How do you handle conflict within your Odd Fellows Lodge?

How do you handle conflict within your Odd Fellows Lodge?

Updated: August 23, 2021

Does your Odd Fellows Lodge have an internal conflict right now?

And make no mistake about it – conflict must be handled. If left to fester, it will develop into a fraternal boil that will eventually erupt, causing significant damage to the fraternal skin which holds the Odd Fellows Lodge together. The unresolved conflict will make Lodge life unpleasant, will turn members off, and will eventually lead to diminution of the IOOF experience and reduction in membership. Certainly, it will affect the ability of the Lodge to bring in new members. After all, who really wants to join a Lodge where the atmosphere is tense and where some turmoil is apparent?

Ironically, if every Odd Fellow always remembered and consistently followed the admonitions and precepts of the Order, there would be no conflicts. There might be disagreements, but there would be no battles and wars within and without the Lodge Hall. The Order’s admonitions and precepts include friendship, love and truth. Simple, yet powerful words. Sometimes, some members forget them, or worse, ignore them.

So, what “conflict” am I talking about?

The conflict can be with a group, or it can be with an individual. Both are potentially disruptive to a pleasant Odd Fellows Lodge experience. After all, we want members to look forward to attending Lodge meetings and events. These should be happy experiences. They should not be tense or worrisome gatherings. Group conflicts are the most difficult to live through and, frankly, the most difficult to solve. At the get-go, I really dislike group conflicts because they can mean that the Lodge has devolved into cliques. (Remember in high school how we had cliques like the jocks, and the nerds, and the “cool kids”, and the thespians, etc.?) We should not have factions or cliques in our Lodges. We are all brothers and sisters in the same family. No one should be shunted aside or marginalized. We can’t elevate the character of mankind, if we can’t elevate the character of each other.

I recall a group conflict that occurred just a few years ago in a California Lodge. It was quite poisonous. I won’t, of course, name the Lodge, nor get into the details of it. But suffice it to say that to me, the group conflict reflected a generational divide. On the one hand were older, more long-term members. On the other hand were younger, and newer members of the Order. The two groups had rather different perspectives on the use of the Lodge Hall and the involvement of the Odd Fellows in the community.

Individual conflict operates on a much smaller scale, but it can be just as volatile. It occurs when one member of the Lodge does something (or fails to do something) that creates irritation for another member (or members) or disruption of the Lodge. This can take many forms. It can be a member who is charged with an important task in the Lodge who fails to get it done. It can be a member who decides, unilaterally, that that member wants to start living in the Lodge Hall. It can be a member who is self-dealing him or herself with money or property of the Lodge. It can be a member who holds the keys to everything and seeks to control everything. It can be a member who bullies or intimidates others. It can be a member who is constantly telling the Noble Grand how to properly run a meeting, or orally telling members where to stand during meetings, or correcting members who miss a word in the ritual. It can be a member who says unkind things to another member.

How does the Lodge remedy a conflict situation?

As noted, the conflict needs to be resolved, sooner rather than later. Allowing it to go unresolved becomes its own conflict. And don’t despair. Conflicts can be resolved. The goal is to take the path of lowest resistance which will resolve the issue.

So, step one would be to have a one-on-one conversation with the person or persons who are the source of the conflict. This is not easy, but it is the fraternal thing to do. In other words, if actions by Brother X concern or disrupt Brother Y, then Brother Y should have a low-key and confidential conversation with Brother X to let let Brother X know how Brother Y feels.

If that is ineffective, then the matter must be brought to the attention of the Noble Grand (or, perhaps, an older and respected member of the Lodge), to see if some quiet mediation may help.

If Lodge-level remedies have not worked, then an aggrieved member can bring the matter to the attention of the District Deputy Grand Master to help find a solution. Some DDGM’s are very conscientious at resolving conflicts. Other DDGM’s are less so. When all else fails, the matter can be brought to the attention of the Grand Master of the jurisdiction. The Grand Master has many tools at his/her disposal to resolve conflicts – and the Grand Master is rarely overruled by Grand Lodge or the Sovereign Grand Master.

Hopefully, the conflict can be resolved at the Lodge level. In the most extreme cases, an aggrieved member can bring “charges” against a perceived offending member, and launch a trial process in accordance with the Code. A member can be suspended or expelled in this process. But frankly, the “trial” card should be played only in the most extreme case because the process is cumbersome, and the trial, itself, will undoubtedly cause even more conflict in the Lodge.

