Way of Life in the Family of God: A Course in Spiritual Formation
The 10-week “Course in Spiritual Formation” introduces participants to a new and higher way of living. The purpose of the Course is to help us mobilize our faith — allowing the Spirit to more fully transform us — so that we can truly begin to live in spiritual family relationship, with God as our heavenly Parent and all human beings as our spiritual sisters and brothers.
Said Jesus, “Forget not — it is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that ensures your becoming partakers of the divine nature. Thus by your faith and the spirit’s transformation, you become in reality the temples of God, and his spirit actually dwells within you.” 143:2.4
Spiritual Formation is a process wherein we clarify, organize and integrate the central spiritual truths in our lives (the great gifts, the “exceedingly great and precious promises of God”) so that, by the exercise of “our faith, and the spirit’s transformation,” we can begin increasingly to live out these truths, and eventually embody them and become them.
Format: Weekly online meetings using Zoom video conferencing. Participants are expected to attend all the weekly meetings. Under extenuating circumstances, a video recording of the Zoom meeting will be made available if you have to miss a session.
Level: There are no pre-requisites for the course.
Size: Class is limited to 30 participants.
Grading: At this time, no grades are given for completing UUI classes. This class has been designed chiefly for personal enrichment.
The Course is organized around the overarching Family of God symbolism that is threaded throughout The Urantia Book. It is an in-depth exploration of seven essential truths or experiences in spiritual family relationship. Students will participate in a series of ten weekly "teaching" study groups, each one approximately 2 hours in length.
Week 1 provides an overview and structure of the Course.
Weeks 2-8 focus on seven of the core truths in Jesus' Gospel (described below), each Week providing an in-depth exploration of one of these central truths.
Weeks 9-10 culminate in a look at the power of symbolism, a Course summary, participants’ sharing of their conclusions, and an exploration of how we can each continue to develop a Way of Life in the Family of God going forward.
The format for each of the weekly meetings alternates between:
Group sharing of carefully selected Urantia Book passages focused on the theme of that week, including:
The Spiritual Parent Child Relationship
The Spiritual Sister Brother Relationship
The Indwelling Spirit
The Will of God
Marvin Gawryn considers himself incredibly lucky. 50 years ago, when he was 17 and barely sentient, at his high school job at one of the first metaphysical book shops in Los Angeles, he stumbled upon The Urantia Book. It has shaped his entire adult life from that day forward.
He has participated in and led study groups weekly for 40 years, and served in numerous leadership roles with the Urantia Book Fellowship and other service organizations. His dearest friends are fellow readers. He is the author of Reaching High: The Psychology of Spiritual Living, and has presented workshops at many movement conferences. He was especially fortunate to serve as Chair of the Fellowship’s Liaison Committee during eﬀorts to restore cooperative relations with Urantia Foundation and Urantia Association after the turbulence of the 1990’s. He is currently a member of UUI's Board of Directors and Curriculum Committee, and of the Standard Reference Text Committee, which works with the publishers of The Urantia Book to ensure the integrity of the original 1955 text.
Marvin is semi-retired after 30 years in practice as a family therapist, and currently works as the executive director of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. He has, over the past 30 years, researched and oﬀered workshops on the socialization of religion material in The Urantia Book, and in 1988 completed a two year Certificate of Theological Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in the history and sociology of religion.
He is president of the Family of God Fellowship (familyofgodfellowship.org), which is dedicated to helping people live their lives more fully in spiritual family relationship, and to spreading Jesus’s gospel as expressed in The Urantia Book—a thrilling and dynamic Way of Life in the Family of God.
Most importantly, Marvin and his lovely, wise wife Francyl, continue to enjoy the remarkable experience of serving as parents to two amazing young women, their husbands, and two beloved grandchildren. “Such a life on such a planet!” (111:7:5 (1223.7)).