EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER
TO: General Councilors, Society Presidents, and Field Representatives
Meeting of the General Council - Summary
The annual meeting of the General Council was held in July at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois. What follows is a summary of the Council's deliberations. If, due to its brevity, you have questions concerning these topics, please contact me.
Census Reports. As of December 31, 1982, the census for the 13 societies and members-at-large was:
First Urantia Society 101 First Urantia Society of Los Angeles 124 Urantia Society of Glenview 25 First Urantia Society of Oklahoma 145 Orvonton Urantia Society of Chicago 39 Fort Wayne Urantia Society 26 First Urantia Society of Wenatchee 14 First Urantia Society of Houston 47 First Urantia Society of Western Springs 11 San Francisco Bay Area Urantia Society 42 Urantia Society of Central Connecticut 40 Urantia Society of Dallas 39 Rocky Mountain Urantia Society of Denver 39
Total Society Members 692
Total Brotherhood Members 883
Election of General Councilors. There were two vacancies on the General Council created by the death of Bob Myers and the resignation of K. David Schlundt. In accordance with Section 8.5 of the Constitution, "Filling Vacancies," the General Council elected temporary successors to fill these vacancies. Dan Massey of Sherborn, Massachusetts, and Mo Siegel of Boulder, Colorado, were elected. They will hold office until the next meeting of the Triennial Delegate Assembly in 198S. We welcome them and the opportunity for their contribution to the Council.
Marketing Study. The Council accepted the report on the conclusion of the marketing study i.e. new sales policies and discounts to book stores, societies, and individuals. A project is underway to track the impact these changes have on book distribution.
Prayer at Brotherhood Meetings. The Council accepted the report on opening meetings with prayer. While in agreement with the spirit of the resolution, it was felt that those responsible for meetings should have the final say in establishing the meeting format.
Ad Hoc Committee on General Council/Executive Committee Relationships. The Council instructed the Executive Committee to report their recommendations back to the Council as soon as possible on the following items:
1. A retreat for members of the General Council,, Foundation Trustees, Administrative Assistants, to be held at least every three years, within a few months after the T.D.A. Its primary purpose would be based on: "Man can never wisely decide temporal issues or transcend the selfishness of personal interests unless he meditates in the presence of the sovereignty of God and reckons with the realities of divine meanings and spiritual values." (1093-2);
2. A liaison system in which each Executive Committee member has one or two partners, General Council members not on the Executive Committee, with whom he/she develops active, personal communication exchanging current problems, deliberations, alternatives -- in writing, by phone, or face to face;
3. Summary letters to Councilors from the Executive Committee on a more regular basis, perhaps by members other than the President;
4. Establish practice that EVERY meeting of the Council, Executive Committee or subcommittees open with a brief reading from The Urantia Book;
5. The development of a written guiding philosophy, based on the Urantia teachings and pooled insights into the ways they interface with current planetary conditions, so that effective guidelines may be established for the care and management of an epochal revelation. Each member of the Council and the Committees should become familiar with the guidelines; the philosophy would require review and perhaps revision at stated intervals.
Long-Range Planning. A great deal of discussion was devoted to the need for long-range planning. It was the sense of the meeting that the Chairman should appoint a committee for the purpose of long-range planning and give regular progress reports to members of the General Council.
Mass Media Advertising. A motion was made, seconded, and carried to adopt the following resolution:
"BE IT RESOLVED that we, the General Council concur in the Executive Committee's reaffirmation of Urantia Brotherhood's long standing policy of disseminating The Urantia Book by means other than publicizing it, (by publicizing, we mean use of mass media, including radio, television, the print media, and any method designed to bring The Urantia Book to the attention of large numbers of people without personal, individual contact) preferring personal methods of ministry which we believe are the most effective. We also seek the voluntary cooperation of all readers and friends of the revelation in supporting this policy."
Minutes. A motion was passed instructing the Secretary of the Brotherhood to send a copy of the minutes of the General Council to the members no later than one month before the next General Council meeting.