Again, we owe it to our Lodges to take care of these issues. A Lodge without conflict is comfortable, healthy and often growing. A Lodge with conflict is just the opposite.

F – L – T

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

p.s. For those who have been following DMC for the past decade, you know that I have published three books about the future of Odd Fellowship. I have now published an autobiography and copies are available through Amazon at the following link: “Judging My Life: From Rags to Robes,” available to buy on Amazon.

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What is the solution for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows?

What is the solution for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows?

Updated: August 15, 2021

​It is undisputed that over the last Century membership in Odd Fellows’ Lodges has dropped by over 90%. That is a significant and concerning decline.

But even more significant and concerning is the decline in the other units in our fraternity. Rebekah membership has dropped. So has the membership of the Encampments and the Ladies Encampment Auxiliary (LEA). And Patriarchs Militant membership has declined, as has the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant (LAPM). It should be no surprise that when Odd Fellows Lodges opened to women, the “separate but equal” units of Rebekahs, LEA and LAPM started becoming obsolescent. Just to put this in perspective, in California, Odd Fellows Lodge dues-paying membership totals 4,547 while Rebekah Lodge dues-paying membership totals 916 – so Rebekahs membership is a mere 20% compared to Odd Fellows membership. And the drop is even steeper when looking at LEA and LAPM.

The Inevitable

Racing in time against the inevitable, the Rebekahs, LEA and LAPM have tried to sustain themselves. But inevitably and inexorably, as the ages of members increase, the membership numbers decrease. Let’s be frank. Why join an LAPM when membership in a Canton of PM is available? Why join an LEA when membership in an Encampment is available?

Compounding the Dilemma

Compounding the dilemma, it has become increasingly difficult for LEA and LAPM units to find young members to join. I would venture to say that the average age of members in these units is probably into the 70’s. And if a new member is found who might be in his/her 30’s or 40’s or 50’s, they are usually a rare commodity in that unit. These units have so few members, that officer position simply rotate among the same few members, year after year. And what will these units look like in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?

Even the Rebekahs have a problematic future. Precious few Rebekah Lodges actually own Lodge Halls. This is a real problem for the vast majority of Rebekah Lodges. Typically, the Lodge Halls are owned and controlled by Odd Fellows Lodges. So, Rebekah Lodges have no steady stream of income from building tenants or renters of the Lodge space. Some Odd Fellows Lodges have even charged Rebekah Lodges rent to use the Lodge Hall. So, Rebekah Lodges have a strike against them from the get-go. In the standard jurisdiction, the number of Rebekah Lodges is only a fraction of the number of Odd Fellows Lodges, and the number of members in each Lodge is typically smaller and older than comparable Odd Fellows Lodges. Odd Fellows Lodges, before 1999, used to be called “the Men’s Lodge” and Rebekah Lodges used to be called “the Women’s Lodge”. Those designations make no sense today. The majority of Odd Fellows Lodges have women members, and the majority of Rebekah Lodges have male members.

What’s the solution, going forward?

We know that separate units are not sustainable. We don’t need six separate units in a fraternal Order that is shrinking. Economy of scale, alone, would indicate that the units need to merge. Sovereign Grand Lodge has recognized this inevitability, and is slowly moving into the direction of merger of units. I suggest that this is a four step process. In step one, the Patriarchs Militant and the LAPM would merge into one unit. In step two, the Encampment and the LEA would become one unit. And in step three, the Odd Fellows and the Rebekahs would join as one unit. Finally, in step four, Odd Fellowship would be a single unit, having 9 degrees reflecting the merged units: The Initiatory Degree (which I would rename The Degree of Trust), The Degree of Friendship, The Degree of Love, The Degree of Truth, The Rebekah Degree (which I would rename The Degree of Equality), The Degree of Faith, The Degree of Hope, The Degree of Charity, and The Degree of Universal Justice. Perhaps in time, Odd Fellowship should develop additional degrees that members could strive to attain which would help us “elevate the character of mankind.”

I’m not suggesting that this will be easy. Odd Fellows leaders will have to develop fair and equitable plans to create the mergers. But I am suggesting that the great merger is inevitable if we are to survive as a viable and modern fraternal Order.

F – L – T

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

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

Updated: [DATE]​Dear Dedicated Members for Change, One of the very first things we learn when we join Odd Fellowship is the ancient "commands" of this Order, instructing members to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan." I must...

