Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

And now, a sad story.

I just received the e-mail, below, from a young man who recently joined the Order. I’m not going to reveal his name, or his Lodge, but I will say that he and the Lodge he joined are in a state other than California. I had received several e-mails from this young man prior to the one below. He was excited about Odd Fellowship and about joining his new Lodge. He was all geared up to bringing a number of his young friends into his new Lodge, as well, to help the Lodge grow. The young man was very upbeat, and expressed to me the possibilities he saw going forward. Finally, the young man was initiated and was able to attend his very first formal
Lodge meeting. And the results of that first meeting are the subject of his e-mail to me. I was saddened when I read it. Here’s what he said:


Dear Dave:

I’ve already received my initiation, and tonight was my first real lodge meeting. It was a disaster. The arguing and bickering that took place during the order of business is something I do not wish to experience again. I believe there were 10 or 12 in attendance at —- Lodge # –. I will not divulge of course, what the issues were.

When the lodge was closed, I very gently removed my regalia, and simply eased out the front door and left immediately. I said nothing to anyone. I wasn’t angry at all, just shocked– absolutely shocked. My god, what kind of way is it to run a meeting like that when there is a new member present?
I have no incentive to return, and I cannot in good faith ask friends to join this lodge. I will not have friends of mine sit through something like that, on my word that Odd Fellowship is a good thing. I thought about sending an email to the person who is over our state, but that would make me the lodge bad guy. This is not worth the fight and energy it will take to make it work.
Thanks for giving me some encouragement on the front end, and here’s wishing I was a California Odd Fellow! Maybe some day!

There’s really not much more to say. The young man’s letter speaks for itself. The Lodge members should NEVER engage in that sort of arguing and bickering at any time – let alone at a meeting with a brand new member. Whatever happened to friendship, love and truth? Has it been replaced in that Lodge by arguing, acrimony and antipathy? Has our Order shrunk to such an extent that our gene pool is limited to those who harbor belligerence, lack of self-esteem, and inability to govern? Where was the Noble Grand in all this – why didn’t the NG exert some leadership to nip the bickering in the bud? Where are the senior members of this Lodge who can bring a calming and collaborative influence to the discussion?

To be frank, the Lodge reflected above is lost. It will certainly diminish and pass into an historical footnote. I can only hope that the e-mail above is not reflective of YOUR Lodge or a Lodge that you know. This is no way to grow the Order.
F – L – T
Dave Rosenberg
Deputy Grand Master

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