Odd Fellows Pledge Process

Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

Approximately ten years ago, during my term as Noble Grand of my Lodge (Davis #169), I developed a “Pledge” system as a vehicle for membership development. It has worked, over this last decade, in spectacular fashion. My Lodge adds, on average, between 20 to 30 new members every year, and we have shown a net growth, without fail, year after year after year. I have been asked by several members of other Lodges to explain this Pledge system, because parts or all of it may be of benefit to other Lodges. It has worked remarkably well for my Lodge, and may work for yours as well. So here goes.

I used the term “Pledge” based on my experience with fraternities, which typically use that word when defining the class of new applicants, seeking admission into the fraternity. The dictionary defines “Pledge” in its noun form as follows: “A solemn promise or undertaking.” Synonyms include “vow, word, commitment, covenant.” To me, it denotes someone who has gone beyond the point of simply filling out an application form.

When an individual expresses an interest in joining my Lodge, members refer that potential applicant to me. I serve as Chair of the Lodge Membership Committee. An important aspect of membership development for a Lodge is to have such a Membership Committee, which focuses on all aspects of membership. As Chair, I chat with the potential new member, give them a tour of the Lodge, introduce them to a few of the members, sit down and answer their initial questions, talk about the significance and meaning of the three links, and discuss some of the things that we do in the Lodge and for the community, and then explain the Pledge process which, if successfully navigated, leads to admission to membership. You see, we don’t just admit everyone who applies. We require that they go through a process where they become more knowledgeable about the Lodge and about Odd Fellowship. Frankly, we don’t make it easy on the applicant. But if they make it through the process we know they are committed, they become educated about Odd Fellowship, and they tend to be active and involved once they become initiated in the Lodge.

So, once they have submitted an application, we put them in what we call a “Pledge Class”. In the beginning, we had one Pledge Class per year. Then, as our applications increased, we had two per year. Currently, we have three Pledge Classes per year, each averages about a dozen Pledges. The Pledge process takes 4 to 6 months to complete. And when completed, results in initiation into the Lodge. We have three such initiations each year. About 2 out of every 3 Pledges successfully makes it through the process and is ultimately initiated as a member of the Order. As a Pledge, they can participate in everything we do (except they cannot attend closed formal meetings – and no secrets are shared with them). The Pledges can attend (and are encouraged to attend) our social meetings and events, and they can even serve as members of Lodge social committees.

The Pledges have requirements they must achieve during their Pledge period. All the requirements are spelled out in the Pledge Book. Pledges can find the Pledge Book on line at our Davis Lodge website www.davislodge.org (on the home page put your cursor over “Lodge Info” then click on “Forms and Documents” scroll down and then click on “Davis Odd Fellows Pledge Book”). They are required to print it out and carry it with them when they come to the Lodge. The requirements include reading the Pledge Book, attending a minimum of 8 meetings or events of the Lodge, and interviewing a minimum of 13 members. Many Pledges exceed these minimum requirements. The purpose of attending social meetings or events is to familiarize them with the Lodge activities (and Pledges are involved in our many committees). The purpose of the interviews is to break the ice and help them meet members of the Lodge (the interview sheets are contained in the Pledge Book, and are simple one-page forms). Toward the end of the Pledge period, the Pledges are each interviewed by the Membership Committee and as part of the interview they are asked questions about the content of the Pledge Book, and the book is checked to ensure that they have attended the minimum number of meetings and events, and that they have conducted the minimum number of member interviews. The Membership Committee reports to the Lodge as a whole and recommends whether the Pledges should be admitted to membership. The Lodge then uses the ball ballot to determine if the Pledge will be admitted.

A number of other Lodges have printed out the Pledge Book from our website and have modified it for their own use. The reports I have received have been quite positive.

Of course, there are other important components to the success of any Pledge system. One important component is that your Lodge has to have some social meetings and other events that the Pledges can attend. The more active the Lodge is, the more successful this Pledge system will be.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California

Noble Grand Report 20160928

Dear Odd Fellows Members and Pledges,

Wow! This year is winding down, but the Odd Fellow events are winding up!

If you have any questions, comments, or something you would like posted in the next Noble Grand Report, please reply to me at falible@gmail.com.

1. Odd Fellows Meetings. After tonight, we’ll have only 3 meetings to go in 2016! Due to Thanksgiving, Breakfast with Santa, and the Winter Holidays, the meetings for November 23rd, December 10th and 28th have been canceled.