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Updated: September 6, 2021What do you see in this photograph? If you said "a group of Odd Fellows" you were absolutely correct. The three links symbol on the chair in the foreground and the banners in the background indicate that you are in a Lodge of Odd Fellows. And...

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A Step Backwards for the Odd Fellows

Updated: August 30, 2021I pass along to you an article just written by one of the preeminent Odd Fellows historians - Peter Sellars.   Peter has served this Order as a Grand Master and currently serves as a member of the California Grand Lodge Board of Directors and...

What is a “weak” Odd Fellows Lodge?

What is a “weak” Odd Fellows Lodge?

Updated: August 15, 2021

The concept of “weak Lodges” is recognized in the Odd Fellows Codes. And certainly every jurisdiction has Lodges that could be categorized as “weak”. This is not a criticism. It’s just a statement of fact.

There are lots of reasons why a particular Odd Fellows Lodge might be considered as weak. The reasons include:

  1. very low membership numbers and failure, for years, to add new members;
  2. a Lodge building in need of significant maintenance and repair, including ADA access issues;
  3. no tenants, thus no rental income for the Lodge;
  4. financial irregularities, including lack of financial record-keeping and lack of financial checks and balances;
  5. failure to submit per capita reports;
  6. a dearth of trained and knowledgeable leaders;
  7. inability to have legal meetings due to lack of a quorum of members;
  8. failure to hold meetings and/or keep proper records of meetings;
  9. failure to follow Odd Fellows ritual. Some Lodges suffer from one of these ailments; and some Lodges suffer from a combination of ailments.

Just like we would help a Brother or Sister in need, as a fraternal Order, Odd Fellows are obligated to assist weak Lodges. Of course, this is sometimes easier said, than done. There are Lodges that are pretty good at staying under the radar. In fact, for many Lodges, the only contacts that they have with Grand Lodge are the submission of the annual per capita report, and the official visit by a District Deputy Grand Master or a Grand Master. The rest of the time, the Lodge remains virtually invisible – sometimes they stay invisible so long that they literally vanish.

Perhaps the biggest red flag revealing an Odd Fellows Lodge in difficulty is the annual per capita report submitted to Grand Lodge. But even that report may paint only part of the picture. For example, as to membership data, it just provides the number of members – it doesn’t indicate how active or involved the members are or even if they attend meetings. And as to financial information, the report really only covers the tip of the iceberg, and very little, if any, back-up data is provided. As to official visits, they are hit and miss. For most years, the DDGM program is, itself, weak. Some DDGM’s are very conscientious and take seriously their required annual visits to all Lodges in their respective districts. Other DDGM’s, regrettably, slough it off or make only half-hearted social visits, without really delving into the details. Even official visits by Grand Masters can be unhelpful. For example, in many jurisdictions, the GM doesn’t visit every Lodge every year. And more often than not, when there is a GM visit, the Lodge pulls out all the stops and invites Odd Fellows from surrounding Lodges to attend the dinners and meetings – putting forward a brave face. And typically, GM visits are brief – and GM’s, during their visits, don’t really check out the minute book, or the warrants, or the Lodge financial documents. And precious few weak Lodges actually step forward and ask for assistance.

So what can or should be done to help these Lodges avoid the inevitable decline, loss of charter, or necessary consolidation?

I suggest a simple, low-key, but elegant approach to assist the weak Lodges. In my mind, the best approach is one-on-one. When a weak Lodge is identified, the Grand Master should assign (perhaps as a Special Deputy) a knowledgeable Odd Fellow from a nearby healthy Lodge to work with the weak Lodge, one-on-one, on a regular and ongoing basis – perhaps for as long as one year. The goal is not to close the Lodge; the goal is to assist the weak Lodge to get healthy.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Pasts Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Independent Order of Odd Fellows

More Information about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

It is time for change to the Odd Fellows degrees and archaic methods

It is time for change to the Odd Fellows degrees and archaic methods

Updated: August 2, 2021

It’s time the Independent Order of Odd Fellows revamp its degrees to fit society’s pace, which is efficient and to-the-point. The early American Odd Fellows understood this concept of making adjustments. Each time it was a challenge, but, each time the members were smart enough to know adjustments had to be made.

In the 1820’s the Odd Fellows established their unique work. In later years, in the 1840’s they made sure they eliminated any and all aspects of the Masonic mentions in their degrees; after all the Masons and Odd Fellows are not the same. Neither is better than the other or worse. One has been less likely to change but, both have declined in membership.

