As we enter another year, this presents us with an opportunity to write a new chapter and start a new beginning. For the last 68 years, our Fraternal Order has worked very hard to build a solid foundation for our members. Since Dr. Banks, Rev. Kirksey, and Brother Allen signed the first documents, our focus has been to make men and women better as well as incorporate a structure for youth and young adults to grow and flourish.
Now we are faced with preparing for the next 68 years and putting into place a structure for our Lodges, Chapters, States, National Districts and Supreme Departments that will sustain the changes our society will go through. The one main focal points for our members and those interested in being members is service; how do we carry out our bedrock principle of making society better.
International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, Inc. and Order of the Eastern Star is a a Religious Fraternal Order. We respect all beliefs, however our foundation was built on Christian principles and values - those to which we continue to hold fast to. While the world and our society has changed so much since 1950, the landmarks and principles of Freemasonry developed in the 1700s remain the same. For our website, we continue to take great care to provide information and share memorable moments from our conventions, meetings, charitable and community service activities.
I know good men and women are attracted to Freemasonry in search for enlightenment and to become better, be it in their own life, families, community or the world we live in. Masons and Eastern Stars must believe in a Supreme Being, religious tolerance, freedom and equality – those are the tenets. We teach and practice temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice with every action, word and deed. I know our members take serious the duties of practicing charity and being of service to mankind. This is why we clothe, feed and donate to individuals and families in need through our #IFAMMCares initiative. Our work is known worldwide as well as in many communities throughout the United States.
Whether you have come to our website to learn more about our Fraternal Order, our appendant bodies or to acquire information to assist you as a member; we hope your experience is meaningful and your time has been spent in a worthwhile way. Our emblems, symbols and teachings are largely based on the operative art of Ancient Masons, those who worked hard in quarries using hand tools and knowledge they had earned to build edifices and other magnificent works of architecture. From the foundation to the highest level that can be achieved by a Mason or Eastern Star, we trust our site helps you in your quest for more knowledge and information.
As the Supreme President/Chief Executive Officer, I am grateful to every one of of our members who have entrusted a Lodge, Chapter or Youth Court to provide them with foundation house knowledge and information about our Fraternal Order. We have conventions, both Statewide and National that work to assist in increasing the education and knowledge our members possess. We pride ourselves in doing what is right, treating others as we ourselves would like to be treated, and striving for excellence in all we say and do. An added benefit within our Fraternal Order is that we can travel in this country and around the world, and in almost every place we will find a brother, sister or friend.
Regardless if you are just coming into our Fraternal Order, doing research, or have been a member for some time; we all had to start somewhere and gratitude is what I have for each one of you. With your commitment, persistence and quest to learn how to be a better man or woman, our Fraternal Order continues to be worth being a part of. As technology continues to advance, we will extend ourselves and resources to ensure information is readily available to our members and friends.
For 2018, one of my goals is to carry the collective vision of our members forward and see that none get left behind. I need our members to be active locally and help forge a greater vision for us all. It is also my hope that as a member, you will be active locally, financially responsible and doing the work of good Masons and Eastern Stars; that being to do charitable works and help those less fortunate. It should mean something special to bear the emblem of our Fraternal Order and when you hear someone mention that they are an International Mason or Eastern Star, a warm feeling should rise in your heart.
Please take time and browse our website and let us know how we can make it better. Every year, I travel to the National District Conventions and the Big 5 (Executive Council, Supreme Convention, National Conclave, National Shrine Convention, and National Marshal Convention). It is a pleasure to meet as many members as possible during my travels to hear your perspective on how we can do better. Let's make 2018 a year of service for our Fratenral Order where we feed more, clothe more and be of more service to our members and society.
May God continue to bless our members, their families and friends.
Illustrious James O. Dogan, 33° - Supreme President/CEO
International Free & Accepted Modern Masons, Inc. and Order of the Eastern Star