EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER
To: General Councilors, Society Presidents and Field Representatives
This letter will summarize the business brought before the General Council and the Executive Committee meetings of July, October, and December.
General Council Meeting, August 1, 1981
Most societies have members who sit on the General Council and probably they have reported on this meeting to their societies. Reports of the officers and departmental chairmen, with the exception of my own, had been sent to the members of the General Council so they could come prepared with questions about the year's activities. In my report I stressed that "if the problems were of easy solution, there would be no need for us to gather together other than for social exchange and fellowship. But, we have grown to the point where some issues do not find easy solutions."
The following is part of the report of the Secretary-General which provides some statistical comparisons:
6/80 6/81 increase
Number of Urantia Societies 13 13 --
Number of Brotherhood members 795 827 4%
U.S. 770 803 4%
International 25 24 (42)
Society 624 644 3%
Members at Large 171 183 7%
Number of study groups (est) 300 275 (8%)
Number of Urantia Books distributed 7,866 6,852 (13%)
Sales & Gifts
Number of Bookstores (estimated) 3,000 3,100 3%
Personal Communications with headquarters (no store orders) (estimated)
Number of letters received 1,750 1,850 6%
Number of letters sent out 1,660 1,699 2%
Membership as of 12/21/81, society (approximate since one society still has not reported) 666, members at large 187, for a total of 853.
As president of Urantia Foundation, Tom Kendall thanked the Brotherhood for their enthusiastic help in raising funds for the 7th printing. The planning and assistance given by the Brotherhood committee members was crucial in completing the successful phon-a-thon.
Four Resolutions Presented:
Marketing -- Concern about the drop of sales of The Urantia Book led to discussion of current marketing practices. The council referred this topic to the Executive Committee for study. Action: To insure the broadest base of information upon which to make recommendations, this project has been given to both the Domestic Extension and Special Projects Committees for independent study.
Translations -- Duane Faw and I reported on our trip to France to meet with French readers of the book in Paris. Their primary concern is for copies of the French translation. In addition, they expressed interest in articles from our publications to be translated into French. Other activities might include the planning for a small conference or workshop for French-speaking people. Due to the concern for the need for translations of The Urantia Book, and realizing the complexity of such undertakings which are the responsibility of Urantia Foundation, the following resolution was adopted:
Whereas a function of Urantia Brotherhood is to promote the dissemination of the teachings of The Urantia Book in foreign lands and among non-English speaking peoples everywhere; and
Whereas the unavailability of any foreign language translation, and particularly the unavailability of translations in French and Spanish, limits the Brotherhood in fulfilling its mission,
Therefore be it resolved that the Executive Committee exert every reasonable effort to assist Urantia Foundation in the preparation and/or publication of suitable translations in French and Spanish to facilitate the work of Urantia Brotherhood, and that the Executive Committee report to the next General Council the status of the progress in obtaining suitable translations of The Urantia Book in French and Spanish, together with any assistance offered or given Urantia Foundation in preparing such translations.
Action: The resolution has been sent to Urantia Foundation for the trustees' consideration.
Constitution Re-write. A proposed resolution to basically rewrite the Brotherhood constitution was discussed and tabled. However, later in the meeting a motion was passed asking that the president of the Brotherhood appoint an ad hoc committee whose object shall be to explore ways in which the General Council and the Executive Committee can operate with greatest effectiveness within the present parameters of the constitution. Action: An ad hoc committee was appointed consisting of Helena Sprague, Chairman, Stephen Dreier, Scott Forsythe, David Elders, and Carolyn Kendall.
Copyright and "Fair use." While there is no question as to the need to support and protect the copyright of The Urantia Book, there was discussion of the need to explore ways to allow greater flexibility in the use of copyrighted material under the "fair use" provision of copyright law. Action -- The Executive Committee will pursue this in cooperation with Urantia Foundation.
The Executive Committee was asked to report on the above topics at the next regular meeting of the General Council.
Other subjects discussed were membership requirements of the Brotherhood. It came to light at the society conclave held last spring that not all societies require a potential new member to have finished one reading of the book. It was pointed out that a member could be elected to hold office in a society or even sit on the General Council without ever having completed the book. Since the Charter Committee is in the process of evaluating the question of membership, each Councilor was requested to convey his ideas to the committee chairman.
Triennial Delegate Assembly. With 1982 being the year for the meeting of the Triennial Delegate Assembly, there was discussion of the need for some form of educational program for societies as they go about the process of choosing delegates. A similar orientation program could be developed for the delegates prior to the meeting of the TDA. The Executive Committee will implement this project.
