Australia & New Zealand Urantia Association
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Arena – Winter 2023

In This Issue

President’s Report

Rita Schaad, NSW

Over the past few decades, ANZURA has created a ‘well oiled’ routine, spread out over 12 months, following our statement of purpose in the Bylaws:

ANZURA is designed to encourage the study of The Urantia Book and to assist in the dissemination of its teachings by non-invasive, moderate, evolutionary growth.

This we aim at when encouraging and promoting regional Study Days, conferences, and the in-person and online weekly or monthly study groups. The Arena newsletter is both an information tool for these activities as well as an historical archive.

Other activities that Urantia Book readers in Australia and New Zealand can participate in are a wide range of choices offered from other constituent associations of Urantia Association International from all over the world. The internet is making it all possible.

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2023 Annual Conference in Sydney Update

Conference Committee

The time is drawing near for this year’s annual conference – 25 to 28 August at Peter Canisius House in Pymble, Sydney. (We’re slightly earlier this year due to date constraints for our usual time a little later in the year.)


If you’re planning on coming, please get your registrations in as soon as possible so we can start getting the final planning details arranged. To register, you may click on the link at the end of this message for the conference brochure and fill out the registration form (you’ll need to print it out and either post or email your form to us). Alternatively, you can send us an email with your details and payment method.

Theme: Talkin' Bout a Revelation

How are we talking about the concepts of The Urantia Book with non-readers and new readers? How can we discuss such universal truths that everyone needs to know without alienating them? How can we convince increasingly secular, sceptical and materially focused people that the spiritual world is just as real? How can we help to transform stagnant traditional religious practice into courageous living and dynamic spiritual growth?

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Unity – Harmony Within Diversity of Experience and Belief

Phillip Marriott, SA

(This was presented by Phillip at the 2022 Tasmanian conference)

What is “Spirit Unity” and where does it exist?

It’s very easy to have diversity, difference of opinion and divergent viewpoints, because we are human; our personalities are unique and my experience is personal. I may go through a shared event or tribulation, but my experience is mine and mine alone.

Jesus discussed this in Paper 141, section 5.1-4:

Spiritual Unity

One of the most eventful of all the evening conferences at Amathus was the session having to do with the discussion of spiritual unity. James Zebedee had asked, “Master, how shall we learn to see alike and thereby enjoy more harmony among ourselves?”

“…What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity — and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven.

“You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. “ (141:5.1-4, 1591.6)

Spirit Unity is something which must be strived for and worked at; it will not come automatically. It must be consciously thought out and sorted.

I recently had an encounter at a book promotion that I do on a regular basis. I had set up The Urantia Book stall and next door to me was another religious group offering prayer sessions, blessings, sunscreen, bottled-water and colouring-in pictures for the children. I think their curiosity was pricked when they realised that I was also talking about Jesus, God, and things spiritual. I was approached by a young man and invited to engage in conversation; he asked about the book and what it was all about, so I gave my usual spiel.

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Feelings Too Deep for Words

Rita Schaad, NSW

(This is a presentation given by Rita at the 2022 Tasmanian conference)

While preparing for this, I first and foremost really needed to look at the world today and its inhabitants and found myself observing and reflecting, changing ideas constantly. What were those most important points to share today – but in the end one makes a lot of compromises…

As far as the sad state of world affairs is concerned, nothing much relating to us humans have really changed. Things should actually be much more improved considering the Divine Adjusters have been able to flock to this sphere on account of the Spirit of Truth ‘being poured out upon all flesh’ and residing within all mortal minds for 2000 years.

The question I asked myself over and over again is how do people – how do we – get to that point where we receive a divine invasion resulting in an experience ‘so sublime’ that it is too deep for words?

click here for PDF

Faith-Trust in the Goodness of God

Jeff and Mahtab, USA

(This is a dialogue between Jeff and Mathab that was presented via Zoom at the 2022 ANZURA Conference in Tasmania.)

Jeff: Hi, Mahtab, good to see you. What have you been up to lately?
Mahtab: Oh, the religion of personal experience.
Jeff: Cool! Could you tell me about it a little?
Mahtab: Sure—after you answer the same question. What have you been doing?
Jeff: Same thing, what do you know! The religion of personal experience. I like the conference title and the phrase, “intimacy with God.” For me, the religion of personal experience involves times when I’m wrestling with the intimate details of my personal growth struggles. But I’m also writing about this religion of the spirit as we find it in Jesus and his gospel.
Mahtab: Tell me more.
Jeff: Sure—but—would you be willing to start?

Mathab’s discourse:

“In its true essence, religion is a faith-trust in the goodness of God”. (2.6.1) A recent health challenge made me wonder how true this statement is in my own personal experience.

