Since 2016, Illuman has opened its gatherings with a powerful statement of welcome to all men. First introduced at Soularize by Illuman’s then Board President, Terry Symens-Bucher, it originated among Terry’s own Canticle Farm Intentional Community and Urban Farm in Oakland, California, which had adapted it from the Diversity Welcome by Training for Change. It was so well received by the men present that the Board eventually adopted it as the official Illuman Welcome. The Illuman Wisdom Elders later made some additions to include other items of specific importance to Illuman men.
The Illuman Welcome is a way to open each of our gatherings with a statement of our values as an organization and to provide a sense of welcome to any who might feel marginalized, especially to those who have historically faced exclusion and oppression. The statement makes it clear that men of all races, sexualities and gender identities, physical abilities, and spiritual practices are welcome in Illuman. Going even further, it welcomes the more-than-human natural world, our ancestors and families, and everything that is within us as well—all our emotions, our struggles, and joys.
No matter who you are or what you bring with you, you are welcome in Illuman. If you find it helpful, we invite you to use and adapt this welcome as a reflection and liturgy in your own life and your own communities as well.
The Illuman Welcome
As a fellowship for men’s spirituality, we welcome men from all parts of the world: of African descent, of Asian descent, of European descent, of Latin American descent, of First Nations descent in this land and abroad, native born, and people of mixed and multiple descents and all languages. We say “welcome.”
We welcome men on all parts of the continuum of gender identity and expression, without prejudice about sexual orientation, living status, whether sexually active or celibate, and everyone for whom labels don’t apply. We say, “welcome.”
We welcome people with all physical abilities and challenges. Those living with any chronic medical condition, visible or invisible. We say “welcome.”
We welcome people who identify as activists and those who don’t. Mystics, believers, seekers of all kinds. People of all ages. And all who make it possible for us to participate in this work. We say “welcome.”
We welcome all emotions: joy, fear, grief, contentment, disappointment, surprise, and all else that flows through us. We say “welcome.”
We welcome our families, biological and otherwise. Those dear to us who have died; our ancestors and the future ones. The ancestors who lived in this land, in this place, where these buildings are now…we honor them through this work that we are undertaking. We say “welcome.”
We welcome brothers who feel broken, lost, struggling; who suffer from self-doubt and self-judgment. We say “welcome.”
We welcome the plants, who sustain us and give us our very life. May they be safe, may they be protected, may they be honored. We say “welcome.”
The world of earth, of rocks, stones, and sand, the foundation upon which we stand, may all these be safe, be protected, be honored. We say “welcome.”
The world of water, that courses through the veins of every living thing, and sustains the earth upon which we depend for our very survival. May it be safe, protected, and honored. We say “welcome.”
We welcome all beings that inhabit this earth, human or otherwise: the two-legged, the four-legged, winged and finned, those that walk, fly, and crawl, above the ground and below, in air and water. We say “welcome.”