Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350 today. Growth in membership. Every. Single. Year.

How did we achieve growth in the Odd Fellows?

I’m not here to toot the horn of the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge nor am I tooting my own horn. But I think it is important to explain how we did it – because it may provide some useful information to other Lodges which desire to stop the net losses and start the process of net gains of members. So, for the benefit of our fraternal health, here are the top 9 things we did in Davis resulting in dramatic and sustained growth of our membership:

  1. Culture Change. I joined the Odd Fellows in 2004 and suddenly found myself as Noble Grand in 2005. I was re-elected several times and served as Noble Grand for four years. Frankly, serving as Noble Grand that long is NOT generally recommended. But I had to do it in order to change the culture of the Lodge. I did that by focusing on what I have called “The Three-Legged Stool”. The three legs are: community outreach and involvement, social interaction within the Lodge, and the great historical traditions and ritual of the Order. Unless all three legs of the stool are present and sturdy, the stool will be wobbly and will inevitably collapse. My Lodge, like most, was woefully deficient in community involvement and social interaction. I resolved to change that culture. So, step one is to have the leadership and direction to change the trajectory of the Lodge. I dedicated two meetings to a discussion of this culture-change, and got buy-in by the members.
  2. The Committee Structure. We encouraged members’ ideas. We didn’t say “no” when an Odd Fellow suggested things we could do. We said “yes”. So member’s ideas were implemented by the creation of committees. When we started this process, the Lodge had 4 or 5 committees (like most every other Lodge). Today our Lodge has 69 committees. They can be divided into three general categories. (1) Administrative committees. These include the Visiting Committee, Finance Committee, Bylaws Committee, Historical Committee, Membership Committee, and the like. They are involved in the general operation of the Lodge. (2) Social committees. These committee organize fun social events for the Lodge members, potential members, and family. These include the OddtoberFest Committee, the St Patrick’s Day Party Committee, Halloween Party Committee, Hiking Committee, Wine Tasting Committee, Needlework Committee, Cigar Lounge Committee, and others. (3) Community Outreach Committees. These committees engage the community (and, frankly, are important aspects of our membership development). These committees include the Odd Fellows Bingo Committee, Breakfast with Santa Committee, the Taste of Davis Committee, the Davis Chocolate Festival, the Zombie Bike Ride Committee, Breakfast with the Bunny Committee, Classic Film Festival Committee, and many more. Several committees cross the lines and are both community outreach committees and social events for members – including the Music Committee, the New Year’s Eve Party Committee, and others. Committees create a vibrant, active Lodge enjoyable for member and with high visibility in the community.
  3. Outreach to Women. Half the population of the world is female. However, prior to 2000, membership in an Odd Fellows Lodge was not available to women. That changed in 2000 when women were permitted to join Odd Fellows Lodges. In Davis, we took that to heart, and we made a decided effort to encourage men and women to join. When a man submitted an application, we inquired whether his wife or girlfriend or significant other were interested in joining as well. This created a substantial increase in applications. Today, the Davis Lodge is almost 50-50 men and women. And women have held and continue to hold leadership positions in the Lodge. Some have suggested that bringing more women into the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge would be a detriment to the Davis Rebekah Lodge. In fact, the exact opposite occurred. In 2004 the Davis Rebekah Lodge was on its last legs with less than 10 members, all in their 70’s and 80’s. Today, the Davis Rebekah Lodge is alive, healthy and active with about 40 members, including many men. We found that as the Odd Fellows grew, so did the Rebekahs. (Parenthetically, our Davis Encampment and Canton Davis grew as well.)
  4. Social Meetings. Full formal meetings pursuant to the Odd Fellows ritual and the Codes are required and important, to preserve us as a fraternal order and a Lodge of Odd Fellows. At the same time, it is permissible to have social meetings – and we do. We started holding Second Saturday Morning Breakfast meetings at the Lodge and have been holding these social meetings every month. Breakfast is served to the attendees without charge, and after breakfast a social meeting is held where the officers and committees report – social events are discussed, we recognize birthdays and anniversaries, members who are sick or distressed, and the like. Members enjoy these social gatherings, and they provide an important adjunct to our membership efforts – Lodge members bring prospective members to these social meetings – a great way to introduce folks to the Lodge.
  5. The Membership Committee. We created a Membership Committee with a strong Membership Chair. We wanted to keep a constant focus on membership development. At every meeting of the Lodge, the Membership Committee provides a report. The effort to recruit applicants, keep them motivated and interested, and assimilate them into the fraternity is focused and constant. A component of most of our Lodge activities is an effort to reach out to potential applicants. For example, when we host our yearly Breakfast with Santa, the primary focus is to provide an enjoyable memory for children, but a component of BWS is to high community visibility. A number of our applicants have come from the ranks of parents and grandparents of the children who attended BWS.
  6. The Pledge Process. The Davis Lodge does not make it easy to join. Unlike other Lodge which rapidly move applicants to initiation, we take our time. We have created what we call a “Pledge Process” which can take anywhere from six months to one year from application to initiation. And in between, the applicants (we call them “Pledges”) have to read a Pledge Book we developed which gives them data about our Order and the Lodge, take and pass a 25-question test, interview a number of Lodge members (a great way to break the ice and enable members to meet and get to know potential new members), and other requirements. We find that the new members are much more committed to the Lodge, and certainly are more knowledgeable about Odd Fellowship by the time they receive their initiatory degree.
  7. Club Night at the Lodge. A few years ago we developed “Club Night at the Lodge” – an informal drop-in activity that we host every Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. at the Lodge Hall. Odd Fellow members, pledges, and their guests are welcomed to attend. The bar is open, we serve a full dinner meal, we have a piano player, and we play trivia by table (with prizes for the winning tables in each round) with members interacting at each table to discuss and come up with an answer. It’s a fun activity that members and pledges look forward to attending. And it has become an integral component of the Pledge Process – a great place for pledges to conduct their member interviews.
  8. Communication. We emphasize both internal and external communication. Internally, we have the emails of all our 350 members and we regularly send out notices of meeting and events. We have developed a weekly electronic newsletter, complete with photos, which we send out to all our members and pledges to keep each other posted. We have a monthly “Odd Bulletin Board” where members can help each other with things they need. We have lots of shirts, sweatshirts and pins which display our Odd Fellow logos which we proudly wear in the community. We have lots of signage on our Lodge Hall, including a wonderful antique neon “IOOF” sign which we found on Etsy (from a defunct Lodge back East) which we had shipped to Davis and installed on our Hall so that the community readily can identify that this building is a Lodge of Odd Fellows.
  9. Thinking Outside the Box. We constantly try new things. We are not stagnant. We developed a 501 (c) (3) corporation so that folks could make charitable contributions to our community events. When a young female police officer was gunned down and murdered on the streets of Davis a few years ago, we set up a special scholarship fund in her name and have funded scholarship for local high school students to attend college to be future law enforcement or public safety employees (it is now a perpetual fund where we can provide scholarships from the interest earned, and do not need to tap into principle). We constantly emphasize our “Oddness” in our events such as the “OddtoberFest” and starting our meetings at 7:01 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m., and even this list which is 9 things, rather than 10.

