Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021

Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed.

First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the present.  In reviewing the statistics from 2000 to 2013, we find that in 2000 we had 181 Odd Fellows Lodges in California.  Today, in 2013, we have 126 Odd Fellows Lodges.  That, brothers and sisters, is a loss of 55 Lodges in 13 years, an average of 4 or 5 Lodges lost each year.   Put another way, since 2000, we have lost 30% of our Lodges.

But the situation is more dire than that.   We may have 126 Lodges on the books, but only 7 of these Lodges have 100 or more members.  Of the 126 Lodges, fully 55 Lodges (almost half of all our Lodges) have 20 or fewer members on their books.  In fact, 10 of our Lodges have 10 or fewer members on their books.  If we assume that only about half the members listed on the books of the Lodge actually participate in meetings and Lodge events, we have to also assume that these Lodges – if they meet at all – are experiencing significant quorum problems.   These Lodges are limping along with the illusion of stability.

And we also see tremendous disparities in sizes of our Lodges.  The 10 largest Lodges in California now have more than one-third the total membership of our Order.  That is, one out of every three Odd Fellows in California is a member of just these 10 Lodges.  The trend over the years shows that the 10 largest Lodges will soon have 2 out of every 5 members, and eventually will have half the membership in this Order.   So, the few largest Lodges are growing, while the remaining 116 of our Lodges (over 90%) are (with a few exceptions) generally shrinking.  That is not a happy trend.

In terms of membership numbers over that same period, the Journals show that on January 1, 2000, total Odd Fellows Lodge membership was 6,074.  (These membership numbers are total membership which includes dues paying regular members, associate members and non-contributing members – so they represent the best possible scenario of membership.)  On January 1, 2013, the total membership number was only 4,755.  That’s a decline of 1,315 members in that 2000-2013 time period.  Put another way, we have averaged a decline of over 100 members per year.

If we drill down the membership numbers, year after year, however, we see an ominous trend.  Typically, only a small percentage of our Lodges have a net gain of membership in any given year.  The large majority of our Lodges have a net loss, or at best, stay stagnant.  There are a couple of handfuls of larger Lodges that gain members.  Most of the smaller Lodges lose members.  There are Lodges in California that have not added new members in years, while the existing membership ages, withdraws from membership, or passes away.

And what we see in the Odd Fellows Lodges, we see multiplied in the Rebekah Lodges, and multiplied again in the Branches.   For example, there are less than 200 active members in all the Encampments in California, and less than 100 active members in all the Cantons in California.   The Ladies Encampment Auxiliary and the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant are in similar straits.

The statistics show that the present course is unsustainable.

But it is not inevitable.

There is a solution to this conundrum.  The solution is obvious and simple:  We need to bring more members into our Odd Fellows Lodges.  If our Lodges are strong, our Branches will be strong, as well.   Grand Lodge has offered incentives to help recruitment of new members.  For example, the Membership Challenge Grant Program provided funds to Lodges for new members.  And the new $1,000 Membership Grant Program supports Lodges that develop membership programs.  But ultimately, membership development is not the task of the Grand Lodge, or even of the Lodges.  Membership development begins at the basic unit of Odd Fellowship:  YOU.

If YOU don’t bring in a new member to your Lodge, you are failing your Lodge and your Order.  It is up to YOU and me and each Odd Fellow to reach out into the community to bring in the new blood our Order needs to reverse the decline.  Too many of our members have become complacent and expect that someone else will bring in new members.  But that “someone else” is actually YOU.  Don’t sit back and depend on the other guy or gal to get the job done.

But ultimately, and honestly, this will not work until YOU work with your Lodge to make the Lodge an interesting place.  New members won’t join (and certainly won’t stay) if all your Lodge does is have boring meetings.  YOU have to work within your Lodge to develop fun good fellowship activities for the members.  And YOU have to work within your Lodge to develop good community projects that not only benefit your community, but also provide worthwhile charitable work that will satisfy your members’ community spirit.

I have called this “The Three-Legged Stool” in the past.  A stool needs three strong legs to work.  If any leg is weak, the stool will eventually topple.  Too many Lodges rely too heavily on just one leg – the rich history and ritual of our Order.  To be sturdy, a Lodge needs to also develop and strengthen the two other legs:  Good fellowship activities within the Lodge for the members, and good community works to benefit the town or area where the Lodge is located.  All three are needed for a strong and growing Lodge.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg, GW

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed. First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of "Dedicated Members for Change" by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we...

