Study Group Committee – Gaetan Charland, Chair
The Study group Committee began the development of a strategic plan and the search for committee members continues with invitations sent to different leaders throughout the Association. An email message was sent out to all of the readers in the Association’s database inviting them to register their study group in the Study Group Directory. As a result, 20 new groups were registered. Two articles were written for Tidings to promote study groups. Gaetan attended the new online study group created by Antonio Schefer and facilitated by Jeffrey Wattles to gather information in order to promote study group as a way to train leaders and teachers. Gaetan offered to do a presentation or workshop to promote study groups at this year’s conferences in the United States and Budapest.
Dissemination Committee – David Linthicum, Chair
A new member from Malawi was added to the committee. The focus continues on building book distribution channels in Malawi, Ukraine, Zambia and Philippines. David participated in planning for the Parliament of the World’s Religions and attended the event. He is also on the planning committee for this year’s joint conference in the United States.
Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT): In 2015, 230 inquiries were received, 93 books were placed and there are two well developed prison study groups of 10 and 27 members respectively. Groundwork is underway for prison library placement project. From 2005-2015 PIRT has processed 3,494 letters and placed 1,735 books. A pilot program that provides study aids has been started.
Reader Services: 61 new contact letters were processed and sent bringing the total for 2015 to 152. A new member to handle Portuguese translations was added to the team so we now have the contact letter translated into Portuguese, French, Spanish and Finnish. Volunteers for German and Polish translation are being sought.
Membership Committee – Anton Miroshnichenko, Chair
Members from Portugal, Israel and Germany have volunteered to serve as Membership Coordinators. Fifty four applications for membership have been received from Malawi which now qualifies to become a National Association. A governing board has been elected for Urantia DACH which represents Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and a submission has been made for them to become a Local Association.
Communications Committee – Kathleen Swadling, Chair
Publications: Regular issues of the Journal and Tidings were published in English, French and Spanish.
Website: Research and costing was undertaken to explore the viability of switching to a new host server and converting the website to a WordPress multi-site. This would allow for the creation of sub-sites for all of the Associations at little or no cost. These sub-sites (or child-sites) would appear as independent sites but would be “joined at the hip” with the main Association site. This means the Association could provide a service to those associations that cannot afford their own servers and webmasters.
Public Relations: The Association’s Information Brochure is being rewritten and simplified. Investigations with Google Search and the tagging of our website content are underway in an effort to improve the search engine optimization. Website Home page revision has been discussed and is under consideration.
Social Media: Worked on a new logo and banner for the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages. A Public Facebook Group has been created to provide further opportunity for outreach to help readers gain a clearer understanding of the teachings of The Urantia Book.
Conference Committee – Antonio Schefer, Chair
Antonio is an active member of the 2018 International Conference planning committee. They are reviewing the draft of the Conference Guide and will be giving suggestions. He has continued to work with three of the 2016 Conference Committees. Webinars in Spanish have been developed and all known events have been promoted on the website and on Facebook. Antonio attended the Blue Club meeting in Frankfurt, Germany and met with the Urantia DACH leaders, encouraging them to form a local association. He also formed a team of young adults (Urantia Young Adults International UYAI) and has begun hosting an online study group with Dr. J. Wattles, PhD. for the training of future workshop facilitators and event presenters.
Translation Committee – Chris Moseley, Chair
Chris continues to look for volunteer translators. A Portuguese translator has been found to replace the previous one who resigned. Translation services to the ISB, RC and the website have been provided.
Chris Wood continued to work with the 2016 UAUS-Fellowship Conference planning team and attended the first quarterly meeting with Presidents of the Fellowship and Urantia Foundation. He created and facilitated a mailing team for the Association’s Fall Fundraising letter, made fundraising phone calls and solicited donations in support of the 2016 conferences. He also attended a local conference of mostly new readers in Omaha, Nebraska.
Andres Ramirez continued to Chair the online continuous meeting of the Representative Council. He attended the national conference in Brazil and met with leaders of the association there. He attended the Colombia National Conference and continues to serve on the planning team for the 2016 Latin American Conference as well as the Leadership Seminars for leaders in Latin America.
Chief Financial Officer
Bradly Tharp participated as a member of the Executive Team and the Finance and Fundraising Committees. He drafted the Fall Fundraising letter and reviewed final financial reports for the 2015 International Conference. He also finalized and procured ISB approval for a detailed Executive Administrator Job Description, and finalized research and made recommendation to the ISB for a new database for the Association.
Susan Owen provided meeting minutes and action points for the monthly ISB meetings and posted the August and October ISB meeting minutes and 3rd Quarter ISB Activity Report to the Representative Council. She verified voting results and conducted 4th quarter RC and ISB roll calls. She continues to serve as a member of the Executive Team and the committees for Website Management, Public Relations and Education.
Following are some of the topics addressed by the Executive Team in the 4th quarter:
- The job description for Executive Administrator was completed and approved by the ISB.
- Work continued on the formation of a Governance Committee
- Final recommendation made to the ISB for the new Association database
Fundraising Committee – Chris Wood, Chair
Chris reported that we met our 3-year goal to have 2016 budget money in the bank by year-end 2015.
Finance Committee – Bradly Tharp, Chair
Bradly submitted a resolution to establish a restricted Future Conference Fund to house funds already received. The committee reorganized accounting and banking accounts to improve transparency and changed protocols for better identification of income sources.