This is a report on three meetings with Rev. Larry Sonelson, Secretary of the General Church of the New Jerusalem.  The meetings were in response to an invitation to members of the General Church by Bishop Louis B. King to offer him input on the improvement of the organization of the Church.  These meetings were followed by a presentation to about ten ministers of the Counsil of the Clergy.

This report contains the following memos:














Subject: Church organization
Date: July 15, 1985
To: L. R. Soneson and other clergymen
From: Oliver R. Odhner

In response to the interest Bishop King expressed last yearin lay input on General Church planning, I offered to present to him my views on "activity planning". He asked Rev. Soneson to review my ideas for him. Larry and I had repeated discussions which are documented by memos I, II, and III (attached hereto). The result of these meetings was a group of specific proposals for reorganization of the General Church. Whether the proposals are acceptable has not been expressed, but Larry, with the Bishop's OK, has chosen to share them with other ministers for a consensus. By way of introduction, this memo will summarize the perspectives from which the ideas developed. 

Organization in the church should accommodate both doctrinal requirements and business needs. Doctrinal requirements specify the spiritual uses of the church. Business needs call for practical applications that work.

The business community in the United States of America is currently undergoing intensive reformation. Challenged by Japan and other foreign competition, the traditional business organization has become obsolete. Prime emphasis is switching from dividends and profits to quality and service. Also from a rigid management control heirarchy to instructed,  low level self-management practices. I believe these sudden trends are recent results of the last judgement. Doctrines of the New Jerusalem continue one-by-one to gain footholds in our community.

The present organization of the General Church is unique because we recognize the Writings as the primary authority in all of the affairs of the church. Our church therefore has the unique opportunity to participate in the organizational reformation with a conscious knowledge of the principal causes of the current managerial revolution. I have been involved in that business revolution both as a management-level employee and as an entrepreneur. I have also been a devout lay student of the Writings. I feel strongly compelled to share with the General Church a vision which could multiply the uses of our church. In the following attempt to express the vision, I hope I do not appear too dogmatic. I invite discussion of other perspectives.

For us to properly constitute the church, we must support the divine end of creation, and so we must also abide by the laws of the divine providence which the Lord has "imposed" upon Himself. A basic law is the provision of the faculties of freedom and rationality. The appearance that man thinks, wills, speaks, and acts as if from himself underlies and is essential to those faculties. The appearance of self-life seems to be the "bottom line" of divine providence.


How can our church help the Lord implement this bottom line?  We all know that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it! But we also know we are all born evil, and would not engage in labor without a proprium. The FIRST-IN-TIME priority of the church should be to defend the appearance of self-life in all our activities, including evangelizing, educating children, leading congregations, and governing the church.

To successfully defend the appearance of self-life, several policies should be adopted by the church:

1) Destroy Babylon! The Lord leads everyone through His Word only. All we can do is lead people to His Word, so that as of themselves they can come to the Lord. This has generally been followed.

2) Utilize individual initiatives in matters of doctrine and religion. When new-comers, our children, members of the congregation, and workers in the school and church are fired up with ideas to communicate or programs to implement, they should be solicited and encouraged - never shot down.

3) Forgive evil and falsity. Let the tares grow with the wheat. Counseling should be preferred over punishment.

4) Avoid throwing pearls to swine. Those who acknowledge nature and human prudence only are not worthy and must be led by external rather than internal means.

The policies just proposed apply to all activities of the church. Since "charity begins at home", it was logical in our discussions to focus upon their application within church structure.

However, chaos is the natural result of unbridled freedom. If every member of the church can spout his opinions and impose his programs upon the congregation, there is anarchy in the church. An organizational structure is needed to direct, channel, and coordinate the energies of the members.

The first element of structure is to provide for a process to define the goals. What is the use of the church? What are we going to do in the foreseeable future? What are the criteria for accomplishment? This process should include the participation of the whole congregation. Those who contribute to a plan are co-authors of it, and will feel personal achievement in its success. 

The second element of structure is to provide for a process to establish priorities. Although priorities are implied by goals,they are set by executives. Those who define the goals should also elect those who will set the priorities. This is another form of participation, and should be an on-going function.


