World Parliament of Religions


Display at The Urantia Book booth

from Tidings, Nov/Dec 2009

It was very exciting to participate in this international meeting as the religions of the world strove to understand each other, in a step towards world peace.

The Parliament is described as:


“… the world’s largest global inter religious event, held once every 5 years in a different city. The Melbourne Parliament will bring together more than 8,000 people from around Australia and across the world including renowned spiritual, religious, civic, academic, and political leaders, along with grassroots participants.”


Parliament of the World’s Religions program overview

Urantia Book readers have attended the last three parliaments — in Chicago, Barcelona (Spain) and Cape Town (South Africa). Anecdotal feedback from these participants is very positive and inspiring. There is little doubt that the Parliament represents a unique opportunity to share the teachings of The Urantia Book with truth seekers and other religionists.

The Parliament is organised by the Global Interfaith movement—encouraging:

“cooperative and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional level with the aim of deriving a common ground in belief through a concentration on similarities between faiths, understanding of values, and commitment to the world.” (source: Wikipedia, “Interfaith”)

The theme of the 2009 Parliament was:

Make a World of Difference: Hearing each other, Healing the earth

We were happy to be involved in this gathering of religionists — we saw this as an amazing opportunity to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book, and meet and socialise with other truth-seekers. We shared this experience with a large group of international readers of The Urantia Book — mainly from the USA – who traveled down under for the Parliament. We readers in Australia, played host to these visitors in our country, and were delighted at the opportunity to share this Parliament experience with them.

What had been organised?

An exhibition booth was booked and erected for the entire Parliament, which displayed and sold The Urantia Book to interested Parliament attendees. Over 150 books were either sold or given to new truth seekers. We had volunteers manning the booth throughout the Parliament.

  • A pre-conference social dinner, was organised for Wednesday 2nd December at Steve Shanahan’s house (local reader) in Hawthorn, a Melbourne suburb. This was a great opportunity for Australian and International readers to gather together and meet before the Parliament began.
  • We presented a workshop on:
    The Urantia Papers – What’s Love got to do with it? Speakers were: Nigel Nunn and William Wentworth. Kathleen Swadling gave a short introduction covering the scope and significance of the content.

We treated this as if it were a once in a lifetime opportunity to share the teachings of

The Urantia Book with truth seekers from around the globe. It was genuine adventure of discovery as each of us learnt more about the faiths of our brothers and sisters. Many new friendships were made. All in all, a most significant event, a real call to action as we discovered anew the underlying truth that we are indeed one human family bonded by love.

Program submission

Unless we desire to make a difference, to help, to hear and to heal, we won’t. But from where comes such a desire? How does one move beyond old attitudes and narrow motivations? How do we get to that place where we become truly interested in each other? How does this interest become friendship, and ripen into love? If we can answer this, we have found the key; for once we love someone, the desire wells up to help, to hear and to heal.
But from where comes this desire to love one another? It appears naturally among family and friends; it builds between neighbours who work together; and it begins between strangers once trust is won. And why is love so powerful, so efficient at resolving the knots in our relationships? To understand this we need to know more about what and who we are.
The Urantia Papers, which we introduced to our brothers and sisters from diverse faith streams offer new answers to these old questions. As well as providing a larger frame in which to think—one to satisfy scientists, philosophers and religionists alike—we now have a fresh perspective on personality.

Our Australian presenters Kathleen Swadling, William Wentworth and Nigel Nunn spoke of the rise and role of love, in each person’s journey as love emanates from the eternal core of the Absolute and resonates directly in the human mind/heart of the individual.

Vern Verass