1986 Melbourne, VIC

Tapestry of Loving Service

Announcement– June 86, ( 6-0-6)

It’s not too late to register for the conference at Vitoria College, 335 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.
The program for the weekend is varied and everyone will have a chance to be involved. We trust it will be a time of learning sharing and joy. Interstate visitors from NSW, WA, and Tasmania are attending and will no doubt have lots of news. And we are delighted to announce our international visitors: Berkley Elliot, Tom Allan and John Hales. We feel sure they will give us an exciting and vivid account of their experiences and present a unique perspective on the Urantia Movement.

Try not to miss this marvelous opportunity – You are most Welcome!

Report – Madeline Noordzy – July/Aug 86 (6-0-6)

If there was a lack of sunshine outside there certainly was plenty of it inside. Although the conference was on Saturday and Sunday for a lot of people who had come from interstate and from overseas, the ‘getting to know you’ had already started on the Thursday and Friday before. Our American visitors still looked bright and cheerful when we picked them up from the airport after their eleven hour flight from Tahiti, where they had visited our good friend Emanuel Lou and his lovely wife Jeannette.

John Hales from Chicago, Berkley Elliott and Tom Allen from Oklahoma City immediately won our hearts with their personal warmth and sincerity. Jan Francey was waiting for us with a beautiful lunch and we all thoroughly enjoyed each others company and the delicious food.

When Pamela Reynolds opened the 1086 National Conference for Urantia Book readers in Melbourne with ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, her beautiful, clear soprano voice warmed us to the very core of our hearts. Pamela, who together with Jan had organized all the catering is a very active and hardworking member of the Melbourne and Shepparton Study Groups.

After a cordial and warm welcome from Neil Francey to the thirty people who were there on that first day, he gave us a quick preview of the day’s proceedings. In Neil’s usual inimitable easy style, he made everybody immediately feel at home.

Quite a few people have requested that yours truly publish her contribution in the 6-0-6 and if we can find a blank space, we will certainly do so. It was just a few thoughts on the conference theme: ‘The Tapestry of loving Service’.

Leith Luckett must have spend hours and hours of deep thought and careful preparation on the beautiful and intriguing artwork, that he presented to the people at the conference.

Kathleen and Trevor Swadling, representing the Sydney Study Group, gave us a report of their group. This couple has been and still is very active in the placement of The Urantia Book in libraries. The results are slow but steady, which is a healthy growth sign. They were very happy to report a few new members in their study groups, which has been going for many years.

Peter Webb had flown all the way from Perth just to be at the conference. He reported that they have quite a good strong study Group in the West. Peter has a Book booth planned for the Australia Day long weekend in January 1987. He welcomed any support that we might be ab le to give him for his project, but we will keep you informed as time goes by.
Life is full of surprises. That certainly was the case for Monika and Mike Patterson from Hobart, Tasmania. Monika wrote to Chicago and received news that a conference was to be held in Melbourne. Although they had read The Urantia Book for many years, they never knew that there was an Urantia Movement in Australia. Recently they have introduced two more people to the Urantia Book. With the four of them they came to the conference and so ended all the years reading in isolation. We were just as delighted as they were to see some friends from Tasmania. Mike and Monika are planning to place free Books in Libraries over there. So next year we might even see a few more people from the apple isle.

Our sunshine state was represented by Kevin Meyrick. Kevin who comes from Gladstone, Queensland and as the owner of a bookstore, imports our Urantia Books. One important point that Kevin brought forward during the course of the conference was, that everything comes at a price. If we keep selling the Urantia Books as cheap as possible, it will mean that every time we sell a book from our book float, b bookstore misses out on a sale. Bookstores have to make a living too and if The Urantia Book does not sell in their store, they will no longer be interested in keeping it in stock. Kevin pointed out that we in the long run may defeat our purpose: to make the Urantia Book readily available to the public. Even at $60 the Book is still very good value for money.
here once again the value of group discussion comes to the fore. I think that in future we’ll be better off to direct potential readers to the bookstore and ask them to order it from Chicago. During the waiting period, we could lend them a copy from our book float or send them to their local library, who are always able to get a copy in.

A few Melbournians had a chance to air their views on service activities. But the most wonderful surprise of the conference was Wolfang Borutta’s ‘Us in relation to the Whole’. Wolfgang, who we all know from his delightful cartoons in the Six-0-Six newsletter, had created a visual display model of the Master Universe. Together with his friend Sean, he had recorded quotations from The Urantia Book with beautiful music in the back ground. As we watched in a pitch dark room, the display box slowly lit up and a s the plan of the Master Universe enfolded before our very eyes, we marveled at the grandeur of it all.
Starting with the Isle of Paradise, moving through Havona, the seven Superuniverses and finally the four outer space levels, like a magic wonderland by night the whole display box lit up. It was quite an experience and we all hope that Wolfgang will get permission to use it in the future.

