What Is The Order Of The Eastern Star?
You may have been wondering, “What is the Order of the Eastern Star?” The simple answer is that the Order of the Eastern Star is one of the largest fraternal organizations in the world to which both women and men can belong. The Order has over one million members belonging to over 7,500 chapters worldwide.
Purposes and Goals
Eastern Star provides an organization where women and men with high moral character, a desire to work for the betterment of others and a drive to make the world a better place can contribute their time, energy and wisdom to our Order for the good of all mankind throughout the world.
Who Can Join Eastern Star?
Women with a specific Masonic affiliation may become members. Men who are Master Masons are eligible. Women who are Majority members, or who are eighteen years of age and have been active in the NC Gleaners may join without a Masonic relationship.
The Masonic affiliation required for a woman to become a member must be one of the following: the wife or widow, sister, stepsister, daughter, half-sister, stepdaughter, sister-in-law, legally adopted daughter, niece, daughter-in-law, step mother, grandmother, mother-in-law of an affiliated Master Mason. The Master Mason whom a woman might be using for her affiliation to belong to the Eastern Star does not have to be a member of the Order himself.
In addition to the above requirements, to join Eastern Star, you must also:
- be of good moral character
- believe in a Supreme Being
- be at least 18 years old
- believe in the laws of the United States of America
- be willing to assume the obligation of the Order and participate in the ceremony of initiation.
- not be convicted of a felony or adjudged an habitual criminal under the law of any state or of the United States.
How Do I Become A Member?
If you are not familiar with anyone in a chapter in your area, you may contact the Chapter Secretary in your area to express your desire for additional information.
The Chapter you intend to join will provide you with a petition, which you must fill out completely. It should be returned to the Chapter Secretary as soon as possible with the appropriate fees.
Your petition will be submitted to an Investigation Committee composed of members of the Chapter that you wish to join. Shortly thereafter, each individual member of the Investigation Committee will contact you to set a time and place for a meeting. This is done:
- to ask a few very simple questions.
- to provide you with an opportunity to meet some of the Chapter members.
- to provide some of the Chapter members an opportunity to meet you and
- to verify your Masonic affiliation.
The information that the Investigation Committee receives will be reported to the Worthy Matron.
If all of the information is in order, the report of the Committee will be submitted to he Chapter members at a stated meeting and a vote will be taken. If the vote is favorable, you will have been elected to receive the Degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star. The Secretary will notify you of the results and arrange for you to be initiated into the Order.
A Way of Life in Eastern Star
Eastern Star provides us with an avenue of compassion and concern, not only for our Sisters and Brothers in the Order of the Eastern Star, but to ourselves, our country, and our faith. In addition, it enters us into a way of life that all of us want for our families and ourselves.
Each of us has an inner need to do something for others, and sometimes it is difficult to determine just how to begin. The Order of the Eastern Star offers that guidance and provides an outlet, as well as serving as a resource center and support group.
Both women and men join a Fraternal Order to make friends and enjoy the fellowship. Members and their families can enjoy interacting with others who share their beliefs.
Most importantly, the Order of the Eastern Star takes good citizens and makes them even better. We continue to be central in the development of the American promise of human opportunity and personal fulfillment.
When And Why Was Eastern Star Formed?
Dr. Rob Morris, known as the “Poet Laureate of Masonry,” conceived the Order of the Eastern Star in 1850. Dr. Morris created the degrees of the Eastern Star around the lives of five Biblical women. They were Adah (Jephthah’s daughter), Ruth, Esther, Martha, and Electa. The reason was that each of these Biblical examples stands for one the tenets of the Order. They are Fidelity, Constancy, Loyalty, Faith, and Love.
Even though our ceremonies are based on heroines from the Bible, the Order of the Eastern Star is clearly not a religion. It does not pretend to take the place of a religion, or serve as a substitute for the religious beliefs of its members. Our members come from all denominations.
The Order of the Eastern Star is a Masonic-related fraternal organization of women and men dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness. This order is comprised of people with deep religious convictions and spiritual values, open to all faiths except no faith.
Although not a part of the Masonic fraternity, membership is based on a Masonic affiliation or relationship, a belief in God, a desire to acquire additional knowledge and for self improvement.
The degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star teach lessons of fidelity, constancy, loyalty, faith and love. These degrees are presented in a beautiful ritualistic ceremony designed to not only teach the lessons, but also to provide insight for future study and understanding.
The organization was founded in the mid to late 1800s by our founder, Dr. Rob Morris, for the expressed purpose of offering support and affiliation to the wives, mothers, daughters, grandchildren, etc. of Free Masons. The organization is open to both male and female.
Local Eastern Star chapters select their own charities and places of service in their own communities. Some statewide projects include scholarships for ministerial students, other general scholarships for youth, and supporting a home for aged members. Each year special charities are selected for that year’s emphasis and might include volunteer programs in elementary schools or volunteers in literacy programs and specific community outreach.
For more information, visit the Maine OES website, or contact our local Chapter Secretary, Patricia Bishop, 18 Floyd Street, Brewer, ME 04412
To contact the Eastern Star, Please fill out the form below.