Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

Are you ready for “The Question?”

Every member of our Order should be ready for it. The question can come at any time, day or night, on any day of the week. It can come in Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall. It can come from a relative, a friend, a chance acquaintance, a salesperson in a shop, a repair person in your home, a bus driver, a bank teller, a visitor to your home, a waiter or waitress, perhaps even your accountant or lawyer. The question, of course, is “What are the Odd Fellows?” This question can take many forms. It can be: “Tell me about the Odd Fellows.” Or: “What do the Odd Fellows do?” Or even: “What is this place?” But it is a very important question because it shows that the questioner may have real curiosity, perhaps even interest, about the Order and/or your Lodge. It is the possible entree to a discussion about Odd Fellowship, and it raises the possibility that you may have a person who, ultimately, will submit an application to join your Lodge.

But, do YOU have an answer? If the question were asked of you right now, what would you say?

I urge you to reflect on this for a bit, to be prepared to answer the question if and when it is asked to you. Your answer to the question is important for two reasons. First, it can provide the questioner with real information about the Order and about your Lodge that may, ultimately, result in a new member. Second, it also reveals your own conception of your fraternity, and your own mindset of the importance of Odd Fellowship to you. Your answer can be very revealing.

Now, most members would be able to respond to the question with a brief history of Odd Fellowship – information of its founding, that it is a fraternal order, that it came to California and expanded during the Gold Rush, etc. Most members would talk about Friendship, Love and Truth. And all that is good and important. But if you stop there, you have only told half the story. It’s all well and good to talk about the “past”. But what can you tell the questioner about the “present” of your Lodge? That’s the other half of the story. Is all you can say about the present that your Lodge meets once or twice a month, that next Tuesday you are going to have a potluck at the Lodge Hall, and your Lodge gives out a $500 scholarship to the local high school once a year? If that’s all your Lodge does, I suggest that the past and the present will not add up to a “future” for your Lodge. Virtually no one wants to join a Lodge that doesn’t do much more than have meetings, schedule the occasional potluck, and cut a check for an annual scholarship. It’s nice to talk about Friendship, Love and Truth – but how does that translate into action in your Lodge and in your community?

Think about it. And how would you answer “the question”

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California


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