Author Archives: Oswald Norton

Regional Congress Updates

SPNW is soliciting proposals for the regional congress May 15th in Portland.

It would be ideal for those proposals to be in the hands of the congress chair, Oswald Norton, by April 15, only 3 days away.

Member Proposal Format

  1. Summary: What is the proposal about? What will be done, by whom, how, over what period of time? What is the problem/need? Who will the outcomes benefit?
  2. Statement of Need: What is the issue that you are addressing and why does it matter? Why is what you propose necessary? What is the void in Knowledge? Who benefits?
  3. Project Activity, Methodology and Outcomes: Why did you choose to address the issue in the manner that you have? Are there other approaches? If so, why aren’t they appropriate to the situation? What are the specific activities involved? Who will do them?
  4. Evaluation: Essential piece that should be both quantitative and qualitative, if feasible. Outline clearly the methodology that you will use to assess the project’s success.
  5. Dissemination: Dissemination should be linked to your project goals and objectives. If you are trying to affect policy, your dissemination plan should target policy-makers, media, and affected populations. Describe your communication strategy.
  6. Budget and Continuation Funding: Show your budget in table form and use a budget narrative to explain each item.

Please also consider testing how you might serve our region.

The outgoing chair has offered to mentor the incoming chair, and the board members of each center will not change.

Test questions on serving the region will be provided by the Regional Helpers to center helpers on May 1st.  Local helpers will then offer to test these questions with members after latihans leading up to the Regional Congress. All members are encouraged to participate in this testing.

Shall the Congress Include a virtual Component? – Please Respond By Friday
All current members of Subud PNW should have received an email asking them to consider a change to our current bylaws to allow for a virtual – as well as personal – attendance. Please see the article on the Subud PNW website for more details. Please Respond By Friday!

Regional Congress – Sunday, May 15th, 2022 – In Portland

Subud Portland will host the PNW Regional Congress on Sunday, May 15th, 2022.

It will be a hybrid meeting, partially in person, and partially on Zoom. Latihan will proceed normally at 10:15 AM, followed by testing by the Regional Helpers.

Subud Portland will provide a light lunch. In order to plan for this, those wishing to have lunch are requested to RSVP by May 1. Please contact Morris McClellan to sign up for this lunch.

The Regional Congress will start at 1 PM. Main Agenda Items:

  • Reports
    • State of Our Centers – Committee & Helpers
    • State of The Region – Committee & Helpers
    • Financial Report
  • Testing for the new committee

The major agenda item is to select a new chairperson and treasurer. Hadidjah and Sherwin O’Bar have been serving in those two positions for a very long time and are ready to move on.

We will cease to function as a region without members willing to serve in this regional capacity. Please consider for yourself if regional service might be right for you at this time.

Training available for our new Treasurer

On Saturday, December 18th, at 10 am your committee will be having its last meeting as a committee before our January 9th General meeting and selection of new officers at Spring Street Center. In this meeting I will present my final annual summary financial report for 2021.

In the days before this committee meeting, I will be working on pulling together data for and then creating the report for the Committee meeting, along with my monthly SGS Treasurer Financial Report.

It occurs to me that those of you considering becoming our next treasurer might be interested in following along in this process.  For those interested, I will create a summary process that we can review in a short zoom session. If you’re interested in participating, please contact me.

Here are some of the immediate needs new treasurer will need to address other than the financial report:

  1. Depositing checks.
  2. Paying 1-2 monthly invoices for services.
  3. Tracking and reporting monthly on the group’s donations, income and expenses.

I have prepared documentation for these and other areas which it would be helpful to go through with the new treasurer before I leave town on January 10th, the day after our general meeting.

Fund Raising Update – Now Your Dollars Can Go Even Further

I have exciting news for those of you who can give a little more.  A recent resolution by the SPNW board – sponsored by members of our group – allows every dollar we raise toward a loan to be considered a grant that the group will not have to repay. The $7000 loan we have from the housing fund will turn into a grant once an additional $1,511 has been raised. Please consider donating these funds at your earliest possible opportunity.

I am happy to report that we have just received a generous donation from Subud California at Arcata of $500. This is a significant step toward reaching the member 47% share of costs to repair our building.  Remember the Centerprise will provide 53% of these costs ($12,253) which are now at $23,119.

Outside of the loan from SPNW we still need to raise an additional $3,866.  Any funds you can provide for this effort will assist us in meeting these costs.  We have currently raised $5,489.

Note: Should you be able to pledge to contribute these funds, please let me know and I will add your name to those who have pledged.  Currently we have remaining pledges of $300.

