From the President – Winter 2011
Welcome to the winter issue of the Arena for 2011 and I hope this year has been kind to you. Quite a few ANZURA sponsored projects have already been achieved this year and several are well underway. The annual National Study Day was held over the weekend of the 21st of May. Paper 132: The Sojourn in Rome was read by readers who met in study groups around Australia, New Zealand and some other countries around the world. Thanks to all those study group hosts who opened their homes for this annual event. Plans are well under way now for this year’s annual conference in Victoria which is being held 21-24 October. The theme will be “Urantia Book — The Treasure Chest”. The registration brochure with all the relevant details has been mailed out. It can also be found on the website: www.urantia-anzura.org
ANZURA’s Strategic Planning Committee met in Sydney in April to discuss dissemination plans. Late last year ANZURA purchased 300 Urantia Books from the Urantia Association International. (These books are from a stock that had been printed in India in 2000 and as they are old stock that can’t be sold to the book trade they have been made available to the readership at cost price plus shipping costs.) At the recent meeting we decided to distribute these books in the following ways:
We will reserve 150 books for a new program called “Operation Contact”. The objective is to target prominent individuals and groups including philosophical/religious type centres that appear to be progressive in their pro-grams or who we think might be open minded enough to take a look at The Urantia Book. One that came to light after some initial internet research was a website that appears to cater for individuals who are disillusioned with mainstream Christianity and are looking “outside of the box” in their spiritual quest — “believers in exile” so to speak. Trevor Swadling has agreed to lead this project and will continue to research the internet to find various groups and institutions who we feel may benefit from investigating The Urantia Book.
In addition we will supply active study groups with books (free of charge) for local outreach activities and offer individual readers books at $10 each for their personal outreach. If you are interested in purchasing books please contact us on (02) 9970-6200 or email email@example.com
Another exciting project that’s in the pipeline and was discussed at the meeting was a DVD that Nigel Nunn is producing. Nigel is an astrophysicist and a long time read-er with an excellent scholarly grasp of the teachings in The Urantia Book. He has an eight minute introduction almost completed. Nigel showed the group what he has already accomplished and as it was most impressive he was encouraged to continue working on it. Once completed it will serve as a well presented, inspiring introduction to The Urantia Book that can be used at presentations or as an accompaniment DVD to hand out with a gift book.
Representative Council News —The Representative Council [RC] is made up of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of National Urantia Associations — like ANZURA — which make up the Urantia Association International [UAI].
ANZURA’s Vice President Robert Coenraads and myself as President have been participating in the on-line meetings of the RC. A resolution was recently passed for the UAI to work in partnership with Urantia Foundation and the Urantia Book Fellowship — another readership organisation — to provide an on-line Study Group Portal which will assist readers all over the world to find out where study groups are held. This is to en-hance the fostering of study groups for the in-depth study of The Urantia Book. The idea is that study groups, if they wish, may register their group on this portal and thus be part of the global network of Urantia Book reader study groups.
Another resolution that was recently passed on the Representative Council (RC) was one submitted by the United States Urantia Association [UAUS]. They proposed that the Association adopt a “UAI Policy Statement concerning the Channelling Phenomenon”. It reads:
Within certain groups of people reading The Urantia Book, there has developed a phenomenon labeled “channelling” or the “Teaching Mission.” Advocates of this phenomenon claim to be in touch with superhuman personalities, who sometimes have names taken from The Urantia Book. While UAI neither endorses, promotes, nor denies any individual’s personal experiences, we must assure readers that neither UAI nor The Urantia Book has any connection with this phenomenon. UAI has taken great care over the years to ensure that The Urantia Book is not publicly identified with cultic, psychic, or occult groups and phenomena. The UAI, as an organization, does not sanction channelling activities at UAI sponsored functions, seminars, conferences or internet discussion groups. We believe that The Urantia Book’s teachings should be unencumbered by public alliance with either New Age beliefs or traditional religions.
The Leadership Symposium that is being held in Chicago in July of this year is looming. The call went out for the participation of readers from all over the world who are interested in taking on teacher and leadership type rolls in their efforts to spread the teachings of The Urantia Book in their regions. Several Australian readers will be going and we look forward to hearing their reports on this unique event. I hope you enjoy reading this issue of The Arena.
From the President – Summer 2011/12
Seasons Greetings to all our Urantia Book reader friends and welcome to this summer issue of the Arena. I do hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New Year. Where has this year gone? It’s hard to believe the festive season is upon us again so soon.
It’s been a busy year for ANZURA. Since the last Arena the main highlight has been the annual Urantia Book Readers’ Conference which was held at the glorious Lake Dewer Lodge in the Daylesford region in Victoria. The venue was ideal for our needs. We were surrounded by nature and the building had floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall sheet glass windows on both sides which allowed for the serenity of the natural surroundings to be viewed at all times throughout the conference. Truly magic. While the number of attendees were down this year, the quality was excellent. You’ll see a more detailed report further on in this issue.
ANZURA’s AGM for 2011 was held during the conference. Elections were held for the Governing Board positions of Vice President and Treasurer. I’d like to welcome onto the Board our new Vice President Julian McGarry from Tasmania and new Treasurer Rita Schaad from Newcastle. On behalf of all members I would like to thank outgoing Vice President and Treasurer Robert Coenraads and Trevor Swadling respectively. Both served diligently in these positions for the past four years.
Trevor Swadling reported on his progress with the “Operation Contact” project at the AGM. I announced this new initiative in the last issue of the Arena. Many groups have been targeted and sent a copy of The Urantia Book. See a detailed report further on in this issue.
The 2012 ANZURA conference will be held in Queensland. Graeme Chapman has volunteered to be the main organiser so stay tuned for details as they emerge.
ANZURA members Julian McGarry, William Wentworth and Merindi and Bernie Belarski represented ANZURA at the Leadership Symposium that was held in Chicago in July of this year. The call went out for the participation of readers from all over the world who are interested in taking on teacher and leadership type rolls in their efforts to spread the teachings of The Urantia Book in their regions. All came back with good reports on meeting and fraternising with readers from all over the world who are dedicated to the task of attempt-ing to further the Urantia revelation in their countries.
Nigel Nunn showed Part 1 of his DVD presentation — Universe Frames — at the conference. He received some encouraging feedback as well as some constructive criticism. Nigel now has Part 2 — The Personal Universe— ready to be viewed. Here are the links if you’d like to see them on YouTube:
[Part 1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls9fkACcrKk[Universe Frames
][Part 2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–iA7xRTSS0[the Personal Universe]A showcase of [Part 2] appears on page 10 ([Part 1] was featured in the previous edition of Arena).
Enjoy reading this issue and may God bless you and your families.