing the Urantia Revelation into their native cultures. This was a unique gathering, even for Urantia Foundation.

Our goal in sponsoring this symposium had been to help the Foundation gain firsthand knowledge of the evolutionary context of different parts of the world, and to better understand the complexities of disseminating The Urantia Book globally. We pondered how to introduce The Urantia Book to other cultures, taking into consideration their ethnic and national heritage. Obviously, a single, identical approach doesn’t work and could even be counterproductive.

While The Urantia Book is finding its way into the world, on different continents, and in many countries, these cultures are not yet blended and remain distinctively different from one another. We therefore proposed to explore some of them by tapping a few dedicated readers.

We reached out to individuals from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, North America, and Europe. Upon agreeing to spend a year in extensive research and to present their findings to the board of trustees, our participants were given a document filled with categories and relevant quotes from the book to help them prepare.

Here are two of the many quotes which inspired us:

But it is only foolish to attempt the too sudden acceleration of religious growth. A race or a nation can only assimilate from any advanced religion that which is reasonably consistent and compatible with its current evolutionary status, plus its genius for adaptation. Social, climatic, political, and economic conditions are all influential in determining the course and progress of religious evolution. 92:2.4 (1004.7)

And

Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. 52:6.4 (597.5)

More about the Symposium program can be found in the Foundation’s April Newsletter.

It started with a Jeffersonian dinner, led by Marta Elders, seated around a beautiful table decorated by Joanne Strobel. The meal was an array of foods from the 12 different countries, lovingly researched, prepared, and served by Chef Jennifer Siegel. This dinner was the perfect opportunity to get to know one another—and our special foods!

From Friday morning, April 12, until Sunday afternoon, April 14, the event was live-streamed by Gaetan Charland. Each of the participants gave a talk based upon their written paper. They had spent many months researching their cultures and it showed!

Ade Awoyinka−Nigeria

Khat Bernard−Uganda

Sandra Burga-Cisneros−Peru

Enrique Traver−Brazil

Widi Nugroho−Indonesia

Belen and Eugene Asidao− The Philippines

Mark Khoury−Lebanon

Mahtab Tehrani−Iran

Gabriel Rymberg−Israel

Line St-Pierre−Canada

Anton Miroshnichenko−Ukraine

Claire Mylanus−Europe

NOTE: A recording of the full presentations may be seen on the YouTube channel of Urantia Foundation. Go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3z3tEociOK5VVU1DNLgW0Q/videos

Please watch them. They are educational and interesting—an open door to the rest of the world!

It wasn’t “all work and no play.” There were warm exchanges and great discussions between the participants. We enjoyed musical entertainment by Bob Solone. Sunday evening was a “Taste of Chicago” as we dined on the 55th floor of the Siegels’ Chicago residence. There we enjoyed breathtaking views while we sampled Chicago-style hot dogs, pizzas, and other delectable foods and beverages. Thank you, Jennifer and Mo, for your generous hospitality and a wonderful evening!

Our committee is grateful to Urantia Foundation for making the Symposium possible. Special thanks go to Gard Jameson, chair of the Education Committee, who supported this project from the beginning. Special thanks go to Joanne, who worked behind the scenes on the travel, logistics, and internal organization. She and the staff also hosted a delightful afternoon tea party to welcome our guests on Thursday.

We give special thanks to Jennifer for serving memorable meals with her unique and creative flair. And we deeply appreciate Gaétan Charland for his hours of recording.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to each of the participants who traveled great distances to share their personal experiences of living and disseminating the teachings of the revelation!

Khatukhira Bernard, Anton Miroshnichenko, Ade Awoyinka, Gard Jameson, Sandra Burga-Cisneros, Claire Mylanus, Gabriel Rymberg, Mo Siegel, Eugene Asidao, Chris Wood, David Kulieke, Enrique Traver, Suely Traver, Mark Khoury, Judy Van Cleave, Line St-Pierre, Marta Elders, Gaétan Charland,  Widi Nugroho, Henk Mylanus, Geraldo Queiroz, Marilynn Kulieke, Belen Asidao, Jennifer Siegel, Joanne Strobel
Back: Khatukhira Bernard, Anton Miroshnichenko, Ade Awoyinka, Gard Jameson, Sandra Burga-Cisneros, Claire Mylanus, Gabriel Rymberg, Mo Siegel, Eugene Asidao, Chris Wood, David Kulieke, Enrique Traver, Suely Traver, Mark Khoury, Judy Van Cleave, Line St-Pierre, Marta Elders, Gaétan Charland, Widi Nugroho
Front: Henk Mylanus, Geraldo Queiroz, Marilynn Kulieke, Belen Asidao, Jennifer Siegel, Joanne Strobel
Widi Nugroho
Widi Nugroho
Sandra Burga-Cisneros
Sandra Burga-Cisneros
Gabriel Rymberg
Gabriel Rymberg
Mark Khoury
Mark Khoury
Line St-Pierre
Line St-Pierre
Anton Miroshnichenko
Anton Miroshnichenko

Foundation Info

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