*!*! Also, due to the Membership Seminar in Reno, the first meeting of January 2017 will be moved up to January 7th (originally scheduled for January 14th)!*!*

2. Lodge Management Presentation. At the breakfast meeting of November 12th, we will have a special presentation by Lodge Manager Daniela Gutierrez, on the relationship between the Lodge Membership and Lodge Management. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t miss this meeting!

3. Odd Fellows Events. We have a ton of great stuff happening in the next few months! Our regular committee gatherings/events such as Odd NeedleCrafters, Meditation Committee, and Cigar Lounge Committee, to annual events such as Oddtoberfest, Halloween Party, and Breakfast with Santa… and don’t forget the Inaugural Chocolate Festival!

To get your schedule squared away, please check out our Davis Odd Fellows Event Calendar http://DavisLodge.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1832c51640&id=e797213b1c&e=dc3214ac0f.

4. Canton. For the second year, Canton Davis # 7 is volunteering to help homeless Veterans at Dixon Mayfair during the week of October 10th to October 14th. The event website, http://DavisLodge.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1832c51640&id=f6d143d2b5&e=dc3214ac0f has more details on the event and the volunteer opportunities.

For example, volunteers can sign-up for shifts from Noon to 6PM in the kitchen or as volunteer check-in staff or the more open “Wherever Needed” in addition to other more specific tasks.

Several folks from the Canton have decided to volunteer for Kitchen tasks on Thursday, October 13th from Noon to 6PM. I designate this Canton Group One. Additional volunteers for this shift can signup and let me know of your plans.

If you wish to volunteer for another shift on another time and date, you can do so. Perhaps, we can get 2 or 3 groups from the Canton and other Odd Fellows. Let’s coordinate.

I have several attachments that help interested folks to navigate the event website.
If you are interested, let me know and I can send the attachments and also respond to your questions.

Dennis Corcoran, dcorcoran@aol.com

5. Davis Odd Fellows Hall. The Lounge, located at 423 2nd Street, is at long last open and ready for your reservations!

If you wish to request The Lounge for use by a Committee, you may do so by completing the Committee Hall Request form available on our website (rentdavislodge.com) and submitting it into the office. The Lounge is available for Committee use free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Members may bring alcoholic beverages for consumption during meetings without a corkage fee. However, our license does not currently permit the sale of alcohol in The Lounge, or consumption of alcohol by anyone who is not a current, active member of the Odd Fellows or Rebekahs.

You may also reserve The Lounge for personal use at a reduced rate, or use it for your annual free rental (for members in good standing for more than 2 years.) You may make this request by filling out the Rental Agreement and Application that is available on our website and submitting it in the office.

Jean-Paul Montreuil
Noble Grand

Noble Grand Report #94

Greetings Fellow Odd Fellows and Pledges!

Check out the cool stuff below! If you have any questions or comments, please reply to me at falible@gmail.com.

1. Chess Club.  Who is interested in an Odd Fellows Chess Club Committee? Let me know by replying to falible@gmail.com, and remember: “Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass by.” ~ Garry Kasparov, Former World Chess Champion.

2. Odd Ball Bowling. Bowling shirts designed by Janis Rosenberg are available for purchase. If you would like some snazzy new threads, please contact Bob Dovi by July 18th, at bdovi02@yahoo.com. The next bowling outing will be in September at Capital Bowl in West Sacramento.

3. Football. Kevin Sitz is interested in organizing a lodge soccer or flag football team, IOOF FC, as well as organizing events to go watch pro football or soccer. Stay tuned for an email from Kevin with more information.

4. Bingo! Davis Encampment #21 had a great time at bingo last Sunday, and was awarded $878 in proceeds and donations! Next bingo will be August 14th, supporting Yolo Community Care Continuum.

5. The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169 would like to organize a bike ride from Davis to Winters and back, stopping for breakfast in Winters. It’s 32 miles round trip over flat terrain. Breakfast is always a huge motivator for me! How many other people would be interested? Please reply to me at falible@gmail.com to express your interest and the details will come soon!

6. Children’s Concert. Ed Lewis is performing the next Children’s Concert on July 16th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s a very entertaining and interactive time for children ages 2 -10. Free admission, donations welcome.

7. Lodge Budget. At the meeting of June 11th, Treasurer Janis Rosenberg presented a lodge budget for 2017 and she is looking for input from the membership. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please email them to Janis at janisrosenberg@outlook.com.

