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Sunday Night Class 09/24/2017

Friends,

Don't give up on coming to class just because we are studying paper 41 about stars and such. You have the opportunity to come and study this fascinating stuff and possibly clep out on your mansion world experience on understanding it. After all, god is not only our Father, he is the Infinite Upholder, and to know his unity, we must be versed in the WHOLE oneness of our God.

Come on! Join us and enjoy not only for fellowship with good friends, but enlightenment for your souls.

See you next week,

Tom

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Compare 09/25/2017

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.
  --Pearl S. Buck, Nobelist novelist (1892-1973)

(72:6.1) This nation is making a determined effort to replace the self-respect-destroying type of charity by dignified government-insurance guarantees of security in old age. This nation provides every child an education and every man a job; therefore can it successfully carry out such an insurance scheme for the protection of the infirm and aged.

    Pearl Sydenstricker Buck also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu;  was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in Zhenjiang, China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces". She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    After returning to the United States in 1935, she continued writing prolifically, became a prominent advocate of the rights of women and minority groups, and wrote widely on Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed-race adoption.

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Compare 09/22/2017

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
  --George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)

(151:1.4) "In patience have I instructed you all this time. To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to the undiscerning multitudes and to those who seek our destruction, from now on, the mysteries of the kingdom shall be presented in parables. And this we will do so that those who really desire to enter the kingdom may discern the meaning of the teaching and thus find salvation, while those who listen only to ensnare us may be the more confounded in that they will see without seeing and will hear without hearing. My children, do you not perceive the law of the spirit which decrees that to him who has shall be given so that he shall have an abundance; but from him who has not shall be taken away even that which he has. Therefore will I henceforth speak to the people much in parables to the end that our friends and those who desire to know the truth may find that which they seek, while our enemies and those who love not the truth may hear without understanding. Many of these people follow not in the way of the truth. The prophet did, indeed, describe all such undiscerning souls when he said: 'For this people's heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed lest they should discern the truth and understand it in their hearts.'"

(162:7.3) "I know that you are Abraham's seed, yet your leaders seek to kill me because my word has not been allowed to have its transforming influence in their hearts. Their souls are sealed by prejudice and blinded by the pride of revenge. I declare to you the truth which the eternal Father shows me, while these deluded teachers seek to do the things which they have learned only from their temporal fathers. And when you reply that Abraham is your father, then do I tell you that, if you were the children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham. Some of you believe my teaching, but others seek to destroy me because I have told you the truth which I received from God. But Abraham did not so treat the truth of God. I perceive that some among you are determined to do the works of the evil one. If God were your Father, you would know me and love the truth which I reveal. Will you not see that I come forth from the Father, that I am sent by God, that I am not doing this work of myself? Why do you not understand my words? Is it because you have chosen to become the children of evil? If you are the children of darkness, you will hardly walk in the light of the truth which I reveal. The children of evil follow only in the ways of their father, who was a deceiver and stood not for the truth because there came to be no truth in him. But now comes the Son of Man speaking and living the truth, and many of you refuse to believe.

    Eric Arthur Blair better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
    Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
    Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian – descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices – has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, memory hole, newspeak, doublethink, proles, unperson, and thoughtcrime.

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Compare 09/14/2017

The capacity to produce social chaos is the last resort of desperate people.
  --Cornel West, author and philosopher (b.1953)

