EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER
TO: Members of Urantia Brotherhood:
The following is my report to you on the November 20-21, 1987 meeting of the Executive Committee. Once again, agenda items required us to meet from 7:00-11:00pm Friday night and all day on Saturday. Duane Faw and Bill Hazen were not able to attend this meeting, and Lynne Kulieke missed Friday night caught in a massive traffic tie-up while on the way to the meeting.
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN
After a time of silence to enable each of us to thank our Father in our own way for giving us the opportunity to serve in a small way in this work, the meeting came to order with the required reading, correction, and approval of the minutes of the September, 1987 Executive Committee meeting. The actions we took during the course of this meeting are summarized below.
1. In order to facilitate the budget process without requiring another meeting of the Executive Committee during 1987, a motion to waive the required 30-day notice for receipt of the proposed 1988 budget was approved unanimously (see By-Laws, Chapter III, paragraph 3.6).
2. The Executive Committee approved the 1988 budget as proposed by the Finance Committee and ammended by Executive Committee discussion. The budget is detailed below for your information.
3. It was agreed, in view of Urantia Foundation's commitment to cover all costs incurred in our Sales Agency function, that we establish a separate fund account for our Sales Agency work to facilitate its functional and financial management as a separate budget administered by the Directors of Urantia Brotherhood Corporation, the legal fiduciary designated to admin- ister this work on behalf of Urantia Foundation. The Corporate Directors are the members of the Executive Committee.
4. The Executive Committee also approved the establishment of a separate fund account for the management of Conference activities.
5. A motion was made, seconded, and carried that a more strategic approach be developed for both fund-raising and the budget process so that these activities become more responsive to the specific needs of both Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood in the context of our joint fund-raising responsibilities and a possible capital fund drive. This would include:
--a proposed discussion with Urantia Foundation by October 1 of each year to refine budget needs for the following year;
--a simplified strategic five-year financial plan to be developed by
the Executive Committee and Urantia Brotherhood office management in order to generate both a sense of vision as well as a sense of the financial requirements needed to support this plan;
--an annual review and revision of the five-year plan to include a new
--submittal of the strategic/financial plan to the Finance Committee
by May 1, 1988 and by October 1 of each year thereafter, said plans to be developed by each standing committee and central office management.
6. A motion was made, seconded, and carried that an engagement letter between Urantia Brotherhood and Gloriann Harris' consulting firm be devel- oped and executed delineating the services to be performed, detailing the agreed-upon accounting and management fees, term, and responsibilities of both parties.
7. The proposed program for the General Council discussion of the Sales Agency relationship between Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood Corporation(UBC) was approved as presented by ad hoc chair, Chuck Burton, with two additions: that provision would be made to clarify the Consti- tutional and legal aspects of the current relationship, and that we request a meeting between the Trustees and a small number of Board of Directors of UBC to discuss the issue further.
8. A motion was passed nominating Betty Zehr to fill the vacancy on the Education Committee. The election will take place at the Special Meeting of the General Council, on the weekend of January 29-31, 1987.
9. The Executive Committee agreed to accept the recommendation of the General Conference Site Selection Committee to hold the 1990 General Conference of Urantia Brotherhood at Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA in Granby, Colorado. After a final visit to the site in December, the Committee will instruct the office to begin the work of reserving and contracting the facility. If the site is not found suitable, the Committee will continue its search and make an alternate recommendation at the January, 1988 meeting of the Executive Committee.
10. Motions were approved changing the dates of three Executive Committee meetings as follows:
--February 19-20, 1988 was changed to January 28-29, 1988 just
prior to the Special Meeting of the General Council;
--July 1, 1988 was changed to June 26, 1988 to facilitate the drawing
up of a slate of nominees for Brotherhood officer and Standing
Committee positions immediately after the Triennial Delegate
Assembly (TDA) makes its selection of General Councilors.
--September 9-10, 1988 was changed to September 22-23, 1988 at the
location of and just prior to the Retreat for Councilors and
Trustees and Spouses scheduled for that same weekend.
11. The following Membership-at-Large applications were approved:
Transferees from Society Membership: Terry McCade, Nancy and Vern
Grimsley, all of Oakhurst, California;
New Brotherhood Members: Karl Anderson, Portland, Maine; Oswald
Astor, Australia; Max Buchanan, Moss Point, Mississippi; Eric
Hassenbein, Tucson, Arizona; Donovan Leisure, Vista, California; Charles Lilly, Carbondale, Colorado; William Tuffin, Pueblo,
12. The Executive Committee approved the chairman's request to bring before the General Council at its Special Meeting in January a proposal to open up Council meetings to observers.
