The More Open Phase of Our Work
Correspondence between Emma Christensen and Meredith Sprunger
regarding instructions to the contact commissioners
from the Revelatory Commission.
533 Diversey Parkway
Chicago, Illinois 60614
Dr. Meredith J. Sprunger
July 24, 1967
Lest I should be overlooking some important and vital project which should be undertaken by the Brotherhood, I am enclosing a copy of a statement prepared by Bill and me which includes excerpts from instructions to the Contact Commissioners from the Revelatory Commission. Please note particularly the two paragraphs I have marked in red.(**)
What I am trying to learn from you, and I really want to know, is how you would reconcile your statement "when the more open phase of our work begins" with the instructions of the Revelatory Commission, which I take very seriously. I would like -- and really need -- your considered opinion and advice. Thank you.
E. L. Christensen President
|COMPILED BY: Certain members of the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood.
FOR: The files of the Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood. PRESENTED:
4 April, 1955
It seems appropriate, a second time, to bring to the attention of the Executive Committee certain wise comments and advices which have been gathered over a period of years and which pertain to the future problems of the Urantia Book. These advices could be well presented under the general caption:
THE TIMING OF THE Urantia BOOK
We regard the Urantia Book as a feature of the progressive evolution of human society. It is not germaine to the spectacular episodes of epochal revolution, even though it may apparently be timed to appear in the wake of one such revolution in human society. The Book belongs to the era immediately to follow the conclusion of the present ideological struggle. That will be the day when men will be willing to seek truth and righteousness. When the chaos of the present confusion has passed, it will be more readily possible to formulate the cosmos of a new and improved era of human relationships. And it is for this better order of affairs on earth that the Book has been made ready.
**But the publication of the Book has not been postponed to that (possibly) somewhat remote date. An early publication of the Book has been provided so that it may be in hand for the training of leaders and teachers. Its presence is also required to engage the attention of persons of means who may be thus led to provide funds for translations into other languages.**
We who have dedicated our lives to the service of the Book and the Brotherhood can little realize the import of our doings. We will doubtless live and die without fully realizing that we are participating in the birth of a new age of religion on this world.
The future is not open to our mortal comprehension, but we will do well to diligently study the order, plan, and methods of progression as they were enacted in the earth life of Michael when the Word was made flesh. We are becoming actors in an ensuing episode when the Word is made Book. Great is the difference in these dispensations of religion, but many are the lessons which can be learned from a study of the former age.
We must again study the times of Jesus on earth. We must carefully take note of how the kingdom of heaven was inaugurated in he world. Did it evolve slowly and unfold naturally? Or did it come with sudden show of force and with spectacular exhibition of power? Was it evolutionary or revolutionary?
We must learn to possess our souls in patience. We are in association with a revelation of truth which is a part of the natural evolution of religion on this world. **Over-rapid growth would be suicidal. The Book is being given to those who are ready for it long before the day of its world-wide mission. Thousands of study groups must be brought into existence and the Book must be translated into many tongues. Thus will the Book be in readiness to comfort and enlighten the peoples of many languages when the battle for man's liberty is finally won and the world is once more made safe for the religion of Jesus and the freedom of mankind.**
|July 27, 1967
Miss E. L. Christensen
Thank you for your letter asking for my ideas about the "more open phase of our work." In your statement of 1955 you and Bill speak about training leaders and teachers, about finding people to provide funds, about presenting the Urantia Book to those who are ready for it, about bringing into being thousands of study groups. In the paper which I plan to read at the Triennium I present what seem to me to be the basic steps needed to prepare ourselves for the program which you speak of in your 1955 statement.
Basically, the more open phase of our work will begin, as I see it, when we change the connotative atmosphere of the Urantia Brotherhood which when I first contacted it tended to be secretive, evasive, and hesitant -- restrictive to an atmosphere which is open, candid, and objective-inviting. Much has already been accomplished toward this end.
The more open and objective phase of our work will be actualized when we have more candid and inclusive statements about the origin of the Urantia Book and Brotherhood.
The more open phase of our work will begin when we effect a more structured plan integrating activities and communications among all study groups and societies along with techniques and encouragement in finding and attracting people, who are ready, to the Urantia Book.
The more open phase of our work will begin when we work systematically in colleges and possibly later in theological schools in a quiet, conservative, objective, and largely personal contact of students and organize study groups in college communities.
The more open phase of our work will begin when we are systematically contacting key people such as professors of philosophy and some theologians, introducing them to the Urantia Book in an objective manner and presenting it not as new revelation but as supplemental material to their own philosophies.
The more open phase will come when we have done this job so tactfully and objectively that the Urantia Book is common intellectual knowledge without connotations of "hot lines to God" or "messianic" psychology.
It would appear to me that the key factors in the more open phase of the Urantia Movement are:
1. A change in projected attitude from defensive-evasive-hesitant to open-candid-inviting-objective attitudes.
2. A change from sporadic, individualistic, and random contact work to systematic, group coordinated, and consecutive-continuing types of contact work.
3. A change from the work of a few and often part time workers to the involvement of many and especially full time workers who have special abilities.
This is my conceptual picture of elements of the "more open phase of our work." It is an attempt to augment activities at the level of evolutionary readiness. Never must it be out of harmony with evolution and always must it employ wisdom in techniques and approach. I can see nothing in this approach which would in any way be out of harmony with any of the advice of the Revelatory Commission. On the contrary, it is an attempt to actualize wisely and effectively the approach which they have recommended.
If you see anything here that is not in harmony with the above, I would be happy to talk with you about it if there is time at the Triennium. Best wishes and we shall be seeing you next week.
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship