Hi. I’m Alice Wood, president of Greater Lake Michigan Urantia Association and the creator of the YouTube channel, Urantia Life Lessons. I’ll be the facilitator of the new group GROWING TOGETHER. I am really excited about this group because it gives Urantia Book students who are separated by distance a chance to interact consistently and with a shared purpose — to bring to life the teachings of truth, beauty, and goodness.
Participants in GROWING TOGETHER will set an individual goal for themselves — anything that they can relate to truth, beauty, or goodness — and then meet four times over the course of the year to talk about the joys and the challenges that they have met with as a result of embarking upon meeting that goal. Goals do not need to be profound or extremely difficult. The purpose of the group is to bring people together for growth, support, and friendly sharing. Those for whom service is already a significant part of their life may find greater life balance by pursuing a goal that focuses on truth or beauty, and there are always many opportunities for service within one’s community, many of which will bring you into contact with a great variety of people. Ask yourself if this is something that you can bring into your life.
“Jesus’ family never could comprehend his great interest in people, his urge to visit with them, to learn about their way of living, and to find out what they were thinking about.” ~ The Urantia Book 128:3.8
The goal that I will choose for the year is to take my kids to a nature preserve each month — even when it’s cold — and my hope is that spending more time in nature will give me and my kids a greater sense of wholeness with creation while directing our attention toward its Maker. I will face challenges along the way. I may not always want to put on my snow boots or head out into the heat; I may need to find creative ways to make it a joyful experience for my kids. So, I am glad that I will have a group to participate in, giving me some sense of accountability for continuing on and achieving my goal.
What will the discussions be like?
When people first join the group we will talk about what the person’s goal is, how it relates to truth, beauty, or goodness, and steps that will be needed to achieve the goal.
As people go through the year, conversations will focus on challenges that are faced along the way to meeting the goal while also sharing stories and successes.
After a year, we will talk about the ways that our achievement has impacted life and new ideas or interests that the experience has sparked.
Need an idea for a goal? Here are some possibilities:
- Help a neighbor with yard work and spend some time chatting to bring some light into their day.
- Make yourself useful in an interfaith community and practice interested communication with a variety of people.
- Take a course through groups like Urantia Book Internet School, Urantia University Institute, or The Christ Experiment.
- Spend time with God and in nature by going for a daily walk. Take a picture along the way and record the seasons changing. Share them at GROWING TOGETHER!
- Be a comforting presence at a hospice. Learn to share truth and faith in a way that is respectful of their beliefs. If you prefer, ask if you can do this virtually.
- Make room in your schedule each week for quality family time.
- Learn to play worshipful songs on an instrument — and play them for the GROWING TOGETHER group!
- Volunteer for an organization that serves minority, immigrant, or underprivileged populations.
- Learn to love others by getting to know them.
- Practice a painting technique. (Check out Bob Ross on YouTube) Don’t forget to show us your painting!
- Take a course for continued learning from an online university or a website like MasterClass. Subjects can range from the arts to the sciences.
- If you need help finding a place to volunteer, try the United Way website. https://www.unitedway.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Who can participate?
Our focus is on reaching Urantia Book students in the Midwest, but Urantia Book students from anywhere are welcome to participate.
When does it take place?
Because part of the goal for GROWING TOGETHER is to increase consistent social interactions across the Midwest United States, we thought it would be interesting to hold the group in the hour leading up to the GLMUA board meetings so that people have an opportunity to “bump” into each other. As GROWING TOGETHER participants are leaving the room, GLMUA board members will be entering, giving us a few minutes to chat in-between. GROWING TOGETHER dates and time schedule are listed below:
- January 7, 2021 – Meeting Time 6:30-7:30 pm CST
- April 1, 2021 – Meeting Time 6:30-7:30 pm CST
- July 1, 2021 – Meeting Time 6:30-7:30 pm CST
- October 7, 2021 – Meeting Time 6:30-7:30 pm CST
Does it cost anything?
No. This is a free service provided by Greater Lake Michigan Urantia Association.
Can I join in the middle of the year?
To provide some continuity among the various participants, people are strongly encouraged to sign-up at the beginning, allowing us to move through the year at the same rate. But we will not turn people away if they join later.
Registration is required – see below. (If you experience any difficulty registering, please send your name, address, phone, and email address to Susan Lyon.) Thank you!