EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER April, 1989
Dear Members of Urantia Brotherhood:
The regular second quarterly meeting of the Executive Committee took place at headquarters on Friday evening, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 1989. The following will provide you with a summary of the proceedings.
Summary of Executive Committee Actions:
1. We approved the applications for member-at-large from the following individuals and welcome them into our growing worldwide fellowship: Rick Brunson, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Paul Denis and Rejeanne Denis, LaPlaine, Quebec, Canada; David Fox, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin; Betty Glasziou and Kenneth Glasziou, Maleny, Queensland, Australia; Martin McBurney, South Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia; Elaine McLellan, Franklin, Tennessee; Joan Neumann, Putney, Vermont; Craig Peyton, LaGrangeville, New York; Judith Sadler, Macomb, lilinois.
2. In recognition of the implementation of the new Area Coordinator Program, the Executive Committee officially dissolved the existing Field Representative Program, effective immediately, and instructed the chairman to write to each of the existing six(6) Field Representatives expressing our thanks for their dedicated service over the years: Lew Clark and Berkeley Elliott (who will continue in service as AC's); Henry Begemann and Emmanuel Lou (who will be affected by the Area Coordinator Program outside the United States overseen by International Fellowship Committee); Dick Prince and Helena Sprague (whose terms of service are ended); and Julia Fenderson who was appointed an Area Coordinator Emeritus.
3. The Executive Committee unanimously approved the Charter Committee's recommendation that the group of readers in Finland applying for status as a Urantia Society, having met all qualifications, be chartered on June 3-4, 1989 as the Finnish Urantia Society, r.y. Helsinki.
4. The Executive Committee also unanimously approved the Charter Committee's recommendation that the group of readers in Ontario applying for status as a Urantia Society, having met all qualifications, be chartered on June 9-10,1989 as the Couchiching Urantia Society of Ontario.
5. The Executive Committee approved the chair's proposal that the Fraternal Relations Committee be assigned as the liaison committee to work with associated groups involved in the fifth epochal revelation pursuant to the resolution concerning this issue passed at the special meeting of the General Council in February, 1989. It was also agreed that, if appropriate, Domestic Extension would also work with these groups under the coordination of Fraternal Relations.
6. The preliminary budget and registration fees for the 1990 International Conference, proposed by chairman John Hay on behalf of the Conference Committee, were approved with the request that the budget be fleshed out more fully as work on the conference proceeds.
7. The Executive Committee established the period July 1-August 15 as the target timing of the 1993 International Conference, to be held in Victoria, British Columbia, and instructed the Conference Department to set the actual dates taking into consideration all pertinent factors (e.g. cost, exclusive use of the campus, etc.).
8. We approved the officers' recommendation that the price of the Concentric Circles membership pins be set at $30.00 reflecting the cost increase we have received from the manufacturer.
9. It was agreed that the Charter Committee would undertake an evaluation of categories of mem-bership in Urantia Brotherhood and make recommendations for changes in the process of ap-proving members-at-large, chartering Societies, and dealing with the status of members-at-large with whom the Brotherhood has lost contact. Charter will interact with the Judicial Committee on the resolution of any inconsistencies in these areas which have surfaced as a consequence of this evaluation and the ongoing Joint work with Urantia Foundation attorneys on the development of an updated sample constitution and the extensive work on finalizing the Finnish Constitution.
10. The chairman was given approval for the establishment of the Code of Conduct Ad Hoc Com-mittee originally approved by the General Council in January, 1988. The names of the persons serving on the committee will be published once each proposed person has been contacted and has agreed to serve.
11. The 1990 regular meeting of the General Council at Snowmass, Colorado was set for Thurs-day, July 5, 1990 beginning at 3:00 pm and ending on Friday, July 6, 1990 at 5:00 pm. This follows the conclusion of the 1990 International Conference.
12. The site for the September, 1989 meeting of the Executive Committee has been changed from New York to headquarters in Chicago to facilitate the fall budget process.
13. Four additional Area Coordinators were approved for service in their respective areas: Beth Bartley, Rob Davis, Craig Peyton, and George Sammis.
14. The Executive Committee approved, contingent upon approval by Urantia Foundation, the proposal made by Harry McMullan and Domestic Extension Committee concerning the limited use by Area Coordinators of Urantia Brotherhood stationery. Harry was instructed to forward the proposal directly to Urantia Foundation for their response.
15. Dan Young was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Judicial Committee until the upcoming meeting of the General Council in June, 1989, at which time he will stand for election to a vacant seat.
