Dear Members of Fifth Epochal Fellowship:
The regular third quarter meeting of the Executive Committee took place on Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, 1990 at our Fellowship headquarters in Chicago. This is our summary report to you concerning the deliberations and actions taken at this meeting. If you have questions on any of this material, we encourage you to make contact with any member of the Executive Committee for clarification or comment.
SUMMARY OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ACTIONS
1. Paul Anderson of Beverly, Massachusetts and Alex Nagy of Chalfont, Pennsylvania are welcomed into our Fellowship as new members-at-large.
2. It was agreed that the "Mailing List Guidelines" approved by the General Council this summer would be distributed to Societies and would be available to others on request.
3. The Executive Committee agreed with the proposal to re-design slightly our stationery to reflect a shortened name, "The Fellowship," to facilitate ease of reference. This name is derived from our formal, though still provisional name, Fifth Epochal Fellowship, and is subject to change based upon the final determination by the organization's members next year. In conjunction with "The Fellowship" we will continue to use the descriptor, "for readers of The Urantia Book."
4. The Finance Committee's general proposal for fund raising and a related recommendation for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in the main office were approved for implementation. The Finance Committee will work out the final 1991 budget details, a schedule and detailed plan for fund raising, and the details for changes in office operations at its meeting the weekend of September 22-23, 1990.
5. The program for the mid-year, 1991 meetings of the General Council, Society Delegates, and Area Coordinators, to be held in Tampa, Florida over the weekend of February 14-17, 1991, was approved. The specific program for the Society Delegates and Area Coordinators meetings to be held concurrently on Friday, February 15, will be designed by the participants in each group with the facilitation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Organization (chaired by Steve Dreier) and Domestic Extension/International Fellowship Committees, respectively. The participants in each of these meetings have been invited to observe the formal portion of the General Council meeting to be held that weekend, will have the opportunity to present and discuss the decisions made at their respective meetings, and will join with the members of the General Council in a future planning process.
6. The Executive Committee agreed to develop a program to facilitate Urantia Book purchases by individual readers, study groups, and Societies for their use as gift books, to place in libraries, and to make available to interested persons. Announcement of this program would be based upon a determination of the continued availability of The Urantia Book through standard channels of distribution.
7. Paul Mazy was approved as the new Area Coordinator for central and eastern North Carolina.
8. Chuck Burton was appointed to the Finance Committee to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Dan Tyler.
9. The Executive Committee voted to authorize the Board of Directors of Fifth Epochal Fellowship Corporation, as the organization's fiscal agent, to execute the final settlement and release with Urantia Foundation which has been worked out over the last several months. This settlement, when concluded, will finalize all outstanding financial issues between the organizations.
10. The Executive Committee approved a change in the requirements for members-at-large to allow applicants for m-a-l status to be sponsored by any member of the Fellowship.
11. An editorial policy statement for the Study Group Herald, which is targeted for a November publication date, was approved with minor modifications:
The Study Group Herald is a grass-roots journal which links thousands of study groups together. This magazine is not intended to convey or represent policy or doctrine of the General Council or Executive Committee.
To help readers know each other and improve their study groups, the Herald publishes study aids, photographs of people, articles related to the development and fostering of study groups, and personal communication opportunities such as community bulletin boards. This magazine features people and study groups, focusing on growth and teamwork development.
The Study Group Herald publishes various ways to introduce and teach Urantia Book ideas to children.
No Urantia movement political editorials may be printed in the Study Group Herald.
The intent of the Study Group Herald is to present a balanced approach to study, including spiritual, intellectual, and philosophical approaches.
The Study Group Herald promotes unity, not dogma. It helps study groups grow in vitality and diversity, not uniformity.
12. It was agreed that, consistent with our constitution, the charters of the two Societies which have declared their intention to change affiliation to TUBA (the Urantia Brotherhood Association) will be considered as "abandoned." Avi Dogim will write to these Societies, the Finnish Urantia Society and San Fernando Valley Urantia Society, to apprise them of this determination and inform the members that if there are at least 10 of their members desirous of maintaining society affiliation with the Fellowship, they may reactivate the abandoned charter by contacting the Charter Committee. A response is requested by January 1, 1991 to enable Delegates to the Triennial Delegate Assembly (TDA) elected by these groups to participate in the February, 1991 Society Delegate meeting.
13. It was agreed that the annual General Council retreat, normally held in the fall after the election of new Councilors by the Triennial Delegate Assembly (TDA), will be combined with the mid-year Council meeting tentatively scheduled for first quarter, 1992--possibly in the Los Angeles area.
14. The following 1991 meeting schedule was approved:
February 14-15, 1991 Executive Committee First Quarter Meeting--Tampa, Fl
February 15, 1991 Society Delegates Meeting--Tampa
February 15, 1991 Area Coordinators Meeting--Tampa
February 16-17, 1991 General Council Mid Year Meeting, Tampa
April 26-27, 1991 Executive Committee Second Quarter Meeting, Chicago
June 22-23, 1991 Triennial Delegate Assembly, Chicago
June 27, 1991 Executive Committee Nominations Slate Meeting, Chicago
June 27-29, 1991 General Council Triennial Meeting, Chicago
June 29-30, 1991 Executive Committee Meeting, Chicago
September 13-14, 1991 Executive Committee Third Quarter Meeting, Chicago
November 15-16, 1991 Executive Committee Fourth Quarter Meeting, Chicago
REPORTS AND OTHER BUSINESS
1. John Hay reported that the International Conference in Snowmass was both the largest Conference of readers of The Urantia Book held to date on the planet and it also may show a slight profit which can be used for other Fellowship activities. John again thanked his committee and all conference attenders for helping to contribute to this success.