A third element of structure is to provide for a process to coordinate performance. All the organs of a body must work in harmony. If each organ knows its own function, and all organs have mutual communication, then cooperation is possible. A system of "activity planning" is described in the following reports which encourages effective coordination on all levels of performance.

One element of church structure to be avoided is the "boss". The Lord describes Himself as a servant. A "minister" is a servant by definition. Everyone in the church is a servant by definition. So are the angels. I believe we should presume that everyone who advocates God and divine providence is a servant. Only by enrolling enthusiastic people in church uses can the strength of the church grow. 

One final comment. Teachings concerning the priesthood imply the need of maintaining its professional dignity in order to preserve the purity of doctrine. The Council of the Clergy serves that purpose effectively. Such professional organizations are much freer and more objective if they are not structured into the service organizations which they serve. The AMA is not tied in with hospitals. The Bar Association is not administered by the courts. Engineering associations are independent of industry. Similarly it appears desirable to keep the Council of the Clergy as independent as possible from the church.


Subject: Activity Planning
Date: November 26, 1984
To: Rev. Lorentz R. Soneson
From: Oliver R. Qdhner
Copy: Duplicate
Re: Your letter of November 16, 1984

Thanks, Larry, for your letter and for this opportunity for me to communicate to Bishop King the ideas on activity planning that for years have been the subject of my constant study and reflection. This memo is to serve for reference in our meeting.


The activity planning concept presented here is not really my invention, because it relates to what actually exists in the organics of human behavior. The novelty of the system is the manner of describing it and the use of the description as a conscious guide to efficient utilization of human potentials .

The system postulates seven phases essential to the fulfillment of any human activity. The importance of each phase individually has been emphasized by many teachers throughout history. Also, the importance of various combinations of fewer than seven of the phases has been taught.

It is my thesis that all seven phases of activity must exist for the motive to be completely fulfilled.

The most serious failures in the actions of mankind have been in not fulfilling the Lord's directives to His church. We take up the torch, but drop it along the way. As a method of self-discipline, I propose we make sure that all seven phases are addressed on every level of church activity so that the Lord's plan can be fulfilled.


After years of my employment by various corporations, Rachel and I started a corporation ourselves. To avoid the corporate evils and falsities I had experienced, I invented a new corporate structure. An "editorial" sketch of Odhner Corporation appears in "The Other Ear" (attachment 1). All business activity was boiled down to seven phases which follow chronologically from conception of product or service, through performance, to evaluation (see column 1 of "Summary of Ideas", attachment 2, and also "Organization Outline", attachment 3, and "Corporate Procedure", attachment 4).

These concepts, coincidentally, seemed to correspond to those which S. E. Odhner was concurrently expressing in his unfinished work entitled "The Hero". He related a seven phase cycle, such as that of the creation story in Genesis Ch. 1, to intrinsic human psychological structure.


Activity Planning (Page 2)

A few years later Gary Tennis became concerned about the uses of the Sons of the Academy and asked me for input on a career planning program for ANC students, which the Sons might sponsor. I responded by abstracting from the corporate planning procedure an outline applicable to any human activity (attachment 2 column 2 parenthetical), and then applied it specifically to career activity planning (CAP), (column 2 in upper case, non-parenthetical). After an attempt to revive the Sons, a CAP committee was organized under career guidance counselor
Charles Lindsay, and a program developed (attachment 5). The Sons was still lacking "spark"; however, both Chuck Lindsay and I have used the concepts of CAP effectively. I have shared my ideas with many high level industrial administrators with surprising agreement, and also encouragement in my intention of writing a book on "Seven Steps to Satisfaction" (see column 5, attachment 2). The book will be a self-help guide.


I did not derive the seven phases of activity planning from the seven days of creation (column 3, attachment 2) nor from the seven churches (column 4). It is interesting, however, that the phases for creating a business or a career have a high correlation with those for creating a celestial man. It is also interesting that the ways in which a business can fail are quite similar to the ways a church can fail. The Spirit to the seven churches implores us to have a complete rather than a partial participation in the activities of the divine providence. Whether our business is individual or collective, commercial, industrial, political, or ecclesiastic, it will not be healthy and productive if any one of the seven phases is not functioning. The human form is the form of use. If an organ of the human malfunctions, then the whole man is sick. Like the periodic physical examination, a run through the checklist of activity functions can detect malfunctions.

Then corrective action can be taken to restore and maintain a healthy life of the individual and the Church. The church itself is an internal thing, as I perceive it, descending from heaven into the individual man. Men of the church associate to form the external of the church, which is an ecclesiastic body. (The external of the church has been referred to as "the church specific".)

Activity planning can be used by the individual man in his role as a church in the smallest form. It can also be used by the specific church in its role as the external embodiment of the church. If the ecclesiastic body of the church exercises activity planning from the Lord's directives to His church, I believe it can avoid the error that orthodoxy falls into when the external prevails over the internal.


Activity Planning Page 3

A strict definition of each step or phase in the activity circle is not appropriate because each activity to which the circle is applied modifies the quality of each phase. However* the definition of each phase also modifies the quality of the activity. The most significant phase of all in defining the activity, of course, is the first phase, in which the objectives of the activity are described. In the Church, as in any activity, this phase should be constantly kept alive, for it is its "first love11 and in a genuine church is one with the Divine End.

The first step is properly the planning phase. It should be spelled out not only in general terms, but also in as much detail as necessary to carry the plans through the other phases until the circle is satisfied and a new cycle is born.
When planning keeps the attention of each phase upon the completion of the circle (which is the Sabbath ,day), then the activity will become vivified.


1. Establish a program that will encourage the implementation of all seven phases of activity on every level of Church administration.

2. Appoint a study group to improve Church organization and procedures to assure inclusion of each phase in all activities

3. Provide training seminars periodically in activity planning and administration,

4. Lay out a timetable for implementation of the program on each level of activity.

5. Keep the community advised of the objectives and progress of the program and encourage public discussion and feed-back.

6. Maintain a watchdog committee to detect shortcomings in the program and recommend revisions or new programs.

7. Evaluate the program and the proposed revisions in terms of the Lord!s goals and the long term needs of His children.

Attachment 1a
Click this page twice to read.

Attachment 1b
Click this page twice to read.

Attachment 2


Attachment 3

Organization Outline - January 1979







Planning Mgr, (Pres.)
Initiate new projects. (=products)
Coordinate Dept. Mgrs.
Product Mgrs.


Technical Mgr. (Sec.)
Research and Development Quality Contl.
Coordinate information
Scientists, Engineers Technicians, Librarians Secretaries, Consultnts.


Properties Mgr. (Treas.)
Acquire and maintain prod, facilities. Purchg., Inv. control, Shpg. & Recg.
Coordinate accounts and maintainance
Accountants & Bookkeeps, Plant Engrs, Millwrights, Janitors, Store Keepers, Traffic & Inventory persons.


Services Mgr.
Coordinate schedules and performance
Production Workers, Time Keepers, Personnel Clerks, Expediters.


Sales Mgr.
Promotion and Sales
Coordinate communication
Advertizing, Promotion, & Sales persons, Switchboard Operators, Receptionists, Mail Clerks.


Needs Mgr.
Market Analysis and Forecasting
Coordinate Budgets and company benefits.
Budget & Market Analysts, First Aid, Fire, Recreation, Insurance, etc., persons.



Attachment 4



Date issued ________ Approved by _____________ Replaced by PS No. _____





SHAREHOLDERS (Principle cause/or end)


Make corporate purpose


Make bylaws


Provide initiatives (e.g., advice, money)


Elect a board of directors


Inspire directors with corporate purpose


Examine and improve corporate purpose


Lead the corporation to conformance with the divine purpose


BOARD OF DIRECTORS (Instrumental cause, or means)


Make corporate policy according to corporate purpose


Determine corporate procedures


Manage priorities, appropriations, and stock


Elect a staff of managers


Make promotion and sales strategy and sell corporate stock


Examine policy vs. purpose and viability, and improve it


Lead the corporation toward compassionate attitudes


STAFF OF MANAGERS (Ultimate, or effect)


Administer the purpose according to policy


Make specifications and operating procedures & keep records


Manage properties (e.g., buildings, equipment, funds)


Nominate operating staffs.


