for readers in
New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi
Thanx to those who attended on
Thanx to our teacher-speakers
And big thanx to our Event Committee
Bruce Brown - Emcee
Adele Budnick - Presenter
Mary Michael - Web and Mail
Rick Warren - Conference Coordinator
On October ninth and tenth, 2004, readers from Arizona to Louisiana gathered for the Lone Star IUA study conference titled "Quality Thinking and the Mind Arena of Choice". We studied as well as dined, danced and worshipped together. Overall there were twenty-eight Paradise Pilgrims at our meeting, and though seasonal rains persisted throughout the weekend, spirits were not dampened.
Many thanks to all who attended, some traveled quite a distance to join us in this study on spiritual thinking and the "mind arena". Plenary presentations were given by four Lone Star members, and one by IUA Executive Administrator Cathy Jones.
Bruce Brown led our study with an excellent presentation on the numerous and closely related tri-fold concepts which define certain arenas of our thinking like---science, religion, philosophy; truth, beauty and goodness; reason, faith and logic.
Adele (Ashworth) Budnick then gave a lively, warm and humorous presentation on how quality thinking would affect and impinge on a conversation with Jesus, over a cup of coffee. Adele guided the natural beauty of this imaginary scene and let it unfold with affection, intimacy and personal insight.
Next Mark Morrison gave an edifying, extensive, well thought-out and comprehensive overview of the Urantia Book author's vast revelations regarding our minds, our thinking and their relation to our evolving, progressing souls. He covered the adjutants to the Adjusters, and much in between ably and clearly.
Cathy Jones followed Mark with a talk on the power of our minds to affect our health, our feelings and our souls. Then Cathy led the group on a brief meditative journey through the body and mind, all of which culminated in a calmer, more focused mind. She related how this can initiate a habit pattern which makes us better able to discern the more profound thinking the Adjusters are constantly attempting to convey to each of us.
Suzanne Kelly-Ward rendered the last presentation. It was a reprise of the multi-media (oral, visual, musical) presentation she gave at the international conference last summer in Chicago. Suzanne shows in a fascinating and integrated manner, how science is beginning to scratch the surface of the physical mechanism of thinking, and how religionists can take it a step further, from science to practical living experience in the domains of spirit.
My offering was to interweave the presentations with "rhythmic poetry". Of the four short poems recited (one between each presentation) all were original and inspired by the UB. Three were my compositions and one was a fragment of Suzanne's epic poem, "Elan Vital". All seemed to find resonance with our generous audience.
But the real stars of our regional conference were our guests. They helped with the worship service readings, with the music and entertainment, as well as with set-up and tear-down. A harmony of cooperation and willingness to serve pervaded the conference thanks to them. To my knowledge there wasn't a discordant note during the weekend. And all participants appeared to have that "conference glow" by the time to depart.
The band, "Woodbelly" rocked us good. The threesome worked mightily, first hauling their considerable gear upstairs, then producing some great music to dance to, and also having one of our number on stage for a song (thanks to a certain singer from New Mexico).
Whenever we gather the Master is there. Thanks should go also to our Gods and angels without whose sanction and spirit we would have not reason for gathering, fraternizing and "succumbing to the danger of growth".
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