President's Report - Urantia Foundation - April 22, 2011
The second quarter Trustee meeting took place on April 15-16, 2011 in Chicago, IL
April 22nd, 2011
Dear 533 Diversey team, office managers, associates, friends of Urantia Foundation, and friends of the Revelation,
Happy Easter to you and your family. That Master has risen!!! Michael of Nebadon became a Master Son.
We just returned from our April 2011 quarterly Trustee meeting held at the birth place of the 5th Epochal Revelation, 533 Diversey Parkway in Chicago. After nearly two days of business meetings, the Expanded Board of Urantia Foundation made decisions you'll read below. Please let us know if you find this report useful. Thank you.
Report from the Trustee meeting
1. Mission and Goals April 2011 interim report:
Mission: "The mission of Urantia Foundation is to seed The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the world."
A. Community Relations:
Increase goodwill & communications with readers and reader groups worldwide via quarterly news letters, local reader gatherings, and fostering organizational cooperation wherever possible. Excellent community relations sit at the top of our goals list. Quarterly newsletters go out regularly and members of the staff and Expanded Board attend many national and international reader gatherings. Real efforts are being made to foster goodwill between Urantia Foundation, readers, and reader organizations. If the reader/believer community is the human body of the Revelation, than the body needs to be healthy so the Revelation can flourish.
Increase the community accessibility and usage of the facilities at 533 West Diversey Parkway in Chicago for activities directly related to furthering the Foundation's mission. UAI Leadership meeting attendees visiting 533. The doors of 533 are open to Urantia Book organizations needing meeting facilities to do Urantia Book work. For further information please contact Tamara Strumfeld at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Involve younger readers in the work of the Revelation. On-going search for young leaders and volunteers continue. Your suggestions?
B. Book printing, sales, and distribution:
Increase book sales and distribution in 2011 by 7% over the 20,000 books distributed in 2010. Sales and distribution targeted improvements include e-books, audio, book store sales, and web downloads. Urantia Foundation's book sales for the first quarter of 2011 were up 21%.
Increase focus on improving distribution in North America, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Hungary, and Holland. Book distribution continues to grow even though book stores have significant business challenges. Thanks to our unseen friends, the work of Henk and Claire Mylanus in Europe and the team at 533 in the Americas, the Urantia Revelation continues its slow and steady movement into the world. Special thanks this quarter goes to Associate Trustee Irmeli Ivalo-Sjolie for organizing and operating a booth at the Hungarian Book Fair.
After printing 24,000 books in 2010 including four new translations, the printing needs for 2011 include approximately 20,000 books in English, Spanish, and the first printing of the newly revised Portuguese translation. A Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese print run of 12,000 books was just completed. The next run of 10,000 English books print in the fall.
Develop and implement a plan to expand the audio versions of Urantia Book Translations. In process.
Advance the translations and revisions now in progress. This includes making progress on the Chinese and Japanese translations and proceeding forward on the Spanish and French revisions. Major progress being made on the Spanish and French revisions. Progress being made on the Chinese and Japanese translations as well. See further on in this report.
Finish creating and implementing the new translator software. The new translator software, now in use, accommodates languages ranging from Balto-Slavic, Indo-European, Altaic, to Sino-Tibetan. Fine tuning continues as this tool becomes the standard for all translation and revision work. Special thanks to Rogerio Silva for his enormous contributions in creating the software.
Support the goal of creating 1000 study groups by 2025. Cooperate with readers and organizations by supporting a centralized study group referral portal, participate in the study group initiative, and help provide study group teacher and leadership training. Urantia Foundation has joined the UAI and Fellowship in launching a global, non-political, study group portal intended as the repository of all publicly listed Urantia Book study groups in the world. The portal is under construction but launching soon. When complete, readers around the world will be able to find a study group where they live or wherever they may be traveling. If you would like to be notified when it launches, to register your study group, send an email to email@example.com. Special thanks go to Scott Brooks and the UAI team for all the work they've done creating this site. Another round of thanks to all the organizations for cooperating in this important project. Together we can help study groups grow from approximately 500 groups today to 1000 study groups by 2025.
Support the efforts of UBIS to double the classes offered and start offering courses in Spanish and Portuguese. Provide the funding for UBIS goal attainment. The Spanish UBIS website is being developed now. We plan to launch the Spanish UBIS late 2011 or early 2012. Additional funds were added to the 2011 budget to create the Spanish UBIS.
Five courses are offered in the April 2011 Trimester of UBIS.
Investigate and possibly implement study forums at 533 Diversey, study group blogs, and interactive study group webinars. In process.
Cooperate with other individuals and organizations whose goal is educating others about The Urantia Book and its teachings.
E. Budgets and donations:
Stay within the approved 2011 Operating Budget which is under the operating budget of 2010. The budget has unfunded increases of about $80,000 because of: a. the Spanish revision plan just completed; b. new computer software needed for the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese translations; c. unforeseen book printing expenses; d. Spanish UBIS web needs; e. new administrative tasks that need accomplishing. Additional donations need to cover these costs.
Increase donations and the number of donors by 10% over 2010. Multiple fund raising activities for 2011 range from normal contributions programs, the spring/summer fund raiser, the winter fund match, and now a new restoration fund for the building at 533. Since Urantia Foundation makes no money on books, we rely on the generosity of reader/believers. What a blessing we all have in supporting the most important spiritual project in the world. And since the growth comes quietly and slowly, funding for this vital cause requires your generosity. When you get to the mansion worlds you'll look back and be thankful for the amazing opportunity you had supporting to this Revelation. Thank you for your giving.