16. The Executive Committee approved Harry McMullan's proposal that those Area Coordinators who were unable to attend the training sessions be contacted and asked for their suggestions as to how their training might be accomplished in an alternate manner. Additionally, Domestic Exten-sion will evaluate methods to accomplish this training including the possibility of video tapes, writ-ten training documents, and/or personal visits by members of Domestic Extension and/or nearby Area Coordinators. It was the general consensus of the Committee that inasmuch as the training was extremely worthwhile every effort should be made to offer it in some manner to every person selected as an Area Coordinator as a requirement of service.
17. We approved Bob Bruyn's proposal that responsibility for the ongoing processing of data for the Record of Decisions project be assumed by the Central Office and overseen by Special Pro-jects. He has worked this out with Gloriann Harris, Director of Operations.
18. It was agreed to establish a joint Urantia Foundation--Urantia Brotherhood committee to develop and supervise the joint mailing list policy. This committee would be made up of eight (8) persons: Martin Myers, Frank Sgaraglino, Gloriann Harris, Marilynn Kulieke, John Hay, Pony Friedman, Brent St. Denis, and Mike Painter as Central Office liaison. 19. The Executive Committee, with minor modifications, approved the slate of nominees for elec-tion to Departmental Committees at the June, 1989 meeting of the General Council as proposed by the sub-nominating committee of Lynne Kulieke (chair), Gard Jameson, and Bob Bruyn:
International Fellowship Committee 6 year term: Douglas Fraser, David Wallace
Fraternal Relations Committee 6 year term: Michael Painter
Education Committee 6 year term: Barbara Dreier
Domestic Extension Committee 6 year term: Inez Finstad, Waldine Stump
Charter Committee 6 year term: Francyl Gawryn
Judicial Committee 6 year term: David Owen 2 year term: Dan Young
Finance Committee 6 year term: Dan Tyler
Publications Committee 6 year term: Byron Belitsos, David Kulieke, George Sammis
Special Projects Committee 6 year term: Barbara Kulieke, Michael Wood 3 year term: Anthony Finstad, Ken Raveill
20. The sub-nominating committee also proposed, and the Executive Committee approved: a program of advance contact with Societies and General Councilors to solicit names and biographical resumes of persons who would be interested in and qualified for committee service in the future, which list would then be made available to Committee chairpersons for consideration in fill-ing vacancies; the suggestion that inasmuch as the election process is an open and dynamic one (with many nominees from the floor) it is not necessary always to provide two nominees for every office or vacancy.
21. The Sales Agency Oversight Committee's proposed approach for the development and exe-cution of an annual plan for the conduct of our Sales Agency work was approved as presented by Marilynn Kulieke, chair of this subcommittee (whose other members are John Hay, Gard Jameson, and Jim Johnston). This planning process will include all areas of sales and distribution of The Urantia Book (including gift, library placement, and consignment programs) and will involve in-teraction with the Trustees of Urantia Foundation to set goals and establish business parame-ters, annual budgeting and program planning, proposals to Urantia Foundation to have annual or opportunistic budgets/programs approved, establishment of an appropriate reporting schedule for all phases of activity, both to the Brotherhood and as required by Urantia Foundation, and consideration of any other areas pertinent to our Sales Agency function (the sale of The Urantia Book at seminars, conferences, etc.). This subcommittee reports directly to the Board of Directors of Urantia Brotherhood Corporation (the fiscal agent for Urantia Brotherhood).
22. Several administrative decisions were made to facilitate office management, Corporation meeting schedules, and Local, State, and Federal tax and business reporting requirements.
COMMITTEE ACTIVITY SUMMARY/OTHER REPORTS
Education Committee: Dan Massey noted that attendance at the Summer Seminars should be somewhere between 75-80. He also commented that after the Summer Seminars are over, his committee will undertake a broad evaluation of the Committee's approach to its Educational charge and make appropriate recommendations to the Executive Committee.
Judicial Committee: Steve Dreier reported that since his committee was unable to meet with a quorum, the amendments to the Constitution and by-laws for both the Removal Procedure and Domestic Extension Committee name change had not undergone the necessary procedures and, therefore, the appropriate recommendations to the Executive Committee would be deferred until a later meeting. This also means that these items would not come before the General Council for vote at the upcoming June, 1989 meeting. Steve also reported that Duane Faw has resigned from the Judicial Committee for health reasons. The minutes will show our deep appreciation for his years of service.