 

F – L – T

 

Dave Rosenberg

Past Grand Master

Jurisdiction of California

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

Dear Dedicated Members for Change, Every organization, including Odd Fellows Lodges, have members who are very involved and dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to the organization (we'll call this Tier One). There are also members who are active and...

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time - proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time – proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply accepting the status quo and fading away. As I had mentors and some pretty respectful members giving me encouragement with these goals of bringing new members into the Order, I was motivated.

One of those encouraging me to share the successes was Brother Donald R. Smith. He had been a “Past Sovereign Grand Master” who was impressive in his own fraternal resume, having been an editor and publisher of Odd Fellows publications since the 1950’s, having been the youngest Grand Master at 26 years of age, and the fact he had been part of a fraternal mission to Vietnam during the war representing the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) as the Sovereign Grand Master. He brought a message of peace.

I wrote an article called The Growth Process which detailed the ideas of how to attract new applicants to the Odd Fellows. It laid out ideas that the lodge could do internally and externally to meet this goal of new applicants. Granted, this method worked for me and a few others in the lodge, and there were no guarantees it would work for other lodges. We were in a metropolitan area, a more densely populated area, which gave us an advantage. My ideas came from the small successes of other lodges, not necessarily to attract members, but what would be enjoyable for lodge members.

