Frequently Asked Questions

Getting to know anyone or any organization is going to inspire some questions, and we love to share our answers as best we can! 
What is Illume?
Illume is a pioneering spiritual community that combines digital and physical spaces to explore faith through connection, discovery, and service. We aim to foster deep, meaningful connections within our community through innovative Spotlight Series, community groups, and a multifaceted approach to spirituality.

But is it a church? Yes. Illume is a 501C3 religious nonprofit and can rightly be considered a church. 
What makes Illume different from typical churches or spiritual communities?
Unlike traditional settings, Illume offers a unique blend of digital and in-person engagements tailored to help create interpersonal connection and community. Our "Spotlight Series" primary goal is to drive community development, and our facility provides a dynamic and flexible environment for exploring faith and building connections.
What are Spotlights?
Spotlights are Illume's equivalent of church services, where instead of getting together in one place at the same time, our "Spotlight Communities" (small groups within Illume that gather to discuss and delve deeper into themes presented in the Spotlight Series) can gather whenever and wherever works for them to do the Spotlight.
Spotlights include worship, learning, and serving. They focus on a single topic throughout the entire Spotlight. You can learn a lot more about them through our Sample Spotlight or by scheduling a meeting. 
What about communion and baptism?
Illume has high regard for both communion and baptism because of the way God works through them in people's lives. Since Illume does not have a "Sunday service," we celebrate them in many other contexts, including privately, in our Spotlight Communities, and at the larger events we hold throughout the year.

If you, personally, want either baptism or communion, simply contact us. 
How can I join in at Illume?
Joining Illume is easy! Start by exploring our website and downloading our app to familiarize yourself with our Spotlight Series and values. You can then sign up to join a Spotlight Community, follow Illume on social media, or attend an event at our campus. For more detailed steps, visit our "Get Involved" page.

Anyone can join in a group anytime they're offered, and the great news is that Illume has both in-person and online groups to make things as accessible as possible. 
Can I be part of Illume if I’m not in Seattle?
Absolutely! Illume’s digital platform and remote community groups allow for participation from anywhere. You can engage with our Spotlight Series, join virtual discussions, and even start or lead a remote community group from your location.
What is Illume's national/denominational affiliation?
Illume is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. As of 2022, it had a baptized membership of 340,511 in 1,250 congregations, with churches in 47 US states and 4 provinces of Canada. The WELS also does gospel outreach in 40 countries around the world. It is the third largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
What is expected of members in a Spotlight Community?
Members are encouraged to actively participate in discussions, share their insights, and support one another in their spiritual journey. While there’s no strict requirement, we believe in the values of selflessness, constructive dialogue, and the pursuit of personal and communal growth.

If someone joins a Spotlight Community but then is struggling to connect, show up, or find it useful, we have people who are here for you and will help you find the best way to be involved. 
How does Illume address questions or doubts about faith?
Illume welcomes questions and doubts as essential parts of the spiritual journey. Our Spotlight Series and community discussions are designed to engage with difficult questions in a respectful, open-minded environment, fostering a culture of inquiry and understanding.

It is our goal to start with the Bible when we approach the complicated questions of life while also doing our best to listen and respond specifically to each individual.
What resources are available for Spotlight Communities as they function?
Illume provides comprehensive support and resources for what are considered the Five Key Roles in each Spotlight Community, including training sessions, discussion guides related to the Spotlight Series, and access to our dedicated team for ongoing assistance.
How is Illume funded, and how can I contribute?
Illume is supported by donations, grants, and revenue from our campus facility rentals. Contributions can be made through our website or app, where you can also learn more about our financial stewardship and impact.
How can I stay updated with Illume's events and Spotlights?
The best way to stay updated is by subscribing to our newsletter, following us on social media, and regularly checking our website and app for the latest news and updates.
What are Illume’s core values?
Our core values include a commitment to exploring faith through connection (Darkness & Light), fostering genuine community (Companionship), living out faith in actionable service (Selflessness), and embracing innovative approaches to spirituality (Variety, Design, Presence, Scalability, and Truth).
When are Illume's services?
Illume does not hold a typical weekend service like many churches do. That being said, there are times every week you can connect with folks from Illume in ways that are worshipful and educational. You can either contact us for more information or check out our Spotlight Communities Calendar for times.