Updates from the October 2021 Trustee Meeting

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Judy Van Cleave

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

Enrique Traver
Enrique Traver
Sue Seccombe
Sue Seccombe
Mo Siegel
Mo Siegel
Flor Robles
Flor Robles

Operations Overview

Highlights of third-quarter operations included: 1) conducting normal book activities such as translations, revisions, and global distribution; 2) securing printing bids and paper to print thirty thousand English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French Urantia Books, finalizing printer files, and printing books; 3) establishing the terms and setting up the Mustard Seed Fund for education and outreach purposes; 4) completing and approving the 2022 budget: 5) launching the third trimester of the Urantia Book Internet School; 6) completing 99% of the Android App, which when launched will have The Urantia Book in 20 languages; 7) bringing the revision of the Spanish translation to 99% completion; and 8) finalizing the Russian revision, which is currently being formatted for printing.


Book printing: After nine months of high-volume Urantia Book sales, inventories of specific books were depleted. Having planned ample lead time to print thirty thousand English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French books, we had expected books to arrive before this happened.

After securing printing bids in Europe, dealing with paper shortages and astronomical price increases, finalizing newly formatted printer files, and confirming a printing date, we finally saw the books printed and bound. Unfortunately, the shipping supply chain fell apart. After a scramble to secure shipping containers, the books finally arrived at a jammed port in Charleston, South Carolina.

Once the books clear United States customs, they will board a train, then a truck, and will finally be unloaded into the warehouse where sales orders await fulfillment. Shipping container prices have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in the past six months, but there are no plans to increase book prices due to escalating costs.

Sales and downloads: At the end of nine months, book sales are up 7%, but downloads are 19% below 2020. Last year was an extraordinary year because people were working from home and spending more time on their computers. Although downloads will be below expectations by year end, book sales will be close to our projections.


2021 YTD financial information: The objective for 2021 operating expenses was staying at or below our $797,756 budget and $150,000 capital budget. YTD expenses were up 6% from 2020 but 11% below budget. YTD unrestricted donations were $391,484 compared to the budget of $220,780. The office team and committee chairs are careful about spending our donors’ money. Q4 is always the highest income quarter of the year and succeeding with the winter match fund ensures contributions will cover expenses.

Investment Funds: Urantia Foundation currently has five investment funds.

1. The Hales Fund is used for investments and cash management.

2. The Perpetual Printing Fund is used for printing books. When an English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, or Russian book sells, 110% of the cost of the book is returned to the fund to ensure there is always money for future printings.

3. The Revelation Bridge Fund is an investment fund for future generations. The policy is that the capital isn’t touched until 2040, and then only a percentage of the annual gains can be used, not the principal.

4. The Reserve Fund is a cash and cash equivalent fund to ensure Urantia Foundation has reserve funds to operate in dire times.

5. The Mustard Seed Fund is Urantia Foundation’s newest fund. The Jameson Foundation initiated this fund with a sizeable 10-year gift. The purpose of this fund is to "seed" the Revelation around the globe through grant funding. The terms of approving grants are being developed over the next 12 months and will be administered by Urantia Foundation. The grants are expected to have a direct effect upon spreading the fifth epochal revelation globally. Approximately 50% of the initial annual donations will be available for qualifying grants, and 50% will be invested in this fund for long-term growth. We invite you to join the Jameson family in supporting this education and outreach fund.

The investment strategy for all of our funds is targeted towards moderate risk.

Translations and Revisions

Spanish Revision: The launch of the new revision of El libro de Urantia is now online at urantia.org/es/el-libro-de-urantia/leer. A printed book will follow in spring. A heartfelt thank-you goes to the revision team—Carmelo Martínez, Anibal Pacheco, Olga López, Víctor García-Bory, and Raúl Pujol. Their steadfastness in completing this 10-year project is a ringing endorsement for the power of the revelation and their teamwork. Congratulations to all!

Chinese Translation: The first draft of the Chinese translation of The Urantia Book in simplified characters is complete. Vicki Yang and Richard Zhu are now preparing the Chinese translation in traditional characters. This translation holds a special place on our board's priority list. The Urantia Book states that if the early preachers of Jesus' gospel had gone into Asia with his original teachings, they would have made "an immediate and effective appeal to the minds of the spiritually hungry Asiatic peoples." 130:2.3 (1430.1)

Community Relations

Collaboration between Urantia Foundation, Urantia Association International, and the Urantia Book Fellowship keeps improving. The organizations have diverse approaches to serving the revelation. Notwithstanding, all three organizations are committed to leaving our children and grandchildren a house united in spirit purpose. That's what the Master asked of us!

As established years ago, the three presidents—now Enrique Traver, Sue Seccombe, and Mo Siegel—continue to meet quarterly on Zoom. Into the foreseeable future, they will meet every six weeks. There is more optimism than ever about a thriving and diverse Urantia community.

Cultural Advisory Council

Urantia Foundation is in the process of establishing a Cultural Advisory Council, and we are currently onboarding the first four members. The purpose of the council is to enhance the cultural wisdom and awareness of the Foundation’s dissemination efforts while acquainting council members with the work of Urantia Foundation, so that both may better serve the readership within their cultures. Moreover, it provides the opportunity to facilitate relationship and mutual understanding among members of the council.

Invited Guest—Flor Robles

Flor, a devoted reader of the Spanish 1993 translation since 1996, joined the meeting to showcase to the board the many Urantia activities that she is involved in. Flor spent most of her life living in Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; and now Tucson, Arizona. When asked about her discovery of the revelation, Flor answered that she had many questions about God and Jesus as a child. Later, after reading a book that explained Jesus differently, and then books by JJ Benitez, she discovered El libro de Urantia.

As a longtime reader of the book, she has translated and produced many secondary works in Spanish. When asked about her avocation, she humbly acknowledged that she has been a professional singer. As you can see from the lovely smile on her face, Flor is an enthusiastic believer in the teachings of The Urantia Book.

Urantia Foundation in the Next Hundred Years

Georges Michelson-Dupont and Mo Siegel presented their visions of what Urantia Foundation might become by 2122 and beyond. Robust discussions followed, including the importance of adhering to the Declaration of Trust and seeding The Urantia Book and its teachings globally.

Both shared their long-term visions that Urantia Foundation would evolve into the largest Urantia Book teaching center in the world. They expressed their beliefs that the Foundation should not become a social group nor dictate how people express their individual and cultural adaptations of the revelation. The hope is that the future Urantia Foundation looks more like Harvard University than the Vatican. Continuing this conversation at multiple board meetings was heartily agreed upon by all.

Foundation Info

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