Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
In the cloud of mystery and history that surrounds the origins of Odd Fellowship, the Initiatory Degree once had a name. Just like the First Degree was known as the Degree of Friendship, the Second Degree was known as the Degree of Love, and the Third Degree was known as the Degree of Truth – the Initiatory Degree was known as the Degree of Trust. This was the degree where knowledge of Odd Fellowship was to be first imparted on the novice. And there is much to learn and much to know about our Order. I’ve been a member for over 15 years and I am still learning about Odd Fellowship history, rules, laws, and ritual.
No one emerges into the Initiatory Degree as a fully-knowledgeable and fully-formed Odd Fellow. Becoming an Odd Fellow is, indeed, a process. And there is no reason that the process must begin with initiation. In fact, there is good reason that the process should begin even before initiation. The article, today, is focused on that pre-initiation process. In most Lodges, the typical process for bringing in new members into an Odd Fellows Lodge involves sponsorship, interview, balloting and initiation. The process invariably moves quickly – sometimes as quickly as a matter of weeks between sponsorship and initiation. I suggest that such haste in initiating new members might be counter-productive. So, let’s talk about a different process.
I wanted to make you aware of the process utilized for the past decade by the Davis Lodge in Davis, California, and now used in some form by a few other Lodges. It is a process that takes about four to six months to complete, and in my opinion, makes for a more enabled, informed and enthusiastic member after initiation. This process may not be for everyone’s liking, but it is something to consider, and it might work well for your Lodge in some form. Here’s how it works:
1. First, it all starts with a commitment by the entire Lodge to seek out and sponsor new members. The Lodge members need to discuss this, and come to an agreement that bringing in new members is not a job for just one or two Odd Fellows. It is the responsibility of all members of the Lodge to seek and recommend men and women of good character who can add to the quality and vitality of the Lodge.
2. Second, the Lodge must have a Membership Committee, chaired by a strong and respected member of that Lodge. Although bringing in new members should be the focus of all Lodge members, it is important to have the coordination of the membership effort in one committee.
3. Third, in the Davis Lodge, we give a name to the process of advancing applicants to initiation. We call it the “Pledge Process”. Applicants who submit applications are called “Pledges” and are placed into a “Pledge Class” – a group of applicants targeting a certain date for their initiation. We have so many applicants to the Davis Lodge, that we have three Pledge Classes every year, each of which is focused on a date for their possible initiation. The normal Pledge Period runs at least four months, but can last as long as six months.
4. Fourth, we have developed a Pledge Book. This Pledge Book is available on our Lodge website at www.davislodge.org. We expect all Pledges to download the Pledge Book and carry it with them whenever they come to the Lodge. The Pledge Book is full of information about Odd Fellowship in general and the Davis Lodge in particular. We expect the Pledges to read it. The Pledge Book also contains requirements which we expect the Pledges to fulfill during their Pledge Period. For example, we expect the Pledges to interview a minimum of 13 members of the Lodge (the Pledge Book contains simple one-page interview sheets with 5 or 6 questions). We also expect the Pledges to attend a minimum of 8 meetings or events at the Lodge, and they can also join our Lodge committees. All meetings and events at the Lodge are open to Pledges, except for the formal (not social).
5. Fifth, we provide many opportunities for the Pledges to meet members, and find out about the Lodge. For example, every month on the 2nd Saturday, we have a complementary breakfast meeting, open to Odd Fellows, Pledges and their guests (guests are often potential applicants). These social meetings typically focus on reports by our many committees, recognitions of birthdays and anniversaries, general announcements, and good of the order. We also have a weekly social gathering on Thursday evenings called “Club Night at the Lodge” – a strictly social gathering where dinner is provided, the no-host bar is open, there is live piano music and we play trivia (by table) with prizes. Numerous other events and activities during the month provide great opportunities for Pledges to get to know members and get to know the charitable, community, and social things that we do.
