Class #1300  |  September 30-October 20, 2018

Interfaith Training Class

"Service together - working with people of all faiths.”


About the Class 

This three-week course is designed to prepare representatives who will participate in the Parliament of the World's Religions to be held in Toronto, November 1 – 7, 2018.  It is also open to any Urantia Book student interested in developing interfaith skills.


The course will focus on interfaith training with two goals:

  1. To develop an awareness of united service in working with people of all faiths, and
  2. To get the most out of outreach opportunities provided by the Parliament of the World's Religions.

Some of the transformative learning that students  will experience in this class:

Week 1 (Sept 30-Oct 6)

Theme:  Interfaith Basics
Led by  Bettina Gray & Peter Laurence

Week one will focus on interfaith basics where the difference between theological debate and positive dialogue and exchange is considered and practiced.  

Week 2 (Oct 7-13)
Theme:  Sacred Listening
Led by  Susan Meyers & Geoff Taylor

Week two will explore the discipline of sacred listening where listening and responding with a spiritual ear and voice is the greatest service to our brothers and sisters in the Family of God.

Week 3 (Oct 14-20)

Theme 1:  Where is Religion and Faith Today?
Theme 2:  Prepare and Present the Urantia Revelation
Led by  Cristina Seaborn & Bruce Jackson

The final week has two parts:

  1. We will give brief attention to understanding where religion and faith is today.  While not an exhaustive study, it is designed to open the door to “on-the-fly” research where Parliament representatives may learn something about other faith expressions beyond the materials presented in The Urantia Book.
  2. We will work on developing two introductory statements: a "quick hit," 2+ minute introduction of The Urantia Book and a 5+ minute invitation to engage in deeper conversation about the revelation.

Finally, this class will endeavor to establish prayer support for each representative attending the Parliament of World Religions in an effort to transform this outreach effort into a unified spiritual experience for Jesusonians.


Learning Outcomes:

#1:  The student will be able to demonstrate using the components of interfaith practice in their interactions with people of “other” faiths.

#2:  The student will be able to dialogue with a good understanding of Interpersonal Interfaith Dialogue.

#3:  The student will be able to describe where religion and faith are today.The student will be able to present their faith/religion using applied studies.


Pre-class preparation (for enrolled students only):


In preparation for the class, choose one faith or religion on which you would like to do a one page comparison with The Urantia Book. Prepare a document with two columns and enter your responses to these questions after doing your research:

  1. What are the basic tenets of this faith/religion? 
  2. How does this compare to quotes from the Urantia Book? 
We would like to compile a notebook with these comparisons for the joint Urantia Book Booth at the Parliament of the World’s Religions 2018. 


Thanks to the Urantia Book Fellowship

This class is being offered through the auspices of the Urantia Book Fellowship to prepare representatives who will participate in the Parliament of the World's Religions to be held in Toronto, November 1 – 7, 2018.

We are grateful for the loving service of this exemplary group of instructors who are both wholehearted and long-term students of The Urantia Book as well as leaders and ambassadors of good will in the interfaith movement. UUI is greatly appreciative of Cristina Seaborn's efforts in developing this class. 


7th Parliament of the World's Religions

The Parliament of the World's Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

To accomplish this, they invite individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.

The Parliament of the World's Religions seeks to promote interreligious harmony, rather than unity. The problem with seeking unity among religions is the risk of loss of the unique and precious character of each individual religious and spiritual tradition; this understanding is key to our framework.

Interreligious harmony, on the other hand, is an attainable and highly desirable goal. Such an approach respects, and is enriched by, the particularities of each tradition. Moreover, within each tradition are the resources (philosophical, theological and spiritual teachings and perspectives) that enable each to enter into respectful, appreciative and cooperative relationships with persons and communities of other traditions.

Toronto will be the host city of the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be convened in November 2018. More than 10,000 people will participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world’s religious communities and cultural institutions.

For more information visit: parliamentofreligions.org



FAQ

After I enroll, what happens next?

  1. Upon enrolling in the class you will receive a confirmation email
  2. Around one week before the class starts, you will receive a reminder email about the start of class.  
  3. A third email with login information for the class will be sent to enrolled students the night before the start date of the class. This email will contain the student's user name and password and the link to Urantia University's Wikispaces classroom.

Can I audit this class?

Yes, the audit option is available for this class. 

Will I get a grade for this class? 

At this time, no grades are given for completing UUI classes. This class has been designed chiefly for personal enrichment and is part of the larger Introduction to The Urantia Book Course. 


