2013 Autumn – President’s Report
Welcome to the first edition of the Arena for 2013. I hope you all had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year season and that you are now ready and refreshed to tackle the many challenges that will no doubt confront us in this next turn around the sun.As you will find out later in the newsletter, plans are well under for our two major study events; the first one being the International Study Day being held in multiple homes across the world over the weekend of 25th May, and the second one being the annual Urantia Book readers’ conference to be held in Canberra 4th to 7th October. We hope you can find the time and means to make it along to these two stimulating study activities.
ANZURA saw a record number of new members join us in the past year; welcome to all of you who have taken the step to assist ANZURA in the part it plays in the spreading of the Urantia revelation. Membership in ANZURA means that you have chosen to join the worldwide community of students who are devoted to the Urantia teachings and who have a desire to serve their fellows in our mutual quest for truth, beauty, and goodness. If you would like to know more about membership in ANZURA please feel free to contact us.
There have been two main topics of discussion on the Representative Council (RC) online email meeting.
Gaetan Charland had been UAI’s President ever since the Association first began ten years ago. His second term expired this year and as he was unable to stand for another term, elections were held for a new President. The RC elected Chris Wood, a 34 year old second generation reader from the United States as UAI’s new President. Chris has been actively involved in the Urantia community since the late 1990’s and he early became a recognized leader among the young readers. By electing Chris as the Association’s President, the reigns of leadership have now been handed over to the younger generation of seasoned Urantia Book readers. Chris will bring with him the freshness of youth that will assist Urantia Association International in keeping pace with the ever changing times. We welcome Chris as President and send a fond farewell to Gaetan who has been an inspiration and a pillar of strength to the membership as he steered UAI through the teething stages of the fledgling organisation and successfully chartered the course for the executive administrative branch (the International Service Board of ISB) of the UAI.
Another topic for discussion on the RC has been the development of the new UAI website which has been under construction for the past year and went live recently on the 22nd of March. This website is quite remarkable in that it not only incorporates all of the usual information sections and provides access to an abundance of resource material for students of The Urantia Book and truth seekers, it also has a community social networking section where readers can engage with other readers from around the world in on line study groups, discussion forums and informal chat groups where they can fraternise and share ideas and experiences with one another. See the website announcement from Rick Lyon later in this publication for more information on the many features this new site offers. The new site can be accessed via the same address as the old one: www.urantia-uai.og. (If the old site still comes up refresh your page.)Enjoy this issue of the Arena and thanks to all who have contributed.
2013 Winter – President’s Report
Welcome to this Winter edition of the Arena for 2013. Hopefully you’re keeping warm and cosy and occasionally finding time to sit by the fire with a Urantia Book on your lap. Indeed this is what some groups did when they came together for the International Study Day on the 25th May. As you read on you’ll hear about some reflections and insights gleaned from the various groups who gathered to read about the Spirit of Truth.
The time is drawing near for our annual conference being held in Canberra this year from 4th to 7th October. If you’re planning on coming and haven’t registered yet please send in your registrations as soon as possible. You’ll find information and links to the registration brochure later in this newsletter.
ANZURA has added to its study aids collection a small supply A Study of the Master Universe as well as Appendices to A Study of the Master Universe. Both were written by William Sadler Jr. who was a Contact Commissioner as well as one of the first Trustees of Urantia Foundation. He was a brilliant scholar of the Urantia teachings and his books, essays, presentations and lectures given in the early years are still an inspiration to serious students of The Urantia Book. If you find yourself struggling with some of the more difficult papers in the first part of the book then you may find these two study aids very helpful. See the order form at the end of the newsletter for further details.
Urantia Association’s new website has been attracting a lot of active participation. If you haven’t checked it out yet you’ll find it at http://urantia-uai.org. If you go to Community/Social Network and sign in, you’ll see many interesting forums with fascinating conversation threads between Urantia Book readers from all over the world. In addition ANZURA has its own home page there now.
A resolution was passed by the Representative Council for Urantia Association to hold a Study Group Host Symposium in 2014. Another resolution was passed shortly afterwards to agree to partner with Urantia Foundation who has offered to co-sponsor the event.
Finally a short reminder about the UB Endeavour, ANZURA’s fundraising project: if you feel you’d like to assist in the spreading of the Urantia revelation to our part of the world please consider sending a donation to the good cause. More information about this project can be found at the end of the newsletter. Just one dollar a day, multi-plied by the number of devoted reader/believers of The Urantia Book could do wonders for assisting in the spread-ing of this amazing gift of revelation that has been so freely given to us from our unseen friends. Enjoy this issue of the Arena and thank you to all who have contributed
2013/14 Summer – President’s Report
It’s hard to believe we’re at the end of the year once again! (I’ll resist the temptation to be corny by saying “where has the year gone?” ☺.) I hope you’ve had a happy and fulfilling year and are now making preparations and looking forward to the busy summer and festive season.
The main highlight since the last Arena was the annual ANZURA Urantia Book Readers’ Conference, which was held in Canberra 4-7 October and was a great success. The theme was centred on the Spirit of Truth which naturally lent to some thoughtful and inspiring exchanges. Excellent presentations were given by Julian McGarry, Esther Beaton and Nigel Nunn. Open panel discussions were held where many could express heart felt thoughts and experiences relating to the Spirit of Truth in their lives.
Vern Verass gave an intriguing presentation on an historical flashback of ANZURA’s conferences dating back to the first one in 1983. Vern and Nigel took us on a tour of Urantia Association’s website and its associated Social Network to familiarise us with it and to show us some of the interesting features that make it easy and fun for readers to share on-line with another. On Sunday morning Rita Schaad led us in a beautifully refreshing worship session.
And of course you can’t go to Canberra in the spring without visiting the Floriade, which we did on Sunday afternoon. The massive display of tulips, that splashed colour and splendour as far as the eye could see, provided a beautiful backdrop for the in-depth conversations held as we strolled around the park together.
Many thanks to Nigel Nunn and Vern Verass who hosted the event this year and made sure all our needs we taken care of so we could relax and enjoy a good quality long weekend together. The work undertaken by readers who put together these conferences that are so helpful in enhancing our understanding of The Urantia Book is truly priceless. Thank you all again and again.
Plans are well underway for next year’s conference which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand 3rd to 6th October 2014. Mark your calendars for the event, and for the Aus-sies, start making your travel plans for a holiday to New Zealand next year! Stay tuned for more information.
ANZURA held its AGM during the conference and elections were held for Vice President and Treasurer. Julian McGarry and Rita Schaad were elected for second terms as Vice President and Treasurer respectively. The Board members are President, Kathleen Swadling; Vice President, Julian McGarry; Secretary, Merindi Belarski; Treasurer, Rita Schaad and NZ Representative, Marion Steward
In General Business we discussed the possibility of ANZURA sponsoring someone to attend the Study Group Symposium in Chicago in 2014. We also brief ly discussed what we can do about the remaining inventory of Urantia Books. It was felt that it would be better to have them circulating in the community at large than sitting in storage in someone’s garage. It was agreed that the Strategic Planning Committee will meet early next year to formulate a plan. Meanwhile, if anyone has ideas for gifting books, please send me an email at Anzura@urantia-anzura.org
Enjoy this issue of the Arena and thank you to all who have contributed.