Ten years ago, I wrote a DMC Newsletter focusing on the forgotten members of our Odd Fellows Lodges. It is as true today as it was a decade ago, and it’s worth remembering. So, here is that newsletter from April 21, 2013.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Independent Order of Odd Fellows


 

Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

As you know, the vast majority of our Odd Fellows Lodges in California are either experiencing a yearly “net loss” in members, or (at best) are static, showing neither a gain nor a loss. Only a few Lodges are showing a “net gain” in members, and only only a small fraction show a significant net gain on a regular basis.

An Odd Fellows Lodge can experience a gain when new members are brought in and initiated. And when members resign, or withdraw, or pass away, a Lodge will experience a loss. So, it’s important not only to bring in new members, but also to do what we can to make sure existing members stay engaged in our Lodges and do not resign or withdraw. It is that latter issue that I will address in today’s newsletter. Specifically, here is an excerpt from an e-mail recently sent to me by a long-time member of DMC:

“Dave, I had a chance to talk with one of our long-time members about why some members no longer attend meetings or others have resigned from the lodge. This member brought up one member who has not attended lodge in about three years. He said that this other member was a great worker, always there if you needed help and how he really appreciated all that this member did for the lodge.

So asked an interesting question of him; I asked, “Have you taken the time to tell them how much you appreciate what they have contributed to the lodge?” His response was, “Well, No.”

I think that this subject likely may be occurring in many lodges. How often do we take the time to visit with a member who has stopped coming to the meetings to find out why they don’t come any more? Even more interesting, when is the last time we have told that member how much we appreciate what they do for the lodge? How many members would come back to lodge if we all made a list of members in our lodge who have stopped attending meeting and visit them to let them know how much we miss them and appreciate their contribution to the lodge?”

Could this also be the situation in your Odd Fellows Lodge? Have you done all that you can to re-engage members whom you haven’t seen at the Lodge for awhile? And when members come to the Lodge, do you include them in discussions and activities? During “good of the order” do you compliment members for their input, their actions, and their contributions?

Certainly food for thought.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Jurisdiction of California

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