6. Sixth, at the end of the Pledge Period, the Membership Committee sits down with the Pledges and we review their Pledge Books, engage in some Q&A about the Lodge, and determine if the Membership Committee will recommend each applicant for membership in the Lodge. And ultimately, the Lodge members ball ballot on the Pledges. leading to initiation of knowledgeable and committed new Odd Fellows.
The Pledge Process has worked well for our Lodge. Since we have utilized this process, my Lodge has shown a net gain of members every year for the past 12 years, and we have an enthusiastic and active membership which spans all ages and generations from 19 to 90.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
“All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” This old proverb traces its history back hundreds of years, and was first recorded in James Howell’s “Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish” in 1659. It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring. The proverb can be morphed to apply to a Lodge of Odd Fellows as follows: “All meetings and no fun, makes the Lodge a dull place.” And that means that if all the Lodge does is hold a monthly meeting, the Lodge becomes boring and the members get bored. And certainly, nobody in the next generation wants to join a boring Lodge.
The point is – a Lodge does not have to be boring. In addition to meetings, the Lodge can be a vibrant and energetic place with social events and community support activities, both inside the Lodge Hall and outside in the community. To give you an idea of a non-boring Lodge, below you will find the calendar of meetings and events for Davis Lodge #169 for the month of March 2020. This calendar is typical of the monthly doings in the Lodge.
Obviously, a Lodge does not need to offer such a vast and eclectic series of activities. But if a Lodge were to offer even three or four activities – apart from meetings – in a typical month, it cannot be accused of being “boring”. And non-boring Lodges become highly visible in the community, attract new members – and grow.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Sunday, March 1 – Davis Odd Fellows Lodge Classic Film Festival shows the third film in the Winter 2020 series featuring spy thrillers: “Pick-Up on South Street” with Richard Widmark. Enterprise Film Critic will be on hand to give the back story of the film and answer questions. Doors open at 6:29 pm. There is no admission charge and its open to the general public. Popcorn is free. For more information, contact Dave Rosenberg.
Thursday, March 5 – Club Night at the Lodge, starts at 5:30 pm in the Lower Hall. Dinner is served around 6:05 pm. Tonight’s dinner is Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders (Veggie alternative is BBQ Jackfruit Sliders), served with Baked Beans, Green Salad with House-Made Dressing. Trivia Master is Raleigh Klein. Trivia starts around 6:35 pm.
Thursday, March 5 – Thursday Live! music at the Lodge in the Upper Hall. Presenting the Lorin Rowan Trio – Progressive Americana – featuring guitarist/singer-songwriter Rowan (Rowan Brothers) with his finger pickin’ acoustic roots in folk/rock and world music, complementing his clear tenor vocals, backed by fellow musicians Ken Emerson and Dick Bright. Doors open at 7:01 pm and the show starts at 7:31 pm. It’s free and open to the public. Donations for the musicians are always welcomed.
Friday, March 6 – Odd Fellows Gaming Committee meets on the first and fourth Friday of each month, from 6:30 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. Meetings will be in Matthew Elliott’s apartment. Primary focus will be 1990’s retro video gaming, and board games are also available. And members, pledges, and guests interested in gaming are cordially invited. Contact Matt for the address and to get on the email list for gaming.
Saturday, March 7 – Come to Father Paddy’s Irish Public House at 435 Main Street in Downtown Woodland to watch and support our own “Team BaldFellows”. Cheer our team on as they shave their heads in support of children with cancer and research to eradicate childhood cancer. Event starts at 12 noon and Team Baldfellows will be up for “the shave” around 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8 – It’s time for Second Sunday Odd Fellows Bingo. Doors open at 12 noon and Bingo play begins at 1:00 p.m. The beneficiary is the Davis Parent Nursery School (DPNS). Cost is $20 for a Bingo packet (or $12 for the economy pack) to play all afternoon. Contact Alice Stewart for more information.
Sunday, March 8 – The Odd Theatre Committee will attend a matinee performance of DMTC’s “Camelot”. Contact DMTC to get a ticket. The group meets in the lobby before th show and then gets some dinner after the show. All welcome. If you would like to join the group, please contact Nancy Schrott.