(185:5.8-13)  Pilate indicated to those assembled before him that he wished to read the communication which he had just received before he proceeded further with the matter before him. When Pilate opened this letter from his wife, he read: "I pray you have nothing to do with this innocent and just man whom they call Jesus. I have suffered many things in a dream this night because of him." This note from Claudia not only greatly upset Pilate and thereby delayed the adjudication of this matter, but it unfortunately also provided considerable time in which the Jewish rulers freely circulated among the crowd and urged the people to call for the release of Barabbas and to clamor for the crucifixion of Jesus.
    Finally, Pilate addressed himself once more to the solution of the problem which confronted him, by asking the mixed assembly of Jewish rulers and the pardon-seeking crowd, "What shall I do with him who is called the king of the Jews?" And they all shouted with one accord, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" The unanimity of this demand from the mixed multitude startled and alarmed Pilate, the unjust and fear-ridden judge.
    Then once more Pilate said: "Why would you crucify this man? What evil has he done? Who will come forward to testify against him?" But when they heard Pilate speak in defense of Jesus, they only cried out all the more, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
    Then again Pilate appealed to them regarding the release of the Passover prisoner, saying: "Once more I ask you, which of these prisoners shall I release to you at this, your Passover time?" And again the crowd shouted, "Give us Barabbas!"
    Then said Pilate: "If I release the murderer, Barabbas, what shall I do with Jesus?" And once more the multitude shouted in unison, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
    Pilate was terrorized by the insistent clamor of the mob, acting under the direct leadership of the chief priests and the councilors of the Sanhedrin; nevertheless, he decided upon at least one more attempt to appease the crowd and save Jesus.

    Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, public intellectual, and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. West is an outspoken voice in American leftist politics, and as such has been critical of many center-left figures, including President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He has held professorships at Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Paris during his career. He is also a frequent commentator on politics and social issues in many media outlets.
    From 2010 through 2013, West co-hosted a radio program with Tavis Smiley, called Smiley and West. He has also been featured in several documentaries, and made appearances in Hollywood films such as The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, providing commentary for both films. West has also made several spoken word and hip hop albums, and due to his work, has been named MTV's Artist of the Week. He has also been portrayed on Saturday Night Live by Kenan Thompson.
    The son of a Baptist minister, West focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their "radical conditionedness." Styling himself as a radical democrat socialist, West draws intellectual contributions from multiple traditions, including Christianity, the black church, Marxism, neopragmatism, and transcendentalism. Among his most influential books are Race Matters (1994) and Democracy Matters (2004).

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Compare 09/11/2017

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned. These are the things you already know: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  --Robert Fulghum, author (b.1937)

(47:3.8) Almost the entire experience of mansion world number one pertains to deficiency ministry. Survivors arriving on this first of the detention spheres present so many and such varied defects of creature character and deficiencies of mortal experience that the major activities of the realm are occupied with the correction and cure of these manifold legacies of the life in the flesh on the material evolutionary worlds of time and space.

(47:5.3)  The training of the first two mansion worlds is mostly of a deficiency nature—negative—in that it has to do with supplementing the experience of the life in the flesh.

(48:5.8) One of the purposes of the morontia career is to effect the permanent eradication from the mortal survivors of such animal vestigial traits as procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking. The mansonia life early teaches the young morontia pupils that postponement is in no sense avoidance. After the life in the flesh, time is no longer available as a technique of dodging situations or of circumventing disagreeable obligations.

    Robert Lee Fulghum is an American author and Unitarian Universalist minister.
    He grew up in Waco, Texas and received his Bachelor of Arts at Baylor University in 1958. He received his Bachelor of Divinity at Starr King School for the Ministry in 1961 and was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister. Rev. Fulghum served the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship in Bellingham, Washington from 1960–1964, the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church in Shoreline, Washington from 1964 to 1968 and the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church in Edmonds, Washington where his is currently Minister Emeritus.
    Rev. Fulghum came to prominence in the United States when his first collection of writings, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1988), stayed on the New York Times bestseller lists for nearly two years. Throughout the collection, subtitled "Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things," Fulghum expounds his down-home philosophy of seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
    There are currently more than 16 million copies of his books in print, published in 27 languages in 103 countries. His prose style is very simple and direct, and finds life-affirming maxims in such mundane matters as visiting zoos, leaf-raking, and dusting.

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Compare 09/04/2017

The true test of a civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops -- no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
   --Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist (1803-1882)

(81:6.37)  Effective and wise leadership. In civilization much, very much, depends on an enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit. Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together—all at the same moment. And such teamwork—social co-operation—is dependent on leadership. The cultural civilizations of the past and the present have been based upon the intelligent co-operation of the citizenry with wise and progressive leaders; and until man evolves to higher levels, civilization will continue to be dependent on wise and vigorous leadership.