Fraternal Relations Committee: Peter Laurence commented on FRC's plans for the upcoming Summer Seminars which will include evening programs and Wednesday workshops on the general subject of present-day religious groups and ways in which the committee, and individual readers, can reach out to the members of these groups to provide them with information about The URAN-TIA Book. Peter observed during his report that there are many opportunities to network with peo-ple who are involved in other groups, and that this process of sharing one's experience and under-standing in a non-proselytizing manner with others, is the responsibility of each of us.
Publications Committee: Jim Johnston apprised us that the next issue of the BULLETIN, con-taining a summary of its contents in French, will be mailed out in May. The Committee anticipates the ongoing inclusion of summaries in French, Spanish, and Finnish beginning August 1,1989.
Domestic Extension Committee: Harry McMullan commented on the schedule for the Society Conclave being organized and supervised by David Kulieke; it will be held at Lake Forest College on June 24-25, 1989. There will also be a meeting of all Area Coordinators attending the Summer Seminars, which meeting will provide the opportunity for the AC's to share their experiences to date, and which will offer training to those who could not attend the scheduled sessions.
Special Projects Committee: Bob Bruyn informed us that Dan Glazer has resigned from the com-mittee due to family and work obligations. The minutes will show that we thank Dan for his dedica-tion and service. Bob also reported that his committee is making progress on several projects: the Oral History Project, the Record of Decisions Project (see ExComm actions above), and the Re-source Guide for Secondary Works.
International Fellowship Committee: Berkeley Elliott noted that the Area Coordinator Program in countries outside the United States is slowly taking form with the appointment of several AC's: William Wentworth, Australia; Brent St. Denis, eastern Canada; Carlos Zapata, Colombia. Berkeley also reported on plans to attend the historic chartering of the new Societies in Finland and Canada.
Finance Committee: Gard Jameson gave an extensive update on the organization's financial condition to date in 1989, noting that participation in the Matthew Fund was growing slowly but surely, and that the second phase of our annual solicitation program, including a Joint Summary Report for 1988 and a Deferred Giving Pamphlet, would be in the mail in late May. He commented that each and every contribution from supportive readers, no matter how small, is an important and acting part of the work our organizations do.
Charter Committee: Avi Dogim indicated on the final plans for the historic, consecutive chartering of the Finnish and Canadian Societies--Finland, June 34, 1989; Ontario, Canada, June 10-11, 1989. His committee has accepted the assignment to evaluate the area of membership in URAN-TIA Brotherhood, both member-at-large and society, and make a report and appropriate recom-mendations to the Executive Committee. This evaluation would consider all aspects of this area, including procedures, constitutional requirements, etc.
Central Support Services: Gloriann Harris, Director of Office Operations, filed her report for the period commenting on those projects handled in addition to daily responsibilities, including: prepa-ration and mailing of 150 Area Coordinator Manuals, Mike Painter's attendance of and participation in the three AC Training Programs as well as phone and letter contact with the Area Coordinators, processing of approximately 700 (as of 4/11 /89) orders for the special SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM ISSUE of The Urantia, Journal of Urantia Brotherhood, Conference Services activity for Gen-eral Council meetings, Summer Seminars, and the 1990 International Conference, pre-chartering work for two new societies, committee Projects assistance/implementation activities, and research and training for office computerization.
Sales Agent Report: John Hales furnished a written report on the retail book store consignment program established by Urantia Foundation and managed by the Book Department; he recom-mended that despite a modest level of response to the program, it is worth continuing since it pro-vides good exposure for The Urantia Book, it offers an excellent opportunity for readers inter-ested in helping place the book in retail outlets, and it is a relatively inexpensive program to main-tain. John also reported that we are in the last stages of contracting an overseas book distributor to handle distribution of The Urantia Book in Europe.
International Conference 1990: John Hay, Conference committee chairperson, reported that al-though the initial response to early registration was relatively low to date, it was expected to pick up inasmuch as the mailing was not sent first class. Also, because it is a year in advance, and needs to be considered in the context of family obligations, we expect increasing response as time goes by. However, John reminded the committee that decisions with regard to contractual guar-antees with Snowmass will be made in late June, based upon early response--SO, IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND, PLEASE SEND IN YOUR REGISTRATION RIGHT AWAY.
Other: David Elders reported that the Beta Test Licensing Agreement authorizing the limited dis-tribution and testing of the Computer Reference Aid, has been signed. Dan Massey will implement this testing program immediately.