8. Three Degree Night. In the Lodge Lower Hall on Wednesday, July 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m. At that time, you will be instructed in the First Degree (the Degree of Friendship), the Second Degree (the Degree of Love) and the Third Degree (the Degree of Truth) – all in one evening. We will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and should be done by 8:30 p.m. You will be instructed in the mysteries, passwords and signs of each degree, and when we are done, you will hold all degrees available in an Odd Fellows Lodge. If you wish to attend, RSVP to Dave Rosenberg at daverose@jps.net. Note that there is a charge of $10 per degree (total of $30) payable that evening to “Davis Lodge”.  

Jean-Paul Montreuil

Noble Grand


Noble Grand Report #93

Greetings Fellow Odd Fellows and Pledges!

1. Adopt-a-Highway Committee. Volunteers are needed on June 4th at 8 a.m. for the highway cleanup crew. If you are interested, please contact Sheryl at sacreed@sbcglobal.net

2. Davis Chocolate Festival Committee. Next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday June 28 in the Committee Room at the Lodge. And there WILL be chocolate at the meeting. Our work will generate the first ever Davis Odd Fellows Chocolate Festival and it will be a BIG event for the community on Sunday, November 6 – which may morph into an annual affair.

3. Bingo! Bingo is June 12th, supporting Empower Yolo/Center for Families. Doors open at 12 p.m. and games start at 1.

4. Thursday Live! The Odd Fellows’ Thursday Live! show on June 2nd brings 2 new acts to our hall. Headlining will be Gwyneth Moreland with David Hayes, a folk singing duo from Mendocino County. Opening up for Gwyneth will be John Green. Doors open at 7PM; the show starts at 7:30. Thursday Live! is free but donations are encouraged.

5. Cigar Committee. Our next gathering will be on Saturday, July 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Dock at Sudwerk in Davis (the brewery portion, not the restaurant).  They will set up a couple of tables for us so that we may smoke cigars, drink beers, and discuss world and cosmic events.  Thank you to Paul Ghiglieri for setting this up for the committee.  Bring a nice cigar or two to enjoy.

6. Odd Theatre, from Ed Lewis.  The Theater Committee is planning our next theater/dinner trip on Sunday, June 26, for a 2:00 show at the Davis Musical Theater Company to see “Music Man” followed by dinner at Bistro 33. There are available reservations now so please let me know soon if you want to go.Ed-lewis@sbcglobal.net.

7. MailChimp. MailChimp has changed and emails from this program will be sent using  do-not-reply@davislodge.org. If you didn’t receive this email, please check your spam folder.

Jean-Paul Montreuil
Noble Grand

Noble Grand Report #92

Greetings Fellow Odd Fellows and Pledges!

Don’t forget that we have many ways to promote your committee’s events to the membership and to the public. And I’m not even talking about email!

We have our “Odd Fellows of Davis CA #169” closed Facebook group, which is perfect for spreading the news about events and Odd Fellow oddities within the membership of Davis Lodge #169.

Then we have the official “Davis Odd Fellows” Facebook page which will let the public know what great events our lodge is hosting or promoting.

Eventbright has been successful as an online ticket buying/selling program that makes it easy for everyone to get tickets in a timely manner.

My favorite is the Event Calendar on the Davis Odd Fellows website. Every event or activity can be added to the calendar and synced to your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, the calendar is still easy enough to access and use just by going tohttps://www.davislodge.org/event-calendar/.

If your event is missing from one of these fine applications and you think it should be there, let me know and we’ll get it advertised right away!

1. Beer Tour. The IOOF Beer Tour is scheduled for Sunday, May 15th. We’ll be tasting beer at 3 breweries in West Sac; Yolo Brewing, Jackrabbit, and Bike Dog. The cost will be $20 per person. We need money from all who are going ASAP. You can give cash or checks to either Juelie, Heather, Mary Superak, or Janis. Checks should be made out to Juelie Roggli. The first 35 people to pay will have a seat on the bus. You are not confirmed until you pay.

2. Bingo! Bingo is this Sunday which is also Mother’s Day! Do something nice for your mom and bring her out to support NAMI-Yolo! Do you have any idea how long she was in labor to bring you into this world? You owe her big time!

3. Thursday Live! Thursday Live! is proud to present the Rowan Brothers and Biscuits and Honey. It’s all happening at the Davis Odd Fellows Hall located at 415 2nd Street. Doors open at 7 p.m.; the music starts at 7:30 p.m. Donations for the musicians are greatly appreciated!

4. Picnic Day Float. The 2016 Davis Odd Fellows float entry into the Picnic Day Parade won the Grand Marshal’s Choice Award in the 2016 Picnic Day Parade!!

5. Canceled Meeting. The May 14th Breakfast meeting has been canceled. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, May 25th at 7 p.m.

6. Wine Club. The next Odd Fellows Wine Club gathering will be on Friday, May 20, 7 p.m., at the home of Sharla Cheney and Lewis Kimble. The featured wine will be Old Vine Zinfandel.  Bring a bottle to share, and some appetizers to share. All members, pledges, and guests are invited.

7. Odd Theatre, from Ed Lewis.  The Theatre Committee is planning our next outing on Sunday, June 26, for a matinee around 2:00pm, ideally in Davis, Woodland, or Winters.  We are on the lookout for a great show so let’s all see what is available and let me know what appeals to you. If nothing comes up in the Davis area, we can easily meander to Sacramento. We will see the matinee and have dinner afterward so if you find a show suggest a restaurant too. Please send your ideas by May 15 so I can make a reservation before tickets are sold out. Ed-lewis@sbcglobal.net.

8. Odd NeedleCrafters. The Odd NeedleCrafters will be meeting from 7-9pm on Monday, May 9, in the Committee Room at the Lodge.  Beginner and experienced needlecrafters welcome.

9. MailChimp. MailChimp has changed and emails from this program will be sent using  do-not-reply@davislodge.org. If you didn’t receive this email, please check your spam folder.

Jean-Paul Montreuil

Noble Grand

Noble Grand Report #91

Dear Odd Fellows and Pledges,

1. Highway Clean-up. The next litter patrol is this Saturday, April 2nd. Meet at Big 5 at 9 a.m. Contact Sheryl at sacreed@sbcglobal.net if you would like to help or to get more information.

2. The Davis Rebekahs Present: Bollywood Night!  The Davis Rebekahs are hosting a Bollywood fundraiser, happening April 2nd, 2016 at our Davis lodge at 7:00 p.m.! To purchase tickets or for more information please visit their Eventbrite page: https://davisrebekahbollywood.eventbrite.com

Watch an informative interview with Mary Superak and Lea Rosenberg on Davis Media Access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHXtlxSKa9E

3. Wine Club. Come to the next Wine Club April 8th 7:00 p.m. at the home of Yvonne Clinton, 1529 Notre Dame Drive, Davis 95616. Yvonne has set the theme for the evening.   She would like you to choose a bottle of a wine that is new to you – a new varietal, a new label, etc.   Bring a nice wine to share with the group.  Also, please bring an appetizer or snack to share.  Yvonne says she has plenty of wine glasses, but you are invited to bring your own favorite wine glass to use during the wine tasting, if you wish.

4. Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance. On April 3rd from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., there will be a Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance Fundraiser, co-sponsored by our Community Support Committee. For more information visit http://yolohealthyaging.org/

5. Picnic Day Breakfast. The Davis Odd Fellows presents its annual Picnic Day Breakfast April 16th, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. This is a fun family event that goes back for more than 50 years. $5 for all you can eat pancakes, sausages, coffee, juice and oranges.

6. Picnic Day Float. If you are planning on walking in the Picnic Day Parade, please make sure you sign the waiver. For more information please email Janis Rosenberg atjanisrosenberg@outlook.com.

7. *CHANGE* Odd Theatre Committee. The next trip to B St. Theater is on April 9th. The show will be “A Masterpiece of Comic… Timing”. https://bstreettheatre.org/a-masterpiece-of-comic-timing/ *7:00 p.m. Dinner will be at Vincent’s Italian Restaurant in West Sacramento and the show follows at 9:00 p.m.* Cost is $30 for a ticket, dinner is separate. If you would like to attend, please RSVP with your payment to Ed Lewis as soon as possible before March 19th. Email ed-lewis@sbcglobal.net for more information.