(81:6.42) Leadership is vital to progress. Wisdom, insight, and foresight are indispensable to the endurance of nations. Civilization is never really jeopardized until able leadership begins to vanish. And the quantity of such wise leadership has never exceeded one per cent of the population.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
    Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay "Nature". Following this work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. considered to be America's "intellectual Declaration of Independence".
    Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first and then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays, Essays: First Series (1841) and Essays: Second Series (1844), represent the core of his thinking. They include the well-known essays "Self-Reliance", "The Over-Soul", "Circles", "The Poet" and "Experience". Together with "Nature", these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.
    Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for mankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul". Emerson is one of several figures who "took a more pantheist or pandeist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world."
    He remains among the linchpins of the American romantic movement, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, a fellow transcendentalist.

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Sunday Night Class 08/27/2017

Friends,

Tonight we began Paper 32 which is about our Local Universe. Beth continues to bring us down the administrative papers on how our universe runs.

Wonderful class made more wunderful if you can come too!

Tom

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Compare 08/28/2017

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
  --Bob Dylan, singer-songwriter, Nobel laureate (b.1941)

(184:4.2-3) During this tragic hour of suffering and mock trials before the ignorant and unfeeling guards and servants, John Zebedee waited in lonely terror in an adjoining room. When these abuses first started, Jesus indicated to John, by a nod of his head, that he should retire. The Master well knew that, if he permitted his apostle to remain in the room to witness these indignities, John's resentment would be so aroused as to produce such an outbreak of protesting indignation as would probably result in his death.
    Throughout this awful hour Jesus uttered no word. To this gentle and sensitive soul of humankind, joined in personality relationship with the God of all this universe, there was no more bitter portion of his cup of humiliation than this terrible hour at the mercy of these ignorant and cruel guards and servants, who had been stimulated to abuse him by the example of the members of this so-called Sanhedrist court.

(184:4.6) These are the moments of the Master's greatest victories in all his long and eventful career as maker, upholder, and savior of a vast and far-flung universe. Having lived to the full a life of revealing God to man, Jesus is now engaged in making a new and unprecedented revelation of man to God. Jesus is now revealing to the worlds the final triumph over all fears of creature personality isolation. The Son of Man has finally achieved the realization of identity as the Son of God. Jesus does not hesitate to assert that he and the Father are one; and on the basis of the fact and truth of that supreme and supernal experience, he admonishes every kingdom believer to become one with him even as he and his Father are one. The living experience in the religion of Jesus thus becomes the sure and certain technique whereby the spiritually isolated and cosmically lonely mortals of earth are enabled to escape personality isolation, with all its consequences of fear and associated feelings of helplessness. In the fraternal realities of the kingdom of heaven the faith sons of God find final deliverance from the isolation of the self, both personal and planetary. The God-knowing believer increasingly experiences the ecstasy and grandeur of spiritual socialization on a universe scale—citizenship on high in association with the eternal realization of the divine destiny of perfection attainment.

    Bob Dylan is an American songwriter, singer, painter, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became a reluctant "voice of a generation" with songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", which became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. Leaving behind his initial base in the American folk music revival, his six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone", recorded in 1965, enlarged the range of popular music.
    Dylan's lyrics incorporate a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the performances of Little Richard and the songwriting of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Dylan has amplified and personalized musical genres. His recording career, spanning more than 50 years, has explored the traditions in American song—from folk, blues, and country to gospel, rock and roll, and rockabilly to English, Scottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and the Great American Songbook. Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his songwriting is considered his greatest contribution. Since 1994, Dylan has also published seven books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries.
    As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has also received numerous awards including eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Jesus Birthday Celebration

Here is the flyer for our Jesus birthday celebration.

http://okub.org/system/files/JesusBirthday2017.jpg 

 

 

 

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SSIV August 18-21

                   Scientific Symposium IV

                    August 18-21, 2017

Origin

When I found out about four years ago that a total eclipse of the sun would occur on August 21st 2017, on the 2023rd birthday of our Lord and Master, it immediately occurred to me to have a Scientific Symposium conference over the weekend prior to the Monday eclipse. There has been a rich and popular tradition of having Urantia Book inspired talks about science beginning in the 1988, SSI  in Tennessee. Oklahoma City took over the mantle and sponsored SSII and SSIII in 1989 and 1994. Berkeley Elliott spearheaded these conferences and because she would have been 100 years old on August 23, 2017, this makes this symposium special for the memory of her service.

