Proposal to Regenerate Community Post-Covid at SGS

It has been over a year since the shelter-in-place guidelines designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 the novel coronavirus began to impact our ability to practice Latihan Kejiwaan. While in-person Latihans have resumed, attendance is very small. Concern of many members about their exposure to the virus, along with compliance with the state’s health guidelines has prevented larger Latihan experiences. With the availability of vaccinations, this situation has potential for change and will resume to the “new abnormal” – the life after Covid-19 before too long. The Subud House will have a different feel for those who have not attended Latihan since March 2020. Women must enter the chapel via the handicap ramp and men, the men’s Latihan hall via the basement. Fellowship in the kitchen and living room after Latihan is not possible anymore given the needs of the centerprise and the restrictions forced by Airbnb for lodging. This leaves us in a new situation. According to Subud Greater Seattle Treasurer Oswald Norton, member donations covered 29% of SGS expenses in 2019 and 43% in 2020. In that March 20, 2021 email Oswald wrote: “…Even before the major costs of recent repairs, it was the enterprise that allowed us to continue to have the use of the building as it took on more and more of the ongoing expenses for repairs. It took a major fund raising effort over many months to cover the gap that money from the enterprise didn’t cover…” Without a gigantic and unforseen contribution to Subud Greater Seattle, the revenues generated by the Centerprise will be necessary to maintain the Subud House for this and future generations. How to proceed? The kitchen next to the Men’s Latihan Hall requires an update, but is suitable for cooking, providing tea and coffee and supporting post-Latihan gatherings. For too long that kitchen has been neglected and now we have a good reason to update it and stock it with cups, plates, silverware, tea, snacks and all the amenities that aid genuine fellowship. What kind of fellowship? I propose that we have a post-Latihan event every Sunday after Latihan. Each week could have a theme: First Sunday – Culture Day: A performance, talk or workshop designed to give people the experience of culture that is informed by the Jiwa. This is how Subud was descibed as spreading to the general public and we should pay our artists (a mdoest stipend, $50), promote the event to Subud and non-Subud people alike and use it as outreach and fellowship at the same time. We are running out of time to do outreach and people will be looking for new, more meaningful experiences after the stress of the year-plus lockdown and we can hit the ground running. Second Sunday – Testing Day. General testing for membership to experience important aspects of how the Latihan impacts their lives along with testing for members who have personal issues for which they desire clarification, or guidance. Third Sunday – Helpers Latihan and Meeting. Helpers gather to meet and discuss issues affecting the membership and harmony of the group. Fourth Saturday – Dewan Meeting. Fourth Sunday – Fellowship Potluck. No agenda, but hanging out, eating each other’s cooking and enjoying the company of other Subud members. Fifth Sunday – Open House/Work Day. Let the community come to learn about our organization and experience the company of Subud members. At least one helper from the men and women should be present. In addition to greeting potential members, we can work on gardening and other issues affecting the upkeep of our house. I would recommend that we put stairs from the back deck to the back yard area and clean up/renovate that area for fellowship, plus install a security gate at the south entry to the area behind the house. May 30, August 29, October 31, January 30, 2022, May 29, 2022, July 31, 2022, and October 30, 2022 are all upcoming 5th Sundays. Submitted this 3rd Sunday of March, 2021 by Paul E Nelson