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021By Dave Rosenberg Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge? In...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021

We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of “Dedicated Members for Change” by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we present an article that first appeared on August 14, 2013.   Hope you enjoy it.

I have been reading a fascinating book recently, and thought you might be interested in the following excerpt from that work:

The first meeting of the Grand Lodge didn’t take place in a grand building.  It was convened in the back room of a public house.  Taverns were the focal point of social life, where people met to conduct business, eat, drink and sing.

The elaborate symbolism and initiation ceremonies hadn’t been invented yet.  It seems, from the little we know form lodges of that period, that ceremonies were basic and brief, symbols were limited to the lodge panel, and there was no special furniture or physical tools.  Symbols were drawn on a tracing board, or on the floor with chalk and coal, and then erased at the end of the meeting.

Meetings were primarily social events, involving dinner, drinking, and, more important, singing.  The lodges in these early days were not steeped in the ritual and symbolism which developed during the next few centuries.  Men came together for conviviality and social refuge at a time of political and social uncertainty, when new scientific and economic opportunities were being developed, and when rationalism was beginning to lay the foundations for the humanistic and empirical society which we enjoy today.

What is particularly interesting to me about this excerpt, and indeed the entire book, is that it is not about Odd Fellowship.  The book is entitled “Secrets of the Freemasons” published in 2006.  The excerpt above is about the early history of another fraternal order, the Freemasons (or “Masons” as they are often called).   This book reveals that the Freemasons have, just like the Odd Fellows and other fraternal orders, secret signs, grips, passwords, and symbols.  And another thing that is revealed is that the Freemasons, just like the Odd Fellows and other fraternal orders, are rapidly losing membership.

In fact, the decline in membership is not confined to fraternal orders.  Clubs and organizations around California and the United States are experiencing similar declines.  I was just invited to speak to a meeting of the flagship club in the United States – Rotary – and I gave them a list of five potential topics for my talk.   Interestingly (and revealingly) what they wanted to hear from me is how I managed to make my Odd Fellows Lodge grow!  And that’s because even Rotary is facing membership challenges.

I just came back from a visit to an Odd Fellows Lodge that has been around since the mid 1800’s.  But now this Lodge has just 9 members on its books, four of whom live hours away from the Lodge Hall and never attend.  So, this Lodge is limping along with five members (actually four members and one associate member) – a bare quorum when they can get it.  Of their four members, three are in the age range of 85-95.  They haven’t added a new member in years.  And they don’t really do anything except have a meeting (when they have a quorum) and a monthly potluck.  The Lodge doesn’t really do more than this.  Now, frankly, how can that Lodge add new members in that mode?  Who wants to join a Lodge like that?

For Lodges to survive and flourish in the 21st Century, we cannot just rely on the formality of our ritual in opening and closing meetings.   There must be more.  We have to do two things in addition.  First, we have to take a page from our past (and the past of other fraternal orders) and start to have some fun.  Lodges that engage in an active social life keep members and attract new members.  Second, we have to open our doors and windows and reach out to our communities with substantive community projects.  Helping others has been an historical hallmark of Odd Fellowship.  And equally as important, helping others in the community is what keeps members interested and attracts new members to the Lodge.

This is not rocket science.  It just makes sense.  And the proof is shown by the Lodges that follow that pattern.  The Lodges that engage in good fellowship activities and also community service are the Lodges that are growing in this jurisdiction.  Let’s learn from their successes.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed. First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of "Dedicated Members for Change" by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we...

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021By Dave Rosenberg Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge? In...

More Information about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021

By Dave Rosenberg

Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge?

In this regard, I want to ask each of you a question, and I encourage each of you to take just five minutes to answer the question. The question is: Can you state 10 reasons to be a member of your Odd Fellows Lodge? Seems simple enough. But it’s an important question and the answer will tell you a lot about your Lodge – or at least your view and perception of your Lodge. And even more importantly, the view or perception prospective members have of your Lodge.