Committee Elections. Nominations of individuals to fill the vacancies on Departmental Committees were held. The following were elected for the terms indicated:
Judicial Committee 6 years Scott Forsythe Charter Committee 6 years David N. Elders, Chairman Fraternal Relations Committee 6 years Mo Siegel Domestic Extension Committee 6 years Waldine Stump 2 years Cecelia Forrester International Fellowship Committee 6 years Douglas Fraser Education Committee 6 years Marilyn Hauck Publications Committee 6 years Lisa Carr Renn Finance Committee 6 years Florence Burton Special Projects Committee 6 years Neal Kendall
The Boulder School. Enclosed is a copy of the "Status Report On the Executive Committee's Study of The Boulder School of the Rocky Mountain Urantia Society of Denver to the General Council, July 2, 1983.11 Since the Denver Society had already adopted sponsorship of The Boulder School, John Hay withdrew the proposed resolution that the Council grant approval of such sponsorship.
Le Livre d'Urantia. Henry Begemann reported on the continuing efforts on the part of a small, dedicated group of French readers to find and make note of the many corrections needed in the French translation. It may be possible to use this material, with the cooperation of the translat6r) In a future revision,
job Descriptions. At the 1982 meeting of the General Council, the Triennial Delegate Assembly had forwarded a resolution which requested the formulation of job descriptions. The report was presented and accepted by the Council. A copy is enclosed for Society Presidents and Field Representatives (Councilors received their copy at the meeting).
This summary cannot do justice to the time and effort put into discussion of the business before the Council. The meeting began on Saturday morning, and continued, with various recesses, until it was adjourned Sunday afternoon about 2:00 P.M.
My thanks to each of you that participated, from Society members who sent in agenda items to those who were at the meeting. I believe progress is being made in the way the group has responded to the changing and increasing diversity of experience and opinion brought to the Council deliberations. Not being of one mind, the Council meeting provides a healthy forum to reach group decisions on matters effecting the entire Brotherhood.
Next Council Meeting. It was the consensus that the next regular meeting of the General Council should be held prior to the General Conference of Urantia Brotherhood at Green Lake, Wisconsin. The probable date for the meeting will be Saturday, August 11, 1984. The official notice will be sent in the near future.
Council Business. It is not too soon to be thinking about topics you feel need to be brought before the Council. International organizations such as ours always face the problem of timeliness in conducting their affairs. Council members have expressed their need to have material in their hands with enough time before the meeting so it can be studied. This will facilitate intelligent discussion. Agenda items that do not arrive soon enough tend to be tabled until the next meeting, which is one year later. Now is the time for you to begin planning and organizing subject matter you want to be presented to the Council.
I hope that each of you and your families have enjoyed and benefited from the busy summertime activities; that we all return to our places of work and service with renewed energy and enthusiasm. These qualities can be inspirational to others.
John W. Hales, President
STATUS REPORT ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE'S STUDY OF THE BOULDER SCHOOL OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN Urantia SOCIETY OF DENVER TO THE GENERAL COUNCIL, July 2, 1983
Prepared by Carolyn Kendall
Over the weekend of April 23-25, 1983, John Hales, Lynne Kulieke, and, I visited Boulder, Colorado and met with the officers of the Rocky Mountain Urantia Society of Denver, some of the directors of the Boulder School, the students of the school, and several other members of the Society, Upon our return, we reported to the Executive Committee. Within the last few days, we have received a written report from the Secretary of the Society, Linda McNelly, which has enabled us to prepare this report.
Several questions had arisen prior to our trip that needed resolution. Here are the matters that we feel have been clarified:
1. Why did the members of the Society believe that the Boulder School should be organically connected to the Society? It was explained that the Internal Revenue Service could not grant tax-exempt status to two groups in the same location, with the same people, who were doing the same thing, namely, studying The Urantia Book, and engaging in other work connected with the book.
2. Jurisdiction and autonomy . Have programs of the school, and/or Society extended beyond the parameters the Brotherhood considers to be "local" affairs? During our meeting with representatives of the Society, we cited examples of local affairs in which a Urantia Society would be autonomous: When, where, and how often the Society meets; How study is conducted: who leads it, and what interpretations are made; What social activities, ceremonies, and conferences are engaged in (limited only by copyright and mark considerations); Who, or how, officer are elected (except as limited in the constitutions).
