International Service Board at Work – 1st Quarter 2016

Study Group Committee – Gaetan Charland, Chair

The Study Group Committee’s strategic plan is almost complete. The focus will be on the ability of study groups to help students become better sowers of truth. A goal has been set to have at least one thousand study groups listed in the Study Group Directory within the next ten years. Gaetan has been writing articles on study groups for each Tidings publication and has been encouraging the formation and participation of online study groups. He also made a presentation at the online Latin American Leadership seminar and welcomed a volunteer who came forward to help translate study group documents into Spanish.

Dissemination Committee – David Linthicum, Chair

The Dissemination Committee continues to focus on developing book distribution channels in Malawi, Ukraine, Zambia, the Philippines, the Middle East, Asia, India and South America.

Prisoner Inquiry Response Team (PIRT): The last library placement program was 20 years ago so the team is now focusing on library placement and assisting with the formation of study groups in prisons. A program to send 25 books to federal prisons in Canada has begun.

Reader Services: A Welcoming Team is in place and members are now looking for more volunteers to assist so that students may be contacted by someone in their local area and in their own language.

Membership Committee – Anton Miroshnichenko, Chair

The Urantia Association of Malawi officially converted from being a Local to a National Association due to the increase in members. Leaders for Urantia DACH (representing Germany, Switzerland and Austria) have submitted applications to become a Local Urantia Association. We expect they soon will be chartered. The Membership Committee has also been working with the Association’s Central Office to improve the application processes for new members to ensure all applicants are being contacted and that their applications are being processed efficiently.

Communications Committee – Kathleen Swadling, Chair

  • Publications:
    • Journal: The December 2015 edition of the Journal in English, French and Spanish was published for the first time as an online publication via a MailChimp newsletter. It was also published in the usual PDF format for printing and hard copy mail-outs to subscribers. Both versions in all three languages are available on the website.
    • Tidings: The English, French and Spanish online Tidings were published via MailChimp and are available on the website.
    • 2015 Annual Report: The content is complete and was sent to the graphic designer for formatting and print lay-out. It should be available in the second quarter.
  • Website: Preparations were made for moving the website to the new host server early in the second quarter. New volunteer translators for the French and Portuguese websites have stepped forward to help with the translations, and work is progressing on those two languages again.
  • Public Relations: The revision for the Association’s Information Brochure (previously titled “What is UAI?”) was completed and sent to the graphic designer for print lay-out. A statement of explanation on the differences between the Association and Urantia Foundation was completed and sent to Urantia Foundation for review. Work continued on the Home Page revision and should be completed in the second quarter.
  • Social Media: Promotion of reader events from across the globe continue to be promoted via the Associations various social media platforms. The launching of the new Public Facebook discussion group has been widely promoted and is attracting many readers and other interested truth seekers who have been engaging in discussions on the book’s teachings. People are being introduced to the book via this social media platform. Also the Association’s Twitter account has been reactivated and the committee is in the process of setting up an Instagram account.

Conference Committee – Antonio Schefer, Chair

This committee continued to liaise with the 2018 International Conference planning committee and the 2016 European and Latin American conference committees. It continued to develop and host webinars for Spanish speakers. Antonio represented the Association at the winter conference of the Finnish Urantia Association. A sub-committee has been formed for “Urantia Young Adult International” (UYAI). Samantha Nior from The Netherlands has volunteered to Chair the committee and the first meeting has been held. The UYAI is now hosting an online study group every Saturday.

Translation Committee – Chris Moseley, Chair

This committee continues to provide translation services to the ISB, RC and the website and is always looking for more volunteer help.


Chris Wood continued to work with the 2016 UAUS-Fellowship Conference planning team for the San Antonio conference and attended a meeting with Presidents of the Fellowship and Urantia Foundation. He continued his work with the Fundraising Committee and Board Support Team.

Vice President

Andres Ramirez continued his ongoing work as Chair of the RC and member of the Board Support Team. He is also an ongoing member of the planning team for the 2016 Latin American Conference and continues to work with the weekly online Leadership Seminars for Leaders in Latin America. He arranged for individual members of the ISB to attend these online meetings to talk about about the work they do for the Association and to answer any questions from the participants. Andres provided the translation service as required.

Chief Financial Officer

Bradly Tharp participated as a member of the Finance and Fundraising Committees as well as the Board Support Team. He completed the 2105 Year-end Financial Statements and submitted CFO commentary for the 2015 Annual Report.


Susan Owen provided the meeting minutes and action points for the monthly ISB meetings and posted the November, December and January ISB Meeting Minutes and 4th Quarter ISB Activity Report to the Representative Council. She drafted the 2015 RC Meeting Minutes and verified voting results and conducted 1st Quarter RC and ISB roll calls. She continues to serve as a member of the Board Support Team and on the committees for Website Management, Public Relations and Education. In addition she worked with the 2015 Annual Report team. (Where would we be without our hard working Secretary?)

Board Support Team (formerly known as the Executive Team) – Chris Wood, Chair

Following are some of the topics addressed by this team in the 1st Quarter:

  • Negotiated and recommended revisions to the Executive Assistant contract which were adopted by the ISB.
  • Completed the search for a Judicial Commissioner and recommended a nomination to the ISB which approved it.
  • Recommended the ISB hold “Meet & Greets” at sponsored conferences to introduce ISB and RC members to the other attendees.
  • Considered recommendations submitted by current acting Continental Coordinators, Antonio Schefer and Andres Ramirez for the Continental Coordinator Project in preparation for the formalization of this project.

Fundraising Committee – Chris Wood, Chair

Chris reported that the initial 3-year goals set when he took office have been achieved.  The committee began discussing the next 3-year goals including increasing donations from Latin America and Europe. Work began on the Spring Fundraiser.

Finance Committee – Bradly Tharp, Chair

Bradly and his committee completed the 2015 Year-End Financial Statements, worked on the Future Conference and Event Fund policy, developed a more specific Restricted Fund access and disbursement policy, arranged for disbursements to be made to the Latin American and European Conferences, and developed a Conference Fund loan agreement.