Home Page










Principles and Purposes











In short, the Mission of the Fellowship of Humanity shall be to develop a progressive, green, ecologically conscious, spiritual, enquiring, responsible, and Humanist church community that is also proud to serve progressive activist and oppressed minority persons and organizations at large.

Integral to the Mission of The Fellowship shall be:  to help raise up the struggling spirits, to help lift up the heavy hearts, to help improve the threatened welfare, and to help achieve the thwarted aspirations of its Friends and progressive activist and oppressed minority groups and persons of  Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area.  In order to accomplish this, The Fellowship must itself be functioning and flourishing.  It cannot help others if it is not sustainable itself.  Therefore, the Mission of The Fellowship of Humanity shall also be to function and flourish.



Givers and takers:

To function and flourish in its location, the Mission of The Fellowship shall necessarily require becoming and remaining a compassionate, righteous, sustainable, diverse, friendly, generous, attractive, expansive, serviceable, and valuable progressive Oakland organization:  this is strength.  In order to accomplish its Mission and serve others, The Fellowship of Humanity shall fill itself and surround itself with the givers among humanity;  and it shall void itself of, and keep at bay, the takers.  Any organization is only as good as its people.  The Fellowship of Humanity shall be chuck full of givers.




Because The Fellowship of Humanity shall serve the broader progressive activist and oppressed minority communities, it shall be an umbrella organization under which all progressive activist and oppressed minority groups and persons can network together.  Consequently, The Fellowship shall provide infrastructure at its church building, Humanist Hall, for progressive activists and oppressed minority peoples. The Fellowship shall not pit one group against another or play favorites with one or another group.  It shall find ways to serve all progressive activist and oppressed minority groups and persons who need The Fellowship.  Its Mission shall be to encourage them all to BE and DO their best and discourage suspicion and strife between them.







1)      Principles:

The Purpose of The Fellowship of Humanity, stated in short, shall be to strive to stick hard and fast to nine principles:  Sharing, Simplicity, Diversity, Earth Awareness and Ecological Consciousness, Local and Global Citizenship, Public Service, Progressive Activism, Heart, and Integrity.


The Fellowship as a group:


shares its resources, including the human resources of kindness, comfort, inspiration, support, and insight;  and it regularly shares its food, drink, transportation, internet access, audio-video services, communication services, and space in its church building, Humanist Hall;


simplifies its processes and operations, both manual work and paper work, and eschews the complications and exploitations of property and ownership;  it aspires toward a human-scale culture, less stressful, less demanding, more comfortable, more humanitarian;


welcomes diverse progressive activist and oppressed minority organizations and persons;  it insists on variegated programs and events, refusing to allow them to be monopolistically dominated;


remains AWARE of the web of life in which humanity is embedded;  it is conscious of the human being as a capable animal among millions of other capable animals;  and it knows the Earth as a living organism or coordinated community of organisms that has its own rules and requirements to live by that must be honored -- to abrogate the Earth's natural laws is to court disaster no less perilous than extinction;


advocates for humanitarianism within itself, in Oakland, and across the world;  it endeavors to act both locally and globally in ways that will advance moral, humanitarian, environmental, and progressive goals;  it advocates that education and technology be used appropriately for local conditions and that world wide communications be used respectfully of local people;


serves critical needs of East Bay communities especially by providing an affordable meeting Hall, performance and festivity space, cultural center, and center of communities;  it is assuredly available for neighbors on all sides whether for celebrations, like an anniversary, or emergencies, like a death in the family;


embraces progressive causes especially by providing infrastructure that they need to be effective it produces progressive programs of its own and promotes and publicizes progressive events taking place in its church building, Humanist Hall it teaches by example cooperative and socially responsible economics;


encourages Heart in all people it influences;  it boosts people close to it to have heart and take heart;  having heart is to listen and act upon compassion, empathy, and concern for other living beings;  taking heart is to have courage and not lose hope;


has the INTEGRITY to stand up for its mission and principles through all circumstances, whether adverse or abundant;  it keeps its operations and processes honest, uncorrupted, simple and sound;  it honors programs and events produced by people of good will and keeps at bay ill-intended people;  it resolves to take the high road and learn from its accidents and mistakes along the way.


2)     CREED:

The Creed of The Fellowship of Humanity shall be the sentence quoted from Thomas Paine that appears on the lower Fellowship banner that hangs above the stage of The Fellowship's building, Humanist Hall.  It reads:  The World is my Country and To Do Good is my Religion.


3)     Charter:

The Charter of The Fellowship of Humanity shall be:  :  to pursue the philosophical quests and fill the social and spiritual needs of Humanists and those who seek to be Humanists; to serve all groups and persons not served by corporate capitalism and the predatory banking system.   To fulfill this Charter, The Fellowship shall:


A)   Offer a Spirituality and Church without Deities,  Supernatural Ideas, and Superstition.