Promote and sell products


Examine and improve operations and products


Lead the corporation to the exercise justice



Attachment 5a


 In Career Activity Planning (CAP) the client is guided through seven phases of activity important to any career. Although there is a natural chronological sequence, all phases must be considered at each point in the flow chart. After the cycle has been completed, it starts over again with renewed purpose. Since each phase is an activity in its own right, the flow chart can also model each phase of career planning. Contrary to the concept of competition for job positions, CAP views the career as a product of individual and community cooperation. If the community does what it can to help the individual in his career, and he in turn directs his career to the common good, then both will succeed. 


Attachment 5b


Career Activity Planning ADVICE FOR ADVISORS

1. You have been chosen by the participant to give him assistance in the planning of his career activities. It is his (male or female) career, his activity, and his plan. He will carry out ...

    + only that plan which comes from his own enthusiasm
    + only the plan which he sees will logically implement his goal
    + only the plan which he believes is obtainable
    + only the plan which he wants to carry out

    + only the plan which he believes will be recognized by others as worthwhile
    + only the plan which he believes is capable of being improved and perfected and
    + only the plan which completely fits in with his value structure.

The participant needs your help—not to make his plans for him. but to show him how to do it himself.

2. Your first meeting with the participant (only one at a time) should be arranged by him. Over-solicitude on your part may tend to create a "Big Brother" image. Discussion can start with becoming acquainted. Mutual knowledge of each other's background—cultural heritage, family background, and personal career history—is a good starting point. However, a time limit is best set on any meeting, and introduction should be brief.

Discussion can center on the Participation Form. Help him to fill it out, or, if he prefers, give the him a copy to execute at his leisure. Emphasize that this is NOT an examination by you. It is just a list of questions that sooner or later he will bump into—better now than later. Tell him it is in questionnaire form to help you find out where he needs help in his activity planning. LISTEN to him.

Even though you may be an expert in the participant"s chosen career, it may be best to not perform that role. As an advisor your charge is to direct the participant to expert consultants, not to be one of them. If you believe you are the best qualified consultant available for a crucial decision point in the client's activity planning, it may be best to refer the participant to another advisor so that you can wear only one "cap" at a time.

File a record of each participant's program with the CAP Services Mgr.

3. As an advisor, you are providing volunteer services. This may require expenses which cannot be provided by the CAP committee. If your costs become burdensome, please contact the CAP treasurer for assistance. You may also feel a need for training in some aspect of career counseling. The CAP committee will attempt to provide work shops for such training.

4. Your primary job is to analyze the participant's program and determine where he needs help. You will receive periodically an up-dated list of consultants who specialize in the various categories of career activity planning. Feel free to contact these specialist volunteers. It may be preferable to have the participant make the contact, depending on his shyness and your judgment. Your participant may have a question which none of the listed consultants can answer. Contact your CAP leader in that case for assistance in locating an appropriate specialist. The participant must be instructed that consultant fees may be involved when help outside of CAP is solicited.

You must keep in contact with the participant as he progresses. Record his contacts with specialist consultants, both from the reports of your participants and from the reports of the consultants. Make your records easy enough to read so that if, for any reason, someone else must take your place, he will be able to carry on.

5. It is important for the participant to know what CAP is all about. He cannot benefit from the program beyond his understanding of it. Take every graceful opportunity to reveal the workings of CAP. There are no secrets. An enthusiastic participant may bring others into the program and he himself could also become an active member (advisor or specialist). In any case, if he knows the how's and why's he can utilize the program better.

6. Your help is needed in making the CAP system work better. You are at the center of the action. You see the shortcomings and successes better than anyone else. Please research them and report them to the CAP leader. Even if the CAP system were perfect, it would not remain so for long, because the culture is changing. The CAP system must change with it.

7. A final word of advice for Advisors: Remember why you are doing this service. Giving people assistance in developing a rational program for becoming a useful part of society is pivotal. Your advice can swing the participant's life around. Be humble. Keep in mind it is his life. And if a swing occurs, it is the advice—not you—which performs the miracle. Let all of us participating in CAP pray that our advice be not ours, but that of the Truth.


