The ANZURA national conference will be held very soon—it’s less than three months away! Have you registered and booked your tickets yet? We have so much planed—Julian McGarry has organised a great program which you will see further on in the conference article. We currently have a good number of attendees booked for the entire weekend and we will see quite a few day-trippers from Tasmania. It will be good to get together once again after the last two years of lockdowns.
We’ll be staying at the Stewarts Bay Lodge, which is a short walk to the historic Port Arthur. I can personally attest to the Port being a very worthwhile site to visit; there are a few surprises in our history, and it was not what I expected.
During the conference we will be holding ANZURA’s Annual General Meeting with the usual elections. Both mine and the Secretary’s first 2-year terms will be coming to an end but as we are allowed to do two consecutive terms, I will be nominating for a second term if the members will have me.
Time is running out to register for this year’s Annual Conference being held in Port Arthur, Tasmania 21 to 24 October. Treat yourselves to this special event by dusting off those unused travel bags and making the trek. If you haven’t made up your mind yet about coming, there’s still time to book, but to secure the accommodation we need to know by the middle of August so please hurry so we can finalise our booking with the venue.
After two years of virtual conferences, we are excited about meeting up with everyone again face-to-face. There’s no substitute for in-person contact while discussing in-depth our favourite book!
Stewarts Bay Lodge is set in a stunning waterfront location and is nestled in a world heritage listed national park. It’s in walking distance to Port Arthur’s Historic Site and offers a variety of quality self-contained cabin and chalet accommodation with restaurant, function rooms and recreation facilities all surrounded by a white-sand beach, crystal clear ocean waters and beautiful woodlands.
ANZURA’s 2022 National Study Day was held on Saturday 18th June. Various study groups came together to study Paper 155 – Fleeing Through Northern Galilee. Following are some reflections from those who participated:
Canberra Online Study Group
Three members of the Canberra Study Group, Verona, Ysbrand and William, met by Zoom, and were later joined by Phillip, Termina and Gordon. Some lively discussion ensued as we read the paper.
Our attention was caught by Jesus’ statement to the apostles that to live out the truth is a more effective way of winning souls than preaching. There was also considerable discussion about his comments on the crystallized creeds, and how Judaism had become formalized into lifeless dogma. Some of us saw obvious parallels with modern Christianity.
However, the core of the paper seems to be the two discourses on religion which Jesus gave in response to a question from Thomas. Jesus referred to the evolution of religion, pointing out that he was himself was an agent of such an evolutionary leap in our planet’s religions, and that such development involves hard spiritual effort, many mistakes, and difficult struggles in order to leave the safety of tradition and engage in true spiritual growth. To transition from the religion of the mind to the religion of the spirit is the supreme adventure of existence, for that is what brings us closer to the Father.
In the second discourse, Jesus does, however, warn us that having begun our journey into truth, we should not be betrayed into looking down on those who still languish in the traditional creeds. He points out that those creeds have crystallized from the sincere efforts of previous generations and are not to be despised. The Father responds to the “faintest flicker” of faith.
I think each one of us derived something worthwhile from our reading and discussion.
The Adelaide Mind, Body & Physic Expo was held May 28 – 29, 2022 and we decided to book a booth to display The Urantia Book. This was a new adventure for me; I had been doing Urantia Book stall promotions at my local markets for several years and met with very limited success—of late the response was poor. Very few souls were brave enough to have a look at the book, and most that glanced as they walked past where more like startled bunny rabbits and would scamper away if I dared to say hi. So, after abandoning those efforts, I decided that I needed to find a different barrel with more hungry fish.
That’s when I investigated the mind, body, psychic or spirit types of fairs and expos. After finding one here in Adelaide I booked a booth and started getting organised for it. At first, I was not sure if it would even happen as we were still dealing with Covid restrictions but finally it come off and we attended the event. As it ran over two days, I felt that I could not do it by myself, so I called for assistance. Regina Williamson and Beavan James from Melbourne were kind enough to offer their assistance and I eagerly accepted.
First my feelings of anticipation: It’s this weekend! I am excited about the whole thing: travel and expo on Saturday and Sunday, a totally new adventure for me. And what will we be doing there? We, meaning Phillip, the project manager, and Bevan and myself as assistants. We will be presenting God’s revelation to the world by sowing seeds!! We will be promoting the Father’s business and spreading the good news of Jesus’ gospel. Thank you, Phillip, for giving us this opportunity.
