Announcement in 6-0-6, May/June 1987
The 1987 Australian Conference for readers of The Urantia Book
This year’s Theme is ” the Purpose of Revelation“
A unique live-in experience over 2 nights form Friday Oct 9th to Sunday Oct 11th to be held in Sydney at the William Arnott Lodge.
Location: The lodge is located approximately 2km above Narrabeen Beach
Transport: By public transport, catch a Mona Vale, Newport or Palm Beach bus from Wynyard Park o the York str. Side and proceed to Narrabeen shopping centre (1 Hour). From there take a taxi for the short distance up the hill to the site.
For those coming by coach or car, the lodge is at 19a Wesley str. Eleanora Heights. Wesley street runs off Powder Works Rd, which runs off Mona Vale Rd via Garden st, near the traffic lights at Narrabeen High School at the bottom of the hill.
Cost: $50 per head includes all meals and accommodation for period form 6pm 9. Oct to 3Pm 11th Oct. The lodge has accommodation for 50 persons.
Report – Nov/Dec 1987
by Kathleen Swadling, Sydney
I am happy once again we had a most successful meeting of Urantia Book readers. I am sure that I speak for all who attended when I say that the benefits gained by this experience were of a positive and high quality nature. This year’s meeting was unique to any other annual meeting of readers due to the ‘live-in’ situation which allowed for a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere where new friendships could be made and develop.
At 6.00 on Friday evening, people started arriving from far and wide. Needless to say there was a terrific atmosphere of joy, laughter and conversation as people settled into the lodge, caught up with old friendships, began new friendships and drank beverages.
Saturday morning began with an introduction by Trevor Swadling, after which we split into two groups to study Paper 133 – the Return from Rome.
As we studied this Paper, we were to be mindful of the theme for the weekend: “ The purpose of Revelation”. We discussed at great length how Jesus, as one man, did so much for his revelation as he spent this time preparing the soil and planting seeds for the later work of his apostles. We found Jesus’ personal style an inspiration, which will hopefully give us all a little more of an understanding of how the fruits of the spirit work when one wholeheartedly desires to do the will of the Father. These two groups nominated a speaker each and after lunch each speaker reported on the points discussed and highlighted by their group.
These discussions lead into a “brainstorming” exercise, which I conducted with the aid of a whiteboard, where everyone expressed opinions and ideas of what they felt the purpose of revelation was. Each point was jotted down on the board. We then created a ‘mind-map’ where ideas were expanded upon and related to the Revelation of The Urantia Book . A general goal as to the purpose of The Urantia Book was at the centre, and around, in satellite form, were various practical ideas relating to sharing and spreading the book. Each satellite had further ideas relating to the particular point. The purpose of this exercise was purely to get everyone thinking and to express their ideas which gave us all plenty of food for thought.
We then disbanded and many of us went for a bush walk to a lovely waterfall, which was greatly appreciated after the intense mental exercise of the day. Upon return we listened to a tape by William Sadler Jnr. Discussing the Mansion Worlds. After dinner most of us piled into the available vehicles and went to the Swadlings place for some more socializing around eats and drinks.
Before I go on with Sunday’s activities, I would like to mention more about the constituency of this company of readers. One of the highlights was the number of faces from Queensland. Enough of them came to make up for the absence of Queenslanders for the past four years. Thanks to the efforts of Neil Francey and his ability to draw people together, he brought a car load of wonderful people with him, namely Ann Bendall, Howard Lowe and Jo Hausler. David Regal, a onetime Sydney study group attender, who now lives on the Gold Coast, arrived independently to the others. I think I can safely say that there will be a study group happening in Brisbane very soon, if not already.
We also had representatives from all the other study groups around Australia; Peter Webb from Western Australia; Vern Verass and William Wentworth from Canberra; Christopher and Bridget Billington from W-Tree; Madeline Noordzy, Steve Shanahan and Ina, and Ian Esmore from Melbourne; Trevor, myself and Daniel (our son), Oswald Astgor, Ray Frederikson, Michael and Tory King fro Sydney. We were also fortunate to have visitors from outside Australia. Emmanuel Lou and Silvie from Tahiti were a great asset. A bond with our South Pacific neighbors is forming and strengthening as friendships grow. Larry Lando, a reader from the USA, who is holidaying in Australia, was a welcome visitor. Larry is a member of the new Urantia Society which recently has been formed in Washington State. Needless to say the diversity of people added much quality to this year’s meeting.
Sunday morning began with a silent worship and mediation period for hose who wished to participate. After breakfast we sang a few songs with Oswald Astor accompanying on piano and Merindi, our daughter, on the flute. I personally find that this form of group worship moves me the most. Others were also very uplifted as we had requests to repeat some of the songs. After the singing we received reports from various study groups, some presentations and much discussion.
Madeline Noordzy reported on the Melbourne study groups and the 6-0-6 newsletter. Contributions of articles are always welcomed. Financial support for the Library Books Postage Project are still required. Up till now $250 was received from 10 people. We still have a long way to go before all public libraries will have a book on their shelves. Steve Shanahan was happy to report that the original book float of 40 books has turned over three times within a year. Some of these have been sold through bookshops and others through personal recommendations. A special mention was made of the excellent work Robert Crickett is doing in introducing people the The Urantia Book through the psychic development courses Robert is conducting.
