Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Does your Odd Fellows Lodge have a membership problem?
Does Odd Fellowship, in general, have a declining membership?
These issues would dissipate, if each of us, as Odd Fellows, just followed three simple precepts.
Almost everything in Odd Fellowship comes in threes. Like the three links that stand for Friendship, Love, Truth. So here’s another “three” for you to contemplate. If you are a true Odd Fellow, you are responsible for three things. First, you are responsible to yourself. Second, you are responsible to your brothers and sisters. Third, you are responsible to your Lodge. Let me explain.
Being responsible for yourself. Have you exercised the admonitions of “friendship” and “love” in your Odd Fellows Lodge? Do you treat all members of your Lodge with the same level of friendship or do you hang with just a few, or a clique? Do you have a pleasant demeanor in the Lodge, or are your edges sharp toward others? Do you say “how are you doing” to other members when you see them, and do you really mean it? When members are ill, or bothered by life’s challenges and vicissitudes, do you lend a friendly ear or a loving hand to help?
Being responsible for your Lodge mates. When you joined Odd Fellowship, you didn’t join a club – you joined a fraternal Lodge. A true Odd Fellow takes an active role in the activities and governance of the Lodge. Do you attend meetings and events, or do you just pay your dues once a year? Do you volunteer to help the Lodge in hosting events, or working in the kitchen, or setting up and cleaning up at events? Do you rely on other members to get things done, or do you step in to assist or to lead. Have you served in a Lodge office, whether elected or appointed?
Being responsible to your Lodge. Members come and go. Some drop out. Some move away or pass away. The individual human lifetime is finite. Lodges, however, can continue for generations. Fraternal orders can live on for centuries. For a Lodge to sustain itself and to continue year after year and decade after decade, it is required that the next generation of members be brought into the fold. And that, my friend, is your responsibility. Bringing in new members is the job of each and every one of us. As an Odd Fellow, you can’t just sit back and rely on the Noble Grand, or the Membership Chair, or someone else in the Lodge. Simply put, if each of us brought in just one new member every two years, this Order would have no membership problem. When was the last time you sponsored a new Odd Fellow?
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF)
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