Knowing that Susan Cook was well acquainted with how to organize a conference, I casually asked her for advice on how to create SSIV over this amazing weekend. She barely let me finish asking her for advice, before she interrupted me and immediately volunteered to be the Conference Chair. I was thrilled and knew that something really special was going to happen.

SSIV History

When you have four years to prepare for a Urantia conference, there are many things that can be dreamed of and problems to solve. Susan immediately went to work and secured a Methodist youth camp near Lawson Missouri which was nearly dead center in the path of the solar eclipse. We were thrilled and well on our way. Then in 2015, the Methodists decided to sell the camp and we were suddenly without a place to have our conference. Undeterred, Susan began looking around for new venues in the path of the eclipse. In the meantime, investors bought the camp at auction and placed it in the care of the current and past camp director, Bo Tucker, who then contacted Susan to see if we still wanted to have our conference there as promised by the Methodists. Susan of course said YES! with a thrill passed onto me that you can only imagine.

Buck Choquette, Robert Aponte, Tom Choquette, Susan Cook and I all showed up at the Wilderness Camping Retreat Center on Wednesday August 16 and began the construction of the venue that would turn out to be almost mortally paradisiacal. Huge crates of food were brought in and stored. The plenary area was prepared with seating for 100 and the sound and sight was perfected. Bedding arrangements were handled with care by Susan.

One thing that makes a Urantia conference so successful (and they all are) is the willingness of so many people to volunteer. When profits and payrolls are not included in the price of admission, volunteerism is the driver of success.

Margaret Thompson coordinated transportation to and from the airport with the inexhaustible help of Mike Wood who was in constant motion driving to and from KCI. Larry Harrison brought his 11 passenger bus to bring them in. These workhorses did amazing service in what they did. They never missed a soul.

Tom Choquette and Susan Cook ran multiple times to Costco for food supplies. Jeremy Allen also shopped with them some. Jake Thompson headed up a team of volunteers who worked their fingers to the bones quite joyfully and provided the participants with a most extraordinarily delicious meal plan for two and a half days. Jeremy Allen is a true Vegan Gourmand. Karen, Jeremy and Jake came in on Thursday and began the work of feeding more or less 50 hungry people the most tantalizing array of carne, vegetarian and vegan cuisines. No diet was left out, and the food was beyond good. It was morontial!

But it just wasn’t about the cooking and eating. Volunteers had to be recruited to do the hard unsung hero work of clean up. And clean up the volunteers did! Susan recruited volunteers to work, many times missing the plenary art and science presentations to perform the unheralded but necessary work of cleaning up. Karen Allen and Dan Casko were tireless and efficient at such a vital job. Evette was ubiquitous. Noah Wood and Steve Law were reliable. Margaret Thompson triple timed as transportation coordinator, cook and clean up artist. Shifts for clean up were well organized and efficient.

Steve Sawyer displayed his gorgeous art and Rick and Susan Lyon had their wares available which added to our financial stability and the material and spiritual  joy of patrons.

Program

As Program Chair, I figured that I would be herding cats, but it was not so. The flow of the program was surprisingly lacking in technical difficulties (with a few minor exceptions.) With the inestimable help of Buck Choquette and Robert Aponte, we pieced together the mechanical and musical nuts and bolts to provide a media of success for all. I need to thank each of the science talk presenters and recognize their willingness to share their insights so selflessly:

Stuart R Kerr III – The Fourth Triunity and the Generation of Cosmic Energy

Sonny Schneider – Finaliter Transcendation.

