Saturday, January 22, 2011

#17:  I know, I have been doing more wandering than blogging; I hope I can get caught up to date in one posting!  When I start lazy habits they become difficult to change.  Briefly, since my last posting so many moons ago I went from Lexington, Virginia to Ladson, South Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida and on to Dade City, Florida.  As soon as I got to Dade City I managed to catch a rather nasty bug that kept me low for a month or so.  Recently I have attended a couple of Urantia Book meetings and hope to get back into the swing of things.  By way, the picture of the racing scull was taken along the Manatee River prior to the meeting in Parrish, Florida, which is south of Tampa.

“During the psychologically unsettled times of the twentieth century, amid the economic upheavals, the moral crosscurrents, and the sociologic rip tides of the cyclonic transitions of a scientific era, thousands upon thousands of men and women have become humanly dislocated; they are anxious, restless, fearful, uncertain, and unsettled; as never before in the world’s history they need the consolation and stabilization of sound religion. In the face of unprecedented scientific achievement and mechanical development there is spiritual stagnation and philosophic chaos.”  The Urantia Book (1090.2) (99:4.6)

“The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. Jesus shattered tradition, destroyed dogma, and called mankind to the achievement of its highest ideals in time and eternity — to be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect.”  The Urantia Book (1091.2) (99:5.3)

In Jacksonville I met with Jim and Paula, having met them on my way north last spring.  By chance (or guidance) I chose to arrive at the Flamingo Lake campground near I-295 on their meeting night and they had two new visitors at the meeting who lived near each other and had been discussing the Urantia Book for some time.  The give and take, the sharing of stories was energizing.

After taking a month or so to recuperate from my arrival in Dade City I attended a study group in Brandon at the lovely home of Share and Bill Beasley where the following picture was taken.  We read Paper 5, “God’s Relation to the Individual” but the discussion was such that we didn’t get to finish the paper.  The variety of viewpoints and the interchange of ideas is what makes these meetings so special.

The Florida Students of the Urantia Book (FSUB) sponsored the meeting south of Tampa; the theme of this conference was “The Spark of the Spirit.”  The location was the Dayspring Episcopal Conference Center that includes a 92-acre campus, 18 buildings, and hiking trails.  I arrived there early on Friday afternoon so I could explore the trails.  When I got to the Manatee Rover there were two eight man racing sculls out for a practice run (one of which is shown above), probably belonging to a nearby college.  The following scene was also photographed along the Manatee River.   

There were only a dozen or so at the meeting, but that allowed a more personal interchange of ideas.  The Urantia Book states that each personality is unique and these meetings are in a way a celebration of that uniqueness; frequently we would linger in the dining room talking until we felt the staff would rather we move on and get out of their way.  Among the speakers at the conference were Donna D’Ingillo, Jack Miller, Robert Borello and Javier Agubelo.  David Albee and Carol Anne Kummer ably hosted the conference.  On Sunday morning the Chapel was the location for a moving worship service, your blogger even rang the bell before the service.

I have not decided if I will go to the Florida panhandle directly or take a detour to south Florida first.  Stay tuned.

"...When you once start out to find God, that is the conclusive proof that God has already found you."  The Urantia Book (2078.2) (195:6.16)