But before you take this self-test, there are two important parameters (rules, if you will) that need to be established. These parameters are critical to assuring that this is a review of your LODGE, and not a review of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. So, the first parameter is that the “10 reasons” you give must be focused on your LODGE, not on Odd Fellowship. So, for example, for purposes of this test, you can’t give reasons like: “Odd Fellowship has a long and distinguished history” or “the Grand Lodge runs two wonderful retirement communities in Napa and Saratoga”. No, the answers must relate to your own Lodge experience for this test to have meaning. Second, you have to be brutally honest in your answers. This is a self-test. No one else is going to see it or grade it. The test is for YOU. So, for example, if you give the following as reasons “I really enjoy the company of my Lodge brothers and sisters” or “we take care of brothers and sisters who are sick and in distress”, those are really great answers, but please make sure that they are true and honest answers for you.

To show you how this all works, let me give you two examples from hypothetical and fictional Lodges. Let’s call them “Zenith Lodge” and “Nadir Lodge”.

A member of Zenith Lodge has listed the following reasons to be a member of his/her Lodge: We support a local school with donations of backpacks every year, we have a monthly potluck where we invite prospective new members, my Lodge schedules a wine-tasting trip once or twice each year, we plant a tree in the community once each month, my Lodge conducts its own 3-degree ceremony live, when I had an operation my Lodge sent me flowers and helped me with dinners for a week, we have a yearly Halloween party that I really enjoy, we do poker night at the Lodge once each month, my Lodge planned and put on a spaghetti feed to help raise money for our volunteer fire department, we did a community clean-up project, we all went bowling last week and that was fun, my Lodge is going to host a guest speaker on homelessness and open the Lodge to the public on this important topic.

A member of Nadir Lodge has listed the following reasons to be a member of his/her Lodge: We do a monthly potluck before our meetings, I like to see my Lodge brothers and sisters once each month.

Now, if we analyze both of these member’s comments, two things are clear. First, it is impossible to say that the member of one Lodge is happier than the member of the other Lodge. While the member of Zenith Lodge lists far more reasons than does the member of Nadir Lodge, one cannot say that one or the other is less satisfied with his or her Lodge experience. But, second, from the perspective of a potential new member or applicant to those Lodges, it is apparent that a prospective member of Zenith Lodge – particularly a younger member in his/her 20’s, 30’s or 40’s – will find the experience at Zenith Lodge to be much more diverse and appealing than Nadir Lodge. Simply put, if you were interested in possibly joining Odd Fellowship, which of these two Lodges would you rather join?

And one more thing. If you have developed your list of reasons to be a member of your Lodge, and you list 10 or more reasons, I would suggest that not only are you satisfied with your Lodge, but there is a high likelihood that you will be able to successfully recruit members to join (and stay engaged) as members of your Lodge. Alternatively, if you have difficulty listing 10 reasons to be a member of your own Lodge, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the activities of your Lodge. Is your Lodge a place that will attract new members and that will retain existing members? And finally, if you have difficulty listing even 2 or 3 reasons to be a member of your Lodge, I would submit that your Lodge is in serious trouble. If YOU can’t articulate reasons to be a member of your own Lodge, then how in the world will you (or your Lodge mates) encourage new members to join?

So, the bottom line purpose of our little self-test is to test the ability of your Lodge to grow. I hope this self-test has helped you in your own self-evaluation of your Odd Fellow Lodge’s viability to attract the new, young members which are the life-blood of our Order. Remember, it’s all about membership, membership, membership. If we don’t grow our membership, we will continue to shrink as we have done for the past three generations. It’s time – overdue time, in fact – to reverse that trend.

 

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed. First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of "Dedicated Members for Change" by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we...

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021By Dave Rosenberg Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge? In...

More Information about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Odd Fellows Help “Chase the Chill”

Odd Fellows Help “Chase the Chill”

Updated: March 29, 2021

​The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge has just completed the second of two “Chase the Chill” Days in Davis, in cooperation with the City of Davis Respite Center. The first Chase the Chill Day was on January 7, and the second one was on March 25. During “Chase the Chill” tables were set up at the City’s Respite Center and donated warm clothing items were piled on the tables for homeless and unhoused residents of the town to take.

