|JULY 31, 2011 --
I had a wonderful experience this week. I’m not going to name the individuals, but I want to share the experience.
On Thursday evening, we had our new, reorganized, and revitalized Grange discussion held via a teamspeak conference, which is sponsored by the National Grange. The topic of the evening was the “meaning of fraternal in the Grange.”
We had a good group of members ranging from Maine to California who participated, including a brand new E-Member from Texas.
We discussed the meaning of fraternal in the dictionary and found that the origin of the word comes from the Latin for brother. The discussion then began on what it means in the Grange.
Friendship and the social aspects of fraternalism were first discussed. Then the shared experiences of the Grange were shown as a source of fraternal bonding between members. Grange leaders who give opportunities in leadership development to the members are an important part of our fraternal structure. The trait of members coming together and providing support for those who go through sad or tough times is a positive element of Grange fraternalism. Finally how the members come together to celebrate members’ milestones during life was shown to be an important ingredient of fraternalism.
The evening discussion then turned to how we can build a stronger fraternal spirit in our Community Granges. The importance of each officer doing their best during the meetings and other activities such as installation of officers and the three methods of bring new members into regular membership.
We finalized the evening with a talk about what the Master/President, Chaplain, Lecturer/Program Director, and the Graces (Ceres, Pomona, and Flora) could do to strengthen the fraternal spirit in the Grange.
At the end of the hour discussion, the new E-Member stated that he was very impressed with what we had talked about. He had also found out where the Texas State Grange and said he was going to check it out if possible.
The E-Member sent me an email this morning which stated in part, “I attended the morning session of the Texas Grange in Blanco. It was wonderful! I wish I had known about it earlier so I could have planned to spend the entire weekend, but other obligations called me away.
“I was treated as a real welcome member. Everybody was just wonderful. Master Jack Smithers had me introduced to the meeting as the “first Emember in Texas”! You should be really proud of the Texas Grange for the way they embraced the emembership program.”
The result of an hour discussion on one aspect of Grange membership was an E-Member who now is seeing what the Grange potential for members really are. The members in Texas now also have a new friend.
If you want to hear what is going on in the Grange, go to our website www.nationalgrange.org and check out the events. There are two to three meetings using teamspeak each month on a wide variety of topics. There are highlights of a lot of different programs and all you have to do is join in to reap the benefits of Grange membership. You can even join online as an E-Member or find a local Grange to join.
I invite you to become a part of the Grange!