Dear Friends and Readers of The Urantia Book,
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge and recognise the original and traditional custodians of this planet, The United Midwayers.
This is my first Arena report as President of ANZURA. Our AGM was held virtually via Zoom on 21 November 2020 and elections were held for the positions of President and Secretary. Graeme Chapman was elected for a second term as Secretary, and I was elected as President. Thank you to our members for your confidence, and thank you to my predecessor, Julian McGarry who served us well as our former President. Julian continues to serve the revelation in many different ways.
As we know, ANZURA’s annual conference for 2020 was planned to be held in New Zealand. However, it was held virtually via Zoom because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Thank you to the New Zealand team who ably adapted to the situation and stepped up to organise an engaging six-hour virtual conference. (You will find several articles of presentations given at that conference in this issue of the Arena.)
This year’s conference is being planned to go ahead as a face-to-face event (Covid willing of course). A venue has been booked in Pymble, Sydney for 1—4 October 2021. See the article in this issue for more information.
At the AGM it was agreed to expand ANZURA’s study aid and resource library by investing in a selection of derivative works from CosmicCreations (a reputable Urantia-product distribution centre in the United States.) Those items have arrived and will be made available at conferences and via the website. In addition, we have acquired several thumb-drives that contain recordings of talks from the 1970’s that were given by Vern Grimsley from Spiritual Renaissance Broadcast.
Some International News:
Elections were held by the International Service Board (ISB) of Urantia Association International. On 1st of April, 2021 Chris Wood (who is stepping down after completing his two four-year terms) will be replaced by the new President, Enrique Traver from Brasil who will be at the helm for at least the next four years and possibly four more. We look forward to hearing of his plans and guidance.
Over the last year there has been four 24-hour global conference events (webinars) which have proved to be very popular. Some of our own folks from this region of the world have stepped up to help with presenting and hosting the event during the Asia/Pacific daylight hours. No doubt there will be many more of these events.
The number of study groups have grown and morphed into hybrid meetings with a mix of face-to-face and online participation. If you are looking for a Study Group in your local area or time zone, then refer to the online Urantia Book Study Group Directory. Just google “Urantia Study Group directory” or use this link https://www.urantiastudygroup.org. If you are looking for hosts in the Australia/New Zealand region we also have a local study group guide on the website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups/
The ISB Study Group Committee (of which I am a member) has been meeting and continues to meet on a regular basis. Current activity is to improve the Study Group Guide with an update for online (virtual) meetings.
Your very own ANZURA committee (the Governing Board) is currently in discussions on the following topics.
- Additional events for the ANZURA community outside of the annual conference. The nature of, frequency, etc.
- What more can we do to support readers and help to keep them in touch, given the current environment with Covid-19?
- Possible outreach activities to surrounding countries and regions such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, China, Japan, the Philippines, Fiji, and other Pacific Island regions.
We are currently also doing some succession planning. If you have not yet stepped up and would like to take a more active role in the running of ANZURA, then please make contact, put your name forward and let us know how you would like to help.
In service and faithfully,