No Latihan on Eastside for the next 3 weeks

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Those of us that usually open your eastside latihan facilities will all be at the World Subud Congress during the latihan dates of July 27th, August 3rd and 10th.  We know of no other person willing to take the key and open/close the facilities for those 3 dates.

As a result there will be no facilities available for latihan on the eastside until August 17th.

Latihans will continue in Seattle on their normal schedule.

Thanks, Oswald Norton
Subud Eastside Helper


Would you like to know about Husein Rofé, one of the first pioneers of Subud?

When my wife and I lived in San Francisco, Husein Rofé would come to visit the group and we’d go out and have dinner together.  He was such a gentle and interesting man and we made a connection. Because of that, every time he was coming into town we’d get together and he’d share stories of his life.

Sharif and Astuti Horthy have just published his autobiography, “Veil of Light”, through their Purple Pagoda Press.  They describe the book this way.

“In 1951 he arrives in Central Java, in newly independent Indonesia. Here he discovers an unknown spiritual practice called Subud, a transformative experience that is passed from person to person without any teaching involved. He becomes convinced of its universal significance and feels called to make it better known. Through a series of adventures and uncanny coincidences, he succeeds in bringing it to the attention of seekers in the West.”

To learn more about Husein and the story of the early days of Subud, please visit their site  where you can purchase a copy.

Also available there is the memoir of Sharif’s mother, Countess Ilona Edelsheim Gyulai, titled “Honour and Duty”.

Will you Help Subud PNW Grow?

Dear Subud PNW Members,

This coming Friday we will be selecting our new committee and regional helper teams.  I thought it would be good to reflect on where we are right now and where we might be able to go.

 We are financially sound

We have put aside money in our housing fund and in our reserve account so that we currently have the ability to take care of our financial needs.

 We have held a regular annual kedjiwan event for over 25 years

For over 25 years the Pacific Northwest Region has hosted a kedjiwan gathering at the Menucha Conference Center east of Portland. Organized by the regional helpers, this event has served thousands of Subud members in and outside of our region.

We have three centers we own

Our Portland, Bellingham/Skagit Valley and Seattle centers have buildings we use as places for the latihan, enterprise and hosting events throughout the year.  These centers, assets created through the hard work and dedication of the members of these areas, are important in showing new members that we are able to work together to achieve something.

We have four other groups who meet for regular latihans

In Boise, ID, Spokane, WA, Flathead Valley, MT and Eugene, OR we have members who meet on a regular basis to continue their practice of the latihan.

We have regular monthly latihans two times a month

Due to the efforts of your regional helpers and a member who has regularly emailed the announcements and taken care of our phone-in system, we are able to offer regularly scheduled regional latihans for isolated members who are not near a group.

We have a regional website where we tell our stories and make announcements

During this term your committee, with the help of Paul Nelson, we created our new regional website.  We have used the site to publish regional board minutes, tell each other stories and announce upcoming events.  The power of this website is that, with MailChimp technology a regional newsletter is created and sent to every member of Subud PNW with the news of the week.

We have men and women interested in joining Subud

Recently, in Seattle and Portland, we have begun to have a new group of mostly young men and women coming to find out about Subud and getting opened.

How much time does it take?

I did a brief survey of your regional committee and helpers on the time they spent doing this work for you.  Those details are below.  Please review and consider: Are you willing to add your time and efforts to help Subud grow?

Are you willing to help Subud grow?

Both at our annual Kedjiwan event at the Menucha Retreat Center and in local meetings, I’ve heard the phrase: “We’re shrinking.  What can we do about it?”  If you will be willing to be a part of the many hands it takes to keep Subud growing by volunteering regionally or locally, we’ll find out together.

With Love and anticipation of a great Regional Congress,
Oswald Norton
Regional Helper

Time spent in Committee Work

Role Event Time Spent Working w/others
Chair Monthly Board Meeting Planning 30 min
Chair Monthly Board Meetings 60 min
Chair Helping in Menucha Planning 1-2 hours/year
Chair Helping Plan Arts Camp 2 weeks
Chair Coordinating with others on regional business 2-3 hours/month
Vice Chair Monthly Board Meeting Planning 30 min
Vice Chair Monthly Board Meetings 60 min
Treasurer Monthly Board Meeting Planning 30 min
Treasurer Monthly Board Meetings 60 min
Treasurer Quarterly Financial Reports 1-2 hours
Treasurer Paying Regional Expenses 2-3 hours/month
Secretary Monthly Board Meeting Planning 30 min
Secretary Monthly Board Meetings 60 min
Secretary Monthly Board Minutes 1-2 hours/month
Website Edits Adds content to SPNW website as needed 1-2 hours/month

