TO: General Councilors, Society Presidents, and
Ad Hoc Committee on General Council/Executive Committee Relationships Recommendations in Reply to the June 8, 1983 Memorandum. The following recommendations were presented to the Executive Committee:
1. We agree that there are benefits to be gained from holding a retreat for members of the General Council, Foundation Trustees, and Administrative Assistants, to be held at least every three years. It is suggested that the time of this retreat be within a few months following the Triennial Delegate Assembly. We can also see the benefits of having the newly constituted Council participate in such a retreat. While we feel every effort should be made to meet this schedule, we believe the Planning Committee should make a final determination as to the exact timing of such an event.
2. We believe that any liaison system between Executive Committee members and members of the General Council should be initiated by the Councilors, that is, a member of the Council should take the initiative to contact a member of the Executive Committee to establish personal communication.
The General Council has established its desire to have monthly news letters from the Executive Committee.
4. We do not believe that a required ritual be established that every meeting of the Council, etc., be opened with a reading from The Urantia Book. However, we do agree with the spirit behind such a request and feel that it has been met with approval at the last Council meeting that each body of the Brotherhood consider the appropriateness of opening their sessions with some manner of prayer, be it silent or inspirational.
Development of a written guiding philosophy is something that should certainly be part of the long-range planning process which the Executive Committee has already undertaken. It is the intent that not only each member of the Council become familiar with such guidelines as will be developed, but also all members of Urantia Brotherhood.
With the exception of Item 12, the committee concurred with these recommendations. Concerning Item #2, it was agreed that the Executive Committee and other members of the General Council should establish personal communications, which can be initiated by either Executive Committee members or by General Council members not on the Executive Committee. Ways of implementing this will be explored.
New Society Chartered. At the September meeting of the Executive Committee, Charter #16 was granted to Urantia Society of San Fernando Valley. Their induction ceremony was held October 9, 1983, at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills, California. It was an exciting and rewarding moment for the group of 21 founders and charter members to participate in this ceremonial occasion. I was fortunate to be able to attend along with Charter Committee Chairman Dave Elders and Committee member Lucile Faw. Many societies had sent their good wishes to the new group and the officers of First Urantia Society of Los Angeles were there to bring personal greetings.
Book Distribution. Walden Books, the largest chain store in America, continues to present us with frustrating problems. Having noticed orders dropping off beginning in July, I contacted them on several occasions and was assured that everything was in order. That is, each time one of their stores sold a copy another would be automatically ordered through their computerized system. Finally a phone call from a reader in Alaska gave me the information I needed. We were listed as an unauthorized vendor. Our Walden buyer's computer print-out in Stamford, CT, indicated all was in order but in the financial division a stop-order had been placed on our account. It seems sometime last June a clerk found a two-year old list of vendors who required prepayment (we do not) and entered this information into the computer. It took until the end of September to again receive Walden orders. Our book is being stocked by about one third of Walden's 1,000 stores. All their stores can order the book.
Publicity. As you are already aware, the abridged version of "The Dissemination of The Urantia Book and Statement on Publicity" was completed and mailed to our entire mailing list. To date, we have received 22 1etters in support of our policy, none opposed. Many thank us for sharing in some detail the reasons for reaching our conclusions. It gave them a sense of direction for their efforts to share the Urantia teachings,.
Book of Cults, by Bob Larson. From time to time our attention is brought to published references to The Urantia Book. In this instance, there is an entire chapter on "Urantia." Enclosed you will find copies of this material. I plan to continue to share such information with you to give you a sense of who is saying what about our activities or the book. in this example, I do not know how broad a circulation the book might receive.
Long-Range Planning. The morning following our September Executive Committee meeting Mo Siegel presented a model for long-range planning, based on his personal experience in the business planning process. It was most informative for all of us to review those aspects of planning which can apply in any setting. We will be refining this model for practical application to our Brotherhood organization.
Members-at-Large. We welcome Mrs. Sue Hawkins Smith, Honolulu, Hi, as a member of Urantia Brotherhood.
Austin Study Group. Ted Lanier and David Coe came to visit our Chicago office to discuss their plans to advertise The Urantia Book through local media. Over the several days they were here, many of us had the chance to discuss the pros and cons of such activity. I feel we were able to convey to them our serious doubts about the wisdom of undertaking some of these public activities at this time.
They agreed that some of the proposed radio scripts needed reconsideration. However, they will proceed with activity that makes the book more readily visible in local bookstores.
We appreciate their visiting us to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind our non-publicity policy. They will certainly take this into consideration in planning their activity. I hope to visit Austin in the near future to continue this dialogue.
Correction. Mrs. Joycee Henrion was elected to a five year term on the Education Committee at the last General Council meeting. I inadvertently omitted her from the list of those elected in my last letter.
By now you are no doubt aware of the concern Vern Grimsley has for the possibility of world war. He has sent a letter to many leaders to inform them of his group's activities. I was at the installation of the new Urantia Society when news of his message reached me. Realizing that the claims being made about the source of the message would have an impact on our readership, I along with Dave Elders went to the Institute at Clayton, California to talk with Vern and his people to be informed first-hand. This visit should not be viewed as an endorsement by either myself or the Brotherhood. I will have more to say on this situation following the next meeting of the Executive Committee, November 18-19.
We are experiencing a time of stress which heightens inter-personal tensions. Let each of us step back to reflect on our own attitudes toward our friends and associates. While we will hold different beliefs, let us not have them become stumbling blocks to our unity of purpose.
John W. Hales, President
Excerpt from Book of Cults
Current Society officer List
P. S. For those who noticed the new letter format, It was created on our new, IBM P/C XT.
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book