Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

Odd Fellowship is non-sectarian and non-political, and that is as it should be. That said, wise words and good deeds are still wise words and good deeds no matter who says the words or who does the deeds – and that includes religious and political leaders.

Last summer, Grand Chaplain Rita Cooper presented the annual sermon given by the Grand Chaplain at Three Links Camp. That sermon was entitled: “Doing God’s Work: Yesterday, Today and Forever.” That sermon was also published in this DMC Newsletter. Rita has written a follow-up article, and it is presented, below.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California

Reflections on the Pope’s recent US visit

The Pope is not an Odd Fellow, but . . . .

Although our Order is specifically non-sectarian and welcomes people of good will from all faiths, and although I, myself am a child of the Church of England, I couldn’t help but notice, on the occasion of Pope Francis’ recent visit to our country, that his messages to Congress and to the United Nations had some language very familiar, and close to the hearts of our Fellowship. When he said, “Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of solidarity,” it made me think of that central link of our defining commitment to Friendship, Love and Truth.

Further, he called for those with power and authority to speak with “a voice of fraternity and love” and that we should strive for “the ideal of human fraternity”. The reason for this ideal he believed is that “the common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundation of universal fraternity”.

The importance of Universal Justice, that central tenet and watchword our Order’s Patriarchs Militant, was reflected in the Pope’s assertion that, “Justice is an essential condition for achieving the ideal of universal fraternity.”

When reflecting upon this particular time of violence and destruction in the world and the despair, cynicism and nihilism that they can produce, he said, “Our response must be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice”, words that resonate with our own Patriarchs’ standing call for Faith, Hope and Charity.

So, no Pope Francis is not an Odd Fellow, but it does seems clear that we share with him many fundamental goals and aspirations for our world, a world enlightened with Friendship, Love and Truth, motivated by Faith, Hope and Charity, and striving for Universal Justice.

In Friendship, Love and Truth,

Rita Cooper,
Grand Chaplain
Director, Grand Lodge of California

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