It was reported that the KEY WORD INDEX is approved for production and will be produced in early June. It will be offered as a part of the May solicitation mailing, and sold thereafter.
This June, stimulated by the historic chartering of the first two Urantia Brotherhood societies outside of the United States, it seems worthwhile to consider the significance to our organization of the commitments being made by the individual members of these groups, especially in the context of the organizational purposes which unite us all, and which are articulated in ARTICLE II of the Constitution of Urantia Brotherhood:
The purposes of Urantia Brotherhood are the study and dissemination of the teach-ings of The Urantia Book; the promotion, improvement, and expansion among the peo-ples of the world of the comprehension and understanding of Cosmology and the relation of the planet on which we live to the Universe, of the genesis and destiny of Man and his relation to God, and of the teachings of Jesus Christ; and the inculcation and encourage-ment of the realization and appreciation of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man--in order to increase and enhance the comfort, happiness, and well-being of Man, as an individual and as a member of society, by fostering a religion, a philosophy, and a cosmology which are commensurate with Man's intellectual and cultural development, through the medium of fraternal association, ever obedient to the laws of this country and of all countries wherein Urantia Brotherhood may extend.
To me, this statement of purpose is an eloquent blend of responsibility and dedication on the levels of reality which are described to us in The Urantia Book: matter, mind, spirit, and personality re-lationships. A careful reading suggests first the notion of teaching what we learn and experience to others, for we cannot begin to disseminate the teachings of the book unless we have begun to learn them; unless we do, how can we be successful in the ...promotion, improvement, and ex-pansion among the peoples of the world of the comprehension and understanding [mind] of Cos-mology [material organization! and the relation of the planet on which we live to the Universe, of the genesis and destiny of Man and his relation to God [spirit, personality] and of the teachings of Jesus Christ [spirit, personality]; and the inculcation and encouragement of the realization and ap-preciation of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man [spirit, personality relation-ships]....
The next section speaks about the service consequences of what we achieve by study and dissemination: --...in order to increase and enhance the comfort, happiness, and well-being of Man, as an individual and as a member of society...." The final section seems to be about the human consequences of study and dissemination with the purposes delineated above put into the word symbols which humans use to categorize their experiences in the realms of reality with which we interact: --...by fostering a religion [spirit], a philosophy [mind], and a cosmology [matter] which are commensurate with Man's intellectual and cultural development.... And, then, personality re-lationships: --...through the medium of fraternal association...."
In addition to this pattern which I see (and which you may see differently), there are several other ideas and ideals which seem to have been consciously made a part of this statement:
There seems to be clear recognition that Urantia Brotherhood is a means and not an end, for its purposes have nothing to do with organization-building; the organization which develops be-cause of the desire of individuals to work together to achieve common purposes is unequivocally subordinate to those purposes.
There is clear evidence, also, that our purposes blend the need to build on the evolutionary shoulders of the past while at the same time avoiding "putting new wine into old wineskins." Note the careful use of the words, "improvement and expansion. to suggest building on the past; con-sider that the words, "...by fostering a religion, a philosophy, and a cosmology...commensurate with Man's intellectual and cultural development... define what is to be built on these foundations.
To me, it is clear that Urantia Brotherhood was not to become a "religion" but rather, a means for Fostering those elements of human experience (cosmology and philosophy) which lead to the enhanced realization of religion as the personal experience with God of each and every member of humankind.
Finally, there is an essential commitment to the value of personality relationships as the essence of the organization's purpose: ...the genesis and destiny of Man and his relation to God...the in-culcation and appreciation of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man...through the medium of fraternal association...." This phrasing alone seems to encompass the essential per-sonal relations which characterize some of the most sublime teachings in The Urantia Book con-cerning our Father, our sonship, our relationship to each other, and the destiny of these relation-ships as they find meaning and value in the Supreme.
So, in a sense, this historic chartering of Societies outside of the United States may signify that we have taken an important step in overcoming the arbitrary and man-made boundaries of nationhood, the temporarily awkward obstacles of language, the outdated patterns of human organizational politics, and the prejudices of race, creed and gender to unite in the achievement of pur-poses which go to the very essence of our being: to help foster, in the realms of matter, mind, and spirit, the relationship of each and every person to our common Father and the friendly universe in which he has given us our existence, our uniqueness, our self-consciousness, and the potential of a grand destiny to be realized by the combined power of faith, service, and spirit-led decision making.
Yours in the spirit of friendship,
David N. Elders, President
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book