Members of the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge, and other local citizens, donated caps, hats, gloves, socks, shawls, scarves and other warming items of clothing. Most were handmade, and some were purchased. All were provided free of charge to those who needed them. In fact, so many items were provided, that at the end of the day some items were left over and were delivered by Odd Fellow volunteers to Empower Yolo.

Chase the Chill table

The Odd Fellows “Chase the Chill” table provided warm clothing to those who needed help staying warm during the cold winter months.

“Chase the Chill” was the brainchild of long-time Davis Odd Fellow Lea Rosenberg. “I saw an article on Facebook about a similar project in Redwood City, California, where I grew up. And that rang a bell with me. Why not try something like that in Davis? Many members of the community stepped up to deliver items, when they heard about the need. It was great.”

The “Chase the Chill” table was staffed by two members of the Odd Fellows Lodge, Matthew Elliott and Nicholas Lundgren.

The event was so successful, that the Odd Fellows are planning on making “Chase the Chill” a regular committee of the Lodge so that they can continue the effort, year after year.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed. First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of "Dedicated Members for Change" by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we...

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021By Dave Rosenberg Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge? In...

Davis Odd Fellows Welcome 10 New Members To The Lodge

Davis Odd Fellows Welcome 10 New Members To The Lodge

Updated: March 29, 2021

​Ten new community members – ranging in age from 17 to 69 – have just been voted into membership in the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge. The ten new Odd Fellows include five women and five men. They are: Mara Bledsoe, Jennifer Borenstein, Joshua Cruse, Terri Fong, Peter Gemellaro, Nan Schuman Klein, Michael Raub, Michael Sweeney, Bret Wasley and Kendall Wasley. They will be formally initiated in April.

Largest Odd Fellows Lodge in North America

“We are delighted to welcome our new, dynamic members,” announced Membership Chair Dave Rosenberg. “They bring our Lodge membership up to 322, cementing our position as the largest Odd Fellows Lodge in North America, and perhaps the world.”

Noble Grand Matthew Elliott added, “Even though our Lodge Hall is generally closed due to the pandemic orders, we still remain active and involved.” Elliott noted that the Lodge meets regularly via Zoom during the shutdown, and has even sponsored safe, community events such as the Zombie Bike Ride, several blood drives in partnership with Vitalent, and two “Chase the Chill” events to provide warm clothing to unhoused members of the community.

Once allowed to open again, the Lodge is prepared to reactivate its 55 committees, many of which organize and host community-serving events such as A Taste of Davis, Thursday Live! music, the Davis Chocolate Festival, Breakfast with Santa, and others.

More About the Odd Fellows

Odd Fellows are a fraternal order of men and women that began in the United States some 200 years ago. There are hundreds of Odd Fellows Lodges throughout the United States, Canada, and dozens of other countries. The motto of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is “Friendship, Love and Truth.”

The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge is located at 415 2nd Street in Downtown Davis, and has been a fixture in town since it was chartered in 1870 – the oldest organization in the City limits. Persons interested in applying to join the Lodge should contact Dave Rosenberg, Membership Chairman, at Odd Fellows Lodge, 415 2nd Street, Davis CA 95616. More information on the Davis Odd Fellows is available at www.davislodge.org.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed. First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of "Dedicated Members for Change" by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we...

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021By Dave Rosenberg Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge? In...

5 Tips To Make Odd Fellows Meetings More Interesting

5 Tips To Make Odd Fellows Meetings More Interesting

Updated: March 29, 2021

​Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

A few days ago I received an e-mail from one of our DMC members who was concerned about losing new members in his Lodge due to “boring” meetings. His question: “How can we make our Lodge meetings more interesting?”

It’s a fair question, and frankly, an important one. The rapid decline in our net membership numbers over the past 65+ years indicates that we are not attracting the new blood into our Order, certainly not in sufficient numbers to offset our membership losses. And if we were brutally honest with ourselves we would realize that the vast majority of men and women in their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s simply don’t want to stay connected to a Lodge where the members just gather once or twice a month for a highly structure ritual meeting, with little else going on. They might join that Lodge, but they won’t stay. And if you don’t believe me, check the statistics.

So, what’s the answer to how we make our Lodge meetings more interesting?