Attachment 5c


for Career Activity Planmnc

This Participation Form (PF) is to help you organize your career plans. Your answers to the questions will be an outline of your own goals. After you have answered all or some of the questions you may change your mind about your career. Good. One purpose in the planning process is to discover mistakes before thev are made in act. Think about it—and then do the PF exercise again. As you carry out your plans, new insights will arise and your plans will change, possibly without your noticing. Review your objectives with a new PF every three to six months. It will strengthen your determination and refine your program.

Your PF goal outline will be used by your CAP advisor. He (she) will work with you to implement your intentions by bringing you into communication with experts in the various phases of your program. Your participation in CAP, and that of an advisor and a host of specialists, will help you to participate in activities important to an effective and successful career.

MOTE: Please answer questions on the back of the form or on a separate paper, and reference each answer to the paragraph number of the corresponding question. Put your` name and the full date on each page. Sometimes detailed questions under a given heading do not seem to apply to one's situation. When that is the case try to summarize your answers to the block of questions in one sentence, referencing the heading. Thankyou.

For help from advisor in answering check box.

( ) 1.1 What do I want to be. —or do?
( ) 1.2 Why do I want that?
( ) 1.3 How can I achieve this goal?
( ) 1.4 When might the goal be reached?
( ) 1.5 For whom do I want to be or do this?
( ) l.6 Is this a useful goal?
( ) 1.7 But, what is more important to me than this career objective?

( ) 2.1 What knowledge is needed for this career? (Make a comprehensive 1ist.)
( ) 2.2 What subjects must I study to qualify myself? (List educational accomplishments to date, patents, publications, major discoveries, etc.)
( ) 2.3 How can I avail myself of this knowledge? (Detail any sources you are aware of.)
( ) 2.4 When do I expect to be knowledgeable in my chosen field? (Provide a time frame.)
( ) 2.5 What educational requirements are placed upon me by others? (Scolastic, legal, trade, etc.)
( ) 2.6 What follow-up knowledge will be required in the exercise of my career?
( ) 2.7 What knowledge not directly related to any career would contribute to my usefulness?


( ) 3.1 How will I gain my goals? (total input from myself and the community)
( ) 3.2 What support programs are currently available? (e.g., scholarships, work/study, apprenticeships)

( ) 3.3 How much money will I need when? (Make a cash flow forcast.)
( ) 3.4 What practice or experience must I have to qualify for mv career?
( ) 3.5 Who will sponsor or underwrite my initial losses? (start-up costs, capital goods investment, personal expenses before full salary, etc.)
( ) 3.6 What else will be needed before I can go to work? (foresight is better than retrospect.)

( ) 3.7 Is this drain fair to the community? (Can the money and training, etc., be repaid with sufficient interest in the long run?)

( ) 4.1 What do I want to do? (make a list of jobs you would accept. Which of these would you prefer?)
( ) 4.2 What are my qualifications for these jobs? (Summarize your education, patents, publications, available reference sources, experience etc.)
( ) 4.3 What do I expect to provide the job—and what do I expect the job to provide me? (List your skills, aptitudes, tools, transportation, etc., and pay requirements, job benefits, etc.)
( ) 4.4 When can I report for work? (Outline your schedule of employment needs with specific dates when you are available.)
( ) 4.5 Do I enjoy working? (Rate your own performance by your own standards. Are you satisfying your standards? Have you told this to your boss or customer, etc.?)

( ) 4.6 How can I improve my effectiveness on my next job or assignment?
( ) 4.7 How does society in general (the community) view ray job? (Are there people outside of he company or sphere of interest who would recommend you for your next job?)

( ) 5.0 MY PUBLIC
( ) 5.1 Who will my vocation serve?
( ) 5.2 What methods of communication can I use to reach them?
( ) 5.3 What help do I need to reach them (assistants, money, equipment)?
( ) 5.4 How fast and vast will my public grow? (Provide data.)
( ) 5.5 Do I enjoy communicating with and serving this public?
( ) 5.6 How can I tell I have successfully reached them?
( ) 5.7 What do I believe is ethical promotion?

