Australia & New Zealand Urantia Association
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Arena – Summer 2021

In This Issue

President’s Report – Summer 2021

Phillip Marriott, Adelaide, SA 

Happy New Year and I sincerely hope you have all had a good Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season.

As one year draws to a close and and another one starts, and as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, let’s hope we will start moving towards some semblance of normality. However, now that the new Omicron variant is throwing a spanner in the works, it remains to be seen whether we can “live with the virus” or not. I feel that in the big picture society, to some degree has been changed forever. I get a sense that we are moving in the right direction, even though sometimes it may seem like a swinging pendulum.

We have had our annual conference which was somewhat modified but nonetheless a success. (See a full report further on in this newsletter.) Thank you to the Sydney group for organising this event. Hopefully our next annual conference in Tasmania will be back to a normal in-person gathering.

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2022 Anzura Annual Conference

Conference Committee

21 to 24 October 2022

Fox and Hounds Inn
We are delighted to announce that after two years of virtual conferences, we will hopefully be meeting face-to-face at the 2022 ANZURA Annual National Conference, which is set to be convened at Port Arthur in Tasmania from the 21 to 24 October. Keep this date in mind and start making your plans for a Tassie holiday next year!

The venue will be the Fox and Hounds Inn which is a traditional Tudor style property, beautifully positioned in close proximity to some of Australia’s premier tourist destinations, including the amazing Port Arthur historic site and the highest dolerite cliffs in the southern hemisphere. The inn boasts comfortable motel-style rooms with most having water views and full amenities. You will have the choice of single, shared or family occupancy.

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2021 ANZURA Virtual Conference Report

Kathleen Swadling, Sydney NSW

This year’s 2021 ANZURA conference, hosted by our Sydney team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 2nd October. Once again, for all the “new normal” reasons we had to cancel our in-person event. We had high hopes all year that we could meet face-to-face as we saw our case numbers rapidly diminish to almost zero and then… as we all know, Delta hit and cases soared, so it was back to square one. Nevertheless, since we are told that disappointment is actually good for us, we joyfully knuckled down to figure out how we could adjust our plans accordingly.

As this was our second year of lockdowns, many of us were becoming old hands at holding conferences, meetings, and study groups via Zoom. Even though the virtual format is not as good as our face-to-face conferences, it was still wonderful to be with everyone virtually for a good six hours of in-depth Urantia Book presentations and discussions. This method has proven to be a surprisingly effective alternative in keeping us all connected and has even had the very positive outcome of allowing many who could not previously attend study groups or gatherings because of distance, to participate from the comfort of their living rooms.

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Living In the Flesh

Julian Martin, Sydney NSW

(Summary of Julian Martin's opening presentation of ANZURA’s Virtual 2021 Annual Conference)

Julian opened his presentation by acknowledging that he felt privileged and humbled to be a part of this wonderful group of Urantia Book students. To set the tone of the conference theme he asked everyone to join him as he read a passage from The Urantia Book.

Before reading he explained that this particular passage had had a tremendous impact on him just a couple of weeks before he was asked to serve on the conference planning committee. After he shared the passage with the planning group they all agreed that it was just right to help us connect with our indwelling Spirit as it captures the ‘heart-of-the matter’ that Jesus expressed as he addressed his apostles before their ordination.

The passage is section one of Paper 140, The Ordination of the Twelve. Julian felt that this first section, Preliminary Instruction, is so full of priceless gems that we ought to reflect upon them as we start each day and indeed, every time we meet for a conference like this as we embark on the path of faith of our onward journey towards God. Jesus’ first objective was always “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”

When looking for the Truth – our truth, our purpose in life – we often get overwhelmed by the immense vastness of the difficulties and complexities facing us within this world; our questions about what we are supposed to do – what the Master desires of us – can best be answered when we open our heart and allow Jesus to establish his kingdom as a personal relationship within us. In this way we enter the ‘slip stream of God’ and will find our purpose by following the insights we gain.

Julian felt that this passage brings him home to where Jesus resides, it keeps reminding him that his kingdom is ruled with love rather than might and power. By having chosen God – by having allowed him to enter our innermost sanctum – it’s not by force but by our surrendering that he effects those mighty changes in us and fills us with his gracious love which brings our heart to overflowing, enabling us to share that personal gift with others.

Sharing our inner-world enables God to expand his kingdom as we connect as a group and express our faith. May we all remember this as we go through this day and may we open our hearts to one another.

We Are, Because I AM

Nigel Nunn, ACT

(Presentation from ANZURA’s Virtual 2021 Annual Conference)

There’s an old insight about village life: “I am because we are.” I, as an individual, get to live a worthwhile life because of the security and relationships that my village provides. “I am because we are.” I think we’d all agree there’s truth in this very human point of view.