Sunday, March 8 – A special program of the Classic Film Committee. “An Evening with the Critic” – cinema is the topic – Q&A with Davis Enterprise Film Critic Derrick Bang. Plus a few Academy Award nominated shorts (animated and live action) will be shown on the big screen. Open to the general public. Free of charge. Doors open at 6:29 p.m. in the Upper Hall.
Monday, March 9 – Hall Board meets in the Committee Room, starting at 5:15 p.m. For more information, contact Hall Board President Dave Rosenberg.
Monday, March 9 – Odd Needlecrafters meet from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Committee Room. All experience levels welcome. Contact Kathy Hemness for more information.
Tuesday, March 10 – The Odd Fellows Movie Matinee Committee meets on the second Tuesday of every month, to see a matinee movie at a local theater. Contact Diane Steele for information on times and location and/or to get on the email notification list.
Thursday, March 12 – Club Night at the Lodge, starts at 5:30 pm in the Lower Hall. Corned Beef & Cabbage, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots, Green Salad with House-Made Dressing. Dinner is served around 6:05 p.m. Trivia Master is Matt Elliott. Trivia starts around 6:35 pm.
Friday, March 13 – The Odd Fellows FLT Committee (Fine Liquor Tasting) gathers this evening, starting at 7 p.m. to taste fine Ports, at the home of Sharon Hale and Dawn Student, 1500 Union Drive, Davis. Members, pledges and guests are invited. A $20 contribution is requested. More info contact Howie Spero.
Saturday, March 14 – Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169 Second Saturday Breakfast and Meeting. All invited. Complimentary breakfast is served at 8:45 a.m. and the meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Contact Noble Grand Diana Schmiegel for more information.
Saturday, March 14 – Davis Encampment #21 monthly meeting begins around 10:45 to 11:00 a.m., soon after the conclusion of the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge meeting. Contact Chief Patriarch Doug Hatton for more information.
Tuesday, March 17 – Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Pub Quiz. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner (Corn beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots) is served at 6:30 p.m. $12 covers dinner, wine and beer. There will be a pub quiz with prizes. You must RSVP to Dave Reed, but you can pay at the door.
Thursday, March 19 – Club Night at the Lodge, starts at 5:30 pm in the Lower Hall. Dinner is served around 6:05 pm. Breakfast for Dinner tonight – Pancakes and Syrup, Sausages, Country Potatoes, Scrambled Eggs and Fruit. Dinner is served around 6:05 p.m. Trivia Master is Sean Davis. Trivia starts around 6:35 pm.
Friday, March 20 – Odd Fellows Wine Club gathers tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the home of Stella Ruiz, 1765 Mariposa Circle, Davis. Bring your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Blanc and an appetizer to share. Open to members, pledges and their guests. Contact Robin Dewey for more information.
Monday, March 23 – Davis Rebekah Lodge meets this evening. There will be a salad buffet starting at 6:15 p.m. Rebekahs will then adjourn to a formal meeting in the Upper Hall starting at 7:30 p.m. The Rebekah Assembly President Marilyn Nichols will be making an official visit to the Davis Rebekah Lodge this evening. Attire is business casual. Contact Noble Grand Sheryl Cambron for more information.
Wednesday, March 25 – Canton Davis 4th Wednesday Meeting. Meeting begins at 5:45 p.m. in the Committee Room and should end around 6:15 p.m. Contact Captain James Bledsoe for more information on the Canton.
Wednesday, March 25 – Davis Odd Fellows Lodge 4th Wednesday Meeting. Join us for the social hour at 6:15 p.m. with complimentary snacks, wine, beer and soft drinks in the Lower Hall. The formal meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Upper Hall. Contact Noble Grand Diana Schmiegel for more information.
Thursday, March 26 – Club Night at the Lodge, starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Lower Hall. Dinner is served around 6:05 p.m. This evening’s dinner is Fried Chicken (the Veggie alternative is Falafel) served with Mashed Potatoes, and Green Salad with House-Made Dressing. Trivia Master is Dave Rosenberg. Trivia starts around 6:35 p.m.