Time Spent In Regional Helper Work

Role Event Time Spent Working w/others
Woman RH Monthly RH Meeting 30-45 min
Man RH Monthly RH Meeting 30-45 min
Woman RH Bi-Monthly Regional Latihan 30-45 min
Man RH Bi-Monthly Regional Latihan 30-45 min
Woman RH Monthly Regional Board Meeting 30-45 min
Man RH Monthly Regional Board Meeting 30-45 min
Men & Women RH Annual Planning Retreat 1-2 days
Men & Women RH Menucha Planning Retreat 1-2 days
Men & Women RH Menucha Event Leadership 4 days
Men & Women RH Visiting Centers and Isolated Members 1-2 days every other month. Shared amongst the team.
Woman RH Latihan Support Art’s Camp 2-3 days
Man RH Latihan Support Art’s Camp 2-3 days

Reflections and a request from your regional helpers

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Pacific Northwest Region,

We are now 2 weeks away from our regional congress and we have a request of those of you who pray.  Would you please pray that strong candidates step forward to test for positions on our regional committee and for the positions of men and women regional helpers in for the next term?

Committee Candidates

To those of you who are considering answering that inner voice in you that is asking, “Can I do the work of the committee in our region?” I can assure you that should you become our new chair, or vice chair, you will be provided training and assistance in understanding the role and responsibilities.  You will assist in the further development of a strong region, with a solid set of bylaws, regular meetings and financial health.  You will have the opportunity to help our region to grow further through your efforts.

If possible, please grab a local helper and pretest regarding putting your name forward.  If this is not possible, testing can occur at the congress.

Regional Helper Candidates

To those of you who are considering answering that inner voice in you that is asking, “Can I do the work of a regional helper in our region?” I can assure you that should you become a regional helper, both Elizabeth Flanders and I are committed to assisting you in understanding the role and responsibilities of this job.

The role being primarily to serve the regional members in a way that you will discover during your term.

The responsibility is to just be sincere in doing the work and willing to grow as the work helps you to grow.

Also, know that if you travel out to visit our members, there is a budget for regional helper travel so that this work can be facilitated.

If possible, please grab a local helper and pretest regarding putting your name forward.  If this is not possible, testing can occur at the congress,

Free Child Care Program at SUSA National and SPNW Congresses

Were you hoping to be able to participate in some national latihans at the SUSA National Congress May 24-28, at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington, but don’t have child care?

Put your worries aside and come. Free child care and programs now available.

The congress team is providing a paid staff person for Friday Saturday & Sunday (5/25-5/27) with additional activity support from other members.  So parents will be able to get to at least 1 latihan a day while attending the congress.

This will also provide support for those attending the Subud PNW and Subud California congresses.

Kids under age 12 years eat at a reduced rate. Kids sleep FREE under age 18 years.

For more information on the child care, and how to signup, click this link.

For more information on the latihans scheduled, click this link.

Why you might consider becoming a regional helper

Dear Brothers and sisters,

We have two openings for men and two for women regional helpers for the coming term.

In order to provide some insight into what this experience has been like for two of the regional helper team, here’s a short description from Elizabeth Flanders and Oswald Norton

Two Regional Helpers Speak About Their Experiences

Elizabeth Flanders

I highly recommend serving as a regional helper. This work has been one of my life’s peak experiences. The harmony within our Dewan gave me a glimpse of Bapak’s vision for Subud and I’ve come to love members I did not know previously. When I reflect upon who I was four years ago and who I am now, I am deeply grateful. If you don’t mind traveling 6 – 8 times per year, don’t miss this opportunity!

Oswald Norton

Becoming a regional helper helped me to grow in the latihan and in my love for the members of our Pacific Northwest Subud Community. I was welcomed into this team in the spring of 2016. I was impressed by everyone’s dedication to meeting regularly to share the load and how we enjoyed each other’s company.

After having served as vice chair of the region, I found a whole new type of engagement and trust needed to do this new work.  As I visited regional centers in Boise, Skagit Valley, Portland and Seattle, I noticed a new way of being and thinking becoming a part of who I was becoming. Working with this team and doing this work has provided a deepening of the latihan that I am so grateful for.

Want To Know More?

For more information on the role and it’s responsibilities please contact any of the regional helpers for conversation or testing on doing the roll.

The term starts after the national congress on May 24-28, 2018 Hilton Inn Vancouver Washington.