What is the Order of the Eastern Star?
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the
world to which both men and women may belong.
Eastern Star is a social Order comprised of persons with religious convictions
and spiritual values, but is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true
beauty of the refreshing and character building lessons that are so sincerely
portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its
members. It is the wholesome relationship of brotherly and sisterly love
brought about through high principles exemplified in our daily lives which
makes us near and dear to each other.
While this is an Order composed of people of spiritual convictions it is
open to all faiths. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all Stars
and it is considered a privilege to help one whenever we can. It is a social
order of members with sincere and purposeful objectives.
Who is Eligible to Belong?
Affiliated Master Masons in good standing and the wives, daughters, legally
adopted daughters, mothers, widows, sisters, half-sisters, granddaughters,
stepmothers, stepdaughters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, grandmothers,
great-granddaughters, nieces, great-nieces, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law,
daughters of sisters or brothers of affiliated Master Masons in good standing,
or if deceased were in good standing at the time of their death; as well
as to the members - either active for three years or majority - of the International
Order of the Rainbow for Girls or of the International Order of Job's Daughters,
each of whom shall have attained the age of 18 years, are eligible to membership
in the Order of the Eastern Star.
How Does One Belong?
Those desiring membership must petition to do so. A petition may be obtained
from any member of the Eastern Star. Petitions are carefully read, eligibility
investigated and election to membership must be by unanimous vote.
Dr. Robert Morris, the poet laureate of Masonry, founded this Order in 1855
using beautiful and inspiring biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values.
These portray the noble principles that should adorn the personal lives of Eastern
Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and
elevating associati9ns of love and service, and through precept and example, to
build an order which is truly dedicated to Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness.
The heart of the Eastern Star is in the local Chapter. For proper administration
these Chapters join to form a larger Province or State organization, the Grand
Chapter. To facilitate uniformity and coordination of effort, these jurisdictions
work together under the General Grand Chapter. There are more than 13,000 local
chapters with a membership in excess of two million, which serves this Order.
The membership encompasses 15 countries, which have active Chapters. In Vermont
there are over 50 Chapters with a membership in excess of 5,000.
Concrete evidence of the charitable nature of the organization as it affects
others is the millions of dollars which have been raised within the membership
to support ESTARL (Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership), Cancer
Research Project, Arthritis Fund, Heart Fund, Knights Templar Eye Foundation,
Shriners' Hospitals, orphanages, and many other charities within each Grand Jurisdiction.
In Vermont, each year, the Worthy Grand Matron and Worthy Grand Patron select
a special project for their charitable contributions. The Grand Chapter of Vermont
as well as many of the local Chapters sponsor scholarships.
Vermont Eastern Star Benevolent Fund
We are fortunate in Vermont to have a substantial Benevolence Fund that donates
thousands annually to needy members, non-members and other Vermont Charities.
Eastern Star gives support to young people who are members of Rainbow
for Girls and the Order of DeMolay for Boys, and
in some states, Job's Daughters. These fine young people who are training themselves
to be leaders are likely prospects to become valued Eastern Stars. The Order of
the Eastern Star and the Masonic fraternity are highly rewarded by their support
of and interest in these youth organizations.
OES Chapters in Vermont