Peter Webb reported on the Perth study group and the book booth held in January this year at the Matilda Festival. Instant results have not been apparent, but are also no expected. Many seeds were sown, which was the intention of the booth.
I reported on the Library Placement Scheme and how smoothly it has been going since we have been more organized and united in our efforts. It was stressed in discussion that readers should borrow the books from time to time from their local libraries to keep the books in circulation. Trevor checked the book in a library near us and in the four years it has been there it had been borrowed 25 times and was out on loan. The borrowers were all different people (and they were not any of the study group members.)
Neil Francey gave a report on his trip to the USA in August and his experiences at the General Conference in Brunswick, Maine. It was a genuinely worthwhile experience and recommended to us for future General Conferences. The number of events needing to be organized and coordinated left quite an impression.
Trevor Swadling informed on a few events taking place by a few of us concerned with trying to get the Trustees of the Urantia Foundation to seek a wholesaler in Australia, who will carry the book, which is essential if the book is to get into the mainstream book trade. As it stands now, most bookstores will not make special orders for the book to an overseas supplier. This stimulated a lot of discussion and Emmanuel Lou shared with us some of the problems encountered in France on this matter of book distribution.
David Regal shared some pointers which he has fond helpful when talking to people about The Urantia Book and his own personal religious standing. He has written an article for 6-0-6 so you can read his ideas for yourself.
William Wentworth presented some thoughts, feeling and ideas on personal prayer and group worship. William has thought about these matters deeply and his honesty and openness to these subjects were a credit to him. Much discussion was stimulated as this subject is close to everyone’s heart. Perhaps we can encourage William to put these thoughts into an article for 6-0-6 to share with the readership, which may stimulate some deep felt response.
The preparations for next year’s South Pacific meeting of readers was discussed briefly. A few were concerned about how many and who were involved in the preparations. Basically the informal committee formed to organize the Library Placement Scheme, are the ones organizing the South Pacific gathering. This group includes people from Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney groups. Ideas for the content of the program by anyone who would like to have an input are welcome.
After lunch all were busy with preparations to leave; cleaning up, packing, final exchanges of addresses and phone numbers, group photos etc and the inevitable reluctancy to say that last goodbye until next time.
All in all the weekend was a marvelous success and a terrific ’recharging’ for our batteries. I thoroughly recommend to everyone this experience of these annual meetings as the social contact with other readers is so conducive to one’s perspectives and inspirations. Next year’s South Pacific meeting will be a unique experience as we unite with those readers so close to Australia and with others coming from around the world. It will surely give us a planetary perspective and expand or horizons as we contemplate the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.
What Religion are you
David Regal, Gold Coast – Nov/Dec 87
In my 18 years of studying The Urantia Book and trying to stimulate others to see for truth within its pages, I find that one of the most commonly asked questions is: ‘What Religion are you?”
At first I was at a loss to make an adequate reply to this question, never having given my own religion any serious thought. Hence I was forced by circumstances to do some deep and careful thinking as on more than one occasion my inquirer was put off by my inability to provide a clear and acceptable statement of my religious faith.
One would assume that since I received a traditional religious upbringing in the Methodist Church, I would naturally be a Christian. But such is not the case as I had left the church in my mid-teens, having found very little satisfaction for the longing of my spiritual nature. To declare that I am a Christian, places limitations on my level of ‘Faith’ and also tends to place the inquirer on guard as my experience has taught me that those thinking men and women with little religious training or background, who do not follow any particular religion often associate Christianity with its many divisions and identify it with the social problems of Western civilization. Some even fear religion and what it will do to them. Those who reject Christianity would not accept any statement that suggested I followed some religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
The acceptance of the traditional religions of authority presents the easy way out for man’s urge to seek satisfaction for the longings of his spiritual nature. The settled, crystallized, and established religions of authority afford a ready refuge to which the distracted and distraught soul of man may flee when harassed by fear and tormented by uncertainty. Such a religion requires of its devotees, as the price to be paid for its satisfactions and assurances, only a passive and purely intellectual assent. [Paper 155:5.9, page 1729.4]
I knew I did not belong to such a religion, particularly after discovering God for myself and gradually evolving a religion through personal experience. Only recently did I make a real attempt to define my religion into word symbols of the English language.
This is how I describe my own religion to answer this commonly asked question:
‘The religion that recognizes God as my Father and all men and women as my brothers and sisters and that leads me to seek to know the will of God and try to do that will in my daily life.”
this method I have found, allows me to overcome any prejudice on the part of the inquirer and places their mind in that state where they will often desire to be illuminated further. Most people agree with this definition, but find they cannot understand its meaning. And thus by carefully leading this person along the path of truth, I can stimulate them unconsciously to become a truth seeker without threatening their intellect by giving them the impression that I was trying to force my religion upon them. And usually I get the opportunity to make it clear that my religion is a personal experience, not a system of slavish beliefs or rituals.
Religion cannot be bestowed, received, loaned, learned, or lost. It is a personal experience which grows proportionally to the growing quest for final values. Cosmic growth thus attends on the accumulation of meanings and the ever-expanding elevation of values. But nobility itself is always an unconscious growth. [Paper 11:1.7, page 1095.21]
This was the first live-in conference in Australia and was held at the William Arnott Lodge at Elanora near Narrabeen. The theme was “The purpose of Revelation”. Besides participants from WA, VIC, NSW, and QLD, Emmanuel Lou came all the way from Tahiti. (10th Anniv Issue)