Changes in the I.O.O.F. of California- by Rodney Metoyer Grand Rep. (CA)

Rodney Metoyer, Grand Representative (CA)


To the Members of the Order,

Why are we debating changing our rules to accommodate just a few members?

Over the year, there have been lots of communications written and many changes presented in the form of bills and resolutions. Has it been good or bad for the Order?

Let’s look at the definition of the word “change.” According to the dictionary it means to make (someone or something) different; to alter or modify. For example, “both parties voted against proposals to change the law,” “technology and the internet have dramatically changed the way we communicate,” “fame hasn’t changed her one bit.”

Resistance to change is a natural feeling because many members over the years become comfortable with the status quo and change is hard to accept. Change is a necessity for any organization to continue. We must change the way we do business in order to survive into the future. We must recruit younger members in our lodges. Preferably, 25-50 year olds. Bringing in 50 to 102-year-olds is okay, but the 25 to 50 years olds are our future. They are longer term members who will likely be with us for a longer period of time.

IN ALL AREAS WE MUST STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR THE PROBLEMS THAT WE FACE. We must concentrate on our own issues, fixing those we are responsible for ourselves. We should also let other members fix their own issues themselves. Contrary to popular belief, no single member makes decisions for the Order in California. All concerns are addressed by the Grand Master and Grand Lodge Board of Directors before being ratified by the membership at sessions. My suggestion is, that if you don’t understand something that is happening, call the Grand Lodge office or call the Grand Master! Don’t believe what another member is telling you, because most of the time they don’t have the full story. Don’t rely on hearsay, but get the information from the source! Even second-hand information is generally not correct.

Gossip is Nature’s Telephone

Let’s revisit change as we have two controversial issues facing the Order today, that were submitted by a member. The first is to remove the Supreme Being from our Code. The second is to remove the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father”) from the Ritual.

On the first issue, when you signed your application to become a member of this Order, you were asked the question, do you believe in a Supreme Being? You answered “yes” and signed the application, indicating your belief.

When you were interviewed by the interviewing committee of your lodge, you were asked the same question again. Your answer was “yes.” This is one of the reasons the committee recommend that you be accepted for membership.

Also, when you took the Initiatory Degree, the Outside Conductor asked you the same question, “do you believe in a Supreme Being?”. He or she let you know if the answer was no, you cannot continue on to become a member.

You were asked this question three times before you become a member. So, the fundamental question is, why is this now an issue after you became a member?

On the second issue, The Lord’s Prayer in the Ritual, was not originally in the Ritual in the early to mid 19th century. It was added in as optional in the late 1800’s and made a standard part of the Chaplain’s part in the early 1900’s. The Ritual does not specify that anyone must recite the Lords Prayer except for the Chaplain. When the Chaplain offers the Prayer, the rest of the membership is not required to recite it in unison with them. No one is forcing any other member to say a prayer. The question we should ask ourselves is why was it put into the Ritual years ago?

Both issues have been part of the INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS Ritual for many years.
Rodney Metoyer, Past Grand Master

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2 thoughts on “Changes in the I.O.O.F. of California- by Rodney Metoyer Grand Rep. (CA)

  1. While the comment that members were asked about their belief in a supreme being is correct the question should be does this requirement help or hinder growth.


  2. Being tolerant is one of the many lessons we learn being a Odd Fellow , and a lesson many others need to learn . There are many beliefs, all of them teach kindness and tolerance towards others . It does not offend anyone to listen to another’s prayer nor does it take anything away from what you yourself believe. Our ritual doesn’t hinder anyone , lack of tolerance hinders someone. Trying to find wrong in everything hinders growth ,wastes time and ignores the good .


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