Friday, March 27 – Odd Fellows Gaming Committee meets on the first and fourth Friday of each month, from 6:30 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. Meetings will be in Matthew Elliott’s apartment. Primary focus will be 1990’s retro video gaming, and board games are also available. And members, pledges, and guests interested in gaming are cordially invited. Contact Matt for the address and to get on the email list for gaming.
Saturday, March 28 – Odd Fellows Cigar Lounge gathers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the home of Bob and Beth Dovi to enjoy a fine cigar and even better conversation. Open to members, pledges and their guests. The Dovi address is 1816 Titian Place, Davis. Bring some muchies to share. Contact Dave Rosenberg for more information.
Sunday, March 29 – Odd Fellows and Pledges are invited to the Celebration of Life, in the Lower Hall, starting around 1:30 p.m. to remember our sister Barbara Langer, who just passed away from complications of pneumonia. Join Barbara’s husband and long-time Odd Fellows Barry Melton, family and friends to honor her memory and life
Long range Major Events 2020 calendar dates:
April 4 – Breakfast with the Bunny at the Lodge
April 11 – 150th Anniversary of the Institution of the Davis Lodge
April 18 – Picnic Day Pancake Breakfast at the Lodge
April 18 – Davis Odd Fellows Lodge Float is in the Picnic Day Parade
April 19 – 6th Annual Storytelling Extravaganza at the Lodge
April 23 – Taste of Davis at the Lodge
May 20 – Grand Lodge and Rebekah Assembly Sessions begin in Modesto
June 24 – Initiation of the Odd Fellows Summer 2020 Pledge Class
September 5 – (Tent) Odd Fellows Texas Hold ’em Poker Tournament
October 18 – 2nd Annual Zombie Bike Parade
October 18 – Grand Encampment and Military Council meet in Visalia
October 28 – Initiation of the Odd Fellows Fall 2020 Pledge Class
November 1 – Annual Davis Chocolate Festival
December 12 – Annual Breakfast with Santa at the Lodge
Ever since I published a DMC Newsletter bringing attention to a proposed bill to be considered at Sovereign Grand Lodge this year which, if enacted, would foster charges and trials where one member can accuse another member of lack of faith, insincere faith, or insufficient faith – my email has been inundated with concerns raised by Brothers and Sisters.
Are we really ready to usher in an era of accusations, charges and “heresy” trials in Odd Fellowship? How will such a process affect membership, both current membership and prospective membership? And how will the public’s perspective and perception of Odd Fellowship change if this bill is enacted?
Below is an example of the sorts of correspondence I have been receiving as members slowly become aware of this divisive proposed legislation. I am withholding the name of the Brother who wrote this and the identify of his Lodge. Now, this is a highly charged and controversial subject and I’m sure not everyone will agree with the author of the article below. But many will agree with the sentiments expressed, and it’s important to hear diverse voices and opinions on this subject, to openly discuss and debate the proposed amendment to our Odd Fellows Law, and to consider how this will affect our membership.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
It has come to my attention that a bill has been proposed to the Sovereign Grand Lodge by representatives Hillberry and Adams regarding an amendment concerning the necessity of the belief of a Supreme Being for membership in the Order.
It is proposed that the Code of General Laws be amended to assert that “belief in the existence of a Supreme Being who is the Creator and Preserver of the Universe, is an integral requirement to hold membership in the Order” and that “Atheism and Agnosticism…are incompatible with membership in the Order”. It asserts, further, that “loss of belief in the existence of a Supreme Being is sufficient cause for suspension or expulsion of a member”.
I am adamantly opposed to this amendment and ask that the Sovereign Grand Lodge NOT enact it for the following reasons:
1. I can see no reason (and none is offered) to assert that belief in such a being is integral in any way to Odd Fellowship.