8. Paint and Sip Class. The Lodge @ Odd Fellows Hall is hosting our first ever “Paint and Sip” class in partnership with Cork it Again! Thursday April 21st @ 6:30pm Upper Hall. (Club Night dinner will be served 15 minutes earlier than usual so both can be enjoyed) $30/person for supplies and materials. Wine prices vary $3.00-$5.00 a glass. Open to Members and their Guests. * Space is limited * Please RSVP ASAP to Allison 530.758.4940 or Allison@rentdavislodge.com

9. Chocolate Festival Committee. The Odd Fellows Chocolate Festival Committee will meet in the Committee Room on Monday, April 4th, at 6 p.m. Any member who is interested in organizing the inaugural Davis Chocolate Festival (planned for November 6) is invited to attend and join the committee in planning this fun event. If you need more information, contact Dave Rosenberg at daverose@jps.net.

10. Davis Odd Fellows Event Calendar. Vice Grand Stewart Savage has upgraded the event calendar on our Davis Lodge website. Google users can add it to their own calendars and everyone can check it out here: https://www.davislodge.org/event-calendar/

11. Thursday Live! April 7th Thursday Live! will feature Ross Hammond and also The Archetypes. Donations go to the musicians. Doors open at 7 PM; show starts at 7:30.

12. Bingo Committee. Bingo on Sunday April 10th will benefit ALS of Greater Sacramento

13. Odd Fellows Book Club. The first book for the Odd Fellows Book Club is Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey, by Marie Mutsuki Mockett. The book club will meet to discuss the book on Tuesday April 5th at 6 p.m. For questions, send an email to Heather Barnes at hjbarnes76@gmail.com.

14. Taste of Davis. Tickets are on sale now for the Seventh Annual “A Taste of Davis”.   This event features over 20 Yolo County restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, dessert and coffee houses, all under one roof.    Guests are free to sample any and all of the food and drink from these purveyors for one low admission price.  Tickets are available to the general public at $20 per person and can be obtained from two local vendors:  Avid Reader Active in Downtown Davis or Common Grounds in South Davis.  Tickets will also be available for purchase on-line starting at 12 noon on March 24 at www.tasteofdavis.eventbrite.com 

15. 4th Tuesday Matinee Group. Keep an eye out for the next Matinee details for April 26th. Anyone can come to any movie–there’s no RSVPs or expectations. We will discuss the movie after it’s over at the lodge committee room. If you’d like to be on the email list to receive notices of this group every month, please email Diane Steele at steeledome@gmail.com. See you at the movies!

16. Grand Lodge Sessions. The Grand Lodge meets in Modesto for four days starting May 11th. Any three degree member who wishes to attend, will need to fill out the registration form, and bring their membership card showing they are fully paid through December 31, 2016. More details and the registration form can be found here: http://caioof.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/January2016Mailing.pdf

17. Odd Balls. The next “Odd bowlers” bowling outing will take place on Saturday April 2.  The time is 11:00am  2:00pm.  The place is Capital Bowl located at 900 West Capital Avenue in West Sacramento (916-371-4200).   No need to RSVP.  The cost is $5.00 per game (we play 2) and $3.00 for shoe rental.   Food and beverages are available for purchase at the alley.    If you want to join us at the alley but don’t want to bowl, no worries!   There is plenty of seating near the action!   This event is open to all levels of bowlers.   Scores range from 66 – 289.   Tony Pruitt, our own IOOF top bowler, will be on hand to provide bowling tips.   Hope to see you there!

18. Odd Fellows of Davis CA #169 Facebook. Please join our closed Facebook group to share the latest events and trends in all things Odd Fellows! Simply search in Facebook for the page name “Odd Fellows of Davis CA #169” then click Join Group.

19. Academic Scholarship Committee Deadline: April 15th. Visit https://www.davislodge.org/lodge-documents/ for more information and the application, under the heading “Davis Odd Fellows Lodge Scholarship.

20. Golf Committee. The following Odd Golfers have expressed interest in playing: Charles Filmer, John Knotts, Greg Simmons, David Hafter, Chuck White, and Darrell Pereira. Please let Charles know if you wish to be added to the list of players to be notified of activities (clrfilmer@sbcglobal.net). Initially, we have scheduled the very odd time of the Wednesday afternoon before the third Thursday of each month to play a round of golf. Other dates and activities (group lessons, driving range, etc) can be proposed. 

21. 1000 Mentors for Youth Committee. A new committee has been formed to help youth of all ages access opportunities and reach their potential through connecting withmentors in a variety of situations. For example, Ed Lewis volunteers with the Writing Buddies program that teaches mentors how to help children improve their writing skills. If you are interested, please contact Ed Lewis at ed-lewis@sbcglobal.net.

Jean-Paul Montreuil
Noble Grand

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