13. Executive Committee approval was given to the chairman to proceed with the proposed "Roundtable Discussion" between representatives of the many groups around the world now involved in work related to The Urantia BOOK. Once a format for the "Roundtable" is developed and a list of interested groups prepared, and pending a final review by the Executive Committee in January, contacts with the groups will be made. The "Roundtable" has been targeted for Sunday, May 8, 1988 at a location in the Chicago area to be determined once the size needs have been established. It has been proposed as an opportunity for the open and honest interchange of ideas, free of polemics, criticism, contention, lobbying, or self-justification, open to observers, and with the likelihood of limited audience participation if at all possible. Its overarching purposes are to improve communication, maximize cooperation, eliminate overlapping activities, surface and fully air differences of opinion, and clarify the perceived and actual areas of action and inter-personal and inter-organizational responsibilities.
14. It was agreed that John Hales and David Elders will take steps to insure that the written reports of Committee Chairs are included in some way as part of the written records of Executive Committee meetings.
15. The Board of Directors of Urantia Brotherhood Corporation took the following actions:
a. A motion was passed formalizing General Council participation
in the evaluation of the Urantia Brotherhood Corporation Sales
Agency Agreement with Urantia Foundation.
b. It was agreed to authorize the expenditure of $2,500 from capital
to fund Urantia Brotherhood's share of the cost of contracting a
computer consulting firm, Datamension, Inc., in automating central office operations. Urantia Foundation's share is also $2,500.
c. It was agreed that a registration fee of $25.00 for the 1988 Intensive Study Seminar to be held in June at Lake Forest College would be set and would be contingent upon review to insure that the fee covers all costs.
COMMITTEE ACTIVITY SUMMARY
Here is a brief summary of Committee Reports/discussion which is not included in the actions noted above. Please feel free to contact the Chairperson of any Committee if you would like more information.
CHARTER COMMITTEE: Steve Dreier reported that pending unforseen events, the Kansas City, New York, and Seattle groups now in the chartering process should be chartered in time to send delegates to the 1988 TDA. He further reported that if all of the current activity comes to fruition, there could be as many as eight(8) new societies chartered over the next two years, with several outside this country. After much discussion, it was agreed that the Charter Committee would determine and execute a method to insure that the members of each new society fully understand the terms and responsibilities of the Licensing Agreement with Urantia Foundation. It was felt that this would avoid difficulties in this area in the future.
SPECIAL PROJECTS COMMITTEE: Marilynn Kulieke requested and received approval to proceed with the final development of a flier for inclusion in the next BULLETIN which outlines the concept of the Resource Guide for Secondary Works and provides a tear-off request form for interested persons to use to request the materials to facilitate participation in the Guide. She will work with Dan Massey to include an article in a future BULLETIN giving additional information on the program. Marilynn indicated that her committee plans to be in a position to review progress on the Record of Decisions project early next year.
FRATERNAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Peter Laurence reported that his committee will be meeting in January to discuss the Speaker's Guidelines approved this past summer, as well as finalize plans for the Fraternal Relations Committee evening programs at the Intensive Seminars next June. Peter also reported that Protestant clergy have been publicizing recently their concern about the efforts of individuals from non-mainstream religious groups to "infiltrate" their congregations, without revealing their affiliations, for the apparent purpose of converting the members of these churches to their own creedal beliefs. Members of the Protestant clergy have shared their growing dissatisfaction with this tactic in various interfaith gatherings. He suggests that we would do well to learn from this as we seek to share the teachings of The Urantia Book with others in their religious settings.
DOMESTIC EXTENSION COMMITTEE: Harry McMullan outlined the final details of the Field Representative Program now on the verge of implementation. After discussion of the program initiation letter in the context of our growing international reader community, it was decided that the program would be announced in this country via a letter from the Domestic Extension Commit- tee. Almost simultaneously, International Fellowship would send out a letter to readers in other countries to request their input on the applica- bility of the program, or a modified version, for their particular locale. The essence of the program is a grass-roots effort enlisting the service of interested readers in local areas across the country to work with groups and individuals in their immediate area to enhance communication and net- working, help deepen study, and facilitate the efforts of local readers in activities they feel are important in their areas. Domestic Extension has developed an extensive plan for this project involving zones, coordination with societies interested in participation, and support/service mechanisms the Committee will use to help the Field Representatives do their work. The plan also provides for the integration of existing Field Representa- tives in the project.
INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE: Berkeley Elliott updated the EC on the planned Library Gift Book Solicitation Mailing which will be implemented shortly to increase the availibility of Urantia Books in international multi-lingual French and English Libraries using a list purchased from IBIS. She also reported on the South Pacific Regional Meeting of Urantia Book Readers to be hosted by our Australian friends next October 10-14 in their country. The host group has set a January 15, 1988 housing request deadline date. Contact Berkeley or our central office for information.
PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE: Dan Massey informed us that he plans to present the booklets, "How To Have an Effective Study Group," and "How to Share The Urantia Book" incorporating all comments received to date, to the Executive Committee in January with a summary of comments as part of a transmittal memo. Publications is proceeding with a "beta test" of the Computer Reference Aid designed to obtain information which will help the Committee in deciding many details to help in the eventual publication of the reference aid. Dan reported that the next issue of The BULLETIN is now ready for final production and should be in the mail in December. The final item included in the report concerned the work Publications is doing to upgrade the quality/format consistency of the pamphlets and information sent from the central office; we can expect to see samples soon.
FINANCE COMMITTEE: Although much of the outstanding work of the Finance Committee in developing the 1988 budget and other far-reaching planning resolutions are included in detail in the "ACTIONS" section above, the following will detail the approved budget for Brotherhood activities during 1988. This budget format is simplified as a result of moving Sales Agency expenses (now fully recoverable) into another budget.
Sub-Total Income $208,941
Reader Services( %) $
Organization Services( %)
Sub-total Expenses $188,047
Balance for Reserve (10% of income) $ 20,894
*Balance includes $21,660 for Standing Committee budgets and general
office support expenditures allocated by service category.
EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Lynne Kulieke reported on a conference call meeting of her Committee on November 9, 1987: the Committee will discuss in March the concept of a Learning/Studies Center; final questions on seminar sub- topics will be circulated by December 7; part of the seminars will focus on "the immaturity of Urantian mortals as a factor in erroneous thinking;" a consideration of the five epochal revelations on our planet will be in- cluded in the seminar study of revelation and evolution; an open letter will be sent to all participants requesting their observations on what the responsibilities of the participants are in contributing to the success of a workshop or seminar as a basis for development of a list of guidelines for broader use.
1. David Elders reported, in addition to the items under "ACTIONS":
a. The officers approved the make-up of the ad hoc committee on
General Councilor turnover as proposed by chairman, Mike Painter.
Members will include Bob Bruyn, Tom Kendall, Steve Law, and
b. General Councilor, Frank Sgaraglino, noted in a recent letter
to the Executive Committee commenting on items in the September
Executive Committe Letter, that the topic of General Councilor
turnover should be left to the integrity of the TDA selection
process and that some attention might better be focused on the higher priority subjects of conflict of interest on the General Council and the need to adhere to our Constitutional requirement
that each Standing Committee have at least one face-to-face meet- ing each Council year.
c. Urantia Foundation has agreed to reimburse Urantia Brotherhood
Corporation for all Sales Agency expenses which are in excess of
commissions earned during 1987 and onward. This will add at least
$13,200 to revenue for this year, to be finalized at year end.
d. Bill Hazen's report on the site and program for the January, 1988 Special Meeting of the General Council was communicated. After review, it was decided that the meeting would be held at a confer- ence center in surburban Chicago, thereby minimizing travel for as many Councilors as possible and providing the opportunity to com- bine it with the first quarter Executive Committe meeting. All logistical and agenda details will reach Councilors shortly.
2. Peter Laurence reported that he and co-chair Gloriann Harris are looking into locations for the September, 1988 retreat and will be meeting on Sunday, November 22 to work out selection and develop the program.
3. Marilynn Kulieke has undertaken the task of developing the reporting format for the Brotherhood Reader Survey now in the final stages of compilation. After evaluation by the Executive Committee of the rough draft, including appropriate tables of response, the report will be sent to the mailing list via The BULLETIN.