   
Course Format 
  • Instructional videos 
  • Assigned readings
  • Learning exercises
  • Written discussion forums in the online classroom
  • Live weekly webinars in UUI's Zoom video conference room (interactive online discussion group)
Required Effort:  One to two hours per week
Consisting of reading and discussion, viewing instructional videos, and a 90-minute weekly webinar. 

    Course Level

    This course is intended for experienced readers of The Urantia Book and the General Council of the Urantia Book Fellowship. It is highly recommended for those attending the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions and those interested in deepening their interfaith education.  

    It is helpful to have read through all or most of The Urantia Book in order to have a more informed and integrated understanding of its major teachings and concepts. A basic understanding of other religious practices would be helpful.


    Instructors:

    Peter Laurence


    Peter has been a student of The Urantia Book since the 1960s and has served on the General Council and as chair of the Fraternal Relations Committee (now the Interfaith Committee) for the Fellowship. He has been involved in interfaith activities outside of the Fellowship since the mid-1980s, when he worked with a group of colleagues (including Bettina Gray) to form the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) and later served as its chair.  Since then Peter has held leadership positions in several national and international interfaith organizations and has been involved as a consultant in planning two of the Parliaments of the World’s Religions and in the formation of the United Religions Initiative.

    Bettina Gray


    Bettina Gray has been a leader in interfaith communications for over 30 years.  She is a co-founder of the North American Interfaith Network, a contributing writer for The Interfaith Observer, and a consultant to several international interfaith programs. As a television producer and interview host, she created The Parliament of Souls, 27 half-hour interviews with religious leaders at the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions which were aired worldwide in over 140 countries. 

    Bettina has keynoted and lectured on world religions and interfaith relations in various settings, including Mills College, University of California (Berkeley), and Graduate Theological Union.  She currently serves as a consultant to the Russell Barrie Fellowship for studies at the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome.

    Susan Meyers


    Susan is grateful to have discovered The Urantia Book and a vibrant community of readers in 1976. Within this faith family she has attended study groups and conferences throughout the world.  Her educational and professional focus areas have been vocal music study and performance, early childhood development and education, and, relatively late in life she trained to facilitate yoga and meditation classes.  

    Susan is the mother of four amazing children and an even dozen of grand ones!  Most recently she has been an active member of Interfaith Tampa Bay (FL, USA) and is learning and practicing Integral Life Practices to live and give most efficiently.  Worship and service are Susan's guideposts.    

    Geoff Taylor


    Geoff is a 70-year-old iterative, innovative, experimentalist techie with a background in Aeronautical Engineering. He has had several pilots’ licenses, built one jet and crashed one ultra-light. Geoff's career as engineer of turbine engines started in Winnipeg Canada, went on to Dallas TX, and then to LA. He grew up Anglican but later dismissed God because he could not see why he needed him. At age 40 he was introduced to The Urantia Book by PhD physicist Irwin Ginsburg. They co-authored a paper on Scientific Predictions in the Urantia Book in 1987 which Geoff updated in 2018. (The correlations have increased from 60% to 80%.) 

    Reading the Urantia Book rekindled Geoff's early Christian roots and took him back “home” to Winnipeg but not before he had traveled the world, been inside three Space Shuttles, and won a couple of Design awards . After returning "home” he and his brother formed Vista Medical, a company that made stretchable pressure sensors for the prevention of bed sores and a few other doo dads. 

    Having sold the business, retired and lost his wife of 43 years to cancer, Geoff is working on the cure. He says that "Crashing that ultra-light in 2003 focused me on the things that matter most; relationships with people, cooperation and harmony." You can check out his personal web page www.ubgeoff.com and his own “Theory of Everything” (incremental improvement).

    Cristina Seaborn


    Cristina is a world class fiddler, violinist, composer, and teaching artist living in Minnesota. Through the many Urantia conferences, she has found her place as a performer and music director for the spiritual upliftment of audiences. She currently serves on the Interfaith Committee of the Urantia Book Fellowship.


    Bruce Jackson


    Bruce is a retired college music teacher and administrator who lives in Columbia, Missouri. He now works as a jazz and contemporary Christian music bassist, cellist, guitarist, and vocalist. Bruce enjoys writing scholarly papers on The Urantia Book, participates in UUI and UBIS classes, and composes prayers, poetry, and music for worship. The UB found him in 1979 when he saw a copy of the book and started reading the opening paragraphs of Paper 1 while listening to Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown. Within 12 hours he found a bookstore in a mall he had never visited and purchased the $25 copy he still reads today. 




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