Welcome Urantia Book readers in Texas!
Published by the Lone Star IUA for its membersDear Texas Members,
July, 2003 --------------------------------------Volume 11 Number 2
About 12 dozen of our Urantian family attended the national conference last week in Tennessee. The weather in Nashville was cool, sunny and the air was dry. How wonderfully pleasant it was morning, noon and night. And it wasn't just the climate that was delightful. The following paragraphs are but briefly stated highlights of the 2003 UAUS conference.
Friday morning we commenced to study in depth, Truth, Beauty and Goodness. One day was spent on Truth and one half day for each of its two compliments. Prof. Jeff Wattles set the curriculum as he or his volunteer aides led the plenary and break out sessions. Jeff is a consummate educator, an erudite philosopher and a touchingly humble servant/brother. His presentations always stimulate divine thought and a deeper understanding of the revelation.
But before the study sessions started, on Wednesday night, I meet with the Service Board of which I am the Outreach Chair. We met again on Saturday eve as well, for an hour or so. This Outreach job is international in scope and I gathered a lot of wisdom at the conference. I shouldn't be, but was surprised to find that IUA Siblings in Quebec and elsewhere are already making great progress in works of outreach. (I had no idea there are readers who are well along in building the ramp for the teachings to stride onto the greater Urantian stage. What an honor to know and work with them.) Then on Thursday, the meeting of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the US Associations (UAUS) took place. I will forward the pertinent decisions to you as the officer's reports come out.
The crowning glory of Urantia conferences is the social intercourse with our siblings. With fraternal feelings overflowing, the attendees are lifted on the wings of light and life. These people are our second family, and an even greater feeling of family unity emerges when it is combined with our purpose to spread the teachings to every part of Urantia.
Conferences have the beneficial side effect of mixing readers. In classes, in breakouts, at meals, on the courtyards, and in the garden, openness between readers generates fraternity of a divine order. One can feel it and carry it home. I realized every conference profoundly strengthens ties with those we will be serving alongside from time to time during eternity. How rich will our friendships by the time we are perfected?
Both of the IUA conferences I have attended created the most memorable fraternal experiences of my life. And the experience continues as I type these words and listen to the CD made by Lee Farmer and his all Urantian band.
Lee and his gifted music makers gave an indoor and an outdoor concert respectively on Friday and Saturday nights. All of their songs are written or sung with the revelation in mind, like Rebellion Outbreak with its awesome guitar, thanks Kenne Cramer!
Then there is one by Bert Cobb, Steve Shinall and Lee called Jesus Was A Workin' Man. It brings tears to the eyes with a simple elegance of poetic expression. The Master might well smile upon hearing it. And some of the profits from Lee's CD's support the IUA. It was a true blessing that Lee, his band, and the Southern Kindred Spirits IUA entertained and left us with such a fine memory of Nashville 2003. The virtuosity of the band is amazing and delightful to listen and dance to. To top that, the awesomely talented Bob Salone hit the keyboard alongside Lee and Co. on Saturday night. T'was pure Havona.
It should be mentioned that the roving young readers attended as part of their regular summer travels around Urantia. Their openness and energy are always an inspiration. They brought along a "slack line", frisbees, an extraordinarily playful exuberance and displayed athleticism which we all enjoyed either watching or partaking.
As events reached a crescendo on Saturday night, after several hours of jubilation, the security guard at the Scarritt Center gently shut us down. For our closing act, and in beautifully touching unison we stood on the campus lawn, under the stars, beside the one hundred foot bell tower and sang Amazing Grace, a cappella.
For a going away gift, SKS gave us everyone, three ceramic tiles, each inscribed with the words Truth, Beauty or Goodness which may be used as coasters or incorporated into your home's next redo. It would be difficult to thank too much the SKS Association for the work they did in making yet another conference a peak event in the life of readers.
Nevertheless, thank you SKS,
your service is a model.
Before departing on Sunday morning, we gathered in the chapel for a remembrance worship service with words of devotion gently spoken,. songs to God sung, and wine and bread taken.
The next worshipful gathering of our IUA siblings will be in Chicago in July, next year.
See you there!
Love to all,