The Fellowship shall be an alternative church for non-theistic Humanist people who eschew traditional religions.  It shall make every effort to fill human needs that traditional religions fill, without buying into traditional religious beliefs.  Fellowship Humanists, philosophical compassionate, and progressive people of high character, shall find social support, connection with nature, hope in understanding, and faith in the goodness of life and humanity in the fullness of relationships with one another, the environment, the earth, and all good people.  They shall be desirous of expanding the philosophy of Humanism to incorporate a spirituality and ethics appropriate to living sustainably within a relevant environment and the ecology of the earth.  Fellowship Humanists shall make every effort to build a Humanist Church that exemplifies a cooperative community lifestyle that rounds out Humanist lives it touches at the same time that it is mindful of the needs of the earth and all life forms.


B)    Offer Progressive  Activist and Oppressed Minority Groups Infrastructure for their Activities.


i)      Infrastructure:

Humanist Hall, the church building of The Fellowship of Humanity, shall be an affordable meeting and festivity space for low-income progressive activist groups and oppressed minority communities.  It shall be especially reserved for progressive political, cultural, or spiritual purposes.  The progressive community at large and oppressed minority groups shall be especially welcome to celebrate or otherwise mark the big moments of their lives:  births, birthdays, coming of age, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, funerals, memorials, rallies, victories, historic meetings, important benefits, study clubs, spiritual ceremonies, and so on.  To this end, The Fellowship shall accept modest donations from these groups for the use of its church building, Humanist Hall.


ii)     Sacred Space:

The premises of The Fellowship, Humanist Hall and its Grounds, shall be a sacred space especially reserved for The Fellowship and progressive and oppressed minority persons and communities at large.  Humanist Hall shall be a haven, center, and platform for The Fellowship and progressive and oppressed minority persons and groups.  Progressive communities and persons extend from progressive activist, protest, reform, charitable, educational, and business organizations to progressive study groups.  Oppressed minority communities and persons extend from ethnic, religious, racial, cultural, gender, and outcast organizations to former prisoners.  The Fellowship of Humanity shall be dedicated to serving the needs of both these communities.


iii)   Labor-Friendly Hall:

The church building, Humanist Hall, shall be a labor-friendly Hall and The Fellowship of Humanity shall offer a work environment desirable to laborers   as long as the laborers remain within the progressive activist or oppressed minority communities.  Human effort on a worthwhile task, chore, job, or project; with a worthwhile team, organization, or movement; behind a worthwhile craft, work of art, or vision right livelihood shall be regarded at The Fellowship as the most valuable treasure on Earth after Nature herself.  The decision as to what counts as worthwhile shall rest with the Board of Directors.  Because The Fellowship supports progressive activism and progressive laborers, any such activist or laborer cleaning up the church building and the Grounds, and working on the building, the Grounds, the administration, or the organization of The Fellowship, whether for pay or volunteer, shall be richly encouraged and well respected.  A laborer for The Fellowship shall receive the highest hourly pay that The Fellowship shall afford; she shall choose her jobs and work at her own pace; she shall choose the tools and materials to work with within the constraints of the job and its budget; she shall work under a minimum of supervision; she shall make as many decisions relating to her job, in conjunction with Directors of The Fellowship, as possible.



4)      Independence:

The Fellowship of Humanity shall remain an independent Humanist Church.  The Fellowship shall NOT be beholden to any outside person(s) or organization(s);  it shall not be a chapter, branch, section, subsidiary, department, division, subdivision, or part of any organization(s) whatsoever, with one exception:  it shall remain affiliated with the American Humanist Association (AHA).   

i)     AHA Affiliation:

The Fellowship shall continue its affiliation with the American Humanist Association which began with the founding of The Fellowship.  It shall behoove The Fellowship, known as the first and oldest affiliate of the American Humanist Association, to honor this tradition and retain its affiliation with the AHA.  With this one exception, The Fellowship shall NOT belong to, be beholden to, or merge with any other organization whatsoever.


ii)     Umbrella:

The Fellowship shall strive to embrace EVERY progressive organization and never pit one against another.  Without taking sides with ANY (except the AHA), The Fellowship shall support ALL progressive organizations and persons insofar as it is able.  It shall itself be an umbrella organization, serving ALL progressive activities and persons, and network them together to help build the broad progressive movement.



5)      Traditions:

Three traditions
of The Fellowship of Humanity shall be ever honored at The Fellowship through the generations because The Fellowship was founded in order to create these traditions and it fought so hard in order to continue them.  The three traditions are: Humanism, Humanist Church, and EPIC Socialism.  In this New Millennium these three traditions shall be updated to:  Progressive Spiritual Humanism, Eco-Humanist Church, and Cooperative Economics Socially Responsible Economics as opposed to corporate capitalism and predatory banking.


