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Are study groups important?


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#1 Mario

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:48 AM

Are Study Groups Important?

This question came up in a discussion list a few years ago.
And how various people responded:

Yes. Study groups serve several functions. They enhance understanding of the concepts in the book, encourage and inspires us by contact with fellow readers, serve as a check to prevent us from getting carried away by our own perspectives, etc.
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Study groups are part of the design for the dissemination of the teachings of The Urantia Book on our planet. Study groups enable new readers to benefit from the experience of seasoned readers. They enable seasoned readers to be enlightened by the insights and wonderful questions of beginners. And they enable both groups to realize that the difference between beginners and seasoned readers is eclipsed in the joy of our spirit equality.
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Yes, to air the revelation in front of peers in order that misinterpretations do not go unchallenged. And as a socializing agent for believing siblings, an affirmation that we agree that this is truly a revelation from the agencies that reveal God and his plans to the universes. As a catalyst for action and fraternity, for within the study group movement lay the seeds for an unprecedented Organization of the future that will take Urantia by love.
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Attending a study group is very important. It engages your personality in social exercise, it leads you to commit to a periodic length of time to reflect on the only things of real importance in life, and it lets the light of your candle touch the wicks of those whose candle has not yet flared to its potential. Personalities don't function in solitude, so when two people or more get together, there is the mind of Jesus among them. Not only that, but study groups are enlightening, enriching, and fun. Go find one, and participate vigorously!
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Yes! They are VERY important to me! They help me socialize my interpretation of the book, and they provide me with a social outlet of friends whom I truly LOVE as my dearest brothers and sisters. They are my family!
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Isolated reading as I see it can sometimes lead to poor comprehension, where as many voices at the table usually leads to better understanding and service.
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Essential. I believe the great value of study groups is in the bonding of the brotherhood through sharing, clarifying, and enhancing our understanding of the truths we garner and internalize from the book...and are hopefully becoming in increasing measure.
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Yes! Study groups are very important when they enlarge our concepts of spiritual and cosmic realities. A more intelligent and civilized world depends on our knowledge of and personal experience with spiritual realities. But the theory of The Urantia Book is useless, even a detriment, without practical application. A mature study group will model better ways of communicating across differences. And when study groups become dreadfully serious, they will create warm hospitality and fun for a balance.
It's always about balance, isn't it? And study groups are only one part of a balanced approach to spiritual growth. I believe that it's also important to study alone, listen to and reflect with the spirit within. It also helps to write or create art or music about spiritual experiences. We need to commune with and worship God in a way that is sincere and natural. Very importantly, we need to find our passion, our gift from God and dedicate that gift to serving others. Most importantly, we need to really love at least one person unconditionally.[/left]
[left]For a study group to be important, it will center its study and activities on the personal experience of divine love.
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They improve the reality response and UB acculturation and pursue the revelatory experience in day-to-day life.
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For me, the most important study groups are the ones we have within families. There is no better way to help the next generation's lives than by making the time to study these marvelous teachings with our children. Yes, we often have to adapt and select the material to relate to their level. However, the payoffs are big. What possible thrill could be bigger for a parent than to see the love for their Creator also reflected in the eyes of your child! All study groups are important; family study is the most important.
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Study groups are important because they are our (The Urantia Revelation's) social framework. The term that describes this social framework in The Urantia Book is cult. One of the dictionaries definitions of a cult is: A usually small circle of persons united by devotion or allegiance to an artistic or intellectual movement or figure. The UB advises: "The cult is the skeletal structure around which grows the living and dynamic body of personal spiritual experience--true religion." And, "No cult can survive if it retards moral growth and fails to foster spiritual progress." (pg 966-5) Further, "True religion is the only power which can lastingly increase the responsiveness of one social group to the needs and sufferings of other groups." (pg 1087-2)
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Yes. Need interaction with other readers to exchange understandings, plus socializing.
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Often, when individuals seek to gain a deep appreciation and understanding of the teachings of The Urantia Book, they find it helpful to study the book with others. The local, informal study group is the place where teamwork is forged and spiritual growth is fostered; it is the primary social and educational arena for disseminating the teachings of The Urantia Book. Much is gained from sharing insights, interpretations, experiences, and understandings with others, therefore many people enjoy attending study groups in their local areas.