David Neufer – The Absolute Pattern

Larry Geis – Conscious Dying in Loved Ones

John Lange – Urantia Perspective on Health Care Reform

Mike Woods – Water DNA and the Magic that Binds Them

Philip Calibrese – Faith Helpers

Tom and Patricia Strawser – Spiritual Engineering – The Harmony of God and Science

Larry Johnson – Ultimations and the Internal Electron Geometry

Aprilhelen Morgan and Todd Scarborough – Perfecting the Human Trinity

One signature beauty of how this program would fulfill our souls with comfort and unity, was to have Artisans perform their art or music between each presentation or at least every 20-25 minutes. The mix of science and art verified the unity of God as consisting in all things. I recognize them now:

K Brendi Poppell (the first person I called to be a part of this conference)

Steve Sawyer

Robert Aponte

Christina Seaborn

Buck Choquette

Olga (never caught her last name)

Bill Graham

Bob  Solone

What superlative can I use to indicate how beautiful this was? The balance separated but also unified the strong spirit of truth realization that, “Even now you should learn to water the garden of your heart as well as to seek for the dry sands of knowledge” (48:6.32) 

We got both!!

There was a volunteer duty that I was not sure was going to fly, but fly it did. The Urantia Corps of Worship Conductors (UCWC) organized and provided worship in the morning and before meals. Bobbie Dreier lead the team unselfishly. There were even 6 people who got up at 4:00 am on Monday morning to celebrate noon in Israel which was the actual birthday time of Jesus’ birth.

Special recognition must go to Antonio Schefer who was involved with the planning of this conference from the beginning. He spread the word through social media quite efficiently and took on the task of video recording all the presentations. Hopefully the fruits of his video labor will come out soon and we can all enjoy the fruits of his unselfish labor.

Only one night were we able even partially to enjoy the night sky as the weather was not cooperative. Nevertheless, on Saturday night we enjoyed gazing with powerful telescopes at Andromeda, Sagittarius and other night sky notables. Dawn Grant gave us this instruction. She is employed by the Wilderness Camp and is an amateur astronomer.

Sunday Night Banquet

There were more people who showed up on Sunday to either spend the night or come in from distant hotels to enjoy our banquet and to be around for the eclipse on Monday. Our remembrance banquet was special as we hosted over 60 souls to eat a delicious rack of lamb or to enjoy Jeremy’s tasty and nutritious vegan meal.

Once we were through eating and the volunteer cleaning staff had about finished, we had a remembrance in the dining hall. Many touching remembrances were heard by all, reinforcing the presence of Jesus and inspiring us to carry out his great proclamation to carry this gospel into all the world.

We moved upstairs and began the plenary appreciation of the significance of Jesus” birth and bestowal. Bill Allen began with a lovely rendition of “Birthday Party of the King.” Steve Sawyer and Tom Choquette were the speakers, variously giving their interpretations of the Master’s life. Of course as she had many times throughout the days of the conference, Brendi Poppell delivered another of her wonderful remembrance poems about Jesus and his teachings. Bill Graham, Robert Aponte and Christina Seaborn backed Dan up. I sang a song entitled “Behold the Man.” The evening basically concluded with a concert with an encore by Bob Solone and Christina Seaborn playing several songs, but especially in my mind, “Here Comes the Sun.”

Eclipse

Weather was always in the back of my mind in hopes that we would have a beautiful clear day to bring in Jesus’ birthday with such a cosmic event. Usually, the temperature in August will hover around the upper 90’s and be clear. If you had told me four years ago that on August 21, 2017 that there would be three large thunderstorms on that day beginning at 8 am in the morning, I probably would have begun looking for another clear venue to see the eclipse. Chances of success would be very low.

But this was our fate. An early morning thunderstorm lasted until about 11:30 am.  We all rushed out to the viewing field and set up our blankets and chairs. Mostly cloudy skies prevailed, but intermittently the sun would creep out of the cloudy shadows and show the face of a reluctant sun. By 11:45 am the partial eclipse was well underway. Periodically the sun would creep through the curtains of cloudy obstruction and thrill all of us with whoops of joy as we pressed our eclipse glasses to our eyes and viewed with rapt attention at the amazing event unfolding before our darkened eyes. Shouts of “Happy birthday Jesus!” and songs like “Please Don’t Take our Sunshine Away.” enveloped us all. When the sun periodically dipped behind the clouds our minds were in anxious anticipation and hopes that we would, again, be fortunate sons and daughters.