In 1835, the first improvements were made to the degrees. In 1845, the second set of improvements were made to the ritual. Down to the words in a single sentence, all were scrutinized. In that same year, the signs used in the unwritten work were also changed. Even two new signs were added for the degree of Rebekah, being the hailing sign (originally called the Hailing or Sea sign) and sign of recognition. In 1851, the degree of Rebekah, drafted by Schuyler Colfax, “was intended as an honorary degree for Scarlet members and their wives.”

The degrees and rituals continued to be adjusted over the years. More changes have occurred than the membership realize. What we have today is definitely profound and definitely biblically derived and should be retained in essence; however, changes are needed. This, of course, is easier said than done.

Changes to the degrees continued on a regular basis; each time such change proposals were never easily accepted, but they were made regardless. Degrees have been combined, passages have been removed and added. As some codes had been changed, the ritual and the degrees have been altered, too. Newer or those members who are unaware changes are a regular occurrence in the Odd Fellows, should realize these changes are a normal to the Order.

The beginning of the Sovereign Grand Lodge’s (SGL) Five-Year Plan has effectively begun. With the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant falling by the side, the plan has started. Next, the Encampments face elimination; this could be voted upon this August. It was going to be presented and voted upon in 2019, but it was decided to wait and re-discuss the terms of the Five-Year Plan and then vote.

As you can see, we are facing the loss of certain relished degree work and those principles that come with those degrees of all branches.

As our various grand bodies face elimination with the recent proposals by SGL and the societal evolutions effect the necessity of such fraternal groups, and the overall decline in membership, we must put our collective minds together and present sensible alternatives and improvements desirable for the majority of members.

One suggestion stands out more than any other, which has gained a level of positive feedback and could make the Order more attractive to potential applicants. It suggests merging all of the entities of Odd Fellowship (LAPM, LEA, PM, Encampment, Jr. Theta Rho, Rebekah) into the Odd Fellows Lodge and implementing all of the degrees of these entities into the Odd Fellows Lodge. Then, a member, after attaining the Initiatory Degree, would be permitted to choose whatever degree experience that member wishes. Such member could choose to go further in the Odd Fellows, while attaining necessary degrees, and then further choose to receive the other degrees within the lodge – all and any degrees from one single Odd Fellows lodge. With this design, none of the degree work would be lost forever, as inevitably those other grand bodies will cease.

This would lead into a more attractive one-dues payment to a lodge as well. This would prevent a member who already belongs to these different groups from having to pay a small fortune to belong to every group. It would streamline a great deal of paperwork and multiple dues cards, etc.

F – L – T

Peter Sellars
Past Grand Master, Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Jurisdiction of California

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

Updated: [DATE]​Dear Dedicated Members for Change, One of the very first things we learn when we join Odd Fellowship is the ancient "commands" of this Order, instructing members to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan." I must...

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More Information about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Laughter is not against the Code of the Odd Fellows

Laughter is not against the Code of the Odd Fellows

Updated: July 26, 2021

​News Flash – Laughter is Not Against the Code…

It’s a real oddity, the fact that the Independent Order of Odd Fellows may take themselves a bit too seriously. The name alone should signal congeniality. Other groups, such as E. Clampus Vitus (“The Clampers” – 10 times bigger than us), The Shriners (look at their funny hats and tiny scooters in parades – 7 times bigger than us), the Freemasons (41 times bigger than us, like to still display a vast array of mysterious symbols).

Why would it be, then, that our group, the smallest of these four, insists upon taking things more seriously than other groups much larger? And how does taking things too seriously attract new members?

Anyone who has served as a statewide appointive or elective officer has encountered many lodges in their journeys. Those of us lucky enough to have done so certainly have encountered a varied selection of members, meetings, and Odd Fellow events.

What surprised me in my own journeys was the almost stupefying belligerence, and outward critical nature some members seem to have. Of course, there are many wonderful members, always congenial, outgoing, and happy to see new faces. But there are some who seem to resent anyone and sometimes everyone.

If we are serious about wanting to encourage growth, we need to lose this type of outward resentment many of us have. Clearly, there are a myriad of reasons for resentment in life, but really there should be no logical reason for resentment in lodge. And yet, it seems like at almost every IOOF event and lodge there is someone really upset about something. We need to give serious thought about how best to approach our fellow members without causing friction. A few pointers might help.