I think the answer for each Lodge is ultimately up to the members of that Lodge, but I can certainly offer some suggestions.

Here are 5 tips to make your Lodge Meetings more interesting

  1. Have more social meetings. There is absolutely no requirement that every single one of your Lodge meetings must be formal, with structured opening and closing, and full regalia. You are permitted to have social meetings. In fact, you are encouraged to have social meetings in your Lodge. Both Grand Lodge and Sovereign Grand Lodge have pushed us to have more social meetings. At a social meeting, of course, we don’t use alarms, passwords, signs and grips, and we don’t open and close formally. You don’t share fraternal secrets. Instead, the Noble Grand runs a much more informal meeting. But there is no restriction to the members talking about and planning for social events, community events and charitable causes. There is no restriction to reviewing the calendar or for Lodge committees to meet and report. In my opinion, Lodge members can even vote on things at these social meetings relating to social and community projects and events, subject to the votes being ratified at a subsequent formal meeting. One of the beauties of the social meeting is that it more casual and comfortable for members, and you can even invite prospective members, applicants and family members to these meetings. It is a great way to expose your Lodge to the community and to generate applications.
  2. Develop your own agenda. Contrary to popular opinion, the formal agenda contained in the charge books is a suggested agenda – not a required agenda. A Lodge should feel free to tailor its agenda to its own special needs. Certainly, there are items on the agenda that should be on every agenda (e.g. Treasurer’s report), but Lodges can tweak agendas as they see fit. For example, in my own Lodge at least half the agenda is dedicated to reports from our committees (we have 20 committees) and we also have time on every agenda for an historical report about the Order (that is one of the tasks we give to the Vice Grand). Plus, feel free to modernize the agenda. For example, I have found most Lodges have the Secretary actually read, word for word, the Minutes of the past meeting. If you find that time-consuming (and boring) you can dispense with that. In my Lodge, for example, all our members are on e-mail and the Secretary e-mails the Minutes out to each member several days before the meeting. There are also hard copies available at the meeting, just in case. The review and approval of Minutes at the meeting takes a very short time.
  3. Have some social time before the meeting. If you want to liven things up, schedule a “social hour” before each evening meeting. The social hour can include dinner, or just snacks, and beverages. Nothing like a little social time to make members happy. Remember, this fraternal order was founded in Merry Olde England as a place for social interaction. In fact, the first meetings of Odd Fellows Lodges took place in pubs. And the founding location of this fraternity in North America was none other than the Seven Stars Tavern.
  4. Develop committees and have them do their own thing. There is no substitute for activities and projects to liven up a Lodge and liven up a meeting. When members are planning social events, or community support events, or charitable projects, they are following the precepts of this Order, and they are having fun doing it. Committees should meet apart from the meetings, so that they plan in an informal and comfortable setting. What committees? Well, let the members decide. They may want to do wine tasting, or go hiking, or help a foster family, or go bowling, or golfing, or plan a Christmas event for the community, or paint a public building, or plan a potluck and movie night, or plant trees in the community – etc., etc. Don’t reject ideas because they are new or different. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?
  5. Think outside the box. Why only have meetings in the evening? How about breakfast meetings? Would a breakfast meeting (breakfast first, followed by the meeting) be of interest to your members? In other words, just because your Lodge has done something the same way for the last 50 years doesn’t mean you have to continue to do it for the next 50.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master – Jurisdiction of California
Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Are the Odd Fellows Disappearing? How to reverse the trend.

Updated: April 20, 2021Statistics show that the Odd Fellows are slowly disappearing as an Order.   This trend, however, can be reversed. First, the statistics.  I have reviewed the Odd Fellows of California Grand Lodge Journals from the turn of the 21st Century to the...

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Good fellowship benefits the Odd Fellows

Updated: April 13, 2021We are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of "Dedicated Members for Change" by re-publishing some of the DMC Newsletter articles that have appeared over the last decade.   The articles continue to be relevant.   Today, we...

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Take a Moment for this Odd Fellows Self-Test

Updated: April 5, 2021By Dave Rosenberg Magazines, newspapers and books today are full of all sorts of “self-tests” which gauge your personality, your interests, your love-life, etc., etc. So why not a self-test to gauge your view of your own Odd Fellows Lodge? In...

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