( ) 6.1 What are the real needs of my public?
( ) 6.2 What criteria can be applied or research performed to find out?
( ) 6.3 How much investment is required to find out?
( ) 6.4 When should the needs of my public be reviewed?
( ) 6.5 How can I reach their real needs rather than just what they say they want?
( ) 6.6 How will I know I have succeeded in reaching the real needs?
( ) 6.7 Do I believe satisfaction of these needs serves God"

( ) 7.0 VALUES
( ) 7.1 what is my overall outlook on what is most important (e.g. more important than my vocation)?
( ) 7.2 List some value priorities (including negatives) from one to 20.
( ) 7.3 In this list, which priorities have I actually adopted?
( ) 7.4 Which am I working on adopting?
( ) 7.5 How do my values affect my usefulness to society?
( ) 7.6 Are my values determined by me, society, revelation, othe?
( ) 7.7 Am I letting the Lord build my house?




Subject: Activity Planning/Church Organization

Date: December 10, 1984

To: Rev. Lorentz R. Soneson

Copy: Duplicate

Re: Our mtg. and my memo to you 11-26-84

As you suggested, Larry, I studied the confidential materials you provided and applied my concepts of activity planning to church organization, and specifically to the General Church of the New Jerusalem.

Definition: Church.

The New Jerusalem can be identified as "the New Church" in box 1. The church descends from the Lord through heaven into the man of the church, and through him into his marriage, family, and community (as shown in box 2). Let us first look at the church in least form in the individual person. Later I will relate it to the organized church.


Church purpose

The divine end of creation is a heaven from the human race. The purpose of the man of the church should be to implement the divine purpose. In general there are three heavens: natural, spiritual, and celestial. The church can therefore help the divine providence in the following three primary activities:

    Lead the purely natural man to become a natural man open to the spiritual.

    Lead the natural man open to the spiritual to become a spiritual man open to the celestial.

    Lead the spiritual man open to the celestial to become a celestial man open to the Lord.


Activity planning

The activity circle discussed in the referenced meeting and memo is outlined again in box 3. It is used as a model for checking that all essential phases of an acitivity of any kind are addressed, so that the activity can be completed and then continue in a new cycle.

    The phases are represented by key words and are:
    1. Good (specific goals)
    2. Truth (awareness of goal implications)
    3. Proprium (acquisition of means)
    4. Use (scheduling and performance of service objectives)
    5. Faith (mutual communication with those served; trust)
    6. Charity (action toward the real needs of those served)
    7. Love (perception of the activity from the infinite and eternal)


Activity planning can be applied by the man of the church to each of the primary activities, for example:

Opening the Natural:

1. Help others to plan a useful, satisfying life.
2. Provide opportunities for appropriate education.
3. Assist in finding the minimum wealth and training necessary to make a start possible.
4. Provide opportunities for job placement and growth.
5. Assist in communications skills development and practice.
6. Encourage individual self-evaluation and improvement of usefulness.

7. Discuss, and encourage meditation on, the long range value of each individual to the community.


     Opening the Spiritual;

    1. Encourage acknowledgement of and commitment to the Lord's kingdom and its growth.
    2. Teach divine doctrine and promote doctrinal study.
    3. Provide and encourage freedom and choice, and therefore preserve and spread the Word.
    4. Advocate good works and devotion to the Lord.

    5. Encourage frank expression of faith in the face of disagreement, and develop trust from love of the truth.
    6. Provide occasions for fellowship to share insight into the workings of providence.
    7. Share appreciation of the Lard's divine grace (worship).

Opening the Celestial:

    (The most effective help one can give here is by becoming an example.)

    1. Acknowledge the Lord as God and make commitment to Him.
    2. Learn and perceive divine doctrine of rational truth.
    3. Exercise as-of-self freedom.
    4. Do good works with justice and judgment.
    5. Trust providence and pray.
    6. Do mercy (truth) from love (good).
    7. Follow and submit to the Lord completely.

     General Assembly (now we go to the organized church):

The individual can apply such secondary activities within the immediate spheres of his own life, his marriage, and to some extent within his immediate family. In his work and in the community he is less effective because of dilution. However, when individuals and families band together, they can help implement the Lord's providence more broadly. This is sometimes done through "charities", government, specialized businesses and institutions, clubs, and "old churches", any of which can be functions of the church universal.

