Central New Mexico, USA
The Albuquerque TeaM
The initial Teacher Base in Central New Mexico was established in March of 1993. Teacher Welmek notified the members of the Urantia Book reading group, in response to their request for a Teacher, that one Teacher Tomas (pronounced just like Thomas, but spelled without the 'h"), had been "temporarily assigned" to the Albuquerque area. Gerdean reveals the story in her biography as a T/R. "The Private Ministry of Teacher Tomas," includes transcripts surrounding the establishment of the Albuquerque Teacher Base.
At the end of 1993 Gerdean set out with Teacher Tomas on a sojourn that lasted eight years. After a two-year internship with Teacher Daniel and the Southeast Idaho group, Tomas was given his first teacher base assignment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Butler, Pennsylvania, group was established to handle the rabid socio-spiritual hunger in the area, into which Teacher Merium emerged to assist Tomas. During that four year sojourn, Teacher Tomas made frequent visits to the TeaM in Buffalo, New York, and made in-roads into establishing a teacher base in Hamilton, Canada. For many years his transcripts were systematically forwarded to Finland.
Gerdean and Angus found each other on the Teaching Mission List. After their courtship, they were wed at the 1999 International Conference of Urantia Book readers in Vancouver, Canada. Sojourning into the Pacific Northwest Territory together, they spent two years with Teacher Elyon's Northern Idaho Teacher Base and the Spokane, Washington, Teacher Base. They had time to participate in the stateside tour of George Barnard on behalf of the 11:11 Progress Group before migrating south to the Great Southwest in February 2002.
Central New Mexico, USA
The Rio Rancho TeaM
The Rio Rancho TeaM came into existence when Gerdean and Thoroah returned to the Great Southwest after their sojourn with the Teacher Corps ended. Lessons commenced on March 17, 2002, at the home of Elena, a pianist and government employee; her mother, Esmeralda, also assumed the role of hostess. The group was early joined by a retired engineer and part-Cherokee Indian whom Tomas called Men-O-Pah. When 79-year old Men-O-Pah began dating an 84 year-young lady, Paula became part of our group.
These six people comprised the foundation of the local Teaching Mission base. Over the years many students visited the Rio Rancho TeaM and some stayed for a while. Myra was with the group until her first grandchild understandably stole her heart and her attention. For two years Matthew lived among us to transmit/receive Teacher Anatolia before he left to pursue studies for the ministry.
Interesting group dynamics lay in the fact that Esmeralda was/is the elder sister of Jared, the husband of the TeaM's first T/R, Rebecca. After founding Woods Cross, Rebecca and Jared set up housekeeping in Nashville where Teacher Ham held forth for many years, providing lessons to Esmeralda and Elena before the group began. At the same time, Esmeralda's daughter Miriam (Elena's sister) was a member of the Woods Cross group where Abraham held forth, picking up where Ham left off. Thus Esmeralda and Elena had also been receiving copies of the transcripts from Teacher Abraham's group. Tomas had some big shoes to fill when he arrived on the scene.
The group portrait here was taken by Wendy in 2002. In the back row are Men-O-Pah and Thoroah, Dennis holding baby Rachel, Paula, Myra and Don. In the front are T/R Gerdean, kneeling, and hostess Esmeralda, seated, flanked by her daughters Miriam and Elena.
Teacher Anatolia sojourned with the Rio Rancho TeaM for two years (mid 2002 until mid 2004), T/R by Matthew. Otherwise, our primary teachers, T/R'd by Gerdean, were Teacher Tomas and Teacher Merium, with visitors Cherubim What-About-Bob and his Sanobim companion Lady; Teacher Paulo; midwayer Dani; and, during our final year, Andromadeus, a Most High.
Our Group Projects:
In 2005 and again in 2006, the Rio Rancho TeaM hosted a Retreat at the Canossian Spirituality Center in Albuquerque's South Valley. The Center was established in 1996 by the Daughters of Charity of St. Magdalene of Canossa; their mission is to provide opportunities for an encounter with God and to offer spiritual support in an atmosphere of serene hospitality and peace, yet one of the nuns confided, "Do you people always laugh so much?" Obviously a good time was being had by us all! The 2005 boasted the attendance of people from coast to coast and Arohanui from New Zealand, as well as the internationally beloved opera tenor Dominique Morales. The 2006 Retreat was pleased to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kenter all the way from Australia. A photo review of the 2005 event can be seen on the TeaM page of the Light and Life website.
So much of personal ministry is done "as we pass by" and nobody makes a big deal about our random acts of kindness, but there is something that exudes from in a love-saturated soul that will definitely put its mark on its society, and this is certainly true of the members of the Rio Rancho TeaM.
Octogenarians Men-O-Pah and Paula sing in the church choir and they both do volunteer work: he at a kiosk at the Albuquerque International Airport and she as a pink lady at a local hospital; Thoroah serves through a State agency/treatment program for troubled teens; Gerdean serves the recovery community; Esmeralda grows a garden that feeds many in her area; and, Elena, the youngest of the group, is a dynamic woman who serves the State of New Mexico and is otherwise constantly on the go. She cooks and entertains and is involved in local politics and service organizations, is always doing something to be of service to somebody, forever helping her friends and neighbors, as well as her mother Esmeralda, to whom she is devoted.
But public ministry is also in store for some of us. Matthew ventured away from our group to follow his calling into the ministry of institutional religion, and currently serves as a chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, as he continues to pursue ordination.
Elena serves most dynamically with her skill at the piano keyboard. For some years she has played for a large local church on Sunday mornings; we have benefitted by her talents spilling over into the Sunday afternoon Teaching Mission sessions. She plays for weddings and other special events, including the entertainment segments of the Canossian Retreats. Elena puts on an empowerment workshop entitled "Your Vision Matters" and makes beautiful paper art for shows and galleries; they are available in select gift shops.
Gerdean serves primarily as a transmitter/receiver, but also shares her experience, strength and hope in 12-step program ministry. Gerdean published her novel, The Zooid Mission, in 2002, through Harp of God. She also paints; many of her oil paintings can be seen at Miss O'Dell's Studio. Her workshop entitled "The Goddess Within" compares and integrates the seven adjutant mind spirits with the seven chakras.
Thoroah and Gerdean edited a series of Tomas' lessons and published it through Harp as "Fruits of the Spirit" by Teacher Tomas. They have put on "Fruits of the Spirit" workshops and have spoken at major EXPOs on the Urantia Book and the Teaching Mission. They also edited a compilation of What-About-Bob and Lady's lessons comparing the adjutant mind spirits with the chakras, which was published on the Light and Life website. A hard copy edition is scheduled for publication through The Harp of God, as well.
Compendium of Central New Mexico Transcripts