#2 Mario

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:51 AM

Or,

Why were the early leaders of the Urantia movement asked to form thousands of study groups?

#3 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 03:48 PM

Hi,

I don't know why the early leaders of the Urantia movement were asked to form 1000s of s.g.

I do have a comparative experience to share though. I read the UB 12 years before I ever found another reader! This was a loooong time before the Internet. I wrote the Foundation to find out if there were readers in my area. I found out there were 2 s.g. in my region. The trouble for me was that I felt inadequate as far as my self-image and self-esteem went, so I felt incapable of facing a group of people reading this awesome book. I felt incapable of discussing an intelligent thought. Anyway. And besides there were other reasons.

So. Other things happened and time passed and I continued to read in isolation over the years until, I came to the idea to form a s.g. and did so in 1991. We are now in our 17th year. We meet once a week Thursday evenings. We've read the book through cover to cover 3 or 4 times. Our habit has been to start at the beginning and go to the end.

I know what it is like to read alone. Reading/studying the UB in a group multiplies comprehension and insight. Interesting questions are asked. And you get a shot at giving an answer. Hearing the questions and the answers is fascinating. Makes you think a little harder. It's a real shared experience.

So I say yes to s.g. But other people don't care to study that way. And that's okay too. People have their reasons.

#4 Guest_rich_*

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 02:09 PM

when i was in philly group there was no study group in the whole metropolitan area for the last many years and i did just fine without it. obviously nothing is all that important, i have to find good ways to spend my time regardless of whether or not i get any urantia book connections of any kind like study groups or on-line forums. but they're nice to have.

Are Study Groups Important?

This question came up in a discussion list a few years ago.
And how various people responded:

Yes. Study groups serve several functions. They enhance understanding of the concepts in the book, encourage and inspires us by contact with fellow readers, serve as a check to prevent us from getting carried away by our own perspectives, etc.



#5 Jose Alberto Wonsover

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:20 AM

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How beautiful are the Study Groups and how important is it, is one of the most wonderful and effective way to learn together, to share with others, to growth up, to socialize, to express our own opinions - even when someone is desagree with us - to armonizate our thoughts and prayers with others... Anyway, to be better. 

And I was thinking about few interesting points that I found throught The Urantia Book. The first point the I was thinking is why is so important the study  groups? Why like a strong feeling of share with others has sprung up inside us? 

And I found this interesting quote:  «Mortals come from races that are very social. The Creators well know that it is "not good for man to be alone," and provision is accordingly made for companionship, even on Paradise.» The Urantia Book teachings, Document 25:8.4

We are not just only "social"... We are very social!, and one important thing is to take advantage of this, isn't it?

#6 Nigel Nunn

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

We are not just only "social"... We are very social!, and one important thing is to take advantage of this, isn't it?


Thanks Jose Alberto, and for the fine picture! For me, trying to express an idea amongst company seems to add value (to personally enrich?) the mere thinking about.

Nigel

#7 Jose Alberto Wonsover

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:54 AM

Hi Nigel, thanks to you Also I was thinking about a nice quote that say...

Posted Image

«Always make a difference» That sounds to me like a challenge, isn't it? not only at the begining but rather for every single day.... Always means always!

What are those things that sets us to make a difference to do better things? Or we do the almost the samethings in our meetings and study groups? What kind of new things can bring into study groups to consider really new and refreshing. 

Even in study groups could be so easy to standardization and crystallize in routine, in mutual believes, even of socialization, is so easy. Is our study groups become crystallize by the same rutine?... The challenge for us is re-novate, to introduce New features, to BE and always make a difference! =)

It remember me a wonderful new that was introduced by John the Babtist...