Those people who believe the heavenly doctrines and identify themselves with the New Church know the Lord's aims and can take certain responsibility in seeing that all aspects are addressed. When they come together at a General Assembly, they can provide the PRINCIPAL CAUSE for the General Church (see "Church Procedure", box 4, and compare with "Corporate Procedure" in reference memo).



General Assembly (Principal cause, or end)
1. Formulate the purposes of the Church organization.
2. Determine Church organization's primary structure.
3. Provide initiatives (recommendations, money, recognitions, etc.)
4. Appoint the bishops.
5. Maintain a dialog with the episcopal government on the goals of the Church.

6. Improve the objectives of the Church organization,
7. Lead the Church to conform with the Divine Purpose.

Council of Bishops (Instrumental cause, or means)
1. Make Church policy according to Church purposes.

2. Determine Church procedures.
3. Manage priorities, appropriations, and membership.
4. Appoint counselors.
5. Convey policies and solicit suggestions.
6. Examine policy versus purpose and viability, and improve it.
7. Lead the Church toward compassionate attitudes.

Church Council (Ultimate, or effect)
1. Administer the purpose according to policy.
2. Make specifications and operating procedures and keep records.
3. Manage properties.
4. Nominate operating staffs.
5. Coordinate all operations.
6. Research and improve operations.
7. Lead the Church to the exercise of justice.


Council of Bishops;
Government of the church is with the Episcopal council. It has seven functions (see box 4) and, per activity planning, potentially seven seats. As instrumental cause of the Church this council determines how the purpose will be carried out. (I would like to see a minimum of three bishops. The Executive Bishop would be elected by the council.)

Church Council;
The Council of Bishops appoints seven counselors to carry out the policies determined by the bishops (see again box 4, and Organization Chart, box 5). Each Counselor has a committee appointed by himself which administers the assigned functions. The committees coordinate or regulate any of the following types of body:

    Task force
    Society, Circle, Group, Isolated
    Affiliated organization

Each committee has at least one member from each nationalbranch of the General Church, so that all branches will befully represented in each administrative function.


Additional Comments:

Each member of a council or committee has two functions. The external function is for the committee. The internal function is to the committee. For example, the external function of the Pastoral Counselor is coordinating societies and ministers, and the internal function is coordinating schedules in the Church Council. This can be applied to all positions, see box 6.

In all cases more than one function can be performed by one person. However, I do not consider it ideal. Also, two people should not be assigned to one function.  

Organizations tend to get fat, and in the church this is called "Babylon". Only those activities should be included in Church purpose that are not being filled elsewhere. Also, divestiture is healthy. The Church will truly grow if it has offspring. When a use has matured, it should become independent.

In the Activity Planning concept vertical organization (heirarchy) is based on the number "3" because of end, cause, and effect, just like heaven. Horizontal organization is based on the number "7". just like jubilee.


Although the societies of the General Church are under the GC, they can yet have a similar structure, with the pastor acting as a Bishop's representative, and the society membership acting in the place of the General Assembly,

This proposal implies more than just a streamlined organization chart. A new chart would be no more than a new winebag. This proposal calls for a new way of thinking. "Performance of use" is the muscle of the New Church — and heaven. Let us think in terms of activity planning, and use our muscles! Obviously the organization of a church which includes so many people, and many of the people for so long a time, cannot change completely overnight. I propose that a five, no a seven year plan be created to phase over gradually and gracefully into a new era for the General Church of the New Jerusalem.



Subject: Activity Planning/Church Organization
Date: 12-17-54
To: Rev. Lorentz R. SonesOn
From: Oliver R. Odhner
Re: Our meeting and my memo of 12-10-84

This memo is to confirm some of the points touched on in our discussion and fill in some areas which need a little more thought.

A review of the objectives of activity planning in church organization may be useful.

    1. Churches are commonly steeped in tradition, much of which tends toward the traditions of men. The process of activity planning keeps the attention
    of the whole organization constantly on its stated purpose, which should be effectively the Lord!s will.

