GENERAL COUNCIL/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER
Dear Members of Urantia Brotherhood:
The regular annual meeting of the General Council took place at Lake Forest College, just prior to the Summer Seminars, on Saturday, June 24-Sunday, June 25, 1989. Immediately thereafter, there was a brief meeting of the Executive Committee. This Letter will provide you with a summary of the proceedings.
SUMMARY OF GENERAL COUNCIL ACTIONS
1. The following fine people were elected to positions on the respective Departmental Committees:
Judicial Committee David Owen 6 years Dan Young 2 years
Charter Committee Francyl Gawryn 6 years
Domestic Extension Committee Waldine Stump 6 years
Publications Committee David Kulieke 6 years
Special Projects Committee Michael Wood 6 years Anthony Finstad 3 years
Fraternal Relations Committee Michael Painter 6 years
Education Committee Barbara Dreier 6 years
Finance Committee Dan Tyler 6 years
International Fellowship Committee Douglas Fraser 6 years
--A revised General Council/Committee Roster-reflecting these changes is enclosed in this mailing.
2. Due to the resignations of Nancy Grimsley as a General Councilor and Janice Heinberg as Sec-retary of the General Council, it was agreed to fill these vacancies at the next appropriate meeting of the General Council. Please forward any suggested names for consideration for the General Council vacancy to Lynne Kulieke at Headquarters (the person suggested must be willing to serve and must complete a biographical form which may be obtained from Headquarters).
3. The General Council agreed that the chairman's report on restructuring the TDA nominations pro-cess to facilitate more time for consideration of both nominees and possible resolutions, be forwarded to each of the Societies for their input. The chairman will make an updated report including Society comments to the General Council at its January, 1990 mid-year meeting.
4. The Council approved the appointment of the following members to an ad hoc committee whose charge will be to develop a Code of Conduct for General Councilors: Brent St. Denis (chair), Steve Dreier, Lucile Faw, Eileen Laurence, Paul Snider, Melissa Wells, and Bill Hazen. The committee will give an interim report at the January, 1990 meeting of the General Council. 5. The issue of the subsidization of sales of The Urantia Book to "third world" countries was for-warded to the Sales Agency Oversight Committee for evaluation with a target of the January, 1990 meeting for an interim report. This evaluation will consider the appropriateness of developing a rec-ommendation for presentation to Urantia Foundation.
6. In an effort to clarify Urantia Brotherhood's position with regard to the "CUBS" legal action, the General Council approved the issuance of a statement of principles which the chairman and officers would work out with the Trustees of Urantia Foundation and its attorneys. This statement would ex-press:
* Urantia Brotherhood's unwavering support of the purposes for which Urantia Founda-tion was founded; * Our belief that the trademarks have a valid purpose in helping to identify the original teach-ings, both now and long after the copyright to The Urantia Book has expired; * Our commitment to the principle that The Urantia Book can only be validated by personal experience with our heavenly Father, and not by the authority of any human group or organi-zation; * Our recognition that true religious freedom is guaranteed by virtue of the lndwelling Adjuster and is not vested in material symbols or legal rights.
7. The General Council approved in principle the establishment of a travel fund which could be utilized by Urantia Brotherhood to help insure the participation in Brotherhood activities of persons whose fi-nancial means prevent such participation. The Executive Committee was charged with the responsibil-ity of further developing this concept to flesh out possible funding options, philosophic limitations, and the criteria which might govern the administration of such a fund. An interim report is due in January, 1990.
8. The Fraternal Relations Committee was assigned the task of developing the program for the Jan-uary, 1990 mid-year meeting of the General Council to be held in Arizona on the weekend of January 27-28, 1990. The primary focus of this meeting is to be "The Long Range Goals and Priorities of Urantia Brotherhood," based on a hierarchical model of successively more difficult missions pre-sented by Paul Snider and which he suggested for use as a starting place to "...focus, unify, and coor-dinate the energies of Urantia Brotherhood toward shared objectives which express a coordination communication role (as opposed to command-control)." These missions proceed from lowest to high-est and each subsumes but is not intrinsically dependent upon the one(s) below:
5. Promote the spiritual transformation of mankind by living the teachings of The Urantia Book (personal transformation). The eventual realization of a worldwide brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God.
4. Develop and maintain a worldwide network of Urantia Book study groups.
3. Disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book.
2. Disseminate The Urantia Book.
1. Occupy conceptual space--Urantia Brotherhood exists as Urantia Brotherhood--an organized presence.
9. The following motion was approved unanimously by the General Council: "Be it resolved that Urantia Brotherhood develop and publish a comprehensive, study group newspaper (STUDY GROUP HERALD) which fosters communication, education, training,. and stable growth for study groups." This project was assigned to the Publications Committee to develop necessary funding, tim-ing, and execution plans in conjunction with the participation of members from the Education and Domestic Extension Committees (assuming that these committees ratify such participation).
Inasmuch as this was the regular annual meeting of the General Council, all officers and Departmental Chairpersons provided their annual written reports prior to this meeting. Copies of these reports are available to members of Urantia Brotherhood upon request from the Central Office. I will attempt to summarize hereunder only those additional reports on specific subjects given at the Council meeting.