I saw the importance of having refreshments available for the working members. This way they could come straight to lodge after work and relax. Having a social hour prior to the meeting is as beneficial as anything else in terms of personal interaction and membership bonding. We learn about each other and about different ideas for a successful lodge.

Putting the written lodge communications and other community information on a table for all to read and review during the social hour gets the members engaged. They know what is happening before the meeting begins. It is all about involvement.

Odd Fellow Lodges need events to keep their members engaged and happy. Members need events to be able to tell potential members about. The more variety of events creates interest.

When speaking to a potential member, ask their interest or hobby. Tell them the lodge would be willing to try such an event (within reason). This shows that you are interested in their ideas. This is probably the most important thing to do when seeking members.

Lodges can join local historical societies, chambers of commerce, business associations, etc. They can share their activities with these groups and have access to free advertisement. The name “Odd Fellows” should show up in other organization’s newsletters and publications. Give promotional pins to other groups. Engage.

Within the lodge gather historical items of importance. Many lodges have artifacts of their early community or items like “jewels”, unique objects, and interesting ephemera which can be of great interest to historical enthusiasts, and other groups. Share these with everyone. Put them in display cases.

Odd Fellow Lodge outings are fun. Choose a meeting date and have a field trip to a local museum, theater, park, etc. Get out and have fun. Wear your Odd Fellows hat or shirt. Let people see you.

All of the aforementioned should be done. Again, each lodge is different. Be a lodge that gets recognized for the good it does. In hopes of assisting your lodge, I hope this article has given you ideas.

Peter V. Sellars
Grand Representative
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Jurisdiction of California

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

Dear Dedicated Members for Change, Every organization, including Odd Fellows Lodges, have members who are very involved and dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to the organization (we'll call this Tier One). There are also members who are active and...

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time - proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply...

No Lodge is an Island

No Lodge is an Island

Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

Every Odd Fellows Lodge in every jurisdiction of our Order has the right to send representatives to Grand Lodge Sessions, which are typically held once each year.

In point of fact, however, a majority of Odd Fellow Lodges don’t send any representatives to Grand Lodge Sessions. That is a remarkable fact. And it’s also a shame. If a Lodge doesn’t send members to sessions, the Lodge misses out on the opportunity to shape legislation and resolutions that govern all Lodges in the jurisdiction or that might affect Code changes both in the jurisdiction and at Sovereign Grand Lodge. Failing to send representatives to sessions means the Lodge can’t vote in jurisdictional elections. Additionally, leadership of the Lodge abdicates its responsibility to raise concerns and questions to the Grand Master, Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer, and to participate in decision-making regarding the future of the Order and assets of the Grand Lodge. Further, Lodge leadership misses out on the opportunity to meet leaders from other Lodges and also defaults on the chance to advance in Grand Lodge office.

So, given the opportunity, why do so many Odd Fellow Lodges fail to make an appearance at Grand Lodge sessions? Why do so many Lodges fail to send even one representative to sessions?

I suggest that there are multiple reasons for this failure to participate.

Some Lodges may, literally, be too small, with too few members and too little money, to send representatives to sessions. Alternatively, there may be no member in these small Lodges who has the time or inclination to attend.

But, I have found that even medium-size or large Lodges have failed to send members to Grand Lodge Sessions. So, being too small or too poor can’t be the reason for those Lodges.

I have given the matter considerable thought, and I have spoken to Lodge members from Odd Fellow Lodges that don’t send representatives, and here is the reason that I have discerned. Many Lodges don’t send representatives to Grand Lodge Sessions, and frankly, don’t participate in activities outside their own Lodge (for example, membership seminars) for one simple reason: They want to be left alone. They are content to just do their thing in their own Lodge Hall, and would rather not see or hear anything or anybody from Grand Lodge. They tolerate the occasional official visit by a DDGM or a Grand Master. But beyond the minimal requirement of submitting an annual per capita report, Grand Lodge never hears from them. These Lodges have become islands.

