REPORT ON NOOSA ’89
(From 606 – Nov 1989)
The timing, weatherwise, was perfect – although the local community were hoping for well-overdue rain – but for us , attendees of the conference, the Sunshine Coast turned on its namesake.
The venue, Halse Lodge,a beautiful old heritage-protected Queenslander, is set only a few minutes walk from the beach, pub, shops and rainforest walks. The atmosphere was relaxed and homely. We were blessed with the Conference Room at Halse Lodge being available for our sole usage for the duration of our stay. The adjoining kitchen area enabled us to have beverages as we desired, which increased the homely effect.
Despite interstate traveling problems associated with the Air Strike, we had 31 attendees who started arriving from 12 o’clock onwards on Thursday 5th October.
The conference officially convened at 4 pm on Thursday with Ken Glasziou giving a talk on the Paris International Meeting which he and his wife Betty attended in August, 1989.
This was followed by an introduction to Friday’s workshop by Neil Francey, explaining the format, and our aspirations in respect of outcomes from the groups’ endeavours.
Dinner at Halse Lodge was at 7 pm with entertainment thereafter by way of videos on The URANTIA Book, followed by socializing.
We were very pleased to have Richard Keeler, one of the Trustees of the URANTIA Foundation, attend, who naturally was bombarded with questions about the American scene.
On Friday morning, after a hymn-sing-along, we divided into five groups for the “Missing Link” workshop which was based on the following quotation –
“Let me emphatically state this eternal truth: If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth-co-ordinated life.” (Jesus, page 1726.2)
The following is a synopsis of the aims of the workshop prepared by Ken Glasziou.
“The theme of the ‘Missing Link’ workshop centres around the statement from page 1726 of The URANTIA Book telling us that if we absorb the message revealed by the life of Jesus and reflect that message fully in our lives, then truth seekers will be drawn to us. The next part of the statement seems to be telling us that if we find it necessary to publicly announce the message in order to find new readers, then we can be certain that we have yet to attain that stage of spiritual growth when we start to be personal advertisements for the way of Jesus.
Many URANTIA Book readers at times express the opinion that we do not find the Book but rather that it finds us. If we subscribe to that view, we are making a startling admission – we are really declaring, with humility of course and without realizing it, that we have been chosen to carry out a task related to this Book that has found us. Hopefully, the ‘Missing Link’ workshop will contribute in aiding us to attain our potential for further spiritual growth, and hence to fulfill more effectively, the task expected of us.”
Thirty-six pages with excerpts from the Blue Book relating to Joy, Joyous, Joyful, Joyfully, Joys, had been forwarded to participants a few weeks prior to the workshop for them to peruse and note those which would have relevance to what they believed was the ‘Missing Link’ .
The day produced some thought provokers and highlighted problem areas for each of us as individuals and was a wonderful group and team experience.
After dinner we had a fun night with Trevor, Kathleen and Richard playing and all of us singing along for about three hours. After fifteen minutes of music, Marijke, the manageress of Halse Lodge asked if she could join us and stayed until midnight.
Saturday consisted of presentations by myself on: The Future – What and How Far Away.
David Regal – Doing our Father’s Will in daily occupation.
Howard Lowe – What is the Value of Meeting with Fellow Believers
Kathleen Swadling – Religion In Society
After a quick lunch, we were transported to Noosa and spent the afternoon on a boat trip up the Everglades, Cooloola Cruises is a trip not to be missed if you come to this area.
The guides were informative and had an obvious love of all God’s natural creation. Saturday night was a Video night with most of us retiring reasonably early. On Sunday we had presentations (Chaired by Betty Glasziou) from:
Kevin Meyrick – Book Distribution in Australia.
Madeline Noordzy – Six-O-Six Newsletter Information.
William Wentworth – Report as Area Co-ordinator and on his visits to New Zealand and Perth.
Martin Me Burney – News from Melbourne
And finally Richard Keeler gave us a talk on his experiences as a URANTIA Book reader for 30 years.
At 1.30 pm we had our usual picture taking with Terry Hovaghimiam, “draped with six cameras, doing most of the work and then it was goodbye until next time, God willing, and back to our daily lives.
For myself, and I believe all of the group, we give thanks to God for enabling us to attend what was an encounter of humor, companionship, kindred spirit fraternizing, and growth; and pray our next meeting will be bigger and better and may we become more spiritual as a result of NOOSA ’89.
Report on Workshop of NOOSA ’89
Find the Missing Link
The Sunshine Coast Study Group – Tewantin, Queensland
This workshop was held in conjunction with an Australia-wide meeting of URANTIA Book readers at Noosa, Queensland during October 1989 which was attended by 31 devotees, coming from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and including one visitor from the United States.
The subject of the workshop was a quotation from page 1726 of The URANTIA Book, made by Jesus as follows:
“Let me state emphatically this eternal truth: If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth co-ordinated life. “
Since direct observation indicates that very few URANTIA Book readers are being trampled by crowds of truth seekers, the Sunshine Coast study group undertook an attempt to discover what may be missing in the way we live our lives that prevents crowds from flocking to us. Possible clues were located, firstly on page 2067 where, in speaking about the very earliest Christian community that formed immediately after Pentecost, the Book tells us that:
Nevertheless they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus.
Another clue was located in the section entitled, ‘As Jesus passed by’, on page 1874 which states:
Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness that emanates from a love-saturated soul.