    2. The activity planning program requires each person in the organization to exercise managerial skills, assuring that all jobs will be conducted with forethought, without omission of essential matters.

    3. Training in activity planning skills will assure a balance between various arms of the organization and thus discourage domination by one or two departments.

    4. In order to have excellent performance from staff personnel, work schedules must be realistic. When too much is expected of someone, either he fails to do it all, or he does it all poorly. I suggest the Executive Bishop: l) Go through his proposed position description and, for each task, write down the number of hours per month he needs to perform that task with excellence. 2) From that let him calculate the number of hours of work each day required of him. I expect he will see the need to divest some assignments. 3) Look at the purposes of the Church in his charge, and apply activity planning concepts in order to clarify where his time can be most usefully directed.

    5. Activity planning carries people toward doing their thing - not for their own satisfaction, but for that of others, and takes it from an introverted to an extroverted activity. This has implications in evangelization .

    6. Tradition is broken by activity planning. It requires that a more useful objective be found for the next effort. The purpose of the church cannot stagnate.

    7. Finally, it obviously directs the minds of the individual, and therefore the organization, to the greater good — that of the community, heaven, and the Lord.


The constitution of the Council of Bishops was presented by me somewhat vaguely. It is important to insist that no one in any council or committee is over the others. Each has his unique function, and in the exercise of that function he has priority. But all functions are to coordinate rather than rule. Whoever the Council chooses as chairman, for example, will preside, but his only clout will be in conducting the meetings, etc.

The General Assembly is organized by the Bishops and Church Councils for determining and updating Church purpose, and electing bishops to the Episcopal Council or affirming their status by a vote of confidence. There should be enough ordained bishops available in the priesthood that the Assembly will have a choice. This means there would be some bishops not elected to the council. There should be enough bishops in their council that there is an effective division of labor.

I have not addressed the organization of the priesthood per se,but only the Church Organization. I view the priesthood much the same as other professional associations. It qualifies its own members and provides for its members a mutual professional technical support. It provides for the church a pool of professionals to draw from in structuring the organization. The Council of the Clergy is the association the General Church draws on.

A timetable for phasing out the present structure and introducing a new requires more knowledge of the present organization of the GC than I have. Nevertheless, I will attempt to outline graphically the steps that might be considered in the transition.



The 1984 organization chart as I understand it is where the General Church is now. Starred boxes are jobs held by Bishop King. There are nine of them - eight too many.


1985: Start to select three candidates for the third degree of the priesthood. Assign the Consistory more responsibility in governing the Church. Hake six dishop's representatives in the Consistory to handle the six activity functions not exercised by the Executive Bishop.



1936: Appoint a Pastoral Counselor with full responsibility under the executive 3ishop to manage the pastoral affairs of the Church ana to propose changes in assignments. The Pastoral Counselor shall appoint a pastoral committee to implement his duties. Ordain three bishops.


1987s Hold a General Assembly. Appoint the three new bishops to key positions in the Consistory. Form within the Consistory (l) a Council of Bishops and (2) a Church Council. Start to select two more candidates for the third degree. Call on the General Assembly to contribute to a 1991 Assembly Task Force under the Executive Bishop to consider the Purposes of the General Church.



1988: Start to institute operating committees under the direction of the Church Council to oversee the seven functions of Church uses. These committees should include the leaders in the various uses so that an integration rather than isolation of active participants will occur. Appoint the Pastoral Counselor to the Church Council.

1989s Continue instituting operating committees. Institute activity planning seminars for the committees and councils. Retire the Council of the Clergy from administrative duties to being only a professional association.

1990: Ordain two new bishops. Institute activity planning seminars on sub-committee, ANC, Corporation, and Society levels. Assure church-wida representation on all committees.


1991: Hold a General Assembly. Ask it to accept the resignation of the Executive Bishop, and elect four bishops to the Council of Bishops. (The theme of the '91 Assembly might be "The Divine of Use".} The Council of Bishops should divide among themselves episcopal responsabilities. The Assembly should discuss and form a consensus on the purpose of the General Church. Open the task force on Purpose of the General Church to all members, and ask it to report at the 1995 Assembly. Another candidate for the third degree should be sought.