Apart from all the above coming true, we also socialised with our Urantia friends and family members. I felt privileged to get to know Colleen, Phillip’s wife and had a wonderful time in their “castle”. I loved it. Thank you, Colleen and Phillip, for your hospitality.
The winter solstice has just passed and here in New Zealand we are weathering the colder conditions – it’s a time to draw inwards and take time through the long winter nights to reflect on life, the universe, and higher things. In addition to marking the longest night and the shortest day, for the first time this year, just after the winter solstice, the country celebrated Matariki, as a public holiday. This is the beginning of the new year in the Maori lunar calendar and is the Maori name for the Pleiades star cluster, which first rises in late June or early July. In Maori tradition, this celebration involved looking back and mourning those who had passed in the previous year and making forecasts for the year to come.
Some of us took the opportunity of a new holiday at Matariki to meet up for a study day. Two of us from the Auckland study group drove down to Tauranga where two long time readers from our group had moved to last year. We stayed overnight, and then studied Paper 155 in the morning, which led to some very interesting and thought-provoking discussion and insights, particularly into the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit.
We also reflected on key events of the previous year, and in our forecasts of the year to come, the conference in Tasmania was at the forefront. Quite a few New Zealand readers are planning to go, and we are looking forward very much to reuniting with everyone face to face for the first time in some years and enjoying even more stimulating discussions and the great joy of spiritual fellowship.
(Editor’s Note: This article has been “mined” from the Archives and is being re-published here. It is a presentation that was given by Neil Francey at the 2002 Queensland conference.)
The aim of this presentation is to explore a technique for acting in accordance with divine grace. Hopefully we will discover how, through our actions, we can have a real and personal experience of living in the loving overcare of our Father while enjoying heightened relationships with our family and friends.
What activities does The Urantia Book highlight as being the most important acts we can do?
Home and family
Service to others and the community
Leading a life that is an example to others (the life of Jesus)
Developing a personal relationship with God
Faith through worship.
There is an action that operates above and beyond these essential commitments. Before we try to identify this however, we firstly have to define ‘doing’. The Urantia Book had a few surprises for me when I took a close look.
I discovered some beautifully inspirational music that I would like to share with you. I stumbled upon it while browsing the Urantia DACH website which services German-speaking Urantia Book readers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
In May 2020 Nicky Bendix, a talented composer of ambient music from Denmark, published his Urantia Book-inspired album titled ‘Dreams Within Orvonton’. Inspirational compositions seem to be his speciality and although at times complex, they are also simple and relaxing. They let “the listeners fly away into an acoustic journey through the Universe”. I find Nick’s music is nicely suitable as background for the study of The Urantia Book.
Instruction of Amenemope (also called Instructions of Amenemopet, Wisdom of Amenemopet) is a literary work composed in Ancient Egypt, most likely during the Ramesside Period (ca. 1300–1075 BCE); it contains thirty chapters of advice for successful living, ostensibly written by the scribe Amenemope son of Kanakht as a legacy for his son.
A characteristic product of the New Kingdom “Age of Personal Piety”, the work reflects on the inner qualities, attitudes, and behaviours required for a happy life in the face of increasingly difficult social and economic circumstances.
It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of ancient near-eastern wisdom literature and has been of particular interest to modern scholars because of its similarity to the later biblical Book of Proverbs.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
This is a reminder to let you know our annual National Study Day is coming up on the weekend of 18 & 19 June. This is when readers are encouraged to gather in small regional groups to study the same Paper and enjoy the company of like-minded people all on the same day (or weekend) around Australia and New Zealand.
This year we’ll be studying Paper 155 – Fleeing Through Northern Galilee. It aligns with the theme of the conference being held later on in October this year and contains the Master’s teachings about the Religion of Personal Experience.
Study Group hosts are making plans for a get-together in a friendly setting to welcome you. See the table below for contact details of hosts in your area. Hopefully you will be able to meet with some readers to share this Study Day. If you find yourself a solitary student, join us on the day with the knowledge that we are united and motivated in the same spirit. Wishing you an interesting and uplifting experience.