EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER
TO: Members of Urantia Brotherhood
Urantia BROTHERHOOD 533 DIVERSEY PARKWAY CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60614
Once again, on the weekend of November 21-22, 1986, the members of the Executive Committee gathered together in Chicago to discuss on your behalf business items generated by our involvement with and commitment to the work related to the dissemination of The Urantia Book across the face of our planet. This is a summary of these proceedings for your information, discussion, and comment if you feel so moved.
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN
1. The required minutes of the September 19-20, 1986 meeting were read and approved with no corrections.
2. Applications for status as Member-at-Large in Urantia Brotherhood from the following readers were approved: Brent St. Denis, Gloucester, Canada; Darcy Mychasiw, Sudbury, Canada; William Wentworth, Towamba, Australia; John and Jan Andrews, Juneau, Alaska; Russell Hauck, Aurora Colorado; and Marilyn Hauck, St. Louis, Missouri. Welcome to those readers joining our organizational work formally at this time.
3. The Committee approved the request of Anna Gullichsen, Espoo, Finland that she be dropped from member-at-large status.
The Executive Committee approved the 1987 Urantia Brotherhood budget recommended by the Finance Committee and as amended by Executive Committee deliberations. The approved budget is detailed below.
5. The Executive Committee instructed the Charter and Judicial Committees to undertake an evaluation of (a) the appropriateness of the 100-mile radius for society membership, and (b) the inconsistencies apparently existent between the Constitution of Urantia Brotherhood and those of societies with regard to the consequences to membership status in the Brotherhood when individuals are dropped from the rolls of society membership. Both of these questions arose during consideration of member-at-large applications from persons previously Brotherhood members via their society membership-. 6. The Executive Committee approved the recommendation of a sub-- nominating committee of Chuck Burton (chair), Lynne Kulieke, and Duane Faw to propose Marilynn Kulieke and Peter Laurence as the EC nominees for the Vice President vacancy. The election will take place at a special meeting of the General Council on Saturday, January 24, 1987 at 8:00am. The only business to be conducted at this meeting will be the election of Vice President and the filling of any vacancy created by this election.
It was agreed that the annual meeting of the General Council would be held on Friday, August 7, 1987 beginning at 4:00pm at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, following the 1987 General Conference.
B. The Executive Committee approved a request from Fraternal Relations that funding for the outside speakers for the 1987 General Conference be covered from the General Conference budget.
9. The meeting was formally adjourned having met from 8:00pm-11:00pm Friday night and from 9:00am-4:45pm on Saturday.
COMMITTEE ACTIVITY SUMMARY
The following will briefly summarize new items reported by each of the committee chairpersons:
Fraternal Relations Committee: Peter Laurence reported that his committee will be meeting in Chicago on January 23, 1987 to develop its proposal concerning presentations about The Urantia Book to religious and scholarly groups. He also noted that upcoming articles to be run in The Bulletin will include pieces on Reform Judaism and Unity Church.
Domestic Extension Committee: Harry McMullan reported on an informal meeting of four of the members of Domestic Extension who were at the recent Oklahoma Forum held at Lake Murray Lodge in October. Among the items discussed were ways to stimulate societies to become more active. Ideas included regular society conclaves, rotating Executive Committee meetings to society locations, increasing communications between General Council members and societies across the country.
International Fellowship Committee: Berkeley Elliott reported that the Forum on "The Urantia Book: International Viewpoints" hosted by the Oklahoma Society and held at Lake Murray Lodge, Ardmore, Oklahoma over the weekend of October 24-26 was a great success and had the good fortune to have as participants some good friends from Canada, France, and Switzerland.
Education Committee: Lynne Kulieke noted in her report that her committee had met on the weekend of September 27-28, followed up by a conference call in early November. The subject for the 1988 Intensive Seminars will be the first half of Part III of The Urantia Book. Her committee also agreed that they would author an article for The Bulletin to run in early 1987. Publications Committee: Dan Massey commented on the need to better insure that The Bulletin and the Executive Committee Letter do not duplicate reported information. A question was raised on the increasing cost of The Bulletin in relation to available funding and whether we should consider reducing its frequency to three per year. He noted that The Bulletin currently costs about $2.00 per year per recipient, and feels that we should evaluate alternative methods of publication. Dan's committee will undertake consideration of these questions and make appropriate recommendations to the Executive Committee.
Special Projects Committee: Marilynn Kulieke wrote in her report that Special Projects will be meeting on December 6, 1987 to discuss: a timetable for response to the Council Resolution on Brotherhood history; work on the Resource Guide; satellite interest groups; and an idea for a computer networking system.
Charter Committee: Steve Dreier reported an informal meeting held via conference call to discuss: the need to revise the sample constitution sent to groups applying for society status, the desirability of evaluating the 100 mile radius requirement for society membership, and the need to evaluate the problems created when membership in an existing society drops below the 20 members required to charter a new society. Further, Steve noted that there was interest in the society chartering process expressed by groups in Seattle, Victoria, British Columbia, Kansas City, Nashville, Toronto, New York City, and New Hampshire. The New York group seems to be closest to meeting the requirements.
