Newsworthy Items from the August, 2007 Trustee Meeting

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Mo Siegel

By Mo Siegel, Secretary, Urantia Foundation

The extended Board of Urantia Foundation met in Chicago, IL, for the Third Quarterly Trustee Meeting of 2007. Some of the areas of discussion and decision-making at this meeting included:

Social Usage License

Earlier this year Urantia Foundation introduced a new social trademark licensing agreement which legally expanded the organizational usage of the name Urantia and the Concentric Circles. In creating this new social usage system, the agreement needed to solve two distinctive and slightly conflicting problems. First, the agreement needed to protect Urantia Foundation's trademarks so no other organization could trademark the circles and the name and block others from using them. Second, the agreement needed palatable terms of engagement that encourages all dedicated Urantia Book groups to use the circles and the name. After a great deal of discussion and work, we now have a licensing system that feels fair, wise, and friendly. As a result of many months of extensive discussion and feedback with reader groups, the Board agreed to change the name of the "Social Usage License" to "Social Usage Agreement." If you participate in a social organization solely dedicated to The Urantia Book and its teachings, your group might benefit by becoming a part of this non intrusive agreement. Please e-mail or call our offices for further information.

Changes in Website Policy

The board agreed to change the website usage policy for the three blue concentric-circles symbol. The terms of Urantia Foundation's policy regarding personal use of "Urantia," "Urantian," and the three blue concentric-circles symbol provides many legal "safe harbors" so websites can display the concentric circles symbol. One of the policy's terms required that websites displaying the circle symbol must state on the website front page "This website is unaffiliated with Urantia Foundation". It was agreed that this statement is no longer needed and should be removed from the terms of the policy.

Committee on "Standard Reference Text"

The Committee on the Standard Reference Text (formerly the Committee on the Inviolate Text) met in Chicago in July to discuss a strategy to evaluate the past changes and corrections made in the text of The Urantia Book in Urantia Foundation and Uversa Press editions. The committee's goal is to study the validity of, agree upon, and annotate all necessary corrections made to the book since the original publishing in 1955. The committee was asked to agree upon a final text that would become the unchanging "inviolate text" of The Urantia Book. After looking at their mission, the team felt their job was to recommend an unchanging "Standard Reference Text." The board agreed to the committee's request to rename the Committee to "Committee on the Standard Reference Text". The committee, consisting of Seppo Kanerva, chair, Marilynn Kulieke, and Jay Peregrine from the Foundation, and Marvin Gawryn, Merritt Horn, and Nancy Johnson from Uversa Press, expects to complete its work next year.

Fundraising Committee

The Board resolved that Urantia Foundation create a fund raising committee of the Board. The initial committee members are Gard Jameson, Richard Keeler, Jay Peregrine, Marjorie Reed, Betty Zehr, and Ralph Zehr. The committee will be chaired by the Executive Director of the Foundation. With the creation of the new fundraising committee, the Matthew Project Committee was dissolved. The Board acknowledged and praised the fantastic work done by all the former members of the Matthew Committee. The need for funds continues as a very challenging priority for Urantia Foundation.

Book Committee

As always, a good deal of time was spent discussing book sales. When you historically look at the most effective means of disseminating The Urantia Book into the world, selling through retail book channels such as bookstores and online have been the big winner. Over 95% of all books distributed since the first publication have been purchased, not given away. As the bookstore industry has matured, retailers demand ever increasing sophisticated business practices from small publishers like Urantia Foundation.

Russia and Eastern Europe

Political, economic, and logistical distribution problems in Russia and Eastern Europe continue to challenge the book team at the Head Office. Demand for The Urantia Book remains strong but the cost of doing business makes the retail price of the book overly expensive. Additionally, Urantia Foundation often experiences the problem of not receiving payment for books shipped to book distributors in those countries. The Board asked Gard Jameson to coordinate an effort to investigate the printing of translations of The Urantia Book in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Translating the book is the first vital step but successfully printing and then getting those books into people's hands is a huge and ongoing job. But as each day passes, more and more Urantia Books find their way into the world. Little pockets of revelatory light crop up when books find their way into world distribution.

Urantia Book Index

Marilynn Kulieke and Jay Peregrine presented their findings regarding the quality of the "work in process" index created by Anna Rawson and Edith Cook. They reported that the work previously completed by Anna and Edith provides a solid platform to create a high quality index for The Urantia Book. The Board agreed to finish the index project which will begin immediately.

Ad Hoc Committee on Translations

The Board resolved to create a six-member ad hoc Committee on Translations chaired by Seppo Kanerva. The committee shall be composed of two members of Urantia Foundation's expanded Board and four outside individuals nominated by the Chairman and ratified by The Urantia Foundation Board. The committee shall make recommendations regarding translations of The Urantia Book.

A Call for Leadership

During the meeting, the Board discussed the growing need for leaders and teachers. As the baby boomers age, the mantle of leadership must pass to the next generations. We spent time identifying men and women who could become the leaders of the future. From the heart we invite those of you reading this newsletter to submit names of people you consider the leaders and teachers of the future.

The third quarterly meeting ended with hope, love, and dedicated enthusiasm for the future where the Most Highs rule on earth.

Foundation Info

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