  1. Our individual mandate is not to police the order. Too many times, I have seen people belittle others because perhaps one party is poorer than the other, or they feel they are less fitting to be a member. But this is not the case, and it is not our job to get rid of people, or even to pass judgment. Friendship, Love, and Truth, remember?
  2. Lodges often become hotbeds of gossip. But this does nothing but cause animosity among those attending. Nothing constructive comes from animosity.
  3. Longstanding members tend to air grievances publicly, and talk about their take on our code, rituals, and by-laws as if they are the only ones able to interpret them. These documents are merely guidelines and not meant as bludgeons with which to wield punishment.
  4. Nothing really is required of a member. Many members like to guilt trip other members into attending events, often because otherwise the events may be ill-attended. We are all volunteers in a fraternal group. We should seek nothing but our own happiness. If something we do seems like just a boring chore, eventually we will stop doing it. It is inevitable.
  5. Have fun. That should seem like a no-brainer, but many of us have forgotten how to do so. If you are unhappy within your lodge, ask yourself what would make you happy? Others may be happy to join you in whatever idea you may have.
  6. Young people have new ideas. This does not mean that the young are crazy. Being elderly does not make us better. All members should be treated equally.
  7. Try something new. Just because an event has been held since the landing of the Mayflower does not mean that it should continue ad infinitum. If attendance is waning, perhaps it’s time for a new event.

Shake things up but be happy. There is no need for unhappiness in a lodge. If you are unhappy, help make changes. This order can survive if we just remember that we are here mainly for our own enjoyment.

In Friendship, Love, and Truth, Rick Boyles

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

Updated: [DATE]​Dear Dedicated Members for Change, One of the very first things we learn when we join Odd Fellowship is the ancient "commands" of this Order, instructing members to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan." I must...

What do you see in this photograph?

What do you see in this photograph?

Updated: September 6, 2021What do you see in this photograph? If you said "a group of Odd Fellows" you were absolutely correct. The three links symbol on the chair in the foreground and the banners in the background indicate that you are in a Lodge of Odd Fellows. And...

A Step Backwards for the Odd Fellows

A Step Backwards for the Odd Fellows

Updated: August 30, 2021I pass along to you an article just written by one of the preeminent Odd Fellows historians - Peter Sellars.   Peter has served this Order as a Grand Master and currently serves as a member of the California Grand Lodge Board of Directors and...

Anatomy of a Healthy Odd Fellows Lodge

Anatomy of a Healthy Odd Fellows Lodge

Updated: July 22, 2021

Today’s DMC Newsletter could be entitled “Anatomy of a Healthy Odd Fellows Lodge.”

I’m going to talk about the Lodge that I know far better than any other Lodge – my own Lodge: Davis Lodge #169 in Davis, California. I believe that I can rightfully say we are a “healthy” Lodge. We have over 320 members, making us the largest Odd Fellows Lodge in California in terms of number of members – and to my knowledge, we may very well be the largest Lodge in North America, and perhaps the world. But, of course, the quantity of our membership alone doesn’t make for a healthy Lodge – but the quality of our membership experience is strong and vibrant.

It wasn’t always that way. When I first joined the Davis Lodge in 2004, we had less than 30 members on the books of the Lodge – similar to the vast majority of Lodges in this jurisdiction and elsewhere. And the Lodge in 2004 didn’t really do much for the members or for the community. How in the world did we increase our membership over ten-fold in that time period? The answer is that we followed a methodology that I first laid out for the Lodge when I became Noble Grand of the Davis Lodge in 2005. It has resulted in a net gain in our membership every single year since 2005 and a healthy, enthusiastic and thriving Lodge for our community. Perhaps we’ll call it “the Davis Method” – but whatever you call it, it works. Other Lodges in California have tried it to great success. Here, simplified, are the three components that have enabled us to be healthy:

1. Focus on Membership. Human beings can live for 100 years. Fraternal Orders can live for centuries. But the only way that a Lodge can be sustained beyond the current generation is to focus on membership and to bring in members of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic categories. Bringing in new members is vital if a Lodge (or a fraternal order) is to survive beyond the current generation.

Too many Lodges have simply failed to keep pace. And the membership just gets older and older. A Lodge is in trouble where the average age of members is 70 or more.

