The recent tragic events in Christchurch underline how quickly our lives can change and how turbulent our times have become. The global phenomenon of the 24-hour news cycle and the proliferation of social media have certainly contributed to the increasing incidence of social unease and distress. At such times, isn’t it wonderful that we, as students of The Urantia Book, can be comforted by these promises:
And throughout every trial and in the presence of every hardship, spirit-born souls are sustained by that hope which transcends all fear because the love of God is shed abroad in all hearts by the presence of the divine Spirit. [Paper 34:6.13; page 381.7]
Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus’ life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus’ disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience. [Paper 195:10.1; page 2084.1]
What a magnificent Master we have! His good news, the gospel of Jesus, is the message our troubled world needs to hear!
Back in late February, I organized an interfaith festival here in Hobart which was an amazing experience. I sent out invitations to state, federal and local government representatives, which more often than not, were received and answered by their personal assistants or secretaries. Only once or twice did I ever get direct access to the VIP. This is understandable of course but it made me appreciate how extraordinary it is that we can get access to our loving Father and our divine brother at any time of day or night without having to use a go-between or make an appointment. Moreover, isn’t it breathtaking that our Universal Father yearns to fellowship with us!
Our Father is not in hiding; he is not in arbitrary seclusion. He has mobilized the resources of divine wisdom in a never-ending effort to reveal himself to the children of his universal domains. There is an infinite grandeur and an inexpressible generosity connected with the majesty of his love which causes him to yearn for the association of every created being who can comprehend, love, or approach him. [Paper 5:1.2; page 62.4]
“I have come to show you that, while you are seeking to find God, God is likewise seeking to find you.” [Paper 169:1.2; page 1850.9]
I sincerely hope that we at ANZURA can be more accessible and approachable to you members in the Australasian and Oceanic region. ANZURA is a service organization. It is made up of volunteers who are here to serve members and readers. If there is anyway that we can do this better, if there’s anything that you need more of or less of, please let us know. We are always receptive to constructive feedback. I can be contacted at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few small changes are on the horizon which will make it easier for those who are unable to attend the national conference to have live as well as post-conference access to the program; other opportunities for coming together are also in the pipeline. More about these in the next newsletter.
Please don’t forget our two major events of the year:
- The International Study Day will take place this year on the weekend of the 1st of June. We will be studying Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe. If you’re not able to attend a study group in your local area, consider joining an online group or alternatively, you could participate in the discussion on the Urantia Association’s discussion at https://urantia-association.org/forums/topic/2019-international-study-day.
- The National Conference in Canberra from the 27th to the 30th of September 2019. Our Canberra crew have come up with a fascinating theme: Mind over matter – Spirit over Mind. More about this later in this edition of Arena.
In closing, I want to thank all those people who have contributed to this edition of Arena. You will notice we are now able to produce the Arena as an online publication which is interactive with our new website. This streamlines the way we produce the newsletter as it cuts down the amount of hours it takes for our volunteers to get it to you. A lot of work goes into making this the high-quality journal that it is. I would like to especially thank Vern Verass for his (as always) marvelous graphic design work on the PDF version and to Rita Schaad for her timely reminders and for bringing it all together.
So sit back and enjoy this autumn edition of Arena!
Blessings to you all!