Greeting Brothers and Sisters,
First and foremost, my thanks and gratitude to all of those whose help, support and guidance led me to assume the office of Loyal Knight for the upcoming year. This has been a tumultuous time for both Elkdom as a whole and for our very own Lodge. One thing that remains unchanged are the tenets of our Order: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. Now more than ever these ideals offer both a road map and a mission statement of a better way to conduct our lives and enrich our communities. It is the first tenet, Charity, that directly led to the transformation of the Jolly Corkers into the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. We all joined this Lodge for a myriad of personal reasons, but one that ties it all together is the desire to give in service of others: our time,our money, our resources, our labor, our experience, ourselves. Despite all of our individual differences, we are united by a common bond and belief that if you want the world to be a better place than you need to work to make the world a better place.
In this uncertain time of social distancing and isolation, I am asking all of you to take a moment of self-reflection to complete my ‘Three R’s Challenge’: Re-Examine, Re-Evaluate and Re-Engage. With everything going on in today’s world: politically, socially and medically; many of us may have forgotten why we became an Elk and what our motivation was. As we begin a new year in our Lodge, it is the perfect time to remind yourself of why you are proud to be called Elk. And if you are not proud, how can that change?
Re-Examine. Did you come from a life of privilege and wanted to give back to the community? Did you come from a life of nothing and you want to make sure that few people as possible experience the same? Do you have an innate drive to help those in need? Were you looking for friends and companionship? Are you carrying on a family legacy? The answer may be different for each of us, but examine why it was becoming an Elk in particular that was important.
Re-Evaluate. As a member of the Lodge, how active are you? Do you volunteer your time or labor? Do you donate to our various causes? Do you attend our events, as a customer or a helper? Do you attend the weekly Lodge meeting and make sure that your voice is heard and your vote is cast? Do you recruit others to join? Are you applying yourself to the tenets of our Order? Ask yourself the hard and honest question: “Am I being the best Elk that I can be? Can I do more?”
Re-Engage. The monthly newsletter and the website (corvalliselks.org) contain up to date information on all of our events and volunteer opportunities. Start by picking just one and contribute in any way that you can: Planning, prepping, organizing, executing, and cleaning up all our rife with volunteer opportunities. Show up to an event and participate, have dinner, order a cocktail from the bar. Our Lodge meets every Thursday from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, start attending. Wear your Elks regalia in the community so people will ask you questions. Identify a skill or trade you possess that may contribute to the Lodge itself.
The community is going to need us now more than ever. In order to meet that need, we need our members to recommit to our Lodge and to Elkdom. The hard truth is that for an organization with hundreds of people, the same handful of dedicated Elks shoulder the burden for the rest of us. Together, we can make an impact. And the more of us that are actively engaged, the bigger and more significant impact that we can make. I promise you that the work is hard, but the feeling of satisfaction and gratification is unmatched. Thank you for your time, thank you for your effort; I look forward to going on this journey with you.
Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not necessarily represent those of Corvallis Elks Lodge #1413, Grand Lodge, or the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.