AND WE WERE!! Beginning at 1:08 pm on a warm August day, amidst the high humidity cushion between two huge storms, we gazed for two minutes and thirty eight seconds at the most amazing totality in awe inspiring rapture. Whoops and screams of joy abounded as if we had just won a championship football game in the last second, or hit a home run in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs to win the game.

Once the diamond ring reappeared as totality finished its complete shadow and as we were cheering and hugging each other in rapt joy, a strange series of thundering booming occurred for several seconds making us all wonder what in the world it could be. Firecrackers? Thunder? Sonic booms? First, no firecrackers would have been allowed in the camp. Rule that out. Thunder and lightning storms were distant and well before and after the time of totality. Rule that out. Was a military or NASA jet on a scientific mission following the eclipse at sonic boom speeds? Possible, but local media would have been alerted to this, as faster than the speed of sound air travel is basically forbidden over the continental US. OR was the little known and poorly understood phenomenon known as “infrasound” responsible? I can’t explain it here, but here is a link to read about it:

https://www.universetoday.com/14435/solar-sonic-boom-eclipses-may-genera...

This is a rare occurrence, and we all were privy not only to a visual optical experience but also to an auditory or hearing manifestation as well. Todd Scarborough is pursuing the science of this event and our group may have an opportunity to testify about the veracity of the phenomenon.

We hugged and kissed and said our goodbyes as we were forced to leave the field because of the next approaching thunderstorm. This one lasted all afternoon. Another huge storm arose that night causing major deadly flooding in parts of Kansas City.

I am scientifically minded, so I could never believe that the powers that be could have been responsible for allowing us to see totality. After all, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” But we all were secretly hoping that the Master Force Organizers would grant us this birthday wish of clear skies for our Master’s birthday. If they did, we’ll hear about it on Mansonia.

SSIV Destiny

We presented the idea that SSV should happen along the eclipse line of 2024 when a total eclipse of the sun will occur extending from before Mexico to beyond Canada on April 8th 2024 which happens on a Monday, and is also the day before the resurrection of Jesus, “the time of the tomb.” What a great time to have a SSV before such a religiously significant event. Coincidentally, April 8th in the Western hemisphere is actually April 9th in Palestine which is the actual date of Jesus’ resurrection. This is a significant date for Urantia Book believers exclusively. Many are thinking of where our next SSV should be. Stay tuned.

Conclusion

A handful of believers spent the night on Monday night. A study group on the evening of Jesus’ birthday studied paper 196 on the Faith of Jesus. It was a great remembrance.

Would we have done things differently? The answer to this question is always yes, but when your expectations are exceeded a thousand fold, how can it be better? If you were not there and are reading this, I am sure you wish you were. The fellowship and socialization was divine, the venue was favorable, the scientific presentations were enlightening, the art was vivifying, the food was marvelous, the presence of Jesus was palpable, and of course the eclipse was spectacular.

Thank you is not even enough to say to everyone involved with making this a most successful conference. I am on my knees to the devotion and work put in by all the volunteers.

I know this is long, but I had to write it to document not only the great traditions of Scientific Symposium’s, but to hold on to the memories so vital to self satisfaction and attainment. As Rodan says:

(160:4.12) Train your memory to hold in sacred trust the strength-giving and worth-while episodes of life, which you can recall at will for your pleasure and edification. Thus build up for yourself and in yourself reserve galleries of beauty, goodness, and artistic grandeur. But the noblest of all memories are the treasured recollections of the great moments of a superb friendship. And all of these memory treasures radiate their most precious and exalting influences under the releasing touch of spiritual worship.

So it has been, so shall it be, and so it is,

Tom Allen,

Program Chair, SSIV

405-570-6862

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