Examples of non-local activities in which any Urantia Society might not engage, were mentioned: Publishing and translating The Urantia Book; Conducting an independent price and distribution system for The Urantia Rook; Activities that supersede established programs of the Brotherhood; and activities which conflict with established policies such as the policy about publicity.
We reviewed with the officers of the Society some of the original thinking about the Brotherhood having been organized to be a co-ordinative body, one that was benign, while preventing the rise of a more oppressive organization. The Brotherhood was organized to prevent confusion, to prevent anyone from making a name for himself, and to safeguard majorities against minorities. The Brotherhood was designed to allow readers to make their own interpretations of the book, and to enjoy a free spiritual relationship with the Father.
3. Is there a conflict between the educational activities of the Boulder School and those of the Brotherhood? Despite indications in their literature, the primary activities of the school - the training of study group leaders and the preparation of study aids -- would not infringe on, or interfere with, activities of the Brotherhood. Boulder School is not trying to be the Urantia Brotherhood School. Lynne Kulieke explained the Education Committee's philosophy that because of cultural, political, or economic considerations, there should perhaps not be, at this time, a "verticle," or centralized Urantia University, Rather, a "horizontal" network of teacher preparation is encouraged in study groups and Societies. Theoretically, any Society could organize a school in their local area and draw students from the general readership.
Boulder School is not trying to be the sole provider of study aids. They expressed a willingness to enter into a dialogue with the Brotherhood, Brotherhood committees, or Urantia Foundation over any matter involving publication of study materials.
4. Would any of their programs involve the publicizing of The Urantia Book? They indicated that their outreach projects of disseminating The Urantia Book and/ or the concepts of the book were low-key experiments that would not be likely to run counter to the Brotherhood's policy.
5. Several members of the Brotherhood had inquired as to why the financial needs of the Boulder School are so great. The budget of the Brotherhood in 1983 is $138,000.00; Boulder's is about 49% of that amount. The Brotherhood's members number about 1000; our mailing list has about 3500,names; while Boulder School's students number fewer than 20.
It was obvious that no one was getting rich from the Boulder School. They would have to solve their own money problems. We have no right to tell contributors where to bestow their funds. However, it was agreed that we would have to communicate our money needs to the readership more forcefully. The need for the Brotherhood and Found4tion to fund vital programs -- translations, publications, travel, and personnel, to name only a few -- would be jeopardized if every local group sought outside support for their projects.
6. How can confusion be avoided? The main issue to be resolved is the wording of their literature. At present, an unknowing recipient would be misled into believing that Boulder School and its programs were all-inclusive, exclusive, activities for the readership of The Urantia Book. If the Foundation grants use of the marks, the misunderstanding would be increased. They expressed willingness to work through this problem with the Brotherhood and Foundation.
7. Use of Marks. Boulder School requested of Urantia Foundation the right to use the registered marks on their literature and publications. As a courtesy, the Foundation deferred to the Brotherhood to determine whether the school or any of the programs of the school were a problem for the Brotherhood. After the Brotherhood makes its determination, the Foundation will decide whether they wish to make an exception to their licensing agreement list of allowable uses -- for the school to use the marks, and to indicate to Boulder School the extent of the Foundation's supervision.
1. Since it was our impression during our visit to Boulder that the Boulder School was not engaging in any practices that infringed upon the prerogatives of either Urantia Brotherhood or Urantia Foundation, there should be no objection to the school's continued operation.
2. In view of the fact that the Society voted, on February 5, 1983, to charter the Boulder School as an official educational service of the Society, and since it has been determined, through our visit to Boulder that their programs are desirable, and since no one has raised any formal objections to the school, or to the manner in which the Society conducts the school, there should be no objections to the Society continuing to sponsor the school.
3. We are aware of the proposed resolution that the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood recognize the Boulder School as an official activity of Rocky Mountain Urantia Society of Denver. We suggest that it might not wise to do so. Should the Council decree a school to be an official program of a local Urantia Society, that might constitute actual infringement of their autonomy. Furthermore, if the Society ever decides to disband the school, it would require another decree by the Council for the school to cease to exist.
