But What Do You DO? -by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

When it comes to explaining Odd Fellowship to people not familiar with fraternalism, it’s a challenge.  The two most common modes of explaining the Order to others are either 1) comparing it to certain *other* fraternal groups (of the apron-wearing persuasion, usually) or 2) talking vaguely about community service and listing off some of our bigger charitable partners or a couple of local lodge activities.

Read More But What Do You DO? -by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

How to Run A Lodge Meeting – by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

We’ve all attended lodge meetings that were slow, boring, meandering, and pointless. Nothing kills the desire of members to participate in meetings faster than having to sit through terrible, formless meetings with seemingly no reason to be there. Having been through that very same experience too many times myself, I decided to gather some sources and put together a guide to how a lodge meeting should be run.

Read More How to Run A Lodge Meeting – by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

Anarchist, Thelemite, Odd Fellow: A Conflicted Initiate (and an Account of the Initiatory Degree) -by Vincent St. Clare

This initiation also had a certain character to it given that I am a confirmed Minerval (0°) in Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), another secret society and fraternal order, and a baptized Thelemite and member of its eclessiastical arm Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the Gnostic Catholic Church. The fact that I assent to many of the ideas put forth by the receiver or writer of The Book of the Law, Aleister Crowley, and the novel ideas inherent to Thelema and the New Aeon, both meshed and clashed in interesting ways with what I discovered about Odd Fellowship.

Read More Anarchist, Thelemite, Odd Fellow: A Conflicted Initiate (and an Account of the Initiatory Degree) -by Vincent St. Clare

Religion and Odd Fellowship -by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

The end result of all of this is that Odd Fellowship is left in a kind of middle ground. For some, the secrecy of our operations is reason enough to raise suspicions of our activities. For others, our religious inclusion makes us unsuitable. For still others, there’s already too much inclusion of religion within Odd Fellowship. We’re non-political and non-sectarian. You can support the political philosophy of your choice and worship in the way that suits your conscience and still be an Odd Fellow.

Read More Religion and Odd Fellowship -by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

Why I Joined -by Sergio Paredes

With the rise of Wi-Fi and mobile smart phones came the decline of in-person friendships and authentic human contact. I didn’t know what had happened until I found myself wondering what was missing. At one point I thought it was my career. Then 2008 came and I lost the job I saw providing something I thought I wanted but didn’t need. Then life took my attention as family and work took over my schedule. So I continued to go about still wondering why I just couldn’t find that sense of fulfillment. No matter how many friends or followers I had on social media, every time I looked back there was no one there. As my schedule slowly opened up I was able to use my biggest distraction to my advantage: I Googled fraternities.

Read More Why I Joined -by Sergio Paredes

Do We *REALLY* Want New Members? -by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

All of us would agree that we say we want members, but when those members do actually join, what kind of experience are we giving them? Are we treating them in a way that shows them that we appreciate them? We do a pretty good job of selling the ideal of Odd Fellowship: a universal brotherhood where we meet together regularly in active, interesting lodges with meaningful rituals and tasteful regalia…However, we need to be honest with ourselves about whether that’s actually the experience we’re offering potential members when they make the commitment to be Odd Fellows.

Read More Do We *REALLY* Want New Members? -by Toby Hanson, PGM, PGP

Members Have Needs Too – by Billy Sanderson

Prior to joining Odd Fellows, I realized that I was unhappy with certain parts of my life, and at the time I found hard to articulate what these parts were. When I look at the hierarchy today, I estimate that I was not having my “Belongingness” and “Esteem” needs fulfilled by everyday and work life until I joined. As leaders in our lodges, we can easily be aware of Members who are striving for more. They are saying or act like they are “all-in”, or they “can’t get enough”. We can see it in their enthusiastic participation in meetings or events. These members can get our attention for “moving up” to become officers and mentors for new members. 

Read More Members Have Needs Too – by Billy Sanderson

Second New Podcast! Modern Goat Rider

The landscape for Odd Fellows podcasts has been baren for too long! If you have been searching for information about Odd Fellows or how to live a life full of Oddfellowship, then this podcast is ready for your discovery. Brother Billy Sanderson and Brother Josh Miller discuss life inside and outside of Odd Fellows. When joined by guests their view of Odd Fellows around the world expands. Subscribe and listen to join them on the journey.

Read More Second New Podcast! Modern Goat Rider

NEW PODCAST! The Three Links Odd Cast!

Odd Fellowship is about to make a major stride into the Twenty-first Century with the launch of The Three Links Odd Cast, the first major podcast focused on the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Hosted by Sovereign Grand Musician Toby Hanson, SGL Communications Committee member Ainslie Heilich, and Brother Sergio Paredes, the podcast will feature discussion of various topics of interest to Odd Fellows including history, origins, traditions, current situations, and others. The format of the podcast is a guided discussion with each episode having a particular focus. For the first episode, the hosts discussed their experiences in joining the Odd Fellows and shared observations on the process.

Read More NEW PODCAST! The Three Links Odd Cast!