From these three quotes, key words were selected and the Reference Aid for The URANTIA Book was utilized (courtesy of the Brotherhood of Man Library) to generate 96 quotes (29 typed pages) of material that might be relevant to the problem of the missing link. This material was distributed to each participant prior to the workshop taking place with the request to mark passages that each thought bore on the problem, and also to add any other quotes from the Book that were thought to be relevant.
At the workshop we divided into five groups and the quotes selected by individuals were discussed in terms of concepts set out on page 1112 where we are told:
The teachings of Jesus constituted the first Urantian religion which so fully embraced a harmonious co-ordination of knowledge, wisdom, faith, truth, and love as completely and simultaneously to provide temporal tranquillity, intellectual certainty, moral enlightenment, philosophic stability, ethical sensitivity, God-consciousness, and the positive assurance of personal survival. The faith of Jesus pointed the way to finality of human salvation, to the ultimate of mortal universe attainment, since it provided for: …
Then follows a description of 7 points of personalitygrowth that may be briefly summarized as salvationfrom:
1. Material fetters through realization of sonship with God.
2. Intellectual bondage – truth will set us free.
3. Spiritual blindness – discovery of the spiritual value of service.
4. Incompleteness of self – through attainment of spirituality.
5. Limitations of self – release from ego domination.
6. Time – certainty of eternal life; progression in God recognition.
7. The finite – through perfected oneness with Deity.
During the discussions, individuals indicated their thoughts about how the various quotations related to the ‘missing link’. The most relevant ones are listed below in the order of the greatest number of votes received.
Top Ten from NOOSA ’89
1. Nevertheless, they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus. (2067:1)
2. “By the old way you seek to suppress, obey, and conform to the roles of living; by the new way you are first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind, and so are you endowed with the power of the certain and joyous performance of the gracious, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Forget not – it is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that ensures your becoming partakers of the divine nature. Thus by your faith and the spirit’s transformation, you become in reality the temples of God, and his spirit actually dwells within you. If, then, the spirit dwells within you , you are no longer bondslaves of the flesh but free and liberated sons of the spirit. The new law of the spirit endows you with the liberty of self-mastery in place of the old law of the fear of self-bondage and the slavery of selfdenial”. (1609:5)
3. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven. While light dispels darkness, it can also be so “blinding” as to confuse and frustrate. We are admonished to let our light so shine that our fellows will be guided into new and godly paths of enhanced living. Our light should so shine as not to attract attention to self. Even one’s vocation can be utilized as an effective “reflector” for the dissemination of this light of life.” (1572:4)
4. Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul. Goodness always compels respect, but when it is devoid of grace, it often repels affection. Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive”. (1874:4)
5. “You cannot reveal God to those who do not seek for him,’ you cannot lead unwilling souls into the joys of salvation. Man must become hungry for truth as a result of the experiences of living, or he must desire to know God as the result of contact with the lives of those who are acquainted with the divine Father before another human being can act as the means of leading such a fellow mortal to the Father in heaven. If we know God, our real business on earth is so to live as to permit the Father to reveal himself in our lives, and thus will all God-seeking persons see the Father and ask for our help in finding out more about the God who in this manner finds expression in our lives”. (1466:2)
6. “Happiness and joy take origin in the inner life. You cannot experience real joy all by yourself. A solitary life is fatal to happiness. Even families and nations will enjoy life more if they share it with others”. (1220:6)
7. “I cannot but observe that so many of you spend so much time and thought on mere trifles of living, while you almost wholly overlook the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more harmonious working agreement between you and your Adjusters. The great goal of human existence is to attune to the divinity of the indwelling Adjuster; the great achievement of mortal life is the attainment of a true and understanding consecration to the eternal aims of the divine spirit who waits and works within your mind. But a devoted and determined effort to realize eternal destiny is wholly compatible with a light-hearted and joyous life and with a successful and honorable career on earth. Co-operation with the Thought Adjuster does not entail self-torture, mock piety, or hypocritical and ostentatious self-abasement; the ideal life is one of loving service rather than an existence of fearful apprehension”. (1206:2)
8. “But the great problem of religious living consists in the task of unifying the soul powers of the personality by the dominance of LOVE. Health, mental efficiency, and happiness arise from the unification of physical systems, mind systems, and spirit systems. Of health and sanity man understands much, but of happiness he has truly realized very little. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. Spiritual progress yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding.” (1097:7)
9. It is the presence of the divine Spirit, the water of life, that prevents the consuming thirst of mortal discontent and that indescribable hunger of the unspiritualized human mind. Spirit-motivated beings ‘never thirst, for this spiritual water shall be in them a well of satisfaction springing up into everlasting life’. Such divinely watered souls are all but independent of material environment as regards the joys of living and the satisfaction of earthly existence. They are spiritually illuminated and refreshed, morally strengthened and endowed. (381:2)
10. ‘And so must we clearly recognize that neither the golden rule nor the teaching of non-resistance can ever be properly understood as dogmas or precepts. They can only be comprehended by living them, by realizing their meanings in the living interpretation of the Spirit of Truth, who directs the loving contact. (1950:6)
Towards the conclusion of the workshop, Trevor Swadling, representing his group, leapt to his feet and declared with great joy that “JOY” is the missing link. Nobody disagreed. This joy is, of course, a very special kind of joy that emanates from our knowledge of, and our love of, the Father-Spirit that dwells within us and our complete confidence that, in seeking to do his will, the security of our destiny is totally assured.