President’s Reports – Arena 2014

President’s Report – Autumn 2014

Kathleen Swadling


Welcome to 2014’s first issue of The Arena. I trust you’re settling in nicely to the New Year and I hope this finds you refreshed and well after the eventful Christmas summer season.

Plans are well under way now for this year’s annual conference in Auckland New Zealand which will be held 3 – 6 October 2014. The theme will be Celebrating God’s Gifts: An Exploration of Creative Living. I hope many from Australia will take the plunge this year to cross the pond to join our Kiwi brothers and sisters, many of whom have made many trips to Australia to attend conferences here. I also hope readers in New Zealand will be able to make it to Auckland to attend this unique event in their own homeland so we can all have an opportunity to meet one another and share our most heartfelt convictions about the wonderful truths we’ve found in the Urantia teachings. More details on the event and information on registration can be found further on in this newsletter.

Another annual event in the planning stages is the International Study Day where groups of readers from all over the world will be meeting to study the same paper over the same weekend. It will be held over the weekend of 24/25 May 2014 and we’ll be reading Paper 44: The Celestial Artisans (page 497). I hope you can find a study group host nearby so you can share in this event. If not you might want to join in the online study group via the website at

I was really touched by a YouTube video clip from a TED talk that was shared by Rick Lyon on the Urantia Association email members’ list on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”. He was focusing on the importance of leaders of organisations explaining the “Whys” of what they do. Organisations tend to tell people a lot about what they do and how they go about doing it, but fail to inspire people because they don’t talk enough about “why” they do it. As an organisation of people who have come together to “foster study of The Urantia Book and disseminate its teachings” (which is the mission of the Urantia Association International and ANZURA) we are often looking at ways to improve our methods of leading hungry souls into finding the life-saving and refreshing truths found in The Urantia Book. Do we inspire people to take a look at the book or do we simply bamboozle them with too much “weird” information about the book? People are generally more responsive to new ideas if they have been moved during their initial introduction to an idea. I believe the philosophy expressed by TED in this particular talk also applies to any individual who is attempting to share new ideas and concepts (such as the Urantia teachings) with others.

You can view it by clicking on this link: Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Here’s an interesting concept from The Urantia Book to ponder:
Are you becoming increasingly artistic in your technique of leading hungry souls into the spiritual kingdom?[p.1740:2]
We have some great material for you so please enjoy this issue of the Arena and many thanks to all who have contributed.


Presidents Report – Winter 2014

Kathleen Swadling

Welcome to this winter issue of The Arena. As the days and months of 2014 are rapidly passing Urantia Book students all around the globe have been busy in a myriad of ways with Urantia Book related activities—too numerous to list here but many that have involved Australian and New Zealand readers.

ANZURA’s annual readers’ conference in Auckland New Zealand 3rd to 6th October is almost upon us. If you plan on going and haven’t registered yet please don’t delay as the organisers need to know numbers for planning purposes. This will be an exciting and unique conference as readers from both sides of the Tasman will have the opportunity to make new friends and enjoy the socialization of their common love for the teachings of the revelation.

The International Study Day was held 24th May. Study groups from around the world met to read the same pa-per on the same day joining together in spirit to explore the fascinating subject of the Celestial Artisans. Reports of some of the meetings are featured in this issue. Urantia Association International has revised its website with a new look and feel and a new discussion forum. (See more on this in this issue.)

ANZURA has developed a sub site within the larger site to serve as its website. Our existing website address of www.urantia-anzura.orgwill be redirected to our new site at

The Study Group Symposium 2014 was held in Chicago in June that saw study group hosts and leaders from many different Urantia Associations throughout the world come together to discuss the value of study groups. Emphasis was placed on ways to increase the appeal of study group attendance in the light of the advice given by the revelators to early Urantia Books readers around the time of publication, to form thousands of study groups. ANZURA member, Phillip Marriott from the Sydney study group attended and represented our region of the world. You can view many of the wonderful plenary presentations on video or written form on at Urantia Association’s website.

We have some great material for you so please enjoy this issue of the Arena and many thanks to all who have contributed.


From the President – Summer 2014

William Wentworth

This is my first report as president, having been elected at the AGM which was held during the Auckland conference last month. Let me begin by thanking Kathleen Swadling, the outgoing president for her term in office where she displayed her competence and enthusiasm.Also congratulations to Phillip Marriott who was elected as our new Secretary. Thank you to Merindi Belarski, the outgoing secretary who ably fulfilled her two terms of office. The current Board members now are President, William Wentworth; Vice President, Julian McGarry; Secretary, Phillip Marriott; Treasurer, Rita Schaad; and NZ Representative, Marion Steward. I look forward to working to working you all in this capacity.

The conference hosted by the Auckland Study Group in October was a triumph. The Vaughan Conference Centre at Long Bay was the equal of any conference I have ever attended, with accommodation and food of high standard, and the presentations and program were stimulating without being overbearing. As is so often the case, some of the most enlightening moments take place in informal gatherings over meals and during breaks, and the organisers allowed time for these moments to occur. Congratulations New Zealand. (A more comprehensive reportof the conference, along with some of the presentations is included later in this newsletter.)

It was decided at the AGM that the next conference in 2015 will be held in Sydney and will hosted by the Sydney Study Group, members of whom now cover the eastern seaboard from Newcastle to Wollongong. A date has already been set for 9-12 October and the venue has already secured. Read on for more details.

One notable highlight in recent months was that ANZURA sponsored a book expo which ran over two days at Olympic Park in Sydney at the end of August. Thank you to Bernie & Merindi Belarski and Phillip Marriott who organized and manned it. New books were purchased at a 40% discount from the new distributor and a new “Introduction to The Urantia Book” brochure was designed and printed for it. A good amount of interest was shown by passers-by and many introduction brochures were handed out.

As I am so newly elected, I would like to share with you my vision for the future. It is my hope that the next few years will see permanent study groups beginning to function in South Australia and Western Australia. The other states already have well established groups and there seem no obvious reasons why the readers in SA and WA should not benefit from study with other readers. I would also like to encourage greater interaction between study groups. Possibly some may attempt an annual visit, or some such interaction. Annual conferences are a year apart, and some readers could benefit from more frequent visits. It may be true that there are advantages in a certain amount of isolated study, but sooner or later the curious reader wants to know what others think, and the quality of one’s study is enhanced by contact with others.

These are my hopes—let’s see what the future brings.