Recently, I asked our Lodge’s Financial Secretary Raleigh Klein to give me a breakdown of the ages of our 322 members. Most of the current leaders of the Lodge are in their 60’s and 70’s. The results showed that the average age of our Lodge membership is 59. Drilling down, we found that 79 of our members were in their 50’s – that’s significant because that’s the next generation of leadership for our Lodge. Drilling down even further, we found that 67 of our members were in their 40’s, 30’s, 20’s or teens – that’s perhaps even more significant because that’s the upcoming generation of leadership.

Our Lodge is healthy because we represent the spectrum of ages.

It’s important to have a strong Membership Committee, but frankly, membership is the responsibility of each and every member of the Lodge. And we don’t make it easy for our applicants for membership. We call the applicants “Pledges” and we require that they go through a process of reading about the Order and our Lodge, taking a test, attending events at the Lodge, and interviewing members of the Lodge. Through the process they are initiated with much more knowledge of who we are, and they are enthusiastic about membership.

2. Focus on Committees. No one wants to join a boring Lodge. Lodges need to be active to attract and to maintain membership. The Davis Lodge displays good health in this area because we have 57 Lodge Committees. Our committees run the gamut of administrative committees (such as the Visiting Committee, Bylaws Committee, Finance Committee, and the like), Lodge social committees (such as our weekly Club Night Committee, the OddtoberFest Committee, the Hiking Committee, the Cigar Lounge Committee, the Knitting Committee, and the like), and community-serving committees (such as Breakfast with Santa, Thursday Live! music at the Lodge, Classic Film Festival Committee, the Davis Chocolate Festival Committee, and the like).

Our Lodge has very high visibility in the community and because of that. potential members come to us to explore joining the Lodge.

In our Lodge, when members come to leadership with ideas for new endeavors, we don’t automatically say “no” – we explore the idea and in virtually every cases, we wind up saying “yes” – we form a committee, get volunteers and make it happen. Most of our committees started with an idea. Recently, for example, it was suggested that we form a “Zombie Bike Ride” committee. We did it, and it was a resounding success. At Halloween, we had over 1,000 Lodge and community members (including families) on their bicycles, in costumes, dressed like zombies. We also raised funds and paid for six specially built tricycles for disabled children that we donated to families. A few days ago, one of our members (who is a teacher and sketch artist) suggested that we host a “self-portrait art show”. There was a lot of enthusiasm for this simple project and it’s off and running. And what a great idea to get “reacquainted” after the pandemic lock-down and social distancing.

3. Focus on the Social Aspects. Lodges must follow the ritual – we are. after all, a fraternal order. But Lodges that only have formal meetings where members sit around in a darkened room reading from a little red book, are one dimensional Lodges. Of course, we have to have a formal meeting once a month with full ritual and regalia. But it’s OK to have social meetings, and it’s OK to open the doors and windows of the Lodge to the community, and it’s OK to have social events for the members, members’ families, and the community at large. Don’t forget – when Odd Fellowship first started centuries ago, the members gathered in pubs to enjoy each other’s company, drink and eat, tell stories and just have a good time. Let’s not forget the social aspect of our fraternal life.

In the Davis Lodge (when we’re not locked down in a pandemic), there is something happening at the Lodge most days of every month. For example, we have a weekly “Club Night at the Lodge” which is an informal social gathering of members and applicants. The bar is open, dinner is available, and we play trivia with a trivia master. One of our members plays a baby grand piano in the background and the big-screen television is on with sporting events. It’s a regular feature every Thursday evening and typically 50 folks stop by to enjoy the social time. Other activities include monthly Bingo for the members and community, monthly music venues for members and the community, and a monthly Saturday morning breakfast meeting, among other gatherings.

All in all, the Davis Lodge is alive, well and healthy. I mention all this because there may be some kernels of truth which may be of benefit to your Lodge.

F – L – T

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

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

What do we learn as Odd Fellows?

Updated: [DATE]​Dear Dedicated Members for Change, One of the very first things we learn when we join Odd Fellowship is the ancient "commands" of this Order, instructing members to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan." I must...

What do you see in this photograph?

What do you see in this photograph?

Updated: September 6, 2021What do you see in this photograph? If you said "a group of Odd Fellows" you were absolutely correct. The three links symbol on the chair in the foreground and the banners in the background indicate that you are in a Lodge of Odd Fellows. And...

A Step Backwards for the Odd Fellows

A Step Backwards for the Odd Fellows

Updated: August 30, 2021I pass along to you an article just written by one of the preeminent Odd Fellows historians - Peter Sellars.   Peter has served this Order as a Grand Master and currently serves as a member of the California Grand Lodge Board of Directors and...

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