The 2019 Urantia Book Conference in the Philippines

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Belen Asidao

By Belen Asidao, Illinois, United States

After seven years, beginning in 2013, of propagating The Urantia Book and educating individuals, we saw a qualitative leap within the Filipino Urantia movement. By qualitative leap, I mean the culmination of quantitative work we (Eugene and I at first, and then the readers in the Philippines) have done so far, including: the distribution of The Urantia Book throughout most of the Philippines, finding and visiting individual readers in the various places they reside, encouraging the formation of study groups, developing programs for beginning readers as well as intensive study for leaders and teachers, extending mobilization to family members and friends through social events (Jesus’ birthday has been commemorated for three consecutive years), and developing a master plan.

New possibilities that have recently sprung up as a result of this work include a youth group consisting of 10 young people which was organized about six months before the conference; a women’s group, also recently organized, called Babae (the Tagalog word for woman), with at least seven to ten regular participants who study twice a week via the Facebook Messenger platform; the possibility of regional conferences outside Manila; plans to connect Filipino readers abroad (in the Middle East, the United States, and Australia) via a Zoom conference; and the initiation of the Filipino language translation.

So, after seven years of quantitative progress leading to this qualitative leap, we finally decided that a national conference would be feasible. Urantia Foundation and Urantia Association International helped by donating many books that we disseminated in 2014, 2015, and 2017. In 2018, the Foundation sponsored an intensive study of The Urantia Book by the Metro Manila study group. These preparations culminated in the Filipino Urantia Book readers being ready for their first conference. We thank the Urantia Book Fellowship for encouraging us and sponsoring this event.

The Urantia Book Readers of the Philippines—an informal umbrella organization—held their first National Educational Conference on November 22, 23, and 24, 2019, at the Gems Hotel and Conference Center in Antipolo City. Our objectives were to educate individuals on the basics of The Urantia Book, and to link up and unite different regional groups and supporters in the country. The groundwork of preparing for the national conference took at least 10 months. Almost everyone who attended was involved in the decision making, and even those who are not Filipino speakers helped with the planning.

Day one of the conference, November 22, began with registration, including giving out conference T-shirts and folders with program activities for the next three days. At 3:00 p.m., opening prayers and worship songs were rendered by the Urantia Philippines Youth Cultural Group. This was followed by welcoming remarks, introducing each of the 31 participants with some testimonials on how the book inspired them and changed their lives for the better. At 7:00 p.m., the cultural group sang, and the first speaker, Andre Radatus, international representative of the Fellowship, spoke on the history of The Urantia Book, ending with a question and answer session. The audience listened attentively to truly understand how the book came about.

Day two, November 23, was full from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The topics and the speakers were as follows:

1) “The Plan of God,” on how to live according to God’s plan, with speaker Allan Bancairen. He emphasized the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and its application to service that includes our time, talent, finances, and the teaching “be you perfect as I am perfect.”

2) “Life after Physical Death: The Mansion Worlds and our journey to Paradise,” with speaker Eugene Asidao. He emphasized the universal steps toward eternal life until we are embraced by the Infinite Father in Paradise.

3) “Scientific Evidence in The Urantia Book” with two speakers, Edwin Armonio and Calvin Penaco. They discussed that The Urantia Book has much science in it that has been proven later by scientists.

4) “Who Was Jesus and What Were His teachings?” with speaker Nestor Seda. He gave credence to Jesus’ life as the best model for humanity.

Before and after each speaker’s presentation the youth cultural group sang a heartfelt spiritual song which brought joy and inspiration to our hearts.

Day three, Sunday, November 24, began after breakfast with an open forum, assessing the last few days and writing our plan to build the Urantia movement in the Philippines. The women’s group put together the ideas gathered, and the group was united on the key points.

The 2-year plan includes more formation of study groups of different types.

In 4 to 6 years, the goal is to work on the Filipino translation and continue dissemination of the teachings all over the Philippines.

For 10 years and onward, goals are to start educational institutions, beginning with the elementary level and eventually leading up to a Urantia University of the Philippines. Physical centers in multiple places across the Philippines are also envisioned.

Such an ambitious plan! But imagination, dreams, and free will are given to us by God for free. And, “in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. 132:7.9 (1467.5)

Before the end of the conference, the women’s group read the excerpt on the remembrance supper, after which we sung selections from the 118th Psalm. Then it was time to depart.

After a qualitative leap like a successful conference, more quantitative work needs to be done. The qualitative leap may lead to more members, but unless we develop quality members through more quantitative work such as education in The Urantia Book and ministry, we cannot have the next qualitative leap. Study and ministry must go together, though sometimes study will be the primary focus and at other times ministry will be the primary focus.

We thank everyone in the Urantia movement for all your support. In unity we can envision that the seeds we are planting now will grow, to bring another leap forward in the future.

2019 Urantia Book Philippines Conference
2019 Urantia Book Philippines Conference
Urantia Philippines
Urantia Philippines
Urantia Philippines
Urantia Philippines
Urantia Philippines
Urantia Philippines

Foundation Info

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