As you begin to read this section, it should be reiterated that these comments are always personal opinion and not reflective of any organi- zational attitude. The reason the focus here is usually on matters of a more mindal and spiritual cast, is to balance, in a meager way, the drier and necessarily material and functional reporting above. It is a privilege for me to have this opportunity to explore some of these other areas of consideration, and I hope that you do not feel the privilege is abused.
As the debate on "what Urantia Brotherhood is" continues to stimulate a diet of healthy thought, I am struck by the fact that many of the view- points seem to have emanated from what could be termed the "LITE" school of either/or philosophy: "Tastes Great; no, Less Filling!" Some examples: Urantia Brotherhood is an association of religionists whose lives together should increasingly reflect the teachings of The Urantia Book. No, our only job as a group is to get the book out, and leave the work of living up to the individual. We're going too fast and are risking premature public exposure. No, we're going too slow and a spiritually hungry world is entirely dependant on our efforts. We need more study groups as the basis for our growth. No, too many study groups break up without good leader- ship, so lets instead stimulate new societies. We should be practical today, and work on our ideals tommorrow. No, without ideals, there is no real practicality, so lets start with ideals. Give another person the book and let it and the Adjuster do the work. No, just inspire those with whom you come into contact with the spiritual fragrance of your life. And so it goes, as we struggle to resolve what is, to me at least, not resolvable by the process of majority vote. Why? Because these are issues which we may not really have to decide between. Rather than choosing, perhaps our time could be better spent working at blending these either/ors into a tapestry which seen from the viewpoint of an outside observer would speak more eloquently than our words of the unity of our diversity.
"Urantia Brotherhood" are the word symbols we use to identify something we all do together. At the most material and functional level, we do material and functional things: we print, package, and distribute The Urantia Book; we maintain a mailing list; we print and distribute information to the names on that list; we try to facilitate inter-communication among the many readers, and serve their needs. The organization is simply the tool we use to facilitate this process. On the mindal level, our relationships are less impersonal and organizational, and instead, as individuals, in small or large groups, we seek to understand our Father and his universe better. What ties us together in this is The Urantia Book which, we are taught, provides a mindal framework through which to evaluate and understand the realities we experience. The blending of each person's unique way of seeing into broader understanding adds dimension to our own singular view. This, too, is what Urantia Brotherhood is. On the spirit level, it seems to me that the opportunity to serve and serve with our fellow believers, both readers and non-readers alike, is an opportunity to weave goodness into the work which the very presence of this revelation at this time has made possible. Finally, we can unify this entire complexity by the mystery of personality and the relationships it makes possible--with our common Father within, and with the God in each of our friends without.
Urantia Brotherhood exists as a framework for these relationships, both personal and impersonal, which develop as a consequence of the fifth epochal revelation of truth to our planet, and which at the same time, in my opinion, constitute an expression of the pattern of matter, mind, spirit, personality and their interactions we are given in The Urantia Book. While it is not THE brotherhood of all men and women, does that preclude its being A social and visibly inspirational expression of that brotherhood of all believers? Can it not serve as a tool to insure broad availability and distribution of The Urantia Book and at the same time facilitate the cooperative study and sharing of personal, religious experience? While it is a mechanism of function for us to use to manage conference activity, can it not simultaneously serve as a channel for the individual's experience of the spirit of cooperation with others, perhaps even a limited experience of Supremacy?
Our Father does not indwell our organization or any other. Rather, he indwells the people who utilize the organization to work together driven by a common sense of purpose and vision. The organization does not have a life of its own, but is animated by the people who comprise it. WHAT the organization does is done ultimately by people using its mechanistic attributes. HOW well we do what is done depends entirely upon the nature, abilities, and character of the people who do it. While quantity may be the measure of the one, quality is the value of the other. We are told that the Adjuster descends from a level of divinity which, from a linear perspective, is antecedent to the divergence of spirit and matter. In that context then, consider the notion that with the Adjuster's help, we can increasingly master the "either/or" dilemma and ascend to the level of "both." To do so requires our continued efforts to become God-like. It is clearly idealistic to expect perfection at once, but it certainly seems practical to try!
God bless each one of you. In friendship,
David N. Elders
NOTICE TO BROTHERHOOD MEMBERS: As mentioned above, 1988 is a Triennial Delegate Assembly year. The enclosed memorandum requests your participation in the process of electing the next class of General Councilors. Thank you for taking the time to help.
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book