Paul Nelson Steps Down as SICA-USA Chair

by | Sep 4, 2022 | 11 comments

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.


  1. Paul,
    Thanks for all your hard work in helping SICA to grow in this country! Well done!

  2. Paul,

    I’ve been so impressed with the quality and consistency of your work over the past 4 years and I looked forward to waking up every Saturday morning to a SICA blogpost. Thank you – you will be missed!

  3. I’ve always appreciated your openness and willingness to engage with the public. Thank you Paul. And good luck to you and to SICA.

  4. Thanks, Paul for your attentiveness & joy in carrying out your SICA USA duties, Well done.

  5. Paul, your dedication to the steady heartbeat and onward march of the organization was felt and truly appreciated. It’s hard work and you were diligent. It’s my sense that SICA is in a place of exploration that will lead in time to an unfolding of its true essence and deep relevance in the world.

  6. I understand your reason for stepping down, but feel that it is a huge loss for SICA and for Subud USA. THANK YOU for all the energy, commitment, creativity, and constancy you brought to develop and stabilize SICA. I pray that this continues under a new chairperson.

  7. Thank you Paul. Your hard work and persistence has had a good effect much beyond SICA. D

  8. Paul, I have to say that with your leadership I’ve had a great deal more interest in SICA and have thoroughly enjoyed all the wonderful weekly articles. Your last paragraph sums up the most important aspect of this vital Subud Wing which is True Culture. May your suggested steps forward come to fruition. Your vision is truly appreciated.

  9. I am grateful for these kind comments. I will always remember these past four years serving Subud’s cultural side, which is (of course) neglected. This neglect of Subud’s cultural wing is indicative of the larger problems that beset Subud, the lack of new members and the lack of diversity among them, but I will continue to do Latihan and help Subud in ways that I can. We are lucky in Seattle to have a vibrant group, a beautiful house to worship in and many longtime members with one or two new members sprinkled in. I will continue to aid Rosana Schutte as she takes over as Chair. – Paul

  10. I would like to thank Paul Nelson for the incredible work he has done for SICA. It is heartwarming to know that Rosana Schutte will help carry on the joy that SICA brings to us all.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subud Symbol

SICA-USA, the Subud International Cultural Association is the Cultural wing of SUBUD USA.

Sign up for the SICA-USA Mailing List


Join the SICA-USA Group on Facebook