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September 11, 1976

TO: General Councilors, Society Presidents, and Field Representatives

The format of this letter is slightly changed with this issue. A number of people have wanted to know who writes it. My intention was to announce that Meredith Sprunger writes it and continue the third person format and have no signature. The Administrative Committee has kindly but unanimously insisted that the letter should have my signature. To me, this connotes subtle personality promotion. But my peers assure m this is an erroneous perception; so I in good humor conform to their judgment in this matter.

During the summer we received a number of inquiries asking about comments which apparently are made about the Urantia movement by Harold Sherman in a book entitled "How to Know What to Believe, pp. 58-90. The fish were not biting very well during our vacation in Upper Michigan, so I spent some time writing a response to Sherman's comments. My final revision, with some minor alterations suggested by Executive Committee members and legal counsel, will be used by both the Brotherhood and the Foundation. A copy is enclosed.

Sandy Garrick has asked the Foundation for permission to publish 'The Ordination Sermon' and other musical works using direct quotations from the Urantia Book. The Foundation asked the Executive Committee to discuss the advisability of authorizing publications of this nature.

There is a wide divergence of opinion in the Executive Committee. Some feel that we should grant permission for all major creative productions which do not have obvious negative connotations toward the basic philosophy of the Urantia Book. Others think that such permission should be extremely limited. They assert that this constitutes a fragmentation of The Urantia Book and should be discouraged. There seemed to be a consensus about two things. We should not allow our spiritual ministry to be sidetracked into publishing and distributing activities; and at this stage in our history we should probably limit individuals to one 'magnus opus' in which there are major quotes from The Urantia Book. We should, however, encourage Urantians to engage in creative activity, but using their own wording or expression of the teachings of The Urantia Book. This, in fact, demands more creativity than mere mechanical quotation of something already written. After listening to such a discussion, one sympathizes with the trustees of the Foundation in having to make some very difficult decisions.

Vern Grimsley has written an open letter to the Executive Committee pointing out that the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus' birthday will be celebrated August 21, 1993, and that Machiventa Melchizedek's 4,000th anniversary will be in the year 2020. Since these dates will occur in the lifetime of many present-day Urantians, he suggests we look forward and make plans for special projects and observances.

A Paris study group under the leadership of Mr. Marcel Cheruy has applied for a society charter. Their application has been turned over to the Charter Committee.

Oscar H. Varga of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, David Clearwaters and Roderick D. Ralston, both of Grants Pass, Oregon, have been accepted as members-at-large.

The Executive Committee has decided the next general Conference will be in late July of 1976. A Planning Committee and an Expediting Committee have been selected and they are now being confirmed. Both committees will serve under the chairmanship of Carolyn Kendall.

I have asked a few people to write papers on their view of the long range goals and objectives of Urantia brotherhood. At this time I should like to invite all of you who receive this letter to share your ideas on this subject if you are motivated to do so. I would like to have your ideas by 1/1/77. Early next year I will attempt to synthesize this material into an integrated statement. This statement will eventually be edited and approved by the Executive Committee and the General Council.

Enclosed is a list of officers of Urantia Societies as of August 25, 1976.

We should like to send our best wishes to all who are attending both the "northwest Get-Together" at Venatchee, Washinton, on October 2, and the "Eastern Regional Meeting" at Staten Island, N.Y. on September 25.

Best wishes to alll of you in your Fall activities.


Meridith J. Sprunger, President

A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book