A Yoga and Pilates Studio in Hyattsville, Maryland

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows – Part 2

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows became the 1st national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the Ulysses S. Grant administration from 1868 – 1873.

Schuyler Colfax

Schuyler Colfax

Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children.

Today, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs continue to exist with nearly 10,000 lodges in approximately 26 countries. In keeping with the times, the past laws mandating the separation of men and women into different Lodges have been amended.  Women are now Odd Fellows, and men can become Rebekahs.

The following youtube video gives a brief history and overview of the Odd Fellows. Click here

Ideally, an Odd Fellows Lodge, such as the one upstairs from Yoga Space, is a place for fellowship in all its forms, from hanging out with other members and just having fun, to discussions, to networking, to collaboration on creative and constructive projects, all with an eye not only on our own satisfaction, but on what we might offer to the community at large.  For example, we continually contribute to the St. Jerome’s Café, which offers a meal to needy people each Thursday at 12:30 pm.  They also offer each person a bagged lunch to take with them. Up to 90 people take advantage of St. Jerome’s Cafe each week.

When I first opened Yoga Space, my curiosity got the better of me and one day I went upstairs to find out more about their organization. Before I knew it, I was a member.  The second year I was there, they made me Noble Grand, which is the president of the Lodge.  I held that position for one year.  Then I became Secretary.  And I have remained Secretary since that time.

Next month I will tell you how you can help. Stay tuned…

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