MROP 2017: Initiator Program

Returning to the MROP as an initiator took me deeper than the first time. It was a perfect mix of time in service, in nature, and with brothers. I had no idea that the preparation time on Monday and Tuesday would be so meaningful as well. It is a role I could see doing again and again not only for myself, but on behalf all the men coming through for the first time.
— Thoughts from an Initiator

for men who have already gone through the MROP:

If you have ever wanted to return to an MROP and even help put one on, serving as an initiator is your opportunity. This is not a repetition of the MROP experience, but rather gives an initiated man the opportunity to deepen his understanding of the MROP while he plays an important role of service in supporting the initiation of other men.  For the Washington MROP in 2017, Belden Lane will be the weaver focused specifically on working with all the initiators.

About Being an Initiator

Being an initiator is a multifaceted and essential role.  It gives initiated men the opportunity to create and hold the container for the entire MROP process. Following the tradition of a community of elders initiating others into their next stage of life, we are inviting you to join us as an initiator as we “keep the edges hot” in our role of supporting the rites. This will deepen your experience of what happened at your own MROP as you are a part of each gathering in the Sacred Space for the rituals and teachings as well as playing special roles throughout the MROP.

When the initiates are meeting in their small groups, you’ll also be meeting in council with a Wisdom Elder and the other initiators.  When the initiates are out on their day in the wilderness, you too will spend time by yourself out in nature.  Initiators also join in the everyday tasks to make the MROP happen, such as taking turns serving food or washing dishes.  Together with the kitchen team and the core team, we’ll all stand shoulder to shoulder, giving our prayerful strength and support to our brothers and to the men being initiated. Thus there is a wonderful rhythm of time together, time alone, time in sacred space, time doing self-care and resting, and time in service.  Come join us for a meaningful week.  You’ll leave refreshed, reinvigorated, and you’ll have helped paid forward the gift of the MROP to others.

Ideally initiators would arrive early with the rest of the team, and help set up the site.  Two days before the MROP begins, you will be involved not only the physical work of setting up, but there are other key preparatory activities, including a fair amount of time with brothers preparing the space and ourselves for what is to come.  It is a great chance to spend time with the Weaver and Ritual Elder, and a great amount of bonding occurs with everyone before the initiates arrive.  You’ll play an important role in the welcoming of initiates, so even if you aren’t able to come until then, we ask all initiators to arrive as early as possible.

Everyone who comes is asked to carry their own weight financially.  If you need a scholarship, however we will do our best, recognizing that our priority is to scholarship initiates over initiators. Ideally, money should never be a reason one can’t participate.  

This program is for you if:

  • You have been through the MROP and are an initiated man

  • You have a keen desire to deepen your spiritual journey by revisiting the messages of your initiation

  • You want to be an active “initiator” – a man who invites and supports other men to become initiated into the Journey of Illumination

  • You understand that you are not going through the rites again

  • You can be present and be part of the container for the entire MROP event

  • Are willing to serve wherever you’re needed in the moment

Many initiators bring men with them who haven’t yet gone through the rites themselves.  For some, the thought of going to MROP where they know a friend will be there is a huge help.  Please consider who you might invite to the MROP.

As we are able to use initiators, and as initiators are able to serve, we may have additional roles before and after the MROP as well, as we walk this cohort of men through what we expect to be a transformative experience.


(Early Bird Discount $450 - before July 31, 2017)


  • We ask that all men participating in the Initiator Program also complete the Medical and Travel Forms.

  • Check-in registration begins - Wednesday, October 4, 2017 @2:30 PM EST

  • The Initiator Program begins - Wednesday, October 4, 2017 @4:00 PM EST

  • It is absolutely necessary to attend the entire Initiator event, from the opening on Wednesday through the final liturgy on Sunday. You may not come late or leave early except for absolute emergencies.

  • We have space for a total of 10 Initiators.

We ask that all Initiator Applicants also complete the Medical and Travel Forms information forms. Links to these forms will be provided after you have registered.

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