Teamwork: A Virtual Conference Experience

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Lourdes Burga-Cisneros

By Lourdes Burga-Cisneros, President, Urantia Association of Peru

Editor's Note: Urantia Foundation was pleased to sponsor and participate in Urantia Association's 11th International Conference, hosted by the Urantia Association of Peru. A panel of Spanish revision team members hosted a workshop on Sunday to announce the new revision of El libro de Urantia. Lourdes describes below the valiant efforts of the team to orchestrate this wonderful event.

The 11th Urantia Association International Conference took place April 24–25, 2021. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, attendees weren’t able to come to Cusco, Peru, but Cusco came to them for an unforgettable virtual experience.

At first we were very disappointed about not having the event on site. The plan of making it happen in Cusco began in 2015, we started working on it in 2017, and after three years of hard work we had to cancel everything! But, at a certain point we thought: It needs to be done anyway!

After generating momentum and consecrating our wills to doing something for the glory of the Father, we were not going to give up. No way! So we decided to adapt and be resilient. We realized that we could not only reach many Urantia Book readers from around the world, but also new readers and truth seekers who might appreciate the teachings of The Urantia Book.

Planning the virtual conference certainly presented a great challenge. We had to work on quality content for every type of audience, so that concepts, ideas, and truths would be understood by everyone. We also had to come up with a program that wouldn’t be boring due to its virtuality; had a degree of interaction; included images of Cusco and the opportunity to virtually explore parts of it; considered speakers of all ages representing almost every continent; had inspiring presentations and practical workshops; could be translated into four languages (English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish); and would reduce our original program of three days to two. And all of it with the intent that such an event would truly be a unique opportunity to convene and unite. That’s why we chose the theme, “Towards Cosmic Citizenship.”

There was a great deal of organizing and technical work. Thankfully we were assisted by more than a hundred volunteers. By the end, we surpassed our original expectations. There were 1,967 people who registered. About 500 of them were new readers. Close to 1,000 were Latin Americans and Spanish speakers, but there were also people from nearly every corner of the world.

This virtual conference set a precedent for future online events. Of course, it wasn’t free from mistakes, but in the end, we could say it was a well-done job of teamwork!

Jeffrey Wattles
Jeffrey Wattles

The Down-to-Earth Art of Cosmic Citizenship

Editor’s Note: Here is an excerpt from one of the presentations given on the first day by Jeffrey Wattles, Ohio, USA.

God is spirit, but the Creator works on material and intellectual levels as well. The Urantia Book teaches us many ways to coordinate, integrate, and unify these levels. My conference presentation touched on the concepts of cosmic mind (16:6), cosmic truth (2:7), and the importance of understanding how to effectively apply these concepts to the down-to-earth facts of daily life.

Cosmic citizens establish spiritual goals as their top priority. I laid out these goals as the following:

1. Become and be like God

2. Truth, beauty, and goodness

3. The gospel movement

4. Unity in loving service with other followers of Jesus

A good citizen is a responsible member of a community structured by laws. A good cosmic citizen is a member of the universal family, whose loving and merciful Father is also the sovereign lawgiver. His love and mercy bring joy; his laws teach discipline. This joy puts every competing emotion into the shadows!

You can read more from Jeffrey on his latest blog, “Survival Value in the Peru Conference” on

Marian Hughes
Marian Hughes

A Long-Distance View of Peru

Editor’s Note: Following is a reflection from a charter member of Urantia Association International and conference attendee, Marian Hughes, Hawaii, USA.

My husband and I registered for the event as soon as we could. We were excited to cross off Cusco and Machu Picchu from our bucket list. The timing would be perfect for us to stop in Peru on our way back from our second home in southern Chile. We thought it would be fun to learn and experience more about the path of the Andite migration to Peru, and the establishment of their religious headquarters on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Since the pandemic had not yet taken hold, we began our extended journey.

We were stuck in Chile when all the flights stopped, and we experienced the same disappointment that so many others did when the Peru team was forced to cancel the in-person conference and move to a virtual format. We were promptly refunded our hotel and conference fees, while Lourdes and her team regrouped in a valiant attempt to do what has never been done before at an international Urantia conference. Her informative opening talk and stunning video footage of Cusco and Machu Picchu immediately took the sting out of not being there in person.

The Andite open-boat travelers took many years to reach Easter Island and then the Andes. The fact that Urantia Book readers from all over planet 606 could be connected electronically at the same time, speaks volumes about how far we have progressed as a civilization!

Urantia Association's 11th International Conference, Peru
Urantia Association's 11th International Conference, hosted by the Urantia Association of Peru
Urantia Association's 11th International Conference, Peru
Urantia Association's 11th International Conference, hosted by the Urantia Association of Peru

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