One morning I woke up with my throat swollen up, and hardly able to swallow even my saliva. For the next few days, I tried to taking tiny bites of food, hoping that whatever it was would pass in a day or two. It didn’t, and in fact things took a turn for the worse. Gradually, speaking became uncomfortable and I started to lose my voice, followed by significant weight loss. After visiting with a few specialists, I received a diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease or LPR. It took me some time to realize that this might become a chronic condition. I was scared, as nothing seemed to help, and I was desperately looking for an explanation for what had given rise to my symptoms in the first place.

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Spiritual Practices – an Invitation to Intimacy with God

Robert Coenraads, NSW

An Experiential Exploration of Relaxation, Meditation, Prayer and Worship and its Benefits to Soul, Heart, Mind and Body

(This is a presentation given by Robert at the 2022 Tasmanian Conference)


All formal religions and individual spiritual pilgrims have, at their heart, a basic desire to connect or become one with a greater good. It lies somewhere at the core of their belief system, perhaps smothered by a greater or lesser amount of superficial ritualistic practices.

Western religions appeal to the intellect and promote desirable moral practices through examples given in the scriptures. Outsiders, and members of the church, often complain that, try as they may, it really doesn’t seem if there is anyone listening ‘up there’ as the realities and stresses of day-to-day living become increasingly complex and difficult to manage.

Eastern traditions take their adherents by the hand, sit them down and teach practical techniques for clearing the mind, being present and aware, and simply ‘listening’. These highly effective techniques have made their way to the West and developed into various forms meditation that have continued to evolve into practices to meet specific needs, and they have been scientifically demonstrated to achieve results1.

Philosophy speaks of everybody being an individual ‘Self’ making up a part of a greater whole. It is a concept much akin to the Holy Spirit of the Bible or that of the evolving Supreme Being of the Urantia Book. Philosophy calls the Self ‘Atman’ and the Supreme Self ‘Param Atman’ of which every individual is a part.

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Activity Report from a Urantia Book Student

Phillip Marriott, SA

Being a student of The Urantia Book has inspired me to think of ways I can be of service to the revelation. I have found a few things that suit my skill levels, so I’d like to share with you some of my Urantia related activities in this neck of the woods namely, regular book promotions, weekly online Study Group, and my responsibilities and duties in Urantia Association International.

    1. Regular Book Promotion

    I organise a regular Urantia Book promotion booth at markets; the one I usually attend is The Queen of Wands Psychic Fair.

    This fair is held once a month and moves to a different location each time, so there is always a variety of people who come to visit. I particularly like these types of events because people are a little more open to discussing things of an esoteric nature. They don’t run away like scared rabbits if I mention the word God, Angels, Spirits or Universal, etc.

    In the past I used to do these promotions produce markets. Most of the time I met with a poor response and hardly ever sold any books. Interest was very limited, and I often wondered whether it was my approach. Finally, however, I concluded that I was fishing in the wrong barrel.

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    On the Revelatory Status

    Neil Francey, QLD

    Past, Present and Future

    This essay presents information about the origin of The Urantia Book in an endeavor to substantiate the claim that it is indeed a revelation to the people of this world. It is generally a record of events surrounding the book.

    Past revelations are considered for insight into their content, purpose, and contribution. Reasons for the partial acceptance of their message are also recorded. Could the fifth revelation also be only partially successful? Using the historical accounts of four revelations, it is possible to see what steps could be taken to contribute to the effectiveness of The Urantia Book.

    These past circumstances and the current challenges are then projected into a future that can be achieved by using the Urantia revelation for direction.

    View the entire Pdf

    New Zealand Corner

    Marion Steward, NZ

    Winter is well and truly here in our part of the world, and we have been enjoying both sunny days and quite cold nights over the past few weeks. In Auckland, especially, the sunny days have been a welcome change from the seemingly endless round of heavy rain, and storms that have afflicted us since the end of January. There hasn’t been enough time between these weather events to clean up after the flooding and repair roads and so on, and it is very tough for lots of people in different parts of the North Island right now.

    I have been reflecting on the Urantia Book’s encouragement to ‘feast upon uncertainty’!  

    …long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. (26:5.3, 291.3).

    We are certainly being given many opportunities to put this into practice – the weather is so uncertain, Covid hasn’t gone anywhere, and we are now starting to experience the early phases of our national elections, where the outcome is also quite uncertain, but could bring in a lot of changes.

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    Korean Readers’ Conference

    ANZURA Admin

    Theme: Spirit, Heart and Soul

    20 August 2023 at 10.00am

    There is a substantial number of Urantia Book readers in Korea who have been studying the Korean translation for many years. As they are our closest neighbour of readers in the Asia region, we wanted to share with you their latest news about an upcoming conference. This is the second conference held by Korea Urantia Forum (UKF) and will be held 20 August 2023 at the Lotte Tower Sky 31 Auditorium Forum (the tallest building in Seoul Korea) It overlooks the panorama of Seoul and the Han River.

    We wish them a very successful conference and pray it will help students deepen their an understanding of Urantia Book’s principles and values in the hope of spreading the revelation in their country.

    Here is what is planned:

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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.

    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 @

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

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