Information Centers – A Discussion Paper

A Religious Trend

Pew Research Center in August 2023 found that about 28% of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated, describing themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular”. This group is often called the “nones”. The survey data shows, a) Most nones believe in God or another higher power, but very few go to religious services regularly. b) Most say religion does some harm, but many also think it does some good. They are not uniformly anti-religious.

This none bloc has grown from about 5% of Americans in the early 1990s to nearly 30% today. The majority of nones once identified themselves as Christians. And it is estimated that church congregations have decreased in number by about 40 million.

Where will these people now find their religious solace? How will they find avenues for social and philosophic sharing? The world is in need of groups of people aspiring to highest values that override class and racial lines, with hope for a better society beyond the deteriorating factors prevailing today.

With the social changes, varying in each age group, religion has to attract people anew in today’s clamoring society. How is religion to function practically in people’s lives? If we consider that The Urantia Book would have some appeal to these cohorts, then what can be done to make the existence of the book known to them?

The Spiritual Challenge

The revelation is administered by the Urantia Foundation, and its outreach social program is conducted by Urantia Association International. Each organization is well established and have structures to maintain and present The Urantia Book to interested individuals.

Although each has a strong web presence, they suffer from the usual restrictions imposed by their organizational formats. Do either of these organizations reach out to the wider community? This need not be a promotional effort but perhaps a function of providing information in a general sense.

Is it now timely to advise the world that a revelation has been given to mankind? Even if people show little interest, even if it would not generate a surge in personal spiritual quests, perhaps it will fundamentally alter the human perception of the purpose of life and the scope of the universe.

And perhaps the world may start to wisely identify some of the main problem areas currently faced by civilization, and sincerely seek solutions.

A Urantia Information Center

Centrally organized Information Centers might provide a grassroots approach by small groups to engage in general outreach and social media activity. A minimal structure of local leadership and management would be required. In most cases it would be a formalization of activity already being done by local organizations and study groups, but on a more proactive basis. It could be done at minimal cost, with records kept.

New procedures to communicate to the various levels of interest would be an ongoing task. Manuals, guidelines, aims, information packages, and related derivative works can be developed. At all times it should be noted that it is an information service only. It does not provide counselling, referral, or advisory services.

Some of the primary requirements for people to have would be:

  • an excellent understanding of The Urantia Book,
  • able to refer people to a section of the book of immediate

relevance to their enquiry,

  • answer questions about the origin and status of the book and its teachings,
  • knowledge of the work of the Urantia Foundation, Urantia Association, and other Urantia organizations,
  • knowledge of the functioning of Urantia Book forums  

and all aspects of social media,  

  • refer people to an appropriate Urantia organization or nominated

person in the local area for ongoing contact,

  • communication skills.

Plan B

Could this plan be about a Urantia Association International Information Center? The Urantia Association does have a Long-Range Plan. Details of this are included in its 2023 Annual Report under the heading of Looking Ahead:

“The first step in our Long-Range Plan (LRP) is working together to assist our constituents in over 30 countries by identifying their needs and setting up ways to help all of them accomplish the mission. This objective is now highlighted in the plan as mentioned in the December Tidings.

“One of the first goals is for constituents to work together and share their common experiences in order to improve the effectiveness of our organization. 

“The second front of the LRP is to establish strategies in countries where we do not have a National or Local Association and then work hard to build one. This is how we can ensure that we reach every single corner of the world to disseminate the teachings.

“This is a highly challenging project that will require a lot more resources and volunteers than we currently have available, but we are confident in your ongoing support of these ambitious plans.

“Regular meetings are being held to discuss how best to actualize these plans. Special committees are being formed to focus on specific aspects such as developing a more interactive and engaging mentorship platform and making it more accessible to everyone. Another is to find volunteers well-versed in The Urantia Book to engage with budding truth seekers. We will continue to report on our progress throughout the year.”

What Services Will These Institute Students Provide?

The Urantia University Institute is is a global center of study and service dedicated to ‘training teachers and farseeing leaders, and fostering a spiritual community with cosmic ideals based on truths in The Urantia Book’.

The Institute states:

“Following several years of development and testing by a team of curriculum developers and experienced students from the major Urantia organizations, The Urantia Book Teacher Education Program (TEP) is now accepting applications for the 2024 – 2025 academic year.

“The hybrid one-year training program features a five-day, in-person orientation and training session at Urantia Foundation, followed by three trimesters of online study and weekly training and discussion sessions on Zoom. It is designed for people who are serious students of the Urantia revelation with a track record of participation in study groups and Urantia Book education.”

These people should become well qualified to manage Information Centers.

In Conclusion

Information Centers would provide an opportunity to ‘control the narrative’. The revelation is at a precarious stage. It currently remains primarily a person-to-person contact format which is offering a degree of protection to its mission.

As discussion expands to a less informed audience, a whole range of responses is becoming evident. That is, the book and its readers are getting all sorts of comments about its authenticity and role, and the readers themselves. Rather than let any such adverse directions escalate, some form of ‘official’ outreach program needs to exist.

Think of the tens of thousands of people around the world presently paid to set and sell agendas, protect vested interests, and cancel people and organizations who speak out against a controlled position on any topic. This is a powerful and negative instrument that is usually being used against truth, and could even target the revelation. Such a setback would extend over a long period of time. Our planetary history shows that the partial default of revelations is not uncommon.

There are many people who are ready to find the book but who are unaware of it, and unable to discover it online or through a friend. Try searching for such a record of truth. By not informing the world about the book, we are denying people the opportunity to discover truth and possibly advance their ascension careers.

As Usual the Book Gives Us a Beautiful Summation:

Urantia society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world’s history, needs carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civili­za­tion to another, from one level of culture to another. 99:1.3 (1086.6)