The era of virtual study groups and conferences is upon us! With the entire world in lockdown due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, unexpected opportunities have been arising in the Urantia Book reader communities. Readers are discovering how easy it is to meet with other readers from all over the world from the comfort of their own homes! Thanks to conference calling programs such as Zoom, study groups and conferences are happening with very little organisation at virtually no cost.
“Urantiathon” is a new phrase that’s been coined to describe events like the two recent online 24-hour conferences that were held via Zoom and sponsored by Urantia Association International—one on 21st March and the other on 2nd May of this year. Various volunteers around the world took shifts in hosting different segments of the meeting according to their time-zones. Each host acted as an MC where they introduced the speakers, facilitated discussion times, and basically kept things running smoothly.
Those who were able to check in during their “awake” hours would have seen how they operate; 24 hourly presentations were scheduled where the presenter would share their material just as they would in a face-to-face meeting. They were able to present graphics, videos, and Power Point presentations just as they would in a physical meeting, as well as conducting interactive discussions. For those who chose to keep their videos turned on meant that people could see and talk with one an another. So many marvelled at being able to see and catch up with old friends they hadn’t seen in years.
The presentations were recorded and the ones from the first meeting have been uploaded to Urantia Association’s YouTube channel (the second batch are in the process of being prepared for uploading.) Check them out in the Play Lists!
Several regular study groups around Australia and New Zealand have become virtual due to the isolation rules, so now more people are joining in who previously were unable to travel to a group. For information on study groups in our region see the Study Group Contact List on ANZURA’s website.
Personality cannot very well perform in isolation. Man is innately a social creature; he is dominated by the craving of belongingness. It is literally true, “No man lives unto himself.” [Paper 112:1.16, page 1227.6]
Short seasons of retreat from the busy scenes of life may not be seriously dangerous, but prolonged isolation of personality is most undesirable. [Paper 100:5.8, page 1099.6]