Updates from the October 2020 Trustee Meeting

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Judy Van Cleave
Marcel Peereboom
Marcel Peereboom
Vicki Yang
Vicki Yang

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

Appointment of Associate Trustees

The board appointed Marcel Peereboom from Holland and Vicki Yang from Taiwan and California as new associate trustees for a three-year term. Sherry Cathcart Chavis, Mark Hutchings, and Minoo Treichler were reappointed as associate trustees for the coming year.

The 2020 Winter Match

Five generous donors have pledged to donate $225,000 if the community matches this amount before January 1. It is always gratifying to see the number of gifts that arrive in the last two months of the year, and we hope to have your support once again to reach this goal.

Your funds fuel the advancement of the Urantia Revelation. With your financial support, the work of Urantia Foundation can be relied upon, even during times of great uncertainty.

Please consider a donation to Urantia Foundation at urantia.org/donate/newDonate

Financials

The trustees and staff of Urantia Foundation are committed to keeping expenses aligned with our most important priorities. Year-to-date (YTD) our expenses were down 11% from 2019 and below our revised budget by 8%. We are so thankful to our generous donors who have helped us carry out our work over the past year!

The board approved the 2021 budget which projects a break-even year. The income line projects gross revenue of $785,300 with total expenses of $785,160. Our conservative approach to spending focuses on funding the most important projects.

Jesus’ Travels Gift Booklet

Jim English designed a 12-page pamphlet with maps of Jesus' travels, important event locations, resurrection appearances, Palestine back then, and a timeline of the Master's life. Donors received this gift as thanks for their ongoing support.

Planned Giving

Planned Giving is a way to support future generations of readers. Joanne Strobel has updated this section of our website (urantia.plannedgiving.org). It provides specific guidance on different types of gifts and suggestions on how to leave a gift to Urantia Foundation. We continue to build a safety net for the revelation in the future.

Book Sales

The third quarter and YTD sales are excellent, indicating a resurgence in reading during the coronavirus shutdown. Here are the 2020 numbers compared to the same time last year.

• Total Urantia Book sales are 17,403, up 27% from 2019.

• English sales are 7,819, up 8%.

• Spanish sales are stable at 2,628.

• Portuguese sales are 1,756, up 7%.

• French sales are 903, up 86%.

• E-books are 3,349, up 45%.

• Downloads are 85,021, up 26%.

It is cause for celebrating when we need to print more Urantia Books in English because that means they're selling. We just printed 10,000 more. The Untold Story of Jesus from Urantia Press is entering its second printing with improved maps and additional paintings.

Urantia Foundation Website

Brad Garner recently joined executive director Tamara Strumfeld, Ashley Parratore, and Joanne Strobel on the Foundation’s website team. With the addition of Brad’s project management background, and his creative thinking and programming skills, you can look forward to a more robust and attractive website as we upgrade in 2021.

Educational Programs

Gard Jameson, Education Committee chair, submitted a written report that included the following updates:

• The Urantia Education Center proceeds with steady progress. The team members are Gard Jameson, David and Marilynn Kulieke, Elisabeth Callahan, Chris Wood, Geri Johnson, and Rob Mastroianni.

• A notable Urantia history written by Gard Jameson and Marilynn Kulieke becomes available for review in early 2021.

Dancing with God: Living in Love in Trying Times, a virtual spiritual retreat for women, will be held on Sunday, December 13.

• A Zoom seminar on "Loving Service" is scheduled for February.

• A Race Seminar is scheduled for next November.

For additional information on these education programs, contact Joanne at [email protected].

Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS)

The school experienced a significant increase of new students taking their first course across all linguistic branches (English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese) during 2019–2020. A total of 472 students completed studies at UBIS this year. Congratulations to the board, administrators, teacher-facilitators, and students for making this educational institution the most successful since the revelation first appeared.

The UBIS board elected Tim Duffy as the co-director, along with the school's founder, Georges Michelson-Dupont. Congratulations, Tim!

Michael Zehr became the English branch director, and Geraldo Queiroz was named director of the Portuguese branch. Olga López Molina continues as the Spanish branch director, and Georges is the French branch's provisional director. Joanne Strobel continues as UBIS executive director.

Urantia Book Study Group Directory (UBSGD)

Urantia Foundation partners with Urantia Association International (the Association) and the Urantia Book Fellowship (UBF) in maintaining the study group directory. Special thanks for the excellent work go to Bill Beasley, chair; Scott Brooks, webmaster; Jackie Koury, UBF; Rick Lyon, the Association; and Tamara Strumfeld, Urantia Foundation.

This quarter, the UBSGD team finished its annual database cleanup, so all groups listed in the directory are current. Fortunately, the committee removed only a few groups after they failed to respond to repeated attempts to contact them.

Study group statistics from the directory:

• 29 new study groups were added; 461 total groups with 187 being virtual; 356 in-person groups; 238 total groups in the United States with 80 being virtual; 223 groups outside the United States; and study groups in 61 countries.

• In numerical order, the top 10 countries with study groups are the United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Spain, France, Mexico, Venezuela, Australia, and South Korea.

• The top five languages are English with 290 groups, Spanish with 79 groups, Portuguese with 31 groups, French with 29 groups, and Korean with 8 groups.

Translations

During the last three months, progress with translations and revisions kept pace with our expectations. A special thanks to the Translation Committee consisting of Marilynn Kulieke, chair; Georges Michelson-Dupont, manager of translations; Víctor García-Bory; Henk Mylanus; Jay Peregrine; Tamara Strumfeld; and Minoo Treichler.

• Víctor García-Bory is engaged in our quality assurance process for the new Spanish revision. It will be available on urantia.org/es by May 2021. Printed books will be available by fall 2021.

• Gabriel Rymberg reported that the Hebrew translation's final proofing is at Paper 188 with completion scheduled for January 1, 2021.

• The Farsi translation is competed up to Paper 140.

• The Filipino translation, headed by Eugene and Belen Asidao, has launched.

• Jay Peregrine continued quality assurance processes with our Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Filipino, Greek, and Romanian translations, and the Spanish and Portuguese revisions.

Thanks to Richard Zhu, the first draft of the Chinese translation is on Paper 170. The mainland Chinese people predominately read text using Simplified Chinese characters. The Chinese in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and foreign nationals living outside Asia, read Traditional Chinese characters. Currently, Richard Zhu is translating The Urantia Book into Chinese using Simplified characters. Vicki Yang offered to help Richard put the Chinese translation into Traditional characters as well. We are translating into both sets of characters because, in the foreseeable future, China's political conditions may not favor introducing The Urantia Book. Having the translation in Traditional characters allows for introducing The Urantia Book in Taiwan before entering China.

Foundation Info

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