It is doubtful the first lodges required such. Indeed, as products of the Enlightenment, there is every reason to suppose that they would make no such requirement. Even if they did, the question remains: why should we follow them in this? The mere (and dubious) fact that it has always been so, is insufficient. Society as a whole, along with our Order, has jettisoned and repudiated many long-held racist and sexist beliefs because they came to realize that such beliefs were unjustified. Mere tradition is no argument. There must be another justification.
Is it to be seriously maintained that integrity, good moral character, genuine reverence for Friendship, Love and Truth necessitate “belief in a “creator and preserver of the universe”? My fellow lodge members undeniably possess admirable moral traits, but I have no idea whether they believe in a creator God. There is no necessary connection between moral goodness and how the cosmos came to exist. They are logically and metaphysically independent of each other. This should be apparent to any sufficiently thoughtful person. Is it to be believed that we can’t discern a genuinely good person absent knowing their answers to metaphysical questions about the creation of the universe? What do beliefs about the origin of the Milky Way have to do with “visiting the sick, relieving the distressed, burying the dead or educating the orphan”?
It might be objected that any satisfactory moral code (i.e. one that is not merely relative to a person or culture) requires a supernatural moral lawgiver as its creator. A universal Moral Law, in other words, is part of God’s creation. It may be true that God is the author (and enforcer) of the Moral Law. But maybe not. Compelling reasons can be given for rejecting the view that the Moral Law has its origins in and is dependent on a supreme being. Indeed, many theologians hold that there is a Moral Law that even God himself is bound by. I leave unaddressed the question of whether one is justified in believing in the existence of a “supreme” being. Even if God exists, and even if God is the author of the Moral Law, this is irrelevant to whether belief in such a being is essential to Odd Fellowship.
What is essential, I would argue, is that Odd Fellowship requires that one commit oneself to the idea that there is a universally binding Moral Law, a moral law that is independent of any particular individual’s or society’s beliefs; a moral standard that holds across individuals and cultures. Philosophers and theologians might investigate the origins of the Moral Law, but that question need not be answered before one can set the conditions for being an Odd Fellow. Whatever its origins or foundation, it is this commitment to the Moral Law that is directly relevant to the core principles of Odd Fellowship, not belief in a Supreme Being.
2. The proposed amendment blatantly contradicts other avowed core principles of Odd Fellowship.
It is asserted, with rightful pride, that our Order is non-sectarian. To require belief in a supreme being (whatever “supreme” means) that is “creator of the universe” and “preserver of the universe” is utterly and irredeemably sectarian. Many believe in supreme beings that have neither of these attributes. Indeed, nowhere in the proposed amendment is any reference made to whether the “creator and preserver” is morally good or not. Is this attribute irrelevant to the principles of Odd Fellowship?
Nonetheless, to require any “orthodox” view of this Supreme Being is inherently sectarian. It betrays a pernicious and cavalier disregard for Truth. No view can be true which contradicts itself by requiring that it both be sectarian and not be sectarian.
One might claim that those who join the Order “know what they are getting into” when they affirm, on the application form, their belief in a “Supreme Being”. But is this true? Prior to being initiated into the Mysteries of the Order, the initiate is told that ours is a non-sectarian fraternity. Only once initiated does the member become aware that the Holy Bible is required to be prominently displayed and hear the Lord’s Prayer intoned. The initiation ceremony and subsequent advancement through the degrees is swathed in sectarian references. Can the initiate be blamed for feeling betrayed by this bait and switch? How could they not, when our whole ritual betrays that non-sectarian promise and shamelessly manifests naked hypocrisy in its demand that one believe sectarian tenets? The proposed amendment is inimical and contrary to our core values.
3. Adopting the amendment would have adverse consequences which would certainly wound, and perhaps be lethal to, the Order.
