THE CHOICES WE MAKE, FOR BETTER OR WORSE; STILL, IT IS OUR CHOICE

In May, our jurisdiction faces some very important decisions. In May, each year, we elect our next leaders. In May, we either support or defeat various legislation – bills and resolutions – which all of us are supposed to be studying in April. April, is the month for preparation. It is the reason our lodges receive the Advance Proceedings seven weeks before the session. These documents are to better prepare all of our lodges’ representatives. May, is the month every lodge has an opportunity to be heard. When roll call is taken, and all those in attendance know which lodges are still relevant or not, be sure the silence is not for your lodge.

This May, we decide if our dues shall increase another five dollars. This May, we decide to modernize the tasks of our line officers. This May, we decide if we are going to forgive loans to several lodges. This May, we decide if we should recognize certain members for their efforts in the Order. This May, we review the actions of our Grand Lodge Board, the Grand Master, the Camp Board, the Home Board, and others. This May, we decide whether or not we shall keep the Camp. This May, is when we decide many issues.

This leader wishes every member would attend our session. I wish members read the documents provided to the lodges and submit themselves to an educated and well-thought out vote. I wish for a peaceful and positive session, where all of our members realize there are bigger and more important things in this world, then the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, yet realize they are taking a moment out in their lives – spending moments of their life time – to improve our Order and make it a suitable organization for the future. I want all of you to put matters in perspective. I wish for peace and harmony amongst the membership of this Order. The session is where decisions are made. It is the place to ask questions without retribution. I ask all of those who are attending the session this May, to vote for what you know is right; and do not vote for what suits a selfish motivation.

In May, some of our members may feel intimidated and reluctant to stand up and be recognized; BUT, I TELL YOU NOW, DO NOT FEEL THIS WAY BECAUSE OF WHAT ANYONE SAYS OR THREATENS. This leader encourages members to stand up and speak. I want to hear your motion and your discussion put on the floor. I want to see your confidence grow as the session moves ahead. Brothers and sisters, this moment is yours. This is the time to speak up and voice your opinion, but in an orderly fashion. I ask that all of our “experienced members at sessions” to be respectful and even helpful and encouraging to these newer brothers and sisters. This is a fraternity after all.

In a month and half, I end on what has been a very busy year. There were a few lodges I wish I could have addressed personally, but, instead, I assigned special deputies; I could not be in so many places at the same time. I laugh to myself, as I write this, because my report was several pages longer than what was expected. I had a lot to say, but it was important to tell all of you what I could about the experiences and issues we face and must make decisions upon. Several of these decisions are contained within my resolutions. I carefully thought about each topic. I ONLY CHOSE WHAT WAS BEST FOR THE ORDER, and did not succumb to the selfishness of individuals who siphon from the precious assets used to keep our jurisdiction operating in the black. I hope you shall read the advance proceedings, which your lodge should now have, and the reports by myself, the boards, and other leaders, which you shall receive at session.

In repeating myself: In May, our jurisdiction faces some very important decisions.

In Friendship, Love, & Truth,

Peter V. Sellars
Grand Master