TO: General Councilors, Society Presidents, and Field Representatives
The format of this letter is slightly changed with this issue. A number
of people have wanted to know who writes it. My intention was to announce
that Meredith Sprunger writes it and continue the third person format and
have no signature. The Administrative Committee has kindly but unanimously
insisted that the letter should have my signature. To me, this connotes
subtle personality promotion. But my peers assure m this is an erroneous
perception; so I in good humor conform to their judgment in this matter.
During the summer we received a number of inquiries asking about comments
which apparently are made about the Urantia movement by Harold Sherman
in a book entitled "How to Know What to Believe, pp. 58-90. The fish
were not biting very well during our vacation in Upper Michigan, so I spent
some time writing a response to Sherman's comments. My final revision,
with some minor alterations suggested by Executive Committee members and
legal counsel, will be used by both the Brotherhood and the Foundation.
A copy is enclosed.
Sandy Garrick has asked the Foundation for permission to publish 'The
Ordination Sermon' and other musical works using direct quotations from
the Urantia Book. The Foundation asked the Executive Committee to discuss
the advisability of authorizing publications of this nature.
There is a wide divergence of opinion in the Executive Committee. Some
feel that we should grant permission for all major creative productions
which do not have obvious negative connotations toward the basic philosophy
of the Urantia Book. Others think that such permission should be extremely
limited. They assert that this constitutes a fragmentation of The Urantia
Book and should be discouraged. There seemed to be a consensus about two
things. We should not allow our spiritual ministry to be sidetracked into
publishing and distributing activities; and at this stage in our history
we should probably limit individuals to one 'magnus opus' in which there
are major quotes from The Urantia Book. We should, however, encourage Urantians
to engage in creative activity, but using their own wording or expression
of the teachings of The Urantia Book. This, in fact, demands more creativity
than mere mechanical quotation of something already written. After listening
to such a discussion, one sympathizes with the trustees of the Foundation
in having to make some very difficult decisions.
Vern Grimsley has written an open letter to the Executive Committee
pointing out that the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus' birthday will be celebrated
August 21, 1993, and that Machiventa Melchizedek's 4,000th anniversary
will be in the year 2020. Since these dates will occur in the lifetime
of many present-day Urantians, he suggests we look forward and make plans
for special projects and observances.
A Paris study group under the leadership of Mr. Marcel Cheruy has applied
for a society charter. Their application has been turned over to the Charter
Oscar H. Varga of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, David Clearwaters and Roderick
D. Ralston, both of Grants Pass, Oregon, have been accepted as members-at-large.
The Executive Committee has decided the next general Conference will
be in late July of 1976. A Planning Committee and an Expediting Committee
have been selected and they are now being confirmed. Both committees will
serve under the chairmanship of Carolyn Kendall.
I have asked a few people to write papers on their view of the long
range goals and objectives of Urantia brotherhood. At this time I should
like to invite all of you who receive this letter to share your ideas on
this subject if you are motivated to do so. I would like to have your ideas
by 1/1/77. Early next year I will attempt to synthesize this material into
an integrated statement. This statement will eventually be edited and approved
by the Executive Committee and the General Council.
Enclosed is a list of officers of Urantia Societies as of August 25,
We should like to send our best wishes to all who are attending both
the "northwest Get-Together" at Venatchee, Washinton, on October
2, and the "Eastern Regional Meeting" at Staten Island, N.Y.
on September 25.
Best wishes to alll of you in your Fall activities.
Meridith J. Sprunger, President