1992 – Elanora, NSW – 2-5 October 1992
William Arnott Lodge, Elanora Heights NSW 2101
With the apostles we have fine examples of men at the time Jesus walked our world. In them we can see ourselves. They represent the various personality types we are likely to meet in our own lives. In looking at the character of each of the apostles, the way in which each of them made decisions and interacted with Jesus and each other is very instructive.
By Showing the thinking and life choices they made we can relate to how we do the same. Choices which transform the person. In the case of the apostles, excepting Judas, taking inherited genetic characteristics to achieve spiritual growth through life with Jesus. Growth resulting from triumph of spirit over the natural material tendencies of animal inheritance. Triumph of love.
The apostles are examples of ordinary men doing extraordinary things.
JESUS – and the Land he walked
Summary of conference – Kathleen Swadling, Sydney
from Six-0-Six Nov/Dec 1992
Another annual conference for students of The Urantia Book has come and gone leaving all who participated, I’m sure, with a feeling that their time was well spent and full of qualitative experiences and reflection. Over the four days, around thirty to thirty five people attended, some staying and others visiting on a daily basis. We had folks come all the way from the USA, New Zealand, Victoria, Queensland and NSW. New and old friends were met and much meaningful and valuable sharing took place.
The theme was “Human Nature of the Twelve Apostles”. Twelve people were previously selected to study up on the nature and character of an apostle and presented that apostle to the group. The woman’s Corps was also presented.
The objective was to try and gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of human being, especially ones who were desperately trying to grasp the significance of Jesus’ teaching. The struggles they encountered when attempting to understand and apply the truths gleaned through their association with Jesus, coupled with their background of culture, preconceived ideas and expectations, highlighted the frailties and limitations of human understanding.
The magnificent trust and faith Jesus had in them, despite these failings was, and is, an inspiration to anyone struggling with their own shortcomings.
By studying each of these apostles, we were able to see a cross-section of the types of people throughout human society . Many a time throughout the presentations the presenter would exclaim that they felt they were doing a study on themselves and felt they had learned a lot through this exercise. The diversity of these twelve was profound and yet they were given the task of working together in the business of epochal revelation. This realization stimulated much discussion on the necessity of understanding one another in order that we may have tolerance and patience and be able to work together for a common high goal.
Rita Schaad, from Newcastle, brought along the framework for a woven wall hanging and explained the symbology of her intentions. She asked if throughout the weekend, we could all contribute to this wall hanging by weaving in some of the material she provided and also to use our imaginations if we felt inclined to collect other material from the surrounding bush and weave this in also. This would result in a symbolization of how the harmonious interweaving of individuality can produce something solid, firm and beautiful. It symbolized the tapestry of life which fitted into the theme of human nature beautifully. I’d like to thank Rita for this symbolic gesture from the bottom of my hear. It brings alive for me the astounding truth of how much more useful we can all be when working our diverse individuality in with the individuality of others instead of it working against one another and the greater cause.
On Sunday afternoon Sepo Kanerva presented an outline for the structure of the new URANTIA Brotherhood Association. Seppo is from Finnish URANTIA Society and is currently working in the office of URANTIA Foundation on translations of The Urantia Book. This outline was well presented by Seppo and stimulated many thoughts and questions on the direction this new organization will take.
In a nutshell, the new organization will be more geared toward coordination rather than organization and will be concerned primarily with providing service to students of the book if they wish for that service. The study group will be considered autonomous with that autonomy respected at all times. The study group will be outside of that structure even though the structure will be able to provide services to those groups if asked. The structure will be a lot simpler than its predecessor, URANTIA Brotherhood, in the place of service to students of The Urantia Book.
If anyone would like a copy of the booklet which was handed out titled ‘URANTIA Brotherhood Association’- Structure Outline’ let me know by writing to PO Box 609, Narrabeen NSW 2101.
Saturday night saw us all at the Singaporean Restaurant fir dinner where a good time was had in relaxation and socialization. On Sunday afternoon we took a stroll along some of the headlands of Sydney’s northern beaches and walked around some rock pools and along the beach. The weather was kind and the scenery picturesque. The company was fantastic!
Sunday night was quiz time hosted by Terry Hovaghimian and his lovely offsider, Maria ( Jane King). We split up into teams and were asked questions from The URANTIA Book. Much debate, friendly arguing and stimulation resulted. Terry added much humor with his quick wit and showman abilities. Maria kept score as well as trying to keep the quiz master and the wild rabble under control!
Monday morning rounded the conference off nicely with a study group. We read paper 100 – Religion in human experience”- which was very appropriate to the theme. Naturally much stimulating and thought provoking discussion took place.
It was sad when it came time to break up the party and all go our separate ways. I’m sure I speak for almost all when I say, that the weekend helped us to experience the richness in genuine sharing amongst God-loving fellow men and women. These experiences are to be treasured and I hope the memories stay with us all for a long time.
Presentation by Ari Majurinen – the Apostle Matthew