Find people of means who will joyfully fund seeding the revelation and its teachings throughout the world. Continuing building a strong treasury that can withstand social and economic storms while securing Urantia Foundation's short and long term ability to serve.
F. 533 West Diversey Parkway Building Renovation:
Launch a midyear capital fund drive to fully renovate the aging birthplace of the 5th Epochal Revelation. Approximate money needed: $250,000. The building keeps improving yet so much more remains. Over the next 3 years we hope to raise $250,000 to renovate this historic and functioning landmark. Structural problems such as out-dated plumbing, electrical, the roof, and other structural components need
reconstruction. Most bathrooms need complete overhauls and the furniture, curtains, rugs, and more need updating. As more and more activities take place at 533, the building must work properly. The photo you see are old pipes recently removed during the first phase of the second floor renovation. There are a lot more bad pipes in the building that need fixing!!!
Complete the renovation of the second floor. In process.
Improve the electrical rewiring, room by room.
G. Safeguarding the text:
Create the best possible user friendly internet download center at www.urantia.org that offers readers the English Book and the all latest translations formatted in standard reference system.
Finalize a Book Electronic Data Base that synchronizes, coordinates, and safeguards, without redundancy, the processes necessary to create error free printed books, eBooks, hand held devises, on line text, translator tools, and all other forms of media. For many years Urantia Foundation has faced the rapidly growing problem of the proliferation of digital languages used in publishing, eBooks, internet, and other forms of digital media. Since our electronic files date back to translations worked on in the early 1990's, we discovered that many of our files were obsolete. As our new website came on line last year, we discovered that the entire Urantia Book files, in all languages, needed updating and standardizing into HTML files for internet compatibility. Then came our new translator software and we realized that we needed a high level digital language that would convert translation and revision electronic files into usable text for typesetting, eBooks, internet, and more.
In March, after months of preparation and consultation with experts, a group of computer specialists meet at the home of Georges and Marlene Dupont to finalize a solution. The group recommended the software language XML as the remedy. This may not sound like a big accomplishment but it's one of the most important building blocks for the Revelation's protection and dissemination in digital age. For the first time we see the digital book files completely safeguarded yet very agile and progressive for the many purposes needed into the foreseeable future. Special thanks go to Larry Watkins for his work on the HTML files and to Rob Reno, Rogerio Silva, Georges Dupont, and Jay Peregrine for their tenacity in solving this looming problem.
H. Organizational Development:
Continue the governance improvements at Urantia Foundation which include putting most of our vital documents on Google Docs. In process.
Provide continuing education for the team at the Foundation.
Replace 3 outdated computers at the Foundation. Done.
2. New decisions made at the Board meeting:
A. After an extensive discussion, led by Associate Trustee Victor Bory, about Urantia Foundation's future use of social networks such as FaceBook, the Board asked Marta Elders (chair), Victor Garcia-Bory, and Marilynn Kulieke to recommend answers to the following topics:
- Guiding principles for Urantia Foundation's participation in electronic media;
- Expanded board members use of social media;
- The purposes and use of the Urantia Foundation page on Facebook;
- Policy for board members posting on Urantia Book discussion lists.
The committee, working with the Public Relations Committee, will recommend a social network plan at the July Board meeting.
B. Claire Mylanus presented the progress of the Bulgarian, Japanese, French, Korean, Turkish, Chinese, Russian, Afrikaans, and Pakistan translations. Olga Lopez presented an update on the Czech translation.
Victor Bory presented a comprehensive plan for the revision and merger of the European Spanish and 1993 Spanish translations. A team, time table, and budgets were recommended to and approved by the Board. Our hope and desire is to take the best of both translations and make one brilliant translation that works for all the Spanish speaking people throughout the world. The proposed team of revisers come from Latin America and Spain. The revision should take seven years to complete.
3. Future Meeting Dates
Q3 meeting 2011: July 15-16, 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
Q4 meeting 2011: October 14-15, 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
Q1 meeting 2012: January 27-28, 2012 (Chicago, Illinois)
Q2 meeting 2012: April 27-28, 2012 (Paris, France)
Q3 meeting 2012: July 27-28, 2012 (Chicago, Illinois)
Q4 meeting 2012: October 26-27, 2012 (Chicago, Illinois) Conclusion
Your team at Urantia Foundation deeply appreciates your continued support. Thanks to your generous donations of prayers, love, time, and money, the work at Urantia Foundation moves forward. May we all work together to serve this wonderful Revelation destined to bring a new age of love and goodness to our world.
Mo Siegel on behalf of the Expanded Board and the 533 team of Urantia Foundation Trustees: Mr Georges Dupont, Dr. Gard Jameson, Mr. Richard Keeler, Dr. Marilynn Kulieke, Mr. Henk Mylanus, Mr. Mo Siegel, and Ms. Judy Van Cleave, Associate Trustees: Ms. Jan Bernard, Dr. Marta Elders, Mr. Victor Garcia-Bory, Mr. Merritt Horn, Dr. Richard LaChance, Dr. Olga Lopez, Claire Mylanus. Ms. Irmeli Ivalo-Sjolie and Dr. Ralph Zehr. Executive Director and Office Manager: Mr. Jay Peregrine, Ms. Tamara Strumfeld.