The Christ Experiment No. 8
PLANET-WIDE UNITY INITIATIVE
BACKGROUND AND OBSERVATION
The community of readers of The Urantia Book (“UB) is currently going through an intense struggle in pursuit of unity. While unity is certainly desired, the path to unity is obscure. The efforts to date are bearing limited fruit and the best that has been accomplished thus far is cooperation by the three major UB organizations, but not spiritual unity.
We hear from many longtime readers who are put off by this lack of unity and who find themselves alone and without a spiritual fellowship. As more and more Bible readers open up to the UB, they, too, are expressing disappointment at not finding the type of brotherhood that should exist among UB readers, and they are baffled at the limited focus on our Sovereign Christ Michael and his bestowal mission.
There are those, however, who have managed to form local reading and ministry groups, and are doing what they can to foster unity. These individuals and groups are mostly selfgoverned. There is no centralized authority directing or correcting their activities. Yet there is a great advantage to being united “in mind and in thought” as encouraged by the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 1:10) – a type of unity without uniformity.
We believe that if UB readers around the world were united in mind and in thought in the actual teachings of Jesus, then the good news will spread faster. And we will develop a worldwide spiritual brotherhood of leaders and teachers who, as the UB states, will “supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.” (UB 195:9.4) As Jesus said, when the good news of the kingdom is preached throughout the world, then the end of sorrow, suffering and injustice will come. (Matthew 24:7-14)
So we wondered: What can be done to foster unity without demanding uniformity? What can be done to unite the UB readership and develop a spiritual brotherhood based on the life and teachings of Jesus as he intended?
In response, we propose this Planet-wide Unity Initiative (“PUI”), an experiment of reading the 77 Papers of Part IV of UB, together as a united international spiritual brotherhood.
To that end, we created a reading schedule that designates a certain paper to be read each week beginning with Paper 120 during the week of July 2, 2017 and ending with Paper 196 during the week of January 6, 2019. It is our hope that UB readers around the world will set aside some time to read the designated paper as a means of solidarity with all other readers who will be reading the same material during the same week.
The reading schedule is not intended to usurp or replace any current reading schedule of any study group. We are proposing additional personal reading, although any study group could choose to follow the PUI Reading Schedule if they wish.
To make the reading even more enjoyable, we will be finalizing the production of our videos on the 77 Papers in Part IV and linking them to the reading schedule. We intend to have each video ready for each week's reading. If you enjoy these videos, please consider making small periodic donations to support the continuing production of the videos. As of June 2017, we have about 60 more videos to produce.
We encourage other ministries and websites to feel free to translate the PUI Reading Schedule, if needed, and publish it on your websites and/or share it with your study groups. You can also translate and/or publish a link to this experiment to help your members and associates understand what the experiment is all about. And we are happy to work with translators to create the Part IV videos in any of the languages that the UB has been translated into. If you are able to assist with the translations, please contact us.
Based on the above, we hypothesize that if the global UB readership read together Part IV of the UB, we will be more united, have more in common, be more Jesus-oriented, be more ministry-oriented, and will attract and develop many new readers.
We envision UB readers chatting on line about the week’s reading, discussing it in forums, and knowing that when we meet fellow readers in person, even though we may have never met, we already have something in particular in common. We also envision talks and conferences and other gatherings where the week’s reading is briefly discussed, in addition to the main topics. And since Part IV is all about the life and teachings of Jesus, we will all be developing the mind of Christ together, sharpening each other and building one another up as we progress through the Schedule.
Another probable benefit is that our Seraphim, the Angels of Progress, and the United Midwayers will be able to more effectively work with us, and for us, by coordinating events, encounters, and opportunities, knowing in advance what will be on our minds. Imagine how many more fruitful encounters we will have as we offer ourselves willingly in the Master’s Ministry!
We further hypothesize that this new experiment, along with the annual united commemoration of The Remembrance Supper, will quicken the progress of our planet by developing a planet-wide spiritual brotherhood that will lead us more directly to light and life.
This experiment will be conducted from July 2, 2017 through January 12, 2019. To participate in this experiment, simply read the suggested paper each week as indicated on the PUI Reading Schedule. If possible, get others to participate with you. Initially, we want to know:
1. Do you believe the experiment will foster unity? Why or why not?
2. Are you willing to consistently participate?
Throughout the experiment, we will propose some ministry projects to find others to read along with you. We also suggest that you make a journal of any interesting experiences you have in connection with the experiment and feel free to share your experiences with us, such as:
3. Did the experiment give you a feeling of community?
4. Were you able to develop new friendships?
5. Did your ministry expand?
6. Did the experiment change your spiritual outlook or your goals?
At the end of the experiment, we will assess what occurred based on the feedback we receive, and we will post those findings, along with future related proposals. We look forward to your feedback and your participation in this planet-wide unity effort.
Your Family in the Faith,
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