After morning tea it was time for our Group Discussion Workshop. We were divided into five groups. We received three sheets with questions. On sheet I and II, there were five questions on each sheet. One for each group. Sheet III had to be answered by all the groups. Spokesman and a person to take notes were chosen within the group. Wolfgang and Ian, whips in hand (sorry, I mean watches) were our overseers and made sure nobody dwelled too long on one question. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other and a few rusty old brains stated creaking again.
I will give a summary of the outcome in a separate article, but I would like to say something about Group V.

Eyewitnesses can testify that this group had some great debated going. What else do you expect when people lit Tom Reynolds, Peter Webb, Rod McCourt and William Wentworth get together. But this group was very wise. They could see straight away that this whole exercise was a conspiracy to make us work. They knew that truth is only relative to the time and place and that in 50 years time our great-grandchildren will go to the State Library and look up old copies of Six-0-Six, to study the early history of the Urantia movement in Australia. They knew that these same grandchildren would chuckle at some of the answers of the other four groups. And so in their wisdom, like the Master himself, they did not leave a trace of written evidence behind on the big board. Rod, their spokesman, had something scribbled down in a secret code. But he took it with him and unless somebody will come forward with a few gems from their great discussion, it will remain written in their hearts.

After a delicious lunch it was time for each group’s spokesman to give a summary. The general comment was that we just loved these ‘specific’ questions. Group II and IV had the best written summaries. A lively discussion developed. Ian Esmore successfully kept order and stopped people from spilling all their beans on the first day. The service projects were meant for the second day. One point that stood out in our discussion was the consensus on the question: “should we have an informal or a formal organization?” Everybody agreed that at this stage we should have an informal organization,  with individuals and small groups coordinating library placement, plan conferences, buy books and act as an international contact. A legal organization is something to keep in mind for the future.

Afternoon tea was followed by John Hales’ presentation. John, who loves his job as secretary general of the Urantia Brotherhood and does not mind the long hours that he works, was a first time visitor to Australia as were the other two. He brought hundreds of slides with him. For more than an hour we watched these and listened to a tape telling us the story of the origin, history and description of The Urantia Book. We heard about the people involved with this great revelation, the birth of the Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood. This hour was of great interest to us all. Old and new readers alike learned a great deal from John’s presentation.

We have had a request from Ken Glasziou  , who we all know as that clever scientist in Queensland, for an article about the origin of The Urantia Book, Ken wrote: “I would be interested in an article on the actual writing of The Urantia Book and the people associated with its initial publication, who they were, what they did. Is any information available? I’m sure 6-0-6 readers would like to know more.”
Ken, pity you couldn’t make it to the conference. You would have loved John Hales’ presentations. We will try to oblige and publish an article on this subject.

To keep things in balance, Steven Shanahan, our reversion director for the night, had organized dinner in a lovely Italian Restaurant. It became a great night. The company, the food, the wine and the music were superb!

The next mornings the Reynolds were in top form. Pamela sang a group of three songs and Tom gave us something to ponder on with: Who am I?”
Sunday morning was spent on the study of Paper 99 of The Urantia Book: ‘ The social Problems of Religion”.
We split up in two groups for this. There was never a dull moment in our group! At one stage Will decided he better take Cathy out of the room to finish their discussion, so the rest    of the group could get on with it!

After lunch Berkley Elliott talked about some of her experiences in the 30 years since she first found The Urantia Book. She told us about the various study groups in Oklahoma City. One important point that came forward out of Berkley’s talk was that we are all tested for patience. That steady growth in readers will occur if we are just patient and don’t expect miracles overnight. Berkley commented how much she felt at home in Australia. We seem to wrestle with the same kind of problems. It is nice to know that we all have the same Father to go to for love and strength in dealing with these problems.

Tom Allen, who is involved with the Library placement Scheme, told us how over the last few months one guy placed hundreds of books in libraries. Tom feels it is still the most successful way to let The Urantia Book find its way to the public. He has made us more enthusiastic to step up our library placement in Australia.

The time had come to knuckle down to the nitty-gritty of the conference. We needed a chairman with a firm hand and a powerful voice to keep order. Our obvious choice was William Wentworth, who handled it with ease. The outreach decision that came out of this session Neil Francey will cover in his article.

This conference was living proof that when we are guided by the spirit within us, we can work in harmony. Things always flowed smoothly. We were unified in our goal: To make mankind aware of their sonship with the Father and their brotherhood with their fellowmen.

I want to say thank you on behalf of all of us here in Melbourne to all the people, who have helped to make this conference a success, including all those quiet workers in the background.

Conferences are about people. People who had come from far and near. And if some of them were new to us before the conference, we all departed like old friends with promises to see each other again.

Summary in the 10 Anniversary Issue of 6-0-6; (Feb 1990) by William Wentworth

The conference theme was ‘Tapestry of loving Service’ and Madeline Noordzy’s presentation is well remembered to this day. The conference was enhanced by the presence of John Hales, Berkley Elliott and Tom Allen from the USA who were able to give us considerable help and encouragement. This was the largest and most diverse conference held up to that time and included readers from Western Australia and Tasmania as well as Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The library placement program moved into high gear when John Hales offered help and later organized for a shipment of 100 books at a time to the various distribution point in Australia.
 Kevin Meyrick’s address about the book trade in Australia led to a re-appraisal of attitudes to the distribution of the books.
At this conference, the idea of a South Pacific Regional Conference was conceived.

