Ohio Illuman Convener Monthly Update - June 2018

Ohio Chapter of Illuman


I want to share with you some details about the recent Ohio Illuman event in Cleveland, Getting to Know Your Muslim Brother.

Isam Zaiem, of the Cleveland Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), presented our group with a basic history and understanding of Islam, along with some common misperceptions, and also his own personal concerns for his family’s safety. Afterwards, several of our brothers greeted Isam and also voiced their concerns about safety and interfaith dialogue. As the Pope Francis said at the end of the newly released documentary A Man of His Word, "We are all children of Abraham."

I was particularly moved when Isam told us about his worries for his daughter’s safety as she makes her way home from work each day. She calls him just as she is leaving so that he knows when to expect her home. Do we Christians have this same fear for our children? Ironically he mentioned the new Roseanne sitcom episode dealing with her new Muslim neighbors which highlighted their common concerns and fears. He also mentioned the documentary Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, which examines the numerous negative images and stereotypes of Arabs in film.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, Illuman has been struggling with our own internal lack of diversity. It is our responsibility to reach out to our brothers of color to learn how we may be unwittingly encouraging this homogeneity. My hope is that this event is the first of many more to come. I would encourage you personally to put yourselves into unfamiliar settings where you are more likely to encounter diversity. We cannot expect the other to come to us; we must go where he is.

On the drive to the recent Illuman leadership retreat, one man spoke of how he and his wife visit a different predominately African-American church each Sunday to immerse themselves in diversity. Isam extended an invitation for us to visit the local mosque in Cleveland, and to learn more about our Muslim brothers and sisters. Please let me know if this of interest to you.


Keep up the good work of spreading the word about the Crossings Ohio, a young men’s rites of passage for those aged 18-30. We are looking for initiates as well as elders for the event July 26-29.

Tom Sparough is leading In Search of Father Nature - A Morning Wandering on Saturday, June 16 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm at the Flat Fork Ridge Parking Area of Caesar Creek State Park. A $10 fee includes lunch. Take some time to renew your spirit by joining the Southwest Ohio wandering. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Caesar Creek State Park.

Ghost Ranch MROP Participants

Finally, I’d like to welcome our newly initiated brothers who recently returned from the Men’s Rites of Passage at Ghost Ranch New Mexico to the Illuman Community of Men. 🔥 Ho!

Thank you for your interest and participation.
Please stay in touch!

Chuck RihmConvener
Ohio Chapter of Illuman

"Without us God will not. But without God, we can not."
~ Fr. Richard Rohr