Introduction talk by Kathleen Swadling
Presented at the South Pacific Regional Meeting – October 1988 at Robertson NSW
Although Australia is hosting this meeting, it is our intention that emphasis is placed on interaction. For this reason we decided on the theme “cultural diversity and spiritual unity”. For many years now the URANTIA revelation has seen a great deal of activity in the United States for obvious reasons – the revelation was placed on this world in Chicago – a major centre of Trade & Commerce . The readership spread from that centre throughout America and in recent times we have seen it spreading further from that country to the very countries all of us here today have come from. The time is coming (or perhaps has come) for the readers of the world to unite in their efforts to spread this 5th Epochal Revelation and to get the invisible brotherhood of Jesus off the ground so that his superb teachings will rule in the hearts of all mankind.
I hold firmly to the belief that transformed individuals will be the kind to a transformed world and that The URANTIA Book will play a vital role in the transformation of the individual. The URANTIA Foundation and the URANTIA Brotherhood are the established bodies whose aim is to protect the context of the book and to foster its growth throughout the world. Whenever groups of individuals band together for a common purpose they are bound to have problems because of our inherent imperfect natures. We all well know that our Father created the evolutionary worlds of time and space for a very good reason. It is a part of his ultimate plan to have time-tested, perfected creatures for some future purpose. We should not be too troubled about the fact that we have problems in our dealings with our fellow men for it is the challenge of solving those problems which stimulate our growth and contribute to the emergence of The Supreme Being. If we sincerely seek for the truth in all situations and actively live that truth in our personal lives, we will have a solid foundation to build our universe careers on. I see the URANTIA Brotherhood as the focal point for the planetary movement of the URANTIA revelation. It stands for a body of committed individuals who wish to DO something about transforming the world by fostering the spreading of the teachings in The URANTIA Book, which has the power to speak to the souls of truth-hungry individuals. I find this a worthy commitment and one which I personally chose to identify with. There are enough warnings in the book to guard against crystallisation and institutionalisation.
True unity of spirit allows for diversity of individuals. The unity of spirit is like the cloth and the diverse individuals are like the threads which weave themselves in the right way to contribute to the finished item. When done in accordance with the will of God, diversity and unity are inseparable. I’d like to step away from the individual as related to the whole now and look at our national and international status in relation to the planetary goal of the 5th Epochal revelation. How serious are we in our commitment to the 5th Epochal revelation? Do we simply want just to do our own thing with it and not be involved with the social readership or do we want to become organised (a bit like the apostles needing to get their act together) and really work towards getting this thing off the ground. If we seek to band together on an international scale we need to recognise and consider the diversity of the individual cultures. The problems encountered in working with foreign cultures to our own, will probably be far greater than those we face with one another in our own countries. However if we are sincerely focused on our commitment to living out the revelation and working to bring about the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, then no problem will be insurmountable.
I feel this conference could be quite significant to the growth of the movement in the South Pacific region and should provide an excellent opportunity for the development of international relations. We must strive toward breaking down the national barriers – remember that it is nationalism which has created our worst global conflicts. We need to look beyond our national differences and identify with the spiritual unity. I do not see the URANTIA Brotherhood as an American organisation, but rather as a planetary one which happens to be headquartered in America. As other countries become more involved in the movement it will take on more on an international flavour .
I see that those of us here representing Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti Fiji Hong Kong, France, Great Britain, Switzerland and Finland will have a vital role to play in expanding the horizons of the URANTIA Brotherhood and helping it to become a truly world-wide movement. I hope the gathering this week will help us to gain an understanding of one another and succeed in strengthening the bonds of fellowship between us. I hope and pray that the Father will give us strength and courage to help us to ain an insight into the value of our varying natures and to be wise in putting our understanding into action.
I would like to close with this thought, It is a quote from The URANTIA Book..
…Families, groups, nations, races, worlds, systems, constellations, and universes are relationships of association which possess individuality; and therefore does every member of any such group, large or small, reap the benefits and suffer the consequences of the rightdoing and the wrongdoing of all other members of the group concerned. [Paper 54:6.3, page 618.6]