A)    Humanism:

Humanism shall be the first tradition of The Fellowship.  The Fellowship was founded by a rogue group of atheist and Humanist Unitarians, led by Reverend Absolom David Faupell, a Unitarian minister who split off from the First Unitarian Church of Oakland (on 14th Street and Castro) a church too theistic for Humanist Unitarians.  This was in the earliest days of Humanism when Secular Humanism was just being conceived as a viable philosophy/religion.  A Humanist Manifesto was created in 1933, and The Fellowship was started as an organization in 1934 (though it was not incorporated by the State of California until 1935).  The creation of Secular Humanism as a separate philosophy/religion was a long, hard struggle among atheist Unitarians in the 1920s and 1930s.  The Fellowship of Humanity was an early, arduous accomplishment of Unitarian atheists who were founders of the Humanist movement beginning a proud tradition of being Humanist that shall be honored at The Fellowship in order to remember its hard-won origin as a home for the earliest Humanists.


B)            Church:

Church shall be the second tradition of The Fellowship.  The Fellowship was and is officially a Humanist Church on record with the State of California.  The Fellowship went to court in 1957 to prove itself a Church against gainsayers who denounced Secular Humanism as irreligious.  The Fellowship won the day in court.  The religion of The Fellowship was declared by the court to be Secular Humanism.  The Fellowship’s famous court battle was a long, hard struggle for The Fellowship to regain its title, reputation, and dignity as a Humanist Church, as it was intended to be when it was founded in 1934.  The Fellowship enjoys being one of very few Humanist Churches, having the same status in their localities that all churches have.  The Fellowship’s tradition of being a church shall be honored at The Fellowship in order to remember its hard-won struggles to maintain its church status while remaining atheist, Humanist, and socialist.


The Fellowship of Humanity acquired its present building and grounds from the Central Lutheran Church by way of funds coming from J. George Kullmer.  Out of generosity, he gave the present building and grounds, which he had bought from the Lutherans, to The Fellowship of Humanity in 1941 so that it could become the one and only Humanist Church and EPIC flagship.  So The Fellowship of Humanity's building, Humanist Hall, was already a church building from day one of its existence.


C)    Cooperative Economics:

Cooperative Economics, or socially responsible economics that is anti-corporate capitalism and anti-predatory banking, shall be the third tradition of The Fellowship.  The brilliant and charismatic Unitarian minister, Reverend Faupell, is key to The Fellowship’s origin.  Faupell was not only a Humanist and a Reverend but a Socialist.  He was an ardent follower of Upton Sinclair’s famous movement and campaign, End Poverty in California (EPIC).  Upton Sinclair was the Democratic Party’s candidate for Governor of California in 1934.  Upton Sinclair’s socialist pamphlet, EPIC, became the platform of his campaign for Governor.  The basic idea of the EPIC struggle was that socialism, state operation of crucial industries, would end poverty and end the Great Depression manifested in California.  EPIC would have turned California’s idle farmlands and factories into workers’ self-help cooperatives.  Even though Upton Sinclair lost the race for Governor of California and his EPIC program dissipated, his ideas were not lost on Reverend Faupell.  A. D. Faupell remained an EPIC socialist and spearheaded a campaign of his own to carry on the EPIC vision in his own way.  He planned to establish a string of influential churches throughout California, the entire network being called “The Church of Humanity a Humanist, Socialist alternative to a Christian denomination, as for example “The Methodist Church.”  This is what is referred to in the Title Page of these present ByLaws:  a group of progressive churches, unique in their Humanism and Socialism, carrying forward the EPIC ideals.  However, it happens that The Fellowship of Humanity remains the one and only Church in Reverend Faupell’s envisioned string of churches.  He died too soon.  The Fellowship of Humanity began life as the EPIC flagship:  progressive, revolutionary, and brave beginning a proud tradition of advocating cooperative or socially responsible economics that shall be honored at The Fellowship in order to remember its hard-won socialist nature from day one of its existence.



6)     Change:

The three traditions of The Fellowship of Humanity, Humanism, Humanist Church, and EPIC Socialism, while cherished and honored, shall not be adhered to rigidly and insufferably. Definitions, not to mention human reality and needs, change over time.  The Humanism of yesterday, relevant mostly to intellectuals and academics, need not dictate what the Humanism of today shall be like;  the Socialist movement of the Great Depression need not dictate what a cooperative economy of today with non-competitive production and trade and non-predatory banks shall be like;  and what counts as a Church in a by-gone century, dependent on books and orators, need not dictate what shall count as a Church today, in the New Millennium.  While honoring its three traditions, The Fellowship of Humanity shall continue to seek its own way in the world as a Humanist Church and as infrastructure and sacred space for all peoples in the progressive movement advocating cooperative or socially responsible economics.






Picture Break