4. Instead, we suggest that it would be sufficient to informally notify Urantia Foundation that we have found no major problems with the Society sponsoring the Boulder School, and it is therefore now up to the Foundation to decide whether the Society may use the marks for the school.
Lynne B. Kulieke
Note: It is not meant that the Foundation is making an "exception" by licensing a group other than the Brotherhood or one of its constituent societies. It is only meant that activities not specifically mentioned in the Licensing Agreement require a separate approval. -J.H.
FROM John W. Hales, President DATE July 1, 1983
TO MEMBERS OF GENERAL COUNCIL SUBJECT Resolution #5 Job Descriptions
The spirit of Resolution #5 focuses on two issues, and suggests that they can be addressed by the creation and communication of job descriptions:
9 To ensure that the General Council is in a better position to make an informed choice in electing officers of Urantia Brotherhood by having specific knowledge of the functions and responsibilities to be carried out by each officer; and To ensure that the administrative affairs of Urantia Brother hood are managed effectively, that the key functions and responsibilities of each officer and paid employee have been defined, clarified, and communicated to the General Council.
The Executive Committee believes the suggestion has merit, that it reflects a fundamental precept of sound business organization methods. Thus, the Committee has reviewed Resolution #5 favorably and responds to the spirit of the resolution in the attached statements. The statements are drawn from existing records and definitions, and have been further clarified by the Committee where necessary to communicate the essential thrust of each position. The job description statements and clarifications refer to the five elected constitutional officers of Urantia Brotherhood, plus the paid staff position of Resident Director. Following prevailing general industry practice, the Committee feels that it would not be productive to extend the job description process to paid clerical employees.
I wish to thank Paul Snider for working up this report for consideration by the Executive Committee.
JWH/rjm Attachment Functions and Responsibilities
The constitutional definition of this position is set forth in Article IX, Section 9.3, which states that the President:
1. Serves as the principal executive officer of Urantia Brotherhood;
2. Presides at all meetings of the General Council, the Executive Committee, and the Triennial Delegate Assembly.
3. Makes periodic reports to the General Council and a final report to the Triennial Delegate Assembly on the status of the affairs and activities of Urantia Brotherhood; and
4. Has power to carry into effect all By-Laws of Urantia Brotherhood and all resolutions of the General Council and all rules and resolutions of the Executive Committee.
I Executive Committee Clarification
The function of the Chief Executive Officer of Urantia Brotherhood, in addition to its inherent symbolic role as head of the movement, is the position in which final executive responsibility is placed ("the buck stops here") for governance of the affairs and achievement of the mission of Urantia Brotherhood., Such responsibility includes, but is not limited to:
Dissemination of The Urantia Book.
Development of study groups.
Fidelity to the Urantia teachings in the way the Brotherhood operates.
Effective functioning of the Executive Committee and General Council.
Coordination of Brotherhood activities with Urantia Foundation.
Financial health of the organization.
Resolution of intra-mural disputes.
Development of a global character throughout the Brotherhood, and all associated international liaison.
As the principal communicator for the Brotherhood, has a primary role in the relationship of the Brotherhood to external news media and to other institutions of society, where such relationships from time to time occur.
In addition, the President initiates, develops, and recommends, either personally or through others, plans and proposals such as the following:
The President also oversees (and is ultimately responsible for) the development of:
The constitutional definition of this position is set forth in Article IX, Section 9.4, which simply states that:
1. In the event of the inability of the President to act, the Vice President shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the President in his place and stead; and he shall perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as may from time to time be imposed upon him by the General Council, the Executive Committee, and the President.
Executive Committee Clarification
Because the constitution has left this position otherwise undefined, the Executive Committee has added the following specific responsibilities. It is understood that these responsibilities are to be discharged at the request of, and under the direction of, the President and the Executive Committee, and are to be carried out in close cooperation with the President, since 'the President bears the final executive responsibility for their effective fulfillment.
Development of long-range planning, strategic planning, and contingency planning proposals and recommendations for Urantia Brotherhood; coordinates with the Treasurer in the development of associated longrange financial plans.