It cannot be doubted that our Order is on life-support. Membership has diminished to alarming levels and the remaining membership consists primarily of inert members who seem only motivated to fight against change. Some lodges are struggling against this moribund trend, but it is a balancing act. The Order needs to regain its place as a focus for fraternity and working toward the communal good, while at the same time maintaining its core mission and principles. The proposed amendment works against both. By requiring sectarian irrelevant beliefs about Supreme Beings it excludes good people from our bonds of fraternity who are motivated to attain our mission. It also cuts against our claims to be non-sectarian and inclusive and makes us appear to be either a cult or hypocrites (or both). This would smother any attempt to reconstitute and reenergize our Order.
It is difficult to see how, as a practical matter, this amendment would be enforced. How are charges of heresy to be implemented? What is one to do with a believing member who, for whatever reason, begins to have even the slightest doubt, and hence is “not certain” in the belief in a Supreme Being? Trial? Summary dismissal? The practical problems, only hinted at here, seem insurmountable as well as corrosive to fraternal bonds. Adopting the proposed amendment would assure the destruction of the Order from within.
Please give serious consideration to my worries about the dire effects the adoption of the amendment would have on our beloved Order.
Yours in Friendship, Love, and Truth,
Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
The drive for the next generation of new members in Odd Fellowship is necessary for the continued viability of our Order. Does this mean that there is no place in Odd Fellowship for older members? Of course not! Odd Fellowship, in my opinion, can be and should be a big tent – there should be a place in our fraternity for people of good character representing all generations, all ethnicities, all nationalities, all races, and abilities. After all, when Odd Fellowship was started in England a couple of centuries ago, they were called “odd” for a reason – they would meet in pubs, and they opened the pub doors to a wide variety of people and professions.
Our Encampments show us the value of experience. As Patriarchs and Matriarchs, we are generally older than the average Odd Fellow, and we have advanced in Odd Fellowship to obtain all degrees in the Lodge and all the degrees in the Encampment – thus we should be generally wiser than the average Odd Fellow in the ways of our fraternal order. Can we utilize this age, experience and knowledge for the benefit of Odd Fellows? Most assuredly, we should do so. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake is worthy, but how much more worthy when shared with others. This sharing can take three forms:
1. Helping Lodge members understand the symbols of Odd Fellowship and the ritual. Odd Fellowship is immersed in symbols. The skull, the three pillars, the heart in the hand, the dove, the bundle of sticks, the lily, the hourglass, and on and on and on. Passwords, signs, and symbols are all important signposts in the journey of Odd Fellowship. A new Odd Fellow is, frankly, overwhelmed by all of this content. It is the rare member who recognizes all the symbols; it is rarer still to understand the significance of each one.
Typically, it takes years to absorb them all. And even the most senior of us need to be reminded of the meanings from time to time. As experienced members of the Order – as shepherds if you will – we Patriarchs and Matriarchs can certainly fulfill important roles as mentors of younger members. But this mentoring cannot be imposed on anyone. It has to be requested, either explicitly or implicitly. Knowledge should be freely shared with all who want it, but it should never be force-fed to anyone.
And there is a right way, and a wrong way to share knowledge. The wrong way is to do it loudly and publicly. The right way is to do it quietly and privately. I’m sure many of us have cringed when, during a meeting, we have heard older members publicly castigate younger or newer members with words such as, “that’s not where you stand,” or “that’s not how you say that.” How embarrassing! The better way is to let it go, and then after the meeting to have a private conversation with the young member – give them some guidance, not criticism.
2. Assisting Lodge officers in maintaining civility in the Lodge. And Lodge officers don’t suddenly drop into office, fully formed, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Many of them have had only a relatively brief experience in office. Perhaps they served as Vice Grand for a year, or as an appointed officer. Perhaps they have had the chance to attend a seminar. But in general, the level of experience and the level of knowledge is modest. Every elected officer in a Lodge needs a good mentor.
To mentor an incoming elected officer of the Lodge is a valued role for an Encampment shepherd. And this is particularly true if the shepherd has filled that role earlier in his/her fraternal career. What better source of guidance could there be for a Lodge Secretary or a Lodge Treasurer or even a Lodge Noble Grand than a person who has previously served in those positions. Once again, advice should be freely given, but only if requested. Certainly, feel free to let the new officer know you are available to provide help and assistance, and then stand back and be ready to provide it, if asked.