There was still another and a new feature about the work of this Nazarite preacher: He baptized every one of his believers in the Jordan "for the remission of sins. Although baptism was not a new ceremony among the Jews, they had never seen it employed as John now made use of it. It had long been the practice thus to baptize the gentile proselytes into the fellowship of the outer court of the temple, but never had the Jews themselves been asked to submit to the baptism of repentance." UB 135:6.4

Edited by Jose Alberto Wonsover, 02 March 2012 - 08:57 AM.


#8 Alina

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

Hi all!
Hi Jose!

You probably already know this page which I copy below
I find it interesting also think it could serve the forum participants and guests.
Actually I do not know if the names of colombians readers are the same as there are now.
However, the content itself seems instructive. I think it could serve as a guide for those starting
a study group.What do you think? Could add some more comment?

Saludos querido amigo!
Qué estés bien!

Graciela
***



Importance of the Study Groups of the Urantia Book

Carlos Zapata
Bogota


In this short presentation to inform students of UB the importance of the study groups. Be vital for
the Fifth Revelation of the day to succeed and become engine of transformation in the world, it is
essential that through many study groups progress to creating personal and group influence of family,
work and human institutions."THE experience of dynamic religious living transforms the mediocre individual into a personality of idealistic power. Religion ministers to the progress of all through fostering the progress of each individual, and the progress of each is augmented through the achievement of all"(1094.1)

Introduction

Since the beginning of Urantia Movement has expressed much interest in the method could be chosen to study and make known the revelation of the Fifth Age. In this paper I intend to describe just some of the points that have been treated.Study Circles CELURAN Urantia Book is a group of readers engaged in the study group information and their wishes are to strengthen the bonds of all students of The Urantia Book. We will soon have a website on study groups where we will be giving more information.Contact The commission stated that in his farewell revelations made some suggestions and recommendations, including touched these points:
That revelation is transmitted from person to person.
To consider the Revelation through small study groups of 3 to 7 people for each of the participants had a chance to intervene.The only study that UB to avoid confusion.That will take practice personal religion.

Why study groups?

With the best intentions and in accordance with the evolutionary development of the world, religions have imposed on mental ability and free will of men, their mandates, dogmas and precepts are considered as divine commands or are universal laws that should be followed . This is not to underestimate their values. Admittedly, it is the spiritual foundation of humanity which, reassessed and analyzed by an open mind and aware of the Heavenly Father will bring forth the greatest truths of all religions and beliefs of the world Scientific advances and research in all fields of human knowledgeweare bringing intellectual clarity where increasingly cleared beliefs and
unfounded fears. Revealing Orvonton Commission because they felt that was sent to our world, the right time had come to irrigate new knowledge to bring greater clarity and progress to our planet.

This implies a change in the habits of access to spiritual knowledge, no other leave our spiritual responsibility, we are each responsible for our own progress toward eternal life. The UB guide and enlighten us. We face the facts of life, we give meaning and discern the values found. The man who seeks God is ready for the encounter with The Urantia Book that undoubtedly will lead to an encounter with the God of his own being (Thought Adjuster) doing the will of Him, will bring amazing changes to your life.Studying in a group where all are friends united bythe spirit and sharing lessons, is the occasion that will bring untold benefits.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY GROUP.

1. SPIRITUAL

-Practice a personal religion In the study groups learn to develop personal religion that teaches the Book of Urantia.

"... Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary origin; it represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions..."(1104.4)

Personal religion is very different from formal religions in the world today. It is the friendship between the individual and the divine. That bond of friendship you must look for the believer of this religion is personal and widely described in the Book of Urantia. The fact is that it is deprived of intermediaries between the person and the Heavenly Father who dwells in our mind, does not need places or particular objects of reverence to commune with him, no words, no rituals, only the sincerity of heart and faith without doubt the Father who fills our lives. Walking through it we find the meanings of intellectual values, moral and spiritual needs of our experiences.
It also tells us:

"Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend
solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual
mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual
renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively
devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply
the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world."(2082.9)

"The modern age will refuse to accept a religion which is inconsistent with facts and out of harmony with its highest conceptions of truth, beauty, and goodness. The hour is striking for a rediscovery of the true and original foundations of present-day distorted and compromised Christianity — the real life and teachings of Jesus"(2083.1)


Our contribution to the Supreme

A first step is to think of our personal development goals and ideals in pursuit of perfection. A second step is to look for collective progress goals, ie how we can work with the Supreme Being. By extending our framework, the Fifth Revelation reveals to us the importance of being sociable, worrying about the family, meet and help raise awareness and reach the ideal citizens a real world understanding and, last but not least, we think that we will integrate a cosmic citizenship.
We are called to work actively to collaborate with the Supreme Being, that is our strong contribution to the progress of human institutions in preparation for entry to be citizens of the universe.

"The great challenge that has been given to mortal man is this: Will you decide to personalize the experiencible value meanings of the cosmos into your own evolving selfhood? or by rejecting survival, will you allow these secrets of Supremacy to lie dormant, awaiting the action of another creature at some other time"(1284.6)

a. The wisdom of the group:

The Spirit of Truth that Jesus left us will be enlightening the group achieving wisdom together to pursue a higher degree of understanding difficult concepts, ie better than a reader could achieve alone.

b. Strengthens the study:

When we attend a regular study group, we will not put aside the book for long periods. Stimulation of group participants, revive the interest of every reader asleep. Exercise intellectual and spiritual understanding becomes a process of high ideals transformers Urantia will practice the teachings in the life of each person.

c. Learning new tasks:

The group is where new ideas and ideals, the world is waiting for a transformation and the Urantia
Movement groups are the way that the Father has created for reaching a new era of human progress.

Each group of Urantia is a laboratory that is developing the process of global change.

Maybe we like it too presumptuous, but the new revelation that is contained in The Urantia Book, leads us to practice his teachings and our influence on our environment propitiate progress and spiritual growth.

The fields of action are mainly: The personal transformation that will lead to a better family life, work, and social.

However, this requires intelligence, divine inspiration, and tactfully, we can only practice at personal, will later be an influence on those around us and try to imitate.

d. Avoid extremism:

The study group avoids falling into the trap that one person may have previously acquired whose background may be directed to other preconceived interpretations that hinder clear interpretation of the Book of Urantia. Armed with the opinions of team members sharing the doubts and concerns may be correct misinterpretations, if the purposes are sincere and seeking the Truth.

3. SOCIAL

The Urantia social group meets Many Purposes as:a. fraternity:The practice of the commandment that Jesus left us, "Love God above all else and neighbor as yourself". Must We practice universal love, is refreshing and uplifting fellowship with like-minded people Spiritually. Regular me picture of Revelation encourages fellow students to our souls and less vulnerable to Makes Us criticism from hardliners who are less spiritual or close to us.

b. Organization to act:

Can Have Many Urantia group ideas. There is great power for good That lies dormant in our movement, Some Have Begun Placing Urantia Books, giving a new and refreshing view on death, publishing newsletters outreach, Organizing conferences, workshops, etc ... The UB says That a group of people when to put Their Efforts in a company, the power available in the company is bigger than the sum of the powers of Each of the people in it.
Undoubtedly our unseen friends will guide our group to Greater creativity and success, if we put our hands in the group and it becomes available.

c. Readers networks and centers of groups:

No one can predict the future of our movement accurately, but the presence of hundreds of study groups, suggesting the possibility of building things that can be greater than the sum of its parts. The influence of each group will produce changes to the spiritual unity of the world.

d. Religions and beliefs and the Urantia Movement:

If groups are a hotbed of Urantia, which practices the ideals of life begins to develop an influence on people of other groups that in turn influence their groups bringing better vision of life, this will bring forth its truths and take to religious unity.

http://www.urantiacolombia.com

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Edited by Alina, 18 May 2012 - 08:05 PM.





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