Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Our e-mail list is now quite extensive, and not just contained to California. We have Dedicated Members for Change throughout the USA and Canada, and it appears that we are making an impact. As I have stated time and time again, DMC has just three goals: Membership, membership and membership. And we can stop the 60+ year decline in our membership. We can start growing our membership. How? By evolving and changing from one-dimensional Lodges to three-dimensional Lodges. Those three-dimensional Lodges not only pay attention to their history and ritual, but they also emphasize fun social activities for their members, and outreach into the community with good works. While the vast majority of our Lodges have declining or static membership numbers, we have a small number of Lodges that are vibrant and growing. We need only look to those growing Lodges to discover the secret of success and the model for our future.
Below is a power e-mail. It shows that a Lodge can evolve in the way they operate and can change the trajectory of its future.
I am delighted to present an e-mail I received from a Grand Master in another state. This GM makes some valid and important points. To preserve the anonymity which we respect, I will neither reveal this GM’s Lodge, state, nor name. It’s the points made by this GM that are important. I am very proud of this Grand Master, this Grand Master’s Lodge, and the progress they have made. They made this progress because they were willing to change their approach. They eschewed the one-dimensional Lodge that would have led to further membership losses and eventual demise. They are proponents of the three-dimensional Lodge (attention to our history and ritual; fun social activities for the members; and reaching out into the community with good works) which is leading to their membership growth and success. Please read what they have accomplished!
F – L – T
Deputy Grand Master
Thank you for your emails and the thought-provoking discussion that they inspire.
My lodge —– # —– in —– has a very inspiring story to tell. In 2001 there were 8 active members. The lodge sold it’s large building and bought a smaller , more manageable building. The thought was we will die with dignity and fade away after awhile. This purchase of the building didn’t represent a choice to live but to die in comfort. Then the unthinkable happened. We started growing , largely because we started using the new building more and people saw life as the years moved on. Standing social nights started happening and continue to this day. We started renting our lodge out for social events in the community because folks can literally walk by and seeing people play cards, board games or D&D along with different dinners we have put on or civic services. The lodge is almost never empty.
I was at a card game Sunday and ended up being there till 2 am because a young man walked in around 11 pm seeing we were there and told me (yes me) about our order’s formation. And that he had read up on “friendly” societies. He and I spoke at length and he did fill out the application that night and soon we will read his application. He wants to be part of something active, he’s 23 and wants to spend his time doing meaningful things and saw that we were in action. He was told we wouldn’t be able to initiate him for a month-and-a-half to two months due degree schedules and rules about voting and approved applications. I am delighted to mention that he would be the 7th person we will have brought in this year. And I don’t mean fiscal or grand lodge year I mean since January 1st. Our membership is going to break 70 dues paying members before the end of March and we attribute it all to the following.
An older membership that supports and accepted change. I can’t stress enough how this helped.
Active workers within the lodge making projects happen along with a strong batch of first time Noble Grands. We haven’t had a repeat office holder since 2010. And doesn’t appear likely we will for the next 6 years if declared intent holds up.
And lastly we do things. We do things all the time. We do different things. We support each other and show up. We have had some crazy crack pot ideas. Like rolling dice to see what direction we will travel, different dice to see how many miles in that direction and the finally a random event generator to see what we will be doing. Last time a group did this they ended up 110 miles due south and went to a mall and ate french onion soup while wearing white powdered wigs. Was it stupid? Yes. Was it unorthodox? Yes. will we do it again? Of course. It’s just “odd” enough to work and make people laugh, and enjoy a common experience together.
Submitted for your consideration ,
—– —–, Grand Master —– IOOF