Judicial Committee: Duane Faw reported that inasmuch as there was no business to conduct at this time, no meeting was held and there is nothing to report. Berkeley Elliott requested, however, that she be authorized by the Executive Committee to pursue informally with the Judicial Committee the possibility and desirability of drafting a shortened, simpler form of the Brotherhood Constitution. She was urged to follow up with Duane on this matter.
Finance Committee: John Hay's report focused on the status of our budget situation for the balance of 1986 and a presentation of the budget for Urantia Brotherhood for 1987. His committee's basic concern is that the mediocre level of donations for 1986, despite increased appeals to support additional Brotherhood activities, suggest that further increases in outreach activities may not be supportable in next year's budget. After much discussion, the consensus opinion was that we needed to generate, by personal appeal if necessary, the funding increases required to maintain the momentum in outreach activities begun this past year. Accordingly, the target budget of more than $231,000 set by the Executive Committee and summarized below, will require donations of over $137,000 for the Brotherhood.
It was pointed out that the original budgeted expectation of $30,500 in commission revenue for book sales would not cover sales expenses; therefore, the commissions estimate below includes a targeted increase in commissions (which would hopefully be forthcoming from Urantia Foundation consequential to a written, documented request) to help defray the higher costs included below in "Sales Agency." Urantia BROTHERHOOD 1987 Budget As Approved
INCOME Contributions 137717 Commissions 42500 Interest Income 30000 Misc. sales, Conference Registration, Journal 21200
Sub-Total Income $231,417 EXPENSES* Sales Agency (23%) 47,723 Reader Services (35%) 72,921 Organiz.Services(15%) 31,671 Resources (12%) 24,864 Administration (15%) 31,096 Sub-Total Expenses $208,275
Balance for Reserve(10% of income) 23,142
Total includes committee budgets of $21,700 and general office support expenditures allocated by service category.
1. Dave Elders reported that Urantia Foundation has indicated its intention to donate additional books for the purposes of library placement. Pending Brotherhood submission and Foundation acceptance of a book placement plan for 1987 both in the United States and other countries utilizing the services of willing and interested readers, the Trustees have offered to gift 300 books in calendar 1986 to complete this year's programs, and approximately 1,500 books (both English and French) for 1987. This substantial support provided by the Foundation not only helps in accelerating the library placement project, but also, it helps the Brotherhood maximize the activity level supportable under current budget constraints, and we are grateful for their help.
2. Marilynn Kulieke reported that to date more than 375 cards have been returned expressing interest in attending General Conference 1987. Plans otherwise are proceeding for the mailing of registration materials after the first of the year, and for final establishment of the program.
3. John Hay suggested that the Finance Committee undertake evaluation of a pension program of some sort for employees.
4. Harry McMullan suggested that serious consideration be given to the assessment of membership dues if donations to support our work do not show more vitality next year.
5. The Executive Committee began the process of evaluating the issue of derivative works with the intent of developing a policy on how they might best be handled both short and long term. Guided through an evaluation process by Marilynn Kulieke, designed to insure objective consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of alternative ways of dealing with this kind of material, the Executive Committee is targeting the February 1987 meeting to finalize its position on this policy. It was generally agreed that this question is quite complex and requires patient and unbiased evaluation to facilitate final decision-making prior to recommending a course of action to the General Council.
One of the criticisms many of us have heard or voiced over the years with regard to organizational activities is that we often proceed at a snail's pace and seem to achieve very little. Whether it has to do with the speed of letter response, or the tardiness of some of our publications, the delay in completing a new translation, or the lack of distribution, there seems sometimes to surface an anxious impatience, fueled always by good intentions, but lacking as often the recognition of the variables which play a role in reaching a decision to act.
This past Executive Committee is a case in point. Thirteen of your fellows committed their weekend to dealing with two major issues which .could have sizable impact on the future abilities of our organization to execute faithfully the responsibilities we have been given with regard to this revelation. These two issues, funding for 1987 and derivative works, challenge the essence, in my opinion, of how this scaffolding we call Urantia Brotherhood will serve as a means to so completely weave these truths into the culture, thinking, and hearts of men and women on the planet that their lives will be forever changed for the better.
Just as we each are challenged in our daily lives to somehow balance the divergent realms of spirit and matter in a living expression of divinity, the organization, too, is burdened with the need to constantly adjust its efforts between the demands of business and the spirit of fellowship so that our Brotherhood scaffolding serves only to help the individual in choosing to enter the kingdom. We need to concern ourselves with book distribution and raising funds to prosecute our work, yet, at the same time we must not allow our Brotherhood to become just a business. We deeply want to have our spare organizational structure serve the service and fellowship needs of a growing readership, but we know that caring alone will not fund the very real and material needs of the business part of our work. It is as inescapable in group activities as it is in individual lives that spirit and matter must be balanced carefully and thoughtfully to improve our ability to make decisions which our Father himself would approve.
If we had an absolute answer to every question, it would be easy to think and act quickly. Instead, we are blessed with the awareness that every moment offers the chance to think about how the Father might choose and to try to decide his way. And, it is by virtue of this gift of uncertainty that we are forced to provide our Adjusters with thoughts to adjust and in this way facilitate all the better our conscious cooperation with the plans of our far wiser celestial superiors.
May the spirit of joy bless you and your family this holiday season.
David N. Elders
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book