President’s Report, Winter Arena 2024

It’s one of those cold winter days and I appreciate being able to stay indoors, wrapped in warm clothes, listening to music, and having a hot cuppa handy while sending these greetings out to our members and friends.

In the study group I attend every Wednesday, we sometimes come across the term
 ‘the fear of the Lord’ while we remind ourselves of the teachings of the Master who introduced his God as the loving Father in heaven.

But… we know what the early believers meant when using the word ‘fear’ – it was to convey their feeling of awe and respect for the grandeur of the God of all creation.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

When the Master taught that we should accept the Truth from wherever it showed up, he knew that we would have to refer to our experiences and wisdom gained. For us to recognize and discern the Truth-Beauty-Goodness content in any message or action takes some time of reflection. We don’t have to be quick in our assessment, but we do well to pace ourselves when sifting and sorting all information pouring into our lives every day to arrive at a conclusion.

I’m always on the lookout for some technique for this task and found a thought worth pondering in the section on Energy and Pattern in Bill Sadler’s Simplification of the Foreword. (Click on the link to read on Urantia Foundation’s website.)

“Pattern determines the shape or form that energy takes. An atom, has a precise pattern, with a nucleus and with electrons swinging around the central nucleus. But this pattern or form does not explain what holds the atom together. Pattern does not control the atom. It is gravity that controls the atom. Pattern does not control energy; gravity does. Pattern, itself, does not respond to gravity. Neither does space respond to gravity.

“…Space has nothing to do with pattern; it is something entirely different. The reason that pattern does not respond to gravity is because there is nothing in pattern which can respond to gravity. If we go back to the atom, we have the nucleus and the electrons swinging around it. The material mass of nucleus and the electrons does respond to gravity; pattern has no mass.

“In a human being, we have a body that has just so much mass; the body weighs just so many pounds; this weight in pounds is a measure of the pull of gravity on this human body. This human being might have a body pattern (appearance) that you would call beautiful. The “beauty” does not respond to gravity; the body does. This same comparison is true on the mind and spirit levels. The reality of any pattern (form) is determined by the stuff of which it is made.”

Does that mean if we exercise our mind with deep thinking on spiritual values (putting in some ‘stuff’) and practice divine attitudes in our actions, the gravity pull of the Son and Father will eventually draw us closer to a truth we can recognize, and our responses to it can shed light into those darker areas around us?

Sincere intentions are aiding in creating good habits and remember “practice makes perfect” ☺!

When looking at the wider international Urantia community, for instance Urantia Association International, efforts are being made in recognising what the needs of current and future students of The Urantia Book are. Endeavoring to implement new programs takes commitment from the leaders on the ISB (International Service Board) and IRC (international Representative Council). You can read all about it in the quarterly issues of Urantia Association’s Tidings newsletter. Here is the link to recent and passed issues: (If you don’t already receive this very informative newsletter, and would like to, let us know and we’ll make sure you are added to Urantia Association’s mailing list.)

A report made to the Representative Council in April came from Canada. Mark Blackham (Canadian association President) talked about situations in Canada. After missing holding conferences since 2020, they are now looking forward to getting together this year in Autumn. Mark also talked about a few issues that are similar to ours here in OZ. While a few study groups are doing well, there is unfortunately no growth in new readers. The question of who will take over the roles of leadership in the future is a worry to many of us. Will social media and other such digital public platforms and meeting places be enough for those searching for information and answers to the BIG questions in life? The younger generations seem to flock to these new agencies instead of the traditional churches and associations. “The times they are-a-changing”! What would Jesus do??

Alain Cyr from Quebec commented that he was optimistic about the Progressive Divine Wisdom Group (PDWG), created by the late Moussa Ndiaye of Senegal, which has been attracting enthusiastic adherents among Association members in Canada. Several other members spoke highly of it.

Andres Ramirez from Colombia joined the Zoom meeting from the Bookfair in Bogota. Did you know that there are 15 countries in Latin America that have formed Urantia Associations? The latest one is Chile. The Urantia communities there are very much alive and active.

As we try to maintain contact with each other here in Australia, it is with continuous wonderment that we here in Australia and New Zealand can witness the growth and spread of the revelation overseas. (Maybe the teamwork of both the “Angels of the Churches” and the “Angles of Progress” have something to do with it.)

While we try to keep the flame alive that ignited many of us decades ago, we commit to keeping the fires going and keep everyone informed about our activities. The National Study Day was held on 1st of June; you will find some reflections from those study groups that met later in this issue.

More details are emerging for the annual gathering in Melbourne. Once again, we will make ourselves comfortable at the Edmund Rice Centre near Melbourne as we did in 2007. Preparations by our friends from Victoria are underway, so it’s time to mark it in your diary and register as soon as possible – as well as organizing your journey of course.

Talking about past conferences – there is an archive on our website, with as many details as we could collect, from these gatherings. It’s worth having a new look and getting reignited with the joy of being connected to our Urantia family. See: