The Matthew Project
The Matthew Project is an undertaking of a unique group of readers devoted to ensuring that The Urantia Book will be available to the peoples of the world far into the future. This goal, they believe, will be best achieved by ensuring the long term financial health of Urantia Foundation so that it can continue its mission of translating, publishing, and disseminating the teachings of The Urantia Book.
Fifty years ago when Urantia Foundation was established, the early readers were thrilled to see the book in any bookstore. Today one can find the book-in several languages-in bookstores from Paris to Perth, from Moscow to Mexico City, from Helsinki to The Hague, from Delhi to Dakar, from Seoul to Santiago. The teachings of The Urantia Book are spreading quietly and steadily to all corners of the globe.
This growth has not happened by chance. Much planning and effort has been necessary to lay the foundations for worldwide dissemination. As Urantia Foundation expanded its work throughout the world, a more formalized planning process was implemented. Beginning in 1997, hundreds of individuals from across the readership joined the Trustees, Executive Director, and staff for a series of planning workshops.
The strategic plan that evolved through this process called for:
- translating The Urantia Book into all of the major languages of the world;
- establishing perpetual printing funds for the English and other language editions;
- developing and carrying out a business plan to ensure availability of the book through normal channels of trade;
- responding to reader inquiries and the fostering of study groups;
- addressing international needs with representatives and branch offices to disseminate the book and its teachings in a manner consistent with local culture;
- supporting gift book programs for libraries, religious institutions, and for the poor;
- publishing study aids in all languages;
- protecting the copyright and trademarks;
- maintaining the headquarters building at 533 Diversey Parkway; and
- providing office support and administration required to carry out all of these activities.
From among the interested readers who developed the strategic plan, a task-oriented group was formed of individuals who were thrilled with the anticipation of attaining these goals and devoted to developing the financial resources required to realize them. This group included members from the International Urantia Association and the Fellowship, as well as readers not associated with any membership group. Inspired by the example of Matthew Levi, whose efforts supplied the needs of Jesus' apostles, they chose the name "The Matthew Project."
The Matthew Project is led by people of integrity and discretion who are dedicated to helping Urantia Foundation grow into a strong institution focused on the principles and ideals it was formed to support. While the members come from various backgrounds, they are united in their support of Urantia Foundation's unique and critical role in preserving and disseminating the fifth epochal revelation.
Permit us to introduce you to these companions of the Matthew Project who have been working together with Urantia Foundation's Trustees, Executive Director, and staff for more than four years to find ways of funding what they consider to be the most important work on the planet today.
Bill and Share Beasley—Active members of Florida Students of The Urantia Book, an unaffiliated reader organization. They built a successful business in Florida which they recently turned over to their children in order to devote themselves to Urantia Book related work.
Dorothy Elder—Second generation Urantia Book reader for 35 years. Formerly active in First Urantia Society of Los Angeles, now active in IUA. Former Vice President of United States Urantia Association. Serves as Director of The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS), an educational outreach program provided through the Urantia Foundation website.
John Farrow—Urantia Book reader for 25 years, active in his community with hospice and with Catholic church. No affiliation with reader groups.
Quin Frazer—Associated with Urantia Foundation for many years, Quin's expertise for his firm of Gardner Carton & Douglas is with nonprofit charities.
John Hales—Former President of Urantia Brotherhood, currently Resident Director of The Fellowship and member of First Society for Readers of The Urantia Book.
Mary Lou Hales—Perhaps the oldest living Urantia Book reader. She was a member of the Forum prior to publication of The Urantia Book, served as one of the original General Councilors of Urantia Brotherhood, and for many years chaired its Charter Committee. Mary Lou is the widow of Urantia Foundation's first President, William M. Hales, and was instrumental in laying the foundation for the early spread of The Urantia Book and its teachings.
Marian Hughes—Long-time member of Urantia Brotherhood and Founding Member and current Vice President of HULA (Hawaii Urantia Local Association). A reader for 34 years, she spends two months each year in Chile, planting seeds for the spread of the revelation there.
Tom & Carolyn Kendall—Both were members of the Forum. Tom served as Trustee of Urantia Foundation for twenty years; its President for ten years. They have been members of the First Society for Readers of The Urantia Book since 1956 and have served in numerous capacities within Urantia Brotherhood and The Fellowship. They bring a critical historical perspective to The Matthew Project. (As this goes to press, we learned of Tom's passing. We shall miss him.)
Marjorie Reed—An active reader and supporter since 1970. She served nine years on the Education Committee of Urantia Brotherhood and is a member-at-large of The Urantia Book Fellowship.
Nancy Shaffer—President of PURE, the San Francisco area IUA. Active reader for 25 years. Serves as Chair of the Transitional Coordinating Committee and as a Consultant to the Trustees.
Paul and Mary Snider—Paul is a former President of Urantia Brotherhood and a current member of the Fellowship's General Council. Mary is a former member of the Fellowship, currently independent of affiliation. Both are long-time readers.
Bryan Snowden—Founding member and current Secretary/Treasurer of Lone Star Urantia Association. Bryan has served as an advisor to the Trustees on the Coordinating Committee regarding Public Relations and on the Building Committee for 533 Diversey Parkway.
Neal Waldrop—Former Trustee of Urantia Foundation and active reader since 1973. He has served on five continents during his career as a diplomat. No affiliation with reader organizations.
Ralph and Betty Zehr—Active in Urantia Book circles in New York for 34 years, and now active in the IUA. Betty is a past President of the United States Urantia Association.
Together with Urantia Foundation this group has worked behind the scenes to ensure that The Urantia Book will be available to the peoples of the world far into the future. Soon they will be reaching out to like-minded individuals to join them in this exciting project. This goal, they believe, is obtainable, and they have devoted their energies to seeing it achieved.
For more information about The Matthew Project contact Tonia Baney or Jay Peregrine at the Chicago office or any of the above members.
Audio Urantia Book
Board Meeting Decisions
Urantia Foundation History