2. It was agreed that Guidelines for Councilor Responsibility, Desirable Qualities for Councilor Service, and a Biographical Form will be included in the mailing of this Executive Committee Letter. This will help facilitate the process of identifying people who would be willing to be considered for service on the General Council and Executive Committee.
3. Mo Siegel reported that the bookstore tear pads requested by Area Coordinators to use locally to announce study group activity and contact person information, are in the final stages of development. He also mentioned that Joe Liszka, of Key West, Florida, has been appointed as an adjunct to the Domestic Extension Committee.
4. Jim Johnston reported that there will likely be two issues of The JOURNAL featuring the talks and papers given at the recent International Conference. Thereafter, The JOURNAL will be published in its expanded format including literary and artistic works, in addition to essays. The new mission statement for the JOURNAL states: "The mission of The JOURNAL is to be a literary and artistic as well as a philosophical and investigative publication for readers of The Urantia Book. It will publish works of excellence related to the teachings of The Urantia Book and chosen from submissions of readers throughout the world in the areas of poetry, essays, and other kinds of prose as well as in artwork and photography." On another subject, the issue of the publication of commentary on organizational issues, it was the recommendation of the Publications Committee (ratified by the Executive Committee) to include such commentary in a "Letters to the Editor" section of the BULLETIN.
5. Bob Bruyn reported that with a special thanks to Scott Forsythe, the Resource Guide for Secondary Works was available as promised for the International Conference. More than 850 free copies were distributed at the conference, and additional free copies will be distributed to Fellowship members and donors who were not at Snowmass. Copies for purchase at $3.00 each are available at the main office. Bob also reported that Special Projects is proceeding with the Oral History Project and will begin interviewing members of the Forum and Seventy.
6. Berkeley Elliott reported that members of the 1993 International Conference Site Selection Committee would be traveling to the Montreal area in early October to look at possible conference sites to replace Victoria, British Columbia (under review due to a date change and insufficient space). Readers in the Montreal area have done a substantial amount of research, and in conjunction with Brent St. Denis, have prepared a full weekend of site visits and evaluations.
During the 1930's a great new epochal revelation, The Urantia Book, was given to all the peoples of this world. As we know, it was not placed simultaneously in the hands of each mortal on the planet. Rather, it was entrusted initially to a small group of dedicated people whose job it would be to nurture and multiply the teaching so that it would progressively reach the eyes, hearts, and minds of the people for whom it was intended.
For many years, though the work was tedious and unrewarding, a small, but steadily growing network of dedicated individuals and groups slowly came together. They were drawn by the power in these teachings, and they arduously tilled the soil, carving out channels in which the material, mindal, and spiritual aspects of the gift would flow outward to the people. These tireless workers are, in a way, also trustees for this revelation. Unlike those Trustees chosen to fulfill specifically-given responsibilities, these trustees are stewards who by their own choosing have agreed to accept and implement the difficult responsibilities of their trust. These trustees are all of the dedicated readers and believers of The Urantia Book who seek unselfishly and unceasingly to bring these supernal teachings to the peoples of this planet.
The teachings about past revelations suggest that new truth always challenges the vested power of evolutionary institutions and authority. Always is the evolutionary way uplifted by revelation. Always is the lesser changed for the better by the greater. Time is the only variable in this process, for ultimately, new truth will prevail. Before Pentecost when few mortals were indwelt by Thought Adjusters, the apparent authority of truth seemed to be vested in those few. Since Pentecost, when our Michael Son bestowed his Spirit of Truth on all people and in consequence the Adjusters came to illuminate the mind of every normal person, truth is no longer the province of the few, but is directly accessible now by all.
Perhaps this is why The Urantia Book was given in the form it is in. It can be and therefore must be made available broadly to all. No one has the right to constrict that availability. It can teach the indwelt person, everyone, directly. There can be none who claim status as intermediaries. Since Pentecost the risk that new truth can be crucified on the cross of human intolerance, fear, mistrust, and arrogance is diminished. Though some might try, they will ultimately fail. The Urantia Book is now abroad in the land. It can be shared easily with others in many forms. It cannot for long be held hostage to the narrow perception of human failing. Whatever is the destiny of temporary human structures and scaffolding, the material carrier of these teachings, the book itself, will find its way into the farthest reaches of our world, carried in the loving hands of the growing corps of trustees gathering together for this task. May they walk with God.
In deepest fellowship,
David N. Elders, President
* * *
Note: In an effort to develop a list of candidates to be considered by the TDA Delegates for election to the General Council next summer, we are enclosing materials for your use if you would like to propose someone. Remember, a candidate must have given his/her permission to be nominated. Please send the completed biography form to Brent St. Denis care of our Chicago office by February 1, 1990, if possible.