1. The General Council expressed its deep appreciation for the outstanding and informative reports submitted by the Area Coordinators, especially in view of the abbreviated nature of this first period of service (less than three months).
2. Under the aegis of Urantia Brotherhood Corporation, the Sales Agency Oversight Committee has made substantial progress in conducting an evaluation of existing book sales performance and proce-dures and in the development of an ongoing plan to monitor future performance and enhance report-ing procedures. Additionally, this Committee will work with Urantia Foundation on planning for up--coming years, including general and specific business strategies, budgeting, reporting, testing oppor-tunities, and overall policy development.
3. Marilynn Kulieke reported on the status of all tasks assigned to the General Council and/or Ex-ecutive Committee by resolution from the 1988 TDA. All assigned work is either completed or is in process (e.g., "Oral History" now in development in Special Projects; proposed revisions to the TDA Nominations/election process to be forwarded to the Societies for comment).
4. John Hay reported on the planning for the 1990 International Conference to be held in Snowmass, Colorado. Currently, we have received more than 600 pre-registrations; however, we need to have a better feel for possible numbers in order to make the necessary guarantees to Snowmass. The Pro-gram and Child care Committees are hard at work completing their assignments. If there are people willing to volunteer for any phase of this conference, John asked that they contact him or the respec-tive committee chairpersons and say so.
5. Avi Dogim reported on the successful chartering of our first two Societies outside the United States, the Finnish Urantia Society, r.y. Helsinki and Couchiching Urantia Society of Ontario. Representa-tives of both these new Societies attended the Society Conclave which was held at the same time as this General Council meeting at Lake Forest College.
6. Lynne Kulieke presented the format for the Orientation Package for new General Councilors, which after suggestions for the inclusion of several items, was approved with thanks. The Central office was instructed to assemble 36 copies of the package for distribution to General Councilors.
7. Polly Friedman reported that the Volunteer Program under development to supplement the office staff should be completed for implementation later this summer. One suggested name under consid-eration is: 'The David Zebedee Volunteer Corps".
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ACTIONS
Immediately following the General Council meeting, the Executive Committee met to handle several business items:
1. We agreed that Area Coordinators who have not been able to attend any of the training sessions would be elected for only a single year. Upon completion of their training session obligation, they would then be eligible for the full term (three years). Interim training materials in the form of printed materials and possibly a video-tape of a training session would also be used worldwide. 2. The appointment of four new Area Coordinators was approved: Diane Kivela, Robin Jorgenson, Helene Douglas, and Betty Zehr.
3. In response to a request from Rocky Mountain Urantia Society of Denver, the chairman will follow up on the apparent use of our joint mailing list by an independent research firm conducting research this past June, and report both to the Executive Committee in September and to RMUSD.
4. Berkeley Elliott and David Elders reported that there is some study group activity in Estonia and that the Finnish Urantia Society is in regular contact with these readers. The chairman was instructed to write Urantia Foundation to request information on this group resulting from a visit made in early June by Martin and Diane Myers and members of the Finnish Urantia Society.
What follows is a brief summary of my annual report to the General Council which was given orally during the meeting.
I believe that as an organization we have accomplished much during the last year. On a quantitative basis, we have had an upsurge in membership; we have finally spread beyond the borders of the United States and have begun the process of becoming truly worldwide in our scope; the Central Of-fice has improved significantly and the tireless workers there deserve much credit for adjusting to these changes and handling a much increased workload; every committee is operating at full capacity; no-table achievements this year have included the Area Coordinator Program, two non-U.S. Society charterings, a new BULLETIN format, publication of the SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM ISSUE OF THE UrantiaN JOURNAL; progress on the "Resource Guide to Secondary Works; an outstanding Summer Seminar Program; enhanced contact with and a better understanding of religionists from different reli-gious groups; expansion of international contact and friendships; the holding of the first Roundtable Discussion among groups involved in this grand endeavor; the establishment of The Matthew Fund de-signed to help secure our financial future; approval to publish the KEY WORD INDEX TO THE TABLE OF CONTENTS OF THE Urantia BOOK.
Notwithstanding this impressive list of accomplishments of the past year, I believe that the most ex-traordinary growth has occurred in the qualitative realm. The growth in commitment, character, matu-rity, willing assumption of responsibility, and general working relationships among the people serving in all functional roles in the organization has been truly impressive. It is my sense that in the context of an often difficult working relationship with Urantia Foundation, Urantia Brotherhood has grown from what might be described as "adolescence" into young adulthood, more ready than ever before to fully accept the obligations, responsibilities, and challenges of its purpose with honor, humility, grace, determination, integrity, and openness and, most important, in a manner consistent with our highest individual and group comprehension of the teachings of The Urantia Book.
As we leave the shores both of this continent and of the centralized management of our decision-mak-ing and set sail on the seas of planetary interaction and management via the tools of epochal expres-sion, we must seek to replace mistrust with trust, secrecy with openness, expedience with ethics, de-mands with education, isolation with contact, abuse of freedom with assumption of responsibility, con-trol with communication, command with coordination, disrespect with respect, and fear with love. In finally setting sail, we may well have reached the frontier and will be able, for the first time, to blaze the type of path which others will want to follow.
Yours in the spirit of fellowship and adventure,
David N. Elders, President
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book