How have we come to such a disconnect? And how can we encourage Lodges to participate in fraternal life beyond their Lodge Hall buildings?

These are two very challenging, but important questions, that will affect the future of our Order. I suggest that leadership at Grand Lodge has to take the first step to reach out to their absent Lodges, and prove to them that Grand Lodge does not exist to criticize, harass or nit-pick Lodges. Lodges should not fear Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge has to show absentee Lodges that Grand Lodge’s primary motivation is to assist and educate Lodges, to focus on helping with membership development, to educate on proper financial reporting, and to encourage Lodges to send representatives to sessions to engage in a democratic process of decision-making. DDGMs can play a key role in identifying Lodges that have failed to attend Grand Lodge Sessions, to meet with Lodge leadership to explain the value of attending sessions, and to encourage attendance in the future.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

Dear Dedicated Members for Change, Every organization, including Odd Fellows Lodges, have members who are very involved and dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to the organization (we'll call this Tier One). There are also members who are active and...

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time - proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply...

Youth groups will not save the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Youth groups will not save the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

When I first joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) in 2004, it didn’t take me long to learn that ours was a shrinking Order, with membership losses exceeding membership gains. Worse, I learned that this had been the status quo ante of our Order for decades. Soon after I joined, it was apparent to me that I had been dropped into the middle of what could easily be the end of the Order. Lodges were giving up their charters or consolidating, membership numbers were dropping across the board, and membership rolls showed an aging fraternity.

I wondered, “Can no one else in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows see this inevitable path to oblivion?” And then, about two or three years into my new membership, it hit me. Of course they can see it. They just choose to ignore it.

Ignoring the Decline in Membership

The declining membership would not be their problem. Not right now, at least. It would be the problem of other Odd Fellows, some other time into the future. At present, in their reality, everything was fine and dandy. They can just keep doing what they have been doing in Odd Fellowship for the previous century. They can recite the same lines to open and close their Lodges. They can gather at the same Grand Lodges to have sessions, and appoint to the same offices, have the same installations, with the same tuxedos and long dresses. It will be the same as it has always been, and it will be comfortable. The known, of course, is far more comfortable than the unknown.

And I remember hearing a refrain, again and again, about the future of the IOOF. When I joined, I heard it said many times by some of the older hands. They would tell me, “The future of the IOOF is with our youth groups.” These members truly believed that the answer to our membership problem (if they even admitted that there was a problem) was to be found in our youth groups: Junior Odd Fellows and Theta Rho. This refrain was sung by some Odd Fellows and Rebekahs who had themselves come up through the youth groups decades earlier. And they sincerely believed that in the 21st Century, the Junior Odd Fellows and Theta Rho would – as they became adults – fill our diminishing ranks.

Decline in Youth Group Membership

Fifteen years ago I knew that this was a chimera. The 2020’s are nothing like the 1950’s. As we entered the 21st Century, the youth groups’ membership, statewide, never exceeded 50. And it would continue to diminish. In 2022, you could count the membership of the youth groups on two hands. The inevitable finally happened a week ago when the Grand Lodge Board of Directors ended the experiment with Junior Odd Fellows. It no longer exists in California as a unit within the Grand Lodge. Theta Rho, I predict, will soon follow.

So, with the-future-of-the-Order-is-with-our-youth-groups theory now discredited, I predict that the new line of defense will be an even stricter adherence to ritual. I predict that there will be some who will argue that the future of Odd Fellowship can be found in the past. If only we could do a better job in our degree work, if only we could sing the Odes a little better, if only we could recite the oaths and obligations with a bit more fervor, if only we could wear the costumes and regalia more often – all would be well. Let’s get back to basics, they will say. Let’s re-emphasize the need to educate the orphan, visit the sick, relieve the distressed, and bury the dead.

But, Brothers and Sisters, the past will not save us. Only evolution and adaptation to the future will save this Order. Let me be blunt: If we aren’t relevant to the men and women who comprise Generation X (men and women between the ages of 40 and 55) and the Millennial Generation (men and women between the ages of 25 and 40) we will become Lodges of the Retired Generation.

