On August 14, 2022 I told the board of SICA-USA that I was stepping down as Chair and recommending Rosana Schutte to take over. From the minutes of the organization’s August 14, 2022 board meeting:
Paul explained that after 4+ years as Secretary and then Chair of SICA-USA, it was time for him to focus on his non-profit organization. He would not be able to divide his time between the two organizations. Paul spoke of it having been an honor to serve the cultural wing of his beloved spiritual community, Subud. He felt proud of the accomplishments that were achieved, despite the pandemic, including creating a new website, having regular blog posts almost every week for 4 years, facilitating a board retreat and establishing professional accounting standards and practices and acquiring Contributor Relations Management software. He also helped initiate the most successful fund drive in SICA history and set the organization up for lasting success. He was grateful for this experience. He assured us that he would do everything in my power to ease the transition to the next Chair and would ensure that the organization continues to be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization. His resignation would be effective once the new Chair and board are in place and that his board membership would not required to continue as a legal corporation.
It is clear that the organization is stable and will continue on in a good way. Rosana Schutte has been interested in SICA-USA for decades and she has stated that the organization’s agenda, which she will reveal as best suits the ongoing success of SICA-USA, will be implemented, including the launch of the Cultural Conversation, which was proposed in December of 2020.
While the successes aside from the blogging and communications are rather mundane, they are important and my 28+ years as Founding Director of the organization now known as the Cascadia Poetics Lab have been very helpful for SICA-USA though the board did not always recognize that, one of my frustrations. My inability to create a geographically-diverse stable of cultural reporters to help the blog’s content is one of my biggest disappointments. I believe soon you’re likely to see less blogging, but that is not indicative of SICA-USA’s work. It just shows that writing is my strong suit. I hope to pass the blogging reins on to someone in the near future and want to take this opportunity to thank Lauren Stomel for creating many posts and helping with website maintenance.
For an organization like Subud, whose founder is on the record numerous times that culture is the way people were most likely to find out about the Latihan, we have a very long way to go. We must create a cultural wing that’s properly funded, has a humble and effective board united behind a vision of how to support true culture and is effective in the world. A paid Executive Director, an endowment and a robust and well-attended annual cultural congress are what I envision SICA-USA will have someday, but it will take great work and deep humility. In Subud we would call that being surrendered. May it be so.