During the last five decades membership has decreased across the board in fraternal organizations and the Odd Fellows and Rebekah’s are no exception.
Minnesota currently hosts eighteen Odd Fellow Lodges, twelve Rebekah Lodges and one Youth Lodge. The decline of membership has been due to many influences through the years, among them the refinement of trade unions that now house many of the “Odd Trades” of the working class. Would that there was no need for organizations such as the Odd Fellows, we could happily decree “Our work is done!” We, however, feel there is still much to be done. With the state of the current economy, healthcare a top ranking national issue and the off shoring of American jobs, we recognize the need for the resurgence towards brotherhood and sisterhood among newly established and current business owners, and once again a call is sounding to unite together in support of one another to aid fellow human beings in times of distress and hardship. Working together we do make a difference. In unity we will historically continue to effect profound change within the world.
In 2010, the decision was made to move our Grand Lodge from the St. Paul location to Hutchinson, Minnesota and it is now housed within the Hassan Valley Lodge No.109 location at 146 Main Street South. Before the move could commence however, there was much work to be done. From rewiring, to painting, to floor refinishing and a little good ol’ fashioned elbow grease we are now moved into the new site. Two archive storage rooms have been established housing Minnesota Odd Fellow history. Photo books have been put together of our Past Grand Masters, Past Assembly Presidents and Odd Fellow buildings throughout the state of Minnesota; literature of all types and a full history of Newsletters from many states is cataloged; and all are on display. We also have established a conference room for the convenience of meetings. There is much history to organize which is housed here at the Grand Lodge and this will be a continuous task as we settle in.
We also recognize the ongoing need to reach out to our community youth, and in that respect have supported the development and sustenance of Camp FaHoCha. We offer a boys and a girl’s camp spanning a few weeks each July. In the off season of the camps, we rent the grounds out to various groups.
The Odd Fellowship also sustains a Minnesota Scholarship Program for Minnesota students who are working towards bettering themselves through higher learning. Our youth are our future and the future of this world. As Odd Fellows, we encourage youth to succeed in life, not only through support in joining the Odd Fellowship, but to also engage them in improving themselves. We are family oriented, and future focused.
For those who are not digitally savvy, we understand and want you to know, we offer our newsletter in hardcopy format while at the same time we join millions who have already “gone green” offering the digital version of our newsletters available through this site.
While there are many “old” traditions ingrained in Minnesota Odd Fellowship, we continuously strive to move into the future of our world while sustaining the underpinning of the fraternity – Friendship, Love and Truth – a timeless convention we still very much believe in.