Conference Presentations

Tom Reynolds, Melbourne, from July/August 86 (6-0-6)

Who Am I

At one pole of my being, I am at one with the physical world of reality. The other pole of my being is separate from all, I stand alone. I am “I”          ! I am incomparable – unique!

Man and nature cannot destroy this reality of me, this island of consciousness. Only I can destroy it with my own selfishness.

This individuality holds its own against the forces of ignorance and fear, for they try to pull us down to a sameness of mind and spirit, which is a self caused poverty of God given gifts.

If this individuality is lost, all is lost. This is at once not only individual, but also universal, as this unique individuality is a creation by God from the universal and is meant to become a full partner with God.

That this individuality is considered by man as his most precious possession is proved by the suffering he undergoes and the sins he commits for its sake. If the individual self meant nothing to us but pain and sacrifice, would we still hold it at such a high value? The enemies of this individual self of ours are many: they lie within us, very subtle but real and they take many forms, such as selfishness, pride, criticism, self righteousness and idleness. We will highlight the point with one example.

Many of us who study spiritual writings seem to get lost in intellectual comprehension and fail to see the divine spiritual message of salvation for all even the blind, the handicapped and the socially deprived.

The person cursed with the literal mind is the unfortunate one, for they are always so busy with their own image that they fail to see their neighbor’s needs.

The rich man who talked with Christ found the entry price to heaven too high, for his possessions had become his treasure and security. His vision was limited to intellectual comprehension, for whatever we treasure for ourselves can stand in the way of love – separation from God.

It is not so much the possessions we have, be they material, mental or spiritual, that are important. It is our attitude towards these things that is of major importance. When we hold them too close to ourselves and refuse to share wisely with others.

What has this to do with service? The path of love – service and individual progression is the same path, for it leads on to individual health, more full and deeper relationships with others, self forgetfulness, self development and better Adjuster guidance. To share ourselves with others and not to stand above and dispense as one who is better than them, is the key, the golden key to success and security, here and in all future times.

Mount Wellington, Hobart

Madeline Noordzy –  presentation – in Sept/Oct 86 (6-0-6)

The Tapestry of loving Service

Why did we give the conference theme this name? In a tapestry there are many different colors. There are light and dark colours, warm and cool colours, colours for shading and colours for highlighting. All these are necessary if we are to achieve a harmonious whole, For was it not for the shading in the background, how could the highlights stand out against the rest?

Similarly in a group of people, there are many different personalities. They give colour to the group. But sometimes it is difficult to blend different personalities into a harmonious working unit.

I think all of us have the secret ambition to fuse with our Thought Adjuster one day. But what does fusion really mean? As far as I can see, it means that two entities, one pre-personal and the other one personal, become as one. They have taken on each other’s identity. You can’t tell them apart anymore. That’s what we are aiming for. To identify ourselves with our Thought Adjuster.

I realize, that we are still a long, long way off from that point in our Universe career, but let us assume for a moment that we were well on our way. By that time our Adjuster would be firmly in control of our thoughts. This fragment of the Universal Father IS LOVE, unconditional Love!

If we saw things through the eyes of our Divine Monitor, would we then say to our friend: “I am only going to love you and cooperate with you if you are nice to me and if you agree with me. If you have a different opinion I am going to get very upset and maybe very angry”.
Of course not! Our Thought Adjuster is incapable of anger or intolerance. He is incapable of impatience. He is non-judgmental and does not criticize. He love our friend, whatever the cost, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, even when he becomes hard to get on with. Our Thought Adjuster does not expect uniformity from our friend. He knows that our friend likes to add the colour of his or her own personality to the tapestry of the group.
Maybe our friend likes to stay in the shading highlights of another personality. Maybe he or she makes a marvelous listener. Our friend could be more a person of deeds than of words.

We all have many different talents, Let us be patient with each other, for those talents to enfold when the time is ripe. Let us not expect more from our friend than he is ready to achieve. Live and let live. Let us five each other the freedom to choose our own colour for this tapestry. Why not give the reigns of our carriage to our Divine Coachmen?
Let us see things through the eyes of love. Every time we are tempted to become intolerant, let us remember that Divine Lover, who lives within our mind and who never runs out of patience or who never says: “I have been tolerant long enough now.” If we were truly serious about dedicating our life to doing the Fathers Will then let us start identifying ourselves with our Divine Monitor, who never becomes offended. If we want to be the disseminators of the Fifth Epochal Revelation, then let us be worthy of it.

Loving service is the best antidote for the unbalanced state of fanaticism or over-intellectualization of The Urantia Book. I’m sure there will be plenty of good suggestions on how we can best serve. I think together we could weave a beautiful tapestry of loving service, which is the only gift we can offer to our heavenly Father.

Outreach decisions

The final session at the recent National Conference was taken up with a lively group discussion under the guidance of our chairman Will Wentworth. We set about reviewing our current projects and co-ordination efforts for the future. Goals could be set in the light of the discussions over the previous day and a half. The times for establishing outreach plans had arrived.