But The Urantia Book shows humans from another perspective. From our Father’s point of view,

Because I AM  –  Because I Love  –  We Are.

In other words, “We are because I AM.”

Of course, this is not at all straightforward, and requires something called “the Master Universe Age”. But for the Father, the end result is an almost infinite family of Ones like himself, and thus a guarantee that Eternity will be almost infinitely interesting. As to how our Father “makes it so”, the authors of The Urantia Book reveal that this infinite eventuation, this beautification of eternity, is motivated and mediated by Love, the prime mover, the essential, compelling motivation.

Notice, all this is very deeply personal. “I AM” is not only our “premier philosophic postulate” [105:1.3, 1152.6], it’s also the most personal possible experience: I AM. We Are. From this perspective, the universe becomes a Family Affair. We’ll get back to this. But for now, I just want to set up this idea, that Love is the motivator, the mediator, quite literally the Light & Life of all interactions unfolding in the Father’s personal domain.

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The Stability of Goodness

Daniel Swadling, Sydney NSW

(Presentation from ANZURA’s Virtual 2021 Annual Conference)

How Is Goodness Stabilizing?

The time-space creation is one vast fragmentation of an infinite God into individual expressions of which we are but one (and our great universe adventure is one of reunification back with that God). Yet the oneness of God persists. All his constituent parts are unified in the personality of the Father in his eternal perfection. And our personality, as an exclusive and direct endowment of God, likewise has the potential of unifying all our constituent elements, just as God’s personality unifies his. (56:4.3)

Personality implies will. It is our will that makes those choices that either help or hinder our growth. It is our will that can choose to embrace the divine values that leads to spiritual growth, bringing us closer and eventually to God. Divine values I expect are nigh on infinite, but for the purpose of living for now on this world, can be distilled into the concepts of truth, beauty and goodness. These concepts represent our best attempt at discerning God in mind, matter and spirit, as we study them in philosophy, cosmology and religion. (56:10.2)

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Where Are They All?

William Wentworth, Canberra ACT

Recently, an article in Mighty Messenger, Spring 2021 attracted my attention. Written by Gary Tonge, an American reader, it was pointing out that the Lucifer Rebellion did not claim any of the ascendent personalities who were Jerusem citizens at the time. These numbered 187,432, 811.

It was over two years of system time from the beginning of the “war in heaven” until the installation of Lucifer’s successor. But at last the new Sovereign came, landing on the sea of glass with his staff. I was among the reserves mobilized on Edentia by Gabriel, and I well remember the first message of Lanaforge to the Constellation Father of Norlatiadek. It read: “Not a single Jerusem citizen was lost. Every ascendant mortal survived the fiery trial and emerged from the crucial test triumphant and altogether victorious.” And on to Salvington, Uversa, and Paradise went this message of assurance that the survival experience of mortal ascension is the greatest security against rebellion and the surest safeguard against sin. This noble Jerusem band of faithful mortals numbered just 187,432,811. [ Paper 53:7.12, page 608.8]

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Video Part 4D: Ancient Orvonton, and a Young Cosmic Web

Nigel Nunn, Canberra, ACT

The Urantia Book presents a cosmology that stirs the soul: a central and perfect universe, fringed by spacetime shallows in which finaliters are born—finaliters, destined to launch from this cosmic continental shelf into oceanic depths, seeding the light and life of personality throughout nested levels of outer space.

Soul stirring indeed! A cosmology pervaded by meaning and value, eclipsing in its scope our finest Sci-fi. What a relief from the consensus-materialist models that native science has managed to evolve.

However, right after having thus stirred our souls, the authors pour cold water over our expectations.

…within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision… [Paper 101:4.2, page 1109.3]

“Will stand in need of revision.” When compared with current consensus cosmology of a young universe beginning with a hot Big Bang, the cosmology of The Urantia Book is so unorthodox, and so apparently wrong, that some students of these papers now see this cosmology as little more than decoration for the book’s more important themes: its spiritual and philosophical revelations. But take another look at the “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that they were limited in what scientific facts they could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting.

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New Zealand Corner

Marion Steward, Auckland, NZ

How to describe 2021 in New Zealand? I have seen it described as a year of two halves.  January to July was almost normal — we went about our daily lives with very few restrictions. We had face-to-face meetings of our study group in Auckland once a month, we met online once a fortnight with other readers up and down the country, and felt somewhat insulated from the effects of Covid 19 outside our borders. 

This all changed in August, and those of us in Auckland went into lockdown for four long months.  December got a little better, and we were finally able to leave Auckland just before Christmas, and mostly celebrate this festive season as usual. 

