New Zealand Corner

After my daughter expressed that she wanted to live alone, we agreed to sell our house. I temporarily moved to a studio, so we could present the house for sale without my room being an office, sewing room as well as a bedroom. Then came 26th March, and lockdown. Being over 70 I’m strongly advised to stay put, so here I am, by myself in a tiny studio apartment.

Like all of you, we in New Zealand are experiencing the effects of the Covid-19 virus and our lockdown has just been changed from Level 4 to Level 3. This means essential workers and businesses are able to operate, as well as other businesses who are able to maintain safe distancing.

On the whole, New Zealanders have taken to this lockdown with the right spirit, and this has led to a lot of cooking and baking and other creative pursuits. A really positive outcome is that it has enabled parents to spend more time with their families than they’re used to, which is beneficial to both. I pray that this additional time with children doesn’t fade with the virus.

So here I am temporarily living by myself, in a small studio apartment, without all the things I’m used to for cooking, sewing and other crafts, with not even a garden to walk around. In the meantime, I have to content myself with my own company and although I can’t shop or see my daughter or grandchildren or visit friends, I am grateful for the internet and the ability to talk with anyone anywhere. And, to top it off, I have my loving father to keep me company.

I have long had the benefit of knowing God is always with me and for me and loves me. Some years ago, over a period of several months, I had panic attacks and at a time when I felt I was only holding on by a thread and I thought my brain would explode; I heard an inner voice telling me that there was something inside me which would always stop me going over the edge. At the time, I was agnostic (pre-Urantia Book days) and didn’t believe in a personal God, but now I know that it was my loving Thought Adjuster, nudging me back to sanity.

But no God-knowing mortal can ever be lonely in his journey through the cosmos, for he knows that the Father walks beside him each step of the way, while the very way that he is traversing is the presence of the Supreme. [Paper 117:6.27, page 1291.4]

and

Kingdom builders, the accredited citizens of the heavenly worlds, are not to be disturbed by temporal upheavals or perturbed by terrestrial cataclysms. [Paper 176:3.2, page 1916.2]

Unfortunately, of course, this fact is not universally known as there are many who do not believe in God at all. Then, there are those who believe God is punishing the human race for past indiscretions and who don’t realise that God is living with them and is personally contactable, and may also believe that communication with God requires interpretation by a third party. I am grateful I can talk to God, my loving father, when I feel a bit lonely, and I’ve been doing quite a bit of this, plus praying more than usual.

Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith — the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence — unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus’ gospel, the personal God of human salvation. [Paper 196 3.1, page 2093.6]

There is so much happening in the world to keep my mind fully occupied and one of the things I’m particularly interested in is the leadership in the different countries around the world and ways these different leaders are responding to the pandemic.

I pray for the plight of the refugees, who have fled their own countries mainly because their leaders put their own interest above those of the people they rule. These people are particularly susceptible because of sub-standard living conditions and the inability to maintain the recommended distancing.

I pray for those countries, whose leaders put their own re-election above the best interests of their people, fail to listen to scientific evidence and make important decisions with this as their motivation.

I’m also very thankful that I live in a country with a leader who puts the interests of the people above their own.

The New Zealand Conference Committee was really looking forward to hosting the ANZURA Conference in Auckland this year, and our plans and program were coming along nicely. The theme was going to be 2020 Vision Through a Cosmic Lens—Hindsight, Insight & Foresight which, on this occasion we didn’t have although many scientists did. So, now we will join with Australians to host an online conference, on the lines of the recent ones hosted by Urantia Association International. All going well, the New Zealand Conference will now be held at the same venue, Vaughan Park in 2022.

Perhaps this would be a good time to start a savings plan as its possible airfares may skyrocket. Just putting aside $5 a week will grow into a nice amount between now and the NZ Conference in 2022.

I hope you are all faring well, both health wise, and financially and I look forward to when Trans-Tasman flights are reinstated.

Susan Hemmingsen