Surfers Paradise 1998 – Conference Reports

Conference information and Updates in Arena

Three days that will change the world…

Whelll …maybe just a little…?

Preparations for this year’s conference are now in full swing. Registrations are tolling in to conference headquarters in Sydney. It promises to be another memorable occasion with people coming from all corners of Australia.

So don’t forget to check your calendar and make your travel plans to sunny Queensland for the 25 to 28th of September this year. It will be our beautiful springtime. And it doesn’t get better than that. We want everyone to treat it as a real holiday as well as a stimulating conference.

The theme of How Jesus Taught is creating a lot of interest. When we look at all the various methods Jesus used it is quite amazing – and inspirational. The book, because of the way it is written, makes us search for the sum total of gems on a particular topic. And so those of us attending this conference can be assured of collecting a magnificent array of jewels.


We have finalized the format for the weekend and guarantee thought provoking sessions that help to generate spiritual insights.

So pack your bags for a great holiday with friends. The members of the Conference Committee are looking forward to giving you a warm and hospitable welcome and making your stay a most enjoyable experience.

To register see enclosed Form:

Where:            International Beach Resort, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
When:              Friday 25 to Monday 28 September 1998
Cost:                $199 for the full conference

That’s where we’ll be having a great time and talking about the many interesting subjects covered in the book.

The Conference Committee had one objective in mind when preparing this year’s program. It was designed to be adventurous by exploring the many methods used in Jesus’ teaching mission. What a great opportunity to consider this most important aspect of knowledge, HOW JESUS TAUGHT. An experience not to be missed. For those not able to attend, a conference report will be included in the next issue of The Arena.

Conference Report

As Spring was coming to our part of Urantia, the function room of the International Beach Resort in Surfers Paradise was buzzing pleasantly, with people greeting each other after years or for the first time. Many stories were told, much news exchanged, pizza nibbled and wine enjoyed.

The musicians set up stage, Trevor Hughes with his keyboard and his own music, Vern and Rita tuned the guitars, Nigel ran his fingers down the silvery flute, and the fans of the UB Allstars sang and moved to the rhythm.

These are first impressions of a conference, then what comes in the following two and a half days is so rich and diverse that it gets somewhat compressed, to be slowly teased apart and explored in the weeks and months that follow. This annual event which most of us await with gladness is always over too quickly.

To Neil Francey, many thanks for preparing such a great time for us all. And to Clyde Duncan, Anne Bendall, David Regal, Ken Glasziou, Will Wentworth, Nigel Nunn and Martin McBurney, once again thanks for leading us through some very interesting, thought provoking, funny and strenuous activities and presentations.


The 1998 ANZURA conference had the theme: How Jesus Taught.

From the presentations and subsequent discussions, we realised: Jesus himself was the revelation;
You – not the book – are the revelation, and the book is helpful as a guide for living the teachings of Jesus.

As we explored in detail his teaching methods, we noticed that he accentuated the positive, applied skillful questioning, employed short discourses to groups of all sizes, conducted Question and Answer sessions, evolved parables into a high art, and added to the truth and understanding of others by example. His life, and the way he lived it, embodied his teachings.

The point was made that we stand in danger of embracing the teachings about Jesus (the book) instead of the teachings of Jesus (living it). All teaching must empower the student by the instant recognition of their dignity as a child of God. Each of us is forever enacting the role of student/teacher. The true teachers of the future will be accredited solely by their lives of intelligent service which they bestow on their fellows.
We can teach others as we pass by if we look for opportunities to be friendly and demonstrate the love of God as a Father. A quiz session showed that sincerely seeking an answer is an interesting part of that answer.

And once again, the conference demonstrated that there is unparalleled joy in meeting brothers and sisters. We all look forward to Melbourne in October, 1999.

William Wentworth


A look at all the various methods Jesus used to deliver the gospel  message that God is your Father and the kingdom is within you.

Jesus was his Teachings set the tone of the conference, Clyde Duncan in his keynote address said each person has the opportunity to be a good example for the benefit of our fellows—to teach by example. Ann Bendall emphasized that teaching is more effective than preaching. William Wentworth presented his understanding that We teach what we are. We are the revelation. Which is another way of saying by our fruits we are known—most effective teachers.

“And it will not be so much by the words you speak as by the lives you live that men will know you have been with me and have learned of the realities of the kingdom.” [Paper 140:1.7, page 1569]

William expanded on the theme of his talk and created a larger essay, which he presented at the International Conference in Columbia in 2012.

With his presentation, The Art of Teaching Others, Martin McBurney looked at how Jesus’ teaching methods changed as he adapted to the circumstances he and the apostles encountered wherever they went with the gospel message.

by Vern Verass

Photo Album

( Arena,  December 1998)