Noteworthy Decisions from the January 2017 Board of Trustees Meeting

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Judy Van Cleave

By Judy Van Cleave, trustee, secretary, Urantia Foundation, Idaho, United States

2016 Community Relations

During the past year, a new high-water mark of cooperation and understanding between various Urantia Book organizations has been achieved. Urantia Foundation stands firm on supporting goodwill among all readers and organizations working for the Urantia Revelation. While we continue to follow our policy of not interfering in the affairs of the social organizations, we are ready to work with the social groups whenever possible.

2016 Book Sales and Distribution Highlights

  • Over twenty thousand books were sold in 2016, about 10 percent more than 2015.
  • Over one hundred thousand free Urantia Books were downloaded from www.urantia.org and iTunes.
  • Combined, Spanish and Portuguese books outsold English books.
  • The index is nearing completion and is undergoing a final review before being published as an e-book in 2017.
  • Urantia Press published its first book, The Parables of Jesus—Complete Teachings from The Urantia Book. The book was well received in the trade and with readers. The Parables book has provided us with the opportunity to share The Urantia Book with bookstores.
  • The Foundation displayed The Urantia Book at BookExpo America.
  • Ads were placed in a few distributor catalogs to keep bookstores familiar with The Urantia Book.
  • About ten thousand books were printed in Portuguese, French, and Polish.

2016 Financial Highlights

2016 was the most difficult fundraising year we have had in many years. Normally, 52 percent of our annual donations come in the last two months of the year. This year that number moved to over 68 percent. Even so, the 2016 donation budget of $740,000 was exceeded because generous donors gave $741,326. With more good news, new donors were up 15.6 percent over 2015. In 2016, 888 people donated, up from 768 in 2015. The year-end match was a success, and we entered 2017 in a financially secure position. Urantia Foundation lives to serve another year!

Knowing that money was very tight in 2016, board committees and staff spent cautiously. Because of conservative spending, we finished the year 8 percent below budget and only 3 percent above a year ago.

Improvements to www.urantia.org

Because website traffic is now over 50 percent via mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, we are updating the website for better mobile accessibility. Other significant improvements will be made during this process. The site continues to serve people speaking in seventeen languages with high volume traffic in Latin America and throughout the world.

Translations in 2016

  • Work continued on Chinese, Czech, Danish, Farsi, Hebrew, and Indonesian translations. Revision efforts continued on the Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese translations.
  • Further progress was made using translation policies and procedures to manage the day-to-day production and quality of translations and revisions.
  • Progress was made on the Spanish revision that incorporates focus groups to review the revision.
  • The Chinese translation team visited during a quarterly meeting of the board.
  • The revised Korean can now be read at https://www.urantia.org/ko/yuransia-caeg/ilggi.
  • New translation software was fully implemented.

Education in 2016

  • The new Zoom Room technology installed in the Forum Room at Urantia Foundation has raised the capabilities for meetings and events for the Foundation and other user groups. If you are interested in conducting a Urantia Foundation–sponsored seminar via Zoom, please send your proposal to Joanne Strobel at [email protected].
  • The Science Symposium was conducted and streamed to hundreds of observers.
  • Half of the basement at 533 was renovated into a professional and educational center and library. Due to the kindness of a generous donor, a diligent book collector, and the work of Steve Dreier, a library was created containing hundreds of books from human source authors. As you know, the revelators said: “We are to be guided by the mandate of the superuniverse rulers which directs that we shall, in all our efforts to reveal truth and co-ordinate essential knowledge, give preference to the highest existing human concepts pertaining to the subjects to be presented. We may resort to pure revelation only when the concept of presentation has had no adequate previous expression by the human mind.” 0:12.11 (16.8) This new library contains some of the writings that the revelators used in creating The Urantia Book.
  • The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) offered a total of thirty-nine courses, nineteen in English, nine in French, nine in Spanish, and two in Portuguese. Thirty-two individuals volunteered to facilitate classes.

Staff and Committee Reports

All in all, 2016 was a productive year at Urantia Foundation. Joanne, Tamara, and Ashley did an excellent job keeping the strategic objectives balanced with the day-to-day needs of the organization. Thanks to the board, the board committees, the staff, the volunteers, the outside contractors, the donors, the educators, and the translators, we moved forward.

Angela Thurston
Angela Thurston

Religious Practices of the Millennial Generation

The board received a presentation from Angela Thurston concerning communities that have been formed by millennials for personal transformation—social, spiritual, mental, and physical—outside of our traditional institutions.

After listening to Angela’s presentation, the obvious became more obvious: The Urantia Revelation belongs to future generations who will use and assimilate its teachings in a very different manner from past generations.

Mandatory Retirement Age for Trustees

The board passed a resolution that requires mandatory retirement of trustees at eighty years of age. Succession planning for the board and the staff continues as a vital and active topic on our minds. In North America, the Urantia movement is filled with aging baby boomers who need to pass the torch to the next generation. We are actively building a financial and leadership bridge, so that the Urantia Revelation can safely be transferred to future generations.

Foundation Info

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