As I write this, we are in that hiatus between Christmas and New Year — perhaps recovering from overindulgence in rich fare at the Christmas table, enjoying time with family and friends, at home, at the beach, and in other towns finally visiting loved ones we had only seen onscreen for so many months. 

These few days are often a time of reflection — looking back and evaluating events and personal achievements and growth, and also a time of anticipation — looking ahead to 2022, wondering what will happen, making plans vague or firm, depending on the sphere of influence. I, for example, plan to go for a walk every morning but I cannot plan whether I will then go to work onsite or have to work from home, as external factors are outside my sphere of influence. 

As ascenders making our way towards Paradise, we are told that on this journey we will learn to “feast upon uncertainty” (26:5.3), and in the past two years we have certainly been presented with many opportunities to develop this personality attribute! I suspect that 2022 will continue in this vein.

Our online study group has continued to meet throughout all the change and uncertainty of the past year, through health challenges and moving house. Our meetings have provided a stable anchor of spiritual communion and fellowship along with stimulating discussion of spiritual themes. 

We finished the year with an examination of Paper 170, The Kingdom of Heaven, which was a wonderful reminder that another world exists in the inner life. It emphasised "the pre-eminence of the spiritual compared with the material" (170:2.4) and enabled us to lift our perspectives above the transitory difficulties of daily life in our current world. We enjoyed contemplating the higher possibilities inherent in our efforts to exercise our individual will in "spiritual fellowship with God the Father" (170:4.3) and look for opportunities to provide service to our brothers and sisters.

So we end one year and begin the next with hope and an expectation that we will continue feasting upon uncertainty! 

The Tree of Life – Myth or Fact

Ann Bendall, Tasmania

The “Tree of Life” is one of many images that I love, such as rainbows, and lightning and a magnificent sunrise or sunset, or eagles soaring. Without reading anything about the tree of life for some reason it always appealed to me as ‘The Family of Mankind’. It was akin to, but not the same as, Jesus who symbolically described himself to his apostles and others in many ways such as that he was the vine, and we are the fruit.

Since knowing The Urantia Book, I like to see it as The Brotherhood of Man and our spiritual family and friends, under the Fatherhood of God.

I have seen the tree of life in paintings, carpets, bronze and other statues and decided to do a Google search. As per Wikipedia:  

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About ANZURA

Anzura Admin



The Australia and New Zealand Urantia Association (ANZURA) is made up of individuals who desire to assist in fostering the study of The Urantia Book and the dissemination of its teachings throughout Australia and New Zealand. It seeks to do this by providing interactive learning environments in which students may deepen and broaden their knowledge of the book and enjoy the interaction and exchange of ideas with fellow students.

It is our intention not to encumber our work for the spreading of The Urantia Book and its teachings with church, temple, or other spiritual institutions. Our members have come to recognise the significance of the book and the integrated beauty of its supernal teachings which encourage us to develop our own philosophy through study, experience, decisions, and actions. Nevertheless, we hold the view, and recognise that collectively there are many valuable projects and programs we can undertake together to achieve our goals.

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About the Arena Newsletter

Anzura Admin

The Arena newsletter keeps students of The Urantia Book throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in touch with Urantia related news, activities and events from our local region as well as from the global Urantia Book reader community. It also provides interesting articles written by readers on a wide range of subjects from the book which we hope may be helpful in assisting with your studies.

The Arena is published by ANZURA two to three times a year and is dedicated to the promotion of goodwill and understanding among readers of The Urantia Book. Articles and editorial contributions that relate to The Urantia Book and its teachings are welcome from readers all over the world.

If you would like to receive the Arena or submit an article, please send us an email at anzura.urantia @ gmail.com

To view current and past issues of the Arena click here.

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The UB Endeavour

Anzura Admin

ANZURA’s mission is to foster the in-depth study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.

The UB Endeavour is a fundraising initiative to raise funds for ANZURA to help us spread The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region.

Here are some of our programs designed to achieve these objectives:

Book Distribution – Sowing Seeds

We hold a small inventory of Urantia Books and other associated material such as study aids and secondary works that are available to readers for dissemination projects. We sponsor a gift-book program where books are donated to libraries and relevant learning centres as well as study groups and individuals who wish to assist in the book-seeding program.

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Study Group Contacts

Anzura Admin

ANZURA maintains a contact list for study group hosts.

Not all of these hosts actually run a regular study group but all of them are willing to host one for anyone who would like to meet.

Some study groups include virtual participation via Zoom if you cannot meet face-to-face.

Click here to view the list of contacts on the website.