Continuing responsibility for leadership development throughout the Urantia movement.
Continuing liaison with Urantia Societies to help each one become as strong and effective as possible in carrying forth its role in the achievement of the overall goals of Urantia Brotherhood. Functions and Responsibilities
The constitutional definition of this position is set forth in Article IX, Section 9.5, which states that the Secretary:
1. Keeps and preserves the records of meetings and proceedings of the General Council and the Triennial Delegate Assembly.
2. Serves as the custodian of the Urantia Brotherhood Seal.
3. Issues all notices required by the constitution and the by-laws.
4. Keeps and preserves the official record of the members of the Brotherhood.
5. Has power to certify the correctness of any copies of records in his custody and possession.
The constitution also states that the Secretary is third in the line of succession to the presidency of the Brotherhood.
Executive Committee Clarification
This position is rather well defined by the constitution; the Executive Committee has added only two additional points of clarification:
The constitutional definition of this position is set forth in Article IX, Section 9.6, which states that the Treasurer:
1. Serves as the principal financial officer of Urantia Brotherhood.
2. Maintains general supervision and control over the moneys and properties of Urantia Brotherhood.
3. Collects and receives all moneys and property due Urantia Brotherhood.
4. Reports to the President and to the Executive Committee and to the Triennial Delegate Assembly independently.
5. Maintains the custody and control of, and preserves, the financial and property records of Urantia Brotherhood.
Executive Committee Clarification
At the request of, and under the direction of, the President and the Executive Committee, the Treasurer also has the following specific duties and responsibilities:
The constitutional definition of this position is set forth in Article IX, Section 9.7, which states that the Secretary-General:
1. Serves as the principal clerical officer of Urantia Brotherhood.
2. Acts as liaison officer between the General Council and each of the departmental committees.
3. Serves as an ex-officio member of all departmental committees.
4. Assists in the correlation of the work of the departmental committees.
5. Keeps and preserves the records of the meetings and proceedings and copies of all official reports, records, and documents of such committees.
6. Keeps and preserves all records of the officers of Urantia Societies.
7. Keeps and preserves other Brotherhood records as directed by the by-laws.
The constitution makes clear that the Secretary-General serves as the principal backup officer to the Secretary and the Treasurer, and in the event of the inability of either or both to act, the Secretary-General will assume the responsibilities of either or both positions.
Executive Committee Clarification
This position is clearly defined by the constitution. No further clarification is required. I
Functions and Responsibilities
The position of Resident Director was created by the Executive Committee in 1974 under the authority of Article X, Section 10.8 of the constitution, which states that "The Executive Committee shall have power to employ such persons as shall be necessary for the conduct of the affairs and the business of Urantia BROTHERHOOD and to cause just compensation for services rendered to be paid to them out of the treasury of Urantia BROTHERHOOD."
The Resident Director serves as the office manager, directing and/or carrying out the day-to-day headquarters activities at the office of Urantia Brotherhood. The Executive Committee approved the following job description for this position at the time of its creation in 1974:
1. Develop a mastery of knowledge of all phases of the work of every department, function, procedure, and routine of the Urantia Brotherhood at the headquarters office.
2. Manage the headquarters office of Urantia Brotherhood.
3. Meet and talk with Urantians and inquirers who call or come in person to headquarters.
4. Receive and route all incoming mail.
5. Personally answer a significant portion of incoming letters.
6. Attend all Executive Committee meetings.
7. Oversee all matters concerned with the processing of orders and shipments of Urantia Books and other materials.
8. Serve as day-to-day liaison with Urantia Foundation.
9. Organize and supervise a corps of volunteers for special projects and to ,.aid in the continuing work which must be done at the headquarters office.
10. Serve as Field Representative for the Chicago area.*
11. As funds become available, arrange for and supervise an employee benefits program, including a medical plan, major medical, life insurance, accident and sickness insurance, and a retirement program.
In discussion with the Executive Committee, this responsibility was deleted from the Job description in late 1974 because of the extensive commitments of time that would have been required to carry out such activities.
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book