as it Evolved in
the Spokane Area
By Bob Devine
The Spokane Washington teaching mission began in 1992. My friend Doug and I had first heard about the teaching mission through the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Urantia Book study group in the spring of that year. We read transcripts from Daniel and then Ham and found the messages interesting. There was a lot of curiosity about the phenomenon since Rick and Barbara Giles had gone to meetings in Utah and were told that our group in Coeur d'Alene would receive a teacher. At the same time, many new people, including ourselves, joined the group, so the times were exciting.
As summer passed by, nothing in particular happened and some of the excitement dissipated. Transcripts from a teacher named Will arrived at the group and I remember taking a copy home to read in my spare time. The lessons seemed to have a different focus and hit me a little more squarely. Will was saying that anyone was capable of receiving a teacher through stillness and prayer, and she gave practical lessons that any person could attempt to perform in their daily lives. I don't know if the lessons were any more profound than others, but somehow they inspired me to attempt to strengthen personal time with God and to actually believe that I could make contact with spiritual sources.
For me, the first undeniable contact with a spiritual presence occurred on September 6, 1992, as I was jolted from a prayerful descent into sleep to a state where I was fully awake with energy pulsations moving throughout my body. These sensations lasted for approximately five minutes. I feel in retrospect, that my up-reach and willingness to be of service, combined with my deep desire to know God's will for me in all of these things, led to a connection where God reached down and let me know without a doubt that I was loved, capable, and worthy of his participation in my life. The next day I began to ask questions and receive answers, such as "you are not alone", "do not be afraid", "patience, for it will take time", "love is the basis for all action", etc.
In October, I received a teacher who I later found out was called Aaron. My friend Doug also began to make connections, and I found out a couple of others, Dahl and Sandy, had begun to have experiences with teachers, as well.
In December, with some effort by celestials and by a couple of others in the group, I agreed to try and transmit at a meeting, and thus a more directed teaching mission effort began in Coeur d'Alene, but that is another story and another group...
Along with Andy Gee and frequent visits to the Spokane Urantia Book study group by Rick and Barbara Giles, the Spokane teaching mission effort began in June of 1993.
To me, it seemed that the Coeur d'Alene effort built a strong foundation as it transitioned from one t/r to another and slowly developed a weekly lesson atmosphere with very dependable attendees, willing learners, and a strong and capable t/r. But if I had to characterize it, I think the Spokane group was more like the great experiment.
Beginning with two people at the first meeting and growing to more than twenty inside of two years, the Spokane group never had a single central t/r that lessons were given through. In the beginning there were two group t/rs and within a year there were four and there was a time in 1995 where more than a dozen of the members were capable and willing to t/r for the larger group. We often joked that there were more people willing to t/r at meetings than those who were not.
If there was a focus in our meetings, it was on interaction between the group and with the celestials. Aaron seemed to promote questions and answers more so than a particular lesson plan, although from time to time he discoursed at more length on various topics. I remember references to the relationship being more important than the words and intellectual ideas. Aaron seemed very friendly with everyone and lighthearted. I think he got around such, that it was difficult for me to consider him my private teacher for long when everyone else was hearing from him throughout the week.
The Spokane group, in conjunction with Coeur d'Alene, sponsored the first national gathering in Cheney Washington in 1994. This was pivotal in the growth and development of the group, as there was a realization that we were capable of serving others and it was quite enjoyable and rewarding to those involved. We began to think more about service projects.
The entire group participated in an evening with the public on "Angels" in April of '95, and another time on "Revelation" in '96, and Coeur d'Alene sponsored an "Angel" evening that year, as well. The lessons came alive and there were opportunities to serve happening daily for everyone.
More teachers became involved in our group, a Melchizedek, a pair of archangels, many of the personal teachers, and all this caused us to expand our perceptions to the vastness of the project for this world.
If you look at the Spokane teaching mission today, it might seem like it was a shooting star that had its moment and then faded. The meetings happen only occasionally now, although many of the people communicate with each other and still get together during the Michael Celebration in Coeur d'Alene each August. But the reality is probably similar to other groups in the mission that grew strong and then diminished in visibility. The lessons took hold inside those who attended and after a time of enjoying fellowship with one another intimately for a period of years, each person was inspired to take their journey in whatever way seemed best for them.
The group served a purpose to bring an awareness of the universal relationship and an individual connection, and then those involved branched out to new avenues in life.
I moved to Pocatello Idaho in the fall of 1996 and am involved with the group here. As I talk with the members of the Spokane gang on occasion, I realize that the time we spent together was very special and bonding. No amount of distance separates the commonality we have together and I think we still like to think of each other as a group even though distance may separate our efforts. There's something cosmic about it all.
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