Wandering In The Wilderness – by Toby Hanson, Sovereign Grand Musician

If you’re reading this and you’re an Odd Fellow who has taken your Degrees (and remembers them) then you no doubt see the parallels between my experience on the road as a musician and what we teach in our Degrees. The idea of our Degrees is to try and simulate that very experience I had in my time of crisis while on the road playing music. Leaving the safety of home can be dangerous, whether you’re flying down the interstate highway with other musicians from town to town plying your trade or you’re traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho on foot.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New Arrangements of the Odes- by Toby Hanson, Sovereign Grand Musician

I have prepared fresh arrangements of the opening and closing odes for the Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, and Encampment. They are written in a clear, accessible style that will be easy for pianists to read and singers to follow. There are introductions to each ode so that singers can find the key and know when to begin singing. Knowing that there is a greater diversity of musicians in Odd Fellowship than just pianists, I have also included a melody line with chords so that guitarists and players of other chordal instruments can easily read along and accompany singing.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Using Arts Events to Connect to Your Community – by Toby Hanson

There are many different kinds of arts events that lodges can participate in. They can host concerts, lectures, dance recitals, art shows, plays, and many others. If your town has an Art Walk near your lodge hall, you can become a host and bring artists into your lodge to display their work on Art Walk nights. This also gives an opportunity to have members on hand to answer questions about Odd Fellowship.

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