F – L – T

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

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

Dear Dedicated Members for Change, Every organization, including Odd Fellows Lodges, have members who are very involved and dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to the organization (we'll call this Tier One). There are also members who are active and...

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time - proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply...

5 Points To Improve Your Odd Fellows Lodge

5 Points To Improve Your Odd Fellows Lodge

A lot of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs from around California and, frankly, from other jurisdictions write to me. Most of the messages are supportive and positive. They hear our message of change and evolution, the energy and the power that comes from being active members and active Lodges.

However, I also receive messages – some from DMC members and some from folks who are not members of DMC – that are sad and discouraged. I heard from a long-time Rebekah who is so discouraged with her Lodge that she is prepared to not renew her membership and to phase out. She says the meetings are boring and unproductive – nothing really gets accomplished. She has energy and ideas, but they are rejected out of hand, and she feels her creativity is stifled. An Odd Fellow has written to me complaining that there is too much “clashing of personalities” going on in his Lodge and at his meetings – “too much back-biting and too many power plays.”

Wow.

When did we forget that the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is all about FRIENDSHIP, LOVE AND TRUTH? When have we grown so detached and so focused on our own selves and our own agendas that we forgot to speak openly person-to-person to our brothers and sisters? When did we decide that we had to pass along a “rumor” about a brother or sister, rather than candidly and directly speak to the affected brother and sister? When was the quest for “power” in the Lodge or in the Order so great that we 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 to start with our own character.

Lodges should be welcoming and comfortable refuges for our members. Lodges should be places where we support one another.

Let’s resolve that:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. No one in the Lodge should start a rumor about another member. And if you hear a rumor, it should stop with you.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Dave Rosenberg

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

Dear Dedicated Members for Change, Every organization, including Odd Fellows Lodges, have members who are very involved and dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to the organization (we'll call this Tier One). There are also members who are active and...

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time - proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply...

Live Better In An Active Odd Fellows Lodge

Live Better In An Active Odd Fellows Lodge

In the articles appearing in this DMC Newsletter, we have often opined that the most successful Lodges are places that are fun for the members, socially active and involved in the community. These are the Lodges that will sustain themselves, thrive and grow.

But now science has come up with another reason to be involved with fun, social active and involved Lodges: You are less likely to experience cognitive decline as you age.

Yes, it’s true. In research just published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” the scientists examined three personality traits: conscientiousness, extroversion, and neuroticism. It was noted that people who score high in the personality trait of “conscientiousness” tend to be responsible, organized, hard-working and goal-directed. People who score high in the personality trait of “extroversion” tend to be enthusiastic, gregarious, talkative and assertive. And those who score high in neuroticism have low emotional stability and have a tendency toward mood swings, anxiety, depression, self-doubt and other negative feelings. I’m sure we all know people who fit into these three personality categories. In fact, you may be in one of them yourself.

But here’s the fascinating discovery that the scientists made: Those people who scored high on conscientiousness or low in neuroticism were significantly less likely to progress from normal cognition to mild cognitive impairment as they age. And they found that people who scored high on extroversion also tended to maintain normal cognitive function longer than others.

What does all this mean in plain English? “Cognitive impairment” means your mental faculties have slowed down. The study indicated that you could delay this mental slowdown by leading a life that is more active, more fun, more involved. Certainly, being a member of a Lodge which is active, fun and involved can only help toward this goal of living a fuller, more “woke” life.

The study found no association between any of the personality traits and total life expectancy. So, an active Lodge experience will not help you live longer. But it will help you live better.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

The Best Qualities of Odd Fellows

Dear Dedicated Members for Change, Every organization, including Odd Fellows Lodges, have members who are very involved and dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to the organization (we'll call this Tier One). There are also members who are active and...

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Achieving Growth in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The vast majority of Odd Fellows Lodges are (and have been) declining in membership. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – for the past two decades has increased its membership every single year. Since I joined in 2004, the Davis Lodge has grown from less than 30 members to 350...

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

Revisiting Something Worthwhile – Odd Fellows Membership

About twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article which offered a method to attract new members. It was a method which worked for the Odd Fellows lodge I belonged to at the time - proven method. At that time it seemed most lodges had resigned themselves to simply...

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