Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
It is my pleasure to forward to you a DMC article from the pen of our Grand Chaplain Rita Cooper. The article reminds us – each of us – that we must re-focus, re-align, and re-energize this Order before it is too late. The landscape of America is littered with the fraternal bones of organizations – much like our own – that were created, grew, flourished, and then because extinct because the members did not sustain the replenishment of their lodges.
F – L – T
Jurisdiction of California
3 R’s for the Order
As I think about our noble Order, its treasured traditions and rituals, its sacred Mission and history of fellowship and its contributions to our many local communities, to its undying commitment to Friendship Love and Truth, I am struck by the tension between its life-enhancing promise and its daunting challenge – the challenge of survival itself. And as one deeply committed to the survival and flowering of the Order, I find myself appreciating the power of the fundamentals, the foundational strength of the Three Rs. And I don’t mean readin’, ‘ritin’, and ‘rithmatic.
These are the Three Rs that I am talking about and hope to see us embrace:
Reverence for our traditions, our rituals, our Mission and our long history. I’m talking about an active, reverence that instills the motivation to live on and grow, to be a presence and force now in our communities and for generations to come, representing, and acting upon, our undying principles of Friendship, Love and Truth.
Recognition that our precious Order may be on a trajectory toward oblivion. In The 1920’s there were some 58,000 Odd Fellows and 600 lodges linked to our fellowship in California. Today there are only 4,000 Odd Fellows and 117 lodges. The downward curve of this arc makes it clear that all too soon there will be not enough members left to maintain and revere our rituals and traditions, to fulfill our promise and Mission, not enough souls even to constitute quorums in our Lodges.
Resolve, a firm resolve by each of our brothers and sisters to take steps to ensure that our Order will not die, to reach out and recruit special people in our communities and social networks. We all know the warmth and satisfaction we get from this Fellowship and the pride we have in its contributions and accomplishments. Let’s make a concentrated effort to find and enroll others to join the good work, to join the fun. As with any great structure, architectural or organizational, our Order must be constantly maintained, missing pieces replaced, or it will gradually disintegrate. Our missing pieces are people, all whom eventually pass on to their reward, and we must resolve to find and install replacements.
Director, Grand Lodge