Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

We are in the new calendar year – 2017. Happy New Year! There are a little over four months remaining in my term as Grand Master. This also means the per capita forms are either on your secretary’s desk or in front of a small group of officers working to complete those five pages of forms.

Part of my opening speech during my installation last May, included the importance of having these forms completed and submitted, along with the per capita payment by February 28, 2017, which is the deadline set by the Grand Secretary, by code.

Having a successful lodge and an active membership, is reflected in how well a lodge complies to Order related requirements, such as filling out simple per capita forms and sending them on time. This is as important as completing your lodge’s IRS reporting, corporation filing and other required documentation. In fact, I would go so far as to say, this year, submitting the completed per capita forms is paramount in sustaining the lodge charter.

IF YOU ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH COMPLETING YOUR PER CAPITA FORMS, contact the Grand Secretary immediately! Do not wait until the end of January and especially February! I am strongly urging you to submit these forms as soon as possible.

A lodge, by code is deemed “Not in Good Standing” if its per capita is not satisfied by the due date. I hope all of you are asking your lodge officers about the status of the per capita forms.

With that admonition, I am confident I am speaking to the choir and all of you are working diligently and responsibly on your per capita forms.

On February 4, 2017, there will be a Dedication Ceremony of the new Grand Lodge office in San Jose. Myself, with a few of our Grand Lodge officers shall dedicate the new office building. This is a space worthy of our Order and the business of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. I hope to see all of you on this date. There will be refreshments and tours of the new office. Your lodge secretary should have read the details of this event to you.

Finally, I wish to challenge all of you to bring an applicant to your next lodge meeting to submit an application for consideration. When was the last time you introduced a new applicant to the lodge? It is a fairly easy task. As a sponsor, you should explain all the benefits of our Order to a new applicant. The Educational Foundation is one of the best avenues for benefits we offer our members. Any member may apply for a grant, scholarship, or loan, from the Educational Foundation at Sovereign Grand Lodge. Our lodges offer numerous activities to members; as a member of the Order, you may visit any other lodge. There are so many avenues of interests to be created by new members. Some members enjoy researching the history of their lodge within a given community. Members enjoy fundraising for a local cause. Others, enjoy preparing a meal for a group. There are so many things any lodge can try. The Odd Fellows offer a 501c corporation, already in place within a community, where countless ideas may be tried. The opportunity for good works and fulfilling our command of the Initiatory Degree is right in front of all of us – new applicants and longtime members, both have that opportunity. Make a difference. I challenge you to bring a new applicant into this Order. Then, I hope to see open hearts and open minds being used.

I hope to see you, soon.

In Friendship, Love, & Truth

Peter V. Sellars