Recently some Brethren have expressed suggestions that they do not want our wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and widows using the Lodge facilities for their meetings. The main reason was a planned fund raiser directly conflicting with our effort to endow the Grand Lodge. That issue has been put to rest and withdrawn by the Eastern Star and is no longer a concern.
If we as a fraternity are going to fulfill our mission, let alone survive the inundations of time we must unite. The family of Freemasonry consists of our Blue Lodges, the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, Shriners International, the Order of the Eastern Star, DeMolay International, the Order of Rainbow for Girls, and many others who are connected with Freemasonry. While each of the aforementioned Bodies are worthy of our support and consideration, as Grand Master I would like to expand on the Order of the Eastern Star.
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong. Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values, but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between our members. The wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other.
The Order of the Eastern Star is composed of people of deep spiritual convictions; it is open to all faiths. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star, and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can. Perhaps you have a local chapter meeting in your Lodge, and you are not fully cognizant of what they do?
Please allow me to share some of their purposes common with us:
- Charitable- we believe that we should help support our fellowman through philanthropic activities.
- Educational- there are two things which will change your life for the better or worse. They are the books you read and the people your meet. OES activities consist of presenting public forums, lectures, and programs to promote social welfare to combat community deterioration.
- Fraternal- we are a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to foster fellowship and mutual benefits among our members to the benefit of society.
- Scientific- study allegorical symbols detailing the lessons of 5 heroines.
However there is much more to do, because when the family of freemasonry unites there will be no mountain too high or valley to deep which we cannot overcome. Dr. Rob Morris PGM, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order using the beautiful and inspiring Biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through precept and example build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness.
With this in mind why would our Lodges not welcome our wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and widows into our facilities? I am aware that disagreements exists between certain factions in each organization, however we must find common ground and unite. We do not always have to agree, but we need to unite in harmony. Unity will help the Blue Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star apply spiritual principles enabling each one to renew our strength.
Perhaps it is time for those who disagree with welcoming the Eastern Star to use our lodges should look in the mirror and examine their reasons. I know that the barriers which have been built will not easily be removed; all I am asking is that if you do not agree with welcoming our wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and widows into our lodges to examine your reasons and remove them one brick at a time.
Our Great Light informs us that all gifts are from GOD. Consequently we see recorded in the loom of time countless reminders of those whom climbed the ladder of fame, and those who stumble under the weight of praise. Additionally there are those who serve as presiding Officer and refuse to relinquish the authority they received at their installation. I see nothing positive from holding on to resentment and clinging to some territorial prominence.
- Titles and honors are fleeting, be meek
- Talent is God- given, be humble
- Fame is man-given, be thankful
- Conceit is self-serving, be careful
Therefore let us humbly welcome Eastern Star members into our lodges so that the honor of our Fraternity may remain unsullied and we continue to support each other in brotherly and sisterly love.