Elections -- . The following were elected to fill the vacancies in the departmental committees:
Judicial Committee 6 years Larry Posner (Illinois)
Charter committee 6 years Lucille Faw (California)
Fraternal Relations committee 6 years Jim McNelly (Colorado)
Domestic Extension committee 6 years Tom Allen (Oklahoma)
International Fellowship 6years Richard Prince (California)
Education Committee 6 years Marjorie Reed (Illinois)
Publications committee 6 years Peter Laurence (New York)
Finance committee 6years Frank Sgaraglino, Chairman (Illinois)
Special Projects committee 6years Carol Forsythe (Illinois)
3 years Bill Hazen (Texas)
Executive Committee Activity:
Snowmass Conference -- Reports of the Brotherhood General Conference have been very positive. The thanks for this success go to all those societies and their members who participated in this event. The committee formally acknowledged this by passing the following motion:
"... to extend to Mrs. Nancy Grimsley and the members of her Planning Committee -- Marta Elders, Berkeley Elliott, Lucile Faw, John Hay, and David Kulieke -- our thanks and deep appreciation for the excellent organization and management of the 1981 General Council of Urantia Brotherhood at Snowmass, Colorado. And further, we wish to acknowledge the contribution of each individual on the committee in terms of their time and personal wealth in attending to the myriad necessary details which insured the success of the conference program."
1982 Summer Workshops. Lynne Kulieke, Chairman of the Education Committee, reported that a series of workshops are planned for the week of June 27-July 2, 1982, at Lake Forest College (not Academy), Lake Forest, Illinois. The theme is "Fostering Dynamic Urantia Book Study: Motivations, meanings, and applications." Committees participating are Charter, Domestic Extension, Education, Fraternal Relations, International Fellowship, Publications, and Special Projects. The next Brotherhood Bulletin will contain further information about the workshops and how to obtain registration information.
International. Martin Myers reported that his International Fellowship Committee recently held a meeting attended by Jacques Dupont and Alain le Corvec of France, Emmanuel Lou of French Tahiti, and Ron Louie of Vancouver, Canada. Several projects are being worked on, one of which is to fund gift copies of The Urantia Book to be given to selected individuals outside of the United States. This program is necessitated, it is felt, due to the large discrepancy in value between U.S. dollars and the currency in many other countries. Details are still being worked out as to how best to implement the program now that the Executive Committee has given its approval. The project of placing gift books in International libraries continues. A $1,000.00 grant was approved to facilitate library placements.
1982 Budget. Frank Sgaraglino presented the proposed 1982 budget as worked up by his Finance Committee. A copy of the approved budget is enclosed. In addition, his committee is investigating alternate telephone service costs as well as our annual audit expense.
Notice. From time to time, references to The Urantia Book are made in various published articles. These have been random statements. I have never seen an attempt at true evaluation of the book's contents. A friend sent a recent issue of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project Newsletter, August 1981. I am enclosing a copy for your information since it attempts to make an evaluation. Meredith Sprunger has written a friendly letter to Mr. Alexander, editor, correcting him on the factual errors in the article. He encourages "critical research on the book by philosophers, theologians, and others. If it does not have solid spiritual value, it will pass as another 'aberration' of religious history: if it does have spiritual authenticity, it will win its way into the minds and hearts of mankind." We can expect more such articles as the teachings are brought to the attention of established groups that represent evolutionary religious thought and practice.
Resignation Accepted. For some time Arthur C. Born, member of the General Council, has suffered from ill health. He wrote and asked me to present his letter of resignation as a member of the General Council to the Executive Committee. As one of the early members of the Council and participant on the Executive Committee, he gave unselfishly of his time and experience to the Urantia movement. Those who know Art will miss his contribution.
We welcome to membership-at-large the following: Mr. Daniel A. Amyx and Mrs. Patricia A. Amyx, Tampa, Florida, Mrs. Julie A. Hagelberger, Dansville, Michigan, Mrs. Mary O. Daly, Garretson, South Dakota, Mr. Robert A. Clement, Warner Robins, Georgia, and Mr. Michael W. Edging, Buford, Georgia.
Dates to Remember:
Triennial Delegate Assembly Friday & Saturday, June 25 & 26, 1982
Triennial Meeting of the General Council Sunday, June 27, 1982 - 10:00 am
Summer Workshops at Lake Forest College Sunday, June 27 (Evening check-in) to Friday, July 2 (morning check-out)
First Urantia Society of Western Springs; Vice President - Clarence F. Schicht, 4421 Harvey Avenue, Western Springs, IL 60558
Fort Wayne Urantia Society; Vice President-Clarence Lange 6412 Rolling Hills Drive Fort Wayne, IN 46806
First Urantia Society of Houston William A. Gardner, 25602 Timber Lane Spring, TX 77373
Houston. There is no news on the Houston situation. The court action is still pending.
This letter has been an experiment in attempting to summarize our activities over a period of time rather than to report on each meeting of the Executive Committee. The purpose was to be able to provide a statement about completed projects rather than reporting piecemeal on work in progress. In the spirit of the new year as a time of evaluation, please give me some constructive criticism on how this communication can be of greatest use to you.
John W. Hales
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book