It’s an exciting time to be an Odd Fellow!
One more time for the people sitting way down by the VICE GRAND:
“ITS A SUPER AWESOME AMAZING EXCITING TIME TO BE AN ODD FELLOW!”
As it is now, we have SIX AWESOME THINGS coming together at nearly the same time that I think can really help boost or reshape the Order! Some of these things have been in place a few years and others are coming up. But taken together they are a compelling force.
First, is The Dedicated Members for Change who have been around a number of years, whose goal is to push new member recruitment. Second is the soon to be available book on Odd Fellowship written by Brother Louie Sarmiento entitled “Odd Fellows – Rediscovering More Than 200 Years of History, Traditions, and Community Service.” The book will be available worldwide, and will open more eyes to the history and traditions of Odd Fellowship. Brother Dave Rosenberg is also coming out with a book, that takes us into the future of the Order, entitled The Future of Odd Fellowship–the Next Century. Brother Dave Rosenberg has done an amazing job with Davis Lodge #169 in Davis, California. The fourth thing is that Brother Peter Sellars has been working on a soon to be published book on the American Civil War and Odd Fellowship! As a historian, I can’t wait to read it! Another thing is the new http://www.ioof.org website. It’s dynamic, up to date, and makes it easy for people to learn about and join the Order, AND the Order is also on Facebook and Instagram. And finally, there’s Heart In Hand Blog, with over 41,000 views!
These 6 major efforts, worked on by dozens of Odd Fellows, are powerful, and we’re doing everything we can to see to it you have an Odd Fellows lodge to join or visit in the future! We’re busting our backs spreading the word about the Order online, through literature, and being leaders in Sovereign Grand Lodges, Grand Lodges, and Lodges. And we need ya’ll to step up with us.
But, what are you doing? What is your Grand Lodge doing? Are you raising enough hell (respectfully please) to get members to make the changes you need to make to your Lodge and Grand Lodge the greatest it can be?
We need to focus on recruitment, learning ritual, shoring up the Lodge, and getting the word out. Spend more time talking about how “Odd” we are to friends and relatives. Buy IOOF tee shirts, hoodies, caps, and stickers to show our pride (see our store). We need to make videos, podcasts, and posters. We need to visit your local mayors and city council members and ask to get involved in city projects!
And we want to support and work with all six of these current efforts. We need to subscribe to Dedicated Members for Change emails, we need to buy Dave Rosenberg’s book, we need to purchase Louie Sarmiento’s book, and look forward to reading Peter Sellars’ book, and we need to read Heart In Hand Blog. Let’s visit http://www.ioof.org and encourage others to visit the site as well. And although all of these efforts may occasionally hold different views or have different information about Odd Fellowship, I think we are focusing on these main issues: to increase our membership and make the Order more relevant to the 21st Century!
Odd Fellowship is yours to lose! Don’t blow it!
It’s also time for those of you who have been reading Heart In Hand and aren’t Odd Fellows yet, to step up. Odd Fellows is one of the world’s oldest humanitarian organizations and is over 250 years old. We help the poor, the sick, and the distressed. We’re an ancient and worthy organization and you should join.
Your community, city, and state/province need you. Children, the elderly, poor neighborhoods, the homeless, animals, and the environment need you. And you can help by joining us. And you can learn super cool 250 year old rituals, how to run a non profit, and leadership skills while you’re at it. Visit http://www.ioof.org for details about how to join or start your own lodge. Don’t be afraid to ask us questions!
If you’ve dropped out of the Order for whatever reason, come back, please! If you got busy with life, forgot to pay dues, or whatever, take care of it and get back in! If you dropped out because you weren’t pleased with your Lodge, start another one. Here’s an article with our take on that: https://oddfellowsguide.com/2018/03/02/frustrated-with-your-lodge-start-over/
In short, you HAVE to step up, because you’re not a quitter. Be a starter! If you need help with Lodge or Grand Lodge issues, you can contact us here and we’ll figure out who you might contact. If you want to start a Lodge but aren’t getting cooperation, we may be able to help. But, you have to get involved.
So, are you in?
Scott Moye is an award-winning history educator and collector of Arkansas folklore. He grew up on a cotton farm and is currently a museum worker. Hobbies include: old house restoration, writing, amateur radio, Irish traditional music, archery, craft beer, old spooky movies, and street performance. He is a member of Marshall Lodge #1, in Marshall, Arkansas, and a founder of Heart In Hand Blog.