And during the course of a Lodge meeting, the shepherd can perform a valuable role in supporting the Lodge officers if things get a bit unruly, or if a member becomes obnoxious or demanding. A respected elder in a Lodge can bring peace to a tense situation, and can help re-focus a discussion gone awry. In these subtle ways, a shepherd can ensure that the flock is well tended and not in danger.
3. Reminding Brothers and Sisters of F-L-T.
And as shepherds, we can remind our brothers and sisters that this fraternal order is all about FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND TRUTH. A shepherd should be aware of the flock. Have any members of the flock grown so detached and so focused on their own selves and their own agendas that they forgot to speak openly person-to-person to their brothers and sisters? Have any members decided that they had to pass along a “rumor” about a brother or sister, rather than candidly and directly speaking to the affected brother and sister? Have any members displayed a quest for “power” in the Lodge or in the Order so great that they could criticize or diminish or hurt a Lodge brother or sister?
A little self-reflection is always in order. We are here to “elevate the character of man”. Let’s make sure that everyone reflects on their own character.
Lodges should be welcoming and comfortable refuges for our members. Lodges should be places where we support one another.
Let’s all resolve that:
a. No idea proposed by a member is “stupid” or “silly” or “unworkable”. Every idea is worthy of consideration and discussion. Ultimately, the idea may be accepted, modified or rejected. But let’s give our proposing brother or sister the courtesy of fair consideration.
b. No brother or sister should be talked about behind their back. Let’s give our brothers and sisters the courtesy of direct face-to-face conversation. If they have done something really good, take the time to tell them so. If they have done something that bothers you, take the time to talk to them about it in a friendly, open and non-threatening way.
c. No one in the Lodge should start a rumor about another member. And if you hear a rumor, it should stop with you.
d. No meeting should be boring or unproductive. Why have a meeting if nothing gets accomplished? Every meeting should have a focus and should move toward a goal – whether it is planning a Lodge dinner, or organizing an event to support a local charity, or planning an installation of officers, etc.
e. In everything we do in our Lodges, we should always ask the question: “Am I doing this for the good of the Order?”
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Believe it or not, the California Grand Lodge Sessions and Rebekah Assembly will begin in just three months in Modesto, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
And DMC will continue its annual tradition of hosting an enjoyable evening at the DoubleTree on Thursday, May 21, after the first day’s session. We invite Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, and their guests, to attend this fun event, and we recommend comfy and casual attire – Hawaiian shirts are appropriate. The doors will open at 5 p.m. with a no-host bar and social time with your Brothers and Sisters, at 6 p.m a Polynesian-style buffet dinner will be available, at 7 p.m. we have musicians who will entertain you with Hawaiian music, and at 8 p.m. get ready for the Polynesian dancers!
The dinner will take you back to the islands and will include: Tropical Fruit, Hawaiian Cole Slaw, Build-your-own Pulled Pork Sliders, Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with Pineapple, Sticky Rice, Hawaiian Style Vegetables, Fresh Baked Rolls & Butter, Assorted Cookies, Coffee and Tea.
The cost to attend this event, including the show and dinner, is a mere $20. The reason we can keep the cost of the event so low is because of the generosity of a number of Lodges which have subsidized the cost of the dinner and the show on behalf of their Brothers and Sisters. We will be publishing the names of these generous Lodges in subsequent DMC Newsletters. So far, we have received checks or commitments from the following Lodges helping to subsidize the costs of this event:
Diamond Level Sponsors:
Davis Lodge #169
Ocean View Lodge #143
Platinum Level Sponsors:
Franco-American Lodge #207
Mountain View Lodge #244
Gold Level Sponsors:
Cupertino Lodge #70
Xanadu Sanctorum #321, AMOS
Please see the attached flier. If you wish to attend the DMC Dinner and Show on May 21, please follow the directions on the flier. Aloha!