1985 Narrabeen, NSW

The Study Group and its Outreach

Announcement – July 85

This month’s 606 includes the Registration from for the October conference in Sydney.
This is an exceptional opportunity to take part in discussion on vital matters. We are in a development stage of planning for the future, and it is important that decisions are representative of all concerned readers.

For those in a position to attend, we encourage your support. Many Victorian readers will be in attendance and they are looking forward to following up on discussions at their July conference.

It is exciting to think that our aims are directed not by secular interests, but by national and international possibilities.

(comment from 10th Anniversary issue of 6-0-6)
Held at Narrabeen School, the theme at this conference was “The study Group and its Outreach”. Many new faces appeared, some from Queensland, others from the USA. Detailed consideration was given to book distribution and library placement.

Looking south down Narrabeen Beach from over North Narrabeen.


The theme for this years conference will be:

            “The Study Group and its Outreach”

Saturday         19th Oct           The Study Group

9.30 am           Introduction on theme and aims by Trevor Swadling.

10.00               A study group where Paper 117, page 1278 n God the Supreme” will be studied.
(It is advisable to become familiar with this paper beforehand).

12.30               Lunch

 2.30                A talk on differing ways a study group can be held and a presentation of
one of these alternate ways by Vern Verass.

4.00                 Afternoon Tea

4.30                 10 minute presentations by those who wish to give their ideas on
“the Study Group”

                        Open discussion

                                                B.B.Q. Dinner (weather permitting)

Sunday           20 Oct                         Study on Outreach

9.30                 Introduction on Sunday’s theme and a brief overview of the library
donation scheme

9.40                 Presentation by Neil Francey on Book costs, distribution to book stores
and associated problems

10.15               Presentation by William Wentworth on study group outreach.

10.45               Morning Tea

11.15               Discussion on morning’s presentations and idea input. Commitments
by study Groups.

                        Lunch and socialize (lunch and dinner) at 7 Walsh street

Report  – Kathleen Swadling – Nov 85, 6-0-6

A special thank you to all those who attended the 1985 Conference and helped to make it such a success. I’m sure, all who attended will agree that it was an exhilarating experience and well worthwhile. I can see these conferences becoming more and more a vital part in determining the course the URANTIA movement is taking in Australia.

The theme for the conference was ‘The Study Group and its Outreach”. We began by actually having a study group and reading the Paper ‘God the Supreme”. I’m sure everyone benefited from the experience of gaining a better insight and understanding of this important topic through exchange of thoughts and ideas in the study group situation. The study group took us well past lunchtime, to be followed by a talk from Leslie and Joe Thackeray, on the Boulder school in Colorado, USA.

Joe and Leslie are new arrivals in Australia and they plan on settling here, which is great news. It was terrific having firsthand information on the workings and unfoldements of the Urantia movement in the US. Joe and Leslie were students at the Boulder School and gave us much food for thought and discussion. They’re looking forward to becoming active workers in these pioneering stages in Australia.

We all went back to our place for dinner where much discussion and socializing took us well into the evening.
Sunday was devoted to study group outreach. A report was given on the library donation scheme, which began as a result of the first conference in 1983. Close to 100 books have been accepted in libraries since then with three centers (Sydney, Melbourne and Perth) receiving shipments from Chicago. Quite a few telephone enquiries have been from people who are coming across the book in libraries.

Next Neil Francey gave a comprehensive report of his research into ways and means of getting the book at a cheaper price (current price is $58). The result of this research was very interesting indeed. It seems the Foundation is bound by nature of the book industry, not to show favoritism to small, unestablished book distributors. They must go through the established channels. However Neil has seen a light at the end of the tunnel by arranging wholesale supply in conjunction with an established book retailer.

William Wentworth then lead a discussion on study group outreach, which stimulated much open discussion on things we can do as s group – it gave individual study groups much food for thought.

 Steve Shanahan gave a report of his experiences in Tahiti with a URANTIA Book Booth and its degree of success. I think this is an area, we can all consider quite seriously as a means of making the book available to the public, without evangelizing or advertising.

The final subject to be discussed for the weekend was the idea of forming some kind of an association as a preliminary to the future possibility of becoming a Urantia Society,. It was discussed and unanimously decided that there is a definite need for some kind of legal entity or organization, formed to handle matters such as financial donations, protection of the book, coordination of events etc. Which, as the movement grows, will become more complex. I think if it’s done wisely, we can avoid any tendency toward institutionalization.

The weekend wound up with more socializing and reluctant farewells. I think we all benefited tremendously from this weekend and eagerly look forward to the  next one – keep an eye out for future dates – it may be earlier than you think. I get a strong feeling that the wheels have been set in motion in this country and there’s no stopping it now. Contact and more contact with each other is going to determine acceleration and direction, so let’s keep those study groups going strong an encourage our fellows in isolated areas to get more going.

Remember: “thousands of study groups must be brought into existence. Thus will be book be in readiness to comfort and enlighten the peoples of the world when the battle for man’s liberty is finally won and the world is once more safe for the religion of Jesus and the freedom of mankind.”
(quoted from the Mandate given by the revelators)

On page 1091 we read: Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect cooperation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists.

Page 1092:  There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty and goodness; to foster the attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance and to encourage group worship.

The repercussions of socializing religious living are boundless. There is much excitement to be anticipated in the eternal endless surprise ahead of us.

Once again I thank all participants of the conference and I strongly urge you all to consider attending conferences in the future.